Woodturning Techniques

Woodturning is a way to make wooden projects using a lathe. The wood is generally turned by a motorized lathe while a tool us used to shave, gouge, and shape it into different objects. Woodturning is commonly used to make bowls, furniture, bats, instruments, wooden toys, game pieces, spindles, chair or table legs, and plates. Of course, as with any woodworking hobby, woodturning can be used in a lot of different ways. The project is only limited by the imagination and skill of the woodturner.

Projects usually start with a blank piece of wood. For spindles, toys, tool handles, doll house parts, and other small projects, you may be able to start with wooden dowels. This can simplify the process for you. If you don’t start with a dowel, you will need to use a woodturning tool designed to get the blank into the basic shape that you want to work with.

Most projects start with a roughing gouge to round the wood blank into a spindle. The spindle can be smoothed using the razor sharp edge of the skew chisel. However, if you are making a bowl, which is the most popular woodturning project, you will need a special bowl gouge that is designed to turn the inside and outside of the bowl. You may also need a hollowing tool to cut out the deep sections of the bowl, especially if the bowl is narrow, or you’re turning something like a vase. A tool called a bowl saver is popular because it allows you to cut a smaller bowl out of a larger one, saving your wood pieces for later projects.

You can work with a blank while the wood is still wet or green to more easily get it into the basic shape that you want without having to wait for the entire block to dry out. Turning on wet wood is actually easier and creates less sawdust than dry wood. However, you may not want to turn your whole project while the wood is wet. This technique of cutting on wet wood is usually used only to get the wood into the basic desired shape so that it will dry out faster. Wet wood that is turned will distort a little as it dries and shrinks. You want to make sure that you have enough wood thickness left to work with so that you can remove the rough exterior and any distortions once the wood is dry. Drying out large pieces of green wood can result in cracks, so many woodturners prefer to rough turn their pieces while the wood is newly felled.

There are many different styles of woodturning that can help you to create artistic and functional pieces. Pool cues, wooden eggs, candle holders, and platters are some other commonly turned items. You can use dowel rods of varying thickness to get you quickly started on a lot of different projects. Research which type of wood is better for your project before you order or make your dowels. You can purchase birch dowels, maple dowels, red or white oak dowels, cherry dowels, poplar dowels, ash dowels, or walnut dowels, giving you a large selection of woods to choose from for your woodturning project. Some companies will even turn wood that you provide into custom diameter dowels so that you have complete creative control over your project.

Preventing Frost Buildup On Sewer-Septic Tank Rooftop Vent Stacks-Stinkpipes

This is how to prevent frost buildup on your sewer vent pipe so you can install an odor eliminator.

This is an email I received from one of my readers. “I have read a few articles by you on the internet regarding septic issues. We live in Askov, Minnesota (near Duluth) and experience frost build up in our vent stacks. My husband and I are older and really should not be climbing on the roof to clean these out (about once every one or two months) in the winter. Are Odor Eliminator filter caps appropriate for use in Minnesota? Will they prevent the frost build up? Thanks in advance for your help.”

This started some serious thinking since I was not aware that in the far North stack vent pipes could frost shut blocking the vent. We all know if the vent is blocked the toilet will flush but the waste will not flow down the drain, in fact no drain in the building will work. That is why it is against all building and plumbing codes to install any valve in a rooftop sewer/septic tank vent stack.

In most new homes or buildings we insulate only the attic floor which is on top of the ceiling in any home or building. Some designs only have a crawl space below the roof. The roof itself is only insulated in a totally sealed building today.

We go to great lengths in design today to keep warmth away from the actual roof plywood and shingles to present the thawing/freezing cycles that cause ice dams and resulting roof damage. So we want the roof to be as cool as possible. You should insulate the vent stack in the attic between the attic floor and attic roof and then put an odor eliminator filter on the outside stacks. There then should be roughly 6″ to 8″ of stack sticking out of the roof on the outside.

The inside temperature of all vents in the house is the same temperature as the rest of the house. The air temperature in septic tanks is the same as the ground that surrounds them. The ground temperature in North America is 52 degrees year round above the freeze line which is about 2 to 4 feet down in the earth depending on your area.

If the vent stack is more than a few inches above the roof line it needs to be wrapped with insulation in the winter. If the temperature of the vent stack pipe in the attic is below freezing the odor eliminator filter will not work, it must be insulated. If the house temperature is below 52 degrees Fahrenheit the odor eliminator filter will not work.

Some odor eliminator filter designs insulate the stack inside it with the equivalent of 1 inch of air insulation. I would not worry about the odor eliminator filter if the conditions are correct. I know of one company who has them on vent stacks in schools in Alaska.

A Brief History of Cruise Ships

Ocean-going vessels were originally built to transport cargo across the oceans. In 1818, the Black Ball Line offered regularly scheduled service between the United States and Britain. But it was slow and not designed to carry passengers.

When Cunard was granted the contract to deliver mail between Britain, Canada, and the United States in 1939, it introduced steamships that broke the speed record for crossing the Atlantic. Before long, passengers started to hitch rides, and by 1840, Cunard’s Britannia sailed with a cow on board to supply passengers with fresh milk.

During the mid-19th century, more ships began to cater to travelers, and amenities like electric lights, promenade decks, and more comfortable accommodations were added. In the early 20th century, both Cunard and rival White Star Line were offering cruises aboard their ships the Mauritania, the Lusitania, the Titanic, and the Olympic. These ships offered many of the luxuries we associate with cruising today — swimming pools, ornate dining rooms, and even a tennis court.

But the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 dealt a devastating blow to the White Star Line, and the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 similarly affected Cunard. During World War I, production of cruise ships was sidelined and many ocean liners were repurposed as troop carriers. At the end of the war, the German super liners were given to Great Britain and the United States as reparations.

