How to Perform a Chemical Peel

Always check with your doctor or dermatologist prior to beginning any skin care regimen.

First, I would like to say that I am of the opinion that “PEELS USING SOLUTIONS OVER 10% STRENGTH SHOULD NOT BE PERFORMED AT HOME. In most states, Estheticians are licensed to perform glycolic, lactic and other alphahydroxy peels up to 30% strength. They can also use a Jessner’s peel at a 14% level and can apply up to 3 coats. Trichloroacetic (TCA) should only be performed by dermatologist or plastic surgeons. Please use a licensed professional that has experience with chemical exfoliation. Serious consequences can occur.

Clients who want a professional chemical exfoliation/peel stronger than 10% should be using an 8%-10% peel solution at home for two weeks prior to receiving and chemical peel higher. They should also be using a night cream with Retin-A (vitamin A) as an ingredient. Proper preparation will give the best results and will please your client. Remember that “prior planning prevents poor performance.”

I would also like to state that my intent with this article is to provide information to licensed estheticians and other skin professionals. This article is not intended for the general public. However, education is crucial to better understanding. As a general rule, no one should use peeling agents on themselves, but rather to inform them of a standard protocol that a licensed skin care professional would provide if this service is rendered. (See my link from the TV show “THE DOCTORS”).

Please refer to the Fitzpatrick Scale and determine if the client is an ideal candidate for chemical exfoliation. Allow the client to read and sign an informed and consent form. This is very important. DO NOT PERFORM STRONG PEELS ON FITZPATRICK TYPES VI, V or VI. Also, know your contraindication before administering a peel. Do not perform any chemical exfoliation on inflamed, irritated or broken skin. The best advice I can give to you is this: “WHEN IN DOUBT…DON’T.”

With that said, let’s get started.

1. Remove makeup: Usually the best choice is a milky cleanser placed on a gauze or cotton pad and swiped across the skin. Repeat until the makeup is removed. Do not use Vaseline due to its occlusive properties.

2. Cleanse the skin: The esthetician should thoroughly cleanse the skin with warm water and a mild but effective skin cleanser. This cleanser should not be too harsh, but be strong enough to remove dirt, debris and sebum (oil). I recommend a gel, or foamy cleanser for oily, combination and problematic skin types because the surfactants help to break down oil. For dry and sensitive skin types, I recommend a lotion or milky cleanser. Rinse the skin with lukewarm water several times and pat the skin dry. DO NOT RUB THE SKIN.

3. Defat the skin: This step involves stripping the skin of its oil by applying either a 70%, 90% isopropyl alcohol or acetone to the skin with a gauze pad or cotton pad. Be careful when using 90% isopropyl alcohol and acetone as they are very drying. I usually use 90% or acetone on oily and combination skin types. Defatting the skin allows the peel solution to uptake more evenly as the peel solution does not have to cut through the sebum. Let the solution evaporate off completely before proceeding to step 4.

4. Prepare the treatment are for the peel: This is a crucial step in performing chemical exfoliations. There is nothing worse than not being prepared. Make sure that you have either a neutralizing product available and handy or that you have a bowl of cool water mixed with about 3 to 4 table spoons of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Either of these products will be a life saver if something goes wrong. They will neutralize the chemical peel solution, thus helping to prevent further damage to the skin. Prepare your eye pads with the standard butterfly cotton pads or large eye rounds soak in cool water. Use a Q-tip to put a small amount of Vaseline as close to the underside of the eye and on the upper eye lid. This will prevent any of the peel solution from being absorbed. Place the protective eye pads over the client’s eyes. Hand the client a portable fan and turn it on. The fan will help to ease the discomfort as the chemical peeling agent is applied to the skin. Now you are ready to apply the chemical peeling agent.

5. Applying the peeling agent: After ensuring that the client’s eyes are protected, begin applying the peeling agent. Use a gauze square or large peeling Q-tip to apply the solution. Typically you should begin on the forehead and swipe across. Then proceed down the nose and across the cheeks, then to the chin area. Use a small Q-tip saturated with the peel solution to swipe under the eye area. NEVER APPLY PEELING AGENT ON THE UPPER EYELID. If you are using glycolic acid; lactic acid; or an Alphahydroxy acid (AHA) solution, the amount of time left on the skin has a direct correlation to the strength of the solution applied to the skin. In other words, a 10% solution can be left on longer than a 30%, 50% or 70% solution. The stronger the solution the less time on the skin. Also, if this is the first time the client is receiving a peel then you would not want to leave the peeling solution on for the maximum amount of time. Typically most AHA’s, glycolic, and lactic acid peel solutions can be left on for up to 10 minutes. Lactic acid is the best choice for dry and sensitive skin types as it tends to be not a drying. Watch for increased redness and irritations to occur. Then remove by rinsing with the cool water. Rinse the skin at least 3 to 6 times. Then use the water and baking soda mixture to stop the chemical reaction. Blot the skin dry. DO NOT RUB SKIN.

If the peel solution is a Betahydroxy acid (BHA) like salicylic acid, time is not the only factor in determining when to end the peel. You MUST look for the “frosting.” Frosting is the process of keratin being broken down in the skin. Usually, the skin will turn white like frosting on a cake. One coat might be sufficient, sometime 2 to 3 will be needed. If more than one coat is needed, wait about 45 seconds to 1 minute before applying additional coats. Be aware that you are not looking at salicylates precipitating. It resembles frosting but is only the salicylic acid reacting to the air. Frosting will look more pinkish white. Once the frost is presented, allow it to remain on the skin for about 1 -3 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. DO NOT RUB THE SKIN. BLOT DRY. BHA peels cannot be neutralized. A cool towel applied to the skin is usually enough to ease the discomfort.

If the peeling agent is a Jessner’s solution, it should be a 14% solution. The Jessner’s peel consists of 14% salicylic, 14% lactic acid in a resorcinol solvent. This peel is strong and provides great results when used correctly. Similar to a salicylic peel, the Jessner’s peel is great for clients that want to improve skin tone, acne, and fine lines and wrinkles. Frosting occurs with this peel also. The use of a fan is required with this peel. Wait about a minute between layering. Esthetician can usually apply up to 3 coats, while physicians can apply more and can use a higher strength. Again, this peel is ideal for clients that have oily to combination skin types. Once the frosting appears do not apply more solution. Allow it to remain on the skin for about 3 minutes, and then apply a cool towel to the skin.

If the chemical exfoliation is a Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), a physician should be administering the peel. Estheticians should not perform this peel. If you want information about this peel, go to your dermatologist or your physician. Sorry.

Now that the peel has been performed, what next? Well, in my opinion it is crucial to apply a Hyaluronic serum to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a hydrophilic (water loving) non-drying ingredient. It is essential for all skin types. As a matter of fact, Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the deeper tissues of the skin. Originally discovered in the comb of a rooster, it is now synthetically produced for cosmetics. It is silky, smooth and helps to plump up the skin. Make sure you have a product on hand that has it in it.

