Firewood and Wood Stove Basics – Five Lessons for Heating With Wood

Firewood burned in a wood stove is our primary heat source – not just in winter, but year round.

When we first moved to our rural property, I had so many questions: How much wood do we need for winter? What kind of wood should we burn? How do I prepare it? How do I clean the wood stove? Won’t it make a lot of smoke? As a city girl, I had no clue about building fires or how to use them for heat. But I learned fast. I had to. We’d have been a little chilly otherwise.

The answers would come over the next year, as I learned the finer points of building and maintaining fires and the wood stove that keeps us cozy. I learned that there is no ‘right’ way to build a fire (no matter how many ‘experts’ try to tell you otherwise). That wet wood is to be avoided at all costs. That a hot, clean burn with little to no smoke is the goal. That our loft can get roasting if the fire has been burning all day (and then, of course, that fans are necessary and required to push the warm air around).

I had so many questions about fire as a heat source, and I’m pretty sure lots of other people do too. Especially those who are planning on moving to the country, or have just moved. So I put together my top five lessons for using fire for heat – I hope it’s helpful!

The Top 5 Lessons I’ve Learned About Heating with Wood

1. There is no ‘right’ way to build a fire.

The ‘experts’ will try to tell you otherwise. Like how to plant vegetable seeds, everyone you ask will have a different opinion. So I’ll make it easy for you – try a bunch of different ways and pick the one that’s the least hassle for you and gets the best results. There are some pretty elaborate fire starting methods out there. And some that I still don’t see how they actually get a fire going, let alone quickly. I’m busy – my goal in building a fire is to get it burning fast and to get it burning hot so there’s little to no smoke coming out of the chimney. Then I don’t want to have to think about it for awhile. If you check YouTube, you’ll find all sorts of videos on fire building. Or you can bookmark this fantastic resource: and save yourself the hassle! Find a method that doesn’t look too complicated and try it out. You’ll soon find your favorite. Here’s one I’m going to try next: the top-down fire starting method. I tried it once before and it failed miserably (probably because our wood is cut a little chunky), but I’m willing to give it another try.

2. Better to have too much firewood than not enough.

There are some complicated calculations around for figuring out how much wood you’ll need if you’re heating with with a wood stove. Annoyingly, most articles will start with ‘it depends’. Unfortunately, it really does – on where you live, the temperature that particular winter, how well insulated your house is, what kind of wood you’ll be burning, how efficient your wood stove is, whether or not you’re burning wood full time or just using it to augment your primary heating system during cold snaps… you get the picture.

But if this is any help, we have a 700 square foot house, medium insulated (heritage log cabin with single pane glass augmented with storm windows), burn wood exclusively for heat from October through April in an old, probably inefficient wood stove, and live on the West Coast where temperatures are usually quite mild but damp. Also, I work from home so the fire is burning most of the day. How much wood do we burn? About 2 cords per season (a ‘cord’ is a pile 4′ x 4′ x 8′, densely packed). For us, that’s about 4 or 5 trees’ worth, all deadfall and windfall alder, maple and hemlock from the previous winter. So for a larger, well insulated home with a new, efficient wood stove burning wood exclusively for heat (with no other major heat sources), most people in the northern States and Canada would be safe with 3 cords or so – but always better to have more, just in case it’s a cold winter.

3. Wood stoves are really versatile – especially in a power outage.

I was just reading an article at Mother Earth News talking about eight different alternate power possibilities to use during power outages. The consensus seemed to be that having a wood stove that could also be used for cooking is the ideal situation. Obviously, if you live in the desert with no wood supply, that’s a bit of a challenge. But for the rest of us, it would seem that having a reasonably efficient wood stove in a rural area is smart insurance. Last winter we had a lot of power outages, and it was the wood stove that allowed us to still have tea, cook our food, and stay warm. We could have used a camp stove, but during a prolonged power outage, propane and butane canisters sell out extremely quickly (provided the stores still have power!). So a wood stove seems like a good investment. We’ve used ours to boil water, cook eggs, make toast, and keep big meals warm in cast iron pots. I can’t recommend enough having one that has a surface you can cook or heat water on.

4. You NEED fans to push the warm air through your house.

Our old wood stove had a fan that gave up the ghost not long after we moved in. Which was OK, because it was loud – too loud. I wanted to replace it with something quiet, and preferably non-electrical. The solution? A stove-top Ecofan. I got the Airplus model (in nickel) and I love it! It does exactly what it says it does, and more. It’s silent, starts turning as soon as it’s sensors reach a certain temperature, and uses no electricity. Which is great, because in a power outage, you really want your wood stove to be performing at peak efficiency.

We also have a hard-wired ceiling fan at the top of our cathedral ceiling, which pushes the warm air back down into the living area and throughout the house. Obviously, the bigger your house the more you’ll have to think about how the warm air will flow. Last year we had an issue with our bathroom being freezing in the morning, because it’s furthest away from the wood stove. So we used a plug-in oil heater, which kept the bathroom toasty, but racked up a rather large electrical bill. Plus it didn’t work when the power was out (then again, neither does the ceiling fan). This year, I had the brilliant idea (!) to keep the bathroom door open (except when in use, of course) and voila! The bathroom is warm in the morning. Well, maybe not warm, but at least there are no icicles hanging from the shower head. Problem solved.

5. Good insulation is your friend.

This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people still have single paned windows and big air spaces around their doors. Especially in old houses, which you’ll likely find on properties you might be considering for your modern homesteading adventure. We live in an 80-plus year old log cabin, so spent quite a bit of energy ensuring all the cracks and crevices were filled with insulation and chinked. It does still have single paned windows, though, so replacing them with triple-glazed wood windows is on our list of renovations for next spring. In the meantime, we’ve installed storm windows on all the lower windows. Seems to do the trick.

Will You Heat with Wood this Winter?

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned about heating our home with wood. I think even if we lived in my brand new timber frame dream house, I’d still consider wood as a primary heat source. It’s versatile, renewable (at least in our part of the world), it’s been deemed ‘carbon-neutral‘, and for me, it provides a connection to all my ancestors, who had nothing but wood to heat with.

Your situation will be different, though. Think about your options, and how willing you are to do the work required (sourcing wood, cutting, splitting, piling, hauling, cleaning chimneys, etc.).

If you do decide to heat with wood, chances are you’ll be very happy you did.

