How to Hang Wallpaper Like a Pro

Wallpaper can transform a room and make a huge difference in its feel and appearance. Today, wallpapers come in a huge range of exciting patterns and colors – making it easier than ever to complement your home furnishings. Hanging wallpaper is relatively easy to learn but does require attention to detail, especially when hanging patterned wallpaper, which requires matching the seams.

Before beginning, you will need to assemble some tools for the job: Wallpaper, a flat work surface, tape measure and level, utility knife, ladder, drop cloth, sandpaper, spackle and putty knife, and a smoothing brush.

If your wallpaper will be hung on new drywall, make sure to prime the wall first with wallpaper primer to help the paper adhere to the wall. For old walls, first wash dirt or dust off with warm, soapy water, followed by sanding over any chipped paint. Old wallpaper can be removed by using wallpaper remover and a putty knife.

Fill any existing holes and cracks in the walls with putty. If left uncovered, these holes and cracks will show through the paper once it’s hung and can even lead to tears in the wallpaper. Allow the spackle to dry and then sand lightly until the surface is smooth.

Choose a starting place in the room where your first strip of wallpaper will match up with the last strip of wallpaper you hang. Specifically, choose a corner in a room behind a door or near where your curtains will hang so that any mismatch will be less obvious. You want the focal point of your room to have the fewest seams. Use a level to measure out from your starting point and draw a vertical straight edge on the wall. This line marks where your first strip of wallpaper will be placed.

Then, lay the wallpaper print side down, on your working surface. First measure and then cut the strip to the proper length. You may add a couple of inches at the top and bottom of the paper, which will be timed off later to ensure you have measured enough paper. Measure and cut several strips of paper at one time, making sure to match the pattern.

Most wallpaper is pre-pasted. To activate the adhesive on the paper, immerse one strip right side out in room-temperature water in a water tray or bathtub. Beginning at your starting point, line your paper up at the ceiling, carefully unfolding the top half of the paper and placing the side edge of the strip along the measured line. Allow a few extra inches of paper along the top and bottom which will be trimmed off later.

When you have aligned the half top of the paper to its vertical measure line, open the bottom half carefully and gently smooth the wallpaper against the wall with your hands. Begin at one edge and work your way across, using a smoothing brush or damp sponge to smooth out any air bubbles. A seam roller may also be used to smooth down the edges of the wallpaper.

When tackling the corners of the room, measure from the last full-width strip of wallpaper to the corner. Add an inch to that measurement and cut the strip to that width. Apply the wallpaper to the wall, making sure to totally smooth it in the corners. Then make a small slit from the top of the strip to the wall to allow the strip to lay flat at the ceiling. Repeat the same at the bottom and then trim off the top and bottom.

A wide-blade putty knife can be used to hold down the wallpaper strip at the ceiling. A quality utility knife can then be used to trim the excess wallpaper at the top and bottom.

The Fireproof Cabinet Offers More Implicit Benefits Than You Can Imagine

We use many types of cabinets for storing different items. Some people use the cabinet to just hold their goods until they are there. For example a bike driver may place his/her helmet in their cabinet until their stay in the office. There are certain things that have to be held by a normal cabinet. When it comes to the fireproof cabinet, it actually takes up the function of the safety vault. It not just holds the items placed within its compartments and shelves, but also makes sure they are safeguarded against the human factors (burglary) and natural factors (insects, dirt, dust, moisture, fire and flood). You may read ahead to learn about the various features that you have to check before buying one such safety cabinet.

  • You should never hesitate to get the best vault for your purpose, even if it means shelling out a few more bucks from your wallet. Remember that these few more bucks would be safeguarding your future and the guarantee that you can promise to your forthcoming generations.
  • The vault should have a good locking system that is burglarproof. There can be multiple levels of security levels in the vault before accessing the actual contents. This ensures that even if one mechanism fails, the other one covers for it to protect the valuables stored within.
  • Make sure that the strongbox has thick walls wherein the holes cannot be drilled or cannot be cut off by welding methods. These are the normal methods used by the burglars to break open the strongbox.
  • The doors should be airtight to ensure dust and dirt does not get into the vault. When the minuscule dirt cannot get into the box, it is impossible for the insects and mice and geckos to get into the box.

The fireproof cabinet has many shelves. You can segregate different items in each of the fireproof cabinet shelf.

Common Fire Extinguisher Types

Choosing the right type of fire extinguisher can be a confusing task because of the many fire extinguisher types available. You should be very mindful when you choose a fire extinguisher because each type is intended to put out a fire caused by different materials.

Fire extinguishers are categorized into several classes to which they are used for. These extinguishers also have a numerical rating for their use. Class A extinguishers are used for ordinary combustible materials. These include paper, cardboard, plastics, and wood. The numerical rating found on this type of extinguisher shows the amount of water it can hold and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Class B fire extinguishers are specially formulated to put out fires which care caused by flammable and combustible liquids like oil, gasoline, grease, and kerosene. The numerical rating for Class B extinguisher indicates the area of fire in square feet it can extinguish.

Class C fire extinguishers put out fires which involve electrical equipment, including appliances, outlets, wirings, and circuit breakers. When dealing with a class C fire, it is important to remember that water should not be used to extinguish it because the risk of an electric shock is great. Class C extinguishers have extinguishing agents that are non-conducive and they do not have a numerical rating. One of the most common fire extinguisher types are those found in a chemical laboratory. This type is categorized as Class D fire extinguisher and is for fires involving combustible materials like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and titanium. Similar to Class C extinguishers, Class D extinguishers do not have a numerical rating and are to be used exclusively for Class D fires.

Aside from these classifications, fire extinguishers are also categorized according to the extinguishing agent used. Water extinguisher, also known as air-pressurized water extinguisher, is only suitable for class A fires only. Using a water extinguisher on a Class C or Class D fire will only make the fire bigger so be careful when identifying the kind of fire before using a particular extinguisher. A water fire extinguisher is filled with water and is pressurized with oxygen, thus can be very dangerous in the wrong type of situation. Only fight a fire with a water extinguisher if you are sure that the fire is caused by ordinary combustible materials only.

