French Drain – How to Dig a Hidden Drainage Ditch

A French drain usually consists of a trench filled with gravel and is intended to redirect water. If water runs down a slope on your property and collects somewhere undesirable then a French drain is a perfect solution.

You need to find somewhere appropriate to direct the water to, this should NOT be someone else’s property. Often there is no desirable place in your garden to flood so it is likely that you will have to choose the ‘lesser of two evils’ when picking a location. Remember that the drain will need a slight slope to carry the water away effectively. A gradient of 1% is often used for French drains.

When you have found a location for your drain where it will be able to direct water to a safe location you will need to dig the trench. To ensure that you are digging to the correct depth you will need create a reference point. Place two wooden posts at either end of the trench and string some mason’s line between the two posts. The line needs to be taut and level. Use a spirit level to check that the line is even.

Dig a trench between the two posts. A typical French drain would be around 15 cm wide although you can make it wider than this if you feel that you need a greater amount of drainage. The drain should be around 15cm deep as well and should be sloped. Use the mason’s line to check that you are digging to the right depth remembering that you should be adding extra depth as you progress along the trench.

When the trench is finished, line it with landscape fabric and then fill with gravel. Fold the top of the landscape sheet over the gravel, effectively making a tube of gravel along the length of the trench. Cover this with a layer of coarse sand and then a sheet of landscape fabric. Finally cover this with a layer of topsoil and grass if necessary.

Your drain will not be visible but water should drain through it. If done correctly you will have stopped large amounts of water from rolling down onto your property.

Palm Trees Suitable For Containers Used Outside And Inside Your Home Or Office

Dioon (Gum) Palm Tree – Dioon spinulosum Giant Dioon is technically a cycad of pre-historical origin, and the Dioon palm tree can grow up to 1 ½ ft. in diameter with a Dioon trunk growing twelve feet tall. The bright waxy-green leaves of the Dioon are feather-like and pointed on the tips. The giant Dioon palm tree is a favorite container plant and will tolerate temperatures of 25 degrees F., without any significant effect or leaf change.

Bamboo Palm Tree, Reed Palm Tree – Chamaedorea erumpens, Chamaedorea seifrizii The Bamboo Palm tree thrives indoors when grown in low light. The Bamboo Palm tree is a popular and successful plant for growing in homes, offices, malls and courtyards. The bamboo-like segments are spreading by underground shoots, resulting in this bamboo-like container palm tree being easy to grow and maintain. The plant care is simple, requiring simple watering. As a native grown palm tree from Mexico, the Bamboo Palm is found growing as an understory palm tree under taller palm trees.

Lady Palm Tree – Rhapsis excelsa The Lady Palm tree historically dates back to the 1600’s when Japanese and Chinese propagated the palm trees to be grown inside the Imperial residences. The Lady palm trees were imported by European monarchs and admired because of their qualities of long-life, easy maintenance and unique beauty and their attraction to be used as an ornamental plant. Lady Palm trees, Rhapsis excelsa, can grow twelve feet tall in clumps or clusters under low artificial light. Very few palm trees have the advantage of large indoor growing as does the Lady Palm tree, Rhapsis excelsa.

Ponytail (Bottle) Palm Trees – Beaucamea recurvata Often called the Elephant Foot palm tree, the Ponytail (Bottle) palm tree, Beaucamea recurvata, grows a swollen base, shaped like a perfume bottle with a narrow neck that corresponds to the trunk capped with a canopy of (ponytail) leaves. Often grown as a low-light bonsai specimen, the Ponytail palm tree can grow for years and years and slowly grows-easily manageable. Ponytail palm trees are available in variegated forms but are difficult to maintain when compared to the green form of the Ponytail palm trees (Bottle), Beaucamea recurvata.

Queen palm trees, Syagrus romanzoffianum (Arecastrum romanzoffianum) (Queen Palm) The Queen palm trees grow to 50 feet tall in zones 9-11 and is cold hardy in temperatures of 20* F. The Queen palm tree can be easily grown in large pots that add a tropical flair to pool and patios. In the deep south, Queen palm trees are landscaped for parking lots, airport entrances, commercial, and home landscapes. Queen palm trees grow fast and provide fast growing for shade and the tropical look. Queen palm trees, Syagrus romazoffianum (Queen Palm) are important container trees for screens used for outside restaurants and cafes.

Triangle (Madagascar-Triangle) palm tree, Dypsis decaryi. The triangle shape of the leaf bases makes the triangle palm trees from the island of Madagascar, a popular palm tree in the nursery trade. The Madagascar (Triangle) palm tree thrives in full sun and is cold hardy to below freezing temperatures. The Madagascar (Triangle) palm tree, Dypsis decaryi, will turn heads to attention when grown and planted at outside restaurants and cafes in containers.