Japanese Samurai Sword (Katana) – Proper Disassembly and Reassembly

Handmade Katanas (Japanese samurai swords) are becoming very popular for martial arts enthusiasts and collectors alike. They have value for collectors from an investment standpoint as well value for martial arts students as a training tool. Many handmade swords are also displayed in homes and businesses as decoration. Regardless of the reason you purchased a handmade sword one fact remains the same: if you want your sword to last you need to perform the proper maintenance to prevent rust and oxidation. This article will cover the proper way to disassemble and reassemble your Katana for cleaning and maintenance.

It is important to note that most handmade swords or any sword with a hand forged blade is most likely very sharp. Make sure that the blade edge is never in a position where it could cause injury to you or anyone else. If you need to handle the blade use extreme caution and protective gloves at all times.

Disassembly of the Sword:

Use the mekugi-nuki (brass hammer) to remove the mekugi (pegs) from the handle. The mekugi are traditionally made from bamboo and are tapered to one end. Make sure you examine the pegs to determine which end is tapered and remove accordingly. You want to push the peg from the tapered (smallest) side out through the larger end. You may need to use a rubber mallet or hammer to tap out the pegs.

Once you have removed both of the pegs, firmly grasp the handle with your left hand and hold the sword in an upright position with the blade facing up and the sharp edge away from your body. Next use your right hand to hit downward on your left wrist lightly to loosen the hilt. Be cautious not to hit your wrist too hard as there is a chance that a blade with a short tang could bounce out of the hilt completely and cause injury to you or damage to the blade.

You may need to utilize a rubber mallet and tap lightly on the tsuba (guard) if the handle is tight or appears to be seized to the tang. Be sure to wrap the tsuba with a soft cloth or towel to protect it from damage.

Once the blade is removed from the handle you can also remove the tsuba (guard) and the seppa (spacers). You are now ready to clean your sword.

Once your Katana has been properly cleaned and oiled you can reassemble the sword by following the steps below.

Re-Assembly of the Sword:

With the bare blade in a horizontal position in your left hand or on a table, carefully slide the habaki (blade collar) onto the tang until it fits tightly against the mune-machi and ha-machi notches.

Next, slide the first seppa (washer), then the tsuba (guard), then the second seppa (washer), and finally the tsuka (handle) back onto the tang.

Grasp the handle with your left hand and hold the sword upright making sure the sharp edge is facing away from your body. Tap the end of the handle in an upward motion with your right palm until it fits firmly together. You may need to use a rubber mallet to achieve a tight fit but be sure to wrap the handle with a cloth to prevent damage to the kashira (buttcap).

Finally, insert the two mekugi (pegs) into the handle to secure the tsuka to the blade. It is important to note that the pegs are typically made of bamboo and can wear easily, therefore, to ensure a safe and secure fit it is recommended to install new pegs rather than reusing the old ones.

Now that you know the proper way to disassemble and reassemble your handmade samurai sword please look at our other articles on Samurai Sword Terminology and Proper Sword Care and Maintenance.

Door-to-Door Cable TV Sales Reps – 3 Mistakes to Avoid!

I just sat down to dinner with my family when the doorbell rang. I opened the door and greeted the stranger standing on my porch. “Yes?” I asked.

“Hello I’m with the cable company and we have a great deal for only ninety-five dollars a month you can get 120 TV channels high-speed Internet and local and long distance telephone service,” said the young man at my door in one long run-on sentence. He offered a half smile and added, “How are you today?” Huh? I thought. “No thanks.” I said and closed the door.

Like most of you, I have met salesmen at my door many times. Most selling magazines to “earn money for college,” but others selling Fuller Brushes (I’m not that old-he was selling brushes to my Mom), one selling an all purpose “miracle cleaner” (the one shiny spot on my door’s brass foot stop testifies to the product’s effectiveness.), and yet another selling vacuum cleaners (no kidding).

Although the Fuller Brush man disappeared from our porches many years ago, door to door sales people are here to stay, and not just for magazines, miracle cleaners, or vacuum cleaners. The cable television industry has used direct sales for decades as part of its marketing mix. As homes were built and cable plant extended and apartments wired, door to door sales people were sent in to make sales. The reps approached those people who had not already ordered by telephone and offered them something special to sign up. A free install or a movie channel for a month was usually all it took to make a sale (I know because I was a door to door sales rep for Viacom Cable about 20 years ago). The sales reps didn’t have to know much to be successful so the cable operators didn’t spend much money on training, sales were made and everyone was happy.

Times have changed. A lot. Now the marketplace is fiercely competitive with satellite companies and telephone companies alike battling incumbent cable operators for subscribers. Mailboxes are regularly filled with advertisements and, as a result, take rates for direct mail have plummeted. A 2 percent direct mail response rate used to be minimum expectation; now 1.5 percent is considered exceptional. Cable operators need now more than ever quality sales people at the door who can actually sell, because a good salesman at the door can do things no amount of advertising or direct mail can ever achieve. A good salesman can establish a rapport, actively uncover needs and then guide a person into making a purchasing decision.

Sales training can be expensive so, unfortunately, habits of the past have carried through to the present and few cable operators train their people to be successful. Having trainers on staff and paying mileage, meals and accommodations for sales reps to come together adds up to a lot of money, so many operators just keep doing what they’ve always done; what’s your hat size, here’s a clipboard, now go to it! Selling cable door to door isn’t rocket science, but there is a world of difference between someone poorly trained and one who has been taught a clear and effective process to follow. Here are three common mistakes that untrained sales reps regularly commit at the door that bring the conversation, and the door, to a quick close.

1. Too much information delivered too fast. A run-on burst of un-asked for information is simply annoying and does not give the prospect a reason to want to hear more…Goodbye.

2. Volunteering a price. The price of anything is a drawback to its purchase, so why on earth offer the prospect a reason to not buy what you have? Again…Goodbye.

3. Being insincere. A stranger on the porch asking, “How are you today?” is meaningless because the prospect instinctively knows the stranger asking the question doesn’t care. Insincere questions simply waste time and identify the sales rep as a slick salesman who will say anything to make a sale. So…Goodbye. Times are tough and competition for subscribers is fierce. A direct sales rep who avoids making these mistakes will start more conversations at the door and make more sales. Guaranteed.

Metal Primers For Steel Fabrication and Industrial Facilities – How to Select the Right Product

There are now many other metal primers on the market other than the old “shop primer” most steel fabrication and industrial facilities use. Don’t get me wrong, shop primer still has its place. For a product that you can buy for a very minimal price per gallon, you can get a minimal amount of protection needed for structural metal that will be covered up at some point.

Universal metal primers have certainly made a big splash. When looking for one, make sure you select a universal metal primer that can take a variety of topcoats. Many universal metal primers now are able to receive a variety of topcoats including alkyds, acrylics, urethane, silicone-alkyds, and epoxies. For large jobs, it is still possible to find a paint vendor that can supply a product such as this for a very reasonable price.