Dry chemical extinguisher is another type of fire extinguisher and has a variety of types. This type of fire extinguisher is suitable for a combination of class A, B, and C fires. Dry chemical extinguishers can be filled with foam or powder, pressurized with nitrogen. The regular type of dry chemical extinguisher is the one which is filled with sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. This is called the BC extinguisher. The BC variety leaves a mildly corrosive residue which needs to be cleaned immediately to prevent further damage.

Another variety is the ABC extinguisher which is a multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher filled with monoammonium phosphate which is damaging to electrical appliances. Compared to CO2 extinguishers, dry chemical extinguishers have the advantage because they leave a non-flammable residue on the extinguished materials.

On the other hand, CO2 extinguishers have the advantage over dry chemical extinguisher such that they don’t leave a harmful residue on an electronic device. These extinguishers contain carbon dioxide and are highly pressurized to extinguish a fire.

These are the most common fire extinguisher types which you can base your selection from. Be sure to choose the most appropriate one so that you are protected.

Barrel Unique Ceiling Designs – 6 Tips For Beautiful Ceilings

I love the satisfaction of designing things in my own home. The decorating that I see everyday has to reflect who I am and the styles that I like. I never advice people to decorate their home with resale in mind. Why would you want to always do that. If my home was just staged to be ready for resale then I would want it to be for sale. I do not want to live in a home that is made ready for someone else. Paint is one of the most stand out changes you can make to a home and one of the least expensive and anyone with any knowledge knows this. The interior paint of a house should never stop you from buying it as this can easily be changed with little expense. I think that one of the most important part of your homes design is the ceilings. Below are 6 tips to getting the ceilings you will enjoy.

1. Add the proper lighting – Never let this option unattended to. lighting is one thing that is harder to come back and ad later. In my kitchen area I had an extra light added over my stove area so I could see my cooking area better. Go through your rooms and think of where you might need a little extra light. Such as an area you know will be used as a reading area or a bathroom where you will be doing your makeup or hair.

2. Add A Ceiling Medallion To At Least One Room – This is an inexpensive way to get a very nice focal point in any room. You can leave it white or you can ad some paint to match the colors in your room. Gold works really well if you just want a basic color that will go with anything.

3. Add A Unique Ceiling Fan – There are lots of styles of ceiling fans and most of them are just ceiling fans to do a job. Never settle for this. spend as little as an extra $100. and have a fan that says hey look at me. I have a fan in one of my bedrooms that the blades actually drop to a hanging position when the fan is not on and as you ad speed the blades start to fan out. This is a masterpiece. The focal point of this room is easy to spot.

4. Add Proper size Crown Molding – Adding the proper size crown molding is important if architectural detail is important to you. If your ceilings are above 8 feet then the molding should be a little bigger so it really stands out. I know crown molding is expensive so I will share a little trick that I have learned along the way. When you ad your crown molding and you want it to take on the appearance of being larger than it is,this will help without the expense. For example if you want 8″ crown molding but you can only afford 4″.Hang the 4′ molding and paint 3 inches of the wall the same color as the crown molding and the ad a 1′ piece of trim molding around the wall the same color and this will take on the look of much larger crown molding for a lot less money.

5. Paint some of your ceilings a contracting color to the walls – instead of the basic white ceilings. This can really make a room fell warmer and cozier. If you have high ceiling this is really a fantastic thing to do. Ad a trey molding around the ceiling instead of crown molding and ad vines that hand down and or soft lighting. I have found that rope lighting works well for a softer lighting. A bright light is usually to much and will show ever little flaw in your ceiling and believe me they are there. So tone it down.

6. Add A Barrel Ceiling – A barrel ceiling is the most unusual of all. It gets its name because it looks like half of a barrel. It is a stand alone focal point for any room it is added too. I can’t say it is the cheapest thing to ad but certainly one of the most unique.

Well these are some things that you can do to personalize your home with unique ceiling designs that will not break the bank and give you plenty of things to talk about when you show off your new style. And as always remember to do this because

“Your story Begins At Home”

By Gail J Richardson

Flooring For Your Yoga Studio

Many people enjoy simply participating in a yoga class as a great form of physical exercise. Yoga requires students to wear comfortable clothing in which you can move easily. Many of the physical postures used in the exercises require you to stand, lie, or sit on the floor. A mat made for these exercises is usually used. Because of the physical exertion put on the bones, muscles and joints of the body, it is an excellent idea to practice yoga on a quality sprung floor.

Yoga flooring has many similarities to a dance floor used for ballet or modern dance classes. Dance floors that are safe to use consist of a sprung floor. What this means is that there is some form of cushioning between the subfloor and the surface of the dance floor, so that the floor actually absorbs some of the shock to the knees and joints when jumping or leaping movements are performed. Dancing or performing yoga exercises on a hard non-shock absorbing surface such as hardwood, for example, can over time lead to injuries to the spine and joints over time. The injury starts out very small, so the performer does not really notice the pain, but over time the damage caused by the repeated stress can be severe. It is for this reason that the yoga floor and dance floor provide the support needed by these athletes to help prevent injuries.

The surface of the yoga floor, as with a floor used for dance, should be completely smooth and free from cracks, loose boards, or any nails sticking up or adhesive residue on it. This is crucial for injury prevention. Many studios will choose to use hardwoods, such as maple or oak, for the top surface of the flooring, and then finish it with polyurethane coatings to preserve the surface. Hardwood is very durable, and is beautiful as well. Floors used for both yoga and dance require regular maintenance to keep the surface at prime, and only the appropriate dance footwear should be allowed on the floor, or barefoot for yoga classes, because dirt on street shoes can damage the floor.

The bottom line is that the same quality sprung floor in a dance studio can also be used for yoga classes. This allows both to be offered by the same studio, offering another stream of revenue from the same venue.