After, you have applied the Hyaluronic acid serum, apply sunscreen to the client’s skin and send them home. Your client should take home products to help in the healing process. Hyaluronic serum, a skin lightener (alpha Arbutin), Retin-A, moisturizer and most importantly an ant aging sunscreen with SPF 30+. Follow up with the client for the next 3 days by phone. About 10 days after the peel the client should come back to the salon for a follow up visit and for a facial. This is when you, the esthetician can evaluate the peel. During the healing process you want to reassure the client that what is happening to their skin is expected. Give them a take home form that reminds the client that what they are experiencing is normal. Encourage your client to keep their skin cleansed and hydrated. Make sure they use plenty of moisturizer and sunscreen. Advise them to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun for the next month. They should not use manual scrubs to abrade or expedite the peeling process. The slower the peeling process, the healthier.

Remember that peels can produce different results on any given individual. It is your responsibility to obtain an informed and consent form from your client. If you thoroughly screen your clients and use the proper tools (i.e. Fitzpatrick Scale) you should be able to deliver great anti-aging skin care to your clients.

Green Architecture Benchmarking For Social Issues

As broadly defined, sustainability addresses three primary dimensions: environmental, social or human, and economic. The environmental aspects of green building have received most of the focus as the movement has unfolded, perhaps because they are easier to quantify and may include materials or technologies with a visible “wow” factor. Social aspects are harder to define as value propositions within the triple bottom line, and are often thought of as “externalities.”

Our analysis centers primarily on social sustainability as it relates to LEED for New Construction (LEED NC), the tool applied to the Central Library project. While there is certainly some attention to social issues in LEED NC, when looked at in total the system focuses the majority of its credits on the environmental aspects of sustainability. Of the 69 total possible credits, 20 of these directly benefit people (about 28% of the possible credits).

Each credit in the LEED Reference Guide starts with a stated intent. The intent of the credit provides a reference point to tell why we should do something. This effectively creates a philosophical and motivational framework for LEED. The stated credit intent also provides guidance for credit rulings. Credit rulings are necessary when interpretation of a LEED credit is unclear, or when a project requests that credit be given upon a different basis than that of the specific credit requirement. A credit may be given if the USGBC reviewer determines that the stated intent of the credit has still been met. Sixteen LEED NC credits contain a stated intent related to the human species.

These include all of the Indoor Environmental Quality related credits, with the stated intent to promote well-being, comfort, and/or productivity of building occupants or construction workers. Four additional credits benefit society even though their stated intent does not. Sustainable Site Credit SS 2 and SS 4.2 encourage walking and bicycling, which directly improve human health by helping to reduce obesity. These are secondary benefits of the two credits, and not the stated intent or motivation for providing the credit. The stated intents for the credits include “reduce pollution,” “protect greenfields,” and “preserve habitat and natural resources.”5 Materials and Resources Credits MR 5.1 and 5.2 give credit for “increasing demand for materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region.” This has a direct effect on the local economy, by focusing purchasing within a 500-mile radius of the project site, instead of outsourcing purchases to other cities or even countries. Of course, this also has the effect of matching construction materials with local resources, and reducing associated environmental impacts from transporting materials

Suffering with Arch Foot Pain?

If bunions aren’t getting you down, maybe the arch of your foot is causing you pain. Arch pain or arch strain occurs when the tissues in the middle of the foot become inflamed and results in a burning sensation.

The arch of the foot is shaped by a firm band of tissue that joins the toes to the heel bone. This band of tissue plays a vital role in the proper mechanics of the foot and assists in the transfer of weight from the heel to the toes. Thus, when this tissue becomes inflamed, even the slightest movement can cause pain.

There are many different factors that can lead to arch pain. Often arch pain can result from a direct cause such as a foot injury or a structural imbalance of the foot, such as flat feet or a low or high arch. However, the most frequent cause of arch pain is a common condition known as plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that results from excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. This is a wide band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot. The inflammation of the plantar fascia usually causes pain to occur in the heel and arch areas. If Plantar fasciitis isn’t effectively treated promptly, further strain can be placed on the arch and a heel spur (a bony growth) may develop on the bottom of the heel.

The most common symptoms of arch pain are tenderness and pain in the arch region of the foot. Pain is usually severe when pressure is applied to the foot after a prolonged period of rest, such as after waking up from sleep.

The most common treatments used to help alleviate arch pain include:

o Supportive shoes – Avoid wearing high-heels as these shoes place a particular amount of stress on the arch region. Instead, wear footwear that properly fits your foot and provides it with proper support including shock absorbing soles, and a moderate, supportive heel. Furthermore, you should wear shoes to support your feet as much as you can. Also, limit the amount of time you walk barefoot, and don’t walk barefoot on hard surfaces.

o Insoles – Special insoles you can insert in your shoes known as orthotics help to alleviate pain by providing your foot with the support it needs to move normally.

o Stretches – Stretching your calf muscle and Achilles tendon causes you to flex your foot, which in turn allows you to stretch the arch. Stretching encourages circulation.

o Massage – Ice massages before bed can help ease sore feet and reduce inflammation. Another effective massage is to rub the bottom of your foot by moving it back and forth over a rolling pin. This helps ease pain caused by plantar fascia.

o Night splint – A night splint can help stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep and prevent stiffness.

o Anti-inflamatory medication – To help ease the pain you can take nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory medication such as ibuprofen. Acetaminophen is also often recommended.

If the above treatments fail to help your arch pain, or pain increases, it’s time for you to visit your doctor – or even better – a podiatrist. Remember, if you want to help heal your feet, you need to be good to them.

Construction – General Contractors and Their Duties

Work of a construction general contractor is not confined to usual stuff like building houses, roads, dwellings, workstations and bridges only. There is a fairly larger list of works than these. From the initial processes like preparing the proposed site fit for construction and coping up with the frequent changes in design, there is a lot to do. Things like safety measures, modifications etc. are also to be thought about and implemented properly under the supervision of the contractor.

Similar to that of any other industry, construction industry has its own branches and hierarchies. As mentioned earlier, construction general contractor’s work on roads, buildings, bridges and so on. But a contractor will mostly be working on any one of these and do not go for the others. That is, a contractor who is a master in building roads doesn’t always go and engineer an office complex.

The full responsibility of the job is taken up by the construction general contractor when he/she agrees to do large projects like that of a national project. In order to complete it he/she assigns several sub-contractors to see into the other segments of the project. This division is done according to each contractor’s area of expertise.

By and large, the construction general contractor would only concentrate in the segment in which he/she is more experienced and can prove most if his/her talent and skill. This kind of treatment to a particular segment of a whole project will help in the finesse of the completed project.

It can give satisfaction to both the contractor and the client. As per the previous work merits of the sub-contractors, alteration works and repairing works are assigned to them by the construction general contractor.

With lots of talks on global-warming and climatic changes, there has been a demand of eco-friendly and energy efficient construction. People opt for efficient construction in a low cost.