Fast dry epoxy primers have become popular selections to put under urethane and epoxy topcoats. These products dry quickly and are easy to spray, the only drawback here is that you most likely will need better surface preparation (SP6 commercial blast). You will also need to mix an “A” and “B” component and allow the appropriate “sweat in” time before spraying. Their costs are usually just slightly higher than the single-component universal metal primers.

“Wet on wet” metal primers have also been in the mix here recently. These are metal primers that can have a topcoat applied in as little as 20 minutes. They also can receive a variety of topcoats like urethane and epoxies. For a shop that is looking for premium production times, these types of products can certainly be the ticket. Amazingly, costs on these primers are very similar to the universal metal primers on the market.

Some potential pitfalls to avoid when selecting a metal primer are:

1) There are many grades of shop primers with all sorts of pricing. Make sure your shop primer contains around 50% in volume solids. This will help maintain good coverage and provide better overall quality. There are many 30% volume solids types of shop primers on the market that will increase your overall cost greatly because of their lack of coverage. In many cases you can purchase a better quality shop primer for the same price as a lower quality shop primer.

2) Some universal metal primers can only receive an acrylic or alkyd topcoat. While your project may only need an acrylic or alkyd topcoat, you can usually buy the premium version of universal metal primer for the same price. This will help later on down the line when someone in your shop might not remember what type of topcoat this primer can receive. By getting this right in the beginning, you will avoid potential problems later on down the road when you encounter a project that requires a more premium topcoat.

3) Fast dry epoxy primers can vary in dry times. Make sure you look at your dry times very closely as this product should dry in 30 minutes to the touch and you should be able to re-coat in two hours in ideal temperatures. Pricing on this product should also not be outrageous, as it is meant to be at a price point so you can build your paint mils at a reasonable price.

4) Keep in mind your level of surface preparation. SP2 and SP3 (hand tool & power tool clean) are usually sufficient for single-component primers. Although this form of surface preparation is also listed for epoxy primers as the minimum, it has been my experience that the mil scale on the steel needs to be removed. This will require a SP6 (commercial blast) surface preparation to adequately meet the needs of this type of product. Always remember, the coating you select will only perform to the level of surface preparation you complete.

There are other types of metal primers in addition to these, but these four classes of metal primers will cover the majority of your metal primer needs. For each project, try to balance your production times with the quality of primer needed for each application.

What Is Gyprocking?

Thinking of furnishing your interior walls? Why not consider gyprocking? What is it, you might ask, in this article we will explain to you what is gyprocking and what advantages and disadvantages it has compared to traditional techniques.

Gyprocks are made of gypsum plaster, which consists of a compound called calcium sulfate dihydrate. The gypsum plaster is pressed between two very thick sheets of fibreglass and then kiln dried. Sometimes the fibreglass is replaced with a thick piece of paper, but this is not recommended as mold growth may result.

Gyprock is also known as drywall, and in some places may also be known as plasterboard or a gypsum board. Using gyprock has a material for interior walls and ceiling are becoming more popular these days as it requires less labor and drying time than traditional methods such as plaster-based interior finish techniques.

Gyprocking offers a glossily smooth and flexible base for your environment. It can be used for the ceiling and interior walls. different gyprocking compositions can be used to design different environments. For example, if an acoustically sealed environment is needed, there are special types of gyprocks which could help you to achieve this aim. It is also a fire resistant material, this is because the gypsum contains water compounds, and the water will be set free and evaporate when a fire is present, prevent adjacent rooms from getting dangerously hot and buying time for people to escape.

But before you decide on using gyprocking for your office interior walls, there are several things you need to consider. First, is gyprocking the right material for you? If you are considering a more transparent and open environment, then gyprocking, which is obviously not transparent, is not right for you. You might want to opt for glass partitions and glass walls instead.

Although gyprocking is a relatively cheap option, there are several disadvantages that might put you off. First, it is prone to damages by exposure to water. While this could be offset by the use of covalent waterproofing and thus effectively insulating it from possible water damages. If unfortunately you were not offered that option or your waterproof layer is punctured, water may cause the wall to swell and disintegrate, in which you will immediately require to do a replacement to avoid possible structural damages.

Gyprocking is a simple job, but it requires a detail oriented and careful approach to be done right. It is better done through an experienced gyprocker in your area.

How to Fix Damaged Gypsum Ceiling

Gypsum board ceiling is a new method of covering the underside of the roof space in a building previously done with soft boards, chipboards, tongue and groove jointed timber. Its advantageous to use gypsum board ceiling because of the many good properties it has which include but not limited to good fire resistance, easy to fix and light weight.

In the event that gypsum board ceiling is damaged due to water leakages or during repairs on the roof space, the procedure is to cut out the piece that is damaged along the supports or ceiling brandering first and measure out the piece to replace as it must be the same size to give good aesthetics.

The next step is to check the supports below the roof and establish whether they are made of aluminum, timber or steel. Pick the new piece of gypsum board and make sure it measures the same as the repair area and screw it back using the screws provided few millimeters into the board so as to ensure a smooth finish once painted.

Once the ceiling board is fixed back, pick the joint strip provided and paste it with gypsum adhesive to cover the joint between the new and old boards, such that the ceiling appears as one big board. The joint strip and new board are first painted with under coat and then a filler is applied and rubbed down after which two to three coats of paint should bring back the whole ceiling to its original beauty and state.

Plaster of Paris Molds: Keepsake Treasure Tins

If you’ve ever seen pre-made baby and child handprint kits at stores, you know that while they’re convenient, they’re also fairly expensive. Fortunately, making a kit at home is easy and best of all, it’s also inexpensive. Making these kits from scratch at home, rather than buying expensive pre-made kits allows you to mold handprints or cherished objects whenever you want, as much as you want. Here’s a list of what’s required and the instructions for how to make your own:

What You’ll Need:


*Old cookie tins (find some old cookie tins in various sizes at garage sales or thrift stores, preferably ones that still have lids)

*Plaster of Paris (found at hardware or craft stores)


*Sand (optional)

*Spoon or stick for mixing

*Stuff: Miscellaneous things to imprint like stones, seashells, small toys, etc.


1) Lay out newspaper over work area to protect surface.

2) Measure out enough Plaster of Paris to fill up 1/2 of the tin (an alternative is to mix everything in a large plastic bag and then pour it into the tin).