Following World War I, transatlantic cruises became a preferred journey for the rich and famous. And during the 1930s, transpacific cruises aboard ships like the Empress of Japan became popular. But World War II derailed the cruise industry once again and most passenger cruises were discontinued and the cruise ships redeployed for military use.

The arrival of the jet age in the late 1950s had a dramatic impact on transatlantic cruises. Travel that once took days could now be done in hours. Cruising was not only inefficient, it was old hat, and flying became the preferred way to travel.

With no market for transatlantic cruises, many cruise lines repositioned their cruise ships and started offering Caribbean cruises. These were the first cruises that were more about enjoyment than transportation. And by the middle of the 1960s, mass-market cruise companies like Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line were offering affordable vacations to everyone.

In 1980, NCL introduced the first mega ship — the 2,181-passenger Norway — and the race was on. The 2,350-passenger Sovereign of the Sea, launched in 1988, was the first in a series of “biggest cruise ship” titles held by Royal Caribbean, whose Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas hold that title today.

Passengers on those original ocean liners could never have imagined the amenities on modern cruise ships. With ice skating rinks, water slides, zip lines, living gardens, grass lawns, and bowling alleys, what’s next?

Try The Cybex Arc Trainer To Lose Those Extra Pounds

The Cybex Arc Trainer is the official exercise equipment of the Biggest Loser, the hit TV program that challenges weight-challenged contestants to shed the most pounds in order to win the game. The machine is similar to Tony Little’s Gazelle with a number of significant enhancements. For one, the trainer reputedly increases the chance of weight loss by sixteen percent.

To determine why, it is helpful to dissect the features of the equipment. It is a significant improvement on the treadmill, which can be boring to use on a regular basis for many months or years. In addition, it is less than the size of the average treadmill, so fitness gym owners can fit in more on the workout floor.

The diminished size, however, does not detract in any way from the value of the exercise as it adds the hiking, climbing and skier routines to the treadmill act. Thus, it can be said that the Cybex Arc Trainer is essentially an elliptical trainer with a twist. By varying the motions during the exercise regimen, more muscle groups are engaged which can only lead to more toned muscles and efficient extra fat shedding.

The user is also likely to experience a more enriched workout regimen since enjoyment is considerably enhanced when the individual feels as if he or she is going for a hike in the woods, climbing a mountain, or even skiing. Theoretically, when the brain finds satisfaction in what it does, doing away with boredom (which tends to produce negative energy), it is more likely to go along with the body’s weight loss mission.

Hence, when it comes to movement variation as well as personal satisfaction, very few machine exercisers come close to the latest Cybex innovation. It is perfect for individuals who intend to achieve or maintain their ideal weight while having toned muscles. Admittedly, it cannot hope to rival the Total Gym concept, but then the equipment under consideration has never been engineered for serious body builders. Its real market is the average individual who wants to maintain an active outdoor lifestyle, except that time and space does not allow him or her to go out into the woods as often as possible.

It is amazing to have an exercise machine that seems to bring the great outdoors inside the gym or the house. It is not only convenient, it also addresses the safety issue, since many city dwellers are starting to feel unsafe about traversing an isolated bike path in the neck of the woods during odd times. Comparatively, the fluidity of movement in this trainer is the exact opposite of snowboarding. Here is why: one’s back maintains a healthy aligned posture during the regimen, unlike other machines in the market.

Hence, when it comes to weight loss prowess, movement variation, posture, health, and overall exercise satisfaction, the Cybex Arc Trainer should be one serious contender to consider. But rather than taking somebody’s word for it, it will be wise to experience the difference for oneself at the nearest gym.

Archery Range – Setting Up Your Own

If you are a serious archer, whether your aim is private hunting or competition, there is a good chance that at one point or another you are going to want to set up your own archery range. While this is a fairly straight forward endeavor, you will find that in order to practice good safety and to make sure that the chances of someone getting hurt are absolutely minimal, you will find that it is important to keep a few things in mind.

1. Choose to shoot from north to south alignment.

Remember that setting up like this will prevent the sun from getting into the archers’ eyes; this would obviously be reversed if you were in the Southern Hemisphere.

2. Maintain a clear line of sight between the edges of the range.

As with just about everything in archery, visibility is the key. No matter where you are shooting from, you should be able to see the entirety of the shooting area. The smallest ranges will measure around twenty five yards, but you will find that the more space you have, the better. This will let you move targets back as you improve.

3. Figure out how to catch arrows.

When you miss the target (don’t deny it, it happens!) make sure that you have a way that you can catch the arrows before they hurt someone else or land in someone else’s property. If you have all of the space that you want, you may find that a simple open field behind the targets will work, but if you don’t, a wall of straw bales or a wooden fence of some sort might be your best idea.

4. Mark the firing line.

It seems that you will always know where you should stand when you are going to be doing some practice, but don’t count on it. Find a way to accurately mark your firing line, whether it is with some rope or a painted line on the grass. You will find that this will help you maintain a realistic idea of what your distance and accuracy are, and if you have anyone coming in to shoot with you, it can be an extremely important safety precaution.

5. Mark the perimeter.

It doesn’t matter how isolated or solitary that your shooting range is, make sure that you mark the perimeter so that it can be seen from a distance. For temporary practice areas, you will find that a brightly colored rope hung between knee and waist height will do, though if you are looking for a more permanent structure, think about some light fencing. When you are going to be having other people regularly, take the time to make sure that there is only one entrance to your range.

6. Mark your targets.

Make sure that if you are shooting at more than one distance that you mark out what distance the targets are resting at. It can help when it comes to scoring if you are shooting against a friend and it will save on confusion later on.