Zamia (Coontie) Palm Tree – Zamia pumila William Bartram, the famous American botanist and explorer discovered the Zamia Palm tree growing in Central Florida on an expedition in the year 1773. William Bartram wrote page 160 in his book Travels. “The Zamia pumila the Erythryna corallodendrum (Cardinal Spear), and the Cactus opuntia, grow there in great abundance in perfection. The first grows in pine forests, in tufts or clumps, a large conical strobile disclosing, its coral red fruit which appears singularly beautiful amidst the deep green fern-like pinnate leaves.” William Bartram’s description for Zamia (Coontie) palm trees, Zamia pumila is vivid and accurate even 233 years past. Zamia (Coontie) palm trees thrive as outside plants, Zones 9-11, also as containerized palm trees for that tropical look. Clumps of Zamia pumila can easily divide to form real plants or the seeds can be planted to grow new Zamia (Coontie) palm trees that are fast growing.

Zamia (Cardboard) palm tree – Zamia furfuracea The cardboard palm tree is a clumping cycad that grows 3 feet tall in tight clusters that often reach a diameter of 6 feet. The fleshy base is full of water, giving drought protection. The cardboard palm tree, Zamia furfuracea, can be planted outside where temperatures do not go below freezing, and is especially popular to use as bedding plants at resorts such as the Cloister Hotel at Sea Island, Georgia. As a container plant, the cardboard palm tree grows well as specimen or accent plants.

Teams – The 7 Pillars of Team Success

Teams have one overarching purpose and that is to get results. While there are many factors that contribute to the success and results that are achieved, there are some common factors or pillars to team success.

Pillar 1: Common goals

A batch of individuals only becomes a team when they are working to a common purpose or goals. In other words they are collectively responsible for working to delivering a common result or outcome. The extent to which common goals can be set depends on there being real dependency on each other to deliver results.

Pillar 2: Trust

Trust is one of the most challenging areas when it comes to teams. Most of us are conditioned to focus on things as individuals rather than trust and rely on others. Some of the ways in which you can create trust include setting clear expectations, demonstrating reliability and being supportive of each other.

Pillar 3: Communication

Successful teams will have effective communication in place. Specifically, the members of the team and the team leader need to be highly effective listeners. Most of us are skilled at speaking and writing but fewer are really skilled when it comes to listening. For most teams, if there was one area to focus on developing to be more effective would be listening skills.

Pillar 4: Positiveness

Some people are glass half empty and others are glass half full people. In other words, some people focus on what could go wrong while others focus on what could go right. Successful teams have a glass half full outlook and are highly positive.

Pillar 5: Proactiveness

Successful teams don’t wait for permission to do things or procrastinate. They get on and make things happen. It is easy to sit back and say I can’t do this because I don’t have this or that. It is tougher to say, I have this issue, how can I overcome it. Successful teams ask that question and find a way through the obstacles.

Pillar 6: Results focus

The purpose of a team is to deliver results. Results can often be confused with process. For example make 6 sales is a definite result while make 6 sales calls is process. Successful teams will know what they have to deliver and focus their time and energies on delivering the results.

Pillar 7: Shared accountability

One of the major distinctions in teams is that they have shared accountability or collective responsibility for the results that are or are not achieved. They are all in it together.

Teams can really make a difference to the results that are delivered. So what pillar do you need to work on to develop even more effective teams?

Navigate Your Way to Proper Internal-External Hemorrhoid Coding

Do not miss CPT 2010 ‘either/or’ instruction for hemorrhoid location.

You cannot select a hemorrhoidectomy code if you do not know the distinction between internal and external hemorrhoids. Let our experts take you through the anatomy and coding maze to help you select the right code.

Location should guide you

According to Marcella Bucknam, CPC, CCS-P, CPC-H, CCS, CPCP, COBGC, CCC, manager of compliance education for the University of Washington Physicians Compliance Program, “External hemorrhoids occur outside the ‘anal verge,’ which is at the distal end of the anal canal.”

On the other hand, “internal hemorrhoids are proximal to the anal verge and can be much tougher to diagnose and treat,” she carries on.

Important to identifying different hemorrhoid types is… the dentate line. The line is a mucocutaneous junction about a cm above the anal verge, and “can be seen separating the anus from the rectum,” says Suzan Berman, CPC, CEMC, CEDC, senior manager of coding and compliance in the surgery and anesthesiology departments at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Internal hemorrhoids take place above the dentate line, and external hemorrhoids occur below the line.

Best option: Knowing the lingo might help you translate op notes, however having your physician indicate “internal” or “external” will bring down any potential coding mistakes.

Look for ‘Internal’ Excision Instruction

Lack of specific internal hemorrhoid excision codes can be perplexing.

For example: “The only code I can come up with the excision of one internal hemorrhoid is the unlisted code 46999 (Unlisted procedure, anus),” according to Sandra Sickler CPC, CCS, coder with Countryside Surgery Center in Clearwater, Fla.

