Ceiling Speakers Installation

Step 1:

The precondition: Before you can install the speakers according to this instruction make sure that your room is pre- wired and the speaker wires are already run to the places where the new speakers will be. That is not a problem in new houses as they are usually pre- wired for 5.1 systems, but if you are living in an older house than the wiring can be done with some minor constructions. It would be safer to call a professional to do it if you are not completely sure about your skills.

Step 2:

Necessary equipment:

– A knife able to cut the drywall

– Something to write with (do not use a pen as you cannot write with it upside down, rather use a simple pen)

– A ladder to climb up to you ceiling (make sure it is a proper one and can hold your weight without problems)

– An electrical screwdriver with an extended head bit (shortest 4″)

– Something to clean the fingerprints once you are done with the installation

– Something to cover the floor with

Step 3:

By now you should have everything close to you that you might need during the whole installation project, the last thing is to take the speakers out of their box. In the speaker’s box there should be cardboard template that is the size of the hole that you have to make to the ceiling. Use this template to plan the places where you want to install your speakers. If the wiring in your home has already been done than there is not much that you can change and have to use the places that are suitable with current wiring.

Step 4:

Place the cloth to protect your floor on the ground and secure the latter under the future speaker location. Find the studs in you ceiling and once you have located them use the template from the speakers’ box and place it between the two studs where the speaker will be in the future and mark the size of the hole with the help of the template and a pencil.

Step 5:

The dirty part. Cut the hole out with your drywall knife. As there will be a lot of dust from cutting the ceiling as well as insulation flying all over the place make sure that you have covered up all the furniture that you do not want to get messed up and if you have allergies make sure not to breathe the dust in.

Step 6:

Clear enough space in the attic to place where to place the speaker. Connect the + and – terminals with your speaker’s wires (most commonly red is used to mark + and black for -). Do not squeeze the wire and then calmly push the speaker in the designated location. Depending how well you drew the boarders of the template as well as well you cut it out you speaker should either sit too loosely or be a extremely tightly in the hole or if you did a good job then fit perfectly. Then use your screwdriver and tighten the speaker’s screws to attach its clamps to the ceiling’s drywall. Make sure you have read the manual of the speakers beforehand as each model has an unique way to do this. Do not tighten the screws too much as that might break the drywall. If your speakers have a grill cover than now you can put it on the speakers.

Step 7:

For installing other speakers just follow steps 1-6. If you have installed all the speakers in the ceiling use a receiver or the battery trick to make sure that all the connections work like they have to. If you do not know what a battery trick is than that means that you take a AA or AAA battery and touch the leads of the speaking wire with it. If you have done a good job in connecting the wires than the speaker should response with a “pop” sound to this as the battery sends some current into the wire. If you think that you just have a problem with one wire than you can use this trick to find the problematic location.

If you have followed all the steps and made sure that it is working than you are done with installing your new speakers in the ceiling. Just clean up all the mess first and then start enjoying the benefits of an excellent sound system.

Impressions Hardwood Flooring Line

Impressions hardwood flooring features high quality select grade oak flooring, Brazilian cherry flooring & teak flooring in engineered and solid platforms. The Impressions hardwood floor line is broken down into 5 collections that each emphasize select grade flooring at its finest. The flooring line features Smooth finishes & hand-scraped surfaces in their product collections and colors that are nationally picked as the hottest colors on the market. Each collection has a specific reason it is in the line.

The Cape Cod series is the front runner in this flooring line. The Cape Cod hardwood collection features 3/4″ Thick solid Oaks & Brazilian cherry hardwood in widths of 3 ” & 2 ” for the Oaks & 3 1/4″ & 5″ for the Brazilian Cherry. The Select Grade hardwood is imperfection free with no signs of mineral streaks, knots or other bad features such as warping or poor milling. The Cape Cod Collection features an Aluminum Oxide finish that is free of pitting. The surface is so smooth on the Cape Cod that it puts many other high end brands finishes to shame. The Cape Cod Collection features a eased edge and square butt joint as many prefinished hardwood floors on the market today, carries an amazing 50 year warranty for finish and lifetime structural warranty. Cape Cod is produced from a renewable farm and is a green hardwood product that produces only a mere 3% waste factor and is constructed out of Appalachian Oak. This hardwood floor is capable of being sanded & refinished for a lifetime. One feature that stands the Cape Cod oaks apart from the rest of the Prefinished market is the fact that it is harvested & made in the USA. The Brazilian Cherry hardwood is harvested from a managed forest that is Lacey Act Compliant. The Brazilian Cherry of the Cape Cod collection is a TRUE clear grade hardwood floor and is guaranteed to have no Silica. The Cape Cod is just one of the 5 products in the Impressions Hardwood Flooring Line.

Another force to reckon with in the prefinished hardwood line is the Hampton Series. The Hampton Solid Hardwood Flooring line features 3/4″ Thick 6 – sided sealed Oak flooring that has square edged & ends just like a floor that is laid in unfinished than site finished. The 6 sided seal improves the moisture resistance in this flooring product dramatically and achieves the best square edge product on the market today. The Hampton series is available in 5 colors: Natural, Saddle, White Oak Natural, Honey & Gunstock. The color choices for the Hampton series are based off of the top 5 colors selling in the country today by designers & builders. The Six Sided seal is a feature ONLY available in the Hampton series anywhere in the world and is provided by Ten Oaks of Virginia. The finish on this hardwood product is a UV Cured urethane as well as aluminum oxide on the top of the product, and is pre-sealed on all six sides. The Hampton Series is a green product that is produced from Appalachian Oak and can be sanded & finished for a lifetime. The Hampton Series like the rest of the Impressions hardwood flooring line features a 50 year warranty for finish and a lifetime structural warranty. The Hampton Series is produced by a AHMI Member which is a sustainable hardwood forest product. This product is available in a 2 ” & 3 ” wide product.

