The Health Benefits of Nut Milk

Nut milk is an excellent healthy alternative to cow’s milk and even better than soy milk. More and more people are trying it these days and not going back to cow’s milk and with good reason too. It offers numerous health benefits and is packed with nutrients.

Nut milk does not contain lactose. This means that individuals with lactose intolerance, which is the inability to metabolize the lactose sugar found in cow’s milk, can drink nut milk and do very well with it. It is also gluten-free so individuals with gluten allergies or celiac disease can also drink it and experience the health benefits.

Soy milk is an often-touted alternative to cow’s milk, but is not actually a healthy alternative at all. It contains high levels of plant-based estrogens that are unnatural for human consumption. Consuming too much has the potential to throw off the balance of hormones in the human body. And that is not good. So we can avoid this all and just go with safe and healthful nut-based milk.

Look at how nutritious these milks are. Following is a list of some of the nutrients in popular types of nut milk:

Almond milk – twenty grams of protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus

Chestnut milk – low in fat, good source of fiber, B-vitamins

Pecan milk – nine grams of protein, potassium, vitamin A

Hazelnut milk – fifteen grams of protein, potassium, sulfur, calcium

Cashew milk – sixteen grams of protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A

Pine nut milk – twenty-three grams of protein, phosphorus, iron, niacin, thiamine

Walnut milk – fifteen grams of protein, magnesium, rich in potassium, vitamin A

You can make fresh nut-based milk very easily. Just take about one cup of your favorite nuts from the list above and four cups of fresh water and blend them in a blender. Then strain this through a nut milk bag. If you plan to store it in the fridge, you can even blend in some Irish sea moss, which will thicken the milk and prevent it from separating at all. But if you do not have that on hand, you can also just stir or shake up the nut milk before using it if you ever let it sit in the fridge too long and it becomes separated. Separation is natural. Just stir it up and it will still taste great and be just as healthful for you.

Solution for Gutters Draining on Sidewalks, Patios and Drives

Sidewalks, patios and driveways pose special problems for gutter drainage. Many times the roof design of the house requires a downspout in an inconvenient location. In colder climates water from gutters draining onto a sidewalk entranceway can be dangerous as the water will freeze making a slip-and-fall hazard. Draining the water into a flower bed between the house and the walk is not an option because the concrete or brick pavers will act like a dam, holding water against the basement wall and contributing to wet and leaking basements. A Cross Sidewalk Drain (CSD) is designed to carry away rainwater from down spouts safely and discreetly across the sidewalk, driveway or patio.

Think about your rain gutters as a total “system”. Start by making sure the gutters are clean. You don’t need me to remind you that cleaning gutters twice a year is a must. The spring cleaning, after the seeds and helicopters come down, is the most important. Many seeds float and quickly make their way to the downspout where it will become clogged in no time. The spring cleaning, after the seeds and helicopters come down, is the most important.

Three to four foot extensions are needed at the bottom of the downspout. The lower elbow should be about sixteen inches above the ground to ensure good slope for drainage. The ground or grade around the house must allow water to drain away from the foundation. Rain barrels can also be used to catch and store rainwater. There is a fitting at the bottom of the rain barrel so a common garden hose can be attached letting you use the water as needed in your flower or vegetable gardens.

Now you can take on the task of draining rainwater under and away form areas where there is pedestrian or car traffic around your house. “Cross Sidewalk Drains (CSD)” come in several premade styles and sizes. The most economical CSD is a tough polypropylene trough and grate and is appropriate for most pedestrian applications. Heavier duty CSDs with of polymer concrete trough and a metal grate cover that is installed across the walk or drive will give a flush, safe surface to walk or drive on. (ACO Markant is one manufacturer of CSDs )

Do not use pipe or irrigation tubing because these will eventually become clogged and there is no way to clean them. Animals such as rats will use them for a home. The metal grate on a CSD can be lifted for cleaning and because it open to light and air rodents will find it an unattractive place to make a home.

If you are working with an existing sidewalk or patio it will require some concrete or paver block cutting. The heavy power tools needed to make clean and accurate cuts are available at your local tool and equipment rental store. Make sure that you have enough slope on the CSD so the water will drain properly under the sidewalk. A French drain or a rain garden may also be needed on the opposite side of the walk too.

A concrete or brick paver contractor will also install Cross Sidewalk Drains but as always, make sure your contractor is licensed and insured.

