Henna Tattoos – How to Get a Henna Tattoo

Henna, also known as mehndi, tattoos are fun, temporary and painless. Since their introduction into mainstream American culture in the late 1990s by Madonna and Gwen Stefani, henna tattoos have grown in popularity. There are henna kiosks in malls in San Diego, CA and independent henna artists in places as remote as Stanley, ID. It seems as if we are surrounded by henna, but if you want to get one, where do you begin to look?

The first thing to do is to avoid the print yellow pages. Most henna artists are very small businesses and cannot afford to list themselves in print. The best way to find an artist in your area is to go online and search for: henna, your area. You will get a list of websites. Some will be for individual artists, and some will be directories (such as PartyPop). Both are good sources of information and can lead you to local henna artists.

How can you tell if the artist is reputable? The photos in the gallery are usually a good indication of the style, caliber and flexibility of an artist. If you find a henna site that only has photos of intricate bridal designs, then that artist is probably not the one you want for a simple name across your bicep. Conversely, if you are looking for a bridal henna artist, and the site shows only small, trendy designs, then that person is likely to not be your best choice for a 6 hour full Indian bridal party.

Make sure the henna artist uses only natural products in their henna paste. There are many people who add dangerous chemicals to their paste to create a black color that stains quickly and lasts more than 4 weeks. Real henna is made from simple ingredients, stains brown and lasts for 1-2 weeks. Chemicals that may be added to henna to make it stain darker and last longer include: turpentine, gasoline and Para-phenylenediamine or ppd (a common hair dye that is illegal for use on skin). Most artists who use safe henna make a point of saying that on their website and may even have a section devoted to the dangers of black henna.

Reputable henna artists are usually happy to share their ingredient list with you. If the henna is locally made, it is less likely to have noxious chemicals. Many pre-made pastes imported from third world countries, such as the “Rani Cone” contain chemicals that can injure you or increase your risk for cancer. Most henna powder that comes from India, Pakistan, and Morocco is safe to use.

Once you have found an artist’s website that looks promising, either call or email the artist to see if you can book an appointment. Some artists have studios and allow people to come in for just one small design. Many others make only house calls and charge by the hour. Decide what you want and choose accordingly. This is also a good time to verify that the artist uses natural henna.

Once you have found an artist and made an appointment, it’s important to remember that henna dyes the upper layers of the skin. In order for the henna to work well, you should wash your hands before you go and not apply lotion before you get your design.

The most popular ways to apply henna are either by cone or by using a little bottle with a metal tip. The henna paste looks like green or brown frosting and sits on top of the skin. Like frosting, the paste is wet at first. You will need to be very careful not to touch your new design until the paste has dried, or the design will smudge and stain your skin in the shape of the smudge.

The henna paste will fall off the skin in a few hours and leave behind an orange stain. At first, the design may be very light, but it will darken over the next couple of days. Henna darkens to a medium to dark brown within 72 hours. Some people get darker stains faster, and some take a longer time to reach full color. There are a number of factors that affect the development of a pretty henna color: heat, length of time the henna had contact with your skin, and your personal skin chemistry. You should follow the aftercare instructions from your artist.

So now you have a henna tattoo. Your henna design should last between one and two weeks if you take care of it. Enjoy!

If you want to learn more about henna tattoos or get one in San Diego, CA, please visit my website, http://www.cmoondesigns.com.

Adhesive Tape

An adhesive, or glue, is a mixture in a liquid or semi-liquid state that adheres or bonds items together. Adhesives may come from either natural or synthetic sources. The types of materials that can be bonded are vast but they are especially useful for bonding thin materials.

Adhesive tapeis one of many varieties of backing materials coated with an adhesive. Several types of adhesives can be used.

Tape Range holds a vast and varied range of self adhesive tapes.

Adhesive tape is a strip of cloth, paper or other material coated with an adhesive substance that allows it to adhere to various surfaces.

Heat Activated:

Heat activated tape is usually tack-free until it is activated by a heat source. It is sometimes used in packaging, for example, a tear strip tape for cigarette packs.


  • This blue tape comes in a variety of widths and is similar to masking tape. Painters utilize it to cover spaces they don’t want to paint. When painting walls, painter’s tape covers trim doors or outlets. It comes off easily without peeling away the existing paint. It can also be used to make patterns or lines on walls to create an appealing effect with the paint.


  • Duct tape is one of the more commonly used types of adhesive tape. Usually, it is gray or silver but also comes in a variety of colors. Duct tape was previously used for air ducts but is no longer suitable because of changes in duct materials. Duct tape is incredibly strong and is used often by the movie industry for various purposes. According to the California Energy Commission, astronauts on Apollo 13 used duct tape to repair the space shuttle.

Teflon Tape

  • Teflon tape is not incredibly sticky, but it adheres closely to grooves and surfaces. Plumbers and mechanics use it to seal leaks in pipe joints by wrapping it around screws or valves and reinserting them. Teflon tape also works for screws or nuts that won’t quite fit for a quick fix.


  • Masking tape comes in a variety of colors and widths and can be used for many purposes. It is a very lightweight adhesive tape and leaves little or no residue on surfaces. Great for glass or metal, masking tape cannot support much weight.