Here’s a solution: By adding the following text note, this year’s CPT codes allow you to utilize certain codes for internal and/or external hemorrhoids: “For excision of internal and/or external hemorrhoid(s), look at 46250-46262, 46320.” That means you can use 46255 (Hemorrhoidectomy, internal and external, single column/group) for the excision of one internal hemorrhoid (or 46260 [… 2 or more columns/groups] for excision of multiple internal hemorrhoids), according to Bucknam.

You might go for 46945 (Hemorrhoidectomy, internal, by ligation other than rubber band; single hemorrhoid column/group) or 46946 (… 2 or more hemorrhoid columns/groups) for certain internal hemorrhoid excisions, says Linda Parks, MA, CPC, CMC, CMSCS, an independent coding consultant in Atlanta. Called “transfixion suture excision”, the surgeon places a crisscross stitch and ties off the base of the hemorrhoid with the suture (ligation) to be in charge of bleeding. Then the surgeon excises and does away with the remaining hemorrhoid.

One more problem: Your surgeon might excise a thrombosed internal hemorrhoid, however 46320 (Excision of thrombosed hemorrhoid, external) describes an external hemorrhoid procedure. Based on the new text note for internal and/or external codes, you can report 46320 for internal hemorrhoids, says Bucknam.

Follow ‘External’ Rules for the Right Code Choice

Even though the new text note for internal and/or external codes might seem to allow 46255 for a single external hemorrhoid, a separate text note following 46250 directs, “for hemorrhoidectomy, external, single column/group, go for 46999.”

Likewise, for excision of multiple external hemorrhoids you should make use of the most specific code 46250 (Hemorrhoidectomy, external, 2 or more columns/groups) rather than 46260.

Look at ‘Internal and External’ Codes for ‘Mixed’ Removals

Your surgeon may excise a “mixed” or confluent hemorrhoid that starts above the dentate line and extends below it. These hemorrhoids show attributes of both an external and internal hemorrhoid. You can find out what codes you should select by subscribing to the General Surgery Coding Alert.

Extra Large Outdoor Mats

Outdoor mats are an item that can serve many purposes and prove to be very useful. They can be utilized to help keep dirt, mud and water out of your home. For example, if you or a guest in your home has terribly muddy or wet feet, and outdoor mat will give that person a place to get rid of some or most of that mess before they enter your home. These mats also work well as a place to sit, lay under a vehicle and various other activities. You will find that outdoor mats come in a variety of different materials and sizes. Extra large outdoor mats are great for anyone who has need for an outdoor mat. These mats come in the same variety of materials as their smaller counterparts do. AstroTurf is always a popular material for extra large outdoor mats as well as various rubbers. AstroTurf is simply a sort of synthetic grass. These different materials will cater better to different situations.

AstroTurf, or synthetic grass, is perfect for removing debris of any type from a person’s shoes. Rubber with texture added to it also does a great job of removing dirt and other build up from your shoes before you enter your home. If you are looking for an extra large outdoor mat for outside your front of back door, AstroTurf and textured rubber are great for this position. Both of these materials have proven to be very durable and will last you for many years. These types of are usually very affordable and are a good investment. Another durable material is plastic. In fact, these may be the most common style of extra large outdoor mat. There are also polyurethane type that are designed to remove unwanted dirt and such from your should. All of these fore mentioned outdoor mats are very simple to take care of, which is another advantage of owning one. You will find that they are very easy to clean.

If you are interested in an extra large outdoor mat, you will have no problem finding a large selection of them on the internet and in retail stores everywhere. There is a wide variety of these products. There are plain styles or intricate designs.

Carpet – Benefits and Advantages

Carpet is a popular floor fitting, prized for its warmth, versatility, insulation abilities and the protection it provides unfinished floors. If you’re considering installing carpeting in your home, keep reading to learn about the benefits and advantages of this practical and fashionable product.

Safety

First and foremost, a carpeted floor is a safer floor. The soft surface and cushioned under-padding not only reduce the impact of a fall, but also the likelihood of it happening in the first place. Carpet is inherently slip-resistant, meaning it’s harder to slip and fall.

Sound Reduction

If you live in a busy home with lots of traffic, you know how loud wood or laminate floors can be. Carpet stifles noise and reduces echoes in three ways; absorbing the impact of foot traffic, soaking up room sounds and echoes and finally, by blocking sound from carrying between floors (especially helpful in condo apartments or multi-family homes).

Warmth & Insulation

Carpet provides excellent warmth underfoot, making it a great choice for chilly bedrooms or stark offices. Carpet also acts as an insulator. The combination of the carpet and its under-padding acts as an additional layer of insulation in your home and – depending on the weight and grade of your carpet – it can even add to the R-value of your home.

Ease of Care

Most carpets made today are made to be highly stain-resistant, meaning clean up is easy. With just a damp cloth or a quick vacuuming, your floors look as good as new. Because carpets trap dust and allergens, they can also improve the air quality in your home as long they’re properly cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.

Flexibility and Style

Carpet isn’t limited to just a few colors or grains. You can get carpet in any style, design, color or pattern that you want. Because of its versatility, carpet fits in well in any design scheme.