How Much Moisture Is in the Air? A Heating Contractor’s Perspective on Humidity

How much moisture does outside air possess? This question has a few answers; however, the first question that should be asked before giving an answer is, “What is the temperature outside?” A given quantity of gas will occupy a certain volume at standard atmospheric pressures and temperatures. Double the temperature and allow the volume to increase so that the pressure remains at standard atmospheric values, and the space the gas occupies will approximately double. This is the reason unconditioned air in your home (no humidification) is relatively dry in the winter.

Let’s discuss this in more detail.

Very cold outside air at standard atmospheric pressure contains much less moisture per given volume of air than warmer air. This is specifically true when cold and warm air at the same relative humidity levels are compared. Relative humidity is a measure of how much moisture a given quantity of air contains compared to how much moisture that same quantity of air could potentially hold. As an example, say a 100 cubic foot volume of air at 70 degrees has a relative humidity of 50% and contains 1 cup of water. At 100% relative humidity this same volume of air would contain 2 cups of water. Now lets take a look at why our homes are so much drier in the winter.

Consider a day when the outside air is 0 degrees F and at 20 percent relative humidity. If we take a 100 cubic foot sample of this air and assume it holds 5 ounces of water when it is at 0 degrees and 20 percent relative humidity, what will happen to that air when we bring it into our house and raise the temperature to 70 degrees? The answer is, the 100 cubic foot space this air occupies will increase dramatically when it is heated to 70 degrees. Instead of occupying 100 cubic feet this same quantity of air will occupy a much greater space. If air is allowed to expand, heated air will always occupy a much greater space than the same quantity of colder air.

Let’s go back to the outside air that contained 5 ounces of water at 0 degrees F. Now that we’ve brought the air inside the home and raised it to 70 degrees lets assume it occupies 200 cubic feet of space. As you can see, five ounces of water contained within a much larger 200 cubic foot space thins the solution out considerably. All of those airborne water molecules are much farther apart and the air begins to feel dry. Also the relative humidity of the air has decreased significantly, since not only has the air expanded to a much greater volume, but also warmer air is able to hold much more water at similar volumes as cold air.

Our homes are continually bringing in outside air to make up for air lost to the outside. There are many reasons inside air is lost to the outside. For example, inside air is vented outside by exhaust from hot water heaters and furnaces. When new air from the outside is brought in to replace this air it immediately expands and the relative humidity of that air goes down. Unless we humidify our homes this air will seem dry since the water molecules within this new larger area are farther apart. This is why we need humidification in the winter.

To simplify everything that has just been discussed about relative humidity try imagining two pictures. The first picture I want you to imagine is a dry desert with no vegetation. The second is a rain forest. The big difference between the two pictures you have just imagined is how close or far apart the water molecules are from each other. In dry air the water molecules are far apart. In moist air they are close together.


Entry Doors- Pre-Purchase Guide To Exterior Doors

Whether you are building or redesigning an older home, the entry door makes a definite statement about you and your home. Since an entry door can be seen both from the street or sidewalk and affects the inside view of your house, you want the entry door to match the look of your house from the outside, and the décor of the entry way or living room.

When you choose to replace exterior door fittings, you have many options to look at. Sometimes people replace exterior door fittings to add curb appeal to the house. You may be looking for additional security features in an exterior door. You may choose an entry door that lets more light in to your house or that adds decorative features not available in your original entry door.

You can choose to install exterior door fittings yourself or hire a carpenter or handyman to do the job for you. Unless you decide to enlarge the entry door opening as part of your remodel project, to replace the entry door is not an onerous task.

An entry door is generally made more solid than a similar design interior door. An entry door may be made of metal, wood, plastic, glass or laminate of some type. An exterior door may also be made of some combination of the above materials.

The entry door can be single or double doors. A patio door or sliding door is another type of entry door. The entrance door may be flanked by narrow windows for an attractive presentation. The entry door can also be topped with a fanlight.

An entrance door often is designed as either raised or lower panels in either vertical or horizontal designs. There are several permutations of panel arrangements which have become quite popular in entry doors. Some paneled type doors have quite ornate finishing with occasional base-relief carvings; however this type of entry door is more likely to be custom-made.

Entry doors are often finished in natural wood, but may also be painted or stained to match the color and décor of the house. Entry doors present a first line of defense against burglars and thieves, so you will want to make sure the door you select has appropriate features in terms of size and thickness. The hardware will also have an impact on the safety and security of the door.