Hydraulic Pumps

Hydraulic pumps convert mechanical energy and motion into hydraulic fluid power and are usually powered by gas or electricity. However, hand and air driven pumps are also utilized. There are three main types of hydraulic pumps used in the fluid power industry, namely vane pumps, gear pumps, and piston pumps. These are all positive displacement pumps, meaning that they transfer a calculated quantity of pressurized hydraulic fluid into a hydraulic system. This fluid progresses to the necessary component and its pressure is reconverted to mechanical force.

A general hydraulic pump design can be further categorized into specific groups. For example, piston pumps can be radial, axial, in-line reciprocating, or axial bent-axis piston pumps. Vane pumps are either cam or sliding vane pumps. Pumps can be further subcategorized according to the modifications made for special applications. These pumps show a great variety in design. Irrespective of the design, all hydraulic pumps are to be used with fluids of definite viscosity. Changes in fluid viscosity will cause altered performance, often lowering the efficiency. Most pumps get damaged by any solid particles in hydraulic fluid, and, hence, require a filtration system.

A hydraulic pump is a very important component of construction, manufacturing, and machining equipment. It is responsible for a machine’s precision, its efficiency, and overall performance of an entire system. Various materials are used in hydraulic pumps to minimize wear and provide consistent performance. The type of material used varies according to pressures and temperatures that a hydraulic system will undergo. A number of plastics, synthetic rubbers, and steel alloys are used in the manufacturing of hydraulic pumps. High-strength alloys and polymers are used in high-pressure systems.

When choosing a pump, it is recommended to consider factors like operating pressure, temperature, and frequency. For applications requiring minimal pressures, less expensive, low-pressure pumps are available. Some examples of hydraulic pump manufacturers are Lifco Hydraulics, Inc., Flint Hydraulics, Inc., HYSECO, Inc., and Craft Fluid Systems.

Traditional Vs Lean Manufacturing Concepts

When we think about lean manufacturing we think about work cells, kanban cards, TQM and so on. But many people do a basic mistake. That is the mistake of not understanding the concepts on which lean manufacturing built on. Many people who copied lean manufacturing failed because they did not understood the concepts behind lean manufacturing.

We shall give a simple definition to lean manufacturing before we go further. Lean manufacturing can be defined as a systematic approach to continuously identify and remove the wastes from the system. All the tools and techniques are based on fulfillment of this simple requirement.

To identify the conceptual difference between lean manufacturing and conventional manufacturing, we will have a look at the definition given above. There is a very important word to note. That is “Removing”. Removing of waste from the system might not sound very different to minimization of wastes in the system, what we talk in conventional manufacturing. But think carefully. These two words are very different in the context of manufacturing (or even services).

When you think about minimizing of waste, you are thinking about the current system where you have wastes. You think about minimizing those wastes by fine tuning the system. When you think about eliminating or removing wastes from the system, you will have to find the causes for the wastes and remove them from the system. This means that you will have to redefine the process in a way that there are no wastes generated. So in the first case you live in the system where there are wastes, and struggle to get some improvement. In the later, you change the system so that system itself will not have the wastes. Aren’t they really different?

I will give you one more example to clarify the conceptual difference between lean manufacturing and traditional manufacturing. Think about Work In Progress (WIP). In a traditional manufacturing process WIP is treated as an asset which helps to run the process smoothly. Lean manufacturing though, treats WIP as a waste itself. Further, lean manufacturing treats WIP as a mirror which reflects the imperfection of the system.

I can go on and on explaining conceptual differences these systems have. But it is very important to understand one thing about lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is not a fine tuning to the traditional manufacturing system you had. It is a completely different system. To be able to implement lean manufacturing correctly, understand the conceptual differences between lean manufacturing and traditional manufacturing.

To lean more about lean manufacturing and get your free e-book “lean manufacturing basics” visit

Tips For Buying Your Next Swift Rifle Scope

When you’re ready to buy your next rifle scope it’s important to consider that Swift offer a wide variety of scopes that are ideal for many different types of hunting and shooting. One of the most popular scopes that Swift offer, and one that is proving very popular with hunters everywhere, is the Swift 676 Premier series of scope. This scope has tons of features but amongst the best of these are a 4-12×40 adjustable objective lens as well as speed focus. Not only that but this scopes is also waterproof and multi-coated – making it extremely tough.

One of the best things about this scope is that it is extremely adaptable, making it excellent for individuals who want to use it to hunt small game and varmints. Air rifle owners will also find that it is extremely suitable for this type of purpose as well. With the speed focus, you are able to set a gauge on your target quickly and easily while the parallax adjustment gives you plenty of options from 10 yards all the way to infinity.

Another excellent Swift rifle scope is the Swift 672M. The features of thie scope that are most appealing are the speed focus and 6-18×50 lens. Like the Premier Series, this scope is also multi-coated and waterproof. Target shooters and those who are interested in hunting varmints and small game alike will appreciate this scope with its optimum focusing ability at any of the power settings as well as an adjustable objective.

A Swift scope designed specifically for field target shooting is the Swift 677M. This model features a speed focus as well as a tube body that is longer than usual and allows for additional eye relief adjustment for airguns or air rifles with a longer action. This model is suitable for use in any medium power air rifle, delivering great focusing ability with a waterproof guarantee – top stuff!

The Swift 678M has become a favorite of many target shooters due to the accuracy and close range this model consistently delivers. Serious hunters also enjoy the fact that the 678M offers accurate range finding abilities along with clear optics. A removable sunshade is offered, making this model even more convenient and flexible than most.

If you’re using a high recoil spring air rifle then you’ll love the Swift 686M. This scope was designed specifically for high recoil usage. With a compact size of 12.5″ this model works well on spring rifles, making recoil level an issue of the past. The Swift 688M works well in a variety of situations including target shooting and small game hunting. Like most of the other Swift rifle scopes lineup, this model comes with the Speed Focus feature as well as being multi-coated. A Mil-Dot reticle is also included.

So as you can see Swift has something to offer every type of shooter and hunter out there. Put Swift on your shopping list – you won’t be sorry.

RV Awning Lock — Why Do I Need One?

Some RVers are not aware of a potential problem awaiting them.