  • Double-sided tape has adhesive on both sides. Great for hanging posters or flyers, double-sided tape doesn’t show and comes off cleanly. For fragile or rigid foam posters, use double-side foam tape so that there’s room between the hanging item and the wall for easier removal.

Water activated

  • Water activated tape, gummed paper tape or gummed tape is starch, or sometimes animal glue based, adhesive on a paper backing which becomes sticky when moistened.

A specific type of gummed tape is called reinforced gummed tape (RGT). The backing of this reinforced tape consists of two layers of paper with a cross-pattern of fiberglass filaments laminated between. The laminating adhesive had previously been asphalt but now is more commonly a hot-melt atactic ploypropylene.

What is Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (Glue)?

Cyanoacrylate Adhesive is also called Cyanoacrylate Glue, or even more popular, Super Glue.

This adhesive is a simple polar linear molecule that polymerizes rapidly upon exposed to moisture, which is why it is called Super Glue.

For many people, this adhesive seems to be the most convenient glue available when doing various bonding jobs. Actually this is true, since Ethyl cyanoacrylate formulations are used for all types of general purpose bonding including wood, paper, and plastic materials.

Super glue is convenient because it is very fast-curing, extremely strong while needs no catalyst. You don’t need an oven or clamp to cure it as many epoxy adhesives.

Cyanoacrylate works like a pressure sensitive adhesive, and that is why a good fitting joint is necessary for strong bonds. You need a thickening agent why are the parts to be bonded do not mate.

>> How Does Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Cure?

To set the glue, you need moisture which naturally exists on the parts to be glued. Moisture is its catalyst.

Setting usually happens within 5 to 25 seconds, although sometimes it can take up to 1 minutes. Smooth surfaces with a close contact are perfect for a strong and fast bond with it.

>> What Types of Cyanoacrylate Glue Are Available?

The most common formulation of cyanoacrylate glues are ethyl formulations. They are usually available in 3 viscosities: thin, medium, and thick.

>> Advantages of Cyanoacrylate Adhesive

Cyanoacrylate glues are one part system, no catalyst needed. They have no solvent and can set rapidly in room temperature. They form good bond to many different materials and are available in different viscosities.

What’s a 3/2 Compressed Air Valve?

Recently, I published an article on this site titled: What’s a 2/2 compressed air valve? Here, in the next installment in this series, is information on a slightly more complex air valve; the 3/2 style.

The first number in the 3/2 air valve, the three, refers to the number of “working” air ports that are found in the valve body. That is, the number of ports that supply air to the valve, and channel the compressed air to whatever it is that the valve is supposed to do.

Most 3/2 valves will have numbers or letters etched, cast or painted near each of their three “working” air ports. If there are numbers near the ports, the number 1 would be the supply port to bring the compressed air to that valve.

Port number 2 would be the working port from which air would flow to accomplish whatever task that you wanted that valve to do.

The third port in a 3/2 air valve is an “exhaust” port and if numbered, it could be a 3 or a 5. If the port designations in a 3/2 valve are letters, then port ‘A’ would be the supply port and port ‘B’ the working port, with the third port normally being an ‘E’.

As in the 2/2 valve there may be one or two additional ports in the ends of the 3/2 valve to allow an air signal line or lines to be connected. If this is the case, this 3/2 valve will either be single, or double air piloted.

The 2 in a 3/2 air valve indicates the number of positions that the internal valve mechanism has. In this case, two. When this valve is operated or actuated, it will either open or close and air will either flow to the application upon actuation, or it will be prevented from flowing.

Most 3/2 compressed air valves will be NC, or normally closed. When the valve is not actuated, it’s normal state is closed, and compressed air cannot pass through it.

If your application calls for air to flow through the valve when it’s not actuated, that the circuit needs air to be flowing through this valve when it is at rest, then a NO or normally open configured valve would be selected.

All 3/2 valves have actuators that will operate or ‘shift’ the air valve. An external button, or toggle, or perhaps a solenoid actuator would be the visible actuator. Inside, there will likely be an internal actuator – a spring – which will shift the valve to the off position when the external actuator is not being used.

If the external actuator is ‘detented’, then when the valve is operated, it will stay in it’s last selected position until an operator changes it. Detented means it will stay where it’s put! This is useful when an operator needs to actuate the valve, and then manually perform another operation while the air valve feeds air to the application.

Unlike it’s less complex 2/2 valve cousin, the 3/2 valve is used when a compressed air supply is needed to an application or device that uses compressed air to power it, yet in itself has no integral air pathway to atmosphere. Therefore, when the device has performed it’s function, and it’s time to ‘deflate’ it or to let the compressed air back out, the third port in the 3/2 valve comes into play.

When the compressed air supply through the valve is shut off internally, a pathway back through the valve to atmosphere will be opened, to allow the compressed air to escape. The air supply is shut, so the compressed air flowing to the valve cannot flow through it, and the compressed air that was formerly in the device or application can now bleed back down the air line through the valve to exhaust.

So, what type of devices are these?

Usually they are single acting type actuators. One comes to mind immediately; “Air springs”.