The next product in the Impressions hardwood flooring line is a top selling 1/2″ thick engineered hardwood called the Salem Series. The Salem series features a Perma-Finish Commercial Grade Water Based finish and is stocked with only Prime Select Grade oak products. The Salem Series has Red Oak & Brazilian Cherry as species available to the name and can be installed below, above & on grade. The Salem Series is an engineered hardwood floor with a hardwood base panel & 2mm thick sawn face wear layer for Oaks & 1.4mm for the Brazilian cherry. The Perma-Finish, being that it is a water base, allows the true coloring of the grain to show through and shine and is added protection against scratching. This product features boards of 1′-4′ and an average board length of 31″ making it a longer plank than most engineered wood flooring on today’s market. The edges on this product are a 4-sided micro bevel and prevent chipping at the edges while defining the edge of each board. This environmentally friendly hardwood leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the planet due to less waste & less use of domestic trees in the creation of this floor. This is a very thick engineered hardwood and may be sanded and recoated many times over the life of this floor and will last many years. This product is only available in 3″ widths for both the Oaks & Brazilian cherry floor. This product can be easily installed either by Glue, Nail or Staple down. The Brazilian Cherry is Lacey Act Compliant being harvested from forests that are used solely for hardwood flooring purposes.

The next engineered collection by Impressions Hardwood is the Traditions Series. This collection brings engineered hardwood flooring to the market with a hand-scraped surface. The Traditions series is a 6″ wide by 1/2″ thick engineered hardwood with a 2mm sawn face wear layer available in oak or plantation teak. This product is finished with a commercial grade Perma-Finish water based finish to pull the look of the hardwood through the finish to the homeowners view. This artisan hand-scraped finish is done perfectly with no rough ridges, just nice smooth rolling scrapings. The Traditions series Oaks are colored in Rocky mountain or Yellowstone which are two of the most beautiful dark brown colors in the flooring market today, and the Plantation Teak is natural in color. The Teak is a lacey Act Compliant Vintage grade that is hand-picked for a quality floor for the new owner. The Oak is a Vintage Red Oak that is custom crafted for an Old World look and is hand-picked to give this floor the look you want in a nice rustic atmosphere. This product just like the rest of the Impression line sports a 50 year finish warranty & a lifetime Structural warranty. The construction of this product is a hardwood base panel to go along with the thick 2mm wear-layer that can be sanded & refinished 1 time.

The final product in the Impressions hardwood flooring line is the 3/4″ thick solid hardwood floor Classic Series. The Classic Series features a Hand-scraped surface and 3 colors of oaks to choose from. The Wheat Color available in this line is an extremely popular color that is a light coloring over natural and pulls on neutral tones to look great in any room. This product is 3/4″ Thick solid hardwood floor and 5″ wide with all 4 sides beveled to define the board. The Classic series features a Vintage Grade white oak hardwood custom selected to reflect the old world look and rustic styling. The Classic series carries a 50 year finish warranty & lifetime structural warranty and can be installed on or above grade. Each plank in this collection is hand crafted individually and is plantation grown making this a green hardwood flooring product. The finish on this product is a water based finish called Perma-Finish, which is a commercial grade finish that shows the grain in the hardwood underneath with more vivid coloring and when scratched doesn’t show coloring from the finish. This product is milled from 1 foot to 7 foot lengths with an average board length in the 4 foot range, making this a long board product that is great for large expanses.

The Impressions Hardwood Flooring line features today’s top hardwood flooring products in the Oak family with a few exotic choices. The 5 series in this hardwood line really stand out in quality & style. The 50 year warranty offered in this product line stands as the strongest solid & engineered warranty in the industry. With products & colors not available in any other brand, your floor is sure to be set apart from any other.

Vacuum Pumps: Common Problems and Tips

Vacuum pumps are durable and heavy equipment but may experience problems that need repair. Below are some common problems you may encounter. Knowing what to look for will aid in knowing what needs repair and when to get help.

Leaking
Leaking is a common problem with vacuum pumps. Carefully observe the pump to find the location of the leak. If it is possible to find the exact location and the quantity of the leakage, track it. This will make it easier to get help over the phone and to get a better cost estimate.

Unusual Noises
When a pump is unusually noisy and making sounds you don’t normally hear, a foreign object could be trapped in the pump. An overload of water or high horsepower may also cause noisy pump operation. Unusual noise may also be due to cavitations or bearing failure.

Vibration
System problems can cause vibration problems, but the vibrating may be due to the pump as well. Check the piping and separators to see if they may be the cause of the vibration. Constant carryover and excessive seal water to the pump may also cause vibration. Another common cause of pump vibration is due to the tension and alignment of the coupling or V-belt.

Failure to Start
When the pump fails to start, first check the power supply to make sure it is connected properly. If everything is set up correctly, an electrical failure in the system may be the cause of the failure to start. Failure to start may also be caused when the pump is flooded with oil. Excessive low temperatures may also keep the vacuum pump from starting.

While these are common problems that need repair, other problems may occur. When you encounter a problem with your vacuum pump, there are many things that can be checked and easily fixed. Other problems are more complicated and require the help of a professional who knows and specializes in repairing vacuum pumps.

What Is The Kanban System for Lean Manufacturing?