Here’s the problem: While driving down the road, the fabric on the RV awning comes unfurled and might damage the fabric, the awning support pieces, and even the coach. This requires your immediate attention, whether or not it is convenient for you with regard to time or location.

Not every RVer will have this experience. I was talking with Wilson Forbes, President of Loess Hills Innovations who makes the RV Awning Travel Lock, recently and he estimated that one in five RVers would experience the problem at least once during their days of RVing. I have no data with which to refute that figure and it seems reasonable.

So if you know you will be one of the four who won’t have the problem, feel free to skip the rest of this article, as it will be of no benefit to you. But therein lies a problem; we never know when we will be the victim of a lost awning event.

I hate to dwell on negative things, but in this case that’s what it is all about. The only reason you would want an awning lock on your RV is to greatly reduce the chance that your awning would come unfurled while traveling because with that comes a mess, delay, expense, and frustration.

Let’s look at the reason in a little more detail.


Once you become aware that you’ve lost your awning, the event will probably be all over, because once it progresses to the point where one notices it the event will be over in a second or two. Then, no matter where you are–quiet mountain road or busy freeway–you’ll need to stop and clean up the mess.

That includes dealing with the awning canopy, which may or may not still be in one piece. It might have a big rip in it and be wrapped around other pieces of the awning structure. You can never tell what you’ll find.

The arms may be bent and hanging from a single attach fixture instead of two. In the worst case, you’ll want to get them removed from the coach. You may be able to secure them to the side of the coach for travelling, but don’t bet on it.

One or more of the attach fittings may be ripped, all or partially, from the body of your rig. Not pretty, but you might be able to leave them as they are, temporarily.


If you’re a full-time RVer and retired, you may be able to absorb delays with no affect on your schedule because you have no schedule! But what if you had just finished a Workamping experience and were on a rather tight schedule to make it to your favorite granddaughters wedding? A significant delay would not set well with other family members, would it!

Or what if you were on a two-week vacation from your job and had it scheduled full of sites to see with your family in our beautiful Pacific Northwest?

In each case, a forced delay to make repairs just so you could get back on the road could be devastating.


It is possible that you could have a “light case” of unfurling and your expenses to put things back in order would be nothing. But don’t bet on it!

At the other extreme, the repair cost could be thousands of dollars, especially if your roof or the side of your coach was punctured. Some hundreds of dollars to replace the awning fabric and possibly other awning components is more likely.


There is no question but what concern, frustration, and certainly disgust, will follow this incident. And it will effect the entire family. In short, losing one’s awning is not a pleasant experience.

If you’d like to minimize the chance that your awning becomes a problem awning while travelling down the road, invest in an awning lock. They run about 50 bucks–some more, some less–and most RVers can install their awning lock themselves. If you believe avoiding the results mentioned above is not worth that modest amount, forget about installing this protection and hope for the best.

Happy RVing!

Copyright 2007 by Keith A. Williams

The Things You Need to Know About an Asphalt Paver

We are driving through smooth and compact roads today because of the help of many construction machines that made everything possible for us. It has made travelling from distant places easier. Asphalt is the main material usually used for paving roads. It is a cheaper construction component and would take a short time for the construction to complete when this is used. It would also save the hassle of roadblocks due to renovations and any repairs in the road because asphalt dries up easily. Asphalt paving is very durable especially for all weather conditions and heavy loader trucks. The machine used to surface the asphalt properly is an asphalt paver.

The asphalt paving machine is used to distribute, form and compress asphalt evenly in road works, parking lots, and other areas. These machines are very vital in the construction field and for people involved in building the highways and lanes that we have today. The asphalt paver is sometimes placed behind a truck while it performs its work in distributing asphalt but there are already self-propelled machines of this type or there is no need for the machine to be towed behind a dump truck.

The two major parts of the self-propelled asphalt paver is the tractor and the screed. The tractor mainly consists of the engine, the controls and the tracks and other components for asphalt distribution. This controls the whole machine on where it is going and how an asphalt paver works in distributing the asphalt to the surface. The screed is the part of the paving machine that is towed behind the tractor. It consists of the leveling arms, burners, sensors and moldboards. Once the asphalt is distributed on the surface a wheeled roller does the further compacting of the asphalt.

The main raw material of a paving machine is steel. The mainframe is made from high quality steel plates. The manufacture of this equipment and its parts are assembled in an asphalt plant. The tractor and screed are assembled separately. There are even other parts which are painted black as it is the part which touches the asphalt more. There are many processes involved in assembling these two parts and perfectly fitting in all its components. An asphalt paver finisher is used to complete the whole process. As soon as they are done, they are now distributed to suppliers of asphalt paving machines.

The asphalt paver works by filling it with asphalt first. The tractor is then used to push the machine forward thereby placing the asphalt at the back of the machine with the use of the feeder conveyors. From this, the augers are used to evenly distribute the asphalt according to the width controlled by the operator. The screed then does its part by leveling and forming the asphalt distributed into partially compact material.

It is therefore very important that in making and construction of pavement and roads, paving equipment must be in good quality in order to get a good result in work. These machines are the best partners in the construction business.

When All You Have Is A Hammer

As the saying goes, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail…”. This is never truer than when you decide to do a quick repair and decide you can make do without the proper tools on-hand. My advice for anybody who decides to try this is this: DON’T. Nothing makes a job more frustrating than trying to make a what should be a quick repair without the correct tool on hand.

For example: This past winter my battery died while I was at work. No snow on the ground and I am parked on a hill so I roll-start the car and drive to the nearest auto/hardware store. MISTAKE NUMBER 1: instead of buying a battery and taking it home to install (where the tools are), I figure I can borrow a screwdriver and wrench and do this in the parking lot to save a 20 minute trip back with the old battery. 4 different tool purchases and 45 minutes later, as it gets darker and colder, the old battery is no closer to being removed than it was when I pulled into the parking lot. Frustration being at an all time high, the new battery is used to jump start the car and I proceed home where in a well lit garage with the proper tools it takes all of 5 minutes to complete the job.