Both Firestone and Goodyear (among others) manufacture “air springs”. These are devices that look like tires, but rather than have an opening in the middle of the doughnut where the rim goes, they are closed on both sides with steel plates. In one side there will be an air port to which an air line from a 3/2 valve can be connected. These “air springs” are mounted on their sides, picture a tire lying flat after you’ve taken it off your car, and can generate huge actuation forces. Force equals pressure times area, and the “piston” size inside an air spring can be huge. The application of air springs mirrors that of typical air cylinders, yet offer large capacity at a fraction of the cost of an air cylinder of a necessary size to generate the same force as the air spring.

Another application for 3/2 valves is single acting air cylinders. Whether they are spring extend or spring retract, an air supply is required to operate the SA cylinder. A 3/2 valve is designed to do just that.

A couple of more points; the 3/2 valve can have the exhaust port plugged, and voila, you have a 2/2 valve.

If the cost of the valve is the same, you can use a 3/2 air valve anywhere you might use a 2/2 valve. Since 2/2 valves always have to have the “working port” ultimately plumbed to atmosphere, that there is an exhaust port in a 3/2 valve offers no obstacle to it’s use.

If you have a double acting air cylinder, and you don’t have a 4/2 or 5/2 (more on these valves next article) available, you can use two 3/2 valves to operate any cylinder that requires two supply lines in order for it to extend and retract.

At ABOUT-air-compressors.com my e-book entitled All About Air Valves – Volume One is now available. If you are interested in more information about air valves, do visit the site and download a copy. This first e-book is an introduction to air valves, and focuses on the 2/2 iteration. Future volumes will focus on 3/2 valves, and then the 4/2 & 5/2 configurations.

And as always, if you have any questions, please send me a message from the contact screen at my web site.

Mallet Head Putters – Why They Are Better Than Blade Putters For the Average Golfer

Top professional golfers are still using blade putters because they have incredible hand/eye coordination and the time to practice countless hours perfecting their putting technique. But, more and more PGA, Senior PGA, LPGA and amateur golfers in the US and in Europe are using mallet head putters.

Mallet head putters are growing in popularity with amateurs and professionals for several reasons:

  • They offer improved alignment – Improved alignment is achieved by setting the frame of the mallet head putter to the width of the golf ball. This gives the golfer the best visual cue for proper ball position and target alignment. Testing has shown that simple lines for alignment are more effective than “circles(balls)” and odd geometric shapes. An open frame structure is even better because the view of the ground gives an extra visual cue. Finally, the open frame allows for a shaft mounting technique using a cylindrical rod mounted in the rear of the putter head. This shaft mounting rod offers a pool cue type of alignment assistance.
  • They offer a higher resistance to twisting on off center hits – A higher resistance to twisting on off center hits is accomplished because the mallet head design achieves a higher moment of inertia (MOI) than typical blade putters. The open frame design allows weight to be removed from the center of the putter head and concentrated at the rear of the putter head. This and the longer front to back dimension of the mallet head putter allows weight location to be optimized for maximum MOI. A higher moment of inertia helps reduce twisting of the putter head on off center impact with the ball.
  • They offer a wider range of golfer adjustability – A wider range of golfer adjustability is possible with mallet head putters because their size and shape allow for adjustable weight ports and adjustable lie angle shaft mounting methods.
  • They easily accommodate a center shaft mounting for face balancing – Face balancing can be assured at any lie angle setting if an open frame mallet head design is used with a center shaft mounting technique.
  • They offer a better roll characteristic – Optimum weight distribution improves the center of gravity (CG) location and also helps keep the putter slightly”tail heavy” which produces dynamic loft and improves roll.
  • They are better suited to mounting of putting training aids like laser modules – Putting training aids like laser modules can be more easily mounted due to the larger front to back dimension of the mallet head putter design.

All of the above lead to a higher performing putter for the average golfer.

Brick Home – Understanding Its Advantages and Disadvantages

The most common dilemma that people are facing is choosing between investing in a wood house or a house made from bricks. The decision of the people will basically be based on their economic standing. However, sometimes people will miss looking at the many advantages of investing in a brick house because they are so consumed with their desire to cut down their expenses.

The advantages one can get from owning a brick house will also depend on there location. If you live in cold places, then a brick home can be best for you. The properties of the bricks absorb heat and retain it for a long time. More so if your house is placed where it can directly absorb the heat of the sun. And because heat travels slow in bricks, your house will remain warm even until night. Another good thing about this type of home is that you can be assured that you are well protected from storm. This can be a better option for people who live in areas where storm is a great threat. However, for those who are living in remote areas where there is a risk of erosion that can damage the bricks and there is a wide supply of wood, wood can be a more practical option.

Bricks can be a worthwhile investment. Its value does not depreciate and it can be sold at a much higher cost than the actual expense of building it. Thus you can sell the house at a much higher cost with less effort. But one disadvantage of using bricks for your house is that your options for renovation are very minimal. You can not just simply change the structure if you wish to because the bricks. Thus, a brick house will not be a very good idea if want you want is a semi permanent house. Also, for eco-friendly people woods can be more appealing. More so, wood is more affordable. Bricks can last fro almost two life times if installed properly. On the other hand, properly seasoned woods are also durable, though it is not termite free like bricks are.

Although bricks are really durable, but low quality bricks can also give you a lot of headaches. Bricks that are not properly made or those made from low quality materials may chip off or break easily. If you are unlucky to may have used this kind of bricks, you may be faced with a real headache. Another disadvantage of using bricks is it can be prone to molds especially if you are living in a humid climate.