Building Inspectors

In today’s world nearly every building project requires some type of building permit. Which means you will have to call or visit the local building department to obtain all the required information and forms to get a building permit. Good news is in actually getting a permit you are now at least a passive green builder. This will usually be your first introduction to the main building inspector and you can begin to glean information from them, and also to see how the office operates.

It’s here that you’ll also begin to learn that contrary to popular belief the building inspectors job is not to help the property owner ,the builder, or you. Their job is to enforce the state or local approved building standards ( Building Code) no matter how long it takes you or how much it will cost you. For many people especially do-it-yourselfers it will become clear that just pounding a few nails just won’t get it done will the building inspector. And your project won’t be done until they say so and sign the final inspection. I think you can get the point of my article is the importance of getting the inspector to sign off on your project and that no two building inspectors are the same.

Knowing that there are no college programs to train building inspectors you can be certain that every inspector has had some other job before becoming an inspector which means that most of their training came from a previous occupation. Depending what they did previously will give you clues about what they will be looking for, say they were a form guy they will scrutinize the concrete work or if they were a project manager they will be obsessed with the plans, maybe they were a salesman and they are seeking to make some sort of deal (ha ha something to ponder) . But whatever they are looking for it will matter if you want your permit finalized. This is where I think that there is a lot of psychology that goes on in the building industry today which will surely be better understood years from now. Today to there are many professional people who specialize only in getting building permits and they seem to understand this part of the process well and could well be worth the money.

Back to the inspectors , even though the building codes are very specific there are clauses that grant wide leeway to local building officials (Building Inspectors) as to their interpretation of the codes. As much as you would like to think that they could check every screw or nail they cannot. But they can always have somebody else checking it for them and you would never know. That’s why it’s important to know how the office is works and who’ checking what. Even though it is absolutely the responsibility of the builder in charge of the project to make certain that everything conforms to the building code sometimes not even someone who has been there every step of the way and watched every single nail , screw, fastener and connector applied can still miss something. And even if you are positive that you have built everything correctly and according to the codes the building inspector can still say it’s not right and has to be their way. What the building inspectors job originally was supposed be, was they were to check for what could have been missed. Nowadays the building inspectors have evolved into a corps of diversified entities that wield a huge amount of power over a small group of builders and property owners who just want to build and enjoy their castles.

Economic Affects of Rising and Falling House Prices

Rising house prices increase consumer wealth and are likely to be associated with an increase in mortgage equity withdrawal. Mortgage equity withdrawal means people remortgage and take out a bigger loan against the value of their house. It means they have more money that they can spend and this leads to an increase in consumer spending and therefore Aggregate demand.

Rising house prices can also increase consumer confidence. It encourages people to take out other borrowings as they know that they can always release equity from the value of their house if necessary.

Therefore rising house prices can be instrumental in raising consumer spending and economic growth. Rising house prices can also be inflationary. This will occur if increasing house prices cause economic growth to be unsustainable. For example in the late 1980s rising house prices were a key factor in causing the inflationary Lawson boom of 1989. However rising house prices do not always cause inflation. If other components of economic growth are increasing at a slow rate, house prices may not cause inflation. For example between 2001-2007 house prices in the UK have been rising far quicker than the rate of inflation (which has remained in governments target of 1-3%)

Affect of Falling House Prices

Falling house prices usually have a more powerful effect than rising house prices.

People are used to rising house prices and the majority of homeowners don’t actually release the increased equity through remortgaging. However when house prices fall it can trigger a large fall in consumer confidence. People view falling house prices as a serious problem and in the past has been associated with reductions in consumer spending as people become much more risk averse.

For those who have recently remortgaged or bought a house falling house prices can lead to negative equity. Negative equity means the value of the house is less than the outstanding mortgage debt. This is a real problem for those who are struggling to meet mortgage repayments; there is no option to switch mortgage deals and reduce monthly payments.

Again the effect of falling house prices depends upon other variables in the economy.

For example falling house prices in 1991 was associated with a period of very high interest rates. Therefore homeowners were faced with a twin problem of high mortgage costs and falling house prices. If house prices fell in the UK in 2007 or 2008 real interest rates would likely be much lower. Furthermore the MPC would be likely to cut interest rates as falling house prices reduced inflationary pressures.

What is Hospitality Interior Design and Who Uses It?

In the hospitality industry, interior design performs a similar function. The layout of a lobby or guest room in addition to the color scheme, lighting, and furniture choices, greatly affects how a guest feels and how they view their surroundings.

Hospitality interior design covers a variety of different venues. It is used in restaurants, hotels, even retail stores. Every design aspect from the floor plan to the color of the walls and the style of furniture makes a difference in affecting a certain tone or atmosphere. Depending on the tone a business wishes to set, an interior designer might choose a bright, vibrant color pattern paired with modern furniture and innovative decorative accents or he might select a subtle, more muted color palette paired with plush furniture and simple wall decorations to inspire feelings of calm and comfort.

Lighting and color palette go hand in hand when it comes to hospitality interior design. Most interior designers have been educated to know what types of lighting to pair with bright color schemes versus those which are more subtle. The lighting of a venue may also be affected by furniture choices and the actual architecture of a building. Rooms with vaulted ceilings might require wall fixtures which direct the light upwards while smaller rooms might utilize overhead lighting or corner lamps. Not only does the type and placement of lighting affect the atmosphere of a room or building, but the degree of illumination is also important. A soft glow is more relaxing while bright or colored lighting inspires feelings of excitement and energy.

In addition to lighting and color palette, several more factors come into play within the realm of hospitality interior design. The type of furniture selected dictates whether a room is meant to be more decorative or functional and the arrangement of said furniture plays a role in establishing atmosphere as well. An open floor plan into which the furniture is sparsely placed induces an airy, free atmosphere while small groupings of furniture might incite feelings of intimacy. When considering different styles of hospitality interior design there are myriad factors to think about but the most important decision to make is what kind of atmosphere should be affected. A good interior designer will be able to make all aspects of hospitality interior design work together in order to create a cohesive feel the subscribes to a certain tone or atmosphere.

Intarsia – Painting With Wood – Seven Rules to Follow When Doing Intarsia

Intarsia is a mosaic of small wood pieces all glued together in a specific order. Call it painting with wood. Think of wood intarsia pieces as ”Pictures In Wood” which are more life-like than paintings, because they have a three dimensional appearance.

Each piece of wood is specially cut using a scroll saw (some may use a band saw), The piece is then sanded, try to visualize the project as if it were real. Then carefully contour to give a three dimensional look, when fitted together it will form an architectural scene, flowers, or maybe an animal, etc. The colors in the intarsia pictures are almost always the natural colors of the various varieties of wood (true intarsists do not stain the wood) combined with numerous grain patterns, we literally paint pictures in wood.

Everyone that does woodwork of any kind has developed their own techniques based upon the tools they own. There are a few rules we normally follow when doing an intarsia.

– Included in your intarsia pattern are suggestions for types of wood and grain direction. You can change these to suit the woods available to you. Most intarsia patterns will benefit from certain special grain patterns and shapes. Knots are seldom acceptable in the Intarsia itself, but often the grain pattern around the knot is very desirable. I love to find boards with knots so don’t disregard a board just because it has a knot.