Low Cost

Typically, carpet costs significantly less than other types of flooring like tile, marble or hardwood. Even with professional installation, carpet tends to cost much less than other types of flooring options.

Warranty

Unlike many hard surface flooring, most carpeting comes with an extensive manufacturer’s warranty that covers pile, installation and craftsmanship.

Because of its quality, low cost, design flexibility, ease of care, warmth, safety and ability to reduce sound in your home – carpet is typically the number one flooring choice for most homeowners.

Persian Carpets, Oriental Rugs: Designs With Animal Motifs

In the designs of Persian carpets and Oriental rugs, animals, birds, and insects are often displayed. They can be highly stylized, or extremely realistic like the wild animals on the hunting designs of some Persian rugs. Bat, bee, beetle, butterfly, crab, camel, deer, dog, dove, dragon, duck, lion, elephant, magpie, parrot, peacock, phoenix, rooster, scorpion, sparrow, squirrel, stork, tarantula, tiger, and tortoise are the animals most frequently found in the pattern of Oriental or Persian carpets. As you might have expected, most of these creatures have a symbolic value above and beyond their mere decorative presence and meaning.

The scorpion and the tarantula denote viciousness and poison, and also represent defense. They are often found in the borders of Caucasian rugs such as Kazak and Shirvan. Perhaps their continued presence beneath the feet teaches children to be fearless and therefore diminishes the risk of them being stung by attempting to run away from a live example. The camel denotes wealth and happiness. This is a logical symbol since this animal is both an invaluable means of transportation for desert nomads and a great source of food as well. The crab seems to have no symbolic significance, although it is, of course, one of the great astrological signs. Three universal power symbols are the dragon, the elephant, and the lion. The elephant is a symbol of royalty in India. The dragon symbolizes evil in Persia and death in India, whereas it represents a commanding power in China. The lion is an almost universal image for strength, authority, and in some countries such as India, royalty. Where fighting animals are displayed on Oriental and Persian carpets, the eternal struggle between good and evil is perhaps intended to be underlined. Among Chinese symbols, the bat represents happiness, the bee immortality, and the beetle denotes creation. The butterfly, often shown on the border of Chinese rugs, represents pride while the crow is a sign of ill luck both for the Chinese and the Indians. The dove universally indicates peace and companionship, and the duck is always a symbol of a faithful and happy marriage. The tortoise, perhaps because of its own slowness and extremely long life-span, naturally represents longevity and immortality as does the deer.

The parrot represents the courier of life whereas the rooster often symbolizes the devil and is found on some rugs as a charm against evil. The magpie, although seldom displayed on rugs, represents fortune and good luck. The squirrel is sacred to Hindus, signifying the God’s protection. Symbols of flowers and fruits, such as palm and willow, are also seen on carpets, often indicating deep religious meaning and heavenly immortality through death.

The presence of animals and birds in the designs of rugs is not only for decoration purposes, but also helps in determination of their origin, although it takes a long time and years of experience to pinpoint the exact place of birth for hand-knotted rugs. A serious interest in Persian and Oriental rugs, without a doubt, should have its own rewards if the student looks at, examines, and reads about as many rugs as he possibly can. The task becomes so much easier with technological advances which make all types of information so readily available.

Carpet – Benefits and Advantages

Carpet is a popular floor fitting, prized for its warmth, versatility, insulation abilities and the protection it provides unfinished floors. If you’re considering installing carpeting in your home, keep reading to learn about the benefits and advantages of this practical and fashionable product.

Safety

First and foremost, a carpeted floor is a safer floor. The soft surface and cushioned under-padding not only reduce the impact of a fall, but also the likelihood of it happening in the first place. Carpet is inherently slip-resistant, meaning it’s harder to slip and fall.

Sound Reduction

If you live in a busy home with lots of traffic, you know how loud wood or laminate floors can be. Carpet stifles noise and reduces echoes in three ways; absorbing the impact of foot traffic, soaking up room sounds and echoes and finally, by blocking sound from carrying between floors (especially helpful in condo apartments or multi-family homes).

Warmth & Insulation

Carpet provides excellent warmth underfoot, making it a great choice for chilly bedrooms or stark offices. Carpet also acts as an insulator. The combination of the carpet and its under-padding acts as an additional layer of insulation in your home and – depending on the weight and grade of your carpet – it can even add to the R-value of your home.

Ease of Care

Most carpets made today are made to be highly stain-resistant, meaning clean up is easy. With just a damp cloth or a quick vacuuming, your floors look as good as new. Because carpets trap dust and allergens, they can also improve the air quality in your home as long they’re properly cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.

Flexibility and Style

Carpet isn’t limited to just a few colors or grains. You can get carpet in any style, design, color or pattern that you want. Because of its versatility, carpet fits in well in any design scheme.

Low Cost

Typically, carpet costs significantly less than other types of flooring like tile, marble or hardwood. Even with professional installation, carpet tends to cost much less than other types of flooring options.