Glass Vs Acrylic Skylights – A Basic Comparison

There are many variations of skylights on the market today but the panes used in a skylight can be categorized by two basic types, glass and acrylic. Each material offers advantages as well disadvantages so you have to take these considerations into account when picking the right skylight for your situation.

Sunlight: glass allows in more direct sunlight but acrylic skylights have the ability to take in sunlight from many angles–which results in more overall light entering the room. If your main concern is illuminating a room, then a clear acrylic dome would be best choice. If you are trying to soften the light or to eliminate glare then an acrylic skylight with a bronze or white tint is the best option.

Utility: glass has certain advantages because it can block out noise and will not discolor over time as will an acrylic skylight, but acrylics are easier to clean and will not shatter as easily as glass. In areas with extreme temperature variations acrylic tend to be more suitable since it allows for less energy transfer-this is especially true of the double and triple dome skylights.

Appearance: glass is the easy winner here. Acrylics are not as clear as glass and have a rather “filmy” appearance. Glass, on the other hand, can be clear or colored and can be fabricated to almost any design desired. If having a decorative skylight is very important to you then glass should be your obvious choice.

In general, acrylics tend to be the more practical choice while glass is the more aesthetic choice. Both materials will work equally well for the majority of skylight installations but if you have a specific function in mind for your skylight then choosing the right material can be important.

Build a Workbench With Drawers

A workbench is an excellent help not just in woodworking but as well as in other crafting, fixing and projects that you could be working on. It is like having an extra hand because it can assist especially on holding things. However, having one could sometimes use so much space, which can be a drawback. To go around the situation, you must think of a way on how it can be used in such a way that you can maximize the place you are going to put it on. What you can do is build a workbench with drawers.

Aside from saving space, there are other advantages that come when you build a workbench with drawers such as getting your stuff more organized. You can have a compartment dedicated to your tools, another for your plans, for parts, etc. Thus, you will not be confused on where you put your things making it more convenient for you to work on your projects. By doing this, you are already saving space because the place where you put your workbench would also the place where you keep your stuffs.

You can easily build a workbench with drawers if you want to because all you need is a plan, your choice of materials, basic carpentry tools and if it is your first time to be doing this, a clear instructional material. For the workbench plan, you may make one yourself, buy from shops or online or browse the web to get a free one. The materials could be anything that you desire although it is often easiest working on wood. Should you need instructions on how to do the project, you can find a lot of helpful step-by-step guides and how-to videos that can assist you along the way.

Some would say that it would be better to buy rather than build. Well, if you lack time to work on it, it definitely is better to just make a purchase. However, building one yourself has a lot of perks including making the most out of your budget, being able to customize your bench and more liberty in the choice of materials.

Using a workbench with drawers would definitely become an asset because it does not only help you with your task, it also keep your place more orderly. So, why not start with one now and see what other benefits you can get from this furniture.

Want to Build a Veranda? 5 Handy Hints You Need to Know

Before taking the plunge and adding a veranda to your backyard, spending a little time on thoughtful planning can save you dollars and years of regret.

1. Selecting the area

Now you might think there’s nothing to decide here. But there’s nothing worse than an addition that looks as if it’s a tacked on after thought or is out of keeping with the rest of the area.

While the back of the house may be the first choice if you have a great view from the front this might be a better option or maybe there’s more room at the side of the house. Take a walk round the boundary and step out what free area is available.

2. Designing the layout

Gone are the days when homes were built with the traditional veranda around all sides of the house. Although if you can afford it and have the space there’s no reason why this can’t be a possibility.

Designing the layout could be something for the experts if money allows or grab a sheet of graph paper and start with your existing structures. Measure out from the wall to decide how much of the yard you want to lose. Think outside the square box or rectangle as is the case with most verandas. Perhaps an ‘L’ shape will work better or curved edges to blend in with the landscaping.

3. Getting approvals

As with any building project, council needs to be approached to find out about the local building regulations. Approvals and permissions can vary from one suburb to the next so just because the neighbours know someone who built a veranda close to the boundary fence line doesn’t mean your council will allow it.

Height can also make a difference to what needs approval so make sure you do your homework before ordering the materials.

4. Checking your budget

Whether the plan is to build veranda, pergola or extend your patio area nothing can happen if the money’s not there.