– There are several ways to layout your pattern on the wood, the most common is to use carbon paper under your pattern. The pattern is given as actual size, however; you may want to enlarge or reduce to suit your taste. When I have done this I cut the pattern out of lexan or some similar clear material with the scroll saw. This allows the intarsia pattern piece to be positioned perfectly on the wood grain. This can enhance the finished wood intarsia.

– The most important thing you need when cutting Intarsia can be summed up in three words; patience, patience and more patience! If you use lexan templates, cut, removing the line will give you the desired cut. If you are intimidated by the number of pieces of an intarsia project, separate it into several sections. Complete the sections, then assemble them together.

– Now make sure everything fits together using a dry fit. Whether you are going to use a backing board or not, any adjustments you need should be made now. Maybe your blade wandered a bit and you don’t have a perfect fit, you will have to do a little sanding to correct the error. Sometimes you just have to re-cut a piece to make it fit properly.

– The most important portion of your project, contouring. Now you change a two dimensional piece of wood into a three dimensional piece of wood art. Think three dimensional. Try to keep in mind how you want the picture in wood to look, especially how the piece you are working on belongs to the overall intarsia project.

– Assembling your project: If you don’t use a backing board assemble your Intarsia on a piece of waxed paper to prevent it from becoming part of your workbench. Simple yellow wood glue works well and it is easy to clean up and gives you some leeway if you make a mistake. If you a backing board assemble your intarsia directly on the board. Use glue on the backs of the wood pieces so they will adhere to the backing. Caution: Make sure you don’t have glue oozing out on the finish side of your project. If you do, clean it off immediately.

– When the piece has dried, coat with a good finishing oil and put a hanger on the back.

Preparing Your Chopper Motorcycle For Painting

After buying you custom painting manual guide, tools, paint and equipments, the next job is to dismantle the motorcycle. Start dismantling your chopper motorcycle with utmost accuracy. While dismantling the chopper motorcycle, you should be very careful with wires attached to the motorcycle.

Dismantling chopper motorcycle is not very difficult, if you do it according to the custom painting manual guide. Remove only those parts from motorcycle, which you want to re-paint, as most of the people remove each and every part from the motorcycle and find it difficult to assemble it later. You should remember while dismantling your chopper motorcycle, that you have to assemble it. By using the basic tools kit, you can easily dismantle or assemble your chopper motorcycle. You should collect all the big or small parts of your chopper motorcycle very carefully at the time of dismantling your motorcycle.


Sanding is done to remove the old paint from the dismantled parts of chopper motorcycle and to give smooth and silky surface to paint. The process of sanding is done by using sand papers. Generally, there are two types of sand paper used in sanding process of motorcycles, first is rough sandpaper and second is fine sandpaper. Rough sandpaper is used to remove the old paint from the motorcycle and fine sandpaper is used to give smooth surface for the new paint. If the old paint is remain on the motorcycle then it might cause problem with the new paint. Therefore, sanding is very important before you start painting your chopper motorcycle. Never try to avoid sanding because it is very important for the long lasting shine and grace of new paint.

Sanding Your Chopper Motorcycle

Sanding a motorcycle doesn’t need any specialized knowledge or skill. You must be careful while choosing the correct thickness of the sand paper (rough sandpaper and fine sandpaper). Sand papers with grit form 600 to 1000 can be used, depending upon the roughness of your chopper motorcycle. 600 grit sand papers are used for the rough surface i.e. to remove the old paint. 1000 grit sand papers are used for fine finishing of the motorcycle.

Although sanding is not a specialized job, but you have to be expert in judging the smoothness of the surface on which you are going to paint. When you are going for motorcycle sanding, you should be well prepared, as the people who perform such jobs are regularly exposed to dust (powder of old paint). Chances of getting dust in the eye and throat are very common. Therefore, your must wear the safety equipments. Swallowing these powders sometimes might leads to lung cancer.

For the final finishing of your chopper motorcycle, it is recommended to use 200 grit sanding paper. Smooth and sparkling surface of the motorcycle is the reward of proper sanding. Use 1200 grit wet and dry sand paper if you want to paint a metallic color on your chopper motorcycle.

Chemical Stripper for Sanding

If you find it difficult to remove the old paint of your motorcycle with a sand paper, then you can also use chemical stripper. Apply the paint stripper very carefully all over the motorcycle with a paint brush.

Chemical stripper can affect your skin badly. Therefore, you must wear safety equipments while applying chemical stripper on your chopper motorcycle.

How to Apply Chemical Stripper

You should cover all the parts of your motorcycle, which you want to paint, with clear plastic sheet (available from any hardware shop), so the vapors will be trapped inside and will work more rapidly on the motorcycle. After covering the motorcycle parts with the plastic sheet, than wait for the 2 to 3 hours and remove the plastic sheet.

Now you can start to scrape off the old paint from the motorcycle with a putty knife or a paint scraper. After applying stripping chemical on the motorcycle parts and keep the water away from these parts. If necessary, use the stripping chemical again. Never use the chemical stripper to remove the old paint from the motorcycle part, as it can affect the body (metal) of your chopper motorcycle. Therefore, sanding by sand paper is the best and simple way to remove old paint from motorcycle.

Wash the Parts before You Start Painting

After the sanding process, wash each and every part. Washing is necessary and important to remove the sanding powder which is left after the sanding process. There are some people who jump from sanding directly on to the base coat and might suffer later, as if you start with base coating without washing it, then after completing the first base coat, you will find small particles on it. Therefore, wash gently all the parts before you start painting.

For washing purpose, you can use any common soap or dishwashing detergents which are commonly available in the market. You can also use a scrub or a hard brush with these soap or detergent. A scrub or a hard brush will also remove the old paint left during the sanding process. You can also use cleaner to wash motorcycle, but never use any strong and chemically reacting cleaner which can damage the body (metal) of your chopper motorcycle by starting the rusting process. These types of chemical cleaners contain a chemical irritant which is known as Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether. Therefore, it is recommended to use common soap or dishwashing detergent to wash your chopper motorcycle before painting.

Fix Sticky Doors

Everywhere we go, we find doors that don’t close properly. Often, the answer is right in front of us and the repair is simple.

First, look carefully at the edges of the door and the jamb (the frame all around the door, including the floor). Visual inspection will show you anywhere the door rubs (scrapes) against the jamb.

If a door doesn’t close flat, it’s probably warped. Flex it back into shape. Press the bottom of the door against your foot and press the top with your hands to make it match the jamb (remove the glass from a storm door first). Painting a wooden exterior door seals it from the weather to reduce warping.

A door can rub or stick against one small spot because the edge of the jamb is not flat. When the door was installed, the carpenter used thin wooden wedges to line everything up, but they fatigue over time. All that may be needed is a large hammer to pound the frame slightly. Hold a scrap of wood over the area so the hammer head doesn’t put dents in the jamb. Since you might move the wood slightly, you may need to touch up the paint where the jamb meets the wall moulding.