3) Add water a 1/2 cup at a time to the tin of Plaster of Paris, stir with spoon or stick. In general, you want 2 parts Plaster of Paris to 1 part water.

4) Keep adding water and stirring until the mixture in the tin is a very thick, stiff consistency. If the mixture is too watery, add a little more Plaster of Paris.

5) Add sand, if desired, to add texture to the final mold. Stir into mixture.

6) Tap the sides of the tin to release any bubbles in the mixture.

7) Press hand or items into the mixture to create an imprint or press items into the mixture and leave them for permanent display.

8) If desired, sprinkle more sand over the top of the imprints. Don’t shake out excess until mold is dry. Glitter, would work nicely too.

9) Wash hands and preparation tools with soap and water.

10) Let mold in tin dry for one week before covering with lid.

11) Label your treasure with a name and date.

Other Tips:

For keepsakes that you can hang on the wall, use a disposable aluminum pie plate or the bottom of a whipped topping container as a mold. Use a toothpick, stick or paper clip to make a hole at the top of the mold. After the mold is dry, remove it from the plate or container and slip a ribbon or string through the top for hanging. This is a great method for imprinting things like shells and other natural objects that you’d like to display as wall art, and can trim your decorating budget considerably.

For a 3-Dimensional print, make a mold out of play dough in the bottom of a container, press hand or object deep into play dough, then remove and pour Plaster of Paris mixture over the imprinted play dough. Make a hole at the top with a toothpick, stick or paper clip for hanging. Once dry, pop the hardened mold out of the container away from the play dough and slip a ribbon or string through the top for hanging.

Natural Gas Welding And Pipe Welding Jobs: Want To Make $100k A Year For Starters? (It Is True)

The media is relatively quiet about the natural gas revolution.

Why? It has just started and because the “powers that be” are more interested in wind and solar power. Why? The hippy generation which spawned the green revolution has a religion – a belief beyond reason – and that belief contains a sub-belief that all gas and oil (fossil fuels) are the devil destroying the god head which is mother earth.

However, converting the USA to natural gas is the natural path.

Fortunes will be made by those who jump on this train now. If you’re a welder and sick of low wages, take a few minutes to read this. Why? The train is leaving the station in spite of the radical green movement because it just makes too much common sense and too much dollars and cents.

Natural gas is now so plentiful in the USA it is being exported from special shipping ports (the first two are in operation as of 2014). The ships are like a big bottle. USA natural gas is cheap and like water – it is everywhere. The USA is the largest producer of natural gas and experts agree – it will be for at least 100 years.

The seldom told story:

Global warming is now called “climate change” as winters get colder and the Great Lakes freeze over like they have not for decades. (After a while it just seemed “wrong” to call it global “warming.”

Some blame increased carbon emissions from industry and cars.

Yes, the carbon content in the air we breathe has increased very slightly – but man’s emissions are not causing the seemingly wild weather changes. In fact, the big storms we are having would have been considered “normal” just 50 years ago.

So, we have one side of the argument says that the increase in carbon is too small to have any effect on the weather – while the other side says increased carbon is dooms day. BUT both sides agree – everyone on earth needs to work toward fewer carbon emissions for many reasons – if for no other reason than because we breathe oxygen and carbon displaces it.

I can’t write this article without telling you that as we crush our own coal industry, prematurely closing clean coal power plants and mines:

China gleefully completes another new coal fired power plant every week! Sadly, because of this, all our carbon reduction efforts are equal to peeing into a bucket without a bottom. In addition, all the carbon reduction efforts across the world can be replaced by the emissions from one good volcano going active – and a few erupt each year.

Why this matters to you:

There is just no stopping the push for fewer carbon emissions, for many reasons – like it or not. However, the public is falsely led to believe the answer is to switch to solar and wind as possible and regardless of cost.

The nasty little truth about solar and wind is the hidden cost. Solar and wind are crazy expensive and only work from an economic perspective because governments are heavily subsidizing the installation of these systems.

The chickens coming home soon to roost are this: We are going to have to face cost realities soon – no government can continue to carry the financial burden of massive subsidies.

As soon as they shut off the “free money” (which actually funded by you and me paying higher taxes and utility bills – you are actually buying your neighbor’s solar system) the party will be over for radical alternative energy systems.

What’s the answer?

The answer is already happening. It is the conversion of everything possible to natural gas power. You won’t see this in the media but the USA has dramatically lowered carbon output in the last few years by converting power plants from oil and coal to natural gas and by building new power plants that use only natural gas.

God willing, China will finally come around and stop crapping all over our environment – and it will eventually be worth all the efforts we are making to reduce carbon. The bottom line is, we are going “natural gas” and FAST and no matter what.

What powered the city bus you rode yesterday?

It is very likely you rode a diesel bus (or taxi and soon trains) in which the diesel engine was converted to burn natural gas. The revolution to natural gas is underway.

What is causing the huge demand for pipe welders?

Natural gas requires mainline pipes, branch pipes and complex piping distribution and pumping stations. Every joint must be welded by a pipeline welder – a 6G code qualified welder.

If you are reading this and thinking about a career in welding:

The demand for pipe welders is through the roof while the average welder’s age just hit 56 years old. Few men and women are being trained to take the place of these soon-to-retire welders.

High demand means high pay.

This coupled with explosive growth in the natural gas industry for the next 20 years means consistently high wages and full employment for those who pick up the challenge of learning to code weld pipe to X-Ray quality standards.

How much is good pay?

As of 2014, if you are a code certified 6G welder with experience, you will make $100,000 a year. If you operate your own truck – look for $150k to $200k and in some places, up to $300k a year. Yes, you’ll do some traveling. It isn’t easy to break in and become a trusted and proven pipe welder because the work is critical and failure rates must be at or about 2% – that means you can only have 2 joints out of 100 fail inspection by a CWI – a Certified Welding Inspector. The cost to rework your bad work is just too high to allow higher failure rates.

What are some of the things that will soon be converted to natural gas?

Almost anything that runs on gas or diesel will run much longer and much cleaner on CNG. Semi tractor trailer trucks will soon be converted by the millions to natural gas.

If you understand how a diesel engine works – the fuel is ignited by compression – there is no ignition (no spark plugs). The speed of the engine is determined by how much fuel is injected into the cylinders. Unlike a gasoline engine, there is no control on the air to the engine – diesels get all the air they can breathe. An air valve is added to run CNG.

The method of running a diesel on natural gas is to reduce the amount of diesel to 10% and introduce 90% natural gas. The 10% diesel ignites under compression thus igniting the natural gas. Diesel engines last much longer running natural gas and require fewer oil changes. This is because natural gas does not dirty an engine with carbon.