You see, your location greatly affects the durability of the materials that you will use to build your home. Thus, it will be much better if you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using bricks for your home fairly. Of course, you need to put in to consideration your geographical location in deciding. This will spare you from facing a lot of problems in the future.

Apartment 101 – A Guide to Apartment Shopping

“When looking for the perfect apartment, there are several things you will want to keep in mind. The main factors to consider when apartment hunting include:

o The cost of the apartment

o Your freedom to decorate the apartment

o The terms of the apartment lease

o The neighborhood in which the apartment is located

o The available amenities

o Transportation and parking options

o Appliance options

o Pet rules

Some of these factors may be more important to you than others. Nonetheless, you should take each of these into consideration before committing yourself to a new apartment.

The Cost of the Apartment

Of course, the rent is the most important factor you must take into consideration when shopping for an apartment. The best deals are those that include utilities as well. That way, you will only have to make one payment each month and all of your housing costs are cared for. Other factors to consider include the amount of the deposit and how much of it is refundable.

Decorating the Apartment

If you want to personalize the apartment and make it “home,” you will want to rent from a landlord that will allow you to do a bit of decorating. This may including painting the walls, hanging shelving, and making other minor changes to the appearance of the apartment. Be sure to discuss this ahead of time with the landlord if it is important to you.

The Terms of the Lease

Even if you get a great rental rate on the apartment, you don’t want to sign a lease that is going to commit you for several years. After all, if you were looking to live in one place for several years, you would like be more interested in purchasing your own real estate rather than renting an apartment. Similarly, take the time to read all of the fine print so you don’t get yourself stuck in a bind.

Considering the Neighborhood

Location is always an important consideration in the world of real estate – even if you are not looking to actually buy the property. After all, you are going to spend a great deal of time in your apartment. Therefore, you want to be certain to choose one located in a neighborhood where you feel safe and where you can enjoy yourself.

Living the Good Life with Amenities

Amenities may not be a great concern to you. But, many apartments do offer amenities that can be quite attractive. Some of these include fitness centers, pools, and more. If you are not interested in these amenities, don’t pay extra for an apartment that has them.

Getting Around

While the apartment is not likely to have its own built in transportation system, you should keep an eye out for one that is nearby to various transportation options if you do not have your own car. If you do have a car, find out about parking options available to apartment tenants.

Updating Your Appliances

In addition to considering the appliances that come with the apartment rental, you should also consider your options. For example, if the kitchen does not come with a dishwasher but you would like to have one, you want to make sure you can hook one up in the apartment.

Keeping Pets in the Apartment

Even if you are not a pet-owner, you might want to look into whether or not pets are allowed. If you are not a pet lover or if you suffer from dander-related allergies, you might want to stay clear of those apartment buildings that allow pets.

By carefully considering each of these factors, you should be able to successfully find an apartment to suit your needs while remaining within your budget.”

A Review Of The Farouk CHI Flat Iron-Is It Any Good?

CHI flat irons are a very popular choice of hair straightener. The Farouk CHI flat iron was the first to have ceramic plates, making it a best seller. But are today’s CHI flat irons any good or have they been eclipsed by other brands of flat iron?

You can still buy the original CHI ceramic flat iron. It’s the cheapest model in the CHI range and falls into the medium priced category for flat irons. It comes with 1″ ceramic plates, heats in seconds and is still a very good hair styling tool. But if you’re thinking of buying a CHI flat iron then you might be best to buy a Farouk CHI Turbo flat iron. CHI Turbo flat irons come in 3 different plates sizes; 0.75″, 1″ and 2″. Choosing what size is best for you depends on your type of hair. Generally, the shorter or thinner your hair the narrower the plate size. Conversely, if you have long or coarse hair, then you’re best using a wider plate. The company claims that the ceramic used in the plates of their flat iron are made from NASA tested ceramic – though I’m not quite sure what this actually means. What follows are the pros and cons of the Farouk CHI Turbo flat iron.

What is good about the CHI Turbo flat iron?

CHI flat irons come with a 10 foot swivel cord. This may seem like a minor point, but many other flat irons come with only 8 feet of cord – and not all are swivel cords. Having that extra couple of feet can make using the CHI flat iron really easy, especially when reaching behind to straightening hair at the back.

The CHI Turbo hair straightener comes with a circuit break for safety.

The Turbo CHI only uses 20-25 watts of electricity; reducing your bills as well as the planet.

The CHI Turbo has one of the fastest heat-up times; just a few seconds.

CHI flat irons have nicely designed handles that are easy to grip. They are also light weight.

What is bad about the CHI Turbo flat iron?

I have one major criticism of CHI flat irons: they don’t use Tourmaline plates. Many manufacturers are now infusing Tourmaline on to the ceramic plates. Ceramic plates emit negative ions, but Tourmaline emits 6 times more. Negative ions are important as they help to close the cuticle layer to create a smooth, silky hair surface and seal in the hair’s natural moisture. Negative ions greatly reduce frizziness.

Tourmaline is the next technical advanced in hair straightening. Why CHI hasn’t yet used this material is hard to say. And, CHI flat irons aren’t cheap; for the same money you can buy a tourmaline flat iron from a competitor like the T3 Tourmaline flat iron.