Need another example? Being a good son-in-law, I decide while visiting my wife’s family to replace their bathroom sink fixture. Again, my tools are 1 hour away so I figure I can make do with what tools are on hand. MISTAKE NUMBER 2: some jobs require the correct tool for the job – any substitute will only result in frustration, damaged work, or injury. After spending close to an hour attempting to remove the old fixture with channel locks, pliers, screwdrivers, and every other tool short of a sledge hammer I took made a 20 minute trip to the hardware store and purchased the correct tool, a basin wrench. Once this tool was used, the replacement proceeded quickly with no more cuts, scrapes, bruises, or cursing.

If you are the type of person who likes the occasional do-it-yourself project, then you probably have a decent set of tools already. The well stocked toolbox should have a variety of screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and other tools for any basic repair. If you have been doing this for more than a few years, you may also have acquired a number of specialty tools as well (i.e., snap ring pliers, locking pliers, torx drivers, basin wrench, spanners…). You may find (as I have) that you tend to collect a new tool or two every time you start a new project. Here are a couple of tips for managing your tool habit:

Buy quality tools – I have purchased my share of cheap tools and they typically end up broken, bent or otherwise useless. If you plan to use it more than once and it is not emergency, spend the invest a little extra and purchase a tool you will have for a while.

Don’t have the right tool for the job, borrow it! – What are friends and neighbors for? If you have a job that requires a special tool, and you doubt you will need it again in the next 10 years, ask your neighbors and/or friends if they have one you can borrow. You can save yourself a few dollars on a tool you might not use again and may also benefit from suggestions or advice from somebody who has had to use it before.

Can’t borrow it, rent it – you would be surprised at the tools you can rent reasonably. In some cases, you can even borrow the correct tool for the job for free if you are making a purchase from that store (I have taken advantage of this from auto part stores on a number of occasions).

Organize your tools – As you collect tools, you will notice that tools fall into certain categories. My basic toolbox has the everyday tools you would expect: screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, socket sets… For other tools, I store them by the type of job I use them for so I always know where to find them. Pipe wrenches, basin wrenches, spanners, solder, and other plumbing related tools/supplies are stored in a the plumbing crate. Painting supplies like rollers, brushes, and edger’s are stored in the painting crate. I also have a crate for electrical and hobby supplies. By keeping my tools organized, I keep my toolbox to a size I can manage (and carry) and always know where to look for the tool I need.

Don’t be afraid to have more than 1 – some tools are useful in many places and inexpensive enough that you might want to keep a few on hand. Screwdrivers, hammers, tape measures, and utility knives are examples of a tools that can be found in a few different locations around my home. A small toolkit for the car is not a bad idea either (see example above on trying to change battery…). I try to keep at least a one of each type screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a few other basic tools in the trunk just in case of emergency.

Keep some basic hardware on hand as well – Many people have all the tools they need, but sometimes cannot find a simple nail or screw to hang up a picture. It pays to keep some basic hardware “in stock” since you never know when you will need it. I have a simple organizer hanging on the wall of my garage with a small supply of the most common types and sizes of nails and screws I commonly use. These range from finishing nails to decking screws.

How to Install Marine Carpet Onto Your Boat

We have had a couple of requests for information about installing carpet on your boat. First let me give the advice that installation of marine carpet should be installed by a professional installer. Also, this guide is for glue down boat carpet only; snap in carpet mats can only be done by a professional with the proper tools. Now that we have that out of the way… Here is a list of tools needed.

carpet knife

Needle nose pliers

marine glue

1/16 trowel

tape measure



shop vac


Start in a corner by grabbing the carpet with the pliers. Gently pull back slowly, as to not tear through the carpet. Once the old carpeting is completely pulled out; set it aside for later. Use the scraper to remove the remaining dry carpet glue from your boat. If it isn’t working, try using a piece of sandpaper. But don’t overboard and ruin the bottom of your boat.

Now grab your new carpet and roll it out. If it is stiff and curling, leave it in the sun for a little bit to soften up. Now flip the carpet over so the backing is upright. Place your old carpet over the top of it with the backing facing up as well. Use the marker and trace out the old carpet on top of the new carpet. Once that is done, use either a knife or scissors to cut your carpeting out. For those who do not have existing carpet, you will have to lay the carpet inside your boat and cut the carpet to your fitting. It is not difficult but can be time consuming.

Now set your new marine carpeting inside your boat. Adjust it to fit exactly as it should when it is glued down. Set down something heavy like a toolbox or a case of beer on one side of the boat. Now flip the other side over. Start spreading the glue onto the boat using the 1/16 trowel. Do not use to much glue or else the carpet will bubble feel much different under your foot. Once the entire side has been glued; gently set the carpet over the top. If you have the ability to rent or borrow a 100 pound roller; use it to go over the glued carpet. This will prevent air bubbles and ripples. Now repeat on the other side and your all done. Enjoy your new carpet.

Dozay the Painter Captures Mi’kmaq Legends & Landmarks

Painter Dozay Captures Native Legends and Landmarks on Cape Breton Island

Dozay (Arlene Christmas) is an aboriginal artist living on Cape Breton Island, where she researched legends about the native Mi’kmaq hero, Glooscap.  Gradually she came to visit particular spots where these stories took place and created air brush, acryllic paintings celebrating both the legends and these landmarks.  Her work is so good that it is being showed at local native cultural galleries, at Cabot Shores Resort; and will travel to  Melbourne, Australia in late 2009 and, in 2010 be representative of aboriginal maritime art at the Vancouver Olympics.

What landmarks and legends did she discover in her research?

The stories portray Glooscap as a hero and one story tells of his canoe.  Dozay portrays this canoe and how according to legend it broke and became the  Bird Islands across from Indian Brook on the Atlantic side of Cape Breton island..

Another nearby  landmark is  Cape Dauphin, where on the cliffs sits  the famous Glooscap Cave.  This is a sacred spot for the local Mi’kmaq and they and other viewers are captivated by the way this cave is represented in Dozay’s painting called Glooscap’s Door.  The Mi’kmaq  said that if one offered the  right kind of fish and fuel, good luck could be received. 