GM and Honda produce vehicles that run on natural gas now.

Honda make a Civic that runs on CNG (compressed Natural Gas) and GM makes a full size work van. In some parts of the USA if you are arrested, the police cruiser making the arrest may already be running on natural gas. You can buy a used Ford police cruiser now.

There are companies that will convert your car to natural gas and provide a compressor so you can fill your car at home for about 10 cents a gallon. Do you think that natural gas might soon be popular if you can fill up at home for 10 cents a gallon?

Air conditioning systems for homes running on natural gas are coming fast.

The units are now being manufactured. They work on the same principal used in RV refrigerators – ammonia in a closed system is heated – and when it is heated, it is sprayed into a coil becoming gas.

Ammonia, once heated, gives off cold until it returns to a liquid and it is heated again, producing more cold! Only a handful of these AC units have been installed in homes, but that will change – the savings are substantial.


Co-Gen is a system that takes the waste heat produced by a generator engine running on natural gas and capture it. This means that a small, very quiet generator sitting on the side of your house, can provide electricity and hot water for much less than paying the power company. They already exist. This system has the added advantage of acting as a back up generator in rural areas.


Contrary to popular belief – you can teach yourself 6G pipe welding at home. The most common starting point is to master stick (SMAW) welding in the 6G position first. However, if you are interested in welding stainless pipe as career (also in high demand) you can teach yourself 6G using the TIG (GTAW) process first – it is up to you.

The USA is one of a few countries which does not have laws or rules that prevent you from learning the highest paying welding skill first – the skill of welding medium and high pressure pipe. The only thing that stops 99% of want-to-welders is tradition.

Yes, you can skip all the other minor welding skill and go straight to the top – when you attend “YOU” trade school. It is almost as simple as following directions and practicing perfect practice. In other words, you must know that your practice is correct or you will only become good at doing the wrong thing.

It isn’t easy, but it is more than possible. North Dakota, Texas and now many other States have thousands of jobs waiting for you.

All welding schools are expensive.

All welding schools will consume much your time helping you to acquire welding skills that prepare you for a $10 an hour job. This is why some people think welding is crazy. Welding isn’t crazy, the system is. All it takes is the courage and determination to be an “outlier” – a person who thinks outside the flock of sheep – willing to buck the system.

Finding a welding school that will pay you to learn is nearly impossible.

However, it is very possible to pay yourself well, by saving buckets of money and time by finding your American entrepreneur spirit. Start welding only on round objects (pipe) and don’t look back. You’ll never be out of work.

Some union locals will fast track you into pipe welding if you walk in with a decent test joint – one you welded at home because it is physical proof that you are a good way along – and they will admire you for your grit in having gotten that far. It is possible to practice at home for as little 30 days to get to the point where the union will stand up and take notice of you. If you are already an accomplish structural welder, you can shorten that time to 15 days.

More than one welder has recently done this and jumped forward to 3rd year apprentice. If you can get to the point of getting your best joint certified by a welding inspector before you visit the union (or non union company) it is just about a sure bet they’ll accept you.

In general, if you apply yourself, you can even advance from non-welder to pipe welder in as little as 60 days, welding 25 to 50 practice joints at home.

What happens if you fail?

The truth is, you can’t fail if you start. You will learn so fast and save so much money that the skill level you get to while teaching yourself at home will get where you want to go much faster. For example, it is impossible to find a pipe welding school that will take you if you have never welded. If you get half way there (and you can easily get half way there at home) you CAN accepted to a pipe welding school without being a structural welder FIRST – really! It is all about taking your best work to date to the pipe school. Initiative is greatly rewarded in all fields of endeavor – so endeavor!

What should you do next?

The Retail Store Display Nuts and Bolts

A retail store display will increase customer traffic and sales dramatically. If this were not the case, why would multi-billion dollar companies spend so much money on visual displays? Learning to develop a retail environment into an appealing and stimulating platform for shopping is vital to any business in today’s visually stimulated world.

Store windows are one of the most fortunate things to possess as a retail location. If a store is blessed with more than one window, then it has the most verified form cheap of advertisement already. Creating beautiful and attractive displays in store windows is guaranteed to increase traffic. Although some stores in strip malls may lack windows, there is still hope for creating beautiful displays within the store that will capture an equal audience. Considering the flow of traffic, position retail store displays so that they are in the center of customer focal points within the store. This is similar to optimizing a website to create more clicks to the website in that more clicks increases sales. In the physical retail world, more glances or looks create more sales. The more people that see an item placed in front of them, the more likely a higher number will buy. It is simple statistics. This is so important that it is recommended to hire a visual display design team or company to create affective displays if the managers or owners are not well versed in interior design and advertising. It is definitely worth every penny spent.

Regardless of who designs and implements the retail display, the retailer should have some things on hand for their employees and managers to use to prepare and maintain retail store displays. A simple retail store display kit will save time and energy for the staff by locating all of the necessary equipment in one easy to find location. Some important supplies to keep in this kit are tape measures, hot glue supplies, scissors, staplers, pins, hammer, nails, screwdriver and spare screws, sign materials and holders, utility blades, glass cleaner and paper towels, fishing line for hanging, and drawing materials. Keeping these tools in the same kit will save an abundance of time for everyone involved.

Brainstorming the display necessities well help make the set up phase less difficult. During this planning stage the budget, themes, and outlines should be developed so that all of the materials, props, and designs are gathered ahead of time. Be sure to clean the display area thoroughly and plan a time during the week that is low traffic time to put together retail store displays. Other things to consider during the brainstorming period are asymmetrical balance, object sizes, colors, lighting, and focus. Possibly one of the most important things to remember is simplicity. Less is always more in both interior design and retail store displays.

As time goes by, continue to change and update retail store displays. Keep records of all of the past displays by photograph to recall what you have already done, what worked well, and what did not work at all. Store displays take some creativity and practice. Just keep working and learning everything you can about retail store displays. It will pay off ten fold in the end.

Nutgrass Infestations – Minimizing it With Inexpensive Spot-Treatments

Nutgrass infestations of lawns and gardens are difficult to eradicate or control. This annoying condition is caused by the plant’s extensive tubular (nutlet) root system that goes deep and wide underground. These rhizome or chain-strand roots are the main source of nutgrass renewal, more so than from the seeds of their flowers. Because nutgrass keeps a continuous reservoir of dormant roots (nutlets), it has an endless supply future growths. Thus, when one growth of shoots is treated or removed, another growth or two will sprout up nearby. To minimize nutgrass growth, its root system must be destroyed, which is not a simple one-time-treatment task.