So, is the Farouk CHI flat iron any good? The answer is yes. The CHI is a top rated flat iron with many excellent reviews from consumers and professionals alike. One final point: you can buy the CHI Farouk Pink Flat Iron and Hair Dryer Set with matching case. For every set that is bought, CHI donates a portion of the product’s sales to support the effort for finding a cure for breast cancer.

Snowboarding, Helmets, and Concussions

Snowboarding is an exhilarating winter sport that more and more young people are gravitating to each year. While exciting, however, it can also be a dangerous sport if necessary precautions are not taken. This is especially true for beginners who have not yet learned the basics of snowboarding.

The most common snowboarding injuries tend to be sprains – normally in the arms and wrists since beginners tend to break their falls with their hands. The most dangerous type of injury, however, by a huge margin is the risk of a concussion. Especially, among snowboarders who refuse to wear helmets.

A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain caused by a blow to the head. In snowboarding, this can easily happen by a collision with a skier or another snowboarder, a fall to the ground, or an impact with a tree. Signs of a concussion include feeling dizzy or disoriented, having an urge to throw up, or experiencing blurred vision. If you have any of these symptoms after a collision, you should seek immediate medical help.

Without a helmet, the head and brain take the full impact of the blow which can be so intense that it leads to long-term or even permanent injury. A helmet acts to diffuse the impact by taking the brunt of the impact itself, so instead of the energy being concentrated on one spot, it spreads over a larger area. Even with a hard blow where the helmet will not be able to absorb the full impact itself, it will most likely absorb enough of it to prevent you from suffering brain damage.

But don’t just choose the first stylish helmet that you see. Try on several different styles before choosing one. Also, try different manufacturers. The helmets from one manufacturer may fit your head better than another one. Try the helmet on with all the headgear that you normally wear, including goggles. The helmet should fit snug – but not tight.

Also, look for a helmet that has the ASTM F2040 certification sticker. ASTM is a voluntary standards organization that sets standards for thousands of products and materials. The presence of a ASTM F2040 sticker certifies that the helmet meets the minimum performance specifications required to prevent or reduce the severity of injuries to the head while participating in extreme sports such as snowboarding and skiing.

ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world-a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services.

There is a flip side to wearing helmets, however. Snowboarders who wear helmets typically tend to go faster than those without helmets, no doubt thinking themselves safe from injury. But the increased speed means than if they do have a collision, they are hitting at a greater force which in many cases is more than enough to offset the effect of wearing a helmet in the first place.

Bottom line – A bad concussion can end your snowboarding fun forever. A helmet cannot guarantee that you won’t suffer a head injury, but it does reduce the odds significantly. Wearing a properly fitted helmet is a very small price to pay to increase the odds that you’ll continue to have fun on the slopes in years to come.

Cold Casting With Resins

Cold Casting with Metal and Resins

The traditional bronze cast sculpture is expensive. The British firm of Alex Tiranti in 1959 developed a cold casting process to achieve the same looking result as a furnace produced article, at a fraction of the cost. The process consisted of coating the inside of a rubber mould with a metal filled gel coat of resin and then backing up or completely filling the mould with a resin containing a lower cost filler.

What Metals to use

Although bronze metal flake powders are often used to give coloured effects to resin castings, a true metal powder must be used to give a realistic metal cast effect in cold casting. Among the metals used in this process are Bronze, aluminium, copper, brass and iron usually of a 200 to 300 mesh size in irregular shaped particles (not flake).

These metals can be treated with chemical patina solutions to give true aged metal appearance. Being actual metals, colours will vary from batch to batch due to oxidation, so sufficient should be purchased to complete a particular cold casting job.

How much metal is required

The resin/metal mix should be as high as possible. Too little metal will give a very plastic appearance. An ideal metal to resin ration would be equal parts by volume. We add slightly more metal filler to make sure we have enough to yield a mix that is still pourable or brush able. The temperature of your working area is very important. At lower temperatures the resin mix takes longer to go off ad is much thicker than usual and so will not accept as much metal.

The usual amount of catalyst to be used with cold casting resins is 2 to 3% except with aluminium which usually only requires 1 to 2%.

Warning: Safety requirements

Always wear a face mask to prevent the inhalation of dust from the metal fillers. Aluminium powder can form dust clouds when being used which can form an explosive mix. Aluminium can also have a dangerous interaction with water. Always mix the resin with the catalyst first before adding the metal powder as the metal can react with the liquid hardener if used alone.

What colours are possible

Metal fillers can be mixed together to give colour variations. A lifeless bronze can be given a brighter look by adding a little copper. In reverse, a too striking copper can be toned down by adding a little bronze.

Project example: Cold Casting a Bust

What type of mould to use

Your bust mould may be made from any one of a number of rubbers and plasters. Silicone is highly recommended if you are going to make many cold castings from the same mould. Polyurethane is suitable for most uses, while plaster can be used for rigid articles with no undercuts. Latex is not suitable for metal/resin castings as it is not compatible with brass, bronze or copper, however it is fine for short run cold castings.

Your mould may be a one or two piece mould. If it is a plaster mould it should be completely dry. One coat of Release agent should be applied and let dry. Silicone moulds do not need a release agent. Polyurethane moulds should have the appropriate release agent applied.