7. Practice good safety and make sure that others do also.

Even when you know that no one else is around, be cautious. Always check before you fire onto a range and make sure that anyone else who is shooting is doing so as well. Stay behind the firing line and make sure that you keep an eye on anything moving.

Having read the information in this section, you should have a good idea on how to set up your own archery range along with some excellent safety tips, please note it is important to keep these few things in mind. With just a little more research, you should be ready to get that archery range happening right on target.

Sinus Drainage – How the Answer to Some Simple Questions Could Lead You to the Right Solution

Enough is enough! Have you ever said that to yourself after a particularly difficult bout with sinus drainage–or PND, post nasal drip, as physicians often call it? Let me offer you a simple approach, as a suggestion, to tackle this miserable sinus ailment. I had it myself for many years until I took matters into my own hands, and with my Maker’s help, I was able to find a sensible approach to eliminating it.

Have you noticed if your excessive sinus drainage recurs at rather regular intervals? For example:

  • Every year early in the Spring, Summer
  • During the Fall when there are many leaves on the ground decaying
  • When driving, walking, etc., by or close to a field with a standing crop
  • During harvest time of a particular crop
  • When walking or engaged in some activity where close by weeds are profusely growing
  • At certain times of the year when a specific kind of tree is flowering
  • When visiting, shopping, or otherwise you are close to flowers and you begin to sneeze or drainage starts to bother you

Is your answer Yes to any one or a combination of the above situation(s)? Then you probably have an allergy for the pollen(s) of the particular plant or tree involved. An allergy reaction does not always come in the form of drainage. It could be in the form of: yellow mucus or clear, sinus congestion, pressure, pain (headache, etc), In fact, sometimes the person has a combination of these symptoms at the same time; this used to be my case.

Depending on the severity of the drainage problem–in terms of discharge color: yellow mucus or clear or green and the irritation to membranes–you may or may not want to go see the doctor about having a set of allergies tests made. If the case is not too severe and lasts just a few weeks out of the year–while the particular plant or tree flower you may be allergic to is blooming–a possible solution to consider is the following:

  • The use of a nondrowsy antihistamine such as loratadine (Claritin) – 10 mg, which is sold over-the-counter
  • Drinking lots of plain, pure water – at least 6 glasses a day
  • Cutting back “drastically” on mucus and phlegm producing foods
  • Cutting back on foods made from refined grains, e.g., white flower, white rice, etc.
  • If the discharge turns to a dark yellow mucus I would go see a physician

If in fact your sinus drainage is caused by pollens, the above four steps will probably solve your allergy symptoms, especially if you decide to conscientiously abide by them.

The Overflow Pool Deck Drainage System

Having still water on the pool deck can be extremely dangerous. Slippery pool decks are one of the most dangerous hazards of having a pool. Besides, still water is a perfect environment for germs fast reproduction, and this can cause serious sickness and is not a pretty sight. That’s why potential pool owners should think of the deck drainage system for their decks.

These systems are designed for being almost impossible to damage mechanically or stresses with weather conditions. PVC is an extra durable synthetic material, it’s not exposed to corrosion and does not require to be changed too often. Plus PVS can take any forms you need it to be, so there is no problem what is your pool size or shape – the deck drainage system is suitable for any types of pool.

Before professional pool builders install the deck drainage system to your pool deck or next to some other slippery surface on your property they will test the system multiple times. In this way, you will be sure that it’s really working how it should and will not have an unpleasant surprise of for example hitting the pool side with your head (or your child’s head which is even worse) after unexpected slipping on your pool patio surface.

Get customized and detailed instructions from a swimming pool constructor when you start planning your swimming pool project.

Having still water on the pool deck can be extremely dangerous. Slippery pool deck is one of the most dangerous hazards when having a pool. It is necessary to consider safety factors to ensure no one slips as they walk around the pool area. Besides, still water is a perfect environment for germs fast reproduction, and this can cause serious sickness. That’s why potential pool owners should think of the deck drainage system for their decks.

These systems are designed for being almost impossible to damage mechanically or stresses with weather conditions. PVC is an extra durable synthetic material, it’s not exposed to corrosion and does not require to be changed too often. Plus PVS can take any forms you need it to be, so there is no problem what is your pool size or shape – the deck drainage system is suitable for any types of pool.

Before professional pool builders install the deck drainage system to your pool deck or next to some other slippery surface on your property they will test the system multiple times. In this way, you will be sure that it’s really working how it should and will not have an unpleasant surprise of for example hitting the pool side with your head (or your child’s head which is even worse) after unexpected slipping on your pool patio surface.

Get customized and detailed instructions from a swimming pool constructor when you start planning your swimming pool project.

You could also learn how to install a pool deck drain if you are a handyman. There are products on the market that claim to be an easy way for you to install a pool drain, using their parts, without the need to dig trenches. These are available in various colors and can be used for other drainage uses, as claimed by the manufacturer. If you wish to pursue this type of installation, you will need to do further research.

Drill-Drivers – The Best of Both Worlds

Any professional craftsperson could tell you that the selection of drills and drivers is endless. Each application, it seems, requires an entirely different set of tools. Craftspeople everywhere are juggling bits, cords, and batteries in a futile attempt to make that standard drill just drive a screw a little better; they struggle with bits and bit changes, with drills that merely spin and lack the power to drive efficiently. But beyond the struggle between man and power drill, beyond the daunting rows of drills and drivers, the best of both worlds exists in just one tool: the drill/driver.

The marriage between drill and driver is a unparalleled convenience. A drill/driver still works like an ordinary drill but is built to drive screws, and to drive them better, and more efficiently than any standard power drill. The drill/driver really is having your cake and eating it too combining the functionality of both a drill and a driver into one tool. This amplified functionality and total durability make the drill/driver a staple part of any craftsman’s (or home-owner’s) toolbox. Please read on for information on some of the industries leading drill/drivers from Makita, Hitachi and BOSCH.