What is nutgrass or nutsedge?

Nutgrass is a heavy perennial grass of the sedge family. Technically, two common varieties of it (purple and yellow nutgrass) are called cyperus rotundus and cyperus esculentus, respectively. Nutgrass is also called water grass because it likes moisture, tight soil, and lots of hot sunshine. It’s often recognized as the fast-growing taller grass that appears shortly after mowing a lawn. Its course grass-like shoots (three-to-five or more per plant) are each slightly triangular or V-shaped with a strong vertical vein going down the middle of each. Often, the yellow variety is a lighter green than the surrounding lawn. Nutgrass is invasive. It will spread without some kind of controlling treatment. It goes dormant in the autumn of winter climates, but will reappear the following late spring.

Nutgrass Treatments.

Five common treatments for controlling nutgrass are available to the homeowner and consumer. Each one, listed below, can be done in a safe manner. But none of them are effective one-time cures. Overall, the two herbicide treatments listed below (4 and 5) appear to be effective means for controlling it at this time. However, the chemical treatments must done safely by following the product’s written directions for use. Herbicide appliers could also read and know the products material-safety-data-sheets (MSDS).

1. Mechanically disturbing it. Plowing, cultivating, tilling, or digging-up the ground, and then sifting out the nutgrass roots. This treatment works. But it has to be repeated often, which eliminates it as a lawn treatment, and makes it impractical for treating crowded gardens.

2. Pulling or weeding it. This treatment will make the shoots disappear for a while. However, most of its original roots are still submerged underground. Thus, these plants will soon return, often more of them than before.

3. Smothering it. Covering the infected area with sheeting, e.g., cardboard, plastic, plywood, canvas, or mulch. This treatment will slow nutgrass down for a while, but won’t stop or kill it. Nutgrass will pierce its way through cardboard, cloth, plastic, and mulch. Also, its covered roots will remain dormant for return growths once the covering is removed or wears thin. Additionally, the nutgrass will spread to the outside of the covering, underground.

4. Spraying it with a diluted herbicide solution. Spraying the infected area with a chemical formula purchased at local gardening outlets is a common choice among busy homeowners. This treatment works okay with repeated applications, done at consumer’s risk. The applications generally are done when no rain or dampness is in the forecast. Also, commercial lawn-care companies can do this treatment effectively; actually, they are a good choice for a safe, more expensive cure.

Still, the main herbicide chosen for the treatment must be compatible with the infested yard in question. For example, one herbicide will work well with some grasses, but will harm others. Also, a lawn-compatible herbicide could harm the lawn if applied too often or too strongly. Additionally, another herbicide can be used on the lawn, but it cannot be used near vegetable or ornamental plants. Thus, the applier of the spray must be careful both in choosing the herbicide and applying it.

Also, the more recent urea-type herbicides, like, halosulfuron-methyl, appear to work well on the nutgrass infested lawns if applied regularly and seasonally for two or more years. It can take that long to minimize the nutgrass root system, depending on how well its start is. This kind of spraying can reduce infestations over large areas of ground.

5. Spot-treating it with a strong herbicide solution. Applying a strong herbicide solution to the individual nutgrass plants can be done with a narrow-stream spray-bottle or a thick artist’s paint brush. This treatment is best suited for mild infestations of nutgrass or fairly small patches of it. (Note: if an entire lawn is heavily infested, it might be best to 1) kill the whole yard with a total vegetation killer, 2) plow or till up its ground while sieving out the nutlets, and 3) reseed it after a short waiting period. Vegetation killers do not destroy the ground itself, rather, only the vegetation growing on it. If in doubt about this step, obtain a professional opinion first.)

Yet, during the spot-treatment of nutgrass, the herbicide solution must be applied to the nutgrass leaves directly, again at the consumer’s risk. The herbicide will then translocate from leaves to the stem and roots. Also, applying a daub of the solution onto the plant’s leaf-crotch at the stem helps to kill the plant, but the bulk of the application must go onto the leaves for a good uptake that will reach the roots. Additionally, the applier must keep the solution from touching the surrounding grasses or plants as much as possible, especially if the chemical is a kill-all herbicide.

Glyphosate (organic-salt), a well-known main ingredient of kill-all-vegetation herbicides, can be used here. A 12-to-16-oz bottle of 41% liquid concentrate can be purchased for about $10 at local outlets. Glyphosate is fairly nontoxic to humans, but it must still be handled safely by wearing rubber gloves and other apparel. This concentrate can be applied to the nutgrass shoots by first diluting it with water anywhere from a 1:1 to 1:20 concentration in a small capped container. First-time users might want to start with a 1:20 solution to test how the process works by trial and error, while working up to a stronger concentration. Also, home owners having delicate grasses and ornamental plants will want to use a dilute glyphosate solution to start with, like, 1:20 or more, which is much closer to the diluted spray concentrations. Furthermore, the halosulfuron-methyl herbicide mentioned above in #4 can be used for spot-treating nutgrass by following the product’s directions for diluting it to a powerful spray concentration (0.9-g granules/gallon) for about $15.

Certain sources suggest adding other ingredients to these kind of solutions, like, the adding of a surfactant (dish soap), hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or a particular salt to make it stick to the leaves better, or to help it absorb through them faster. But, none of these additions are necessary. Also, such mixtures can yield slight chemical alterations over time, which will give undesirable results by not working well at all, or by the killing of adjacent grasses and plants inexplicably. Yet, when freshly-made spot-treatments are done carefully, the nutgrass will die in about one-to-two weeks without causing excessive disturbances to the surrounding vegetation.

Six-day appearances of yellow nutgrass after spot-treatment with 20% glyphosate solution.

  1. Shoots slightly limp; no color change
  2. Shoots more limp; slight color change to amber
  3. Shoots touch the ground; overall color is more amber
  4. Shoots start to wither; color is still more amber
  5. Shoots lay on ground and begin to curl; only slight yellow-green color left
  6. Shoots are withered straw-like stalks lying on the ground or lawn


Spot-treating nutgrass with a strong herbicide solution is time-consuming, and requires substantial patience to carry out, especially when the home/yard owner does it alone. Undoubtedly, his/her neighbors will ask, “Hey! What are you doing there?” But, this fairly inexpensive treatment works well for minimizing nutgrass infestations if the solution is handled and applied carefully at the owners discretion. Once the main infestation is under control, it’s fairly easy to suppress any new growths with continued spot-applications.