How much metal to how much resin

The use of a clear casting resin is recommended as the resin colour affects the final outcome. It is important to use sufficient metal powder to give a truly metallic appearance to the final product. Too little metal and you will lose the metallic look or the metal will settle to the bottom of the mould. This is especially noticeable with low viscosity polyurethane resins. On the other hand too much metal is costly without adding the metallic effect. Regardless of which metal is used, the minimum amount of metal powder that can be used effectively is one part of metal powder to two parts of resin by volume. For a lot of our cold casting work we use equal parts of metal and resin by volume to produce a result that is indistinguishable from an actual metal article. We suggest that you experiment to determine the ratio of metal to resin that gives you the finished product that you require.

How to Mix

Stir the catalyst and resin together in a disposable paper cup using a wooden stirrer or tongue depressor. Then add the metal powder and stir till thoroughly mixed.

How to pour your mould

This mixture is then poured into the one-piece mould to yield a thickness of about 10-20mm thickness. This is achieved by placing a piece of laminated wood coated with mould release over the opening in the base of the mould after the resin/metal mixture has been poured into the mould, and then rotating the mould in all direction to ensure adequate coverage of the inner mould surface.

Pouring techniques

After 1 to 4 hours, when the bronze face coat is leathery, but has not yet hardened a low cost backup material can be poured into the mould to fill it. This can take many forms, from a silica filled resin, polyurethane foam, plaster, cement or iron loaded resin for weight. Another method would be to back up the bronze face coat with fibre glass and resin to yield a lightweight but very strong bronze faced cold casting.


When cured, de-mould and rub the surface with steel wool to bring up the highlights. Patina may be added with a black or dark oil based spray or brush on paint. Rub off the high spots with a cloth, leaving the paint in the texture and when it has dried, burnish with steel wool and wax if desired.

By Stan Alderson

How to Rosin Your Violin Bow

Rosin is the reason that we are able to produce sound on the violin, creating friction that allows the bow to grip the strings. Without rosin, the bow will glide over the stings as if sliding on ice. This article provides a guide for how to apply rosin depending on whether the bow isn’t gripping the strings at all, has just been re-haired, has areas that do not play evenly, or, is currently playing to your liking.

If the bow has just been re-haired, it may have been rosined by the shop before it was returned to you (using either a cake or rosin powder), or it may not have any rosin on it at all. If the bow is not playing at all when it is returned to you, you will want to use short targeted strokes against the cake of rosin, to slowly work the rosin into the hair, for the entire length of the bow. This may take a bit of time (which is why the shop will often use a powdered version, which can be applied much more quickly).

The same technique can be used if your bow does not seem to be playing at all and is sliding on the strings, even when it has not just been re-haired.

On the other hand, if the bow is already rosined and plays to your liking, then you can just use a couple of swipes, the entire length of the bow.

If there are just one or two spots on the hair that you notice don’t play evenly or don’t play at all, you can use short strokes with the hair on the rosin just to target those specific spots. However, if the reason for these slippery areas is that the hair has become dirty or oily (particularly at the frog, where your hand may rub against it frequently), applying rosin usually will not correct this problem and the bow may need to be re-haired or at least cleaned by the violin shop.

It is important to be very careful not to use to much rosin. This is a common problem that can result in a scratchy sound. You should not see any white powder coming off the strings and bow when you play. Rosin also tends to build up on strings (especially when one has used too much) and therefore it is important to wipe them down after you play.

Is acceptable to rosin in both directions for bowed strings (except for bass).

Propane Fireplaces – The Pros and Cons

Because of the emergence of propane fireplaces in the market, the wood fireplace industry has been getting bumps. The new heating device owners can testify to the effectiveness of propane. But lots of people remain uncertain on how you can compare fireplaces to the trusted wood fireplace. Uncertain are those fireplace owners, who still believe that classical fireplace environment is the best over the contemporary benefits of propane fireplaces.

If somebody would ask you, “Is this type of fireplace a good substitute for wood burning heating device?” your answer would be either yes or no, depending on which perspective you believe. Propane fireplaces were created to eradicate the difficulty of severe smoke, which is essential in the vintage wood fireplace types. Since propane fireplaces use propane to heat homes, there is no particulate component being scattered into the air.

However, this type of heating equipment releases carbon monoxide in controlled amounts. In this respect, propane fireplaces are on the same level with the wood fireplace, that discharges a controlled maximum of 7.5 grams of particulate matter per hour into the environment.

The pros of using propane fireplaces over wood burning fireplace are the following:

1.There are several models of propane fireplaces that you can choose from: natural vent, vent-free, and direct vent. These models make sure that there is the ideal type for your home, according to space restrictions and budget. Venting is needed on all wood burning fireplace. You also need a flue and a chimney for proper air circulation.

2.The wood burning fireplace requires effort to create a fire: putting up the kindling, setting the logs on fire and regulating the fire. Whereas, propane need only a click of a switch, then turn it off if you don’t need it. Houses are heated fast through convective or radiant schemes. this type of device can also be controlled using the remote for easy control of heat and fire.

3. Propane fireplaces are much easier to maintain and clean since there are no log debris and ashes, as compared to wood stoves.

If there is a positive side, there is also the negative side of propane fireplaces which do not stand up to the conventional wood burning fireplace.