The Kanban system is created long ago by a successful business, Toyota. The system itself is known worldwide in the business world; with its specialty, uniqueness, and comfort in working, the Kanban system has introduced the world a new generation of working conditions, planning, management, and other areas and subjects of business. Thanks to its structured outline, the Kanban system has promoted and made thousands of businesses to the world’s top most successful businesses. With the Kanban system, time is no longer wasted, money is no longer scarce, customers will no longer question, and quality will never be asked.

The word ‘Kanban’ comes from a Japanese word which means ‘card’. The Kanban system, as it is known, uses cards which have several meanings and serve as representations for withdrawal, deposit, and other signals which develops and practices a smoother flow of businesses in the productivity line. In a real situation, using signals and symbols in the system will send a connection or a message to the manufacturing team. The Kanban system is developed and designed with its intention to provide a quick response between both the manufacturer and the deliver so that the system can be used in real situations and that time will not be much wasted.

Ways to Use Kanban Signals

There are indeed numbers of ways to use the Kanban system wisely. The system itself has lots of ways to use the signals which will enhance productivity and make things flow easier in a system. Though, different signals are used in different situations. For instance, a company dealing with network connections and Wi-Fi system wants to delivery its portable cables to another company where the deadline is on the next day; the company of course has to use an electronic Kanban in order to relay the information quickly and directly to the manufacturing team.

Signals:

1. Kanban Card

2. Look-see

3. E-mails

4. Electronic Kanban

The Kanban card is used mainly for standard situations like moving of items from one place to another. Suppose a manager gets a feedback that the delivered products were damaged and ruin; to solve the problem, the company has to use the Kanban card to signal the manufacturing team and the customer relation team to deal with the problem. The Look-see signal makes it easier for all the teams because the situation they are all in reveals what happens around them. If there is a need for anything like delivery, withdrawal, or a refund, all the teams will see and be able to react quickly. E-mails are considered modern and electronic; it is a communication system that involves technology and computer networks. E-mails allow quick and fast delivery of messages that can get all teams in touch to know what is happening. Relaying of information, messages, and responses can be really quick and convenient. Electronic Kanban works pretty similar to emails but the fact that messages are being relayed might work differently. The electronic Kanban allows a quick response and relaying of messages as well; the electronic Kanban signal though, uses technology and tools that are complex than normal tools like computers, a screen, video camera, or an online cam are the probable tools used in electronic Kanban signals.

What the Kanban System needs

Since we all know that the Kanban system is one of the management concepts from Toyota by reading the above paragraphs, the Kanban signals and cards are very important factors of the whole system which needs fast and quick responses as well as relaying of messages, following the Just-in-Time concept. It is very important to keep in mind that the products, spare parts, and other things that are needed to produce specific products are always needed in stock (only in a moderate amount) so that the system will flow smoothly. When Kanban signals are used, it is needed for all teams to be ready and observe the signals carefully to see what is next to do and to follow so that products will be produced with high quality and that they will follow the orders.

Without a Kanban card, the system wouldn’t work efficiently. The system might as well work, but of course not in a Kanban way. Kanban cards are similar to bills and paper currencies that customers trade with products and wants, once products are finished and produced. In the Kanban system, it is also very considerate to know well about the relationships between all the teams within the productivity line. The productivity team is the inventory team’s customer whereas the inventory team is the manufacturing team’s customer. It is healthy for businesses to take a look greatly and observe carefully at these relationships to understand greater about each team’s weakness and strengths so that more improvements can be done.

What information should a Kanban card have?

1. Name of the raw materials used

2. Name of the manufacturer (This information is needed to provide defenses to companies when many manufacturers can produce numbers of raw materials)

3. The amount of products made (is a representation for money)

4. The serial number of card (needed for contact)

5. The amount of cards (When a Kanban card is missing, it is risky and most-likely that products will not be received or made)

Types of Kanban Cards

1. Production Order Card

2. Withdrawal Card

3. Container

The rules and regulations include:

1. Within each container, there must always be a card

2. If there is no approval in the withdrawal card then it is impossible to transfer products

3. The container must contain the right amount of products with high quality only

4. Only high quality parts or components in making specific products are used in the productivity line

5. The total amount of products produced should not be more than the amount recorded in the card

Other Symbols:

A container is mainly a signal in the system to show that productivity is needed once it is empty. In a container less situation, the container will not be used; instead, empty spaces and areas will signal a need in productivity which then acts like a Kanban card.

Full Tilt Poker Download – Play Poker Easily

For poker lovers, the game has been brought near you. Developers have come up with Software to ease poker play. With the new technological advancements, people don’t have to strain anymore. Full Tilt Poker Download is a good way of achieving your dreams.

The site gives you great info about poker. This is to help understand the game before you download the software. You can have a tour and learn more about using the software by skimming through the internet site. It’s also offered with a variety. The software comes in various formats. This is where you can choose the best format. You can thus avoid downloading non-compatible software for your device.

Full Tilt Poker Download also gives a video. This is an illustration of how it’s possible for you to simply download the software. The internet site sets a particular corner to the left where you can get access to the video. There are many basic illustrations offered in the video. At least you avoid blind downloading. Unlike many websites, Full Tilt Poker Download internet site gives clearness to all queries about the poker software. The video is also intended to clear things up. This is to give you one step in advance before downloading the software. It is great in its methods of operation. With its distinct features, it allows you to customize the playing environment. This is great because you can set the game your way. You also have a chance to get to the tables quicker making the game easier. With its special features, the player has an opportunity of becoming an expert. The new Full Tilt Poker Download software has three unique perspectives from which you can select from. It is great because the player can get his kind of game easily.