Do the sums and take every minor little detail into account. A bag of nails may not seem like a big budget item but if you need hundreds of them and you haven’t budgeted for them the sheets of iron and timber packs will sit in your backyard giving little enjoyment.

5. Choosing the materials

Visit the local experts and talk to friends and neighbours about their experiences. The outback range has been well advertised by Stratco. The company supplies complete kits using quality materials designed for their durability and good looks.

Home improvements are a little like getting a four course dinner ready for a party of ten. It’ all in the planning. Put some time into the preparation and try and cover as much as you can before buying the materials or committing to a contractor.

Think about your long term plans too. The veranda might only be the start or the basis of what can be added on to in the future. Pergolas covered in vines leading off the veranda will provide a shady and welcoming space.

Kitchen Compost Bin – 3 Way to Eliminate Fruit Flies

More and more people are focused on the environment. One of the easiest things you can do to be more “green” is to compost your food waste, provided you have access to a yard. Composting helps to reduce your contribution to the waste stream, and as an added side benefit, you wind up with a highly nutritious soil amendment, compost. But collecting your kitchen scraps can result in an unwanted side effect: breeding fruit flies. There are a few easy steps you can take to prevent these flies from breeding on your kitchen scraps.

The following three tips should help you keep your fruit fly problem under control. If you are still having problems, you may want to buy an inexpensive fruit fly trap.

Use a compost pail with a lid. There are many different types of things you can use to collect your vegetable peels and fruit skins. Some people use an old bowl. But fruit flies breed on the skins and peels of fruits and vegetables. While fruit flies may still breed in the pail, they won’t be flying around your kitchen.

Empty your kitchen compost pail frequently. As fruit flies breed on the skins and peels of your fruits and vegetables, it is important to remove the rotting waste from your home in a timely manner. This means getting in the habit of bringing your compost outside on a regular basis. Try not to let it go more than three days.

Keep scraps in the refrigerator. If you are not going to take your compost out on a regular basis, you may want to consider keeping your compost scraps in the refrigerator. The cold will retard the development of the fruit flies. Just make sure to mark the scraps!

The Versatility of a 4 in 1 Bucket

Sometimes referred to as a clamshell bucket, the 4 in I Bucket are capable of just about any job you can think of. You may buy it for one particular job, and find that you are using it over and over. It is ideal for picking up rocks and debris if you are landscaping your property. You can even pull up small trees, posts, and rocks that you would otherwise have to dig out by hand. Once everything is cleared away, you can use the bucket to grade and smooth the ground. The front part of the bucket can be used to gauge an exact depth when dozing, and the back of the blade will smooth the ground as it pushes forward.

You can also use the 4 in I Bucket as a loader when you are working. Picking up mounds of dirt or gravel and moving them from place to place is no problem for this piece of equipment. The same goes for any other heavy object you wish to move. Use the jaws to pick it up, or use the bucket to scoop. You can also use the clamshell feature to crush larger objects, or compact them for disposal. Pretty amazing what you van do with just one piece of equipment. If you are a novice at using the bucket attachment, it wont take you long to master how to use it, and if you have already been using the bucket for a while, you already know how handy it is.

Any loading operations you have to do will be greatly improved by adding the 4 in 1 Bucket to your tractor or skid steer. Scoop up the dirt, and simply open the clamshell bottom to dump it. Pick up a load of just about anything else you can think of, carry it to where you want it, and easily deposit it in place. Construction companies rely on the versatility of a 4 in I Bucket to get places a larger loader cant, especially if they are working in a tight area.

Farmers rely on the 4 in 1 Bucket to move hay and feed to areas around the farm. It saves a lot of backbreaking labor. They will also use it to move manure piles from one area to another, grade the earth to get it ready for plowing and gardening, and keep the fields level for grazing by removing boulders and stumps that otherwise get in the way. In fact, you will often see two or three of these machines with bucket attachments on a working farm because thats just how handy they are to have.

If you are in the market for an all around versatile piece of equipment that can do the work of several men, carry heavy loads without breaking down, and do more than one job, then you really should invest in a 4 in 1 Bucket for your tractor or skid steer.