Finally, there is the quality of Cape Breton Island itself which in Mi’kmaq is called “Unamagi” or “land of fog”.Her paintings have this haunting aspect to them.  

A Wide Connection of Nature & Legend Across the Wabanaki (Maritime  based tribes)

Although Dozay  grew up in the Maliseet tribe in New Brunswick, she found a similar connection to nature and to the sea among the Mi’kmaq with whom she lives now in Cape Breton Island. 

And Dozay believes that what is represented in the Glooscap legends is really a kind of leadership and teaching that goes across the heritage of each of the 5 tribes in the Algonquin conferation called “Wabanaki”:

Dozay said of Glooscap:  “he was as real as the landmarks he left behind.  Just as he is to all the Wabanaki tribes throughout the Maritimes.”

Dozay’s Art is Kicking off a Wabanaki Festival

Dozay’s art is making its way on Cape Breton from the Galleries  at Wagmatcook  and Membertou to Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort which sits opposite these Bird Islands and Glooscap’s Cave.  There, Dozay’s Art Show will kick off the first Wabanaki Art and Cultural Festival on Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail.

Dozay has invited native elders and fellow aboriginal artists to participate in this gathering which is being called “Wabanaki Ways.”  These artists are united in an organization called Nations in a Circle.  This group wishes to extend the teachings of Glooscap and other native teachers as well as creative expression through art  to both native and non-native peoples.

Hand Held Power Drills – Choosing the Best Drill For the Job

If you were a professional contractor who used various types of drills on a daily basis throughout the course of your job, you would probably already know what type of drill you need for a specific job. But, what about the person who does not work with drills every day. This person probably knows that a certain job or task requires the use of a drill, but may not be certain about what type of drill is needed. Choosing the right drill can be a daunting task and it’s really no surprise with all the types of drills to choose from. You have:

  • basic drills
  • VSR drills
  • drill/drivers
  • hammer drills
  • impact drivers/wrenches
  • rotary hammer drills
  • right angle drills
  • spade handle drills

Maybe you have already been looking at drills and have other questions such as:

  • What does VSR mean?
  • What is the difference between SDS and spline drive?
  • How does chuck size matter?
  • What is the difference between keyed and keyless chucks?
  • What is a hex driver?
  • Should I go with a cordless or corded drill?
  • What type of cordless battery is best?
  • What is the clutch used for?

Many years ago, when the first hand held power drills came around, there were not many choices outside of brand names when it came to selecting a power drill. Basically, the drills were all corded, all had keyed chucks, and rotated in only one direction and at one speed. So, the choice was not too difficult. Just pick a brand you like.

Things certainly have changed over the years. There are enough options available today to make a person’s head spin. There are even more variations and innovations in the works as I write this. While the scope of this guide will not be able to cover every type of power drill in existence, we are going to try to cover most of the bases. My goal in writing this article is to help those who might be having difficulty deciding which type of drill they need, so let’s get started.

The basic corded drill

This is the most basic of hand held power drills. It is a simple electric drill with one speed and one direction. It is mainly good for drilling holes in wood, metal, plastic, and soft metals. It is not the ideal choice of drill to use for applications such as driving screws. Since the speed is not variable and the drill only operates at a higher RPM, you would likely either strip the screw head or snap the head off the screw if you tried. You will not likely find many of these around today as their uses are rather limited.

The VSR drill

VSR stands for “variable speed reversible”. These drills come in both corded and cordless versions as will most all the drills we discuss from here on out. The drill speed is varied by the amount of pressure applied to the trigger. The farther the trigger is pulled, the higher the RPM will be. There is also a switch, usually near the trigger which reverses the operation of the drill. As you can imagine, these have distinct advantages over the basic corded drill. In addition to being able to perform all the functions of the basic corded drill, they also have a better suited although still limited ability to drive screws, and small lag bolts. Since the speed is variable, you have the ability to drill into harder material without overheating the bit.

One disadvantage to this type of drill is that trying to maintain a certain RPM with the trigger can be very tricky. It takes a certain knack and some getting used to in order to be able to drive screws consistently without stripping the heads, driving the screw too deep, or snapping off the screw head. The reversible feature allows you to remove screws, drive reverse threaded screws, and back out of stock when your drill bit gets stuck or jammed.

The VSR drill/driver

The VSR drill/driver has all the capabilities of a standard VSR drill with the added bonus of a lower rpm/higher torque setting. Another feature generally found on these drills is an adjustable clutch. These are probably the most common types of everyday use cordless drills you will find on the market today. The big advantage with the low rpm/high torque setting is that now you can drive screws and lag bolts at the low rpm needed without having to try to hold the trigger in a certain position. The adjustable clutch will keep you from driving the screw to deep, stripping the screw head, or breaking off the screw head. The clutch will also prevent reaction torque which happens when a bit jams or a screw bottoms out and the drill tries to twist in the opposite direction. In addition you also get higher torque at the low rpm setting that you miss out on when using a standard VSR drill and higher torque means more screw driving power. These drills generally have a slide switch that you use to switch between the 2 settings. In the high RPM setting, the drill functions exactly like a standard VSR drill. In the low rpm/high torque setting, the drill becomes an effective driver for driving screws and small lag bolts. Some of these drills may have a 3rd intermediate setting that compromises between torque and speed allowing you to better match the speed/torque setting to the application.