The software has advanced Filters and favourites which enable the player to focus on particular games. The player has a chance of showing only his fave games. That’s what creates the fun in the game. It also gives him a chance to advance your skills in poker play. It has advanced features used to streamline the game. For a beginner, this is great software to start with. Advance skills by downloading the software today.

Car Window Tints Can Actually Keep Your Car Cool!

Having a car can be extremely useful as it will be your biggest help to drive you around the town. However, it becomes extremely unbearable during the hot summer when the car stands under the sun for a few hours and then becomes extremely hot to get inside. The good news is that there is a very cheap alternative to help you avoid this from happening and this alternative is what else but car window tints. These tints are in so many ways the best method to keep your car chilly even when the temperatures go to the extremes!

Window tints for cars are very helpful during the hot summer as they can easily stop the sun light from making its way to your car. What is special about them is that they can be mounted easily on the windows and in fact, you can do the mounting all by yourself if you have the time and the desire. Another bigger advantage of window tinting cars is that they are dirty cheap; in fact, they are the cheapest method to have a cool car during the summer. Most cars offer air conditioning but you will not need it much when you have car window tints.

As about mounting the tints on the car, it is extremely easy to do it on your own. Actually, it would be pretty fun and entertaining to apply the tints yourself as it takes only a few minutes. The first thing you have to do is of course to purchase the tints on the shop. They are usually sold pre-cut and ready to apply, but you should carefully select the model which will suit your car windows. On the other hand, the tints can also be sold in square feet and in this case, you will have to cut the tints yourself, but the advantage of this is that you get to cut them properly and this is the best way to make sure the tints will suit your car windows.

But still, you can also hire an expert to apply the tints into your car windows. After all, if you do not have the confidence that the results from your own work will be satisfying, you should immediately think of hiring an expert. These can be easily found, usually an auto mechanic is capable of doing it or even the shop assistant from the shop you bought the tint from. The alternative is to get a relative of yours to do this. But you should in every way think of doing it yourself because it’s very easy and quick.

What makes car tints even better is that they are cheaper than any other method of keeping your car cool. Air conditioning is extremely good at what it does but it costs more. Car tints are a one-time purchase but they will always stay on your car to keep you cool. Although the investment is little, their effect is huge. So, as a conclusion, getting car tints is extremely advisable as they are very cheap and extremely easy to mount.

Saving Energy With Awnings

Materials – There are many different types of awning materials, but for the purposes of this article, we will base our discussion on the two most common categories of awning materials: metal, and fabric. In this article metal can refer to aluminum, or any other metal, and fabric refers to canvas, soft vinyl, or any other typical awning fabric.

Fabric – Fabric awnings are more effective at providing a cooler shade than metal, due to the fabrics resistance to conducting thermal energy. However, the thinner the fabric, the less insulating qualities of the awning. Thicker vinyl awning fabric is a more effective insulator than the thinner canvas awning material, and it will shield against some of the UV rays that will typically penetrate the thinner canvas fabrics. The more threadbare the fabric, the less effective the insulating quality of the awning. This is typically what happens to RV awnings, or trailer awnings over time.

Metal – Metal residential awnings are sturdier, able to withstand stronger winds, and require less maintenance than fabric awnings, but they heat up in the hot sun and radiate that heat into the shade below. You can overcome this problem by acquiring an insulated metal awning, such as an insulated patio awning. These awnings usually consist of a slab of Styrofoam-like material that is sandwiched between two pieces of aluminum sheet metal. This is the ideal in durable, low maintenance, efficient energy savings, and cool shade.

Having an insulated metal patio awning (a.k.a. porch awning), or patio cover, along with metal window awnings is one of the most cost effective ways of lowering your energy bills by increasing the shade surrounding your house, thereby lowering the temperature inside your home, and minimizing the time that your air conditioner needs to run to cool off your home. This way of passively lowering the inside temperature of your home can be priceless during a power outage, especially if you have elderly family members, or anyone with a compromised ability to cool off effectively, living in the home. In this situation the use of awnings could save lives during prolonged periods of high temperatures.

The cost of the awnings will pay for itself in energy savings. Get a patio cover, along with window awnings, and save power without sacrificing comfort, or health.

How Much Will Sealcoating Cost You?

If you have an asphalt based driveway, or maybe you’re a business that has a parking lot.   You may find that sooner or later your driveway is going to start cracking, or just simply look bad.  If you don’t maintain it on a yearly basis, you will find that it’s going to deteriorate rather quickly.

What should I expect with seal coating pricing?

Every contractor is going to be different when it comes to giving you a quote.  This is why it’s important that you talk with at least 3-5 companies when considering a deal.  Never ever go with the first company that you come across, as this can be a relatively bad idea.

When you want to get an exact price, most legit sealcoating companies will come to your house and conduct a free estimate.  This is a great way to get an exact price.  You will find that they will basically measure the length and width of your driveway.  Every company is going to have it’s own formula.  Some companies may charge you by the size of the driveway, while others may charge you based on the labor charges.

What am I going to get?

With a great sealcoating job, they are going to basically resurface your driveway / parking lot.  They will repaint any parking lines and make your lot look like it’s brand new.  Keep in mind that if you have any cracks, they may just fill it with crack filler, rather than replace it.  If you want to have a nice, smooth surface, you will find that you will want to replace it entirely.

You’re going to be able to choose from a few different options as well.  You will find that you can get it sprayed on, which will be cheaper.  If you wish, you can also get it brushed on, which will look better, but will cost you a little more.  This will vary again depending on the contractor.

Every contractor will be different.  Be sure to get a few quotes to know the exact price that you’re going to pay, because it will vary on city by city.