Bulldozers For Sale

A Bulldozer Buying Guide

Bulldozers are the ultimate tool for heavy construction and demolition work. With their unbeatable traction on every imaginable surface, bulldozers are great for moving unwanted materials, grading, or knocking down buildings. You can get a bulldozer in a wide variety of sizes for whatever job you have in mind. As little as 40, or as many as 400 horses are available. This range of power should be sufficient for the smallest budget, up to the largest job. Bulldozers combine strength with agility and versatility. Their track drive systems, combined with an evenly distributed weight design allow dozers to go wherever their needed, and take their power with them.

Size and power is not everything, when it comes to getting the right dozer for your job. Buying a dozer that’s too big to get around your job site is not a good idea either. Blade size and type are important factors to consider when making your purchase decision. Clearing debris, grading roads, and knocking down derelict buildings are different jobs that require different blades.

Choosing the correct brand of dozer can be a challenge as well. There are several good bulldozer manufacturers to consider, such as Komatsu , Caterpillar, New Holland, Rayco, John Deere, Liebherr, and Case. Each of these makers have several models worth considering.

For smaller horsepower jobs, New Holland has the D75, D85, and D95 dozers that range from 75 to 95 horsepower. Komatsu D31EX/PX-21, D39EX/PX-21m and D37EX/PX-21 come with some nice electronic controls. The ever popular Caterpillar are always good machines to consider, especially the D89T, and the D2 models.

How To Make The Easiest & Cheapest Path

First of all, do you really need a defined structural path or will lawn do just as well? OK, so you need a path. Is it in a high traffic area? Is it on a slope? Is it muddy? Are you considering concrete or pavers? How much do you want to spend?

Here is the best option to give you a good-looking, well-drained, smooth surface that is easy to modify or pave over later:


· Inexpensive, quarried 20mm gravel (cobble), enough to cover the required area to a depth of 50 – 60mm

· Decorative washed 6 -10mm round pebble, enough to cover the gravel with a layer no more than 10mm thick

· Spirit level

· Plate compactor


· Mark out your pathway plan on the ground with white spray paint or powdered agricultural lime. A normal residential pedestrian path, which allows 2 people to pass each other is 1.2 metres wide. On a new site you may not have to excavate if your levels are correct, but you will need to go a little wider than the 1.2m or retain the edges, which is an unnecessary expense.

· With existing lawn or old garden excavate the 1.2 m wide strip to a depth of 50 to 60mm hose the ground until damp and fill with the cobble. I like to use white quartz gravel just because it brightens up dark areas and looks good but it isn’t always available so make do with what is the cheapest for you. A good alternative is crushed basalt, granite or limestone.

· Rake the cobble smooth with a metal rake so that it is level with the surrounding ground or at the finished level you expect to walk on. Don’t forget to think about drainage by checking with the level to make sure water flows where you want it to go. The path should be slightly angled to one side and be sloping away from the house so that no water sits on the path or flows toward the house.

· When you’re happy with the slope, width, and depth then sprinkle the smooth pebble evenly over the cobble to a depth of only about 10mm. Rake evenly with a plastic rake.

· Hire a plate compactor to compact the entire path. The small rounded pebble will lock into the angular cobble and make a smoother walking surface for bare feet. The gravel will lock into the subsurface ground. On steep slopes of clay soil the gravel binds into the clay when it’s wet and the whole path becomes very stable while still allowing good drainage.

Landscapers often use pebble for pathways but usually you will find a thick bed of round pebbles (60 – 75mm) that swim everywhere and become a nuisance for lawn mowing. Also it makes for an awkward walking surface when you sink into the loose pebble, a sure trap for high heels and uncomfortable on bare feet. Combining angular gravel and smooth pebbles is the easiest, most effective and cheapest technique.

How to Remove Seized Nuts and Bolts

Good mechanical skills depend upon a good attitude and the right approach. You have to recognise the importance of every part you handle, no matter how insignificant it might seem.

When it comes to seized nuts, bolts, and screws, most home mechanics quickly become frustrated and start forcing the issue before they’ve really thought about the implications of the problem. That usually makes the problem worse, which naturally leads to a loss of temper, which generally destroys the fastener – be it a nut, screw or whatever – which in turn ruins the job.

The first thing to do before removing any fastener is to make sure you’ve got the CORRECT tool. Sounds simple enough, but many home mechanics get it wrong time and time again. So don’t even think about using, say, a Whitworth spanner on a metric nut, or vice versa. Don’t use ANY spanner on any nut or bolt that wasn’t designed for it. Even if the spanner fits and works, it might well damage the fastener, thereby giving you problems the next time around.