The Makita 10.8v Compact Lithium Ion Cordless Drill/Driver Kit: Makita has nearly 90 years of experience in producing some of the industries best and most quality products. Their line of power tools is always reliable, always tough and their new compact cordless drill kit is no exception. This two speed drill/driver dishes out 200in/lbs of torque delivering famous Makita power in a comfortable, compact design. This distinct two speed feature (0-350 / 0-1,300 RPM) allows for a wide range of drilling and driving applications bringing the versatility of this tool to a whole new level. Its functionality, matched with the tool’s uniquely Makita features, maximize productivity and convenience on the job. Weighing only 1.9lbs this drill/driver’s ultra compact design markedly reduces operator fatigue, and its ergonomic shape offers simpler controllability and even pressure throughout. The tool also has a soft grip handle for increased operator comfort and control; and with the convenience and mobility of a cordless tool, this new Makita drill driver is truly an exceptional product.

Makita has designed this power tool with a built-in LED light to help illuminate your work space and increase safety. The drill/driver kit uses a 10.8v Makita lithium ion battery for maximum run time and extended battery life. Makita lithium ion battery technology offers superior battery power in a more light weight, more efficient package. With its sleek black and white design and practical, light weight construction, every homeowner should have this drill. Makita has engineered the DF030DW to be versatile, efficient, and compact; an ideal tool for hobbyists and home improvement projects – and yet still powerful enough for contractors and carpenters.

The Makita DF030DW is backed by Makita’s exclusive battery technology and superior engineering; it also comes with two lithium ion 1.3ah batteries and a fifty minute battery charger. In addition, a #2 double ended Phillips bit, and a secure tool case and tool holster are also included in the kit. Makita’s cordless driver/drill kit comes with a three year factory warranty and a one year factory warranty on the batteries and charger.

The Hitachi 10.8v Lithium Ion Micro Drill/Driver: Hitachi’s technology and durability is well known throughout the tool industry and their power tools are famed for their quality. Hitachi’s micro drill/driver is a prime example of such innovation and value. Firstly, the 10.8v lithium ion micro drill/driver weighs a mere 1.8lbs for ultra compact convenience. The tool delivers 88 in/lbs of torque and has an unique 21+1 chuck with 21 torque settings and a drill mode for maximum accuracy and control. The chuck has a 1/4″ hex and quick changes for easy bit replacement – it also spins in both forward and reverse to enhance drilling/driving capabilities.

The DB10DL is not only designed ergonomically for superior comfort, but also in a way that allows the drill to stand on its own when not in use. This ultra balanced tool weight reduces operator stress and fatigue through allowing the users wrist to remain aligned. Hitachi has also built this drill/driver with a LED light ring around the chuck to help keep work spaces light and safe. The tool has a variable speed trigger (0-400RPM) for maximum control over even the most intricate operations, and a battery charge indicator light conveniently designed to warn users when run-time is getting low. The DB10DL micro drill/driver runs with powerful Hitachi battery technology and with a patented charging system. This system prevents over heating and power loss, thus extending the overall life of the battery.

Hitachi’s micro drill/driver, with it unique versatility, great features and compact size, is ideal for home-owners and hobbyists. Though the tool is still strong, it is most ideal for more precise and delicate operations. Its sleek and comfortable design and its supreme versatility qualifies this tool as the tiny giant of its class. Hitachi’s 10.8v lithium ion micro drill/driver includes two 1.5 Ah (amp hours) lithium ion batteries, a quick charger, a Phillips driver bit and seven-piece bit set, and a durable carrying case. The tool also comes backed with Hitachi’s industry-leading five year warranty.

The BOSCH 12v Max Litheon Impactor Fastening Driver: BOSCH has long been known throughout the tool industry for their exceptional quality and innovative design. Their tools have a commanding reputation of power and durability, so it comes as no surprise that BOSCH has just introduced a new impactor fastening driver with the most force in its class. BOSCH’s new 12v impactor is designed with a powerful hammer and anvil system that produces a huge 800in/lbs of torque. This amazing force offers up to 300 percent more torque than any other drill/driver to date. The driver is powered by a high performance motor that delivers 1,800 RPM and 3,000 BPM for serious, fast fastening and optimal tool performance. Additionally, the impactor is powered by BOSCH’s supreme Litheon battery technology. Litheon batteries utilize lithium ion technology in a compact, lightweight design to optimize battery life, power, and runtime. The driver is also designed with a variable speed trigger for a wide range of speeds and applications. BOSCH’s impactor uses a 1/4″ hex quick change chuck that can instantly change from drill bits to driving bits for ultra efficiency and convenience.

BOSCH’s new impactor (driver/drill), weighs in at only 2.2lbs, is sleek and compact, and still packs maximum power and superior force. The tool’s ergonomic design and soft grip optimizes operator comfort and control. Furthermore, the PS40-2A has three built-in LED work lights in the front end of the tool to illuminate works areas and increase precision. The tool is designed with bumpers on its sides to prevent slipping and protect work surfaces.

With its light weight, superior functionality, and its maximum driving power and hammering action, this tool will simplify woodworking and home- improvement projects. With its comfortable size and industry leading torque, the tool is ideal for both installers and other serious carpenters, as well as for hobbyists. The tool is backed by BOSCH’s reputation of power and durability, and their Provantage three year tool protection plan. BOSCH’s impactor fastening driver also includes two Litheon 12v max batteries, a 30 minute charger, two 1.5″ power driver bits, and a carrying case for security and convenience.