Plastic Model Kits Building – Assemble the Model

The task of assembling a scale model kit might seem difficult or tough to most of us at first. However, with a well plan and predetermined sequence of stages, you should be able to get the job done with ease and comfort. The difficulty level of assembly will largely depend on the complexity of the chosen model. Plastic models that have more parts and details tend to take a longer time to assemble.

Here is a brief guide to assemble a typical plastic model kit:

1. Find a work place where you will not be disturbed or distracted. The area should be well ventilated and lighted. A large and flat top working table is recommended.

2. Read through the installation sheet carefully. Take your time to study and understand in details the sequence of building the model in stages.

3. Carefully check the individual part against the installation sheet. If the installation sheet includes a parts layout diagram, verify each part against it. This step is to avoid having any missing part prior to starting. Do not remove any part from its runner until it is required for assembly.

4. Remove each part as it is called for in the installation sheet. Use a cutter to remove the part instead of breaking it by hand. Sand away any rough edges from the cutting or unwanted mold lines.

5. Ensure the parts fit properly before assembling them with cement. At times, you are required to trim a part slightly to make a perfect fit.

6. Seam is a line formed when joining two parts together. To solve this problem, use a liberal amount of cement during assembly. Squeeze the joint hard until a bead of molten plastic appears along the seam. Wait till the bead is thoroughly dry and scrap it off to achieve a smooth and invisible seam.

7. Put aside small parts which require painting prior to assemble. These painted small parts are to be added after the rest of the assembled model is painted.

8. When your model is completely assembled, confirm again that there are no outstanding parts and all are installed as per the installation sheet.

9. Carefully inspect the completed model for things you might have overlooked such as molding lines you forgot to clean or seams that ought to be filled.

10. Once you thoroughly corrected all flaws, the assembly of your model is finally completed.

The entire process might take a while based on your experienced, skills and the chosen model. Take your time and don’t rush the job and be rewarded with a piece of work you can be proud of.

Where Should You Mount a Home Weather Station?

A home weather station can be a very useful tool however to get the most out of it you have to make sure that you mount it in the proper location. When professional weather stations are set up they are put in large open spaces so they will not be affected by buildings around them, this is why most of them are at airports. This is obviously not going to be an option with a home weather station so you are going to have to mount it in a way that it will give the most accurate readings possible.

In general you can mount your home weather station wherever is most convenient for you, there are however a few things to keep in mind. The biggest is that the anemometer, the instrument that measures the wind speed, and the rain gauge need to be in open areas. The reason for this should be obvious, if you have anything blocking them they are not going to get accurate measurements. Ideally you should get the anemometer above all of the buildings in your area, professional weather stations mount theirs on top of thirty foot poles for this reason.

Since you need to get the anemometer and rain gauge in a location where they are not going to be blocked most people choose to put theirs on the roof. This works great for wind and rain readings but it creates a new problem, it means that the temperature sensor will be in the direct sunlight. Even worse most roofs are dark color and as a result get very hot. This means that the temperature will read higher than it should.

If it is at all possible the best option is to put the rain gauge and anemometer of the roof and the temperature sensor under the eave so that it will be out of the direct sunlight and not be affected by the heat radiated by the roof. This should give you the best readings possible.

There are a couple of disadvantages to mounting your weather station on the roof, the biggest is that it will be inconvenient to get to when you have to do things like change batteries if you are using a station that uses them. The other issue is that if it is on the roof it will be exposed to lightning so it will need to be grounded.

If you don’t want to mount your home weather station on the roof you can normally put it in your yard if you have enough space. The only real issue here will be finding a spot where the wind will not be blocked. In this case regardless of what you do you are going to find that the wind speed will be somewhat in error.

Rock Hard Core – The Tire and Sledgehammer Workout!

If you are wanting to dial up your fitness and develop a super rock hard core then you have got to grab a sledgehammer and start beating up on big tractor tire. This is an unconventional, yet highly effective way for you to develop a superior level of core strength and total body fitness. You probably never thought of something resembling that of construction work to be a workout, however if you have ever done it then you know how hard this work can be!

Slinging A Sledgehammer!

The tire and sledgehammer workout is quite an experience. Whether you are looking for a different way to train or to just take your life frustrations out on something in the most positive way then this is your ticket. If you have read any of my other material then you know that I am huge proponent of movement based training which results in the optimal development of your core strength and overall fitness. Slinging a sledgehammer to beat up a tractor tire is a great way to do this.

You see the key to actually swinging the hammer is that you have to integrate the muscles of your core midsection in order to do so. The way we are designed is that our bodies generate the most force and power from the center towards our extremities (legs and arms) which act as levers for movement. When incorporating the motion of swinging a sledgehammer you are generating a ton of force from your core midsection which results in a heck of a trunk workout which includes those most sought after abs that we all want for the summer time!

The great thing about these very simple devices is that they can be used in a number of different ways to achieve a rock solid workout. You can put the sledgehammer down and work on flipping and even jumping the tire itself for a workout. The sledgehammer and tire can also be combined with other forms of strength training such as kettlebells and sandbags for quite the total body workout. The great thing is that you are benefiting here from both muscular and cardiovascular conditioning with this intense compounding movements.

If you haven’t already started to implement the use of the tire and sledgehammer into your workouts then you are missing out on some rock hard core development. Take the time to learn more by accessing more of my articles on the subject for free. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart!

Byzantine Mosaic Technique

Right at this moment, there are two known methods used by mosaic artists – the direct and indirect method. But did you know that there is in addition the so called Byzantine technique? This technique was used centuries ago by mosaic artists.