Never use the wrong size screwdriver either. Never use the wrong socket, Allen key or any other tool. Only RIGHT is right. Everything else is WRONG – although you might get away with it nine times out of ten. But that tenth time is where it all goes pear-shaped, and suddenly you’ve wrecked a valuable component, and maybe injured yourself too. So check the fit of the tool. Then check it again.

Given that you’ve now got the right tool, use gentle pressure to see if the fastener is going to give you problems. Typical warning signs of impending problems are graunched nuts, or damaged screw heads or corrosion. Also, nuts and bolts that have been subject to heavy torsional (twisting) forces often cause major problems (such as wheel nuts). Nuts and bolts and screws that have been subjected to repeated heating and cooling (exhaust clamp bolts, for instance) are also likely to give you trouble and are prone to shearing. Remember too that a bolt that suddenly shears might lead to other damage on the bike. Or on yourself.

If you suspect an imminent problem, get out the freeing oil. Use WD40, Plus Gas, or whatever brand you feel is best (and the internet is full of heated argument advocating one brand over another). Even ordinary diesel oil is a pretty good penetrant. Ditto for 3-in-1 oil. But as with all oils, try and keep it off your skin.

Now liberally coat the offending fastener in oil. If you can leave it overnight, so much the better. If not, leave as much time as you can before tackling the job – and that means never less than 10-15 minutes. Time enough for a cuppa. Then come back and apply some more freeing oil.

Next, check that there aren’t any lock washers in place, or any other mechanical device designed to stop the bolt or screw from coming loose. Check too that there aren’t any burrs or other obstruction.

If you’re happy so far, it’s time to try a little more force, so reach for the RIGHT tool, which means a tight-fitting tool. Remind yourself once again of the importance of EACH fastener. Don’t mentally dismiss any of them as minor obstacles to be overcome. Each nut, bolt or screw can stop you completing the job, and might cause you to lose your temper when it suddenly becomes unusable. So go carefully.

If you can “shock” the fastener, that can help. You can use a centre punch for screws (giving it a short, sharp, central whack with a ballpein hammer). For bolts, a sharp whack on the end often suffices (either before you apply force with a spanner, or while you’re applying force). For nuts, you can try tapping around the flats – but take care not to damage or compress the threads. The idea is to jolt the metal, which will have built up tension. If you can jolt it while it’s covered in freeing oil, the oil will often find its way deeper into the offending threads and help release the tension. But it needs time to work. So try and plan ahead and set to work with the freeing oil a week or two before you start the restoration job.

If oil and carefully applied force doesn’t do it, stop and try some heat. Avoid a naked flame. Use a heat gun or even a hair dryer if that’s all you’ve got. Watch the paintwork, and keep the heat away from petrol. Consider removing the entire assembly so that you can work on it on a bench where you might be more comfortable – and where you’ll have a vice to hold it securely.

If heat doesn’t do it, consider squirting the component liberally with freeing oil, then wrapping the component in plastic film and freezing overnight (where possible). Remember; you need to release the compressive forces in the thread. Within reason, anything you can do to change the metal-to-metal interaction can only help.

Also, consider these suggestions before you attempt to tackle the fastener.

1. Use a Metrinch spanner. These have a four-point grip as opposed to a conventional two-point grip, and they on grip the “flats” of a nut or bolt rather than the corners thereby becoming tighter as you apply force. If you don’t have a set of these, now’s the time to get some before you continue. Good tools will repay themselves time and time again.

2. If a screw head is damaged, can you use a needle file to improve the slot? You might get only one chance at this before the fastener is damaged. So go easy.

3. If a nut or bolt is damaged beyond repair, can you weld a torque bar or secondary nut to it?

4. Is the bolt or screw likely to shear through corrosion, wear or age? If so, consider the implications of this before continuing.

5. If the bolt shears, will that stop you from removing the assembly? Or will it help? In other words, consider deliberately breaking the bolt and replacing it – but not if the bolt is seized into a casting, unless you plan to have it spark-eroded out (see below).

6. Can you tap on head of the screw or bolt as you unscrew?

7. Better still, do you have an impact driver? Or can you get one?

8. Do you have a nut splitter? These are cheap and effective tools, but are not always easy to apply when the nut is in a confined space.