The VSR hammer drill/driver

Do you need to drill into concrete, stone, or masonry? If, so, then you would want to consider a hammer drill. This type of drill uses a hammer or pounding action as the drill bit rotates. The pounding action of the bit is what enables these drills to bite into the concrete, stone, or masonry. If you were to try to use a non-hammer type drill, you would have a hard time penetrating the hardened concrete, stone, or masonry and would likely overheat the bit or the bit would become jammed in the material. When drilling into concrete, stone, or masonry you will also want to be sure and use a masonry bit. A masonry bit is specially designed for drilling into these materials. Depending on the material, the drill and the bit used, you can generally expect to be able to effectively drill holes in concrete, stone, or masonry up to around 1/2″ in diameter. VSR hammer drill/drivers have all the capabilities of a VSR drill/driver in addition to functioning as a hammer drill at the flip of a switch. Due to their versatility, hammer drill/drivers have become a popular choice among both professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers. Some practical uses would be, drilling holes for inserting concrete anchors or TapCon screws for attaching fixtures such as hand railing or light posts to concrete surfaces or attaching fixtures to concrete, block, stone, or brick walls. One of the most highly and professionally rated hammer drill/drivers on the market today is the DeWalt DC925KA.

Rotary Hammer Drills

Think of a rotary hammer drill as a larger, more powerful version of a hammer drill with an added bonus. It also works like a small jack hammer. These drills are dedicated to the purpose of drilling and chipping into concrete, stone and masonry. They are generally not intended for drilling into wood or other similar materials. Rotary hammer drills use a special bit designed not to slip in the chuck. The most common types are the SDS and spline drive. The type of bit you use will depend on the drill. SDS bits come in several different sizes, so you will need to get the size that matches your drill. If you want to drill many larger diameter holes in concrete or stone, then this is the type of dill you need.

As mentioned, this drill also functions like a small jack hammer. By flipping a switch you can turn off the rotary action, then insert a chisel bit and you’re ready to go. While rotary hammer drills aren’t going to compete with a full sized jack hammer, they are very useful for many smaller jobs such as removing ceramic and stone tile, removing bricks and blocks from existing wall or floor structures, chipping away unwanted or spilled mortar, chipping the rough edges from concrete, and removing excess concrete from concrete forms or other surfaces.

Traditionally, rotary hammer drills were all of the corded variety since cordless batteries were not able to supply the power needed to operate a rotary hammer drill. However, all that is changing with advancements in lithium-ion batteries and power tool design technology. The popularity of cordless rotary hammer drills is growing rapidly. Some cordless rotary hammer drills rival, and may even surpass the performance of their corded counterparts. One such example is the Bosch 11536VSR which in an HGTVpro power tool review was found to drill 1/2″ holes in concrete faster than the tool’s corded counterpart.

Impact Drivers/Wrenches

Impact drivers are quickly becoming a hot item among contractors and do-it-yourselfers and with all the added benefits of an impact driver, it’s no wonder. If you drive a lot of long screws, lag bolts, or have a lot of nuts and bolts you want to assemble quickly and easily, then an impact driver is for you.

The impact driver functions as a standard VSR drill until the time when extra torque is needed. That’s when the impact action kicks in. Don’t confuse this with the hammer action of a hammer drill. The difference is that a hammer drill “hammers” on the bit in a lateral direction along the length of the bit as it rotates where an impact driver impacts the chuck of the drill in a rotational direction. The result is a huge increase in torque. The impact action also causes the screw bit to grab the screw resulting in less slippage, reducing the possibility of stripping the screw head. As an added bonus the amount of force the operator needs to apply to the drill in order to keep the screw bit from slipping is significantly reduced resulting in less user fatigue.

Impact drivers have a quick change bit holder designed for accepting hex shank bits which are now common among screw bits and many other drill bits and socket driver bits. This style bit holder really makes changing between bits a snap. This bit holder is the main difference between an impact driver and impact wrench. An impact wrench has a square drive for accepting either 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive sockets depending on the model of impact wrench.

Impact drivers and wrenches also have a size advantage delivering as much as 4 times as much torque as a comparable size VSR drill. This means that a smaller size tool can be used for a particular job which further reduces user fatigue, especially when working overhead. The small size also gives you the ability to work in tighter spaces and if the impact driver uses lithium-ion technology, then the tool weight is even further reduced.

There is one particular impact driver that stands out. In a tool test by Tools of the Trade Magazine, out of 9 top of the line cordless impact drivers, the Milwaukee 9081-22 was able to outrun the group when pushed to the max. This tool sent 48 4″ long Timberlock screws into the stock before a noticeable battery slowdown was observed. Timberlock screws are a long screw with a hex head. They are commonly used in outdoor applications such as landscaping, fence and deck building because they require no pre-drilling. Just think of the time you could save when armed with an impact driver and screws that require no pre-drilling.

Right Angle Drills

Right angle drills, as the name implies, have the chuck positioned at a right angle to the body of the drill. Right angle drills are able to drill in tight spaces where other drills just won’t reach such as in between two closely positioned wall studs which makes these drills particularly useful for plumbers and electricians.

These drills come in both corded and cordless varieties as well as a wide range of sizes. The smaller size right angle drills are suitable for small to medium jobs in pine and other soft material. The heavy duty models can handle much larger jobs in harder material such as thick oak. One thing you should be aware of when using the more powerful heavy duty models is reaction torque. Due to the design of right angle drills, if the bit should get stuck, the entire drill body will rotate around the chuck potentially causing injury. It’s generally a good idea to brace the drill against a floor, wall, or stud. Some models have a built in torque limiter or clutch to help prevent this occurrence. One such model which has a built in torque limiter is the Makita DA4031 []. This heavy-duty right angle drill was also the overall winner in a Tools of the Trade test of several top of the line right angle drills.

Spade Handle Drills

When spade handle drills are mentioned, one might likely think of mixing drywall compound. The mixing of drywall compound or similar substances is one of the most commonly used applications of spade handle drills. These drills are designed with a low rpm, high torque setting that is well suited for mixing drywall mud. Special drywall mixer attachments can be inserted into the chuck for this purpose.

While these drills are very suitable for mixing drywall mud and other similar substances which require mixing, this is certainly not the only use for this type of drill. The aggressive torque these drills produce make them ideal for boring large holes in wood and other materials using spade bits, auger bits or hole saws up to as large as 5″ in diameter.

Many of these drills have a rocker or similar type of switch for rapid switching between forward and reverse which aids in backing out jammed bits as well as mixing drywall mud. In addition, these drills generally have an auxiliary side handle as well as a spade handle to aid in tool control.