Timber DIY – What You Need to Know When Choosing Timber For Your DIY Projects

Selecting the correct raw timber for use in your woodwork or DIY projects is something that is often overlooked by many DIY experts. At first, choosing the right timber can seem like a daunting task. Don’t worry though because in this timber DIY guide, I’m going to run you through the basics and make sure you know what you’re doing when choosing good timber.

When selecting your timber, it’s important to look at each and every board before making your selection. It’s hard work but it’s an essential part of the process if you want to end up with a good selection.

Start by pulling out the boards which appear to be the straightest and flatest. It’s best to pull out two or three times the actual quantity that you think you will actually need. Check the edges of each board for signs of sapwood. Sapwood sometimes affects the colour and is usually a haven for wood worm.

The next thing is to check is the figure and grain characteristics. Make sure these are similar in all the boards. It’s best to select only the timber that matches closely in characteristics.

Any pieces with bad knots require careful judgement. Check the rest of the board and if you think it’s well figured then probably usable providing that you can work between the knots.

By this point you should have properly cut your initial selection of timber down to 50%. The final choice of timber for your DIY or woodworking project should be based on colour. The colours may vary greatly from piece to peace depending on whether the boards have all been mixed together from different trees.

Shaving a small patch with a hand plane or chisel and sometimes reveal any hidden treasures may lay beneath the outer surface.

Another important thing you should be aware of is most hardwoods are also graded by quality. The best grades are firsts and seconds. While the lesser grades are known as ‘selects and commons’.

Estimating and pricing the timber is sometimes a job fraught with difficulty.

As a rule of thumb you should take the actual requirements from the cutting list and then double it as a starting point for the pricing. You can think of this as the minimum price which can then be increased.

if you’re lucky, somebody at the lumber yard may be able to help you with the pricing. As long as you’ve got some decent plans they should be able to check them out and give you a more accurate price for all your materials.

Selling Reclaimed Lumber

My business partner and I decided to invest in a project that would provide cash flow, profitability, and ultimately an asset at the end. We decided to purchase a 115 year old bourbon barn, dismantle it, and sell the material that was dismantled. We had no previous experience in salvage, demolition, or the wood industry. The purpose of this article is to share our experiences. Hopefully the reader will learn from our (mis-) adventures. The article is organized into sections titled business model, sales and marketing, and operations. Also, included is a history of our barn.

Business Model – 6 insights

1. There is no trade association or certified agents in the reclaimed lumber market. In general, the reclaimed wood industry is a fragmented market with tens of local or regional brokers and manufacturers.

2. The buying and selling of the wood commodity involves at least one, often two brokers. As the seller, brokers are not working for you. They are typically getting paid by the buyer and then taking their fees or percentages and then paying the seller. There is a natural conflict of interest with only one broker is involved.

3. Buyers of reclaimed lumber do not always do a site inspection of the material prior to purchase. Digital photos and samples along with the broker’s advice or inspection are part of the deal. Unfortunately, buyers may not know what they have received until they offload or add value to the material at a later date.

4. Parties involve often feel positive about the business deals: buyer, seller, and broker/s. Not one of the seven different sales transactions with different buyers and brokers did we feel that the deal was executed as agreed to (load out, final count, species, grading).

5. Part of the reason why players feel shafted is that terms are not usually put in writing. No contracts, deals kept changing (put it in writing). Sometimes players will put it in an email but it is mostly over the phone.

6. Fuel increases and a poor economy hurt our venture’s profitability. Because reclaimed lumber is typically used for housing (flooring was the biggest demand), a dip in the housing market hurt our plan. Also, as the wood commodity dipped for pulp, many potential customers were looking at new wood versus our aged wood.

Sales and Marketing – 7 points

1. One of the mistakes we made in the project was not selling the material early. In retrospect, we should have marketed the material early to form relationships and find channels to sell our product into. We waited until all of the lumber was down on the ground and bundled, which hurt our cash flow. Also, it takes time to meet new buyers and develop networks (if you are in it for the first time). Another mistake we made was not stacking, also known as sticker stacking, our wood as we were dismantling. We learned that a best practice is to procure the “sticks”, such as tobacco sticks, prior to taking them down. The sticks are placed between the board rows in order to let the wood breathe and prevent rot. Stacking the lumber also makes loading the lumber easier. Our recommendation is not to wait to obtain the sticks. Unfortunately, we had to buy them from a saw mill and overpaid.

2. The more value that you can add the more revenue you will get also the more risk you take on. Value added activities could be sorting, cutting, drying, delivering, and finishing. We found that it is truly worth the investment to count each stack and mark each bundle with type, board feet, and location. If you don’t then you are setting yourself up for shrink issues, revenue loss, disputes, etc. It is imperative, as basic as it seems, to define the terms of the sale.

3. Species would seem to be important to prospective buyers, but it seemed like each broker and potential buyer claimed the wood was a different species that what it was or what another expert said. Also, the species rarely yielded a higher price for us. More important than species, dimensions were what brought a higher price. The longer and wider the material, the more demand we found for our product at always at a higher price.

4. The uses of our material varied. We sold to buyers and brokers that worked in flooring, cabinetry, home improvement and furniture. If the wood has defects, such as worm holes or bolt holes, it still has value (often more value).

5. Screen prospective buyers and brokers diligently. It was usually unproductive to meet buyers on site unless they are serious, established, and broker material as a full time occupation. It is important to get aligned with a broker that he works for your. Brokers may bring in multiple parties to buy your material. There also may be a broker for the buyer and a broker for the seller.

6. The intranet is a good place to start to generate interest in your material. Wood Planet.com, Craigslist, and Google searches on “Reclaimed Lumber” generated good leads.

7. It helps to have a great story to tell about the barn that you reclaimed (see “Our Bourbon Barn”).

Operations – 9 tips

1. Count the board feet of your material it after it is stacked, so that you know if there is shrinkage and show the buyer that you are organized. It helps to put a placard on each stack identifying the quantity, type, etc.