9. If you’re working on an Allen screw, do you have an Allen socket that will allow you to apply torsional force as you tap/strike the end of the screw? Once again, an impact driver would be better.

10. Can you get an air tool on the fastener? Or an electric impact driver? Often, these will work instantly where spanners and ordinary sockets will get you nowhere.

11. Can you get the component loosened elsewhere?

12. Can you drill out the screw or bolt?

13. Consider using an Easy Out for damaged screws. These drill into the screw on a reverse thread. They’re not always effective, but are a cheap and useful tool to have in your arsenal.

14. Consider using a stud extractor where applicable. But careful. A seized stud often shears. So think about the implications of this.

15. If you get any movement at all, try some more freeing oil before you apply more force.

If you try all these methods and fail, you might consider grinding off the nut or bolt head with an angle grinder or Dremel. And if that fails, you’ll need to talk to an engineering shop that specialises in spark erosion. This directs an electrical spark at the offending fastener. It’s often surprisingly quick and effective. As with everything, prices vary. But if you’re working on an expensive, fragile or rare component, you might not have much choice.

Above all else, NEVER start on a screw or a bolt unless and until you’ve considered all the implications of the problems that you’re likely to face. Just stop. Back off. Drink some tea or coffee. Research if you’re still unsure. And above all else change your attitude.

Ultimately, it’s all solvable, so don’t panic. Just remind yourself that every fastener is a major problem in itself and needs to be treated with respect and caution. Anyone can remove a new nut and bolt. What makes a mechanic good or bad is the attention he or she gives to problem fasteners.

3 Primary Causes of Broken Bolts

Encountering broken studs or bolts is one of the most unwanted scenarios we can think of, especially, when working on automobiles and other mechanical equipment. Many people have tried to develop different methods to remove any broken bolt from their properties ranging from the cylindrical protector of their motorbike carburetor up to the metal plates of their garage doors. Methods such as drilling and welding are now available all over the internet in response to the increasing cases of broken bolts.

The real question is: “What causes a broken bolt?

1. Over-stressing

The word ” over-stress” is already enough to understand this cause; however, there is more to it than that. There are 3 kinds of load the bolt experiences: the preload, the service load, and the tensile load. The preload refers to the internal stress which keeps the two joint materials intact while the service load refers to the external factors causing the joint materials to exert separated stresses. The tensile load, on the other hand, refers to a static stress pulling both ends of the bolt separately. Tightening and overturning the nut regularly will increase the tensile load of the bolt. If the tensile load exceeds the tensile strength, then, the bolt will gain permanent damage which causes it to break. Determining the appropriate amount of torque applicable to specific types of bolt is necessary to avoid over-stressing.

2. Fatigue

About 85% of all broken bolt cases is due to fatigue. All bolts, especially the shear bolts, were designed to fail in due time. In other words, their efficiency is not for a lifetime. This can be explained by going back to the preload and service load. Every bolt or stud experiences a cycle of preload and service load. Fatigue is then determined by how many load cycles a bolt can withstand. This is why most equipment manuals would suggest bolt replacements after a year or two, especially, when the bolt is frequently exposed to stressing factors such as those on modeling equipment and stamping machines.

3. Corrosion

Corrosion, on the contrary, refers to the effects brought about by external elements such as excreted chemicals from nearby parts or exposure to incompatible metal components. For instance, bolts near the vehicle’s engine may acquire oil leaks and other engine fluids. These chemicals will cause the bolt to deteriorate as time passes by – that is the chemical corrosion.

Another kind of corrosion is when the bolt was used to join incompatible metal components. Because of incompatibility, the bolt deteriorates and might break as well. This is what we call the galvanic corrosion. Although corrosion is one of the primary causes of broken bolts, it is still a rare case and can only be found in advanced metal industries like in mechanical engineering, mining, and construction.

Among these three, fatigue comprises the majority of broken bolt cases followed by over-stressing. Corrosion varies from situations and is rarely to happen. Keeping these factors in mind will help you maintain the efficiency of your equipment by preventing bolts from breaking.

Cement Mixers – A Guide

A cement mixer – the more appropriate name is a concrete mixer – performs the function of mixing cement, water and either gravel or sand to make concrete. A revolving drum is used in the cement mixer to properly mix these components, A portable cement mixer gives the needed time for the construction workers to use it, before it becomes hard.