Questions and answers pertaining to power drills.

What does VSR mean?

VSR stands for variable speed reversible. Drills with this feature are able to operate in both forward and reverse rotation and at variable speeds. Most likely the drill will have a switch or button for switching the rotation from forward to reverse. Generally the speed varies in relation to to how far the trigger is pulled.

What is the difference between SDS and spline drive?

SDS and spline drive refer to two types of bit technology used in rotary hammer drills. There is really no difference in the performance of the two types, so the one you choose will simply be a matter of which type your particular rotary hammer drill requires. There are different sizes of SDS bits which include SDS, SDS+, and SDSmax. Smaller rotary hammer drills will use SDS or SDS+ bits where the larger rotary hammer drills will use SDSmax or spline drive bits. As the name implies, spline drive bits have a splined shaft, while SDS bits have concave recesses in the shaft.

Why does chuck size matter?

Chuck size basically determines what size drill bit you can use based on the size of the drill bit shank. With the exception of rotary hammer drills and impact drivers/wrenches which use a special type of chuck, most typical hand held drills come with either a 3/8″ or 1/2″ chuck. Most of your smaller drills will use a 3/8″ chuck while the heavy-duty models typically use a 1/2″ chuck. You cannot put a drill bit with a 1/2″ shank in a 3/8″ chuck, but you can put a bit with a 3/8″ shank in a 1/2″ chuck.

What is the difference between keyed and keyless chucks?

Years ago, all hand held drills used keyed chucks. In order to tighten the chuck down on the drill bit, you would use a small tool called a chuck key. Most 3/8″ chucks and many 1/2″ chucks today are now of the keyless variety. Keyless chucks, as the name implies, do not use a chuck key. Instead the chuck is designed so that a person can easily tighten the chuck down on the bit by hand. While keyless chucks are faster and easier to use, they cannot clamp down onto the bit as tight and therefore do not have the same holding power as a keyed chuck. This lack of holding power can potentially cause round shank bits to slip in the chuck. This is why you will still find many heavy-duty high torque drills using keyed chucks.

What is a hex driver?

A hex driver is just another name for an impact driver. Hex refers to the type of bit holder the drill uses. These drills use a hex shank bit designed not to slip in the holder. This type of bit holder also makes changing bits a snap. Impact wrenches, on the other hand use a square drive for accepting either 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive sockets.

Should I go with a cordless or corded drill?

This can be a difficult decision for some. The industry trend is ever going more and more towards cordless technology. The very first cordless drills on the market left much to be desired in both power and run time. Over the years cordless technology improved to the point where many cordless tools now compete with and even in many cases out perform their corded counterparts. With power and performance becoming near equal, the choice basically comes down to price. Are you willing to save some money and deal with the inconveniences of dragging power cords around, or would you rather spend a little more and have complete freedom of movement? The choice is yours.

What type of cordless battery is best?

The power tool industry is currently trending toward lithium-ion battery technology. With all the benefits of lithium-ion it is easy to see why. If you compare lithium-ion batteries to nickel cadmium batteries, lithium-ion charges faster, runs longer, maintains longer constant power output, weighs less and stores a charge longer. The disadvantage is that Lithium-ion costs more. However, the difference in price may not outweigh the advantages you get in performance and charge holding time.

What is the clutch used for?

Most drill/drivers and hammer drills have an adjustable clutch. The clutch is typically used when driving screws, nuts, or lag bolts. The clutch is designed so that once a certain required amount of torque is reached, the clutch will engage and cause the rotation of the chuck to slip and stop rotating. There are several reasons for this. One, you won’t strip the screw head when the bit keeps turning. Two, you won’t drive the screw too deep. Three, reaction torque when the screw or nut bottoms out won’t twist your wrist. Many drills produce enough reaction torque to cause bodily harm if the clutch is not used. Many heavy-duty drills capable of producing high amounts of reaction torque have either a non-adjustable built in clutch or a built in torque limiter. An finally, the clutch protects the drill motor from damage.

Ventrac Tractor and Snow Blower Make Snow Removal Easier

In Deep Snow? Looking for your driveway? We all know that living in an area that is hit heavy with snow can get rough. Winter can throw us the toughest weather and we must find the best way to tackle it. Trying to plow, shovel and push through the snow without a good machine to help can feel like a monumental task, even if it is simply removing snow from the sidewalks. It’s a physically demanding job to do by hand and a powerful tractor can help make winter snow clearing a whole lot easier.

There are a multitude of tractors and snow blowers on the market to help clear snow. And deciding on the one for you can be a daunting task. A tractor that really stands out in my mind as the ultimate snow tackling machine is the Ventrac compact tractor with a V-blade and snow blower attachment. Built with commercial grade components, these tractors and attachments are designed to be tough. And tough is what you need when winter comes along. You need a tractor and snow blower that will hold up to the rigors and challenges of winter weather. And I feel that Ventrac is just that tractor.

Several things make this tractor work well for clearing snow. The compact design makes the tractor small enough to fit nicely on sidewalks. No more clearing sidewalks with a shovel! The strong engine power of the Ventrac, as well as the all wheel drive traction, will help you push through mounds of snow you never thought possible. Attach a V-blade and the tractor will quickly clear your sidewalks of snow, saving you many hours of manual labor!

When your driveway is buried in snow, the snow blower attachment mounts on the front of the tractor so you can clearly see where you are going. This snow blower is a two stage system featuring a 220 degree rotational discharge chute designed to easily throw snow up to 40 feet in distance. Hydraulically controlled, it is extremely easy to operate and can be operated from the seat of the tractor for driver comfort. The tractor also has an optional cab for ultimate driver comfort in the nastiest weather…keeping you warm and dry!

I feel Ventrac is a fantastic machine that can make winter life more bearable and easier to handle. With power enough to take on tough work, yet compactly designed to fit tight spaces, it really is a dream to operate. No longer do you need to dread winter snow and wonder how to deal with tough weather conditions. One tractor will get more done and take less of your time doing it.