At this time, the spraying or spot-treating of common nutgrasses with carefully selected herbicide solutions appears to be an effective means for minimizing its infestations of yards and gardens. These treatments can be done by the yard/garden-owners themselves at their own risks, or by hired professionals.

How to Install an Electric Sliding Gate Motor

The first, and possible the most important thing to do is to check that your sliding gate is running smoothly along the whole length of the track, and that it is in good condition. That is, no rust or rot. If its hard to push or pull, or binds on the track, fix the problem before you do anything else. The gate must be in good working order, and not bowed.

Next, you will need to run a power cable from the consumer unit, through a RCD circuit breaker, to the location of the motor. A residual-current device (RCD) is an electrical wiring device that disconnects a circuit when it detects that the electric current is not balanced between the live and the neutral conductor.

Such an imbalance may indicate current leakage through the body of a person who is grounded and accidentally touching the energized part of the circuit. A lethal shock can result from these conditions. RCDs are designed to disconnect quickly enough to prevent injury caused by such shocks. This work should be completed by a qualified electrician. Or you could fit the type of motor that can run on solar power. Although the initial cost of a solar kit may be a little more than hiring an electrician to lay the cable, free electricity is always a good idea.

Now is the time to purchase the motor, a kit is usually the best way to go, as they come with control electronics and receiver fitted internally. This way you can guarantee that all the components are compatible. It will come with a base plate to secure the motor to the ground. It will also have the correct rack and remote controls and photocells, and most of the fittings required.

If your drive is already laid with concrete I would strongly suggest that you secure the plate using anchor bolts. If your drive is gravel or dirt you must dig a hole where the motor is going to fit and fill with concrete, at the same time embedding the plate into the wet mix. Don’t forget to bring the power cable up through the plate, and take another cable out for the photocells.

The position is critical. Not only must it be perfectly level, you must also remember to measure the distance from the side of the gate plus the size of the rack (that’s the bar with teeth) and the spacers that they are fitted with. The rack should fit over the middle of the toothed wheel on the motor. Make sure that the gate doesn’t have any large nuts protruding from around the wheels, as these could foul the motor. Once the base plate is fitted you should refer to the instructions that came with the kit. If you fitted the plate into concrete I would suggest that you let the mix set for 2 weeks before you fit the motor

When the motor is securely in place proceed to fit the rack to the gate. This can be accomplished either by welding or screwing the rack in place.

Fitting the rack.

  • Rest the first rack element on the gear and fit it to the gate with screws and spacers, sliding the gate backwards and forwards.
  • For correct positioning of the next piece, clamp a section upside down to the first, and then the next piece sits on top. Fix this to the gate. Continue until all in place.
  • There must be a clearance between the rack and gear of at least 1 mm so that the gate never weighs on the gear motor.
  • It is important that the gear motor is firmly secured to the ground during the gate travel.
  • Position the two limit stop brackets on the rack and move the gate by hand to fix them in place.
  • Fit the limit stops so that the gate will not knock into the mechanical stops.

Fitting the photocells.

  • The photocells should be fitted about 60cm above ground level to give protection to most cars.

Photocells or Photo Electric Beams use a beam of invisible infra-red light that passes from a transmitter unit to a receiving unit. If the beam is broken you know something is in the way. These are used with automatic gates on either side of a driveway as a safety device to prevent a gate closing. These must be fitted to all new installations.

There are three types of Photocells:

Reflector Beam – this has the transmitter and receiver on one side with a special reflector on the other. The advantage of the reflector beam is you only need to run wiring to one side of the driveway. Reflector beams are not recommended for outside use as any rain on the reflector can stop it working.

Point to Point Beam – this is best for Automatic Gates as there is a transmitter on one side of the driveway and the receiver on the other. These tend to be very reliable when used outside.

Dual Beam – which is basically two point to point beams built- in the one unit. You must break both beams before it will work. These are normally used for outdoor security perimeter alarms.


  • The important thing when installing Photocells is to make sure they are aligned with each other. The beam of light coming from the transmitter is quite narrow, if not aimed at the receiver properly it may not work. Worse still, if they only just work, some rain on them will stop them working, which will leave the gate open.

When all the electrical connection are made check that the gate moves correctly. Memorize the remote controls to the fitted receiver.

Follow the instruction manual in testing the installation. Make sure that everything is tight and that there is no movement of the motor when the gate starts and stops.

Job complete.


The civil liability policy, which covers possible injuries to people or accidents caused by defects in construction, requires the system to be to existing standard and to use original manufactures accessories.

Why the Foam Gutter Guards Are Not Considered the Best Gutter Guards

You might be slightly confused when you have to choose gutter guards for your home. Most homeowners choose the most convenient option and are usually more than happy with their choice, at least initially. It will not be a mistake to say that the foam models are the favorite choice of many. However, most home building experts agree that they are definitely not the best gutter guards you can install.

The foam gutter guards have two main advantages that no one can deny. They are extremely affordably priced. In fact, they are the cheapest products of this type available on the market. Their second advantage makes them even more popular with home owners. The foam gutter guards are the easiest to install. You simply need to take the piece of foam and insert it inside the channel. There is no drilling of holes and adjustment of brackets. The foam models seem to be the perfect choice for every DIY fan on a budget. However, the disadvantages of these protective fillers are much more.

It is true that the foam models have a relatively good water flow rate. They also prevent even the tiniest debris from entering the channel. However, these protective fillers are not self-clearing. Quite the opposite, the leaves tend to stick to the foam surface as it gets wet. Another problem, which is more serious, is that the smaller debris, such as tree seeds and pine needles can actually clog the top layer of the foam guard. You will need to clean the filler regularly to avoid such problems. This makes its use quite inconvenient. It is true that it is harder to actually clean the gutter, but having to clean the guard is almost equally unpleasant, dangerous and time consuming.

The foam gutter guards are not particularly durable. This is another serious problem you should consider. The foam can get easily damaged by the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This means that it might require regular replacement. Moreover, the foam acts like a sponge and can stay wet for a long time. This environment stimulates the formation of mold and rust that can damage the foam as well as the gutter.

It is not surprising that the foam gutter guards are not considered to be the best ones available at present. They have advantages, but their flaws are more. You can consider getting such a model for your home, if you want a fast cheap solution, but you will have to look for a better cover at one point.

Sinus Pressure – When Allergy to House Dust is the Culprit

Could the cause of your sinus pressure discomfort lie deep in your carpet nap or rugs?  House dust–and there are several types thereof–is responsible for the sinus irritation which produces extra mucus which can accumulate and create sinus pressure. I had received allergy injections for a number of years for pollens and, to a lesser extend, house dust and I was doing rather well. But then two winters in a row I had serious sinus problems and I was baffled. This happened before I spent considerable time studying my sinus health situation from an “alternative”–using remedies other than regular drug medications–stand point.