To build a foundation for a home, shed or garage or repair a building or a sidewalk, the right kind of cement mixer should be used to ensure the job is executed properly.

The mobile concrete dispenser or mobile cement mixer is used for batching concrete into several areas such as sidewalks. The amount of concrete can be properly controlled by using the mobile cement mixer. Extra water is not needed to mix cement in mobile cement mixers.

The stationary or immobile cement mixer or concrete dispenser as the name implies, is fixed in a central location while the concrete is manufactured. It is used mostly in pre-casting for building projects in remote locations where a large project is to be executed.

The increasing demand for ready-mix concrete with short mixing times meant for industrial production, resulted in new technologies in concrete production. Using cement mixers, batch mixing with twin-shafts with only thirty- seconds of mixing time per batch are possible now.

Delivery of ready-mix concrete from the factory or plant to the construction yard is made by a cement mixer, which is part of special transport trucks with a spiral blade fitted to overcome the tipping of large drums attached to the concrete truck. Continuous rotating cement mixers completely mix the concrete, and using its own hydraulic link cylinder empties the concrete without leaving any residue in the drum.

Portable cement mixers have wheels and are provided with a towing tongue, which a motor vehicle can pull around. The electric power for the rotation of the cement mixer can be supplied by the mains. A lever in the portable cement mixer enables the concrete to be tipped into a wheelbarrow.

It is not financially a good idea to buy a new concrete mixer for a small project, it is much simpler and of course cheaper to hire one from any leasing company.

Concrete Driveway Costs: Estimating the Cost of Your New Driveway

If you are going to build a driveway you are going to have to decide what it will be built of. There are actually several options in this regard but for most people it comes down to a choice between concrete and asphalt. Since price is going to a major factor you will want to know how to estimate the price of each type of driveway. This article will explain how to determine the cost of a concrete driveway.

The biggest thing that you are going to have to do to estimate the cost of a new driveway is to determine how much concrete you are going to need; it is by far the biggest cost when it comes to building your driveway. This is fairly easy to do all you have to do is figure out how many square feet your driveway is. This is pretty basic math in most cases but if you do have an oddly shaped driveway an estimate will be probably be good enough for your purposes.

You are also going to have to determine just how thick you need your driveway to be. The standard for concrete driveways is four inches but if you are going to be parking heavy vehicles like trucks or RVs on your driveway you will need to go with six inches. From there the math is pretty simple; just multiply the square footage of your driveway by the thickness in feet. This will tell you how many cubic feet of concrete you need. Since concrete is normally priced by the cubic yard you will want to divide that number by twenty seven.

As an example if we were building a large driveway that took up 2000 square feet and was four inches thick we would multiply 2000 by a third of a foot to give us 667 which we then divide by 27 to get 25 cubic yards of concrete approximately. Concrete will run you about a hundred dollars a yard depending on where you live so you would estimate that it would cost about $2500 dollars for the concrete.

Of course there is more to building a concrete driveway than just the cost of concrete; you also have to factor in the cost of sand. The concrete will need to be poured on a layer of three inches of sand. You can figure out the amount of sand you will need in cubic yards the same way that you figured out the amount of concrete. Which in this case works out to be 18.5 cubic yards. Sand goes for about fifteen dollars a cubic yard so you would expect to pay about two hundred seventy five dollars. In addition you will need to factor in the cost of two by fours that will be used as forms as well as the stakes to hold them in place, figure on a couple of hundred dollars for these. It will also run you a couple of hundred dollars each to have the cement and sand delivered if you are not going to pick it up yourself.

So far in our estimate we have assumed that you will be building the driveway yourself in its entirety. That means building the forms, mixing the cement and pouring it. If you are going to pay somebody else to do this you will want to estimate about a dollar per square foot, in our case about two thousand dollars. You can of course do part of the work yourself, for example build the forms and then have somebody else pour the concrete. The way this affects the price is something that you will have to work out with the company you use for this purpose.

So far we have estimated that the cost of a concrete driveway that it two thousand square feet and four inches thick will come to about $3200 if we do the work ourselves and $5200 if we hire somebody else to do it. However this is only part of the story. Before we can even start to pour concrete we have to build a base, this will need to be excavated to a depth of eight to twenty four inches depending on how cold it is where you live. You will then need to put gravel on top and have it compacted. This can cost anywhere from one thousand to five thousand dollars depending on the depth and if any power lines or pipes have to be moved.