Warranty

Unlike many hard surface flooring, most carpeting comes with an extensive manufacturer’s warranty that covers pile, installation and craftsmanship.

Because of its quality, low cost, design flexibility, ease of care, warmth, safety and ability to reduce sound in your home – carpet is typically the number one flooring choice for most homeowners.

Gum Paste Cake Decorating Tips For Beginners

Making gum paste decorations is an art in itself.  The results are durable and can be saved as souvenirs long after the cake has been eaten.  Following are some cake decorating tips to help you along the way as you explore experiment with gum paste:

  • Purchase gum paste at a local arts and craft or cake decorating supply store – some enthusiasts make their own, but you may want to skip this step at first.
  • Familiarize yourself with the many colors available.  You can add color yourself with a gel or paste – or purchase colored gum paste.
  • When coloring be very careful to not use too much color gel or paste.  Knead in tiny amounts at a time.  Application with a toothpick helps you to control the amount you use.
  • Start with simple projects first and then progress to more complicated ones.  A lily is one of the simpler flowers.  Also try creating your own fantasy figures, such as a teddy bear or gnome.
  • You don’t even have to make your own flowers – you can purchase them at a bakery or cake decorating supply center. Ready-made flowers are also useful as templates you can copy.
  • Give yourself lots of time if you are planning to make your own decorations – especially if you are inexperienced.  You can achieve wonderful, colorful results, but the work is very detailed and time consuming – involving cutting, molding, shaping, detailing, and assembling each creation.
  • Keep the gum paste covered at all times and wrap it tightly when you put it away – just like other malleable substances, it is not workable when it dries out.

What Tools Do You Need?

You can purchase a tool kit or only tools that will suit your current project. Some of the tools that are handy for working with gum paste are:

  • Dog bone shaping tool – helps to shape flower petals
  • Shell tool for making lines on flower petals
  • Umbrella, Ball, and Veining tools are other shaping tools specifically designed for flower making
  • Cutters
  • Foam surface to cut on
  • Heavy gauge wire for spearing a piece while you work on it
  • Small brushes.

Finding More Cake Decorating Tips

Unless you are a very artistic person or have experience making decorations with fondant, the most efficient route for acquiring skills will be from an experienced instructor or even an instructional video.  This is probably the most practical gum paste cake decorating tip, that is:  Attend a class or workshop to gain a solid foundation in the skills you need to work with gum paste.  This foundation will be the springboard for your own personal style and creativity.

The Uses of Adhesives

Adhesives are compounds which adhere two different items together. Initially, adhesives were derived from the gums and resins of different plants, but now there are synthetic sources of adhesives which are extremely strong and are gradually making a firm foothold in the construction chemical industry. There is a wide range of their usage, from micro to macro level in our everyday lives. From the packaging of small sachets of shampoo to fixing a full length mirror to its frame, adhesive is used all around us. From mechanical to chemical, and even in cottage industries, you can not rule out the constant contribution of adhesives. They are popular due to their ease of use, versatility and flexibility.

Adhesives have a long list of uses. They are so inextricably linked to our lives that we become oblivious of their presence. But if we look around, we will find some kind of adhesive used in every sphere of our daily lives, be it furniture, gadgets or toys. Their varied use in food packaging to building construction has forced the manufacturers to research and make different kinds to suit different needs. Some are toxic and strong, they serve industrial purpose. Some are mild and free of any kinds of toxics. They are used in making toys for children, infant products or edibles packaging. Some are water resistant and non toxic. For example, adhesives are used in the packaging of ice creams. Liquid can reduce the adherence quality. So you need a strong yet non toxic adhesive which does not come apart when it comes into contact with water or any other kind of liquid.

Traditionally, there were various methods used for fastening, gluing and bonding. They were soldering, welding, brazing and other thermal and mechanical procedures which needed equipment, but now, adhesives are more widely used. They neither need tools and devices nor electricity or batteries to run them. The common uses of adhesives can be divided into two broad categories:

Industrial and Commercial Use

Under this heading comes adhesive usage in all kinds of industries, small or heavy. In small industries like those of food products, toys or stationary items, adhesives play an integral role in processing to packaging. Even the cling wrap around your phone card or the lipstick connected to its base has adhesives playing their roles. In heavy industries, adhesives play a central role, right from assembling spare parts of any machine, car paint or branding them with labels. In the construction industry too, for uniform distribution of stress, woods are bonded with strong adhesives. Apart from that, for painting and furnishing or home décor, adhesives are very essential.

Household Use

Right from sticking envelopes to rejoining broken toys, we use adhesives very frequently. In form of glue sticks, cellotapes or gums, we use adhesives everyday to mend shoes, to glue postage stamps, repair something or attaching tags to gifts.