Study the top and bottom of the door on the hinge side. Compare the gap between the door and the jamb (beneath the bottom hinge) to the gap above the top hinge. Often, the gap at the top is much larger. Since the door has four square corners and the jamb has four square corners, this means the door is “twisted” inside the jamb. If the top-left corner has a large gap, the right edge of the door will sag, drag and stick. If you can lift the door by the handle to get it to close smoothly, it’s sagging.

Often, all that’s needed is to tighten all the screws on the hinges to make the door square inside the frame. If a screw hole is stripped (screw won’t grab), remove the screw, stuff a few sturdy toothpick pieces in the hole to take up the gap, and tighten the screw. If the screw’s threads are rusted away, replace the screw.

If the door is wearing and dragging on a weatherstrip on the floor, dirt may have collected under the strip over the years, lifting it slightly. It’s usually difficult to remove the strip, so try tapping it softly with a hammer to break up the dirt, then blowing it out, thus lowering the strip. Tighten any loose screws. Some weatherstrips have a matching piece on the bottom of the door; inspect with a small mirror and correct bends or damage. If you must remove the door, close it, then lift out the hinge pins with a flat screwdriver and a hammer by tapping upward on the bulb on the top. Be careful — wooden doors can be very heavy. To return the door, set it into the frame as thought it were closed, then gradually return the pins, each one a little bit at a time. Tap down with a hammer to set them home.

If the latch won’t grab, or a deadbolt is sticky or can’t be bolted, first see if the door is hanging square (see above). Look carefully to determine where the bolt or latch fails to fall into the plate (bottom edge, top edge, or side edge?). You may find a wear pattern on the plate that shows you where the latch moves across it. Most plates cannot be moved easily. If things are really out of whack, one easy repair is to purchase a universal, adjustable plate at a home improvement store; they are flexible enough to meet almost any need. If your door is very close to latching properly, you might try a small file, a small rotary burr on a drill motor, or even a small hammer and chisel to remove enough metal from the plate (and maybe the jamb, too) to let the bolt or latch fall into the plate. A few layers of paint may be all that’s blocking it. Removing the plate may (or may not) make it easier to work on it, depending on the tools you have.

If a lock is worn and your key sticks, try spraying in lock graphite. Avoid oil of any kind — eventually it collects dust and makes the lock dirty. Try a different key and buy a copy of the better key. You can have a locksmith re-key a lock, but it’s far less expensive (~$20) to pull the lock out yourself and take it to his shop to be re-keyed than to have the locksmith come to your home (~$80 to $100). Some hardware stores will re-key a lock for $10. Leave someone at home since your door cannot be locked. Consider having the back door re-keyed to the same key at the same time. If it’s sticking just enough to be annoying, try lifting up on the key, or pressing downward on the key while it’s in the lock to see if it works better that way.

Worn doorknobs (locksets) are easy to replace. For interior doors, you might just remove four screws and take it to any home-improvement store. Some require that you remove the knob and pop off a plate to get at any screws — look for a tiny hole with a springy button inside near the edge of the handle, and then for a small slit or dip to pry on the edge of the plate. The manufacturer’s name is often above the latch if you need some instuctions.

If you have trouble twisting the knob to get the door to open, you’ll probably eventually find a child or a guest (or you) locked in or out of a room. If you replace the lockset on your front door, consider saving money and headaches by replacing the back door at the same time with a packaged pair of locksets keyed alike. Locksets, like nearly everything else in modern homes, are only designed to last 20 years; long enough to raise your family and move out.

Homes built before World War II have old “mortise” locks. The keyed part is usually held in place by a setscrew right beside it on the mortise hardware. Loosen the setscrew one turn, then use the key in the lock to unscrew the lock counter-clockwise. If you need a skeleton key to lock an interior door in an old house, you can find universal keys online or in home improvement stores. It is impractical to modify an old (mortise) door to accept a modern handset. You’ll likely have to replace the door, which is also too difficult for the average homeowner.

Take precautions for lead paint if you sand or file anything and your home is over 30 years old. Wear a mask, ventilate well, vacuum carefully. Lead makes you permanently stupid.

Exterior storm and screen doors have their own set of rules. Inspect the latch plate on the jamb — it may be adjustable with just a setscrew. Loosen the screws and the plate will move or modify to make the door seal tighter or looser. Test and readjust. If the button latch is sticky, take it apart and clean it.

The pneumatic closer that keeps storm doors from slamming is easy to fix. A wide-open storm door should close fast, then slow, then very slow, then latch. Closing too fast could smash a child’s fingers or the glass.

If the closer closes too fast or too slow, look for a +/- screw or knob, or see if a part can be twisted after removing the pin on the door. Adjust as needed (cheaper models are not adjustable). The adjustment is to compensate for a heavy glass door (winter) and a lighter screen door (summer). If the door just slams shut and cannot be adjusted, the closer must be replaced. They cost around $10-$20 and are simple to install (follow the instructions). Take the old one with you to match it better. It will be easier to remove if you open the door slightly, then lock the closer with the bent metal tab to keep it slightly open. Then remove the pins from each end of the closer (they’re different sizes).

If your door was caught by the wind and it tore the closer bracket out of the wall, see if you can install a new closer higher or lower on the door, since the frame is now damaged. Screw anchors let you enlarge the existing holes, insert the anchors, and return the screws. A flat plate of aluminum or steel might be used to create a new surface to mount. Obtain a protective strong chain/spring combination, sold in home improvement stores next to the door closers. Adjust so the chain prevents the closer from being over-stressed.

One common problem: the storm door cannot be propped open using the small tab on the closer’s shaft; it just doesn’t stay in place. You’ll see the tab has a fold; yours is too flat, so it won’t grab. Close the door and lift out the small pin on the jamb end of the closer. Remove the folded tab, hold the square portion with a pair of pliers or an adjustable (crescent) wrench and press the point against a hard (concrete) surface to put a little more bend in it, or use a small hammer and a vise if you have one. Return the small spring, then the tab, then the pin.

The correct order for the spring and the tab puts the spring closest to the body of the closer. This way, when you have the door propped open, simply opening it a little further releases the tension on the tab and lets the spring push it away from the closer toward the door jamb.

Folding (bi-fold) closet doors have a setscrew on a flat plate near the top hinge/post that gradually loosens itself and lets the entire post assembly slide sideways. The door sags and won’t close properly. Open the door, loosen the screw, slide the plate slightly closer to the wall, tighten the screw. Test and adjust. There may be a similar adjustment on the post at the bottom, but it rarely needs adjustment. When properly set, the closet door should just miss scraping the wall on the hinge side. If the door does not snap closed securely, move both sliders slightly.

If the post on the top or bottom of a folding closet door has been abused, it won’t sit securely inside the door. Lift the entire door straight up to inspect the lower post. If the hole in the bottom of the door is severely damaged, consider using epoxy (two-part) glue to restore its integrity. You can’t easily move to new holes because they sit into a vertical wood frame inside the door.