2. Train your crew on the types of species so they do not mix oak in with poplar or pine. A knife cut to show grain, a simple map board, or a scale can indicate the different grades and species of wood.

3. Make sure that there is space for flat bed semi trucks can be easily loaded and maneuvered.

4. Safety and security: make sure that you are diligent in the way that you secure the wood and equipment. Unfortunately, we encountered multiple thefts or material and tools. Make sure that the project has safety gear, processes, and training.

5. Capital equipment: we should have purchased a long fork lift. If you make the capital investment you can sell it once the project is over. It is an opportunity to reduce labor costs.

6. Organize before you take down the barn. We should have planned better on where we would put the stacks of wood.

7. Don’t work your crew in poor conditions. W spent hundreds of hours working our crew in muddy, wet conditions where the productivity was bad.

8. Make sure you have licenses, insurance, permits and cash. Having insurance for you crew and having the funds to pay the crew is important. Several of our crew members to include one of the principles stepped on nails.

9. Take plenty of photos of all phases of the project, even before the project. Have samples ready to ship.

Summary

My partner says that he would never tear down another barn. I disagree. If I got a really good deal I think that the lessons we learned would make the next project so much more profitable and satisfying.

Our Bourbon Barn: A Rich Kentucky History from its Owners and Descendants

Mr. Wertheimer, from Little Rock, had planned to get into the Restaurant business. He met the Ripey’s at a party, and they got into the Liquor business together. Mr. Wertheimer became the co-owner of the Hoffman Distillery Company with the Ripey Family (of Lawrenceburg, KY) in the 1940s (shortly before WWII). Mr. Wertheimer’s grandson, Edward, was born in 1933 said that the distillery and warehouse was erected 50-65 years before he was born, dating the barn back to the 1880s. Our barrel barn was the oldest warehouse on the distillery property. There were a total three warehouses at one time. The other two were erected after his grandfather got co-ownership. Edward spent much of his youth having fun on the creek in Lawrenceburg. Later, Edward Wertheimer, of Cincinnati, sold the property to Julian Van Winkle III in 1981. It was renamed the Commonwealth Distillery Company, where bourbon was labeled under Old Rip Van Winkle. Julian (of Louisville) sold to the owner (in 2000) we purchased it from in 2007. Sadly, much of this history is lost (not recorded), which is one the author’s purposes of the article.

Prior to WWII, the bourbon barrels were floated down the creek, which feeds the Salt River, which connects the bourbon distillery to its original warehouse. Barrel handlers manually lifted the barrels from the creek and placed into the warehouse. The barrels were full and waterproof. After trucks were common place in this region of Kentucky, the barrels were no longer floated down the river. Another interesting fact was that there is a shed across the road where a government gauger lived. The shed still exists. Every barrel was taxed and had to be stamped by the government employee.

Shuffleboard Rules (Indoor Table Game)

Standard Rules:

• Before the game begins, you first must decide who gets to throw last, called The Hammer.
• To decide who gets The Hammer, each player throws one puck. The puck that is furthest gets The Hammer.
• Each player has 4 pucks to throw during a round. Typically, 2 player or 4 player games are played. During a 2 player game, both players throw from the same end of the board, in alternating order. The player with The Hammer will throw second, so that they have the last throw of the round. Once the round is complete, both players rotate to the other end of the board for the next round. The object of the game is to score as many points, during each round, as possible.
• This can be done by either hitting your own pucks into favorable positions or hitting your opponent’s pucks off the board.
• The player that reaches 15 points first, is the winner.
• In a 4 player game, teammates are located at opposite ends of the board and players never rotate to the other end.
• The team that reaches 21 points first, is the winner.

Scoring:

• Only one player (team) can score during a round. The player (team) with the furthest puck is awarded points. Points are awarded according to the numbered sections on the table.
• The scoring team receives points for every puck that is further than the furthest opponents puck.
• If a puck does not reach the foul line during game play, it should be removed immediately.
• If a puck is hanging over the end of the board, it is called A Hanger, and is worth 5 points.
• The loser of a round always receives The Hammer during the next round, regardless of the total score (i.e. The winner of the round shoots first during the next round)
• Games must be won by 2 or more points. In a 2 player game, if the score is 15-14, additional rounds continue until a team leads by two or more and is declared the winner.
• If you cannot determine which team’s puck is further, than no points are awarded. In very close situations, it is typical to use an outside judge to make the call.
• It is acceptable to walk down the board and check puck positions during a round.
• It is acceptable to use shuffleboard powder / wax / sand… only between rounds.
• Please see the diagram for an example of scoring.

Alternate Games:

Bocce
• Very similar game to Curling, except any spot on the table can be chosen, beyond the foul line.
• Chose a spot on the table that is easily recognizable and won’t move when hit (painted numbers)
• Players alternate throwing, and the player with the closest puck to the spot wins. If the closer player has multiple pucks closer, then they score a point for each.
• The other major difference to curling is that the first team to reach 9 points wins. In curling a fixed number of rounds are played.

Tap & Draw
• In this game, you never want to knock another puck off the board. The goal is still to have the furthest puck down the board to score points. If you knock one of your own pucks off, it is lost.
• If you knock an opponent’s puck off the board, your puck is removed and your opponent’s puck is replaced on the board in its original position. If this situation occurs and you also knock one of your other pucks into the furthest position, this puck must be returned to the original positions
• The advantage is to throw first in this game. If a player wins a round, then the opponent receives first throw in the subsequent round.