I went to a different allergy specialist and a new set of allergy skin tests were made including several kinds of house dust. The results were revealing. I had been desensitized for some pollens, but I was very allergic to a type of house dust that contains an abundance of dust mite droppings, which, by the way, are microscopic. As you can see, the problem is not with the mites themselves, but the “legacy” they leave behind, especially when they have a fertile environment to reproduce in. What could that environment be?

Dust mites thrive in an ambient that has three things: warmth, moisture, dead skin particles–which rubs off the human body and the mites use as food. Some authorities in this field even suggest that most common house dust is made up, primarily, of the latter element. In my particular case, which could be the average one, we used a regular cool steam humidifier in the bedroom–to keep the sinuses moist at night so they would not swell from dryness, when the heat was on in the winter. The problem was that the moisture being produced was concentrating somewhat on the carpet in the area in front of the humidifier; thus becoming, unwittingly, a breeding ground for the little rascals. As they increased in numbers they spread all over the bedroom carpet and then migrated to the mattress. There the body warmth and moisture and ample dead skin bits provided an ideal breeding place for this microscopic nuisance.

The solution: Since dust mites are very difficult to kill, the solution had several components:

  • I began to receive allergy injections taylor-made for house dust heavy with mites’ droppings
  • We bought special zippered bed sheets that did not allow the mites to migrate from the mattress to the surface of the sheet
  • We continued to used the humidifier, but I raised it so the steam would dissipate more
  • We vacuumed the carpets more often, but used a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters to contain more of the dust within the machine

It worked. You may want to find out more as to whether you may be allergic to house dust mites’ droppings; especially if your sinus pressure is a chronic one. 

Georgian Dolls Houses – How to Achieve a Genuine Georgian House Style

Influences and style

To achieve a genuine Georgian house style when building or decorating your own Georgian dolls house it is important to understand the influences and style during this period which spanned from 1714 to about 1830. During the Georgian period people really began taking an interest in fashion and interiors. The upper classes would often enjoy a Grand Tour of Europe for a year or two and during this time were heavily influenced by the fashion & interior design they saw on their travels. This influence also extended to the design and style of the Georgian dolls house. Other major influences included the architecture of Inigo Jones and the Orient.

The style of the time was all about delicate colour schemes and woodwork, dainty furniture, harmony, balance and a sense of light and airiness to the rooms.

Characteristics of a Georgian dolls house

The most popular color schemes evolved from the heavier burgundy, sage green and blue greys of the early Georgian period to much lighter greens, sky blues and dusky pinks. Floors of Georgian houses were typically bare boards covered with Oriental rugs. Or, if the property was more up market, the floor would have been a pale colored stone or marble.

For a genuine Georgian effect dolls house walls should be paneled up to the dado rail and then painted or papered above.

Repetitive patterns in wallpaper such as trefoils and far eastern designs were very popular. Wallpaper also reflected the trend for block printing towards the end of the Georgian era and featured simple, bold geometric patterns such as squares and stripes.

Cotton with a delicate floral pattern was the fabric of choice for soft furnishings . It was important to match the sofas, armchairs and curtains, and the latter were often adorned with pagoda style pelmets. Often armchairs and divans were protected with loose covers made from cheap, striped linen and these were removed for entertaining on special occasions. Georgian lighting featured chandeliers made from glass, metal and wood, as well as brass, silver, or silvered wood wall lights. In less expensive properties light fittings were often pewter or tin.

Furniture was delicate, for example wing chairs and chairs with hoop or shield backs.

The Georgians loved their fireplaces and the grander the house the more elegant and eye-catching the fireplace! Carved surrounds with swags and shells were an indication of wealth and status. Ornaments and pictures would usually be grouped around the fireplace to emphasize the importance of the fireplace as the focal point of the room.

Moldings on the ceilings often consisted of elaborate ribbons and swags, classical figures and urns.

Georgian front doors generally had central knobs positioned at waist height and no letterboxes. There was often a filigree fanlight with a canopy and pediments. Original Georgian properties had sash windows and shutters.

Find out more about Georgian dolls houses and miniatures at Julie-Ann’s Dolls Houses

Workbenches (Types)

Workbenches are generally considered to be strong sturdy tables, where manual work is to be carried out. Workbenches range widely in their design, they can be small like some jewellers workbenches, or very large workbenches such as staircase makers may use. Most workbenches are of rectangular shape, and have a flat working top surface. They can vary widely in design, and different sizes and types of workbench will be utilized for specific types of work.

There are many different types of workbenches for all kinds of applications, and these can include:

  • Metal Work benches
  • Woodworking benches

  • Gardening benches

  • Electronics Workbenches

  • Laboratory Workbenches

  • General and Multi-Purpose workbenches

The designs of workbenches are as varied as the purpose they are designed for. For example; a traditional woodworking bench is generally manufactured almost completely from timber. They are heavily constructed, and this type of bench will not move or shudder when a workpiece is being manually machined ie, being sawn or hand-planned. Many of these traditional type of wood-working benches will have a vice which is incorporated into the bench itself, and this provides a very efficient workpiece holding system that many woodworking applications require.

More modern woodworking benches are now made of metal and wood, with the general frame-work of the bench being manufactured from metal, and the work surface made from timber or timber product. A woodworking vice can easily be mounted to this type of bench, and the bench may be fixed to the floor to prevent any unwanted movement. Because of the design of this type of bench, clamps can be also be used to hold the workpiece in place, and when the serviceable life of the work surface is over it can easily be replaced with a new one.

Metal working benches are generally made from metal. They are usually of a frame-work design and may be made with square cross section or angle iron. These types of workbench may also have a wooden work surface, but generally will have a metal surface made from sheet metal. Metal working vices can be attached to the benches by clamps, or more usually bolted to the surface of the workbench for a more sturdy fixture.

Other types of workbench can include ;  Adjustable workbenches and Cantilever workbenches. Adjustable workbenches may be manually or electrically powered, to alter the working height and angle etc.

Small portable workbenches are also available and have come to be known as the ‘workmate’ and these types of workbench are very popular amongst DIY enthusiasts and tradesmen from many different trades. They are small and light and fold away for easy storage. The work surface usually consists of two pieces of hard durable material. One of these surfaces is fixed while the other is mounted on a moveable mechanism which allows it to be clamped to the fixed surface. This has the effect of turning the whole work-surface into a very effective vice, whilst at the same time providing a small workbench surface.