Cupboard doors have weak hinges that are easily bent if the door is ever forced. Some hinges are adjustable, so look carefully at yours and adjust them as needed to make them operate smoothly and accurately. Inspect and consider bending or replacing simpler hinges as needed. If the door doesn’t close flat, use your hands to gently flex and flatten it.

China cabinet doors will stick if the cabinet is not level and square. Tape a long string and a weight (plumb bob) from the top of each corner to near the floor to see if it’s level. After you make sure nothing will fall inside the cabinet, carefully lift each foot slightly and put matching sheets of paper, cardboard or plastic under each foot to level the cabinet (at least one foot should be on the floor). A filled cabinet will sit differently than an empty one. Use a lever or have an assistant gently lift a corner to make lifting smoother and easier. When finished, all the strings will accurately follow the edges of all the corners.

Doorwalls and screens get stuck in their tracks because they’re dirty or need adjustment. Use the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner crevice tool, toothpicks, etc., to get up all the dirt in the tracks once each year.

If your doorwall has worn or scraped areas on the lower track, the door is riding too low and dragging. You’ll see a small hole, near the bottom, on both edges of the sliding door that adjusts a roller assembly. Lift the screen off its track and inspect the bottom to see an example. A screwdriver is used to turn a screw inside each hole.

Lift the door slightly to take the tension off the roller assembly, place a block under it or have someone else hold it up, and turn the screw a half-turn. Try to slide the door. If it’s worse, repeat but turn the other way. Do the other side of the door. Check the rollers at the top — they should leave just enough room to slide the door without being lifted. If you can lift the door too much, it could get lifted out of the lower track (usually during a party). Properly adjusted, all four rollers hold the door in place without dragging or having too much clearance on the bottom.

There should be just enough clearance to move smoothly. Too much clearance will weaken the roller assembly. If you can lift and remove the sliding screen, clean the roller assemblies with Windex and Q-Tips or similar. You may have to loosen some or all of the roller adjustments to lift the door out of the frame.

A spray oil like WD-40 may make heavy doorwalls slightly easier to slide if elderly people use them, but will hold dirt and require annual cleaning, and may drip on the track and get carried to carpets. Look for spots that bind and concentrate on fixing those spots.

Check and adjust locks and latches after you’ve adjusted a doorwall or screen.

Do NOT work on garage door hinges or tracks. These have heavy counterweights or powerful coiled springs to make the door nearly weightless. They can be extremely dangerous. Leave garage door repairs to a professional. Check your manual for electric garage door opener issues.

Doors are not complicated. Inspect all surfaces carefully and use your head. Anyone with simple hand tools can often fix almost any problem with any door in your home in just a few minutes. Inspect, comprehend, repair, inspect again.

Best Primer For Bare Drywall

The best primer for bare drywall depends on what expectations you have from the paint you will apply over it. You have a few options, the short answer is – primer is not the best option for new drywall, a drywall sealer such as Zinsser Gardz is or Zinsser Drywall Primer sealer. However, keep in mind like any product, there are many differences in quality and features.

It’s best to decide what you expect out of the paint you will be putting over the bare drywall. Some people paint to simply freshen up a room with no other expectations such as:

1) hanging wallpaper at a later date or

2) having the option to wipe,

3) wash,

4) scrub the walls or

5) in kids rooms being able to remove crayon and permanent marker,

6) ability to repeatedly remove taped-up posters and pictures and

7) to apply and remove masking tape for a wild color scheme of stripes and stars,

8) applying finish paint such as eggshell or semi-gloss,

9) high traffic areas and

10) in rooms or areas with large amounts of window glare.

Whatever your expectations are for finish paints – washability and scrubabilty features and the items listed above are dependent on the basecoat beneath the top coat.

It’s important to understand the different capabilities of wall primers. Be sure to read the label carefully and determine if a particular primer is best suited for your project. It’s important the primer is also compatible with your finish coat. Be sure to ask your paint store representative if you are unsure.


All About Old Plaster Walls

Up until the 1950s most homes in America did not have drywall. The walls of old homes were typically made of a much different product called plaster. Plaster walls are thicker and stronger than their successor, drywall, and though they have faded into history there are many old homes that still proudly display their plaster walls. Here’s some of the basics of plaster walls and how to care for them.


Plaster goes back thousands of years and has changed very little over the years. From colonial times plaster was installed as a wall covering. It was often mixed with things like horse hair to give it added strength. The mixture changed locally depending on the availability of certain materials, but generally the plaster was applied in a 3 coat process that provided extremely strong and durable walls. The plaster could be mixed with sand for a rougher texture or the plasterer could use brushes or other techniques to create a unique wall texture. Typically the plaster was a mix of lime or gypsum, aggregate (sand), and water

The Process

The first step in plastering a wall is installing a horizontal wood lath. This lath is a thin (1/4″ thick) by 1″ wide board that is attached to the framing studs and layered up the entire wall. Once the walls and ceiling were covered in lath the plasterer would apply the base coat or “scratch” coat of plaster about 3/8″ thick. The coat would be scored with a brush or comb to give it the rough texture and allow the next coat the adhere well. The second coat was again 3/8″ thick and called the “brown” coat. The brown coat was not scored because it was rough enough to give the final 1/8″ finish coat that was placed on top a sturdy base. The work required a skilled craftsman and was a combination of science and art. The plaster required 28 days to fully cure before it could be painted or altered in any way.

The Change

During the massive housing boom that followed WWII, plaster fell out of favor because it was too expensive and too slow of a process. The finer homes still had plaster for a decade or two, but increasingly drywall took over and plaster became somewhat of a lost art. For a while in the 1950s you’ll find a combination of plaster and drywall call “gyp-rock.” This was a process where the new drywall would be installed and then the finish coat of plaster would be applied on top. Hiding the cheaper option of drywall and making the house look just bit classier than it really was.

There is still a place for plaster in today’s homes. The fact still remains that plaster is a superior product to drywall. The cost may be more and the time required to install may be longer but plaster won’t be completely gone as long as there are still people who want the look and quality of a handmade wall in their home.

Gypsum Valuable Input for Agriculture

India ranks second on the basis of population in the world. Agricultural land utilised by the burgeoning population, the cultivable land resource is shrinking day by day. To meet the food, fibre, fuel, fodder, and other needs of the growing population, the productivity of agricultural land has to be increased rationally. This requires the use of all resources judiciously. In India, the mineral gypsum is mostly used in the manufacture of cement, fertiliser, plaster of Paris, ceramics and distemper. Smaller quantity is used as soil conditioner, for carving and statuary purposes. India has huge resources of natural gypsum of the order of 1120 million tonnes, of which recoverable reserves are estimated at 237 million tonnes. Over 95 per cent of the natural gypsum come from Rajasthan.