Horse collar
• Opponents are at opposite ends of the board. During a round, one player shoots all eight pucks and receives points for all pucks in scoring positions.
• The opponent then throws all eight pucks and receives points for all in scoring position.
• This is continued until one player achieves 51 points.
• An equal number of rounds must be played by each opponent. So, if the first player to throw reaches 51, the opponent gets their round to try and exceed 51.
• In 4 player games, teammates are on the same side of the board and alternate throwing pucks.

Baseball
• All the rules are consistent with regular shuffleboard, except a fixed number of rounds are played instead of playing to a point total.
• The player/team with the highest point total after 9 “innings” wins. If the game is tied, additional rounds are played until a player / team wins by 1 point or more.

Industrial Vinyl Flooring – A Good Choice For Your Home

When it comes to flooring materials used for industrial and commercial applications, it is very important that you choose those that are durable and, at the same time, affordable. With industrial vinyl flooring, you can have these two features. It is not really surprising that a lot of office buildings, warehouses and many other big facilities make use of industrial vinyl tiles.

The good news is that you can also take advantage of the strength and affordability of this type of flooring tiles or sheets. On top of these qualities, here is why you may want to use industrial or commercial vinyl flooring for your home.

Although this type of commercial flooring material is a bit more expensive, it is still worth the cost because it is durable. If ordinary vinyl tile has an average lifespan of 7 years, an industrial vinyl tile can last even twice as long. So, even if the price difference is $1 per square foot, it is still a more practical product to choose.

If you think that you cannot afford commercial vinyl flooring for all the rooms in your home, it is advisable that you use ordinary vinyl tiles for rooms that are not frequently used or have low foot traffic, such as the guest room. But it is a good idea to use industrial vinyl products for the kitchen, bathroom and other rooms that are usually occupied or frequented.

Another reason for using industrial flooring is that it has greater grip on your feet compared to other types of flooring. Some surfaces usually are slippery when wet. Although vinyl tiles can also be slippery if damp, they do provide more traction.

But for your children and for your safety as well, it is always best to wipe up any traces of water or moisture on the floor to avoid accidents, no matter what flooring material is used. There are also industrial vinyl sheets and mats that have more fillers or padding. This means that the vinyl surface is insulated and is better for your feet.

Lastly, industrial vinyl flooring also comes in many designs, colors, styles and sizes. You do not have to choose from just white, black, brown and gray. In fact, you can find tiles that are orange, green, yellow, pink and even lilac.

Although industrial vinyl tiles and sheets are great for floors, they can also be used to design walls. If you want brick walls, for example, you can just buy vinyl sheets that look like brick rather than buy the expensive bricks . . .

Do it Yourself Scaffold Towers

The procedure for building scaffold towers used to be a complicated affair and for the ordinary DIY painter or self-employed tradesman, setting up a scaffolding structure was avoided at all costs.

Scaffold of yesteryear was substantial and required a large lorry in order to move it from one site into the next. It required an additional helper (or even a number of people depending on the scale of the project) which were skilled in tower construction. These professional scaffolding workers didn’t come cheap, and the expense of setting up a scaffolding structure would often inflate the initial builder’s quotation to such a degree that it would often discourage clients from having the work done. To get over this problem many builders, anxious not to pass-up business would likely conjure up some ramshackle method to completely avoid the requirement for scaffold. This as you can imagine resulted in countless serious injuries involving falls and therefore prompted new regulations to be implemented.

The advance in access tower design combined with revised rules and guidelines has contributed significantly to scaffolding safety. Today’s modern alloy folding scaffold systems are extremely light and also less of a challenge to assemble. Thus aluminium tower systems are now extensively used by both amateurs and professionals alike and offer a good substitute for professional scaffolding installation.

Prior to utilizing an access tower as part of a do-it-yourself renovation or perhaps repair job, it’s important to be familiar with the safety recommendations.

The Work at Height regulations 2005 advises that an assessment of the methods to be used has to be completed to make sure there is not any alternative to working at height or more appropriate apparatus. This simple evaluation should be executed for any job needing an elevated operating platform.

When the evaluation is completed and if a tower is considered to be the best apparatus to do the job, one must learn the best way to erect the scaffold system properly.

1) You should if at all possible use one other person in addition to yourself (particularly for everybody who is putting together a big tower) or possibly a team of people depending on the magnitude of the installation.

2) One or two person’s must be designated to carry out the construction.

3) Another who will check and make certain the right tools will be ready to use when needed.

4) Your entire crew must work with safety harnesses.

5) Positively no corroded parts ought to be used to build the scaffold system.

6) Any locking parts of the tower system will need to be looked at and tested for possible failure before they are added to the construction.

7) Casters ought to be scrutinized and examined for deterioration and brakes tested for efficacy.

There are 2 main licensed methods that are approved by the prefabricated aluminium scaffolding manufacturers association (PASM) however, one of the most trusted is the 3T (through the trapdoor) method. This entails positioning of a trapdoor platforms at intervals of two metres using 2, three or four rung frames in the base depending upon completed height. This means that it is possible to clamber through the trapdoor as well as sit on the working platform to complete guard railing at each and every stage of construction. Using this method insures that you will be constantly guarded against any mishaps whilst the tower system building is in progress.

For those who have hired or bought you’re their own apparatus, make sure you read the manufacturers instruction. The majority of manufacturers have a obligation to provide guidance manuals, these should clearly show the tower erection routine. When producer’s instructions are followed diligently, a high quality modern day access system or combo ladder is by far the most secure option for working at heights.

Five Simple Steps to Install Laminate Wood Flooring

You love the look of real wood and have always dreamed of owning

a home with beautiful wood floors. But, is hardwood the best

choice for you? Have you considered a very attractive alternative

laminate wood flooring?

Laminate wood flooring is much less expensive than hardwood

flooring, it’s very durable, and it comes in almost endless colors

and patterns. Laminate flooring can fool the most finicky of

friends. Your friends may very well compliment you on your

beautiful wood floors! You’ll have to decide whether or not to

confess that your floors are laminate.