There are manifold advantages of using adhesives over other adhering processes. Adhesives work faster than other bonding methods. Though surface preparation takes time as well as material cost, yet it is more effective than the traditional process. Unlike thermal or mechanical fastening methods, adhesives offer flexibility of material selection. They are not restricted to joining metals only. It joins larger as well as smaller areas with equal perfection which is an impossible task for other traditional methods. If a related industry can utilise the maximum potential of this flexibility profits would be soaring.

Using adhesives instead of traditional binding ensures a reduced cost of production. It neither needs equipments for drilling, welding, soldering or other fastening agents, nor manual force to operate them. Welding is a rigid method which brings physical changes in the materials adhered. If you need to undo the process after using adhesive, there are agents available to serve your purpose. Using them, the fastening or adherence can be undone without distorting the item retaining their original look. Due to this flexibility, undoing becomes easier. It saves production time and it does not take very long. This not only saves time, but also reduces production costs in the long run. Items needed to fasten are not disfigured or discoloured. So now you can skip the secondary procedure of rectification of these distortions.

In traditional bonding, often you need to drill the item to insert fasteners like nuts or bolts. This weakens the internal structure. Adhesives do not need any foreign props for assembling. At macro level, it saves material cost while at micro level it saves the hassle of a prolonged procedure.

There is a variety of adhesives available at different price ranges. These can be used for different kinds of material surfaces. Unlike welding, they can be used on hardwoods, softwoods, papers and so on. This versatility of adhesives makes it more popular in different industries. They offer effective tensile strength to the surface and substrate bonding. They even join porous materials. Moreover the joints are invisible which ensures a finished product with the least possible blemish.

These adhesives are equally helpful and effective in joining two different kinds of materials with different melting points. In other words, they can join two dissimilar materials too. For industrial use, this is a very important characteristic which makes manufacturers preferring adhesives over traditional fastening procedures.

One of the greatest advantages of adhesive use is that it distributes the stress load uniformly. It does not let the stress be concentrated in one place. Locally accumulated stress further increases the possibility of rupture. Apart from that, since mating surfaces are always in contact, it protects the items against many environmental odds. The continuous bonding makes this possible.

Another remarkable feature of adhesives is it does not affect the weight of the item noticeably. Usually brazing and soldering, along with physical changes, bring change in weight as well. But with adhesive this change is almost negligible. This versatility of adhesives is known to everyone and the same is reflected in its varied usage all around.

Laceration Repair With Skin Glue – How to Do it Right

In recent years, many types of skin glue have appeared on the market for professional and consumer use. I’m often asked during the evaluation of a minor laceration if using glue is an viable option. While it’s a matter of opinion and personal preference of the clinician, there are many variables that can affect the success and cosmetic outcome of a injury repaired with skin glue. To understand these variables, we must first acknowledge that the wound is not actually “glued” together. In other words, you can’t actually apply the glue directly into the meat of the laceration. This is because the chemical in the glue is very irritating to the tissue and will actually dry and form a barrier to the healing tissue. Instead, the glue is applied to the skin surrounding the wound, forming a sort of traction bandage, or “chemical butterfly bandage,” thereby holding the wound together.

For this reason, the role of skin glues is limited to the superficial laceration in which the skin does not have much natural traction holding the wound apart. That means that bony prominences such as elbows, cheekbones, knuckles, and chins are not optimal places to use this technique. On the other hand, wounds that are located in areas with loose skin and naturally hold themselves closed, and are not across a joint, are more likely to have a successful closure and improved cosmetic outcome. These areas include the forehead, forearm, abdomen, inner thigh, and the fatty part of the cheek.

Keep in mind that when you close a laceration with glue, you are essentially forming a waterproof skin across the wound. Therefore if there is any chance of infection, the pus and extracellular fluids will have no place to escape to. For this reason, lacerations occurring from animal bites are not closed in this fashion. In addition, sweat, topical lotions, and especially oily substances, can cause the glue to lift off prematurely, allowing the laceration to reopen before it is healed.

To apply skin glue and effect a proper repair, start by cleaning and irrigating the wound. All foreign bodies and debris should be removed and then the wound should be re-irrigated. You should then hold pressure to the area until all bleeding has completely stopped as this dramatically affects the performance of the glue. Resist the temptation to continually remove the dressing to see if the bleeding has stopped. Just hold pressure and be patient. After the bleeding has completely stopped, you can manually apply traction to the surrounding skin to hold the wound closed. Then apply a strip of glue perpendicularly across the wound. Do not release your grip until the adhesive has dried or else glue will run into the laceration. Apply several coats to ensure strength and allow the glue to completely dry. The wound should hold itself closed at this point and you can test the range of motion of the injured body part to test the closure. Instructed the patient to keep the wound clean and dry, and your done!

Stop-Valves and Gate-Valves

The valves that control your household water system aren’t difficult to understand – or to fit or repair. So the next time one of yours goes wrong, be prepared to put it right yourself.

Stop-valves, gate-valves and ball-valves are all plumbing fittings that in different ways do precisely the same thing, which is to regulate the flow of water through pipes. Each of the three types of valve performs an important function in your water system, and it is therefore in your interest to know not only what they do and how they do it, but also how to put right any of the faults to which they are prone.