Gypsum is chemically calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4.2H2O). When dissolved in water, it yields calcium ions (Ca2+) and sulfate-sulfur ions (SO42-). Both of these ions are essential major nutrients for growing plants. In addition to this, calcium also plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining good chemical balance in soil, water and plants. Gypsum is one of those rare materials that perform in all three categories of soil treatment: an amendment, conditioner, and fertilizer. The usage of gypsum in agriculture can be grouped into following heads:

Reclaims soil sodicity: The sodic soils have exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) more than 15, it must be lowered for soil improvement as well as better crop growth. The calcium supplied by gypsum replaces the sodium held at the clay-exchange sites. The replaced sodium can be leached from the soil as sodium sulfate to an appropriate sink.

Decreases the toxic effect of NaCl salinity: Calcium from gypsum has a physiological role in inhibiting the uptake of sodium by plants. Thus plant are mitigate the sodium toxicity, which is more pronounced in the salt affected soils.

Decreases pH of sodic soils: The sodic soils are characterised by the high soil pH (>8.5). Gypsum lowers the high pH of sodic soils or near sodic soils to 7.5 to 7.8. These values are in the range of acceptability for growth of most crop plants. Increased calcium uptake by roots when gypsum is applied can decrease the pH of the rhizosphere.

Creates favorable soil EC: The more EC value of the soil is undesired for the crop growth. The high EC of soil are due to fertilizer application as well as by the weathering of soil minerals. Gypsum, being readily soluble, results in proper buffered solute concentration (EC) in soil to maintain soil in a flocculated state.

Makes excess Magnesium non-toxic: Calcium is essential to the biochemical mechanisms by which most plants nutrients are absorbed by roots. Without adequate calcium, uptake mechanisms would fail. In soils having unfavorable calcium magnesium ratios, such as serpentine soils, gypsum can create a more favorable ratio. Thus render Magnesium non-toxic.

Decreases heavy-metal toxicity: Calcium plays a role of regulator for balance of micro-nutrients, such as iron, zinc, manganese and copper, in plants. Calcium prevents excess uptake of many of them; and once they are in the plant, calcium keeps them from having adverse effects when their levels get high. Calcium in liberal quantities helps to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients and non-nutrients within plants. Gypsum also removes excess of Boron from sodic soil. It also regulates non-essential trace elements.

Improves soil structure: Gypsum provides calcium, which, flocculate clays in acid and alkaline soil. A flocculated clays form friable soil with improved soil structure and tilth. It also allows for deeper, healthier root development and water penetration.

Prevents crusting of soil: Gypsum application can decrease and prevent the crust formation on soil surfaces which result from rain drops or from sprinkler irrigation on unstable soil. It can prevent crusting that result when acid soils are limed and the gypsum is coapplied with the lime.

Improves compacted soil: Gypsum can break up compacted soil and decrease penetrometer resistance. Combination with organic amendments also helps, especially in preventing return of the compaction. The soils applied with gypsum have low bulk density.

Makes slightly wet soils easier to till: Soils that have been treated with gypsum have a wider range of soil moisture levels where it is safe to till without danger of compaction or deflocculation. Even a liberal application of gypsum is a good procedure for starting a piece of land into no-till soil management or pasture. Gypsum also improves the ability of soil to drain and not become waterlogged due to a combination of high sodium, swelling clay, and excess water.

Stops water runoff and erosion: Gypsum improves water infiltration rates into soils and also the hydraulic conductivity of the soil. The use of gypsum can decrease wind and water erosion of soil.

Improves swelling clays: Gypsum can decrease the swelling and cracking associated with high levels of exchangeable sodium on the montmorillonite-type clays. As sodium is replaced by calcium on these clays, they swell less and therefore do not easily clog the pore spaces through which air, water and roots move.

Increases water retention in soil: Gypsum when applied to sodic soil reduced the levels of exchangeable sodium resulted in increase in water retention. The improved soil structure help in the more retention of water.

Increases the stability of soil organic matter: Gypsum is a source of calcium responsible for the binding of soil organic matter to clay and gives stability to soil aggregates.

Improves low-solute irrigation water: Gypsum is used to increase the solute concentration of low-solute water used for irrigation. Irrigation water from rivers that no longer have sources of leachable salts either penetrates poorly into soil or causes soil particles to degrade which results in low-water penetration. The problem can be corrected with surface-applied gypsum or application to the irrigation water.

Improves water-use efficiency: Gypsum application increases water-use efficiency of crops. Improved water infiltration rates, improved hydraulic conductivity of soil, better water storage in the soil all lead to deeper rooting and better water-use efficiency.

Efficiently use low quality irrigation water: Use of reclaimed municipal wastewater is important for conservation of natural resources. Reclaimed water can be satisfactorily used if amended with gypsum and water-soluble polymers.

Improves fruit quality and prevents some plant diseases: The quality of fruit depends on the amount of calcium. Calcium is nearly always only marginally sufficient and often deficient in developing fruits. Calcium moves very slowly, if at all, from one plant part to another and fruits at the end of the transport system get too little. Calcium must be constantly available to the roots. In very high pH soils, calcium is not available enough; therefore, gypsum helps. Gypsum is used for peanuts, which develop below ground, to keep them disease free. Gypsum helps prevent blossom-end rot of watermelon and tomatoes and bitter pit in apples. Gypsum is preferred over lime for potatoes grown in acid soils so that scab may be controlled.

Decreases loss of fertilizer nitrogen to the air: Calcium from gypsum can help decrease volatilization loss of ammonium nitrogen from applications of ammonia, ammonium nitrate, urea, ammonium sulfate, or any of the ammonium phosphates.

Keeps clay off tuber and root crops: Gypsum can help keep clay particles from adhering to roots, bulbs and tubers of crops like potato, carrots, garlic and beets.

Helps Earthworms to Flourish: A continuous supply of calcium with organics is necessary for the habitat of earthworms that improve soil aeration, improve soil aggregation and churn the organic matter with inorganic fraction of soil.

Instruction Of Plaster Walls

Preparing Walls for Plaster

Installing rock lath, the base to which wall plaster is applied, is not a difficult job and requires only a few tools. If you can swing a hammer or cut wire with tin snips or read a carpenter’s level, you can do your own lathing. For speed and convenience, invest in a lathing hatchet. If you prefer to use your own hammer, you’ll have to score and cut the lath with a knife, which takes longer.

First calculate the square yardage on all surfaces to be covered and order lath accordingly. Buy metal corner stripping by the linear foot for openings and corners. Ten pounds of lathing nails will be needed for each 100 square yards of rock lath.

The next step is to set up baseboard grounds – 3/4″ wood strips which allow for some foundation settling and prevent plaster cracks. Nail these along all walls to be plastered. Then proceed as outlined in the photographs. Remember to keep all lathing work neat and the corners square. The final job will be just as good – or bad – as this essential base job.

How to Plaster a Wall

There’s an art to making a good plaster wall, and the use of the proper tools is essential. These include a plasterer’s trowel, a corner-shaping tool, a hawk, a darby, a screeding rod, a heavy brush and a bucket. To order the materials you will need, figure the square feet of the area to be covered. The undercoat is a mixture of sand, pre-pared gypsum plaster and water. You will need – for each 10 square feet of undercoat – 90 pounds of plasterer’s sand, cleaned and screeded, and 30 pounds of gypsum plaster.