Most often, friends will be very curious about your laminate

floor and its installation. They will be impressed when they find

out just how easy it is to install a laminate floor — and that

you did it yourself!

Here are five simple steps to follow when installing your new

laminate floor:

1. Prepare the Sub Floor

Since laminate flooring is a “floating” floor your preparations

will be minimal. The “sub floor” is the floor you are installing

the laminate flooring on. You can install laminate flooring over

tile, vinyl, concrete, natural stone, etc. The main point to

ensure is that the floor is level and flat. Make sure that you

remove any old carpet nails or lumps of glue that are ¼ inch high

or higher. Any holes that are larger than three inches should be

filled in. Be sure to clean the sub floor — remove debris,

dirt, dust, etc before beginning your project.

2. Determine the Amount of Flooring Needed

Measure the length and width of the room where the new floor will

be installed. Multiply the width times the length to get the

square footage of the room.

For example, a room that is 12 ft wide and 14 ft long would be

168 square feet. To simplify, round off the number to 170 square

feet. If the brand of laminate flooring you are using comes in

planks in a box of approximately 17 square feet, you will need

about 10 boxes of flooring. You will need to add 5-10% more

flooring due to waste when the boards are cut or for the few

mistakes that may occur as you are learning. To be sure you will

have enough, and extra is always better than running out, you need

to buy about 20 boxes of laminate flooring for the 12 ft by 14 ft

room.

Don’t forget to buy the under layment – a 1/8 inch thick

cushioned plastic that goes under the laminate and works as a

moisture barrier and a sound barrier. The under layment comes in

rolls about three feet wide by about 150 feet long. You will need

the same number of square feet of flooring and under layment.

3. Determine Which Direction to Lay the Floor

Generally, you will want to lay the floor planks parallel to the

light that enters the room.

4. Start Laying Your New Laminate Floor

Roll out the under layment across the length of the room in the

direction you will be laying your floor. Cut the under layment

to fit all the way across the floor with an overlap of about an

inch on each end.

Lay out a row of planks to determine how many will fit.

Beginning in the corner, lay the first plank on top of the under

layment. Place ¼ inch spacers between the plank and the wall on

the end and sides of the plank. Make sure that the under layment

comes up higher along the wall than the laminate plank. Lay the

second plank along the short side of the first plank and snap them

together. Continue this until you can no longer place a whole

plank on the floor.

At this point, you will need to measure how long of a plank you

will need to fill the remaining spot. Using an electric handsaw,

you can easily cut the plank. Snap that piece into place and your

first row is completed.

Use the cut piece as the first plank in the second row. On this

row and continuing rows, you will snap the plank onto the long

side of the previous row. The subsequent planks will be snapped

into place on the long side of the previous row but than also must

be snapped into the short side of the new row. You will need to

use a hammer and a special block to gently move the new plank into

position. Continue this process until all rows are complete.

5. Finish the Edges

Now all you need is to finish the edges. Add baseboards or ¼

round trim to the edges of the room to create a finished look.

Also, install door jams to separate your new laminate flooring

from other types of flooring.

At this point, your floor should look fabulous. Congratulate

yourself on a job well done. Replace your furniture and invite a

few friends over to enjoy your new floor with you. Chances are

you will receive many compliments.

Finishing Your Canvas Print With Lacquer

Canvas prints are a great way to turn your favorite photos into fantastic works of art. This is mainly because canvas is very durable and can last for several years. Unfortunately, no matter how durable canvas is, it is also prone to damage. The image printed or drawn on it could fade, particularly if the canvas art is always exposed to sunlight.

Fortunately, there is a solution for this. Finishing your canvas art with lacquer can protect the painting from fading and scratching, thereby increasing its durability. A lacquer finish can also enhance a canvas print’s quality.

When ordering a canvas print of your favorite photo, you can ask your service provider to apply a lacquer finish to your canvas art. If they do not offer this particular service your can apply the lacquer finish yourself. The process is fairly simple. Here is how to finish your canvas print with lacquer:

First, gather all the things you will be using. You will need the following items:

Lacquer

Spray gun or brush

Or

Lacquer in a spray can

Start by preparing your work space. Cover the area you will be working on with plastic or newspaper. You should also cover other nearby items that you do not want to be spattered with lacquer. Your work space should be well-ventilated and without open flames nearby.

Pour lacquer into your spray gun. Spray guns are available at your local hardware store. You can opt to use lacquer in a spray can. However, using a spray gun has an advantage: a better, more even coverage. You can also use a brush-on lacquer. Pour a generous amount of lacquer on shallow dish. This is where you will be dipping your brush.

If you are using a spray gun, test it first by spraying it right onto the newspaper or plastic. This will give you an idea of what the gush of lacquer will be like.

Before you start spraying or painting your canvas print with lacquer, first make sure that the ink or paint of the print is completely dry. It may be a smart move to wait for about three days before applying the lacquer finish to make sure that the ink or paint has completely dried. Otherwise, the lacquer could smudge it.

Once you have ascertained that the ink or paint is completely dry you can start spraying or painting your canvas print with lacquer. Start at a top corner and spray or paint evenly across toward the other corner, then down, and then work your way back to the side where you started from. Continue spraying or painting lacquer in this manner until you have covered the entire surface are of your canvas print. If you are using a brush, work quickly and spread the lacquer as evenly as possible.

Do not go back to other areas that you have already applied lacquer to. Also, avoid applying a thick layer of lacquer on the first coat. If you prefer a thick layer of lacquer, you can apply a second coat. However, do not apply the second coat right away. Let the first coat of lacquer dry for one to two days and then apply the second coat.