Even though the Byzantine Empire no longer exists, you can nevertheless employ the technique to create any mosaic project. Here’s how you is able to do it:

First, you must consider a mosaic design, pattern, or image that you wish to create. Afterward, get a wood which is about three centimeters bigger than the mosaic’s size. Now, you need to cut four battens and you must screw them in place at the wood’s edges. Fill it with charcoal clay and wet it with water.

On a PVC paper, sketch the mosaic pattern/design/image and position the paper on the wet clay. From the paper’s top left border or edge, cut it into tiny pieces. Position the spectacles, stones, marbles, and other tesserae to pay for the mosaic. Get a substantial cloth and place it over the mosaic after you’ve applied wall paper glue or paste. Leave the mosaic for about two days.

After two days, remove the screws and the battens as well. Turn the mosaic carefully. Cut the clay into small squares and clean the sides.

Now, you need to make a metallic or wooden frame and put a chicken wire in it. Mix equal amounts of fine sand and cement then add water to build a somewhat dry consistency. Pour the mixture into the frame.

Keep the mosaic in your hands and slowly lower it to the cement mixture. Tap the sides to do away with air bubbles. After ten to twenty minutes, wet the cloth a trifle and remove it. The surface of the mosaic will be revealed. Using a sponge or a cloth, wipe the excess concrete. Leave it for the next one and half hours and wet it again. Afterward, leave the mosaic for a pair of days (3-4 days) but try to water it every so often. Use a lint-free clean cloth to polish the mosaic.

Once you have finished with the project, you should have mosaic craft that seems to be from the Byzantine era. As you may have noticed, using the Byzantine technique is of a hassle since you need to leave the mosaic for a pair of hours and even days to dry. You must be patient and careful so that you will not commit any mistakes. Still, if you are a novice, do not be afraid to commit mistakes because you can discover from them. The the next occasion you create mosaic project, you’ll be aware what to do.

The direct method that artists use currently is much better because the steps are easy. It only gets intricate when the indirect way is used. For simple and small mosaic designs, the direct technique is highly recommended but when you’re already dealing with large scale mosaics, the indirect method is the best choice.

The Byzantine method is a bit involved but with a bit of practice, you can buy it too. Now you can contribute your masterpiece to your collections. Don’t rush and do not rush your livelihood. Get all the needed materials first; that way, when you commence working, you will not be running to and from the hardware outlet.

New Pool Finish Care

Ok, so you passed on the new big screen TV, gave in on the weekend fishing trip with your best buddies and worked some extra hard hours so that you could get the pool resurfaced. After all you must put into priority what really counts most, right? Well never the less your pool has a new coat of plaster weather it’s a Quartz Finish, a Stone Finish or Conventional Marcite (is that stuff still around?) makes no difference. Hopefully you found the right contractor to do the job and everything went smoothly? Let’s leave that for another article. So your pool is filling and what you do next could absolutely decide how long your new plaster will look new and how long it will last. I kid you not, start-up, aka fire-up of the new finish is one of the most important parts of the re-plastering process.

I have found that although you may have used a reputable pool contractor to do a superb job of the actual re-finishing does not necessarily mean they will do a proper fire-up once the pool is filled. Might be that plastering is their forte and only offer the fire-up as a courtesy because there competition does, or they may not offer it all due to the liability of damaging the new finish. So it would certainly behoove you to know exactly what is necessary to safeguard the integrity and warranty of your pool finish. After all, that weekend fishing trip would look pretty good after having your pool refinished only to be stained, streaked and discolored.

The consensus has been: once the pool is filled you need to get the water cleared and balanced as soon as possible (contractor needs that check) That usually meant shocking the pool heavily, balancing the alkalinity, PH and vacuuming the pool to remove the plaster dust and any debris that might have entered the pool during the refill. All done in one day and usually on the day the pool was finished filling.

BIG MISTAKE!

Back in the 70’s & 80’s the plaster of choice (only choice) was conventional Marcite and a recurring problem builders were having with the plaster was a condition known as spot etching. Some other conditions that were prevalent in these same pools were streaking, grey swirls and yellowing of the finish. Everyone in the industry had their own opinion or expert advice as to why this was happening, the only problem was that the industry as a whole could not agree on the “why”. The National Spa & Pool Industry (NSPI) as it was known back then, in conjunction with several pool builders conducted several tests on demo pools to try to come up with a common denominator that could explain the ongoing conditions affecting pool finishes.

Some of the first finger pointing was at the fact that Marcite used to contain Asbestos as part of the plaster mix, for OBVIOUS reasons the EPA had the Manufactures of Marcite remove the Asbestos and low and behold every old-timer in the industry blamed the removal off the Asbestos as the source of all plaster related problems. We know better today that was not true but unfortunately those old-school plasterers are not around anymore, huh? wonder why? So these demo pools were plastered, filled and monitored for about a year. After all the hoopla, all the finger pointing and all the data was in, guess what, the NSPI and the industry determined the common denominator was human error, labor defects, defects in the actual mixing of the plaster on the job-site, defects in the actual application of the plaster, defects in the hand troweling of the plaster as well as the condition of the trowels themselves. Last but not least and most prevalent was the start-up procedure done by most companies.

Houston we have a problem!

How can this be? Was echoed throughout the industry. We are the experts, we’ve been doing this for years and years without these problems, how could all of a sudden our time and tested techniques be the blame for all of our woes? Well like all trades that have have well skilled craftsmen they all had their industry specific niche. Pool plasterers were not born from the industry but transferred from the masonry, concrete and stucco finishing trades. After all swimming pools really did not have their own industry classification until the late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Pools were being built by home builders who employed skilled craftsmen, skilled in block laying, carpentry, form work, concrete finishing and plastering.