1.Propane is sourced from treasured fossil fuels, which are not renewable sources of energy. Since this is not renewable, it is controlled, which causes the price of the fireplace to fluctuate from time to time. Wood burning fireplace uses wood which is relatively renewable and cheap. Wood for heat will always be available as long as chopped trees are being replaced with new ones.

2.To create an aesthetic vibe of a traditional fire, propane fireplaces use artistic brick logs to radiate heat. Unluckily, that does not do the trick for this type. They lack the authenticity of the aromatic smoke and the crackling of the logs. But, the dancing of the flames is just as lovely as that of the wood burning fireplace. With regards to ambience, still nothing compares to the traditional fireplace. The flames created by propane may be as much as eye catching as the flames from the wood burning fireplace, but the vibe is just really not the same. Fire inside the wood burning fireplace elicit an aura of romance, coziness and warmth that modern fireplaces could not provide.

Building With Bricks – Joint Types

When building with bricks, there are many types of brick joint you can use, each with it’s own specific purpose.

Flush joints

The mortar is cut flush to the outer face of the bricks with the trowel. Bricks that do not have a flat face will likely be hard to flush neatly.

Rolled joints

A round bar is used to press in the mortar. Some bricklayers use a short length of garden hose to do this kind of joint but this can result in a coarse finish to the mortar. A steel tool will give a very smooth finish.

Weather joints

This type of joint allows rain water to drip down the face of the bricks and slow water absorption.

Struck joint

This is constructed making use of the trowel and only horizontal joints are struck.

Heavy bagging

The wall is lightly sprayed with water and smudged with a hessian bag in which mortar is placed. This will leave 1 or 2mm of mortar on the face of the wall. With a thin application of mortar, swirls or other patterns can be achieved.

V joint

A special square-edged tool is used to rake out mortar leaving a V-shape.

Raked joint

Mortar is raked out with a tool to a maximum depth of 10mm.

Light bagging (smudging)

A sponge or hessian bag is rubbed over the face of the wall whilst the mortar is still wet.


Mortar that oozes out of the joints is tooled flat. Alternatively, the brickie finishes all joints flush and goes over the entire job at the end to tool mortar over the flush joints.

Ooze joint

Excess mortar that oozes out of the joints is left in place.

It’s important that mortar joints are finished evenly throughout. Tooled joints effectively compress the mortar and make it extra weatherproof. Rolled joints are less likely to permit mortar to break than raked joints, thus making them appropriate for harsh coastal conditions where salt causes the mortar to break down. Adding colour to mortar can sometimes affect the bonding properties of the mortar.

Some joints, like parge, take a considerable time to do so the bricklayer must be told this in advance of pricing the job. The sort of brick (clay, cored, solid, lime silicate or concrete) as well as the size of the brick will also affect the rate the brickie charges.

A popular area of dispute between clients and builders is the variation in mortar joints of brickwork. The Australian Standards specify a maximum variation of plus or minus 3mm over a three metre length of bedding joint and a variation from 5 to 20mm for perpendicular joints. Ideally, all joints ought to be close to 10mm and a bricklayer would not be proud of workmanship which only just complied with the Australian Standards. If bricks are handmade, rumbled or clinker types then discrepancies in mortar widths will be less obvious but if the bricks are evenly sized and have sharp, square edges then the outcomes will be disappointing. If mortar widths are likely to be an issue then the bricklayer will notice this at the beginning of the job and need to advise the builder who will then have the brick manufacturer assess the size variation of the bricks.

As a result of the wide variation possible in brick colours, it is wise to visit the brickyard and make a particular batch selection. The batch you choose is going to be put to one side until your builder calls for their delivery to site. While at the brickyard check that the specific bricks you’ve selected have not had any problems. Some bricks with an excess of lime in the clay have been known to ‘pop’ or exfoliate when the globules of lime become wet and expand. When popping occurs it leaves white lime spots on the bricks. Ask the brick supplier for numerous addresses of homes that have utilized your preferred brick and visit them just before confirming your selection. Comparing various mortar colours is also useful as they can give a completely different appearance to a wall. Combining two or extra brick types for instance standard and double size bricks or colours can create fascinating features but this will need special care by the bricklayer to accomplish the desired effect. It’s also worth checking if the brick supplier has specific window sill bricks and squint bricks that can be used on 45° corners. If matching squint bricks are not accessible then the bricklayer will need to cut solid bricks to suit. Sills may be made by laying the standard brick on its edge and sloping it out. However a sill is created, it is crucial that it slopes outwards so that rainwater can drain away.

Misconceptions About the 4L60E 4L80E

1-What controls the shifts in a 4L60E 4L80E and can I replace the PCM with a vacuum modulator?

The answer is the PCM is in complete control of every aspect of when and how the 4L60E shifts, Line Pressure and Lockup. If the command is given barring any mechanical failure clutches, Band ETC the transmission must make the shift or slip and burn itself up trying. Alternately It cannot shift before its commanded.

Lockup again is strictly a function of the PCM turning on the lockup solenoid and pulsing the PWM solenoid.

I hear a lot of people say my converter locks up sometimes and other not what wrong with it. Well If your converter locks up properly anytime. Then its more than likely a tuning issue and not a TRANSMISSION/CONVERTER issue.