In this article we will discuss Stop-valves and gate-valves.

Stop-valves

Your main stop-valve is perhaps the single most important plumbing fitting in your house. In the event of almost any plumbing emergency the very first thing that you should do is turn it off. This will stop the flow of water into your house and reduce the extent of any damage. Looking like a very basic brass tap, your main stop-valve will be found set into the rising main not far from the point where this pipe enters your house. Often it will be located under the kitchen sink.

If your house is fairly old then it could be that it won’t be provided with a main stop- valve. If this is the case, then you will have to use the local water authority’s stop-valve instead. You will find it under a hinged metal flap set into your garden path or the pavement outside your property. This sort of stop- valve usually has a specially-shaped handle that can only be turned with one of the water authority’s turnkeys. So that you can deal promptly with any emergency you should make sure that you either have one of these turnkeys, or at least that you have ready access to one. However, both for the sake of convenience and because specialist gadgets like turnkeys have a habit of disappearing when they’re most needed, you may decide to install a main stop-valve yourself – not a difficult task if the rising main is made of copper pipe.

The internal construction of a stop-valve is identical to that of an ordinary tap, and so it is prone to the same types of faults. But one further trouble that may afflict your stop-valve – which doesn’t crop up with ordinary taps – is that of jamming in the open position as a result of disuse. It’s a problem cured simply by applying penetrating oil to the spindle. However, you can prevent this happening by closing and opening the stop-valve regularly, and by leaving it fractionally less than fully open – a quarter turn towards closure will do.

Gate-valves

Whereas stop-valves are always fitted to pipes that are under mains pressure, gate- valves are used on pipes that are only subject to low pressure. They are therefore found on hot and cold water distribution pipes and on those of the central heating system. Gate-valves differ from stop-valves in as much as they control the flow of water through them, not with a washered valve, but by means of a metal plate or ‘gate’. You can distinguish them from stop-valves by the fact that their valve bodies are bigger, and by their wheel – as opposed to crutch – handles. Due to the simplicity of their internal construction gate- valves require little attention. Unlike stop-valves, which have to be fitted so that the water flowing through them follows the direction of an arrow stamped on the valve body, you can install a gate- valve either way round.

Simple Guides on Making a Strong Wood Mallet

Some folks like to joke that the best tool for any job is a bigger hammer. A woodworker’s joinery mallet, with its massive square head, fits that description, but there’s more to it than that.

A well-designed mallet is light enough to control comfortably but heavy enough to deliver useful power without requiring a wild, roundhouse swing. A mallet also offers a broader striking surface than a hammer, and one that is tailored to the nature of the work. While a carver’s slender mallet allows pinpoint control and a much lighter touch, the joinery mallets broad, flat striking surface is ideal for other tasks that require more force and less flexibility.

A square-headed mallet excels at driving chisels to chop joinery, especially when cutting across the grain for dovetails or mortises. It’s also great for project assembly and other tasks that require a firm rap or two. Another great thing is that a mallet is easy to make.

Start with a blank of splinter-resistant hardwood such as hard maple. A block about 3 in. sq. by 41⁄2 in. to 5 in. long will make a mallet head that is massive and heavy enough to deliver a blow with great force when needed. You can glue up such a block if you don’t have 12/4 stock available, but be aware that the glue joint might fail eventually.

A through-mortise in the mallet head provides an attachment point for the handle. To make it, find and mark the center in the top of the blank. Then, using a drill press or a hand-held drill with a spade bit bore a 3⁄4-in. diameter hole through the blank, top to bottom. Use a rat-tail (round tapering) rasp to elongate the hole on the top of the mallet head by 1⁄16 in. to 1⁄8 in. toward the end grain in each direction. The wider opening should taper down about halfway through the mortise. If you don’t have a rasp or file, a 1⁄2-in. dowel and some course sandpaper will do a decent job.

Next, mark the striking surfaces of the mallet for cutting at a slight angle from top to bottom. An angled surface will strike the butt of a tool handle more squarely because the mallet itself typically will be angled slightly upward when the blow lands. Cutting the ends is simplest on the bandsaw. Plane or sand away the sawmarks. It’s also a good idea to bevel the edges and corners of the block to prevent splintering.

The handle also should be of a sturdy, straight-grained hardwood such as maple, birch, hickory, or oak. Start with a 12-in. length that is 3⁄4 in. thick by 11⁄4 in. wide.

Begin by marking the layout for the tenon that will connect the handle to the head. At one end, mark a centerline to bisect the width of the piece. Use this line to lay out a 3/4-in. square. Next, mark out a shoulder line 31/2 in. from the end of the piece and then cut away the waste on the bandsaw to create the square tenon. The extra 1⁄2 in. of tenon length will allow the tenon to protrude from the mallet head so it can be trimmed flush after glue-up.