As the pool industry grew and the industry was able to support the full time employment of pool plasters. Those plasterers came from skilled backgrounds and as the industry continued to grow it attracted all sorts of people trying to get their slice of pool pie. Well unfortunately with all big business comes competition and competition can be a good thing if we all play fair like good little boys and girls. New pool companies were popping up everywhere and everywhere a new pool company started they needed laborers. Notice I said laborers not craftsmen, yes the competition was not playing fair by hiring unskilled labor to reduce the overall cost of the pool. Forcing the craftsmen still left in the industry in keep taking pay cuts until they were finally forced out of the industry by the newbie’s. OK maybe not forced so much as they were ready for retirement anyway.

They sure don’t build them like they used too

Remember that old saying? “they don’t build them like they used too” well the transfer from old school craftsmen to then new pool laborers must have missed quite a few important trade secrets and techniques. Pool plaster “101” is apparently where all the freshmen left, dropped out went to work thinking they knew all there was to know. Here is what unfortunately not passed down to them from the very wise old guys:

1) Thou shall not apply plaster unless the plaster was mixed for “x” amounts of minutes.

2) Thou shall not use well water or unfiltered water for mixing of the plaster.

3) Thou shall not use dirty trowels, worn trowels or poor quality steel trowels.

4) Thou shall not over-trowel the pool plaster.

5) Thou shall not add calcium to the plaster mix.

6) Thou shall not walk bare-foot on finished pool plaster.

7) Thou shall fill pool starting the water in the deep end only.

8) Thou shall not interrupt the filling process until the water reaches the tile line.

9) Thou shall not try to chemically balance the pool all in one day.

10) Thou shall brush, brush and brush the pool for at least 10 days.

I promise you it really was just a coincidence that there are “10” commandments, I mean RULES!

Now let me explain why it took years and years of crying foul and caused an industry to come together to solve the obvious that was not so obvious at the time. Here is what was determined to be the cause of spot etching, grey streaks or swirls, aka mottling and yellowing of the pool plaster:

1) Add plaster and water to a powered mixer, mix until it looks like pancake batter and apply to pool, sounds OK but not true. Turns out that the dry plaster and water need to be mixed for a specific amount of time (5-6min.) before they are considered married (feels like a lifetime!) also plaster that is under-mix can and does false set which requires additional mixing and addition of water to complete the process. The mixing from batch to batch needs to be as consistent as possible to ensure uniform texture and curing all around.

2) The source of the water could be high in metals, low in hardness or vice versa. Tap water or well water could have adverse effects on the plaster’s outcome. Causing staining and streaking.

3) Dirty trowels are dirty trowels no need to say more, but worn trowels have a direct affect on how hard a finisher has to apply pressure to the plaster to get it smooth. The harder the pressure applied to the trowel the more likely the trowel will transfer heat from the friction caused from the exerted pressure and burn the finish, commonly known as “trowel burns”. Trowel burns are what cause the finish to have grayish swirls throughout the pool finish

4) Over-troweling the pool has the same effect on the pool finish even if the tools are clean, in good shape and of good quality. Over troweling usually becomes necessary when the plaster false sets on the finishers and there was a mad frenzy of troweling to try to get the plaster smoothed out before it got too hard.

5) Calcium is well known as an accelerator of cement products, that being said on cooler days, colder climates or day’s with rain in the forecast plasterers found by adding calcium to the plaster mix they could accelerate the set-up time of the plaster therefore in theory finish a pool quicker without having to wait for the plaster to set at its own pace. This practice became more and more common as plaster crews were now able to get 2 and even 3 pools plastered in one day. More PIE! (more like humble pie)

6) Walking barefoot on a freshly plastered pool seemed harmless enough; certainly better then walking on the finish with work boots, shoes or sneakers. The plaster is hard at this point but by no means cured. In-fact it takes about 28 days for plaster to fully cure. The finished plaster acts like a sponge absorbing everything that comes in contact with it. The perfect outline of a foot print usually revealed itself about a month after the pool was completed. The foot print was a result of the natural oil in a person’s skin being absorbed into the plaster, that oil was retained by the plaster as it cured causing the finish to dry darker in the outline of a foot print, pinky toe included.

7) “Hey honey look the pool is filling, sure is filling slow, let’s get another hose in there so it will fill faster!” Run a second hose out to the pool to speed up the filling process also seemed harmless enough so long as the second water hose was added to the deep-end where there already is a growing body of water. When a hose is added, water must hit water and not run down the plaster from the wall or the shallow end as the very absorbent plaster will pull the minerals and impurities’ out of the water flowing down the plaster thus causing a stain/streak.

8) Turning the water fill off for the pool still happens today more often than you might think. A homeowner not being informed about how important the need to let the pool fill until water reached the tile was the main reason for this happening. Typically a pool needs a good 24 to 36 hours to fill depending on the size of the pool and of course water pressure. Mr. & Mrs. Pool owner fearful the pool might over fill during the night would turn the water of at bedtime and resume the next morning. ” Ring around the rosy pocket full of …” Sorry!, Ring around pool as in “a definite water line mark” where the pool water was stopped for several hours then resumed, resulted in a permanent stain.

9) “Patience is a Virtue” except when you’re trying to collect final payment on a pool resurface and the water is green. No GREEN for Mr. Pool Man until the pool is blue. Turns out shocking a pool that has been recently plastered is bad, very, very bad, also turns out that chlorine is the last thing that should be added to the pool for several reasons. That did not make a lot of sense at that time as it was thought without chlorine how could you clear up the water quickly. Filter, Filter, Filter. Ever wonder how a fish tank stays clear without chlorine; a swimming pool is really nothing more than a big o fish tank. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying you should forgo on the chlorine, or that you can put fish in your pool, but you certainly do not need as much chlorine as you think. We have found that a procedure of adding a Stain & Scale control product, balancing the ph, alkalinity and calcium and running the filter for a few days before adding chlorine is the best way to nurse the newly finished plaster to good health.