1. Trowel: a plasterer’s trowel is a must. This has a long brace bar on the top side in contrast with the shorter bar on a mason’s steel float. It costs several dollars more and is worth the price.

2. Hawk: this is the classic mortarboard device. Use one made of aluminum and save wear and tear on yourself. The wooden type weighs a good deal more. Load with plaster and hold in the left hand while the right does the work.

3. Darby: a two-handled smoothing tool to level large flat areas. It is held flat against the wall as it is moved along and levels out raised spots.

4. Screeding Rod: a straight-edged wood or metal stick to level off rough plaster applications. One end is usually held against guides as the upper end scrapes excess plaster back onto board for reapplication.

5. Water Brush: this, and a bucket of clear water, must be kept on hand for finish plaster coating. The brush spreads as well as dashes water over the surface being troweled smooth.

To mix, use either a wheelbarrow or shallow wood box and mix the sand and plaster, dry, in one end. Tilt the mixing box with the dry mixture in the upper end and put water in the low end. Then draw the mixed sand and plaster into the water a little at a time, mixing constantly. If water is added into the dry mix, or all of it is pulled into the water at once, lumps are formed which can’t be easily broken up. Mix to a heavy creamlike consistency. Add more of the dry mix or water, as necessary.

Apply the base coat as shown in the photographs. The final coat of finishing plaster is mixed with water without sand and applied as illustrated. Troweling technique is quickly mastered. Plaster is applied from a full trowel on upward strokes, using light pressure only. The trowel, in finishing, is held at an angle of about 30° to the wall. If pressed fiat against the wall, the trowel is held by suction and will pull the plaster off. If the angle is too great, the edge of the trowel will leave wavy lines in the surface.

Repair of Plaster Walls

Sooner or later, almost every plaster wall and ceiling develops cracks – if not in the broader expanses, then at least where flat surfaces join one another. Wind pressure on the house, structural expansion and shrinkage, traffic vibration, and household activities all contribute toward weakened plaster. Before any redecoration can take place, the inevitable patching must always be done.

First, clean away all material that appears loose in and around the crack. If it’s a fair-sized crack, use a putty knife and a beer can opener and open the crack to its deepest part, then undercut it so that it’s wider underneath than on the outer surface. Little cracks can simply be brushed clean. With a spray, a sponge or a wet rag, thoroughly dampen all surfaces of the crack. If this is overlooked, moisture from the new plaster will be absorbed into the wall, leaving the patch powdery and weak. Mix patching plaster to a thick paste and pack it into the crack with a putty knife, preferably a flexible one. (For thin, hairline cracks, use a paint brush.) Press the mix into the bottom of the crack, build up slightly more than necessary, smooth off the excess, and let it dry for 2 to 4 hours. Then use medium-grit sandpaper on a flat block to smooth off the excess. If you are going to paint later, a few strokes with fine-grit sandpaper will finish it off nicely. Before your paper or paint over this patchwork, brush on one coat or more of thinned shellac as a size coat. If there is no “glazed” look to the size coat when dry, apply a second coat.

One word of caution – when the job is finished, don’t pour excess plaster down the sink, for it will solidly block the drain pipe. If you mixed the material in a china or plastic bowl, it’s easy to clean out for the next batch. Each quantity mixed should be just what you can apply in 10 minutes. After that, it starts to harden and has little holding strength left.

The general procedure for patching holes where plaster has fallen from the wall is the same as for patching cracks: undercutting, cleaning, dampening and applying new plaster. Before applying the patch, however, make sure that the lath or other plaster base has not come loose from the framing members behind. If it has, nail it back into place.

In the case of wooden lath that is broken, you will have to enlarge the hole in the plaster until two adjacent studs or joists are exposed. Then remove the broken laths and replace them with short lengths of lath nailed to the studs. If the hole is more than an inch or so in diameter, apply the patching plaster in two coats. First put on a fairly thick under-coat and, before it has quite dried, score its surface with an old comb so that the next coat will bond to it. After the undercoat has dried and set, dampen the surface and apply the thin finish coat. If the area of the hole to be patched is larger than approximately one square foot, you will find difficulty in doing an adequate repair job with patching plaster alone. One way of repairing such large holes is to apply two coats of gypsum plaster as is done in ordinary plastering and then a third coat of finishing plaster. Another way, perhaps easier, is to cut a piece of plasterboard to fit the hole, nail it in place to the lath and apply a finish coat of patching plaster.

To repair a bulge, first create a hole where the bulge appears. Do this by rapping the bulge with a hammer until the loosened plaster falls out. Be sure to knock or pry away any loose plaster around the hole so as to have sound plaster at the edges of the patch.

Welding Gases

There are a variety of different types of gases that are used in welding. One of the major ways that gases are used is for shielding the area to be welded from gases that come from the atmosphere. The reason the shielding area needs to be welded is because these other gases can change the way the weld looks or make it difficult to use.

Whether a gas is used, the type of gas, and how it is used will be determined by the welding process that is used. Some of the most common gases and their uses are listed here:

Acetylene Gas — this is a flammable gas that is also colorless and some people say it smells like garlic. The periodic table designation is C2H2. This gas gets the hottest of all hydrocarbon gases because it has a structure that is called triple bon. When you combine this gas with oxygen, which is how it is often used, the temperature of the flame can get as high as 5580 degrees Fahrenheit. This gas can be used for small or large projects. This gas is often called Oxyacetylene when it is also combined with oxygen.

Uses: bracing, welding, cutting and soldering and they are usually stored in pressurized steel cylinders.

Air — believe it or not air is considered a gas in a welding situation. Air is found in bottles and is often compressed for the purpose needed in welding.

Argon — this is a nontoxic, nonflammable and inert gas which means that it doesn’t have a chemical reaction when it comes in contact with metal or other material. This is also a colorless gas and doesn’t carry an odor.

Uses — it is basically used for arch welding, the manufacturing of electronics, making steel and heat treating. Also used to weld aluminum and stainless steel (when combined with oxygen).

Oxygen — is primarily used to work with other gases where high heat is necessary to do the weld. It is most often used with acetylene but it can also be mixed with argon and other types of gases.

Uses — necessary when you want to use a high heat on metal.

Gases are most often used with a torch that has a regulator that can control the amount of gas that is distributed at any given time. The torch itself is attached to the regulator through hoses and the regulator is attached to the cylinders that hold the gas. Some gases like propane are in cylinders that have a short torch at the end; the torch is connected directly to the cylinder.

There are many safety precautions one should use with gases so that you cut down the risk of being hurt. Some things are common sense but it is a good idea to mention them anyway. Some of the precautions you should take include:

Store the cylinders in a place where they won’t be damaged or over heated. If they are large cylinders make sure they are chained in a way that stops them from falling. If you have extra gas or cylinders with oxygen they should be stored separately.