Making a square tenon round is relatively easy if you follow the steps shown in the photos on p. 34. (Of course, if you have a lathe, you can turn the entire handle. Once you have a true cylinder, use a scraper, sandpaper, or a smooth file to finish shaping the tenon, testing and fitting until it goes into the mortise. The handle should fit snugly, but you shouldn’t have to strike it to drive the tenon all the way into the mortise.

Next, use a bandsaw or a handsaw to cut a sawkerf about 21⁄2 in. deep down through the center of the tenon and perpendicular to the 11⁄4-in. dimension. This kerf will hold the wedge that secures the handle to the mallet head. You want the wedge parallel to the striking surfaces. If it were parallel to the long grain, it could split the mallet head. Before assembling the mallet, shape the handle for a comfortable grip.

To keep a solid connection between mallet and handle, I drive a glued wedge into the kerf in the top of the handle. This expands the handle against the walls of the mortise and tightens the fit. Make the wedge 2 in. to 3 in. long, no thicker than 1⁄4 in. to 3⁄8 in.

To assemble the mallet, put a little glue on the inside of the mortise and push the handle into place, making sure it’s oriented correctly to the striking surfaces. Next, apply some glue to the wedge and hammer it into the sawkerf. When the glue dries, saw off the wedge and the excess length of handle, then chisel or plane the top smooth.

Wipe on a little Watco or linseed oil for an optional finish. Avoid wax-too much will make the grip slippery.

The Pros And Cons Of A Brick BBQ Smoker

Are you serious about your BBQ? If you are, you may have considered building or purchasing a brick BBQ smoker. Most people are happy to occasionally smoke a few spareribs in a patio smoker, but those who really love their “Q” are frequently tempted by the idea of turning their cooking apparatus into a permanent part of their backyard landscapes.

There are a few good reasons to consider installation of a brick BBQ smoker. Initially, a full-sized brick unit will provide you with the opportunity to create copious quantities of meaty treats in the backyard. You will have more than enough space to handle virtually any BBQ need.

Second, a brick BBQ smoker will allow you to cook for longer periods at lower temperatures than many portable steel models. There is nothing wrong with a big barrel smoker, but it is hard to keep things cooking for prolonged periods at lower temperatures with those popular units than it is with a brick smoker.

Third, you will never need to worry about replacing a brick BBQ smoker. Nothing is truly permanent, but a brick unit is probably just about as close as one can get!

Before you start laying bricks and mortar, however, you might want to consider the downside of a brick BBQ smoker. First, it is not going to be a cheap proposition. Building a brick smoker will require an investment in materials and labor (whether paid or your own personal time).

Second, it is important to realize that most commercially available steel smokers are more than capable of handling most BBQ needs. Brick smokers are great, but you can get similar results from cheaper and more convenient alternatives.

Third, if you move or sell your home, you will be back to square one. A lack of portability is the ugly flipside of permanence.

Finally, you will want to think about convenience. You probably will not build your brick BBQ smoker within feet of your back door. However, you can run a store-bought smoker on the patio. While those extra steps may not seem like much, they do add up over time.

Is a brick BBQ smoker right for you? It is all going to depend on your preferences and individual needs. In some cases, installing a brick unit is a great idea. In other situations, it is probably not the best idea. One thing is for certain, though. You should seriously consider all aspects of the decision before your shovel hits the ground. A brick smoker is a major project and it is not the kind of thing you will want to do before having a very good idea of whether you will like having it on your property.

Different Types of Apartments

There are many types of apartments offered for peoples various needs. For budget-minded single people like me, a loft or single bedroom apartment may be better suited for me than a three-bedroom suite in the heart New York City. Here I will discuss the different possible apartment types that you can either buy or rent. If you know of another type of apartment dwelling, please share!

Studio Apartments These apartments, in my mind, are often associated with the artistic type. This is probably because I relate it to an art studio, which is an open room for the artist to create. But in reality, studio apartments are great for single people who don’t need a large space to live (they are generally 300-600 sq ft, although they can come larger), who are on a budget, or who like open spaces. There is typically one room that functions as the living room, kitchen, dining room, and bedroom while the bathroom is typically separated.

One Bedroom Apartments These apartments are typical for single occupants or couples. They usually contain one bedroom, a separate bath, a living room with a full kitchen usually separated by a wall, counter, or half walls. Sizes can vary greatly in this type of apartment depending on the location and price.

Two Bedroom, Three Bedroom, Four Bedroom Galore Two + bedrooms are great for smaller families and can be similar to the one bedroom layout in an apartment complex. In two bedroom apartments, there is usually a larger bedroom (similar to a master bedroom) with a smaller bedroom. When you get into apartments with more than two bedrooms, there are a vast array of set-ups and most of the time, the bedrooms are similar in size. Smaller apartments usually have one entrance while larger apartments may have two separate ones.

Some Special Perks Some apartments come with special perks in their apartments that home owners may take for granted. These include, but are no where limited to, a foyer, nook, laundry room, and separate dining area. What special features does your apartment have?