10) “Brush, brush, brush that plaster dust away”, has a nice ring to it but truth is everybody hates brushing a pool especially when you are told you must brush at least twice a day. The new plaster is curing and shedding what we call, “plaster dust” plaster dust left untouched can and will resettle on the pool finish and cause yellowing on Marcite and leave a white paste on Stone or Quartz finishes. By brushing the pool constantly you are getting the dust off the surface and out into the water so that the filter can trap the dust as it is circulated. As each day passes the dust will become less and less prevalent until it is all gone, about a week in most cases. From that point on brushing the pool at least once a week is good for the pool and an upper body workout.

FOR A DETAILED GUIDE ON HOW TO START-UP A NEW POOL FINISH PLEASE READ “Proper Chemical Start-Up Guide”

OK you can breathe now, we’re done, grab a cold drink, find your favorite pool float and relax!

Maintenance of Crystal Chandeliers

If you have a crystal chandelier, then you may enjoy its elegant look. But you should also think that you have to properly maintain the look of the chandelier if you want it to be kept elegant.

When it comes to cleaning a chandelier, this can be more difficult than the other lighting fixtures. With the materials that are used for this, you can find it more intricate and even delicate in such a point that keeping it always clean can be a hard thing but you should know that this is a necessity. You have to keep your chandelier clean or else it may lose its appeal.

However, if you are about to clean it for the first time, then you may feel that this may be too much of a challenge. The material is too delicate so you have to be very careful in handling it. For many individuals they would prefer to ease the task of cleaning through getting the services of a professional crystal chandelier cleaner. Although this option can be good, you should also consider that you will have to pay for these services so you have to spend an amount of money. If you do not want to spend, then you should try learning the proper way of cleaning a crystal chandelier.

You should also remember that this is an electric furniture so you have to handle the wirings properly. This is not only because you have to make sure that the material is not damaged but also to ensure that you are safe when you are cleaning it. If you did not clean it properly especially the part with the wirings, then there is a chance that it would not lit up. Although you may think that it would be better to simply let the chandelier be, you should still keep it cleaned. This is needed if you want a good looking crystal chandelier and not a piece of junk that is hanged in your ceiling.

For you to be able to clean the chandelier, you should know how it is done. You can start with reading more articles about it so that you will know how you can clean it properly. There are many articles in the web and you can read them for free. You can learn from them so that when it is time to clean your crystal chandelier, you will already know how it should be done. This would need some of your time since you will have to learn about it. You should also know how to do it so you will have to exert extra effort in cleaning and maintaining it clean always. Through this, you will have a well maintained chandelier that you can enjoy more.

The Top 10 Gardening Tools Everyone Needs

Years ago, gardening tools were built to last and it was not uncommon for a good spade, to cost a week’s wages. As they were an expensive commodity, these gardening tools had to be made to withstand the test of time and were often passed down through generations. You find many of them still being used today.

These days, when you walk into any retailer that sells gardening tools you are met with racks of different items all proclaiming they are the ‘gardeners best friend’ or ‘what every garden needs’, researching on the internet is even more confusing, with pages of gardening tools results filling your screen claiming to be the tool that you must have.

Before you start looking at the hi-tech gadgetry available on the high street and online, you need to ensure that you have the basics. A good foundation of gardening tools will stand you in good stead for the future and give you a good base to build up an array of tools in the future. Below is a list of the top 10 gardening tools that every garden shed should be keeping safe.

Gloves

We all know that many garden pests and weeds have thorns, stings or chemicals that irritate the skin so the first item in our gardening tools list is a good pair of gloves. Not only will they protect from nasty prickly pests they can help prevent blisters and stop your skin drying out.

Spade

There is no way you could do anything of note in a garden without a spade – it will help when turning soil in flower beds and veggie patches, dig holes for fence posts or larger trees and shrubs, and prove invaluable when clearing piles of rubbish.

Trowel

The spade is designed for the big jobs in the garden, the next item in this list is the trowel. Without it, nothing would get planted – no perennials, annuals, borders or baskets. A good strong trowel is an integral weapon in any gardening tools arsenal.

Lawnmower

This entry in our top 10 gardening tools list is pretty self-explanatory, if you have a lawn – you need a lawnmower!

Secateurs

Always have a good pair of secateurs to hand, they will help you all around the garden – whether they are used for cutting flowers for the house or tackling the thorny problem of brambles.

Knife

If you don’t want to get into trouble with the chef in the house then you need a knife for the garden – essential for your tools armoury when harvesting veggies, cutting string or attacking tall weeds! (Be careful!)

Ball of string

Never underestimate the usefulness of the simple ball of string, the average gardener will use miles of it during their cultivating life! If you don’t have one you will miss is greatly.

Shears

If you don’t have too much greenery to keep tidy in your garden, a sharp pair of shears will do as good a job as an electric trimmer and keep you fit at the same time!

Wheelbarrow

The humble wheelbarrow has a multitude of uses in the garden and will, if used correctly, save you from dreaded back-ache. Whether for moving soil, transporting rubbish or ferrying your tools – a wheelbarrow is a must.

Weed Killer

The final entry in our top 10 gardening tools list is a good weed killer. For the best results when tackling weeds in the garden use a weed killer that not only targets the weed above the surface but one that also penetrates deep into the roots. An indispensable item in any gardening tools kit.