On the matter of the vacuum modulator, It cannot replace the PCM it only takes over the PCM ability to control line pressure’s. I have a lot of people ask if I do the “vac mod” will it fix my shift timing issue? The answer is no.

2-Shifts become softer or slipping after a converter install.

No in fact the shifts remain the same as before the converter install. They feel softer because of the converters shift extension/looseness. The transmission it self is doing exactly the same as it did before the converter. Now It can be advantageous to firm the shifts up since more torque is being transferred though the trans at WOT.

3-Increasing line pressure in tuning is a good way to firm up shifts.

Well it will firm the shifts but at a price of more strain on the hard parts and greater load on the pump. A common failure for instance to raising the line excessively can be the failure of the input drum at the 3-4 clutch snap ring or even pump failure due to the extra stress. There is even the possibility of having so much line that there are enough cross leaks to partially apply clutches or bands when they should not be on. In my opinion the proper way to improve shift quality is to install and shift kit. I have no preference to type since all I have seen with only minor variations accomplish the goal not so much by raising line but by increasing the rate or volume of fluid being supplied to the clutch in a given time.

4-Synthetic fluid will make your transmission slip.

I will likely get some flack on this one but this has not been my experience at least not with fluids that meet or exceed the requirements for that particular application. What this means is the product regardless of type or brand must meet the minimum requirements it specifies. For instance if it says meets or exceeds dexron/mercron requirements then it must perform equal to or better than the specifications of that fluid. Now don’t think I mean that everyone should go buy synthetic because personally I think its overpriced for what you get. The only real advantage I have seen is the ability to with stand heat better than petroleum based products. However if you have adequate cooling this should not be and issue anyway, IMO use the fluid you like or what your converter or trans manufacturer requires. We have no requirement here.

5- TRANS Fluid can get to cold and gel at subzero temps.

No it can’t at least not at any temperature where people can live. Think of it this way if it could then in Canada or Alaska the fluid would be gel in the pan in the morning on start up and would wipe the pump out immediately. I have poured fluid from a bottle at -5 degrees and while it’s just a little thicker it’s certainly not gel. Transmission fluid is made to have a very stable viscosity at all temperatures. I am sure like all liquids there is a temp where this could occur but none I have seen.

6-Allowing a transmission to set either in or out of the car for extended periods (months/years) can result in failure.

Yes actually it can. As the transmission sets for long periods of time fluid will slowly run down and away from the clutches and hard parts. The seals can even dry rot similar to the way tires do and more in damp climates moisture can enter and cause rust on hard parts and even under the lining of the friction materials and cause them to separate. I have heard the “It worked great when I took it out 2 years ago story” and its likely a true statement only to hear later that someone put it back in and it died in days or weeks or slipped or other wise acted up from sticky valves. My suggestion for storing a transmission for any length of time is to plug all the holes and fill till the fluid begins coming out of the overflow tube. Then cap this to as that will insure all parts are submerged in fluid. You will just need to drain before restarting after storage. This may help avoid some post I see with transmission complaints after taking a car out of storage that has been setting all winter.

The Good and Bad of a Fused Fishing Line

When selecting a line for your basting reel, many people would consider a fused fishing line. Over the past few years, this has become one of the most popular fishing lines for both amateur anglers and deep sea fishermen. This type of fishing line has excellent features and comes with quality materials to help make a fishing experience a remarkable one even for novices.

Even though fused lines are almost identical to the braided fishing lines, there is a huge difference in the manufacturing method. Fused lines are created using several layers of microfilaments made up of polyethylene fibers that have been spun around with gel. These fibers are then combined together using heat or thermal energy. After that, the fibers are smeared with coating separately. This is performed in order to achieve a single line or strand and to have better strength for the product.

Those that already used the fused line for fishing will notice that the lines are thinner than most other types of lines. In addition to that, this type of baitcasting fishing reel provides a much better hook set. One advantage is the lines can only be cut by a sharp pair of scissors or a knife. They can also be seen in water because they have highly visible lines.

As mentioned, fused lines have enhanced strength and sensitivity. These characteristics alone make them one of the best fishing lines ever made particularly when baitcasting huge fish including northern pike and muskellunge. It is also easy to cast fused lines while providing limited stretch to allow the user to successfully fix the hook once the fish bites the bait.

Even though this is quite thin, it is guaranteed to be strong. There is also no problem even if it is really sunny while using this fishing line because this will not cause it to deteriorate unlike other fishing lines. This type also resists abrasion and even surpasses the abrasion endurance of a monofilament fishing line. It can handle weighty fish which is why it is perfect for any type of fishing activity. It is also easy to cast, controllable when using gear, and makes catching fish much easier as well.

Fused lines for fishing are not a perfect tool so they do come with some cons. According to the users, there is a huge chance hands will get injured by the line because this tends to slide on the reel spool. Injuries can also result because the lines are quite slick. Also, they can only be cut by a knife or a pair of scissors so it is almost imperative to bring a sharp tool whenever this fishing line is used. High visibility of the lines in water is also a disadvantage since fish can easily notice them.

Despite these flaws, the line remains to be one of the most used lines in the world. From line watchers to expert fishermen, this type of line is used to lure and catch the biggest and best fish.