Fireproof File Cabinets – The Ultimate Safeguard For Your Files

Imagine the horrific proposition of having all your important customer and business contacts, emailing lists as well as billing information go up in flames. Indeed, that is not what any business owner wants to happen. You need the best protection for all related documents and the most effective security is fireproof file cabinets. They give you the peace of mind that allows you sleep better at night, knowing that your business is secured in good hands.

Before you purchase your fire proof filing cabinets, do your research to understand the protection levels that they can accord you. You can visit your local office supplies store or do your research via the internet.

At the high end spectrum currently available in the market can easily cost about 2,000 dollars per unit. As one of the top of the line fire proof vertical files, the function of fire resistance is key. Of course, at this level of pricing, it should also have been tested and approved for impact, water as well as explosion resilient. To pass the fire resistance test, they must be able to withstand higher than 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit external temperatures and lower than 125 degree F interior temperatures. As for the impact test, it must have endured a crash from 30 feet and more.

Some manufacturers offer wide range of lateral and vertical filing cabinets in two, thee and four drawer sizes, all fire proof to boot. Looking just like their ordinary filing cabinets, they are made to hold up to two hours of fire and heat. Also most of these units are available in ordinary looking shells, giving any unwelcome intruders a hard time in the even of a break in.

Fireproof file cabinets will always cost more than their ordinary counterparts by virtue of the fact that the materials and locking systems do not come cheap. Indeed, the higher the cost, the better is the quality and the greater is your peace of mind.

Wallpapers Are Back in Fashion

It appears that wallpapers have become popular again. There are a lot of wallpapers on the market which can satisfy anyone’s whims, wallpapers made of all kinds of materials, with all kinds of models printed on them and so on. Also, there are such options which are dedicated to bathrooms or kitchens, where you need steam or heat resistant materials. Apparently, the latest fashion imposes that you choose a wallpaper made of fibres because it is very easy to stick it on the wall and you don’t need to soak it.

It is very important that you decide on the style you want to adopt and to take the furniture in the room into consideration. Depending on whether you have classical or modern furniture around, you can choose a traditional version with floral motifs or a futuristic one with all kinds of geometrical figures or abstract ones. If you like keeping things simple, you can put cover only one wall in wallpaper, but make sure you have a lot of interesting visual effects. You can have wallpapers with metallic or textured finishes, with oriental models or models carved in bamboo, leather or sea grass. If you used to have problems with the sockets and the switchers and so on, you can now use them to make your walls even more interesting.

You should always see a designer, regardless of the material or the model you choose. Things may look easy at first, but you have to take the destination of the room into consideration and you need to prepare the walls properly before you apply the wallpaper.

Metal Roof Prices – Calculating the Cost of Installing a Metal Roof

Guesstimating the cost of installing a metal roof can be a trickier thing than it sounds. First off, the standard materials are going to cost different amounts in different places – it all depends on the cost of labor, the methods of distribution, freight costs and so on. Then there’s the fact that with your typical contractor, they’ll lower the cost per square foot of installation the bigger your roof is. Indeed, if you intend to cut out the middleman and buy the raw materials straight from the manufacturer, you might want try finding someone else that plans to re-roof and buy your metal roof shingles together at a wholesale price. The most popular brands like Met-Tile, Prestige, Decrabond, Gerard or Zappone are preferable as, while they might cost a little more, they offer the best warranties.

After your purchase  ask the manufacturer who in your area is qualified to install that roof, and you’ll be well on your way to a low-cost, high-quality installation. Never, ever go with a roofer who hasn’t worked with the material before. The long term cost of having to re-do the job will easily outweigh any cash you might save by choosing less skilled labor, in addition to which the cost of installing a metal roof is generally low, as the shingles are so lightweight, and are often sold in pre-assembled sheets.

The cost of installing a metal roof will be significantly less the more regular the roof of your home is. Roofs with irregular features like strange angles, skylights, dormers, sidewalls and chimneys will probably require custom, on-site cutting of panels, making them seriously prohibitive for any kind of home DIY-installation effort. Cutting by hand takes far too long for any but the most zen-like roofer to retain his sanity. Instead an expensive, portable machine called a brake is required, as is a professional trained in its operation.

While base metal roof prices are a little steep by comparison to fiberglass and asphalt roofs, if you plan to stay in your home, the cost will more than justify itself. Metal roofing is naturally flame retardant. Indeed, because of its noncombustible characteristics, many insurance companies offer discounts of up to 25 percent on policies for homes with metal roofs.

Aside from lowering your fire-hazard rating, the outlay of cash that the cost of installing a metal roof calls for will make for immediate savings on your electricity bills. When sealed, metal roofing panels can be pretty much airtight, keeping warm air from escaping your home in winter. In summer, on the other hand, the panels reflect sunlight rather than absorbing it the way asphalt shingles would, meaning that you won’t have to run your air conditioning round the clock just to keep your home cool. Getting shingles with a plastic Kynar coating can enhance this reflective effect, making your home even more environmentally friendly.

There is also no roofing solution that can match a copper, aluminum or stainless steel roof for durability. Metal shingles are strong enough to stand up to hail without a dent, and many of them have withstood hurricane force winds without being dislodged. Furthermore, a simple Zinc-Aluminum coating can make metal shingles so resistant to corrosion that all that’s required for their maintenance is the occasional hose-down. This is the reason that many companies offer warranties on their shingles of up to fifty years.

Telescoping Pole Tools for Hanging Ceiling Wire From the Ground

A single suspended ceiling worker can hang over 600 ceiling wires in day. Such a worker can safely reach ceilings of up to 30 feet with the longest version of this tool.

The unique head design of an eye lag pole allows a worker to first twist in an eye lag screw into a wood joist, then with the screw set in place, the ceiling wire is twisted onto the screw. Typically such an eye lag screw will hold up to 150 pounds safely. “How-to” installation videos are available on YouTube.

Self-drilling eye lag screws are available for both wood joist and metal decking. When fastening to metal deck care should be taken not to over-torque or “strip out” these screws, otherwise they install exactly like the wood screws.

In some areas, eye lag screws pre-wrapped to ceiling wire are available. These pre-wrapped assemblies are called “Hospital Wraps” as they are required on hospital jobs. Hospital wraps are used in order to make installation of ceiling wire faster and to satisfy California codes for hospitals, jails and schools. Installing pre-wrapped eye lags require a special head for the telescoping pole tool.

These telescoping pole tools are designed for industrial applications. Continuous use of up to 8 hours a day on jobsites is not unusual. They are typically made from heavy duty aluminum to keep weight down. They are powered by a drill with at least a 10mm chuck attached to the bottom of the pole. The whole tool is rotated by the drill. The operator uses one hand to operate the drill while the other hand controls the pole.

Perhaps the most advanced telescoping eye lag pole is the LagMaster Plus, as it has interchangeable heads that can be used for many applications. It has been called “the electricians pole tool”. In addition to hanging ceiling wire, the same telescoping pole tool to can be used to hang threaded rod, Jack chain or even rope by use of its unique interchangeable heads. One of the interchangeable heads is a female ¼” hex driver. Another can be used with the Powers Sniper powder actuated tool. There is even a broom handle thread which can be used with light changers, saw blades and paint rollers.

In the field of fire sprinkler installation the process of hanging threaded rod has always been an onerous and at times dangerous task. These problems have been met and solved by telescoping pole tools, and specialty screws such as the Sammy Super Screw or the HangerMate Screw. These poles tools are innovative and well worth considering over a ladder or scissors lift.

Armstrong Vinyl Flooring – Advantages And Disadvantages

Armstrong vinyl flooring is one of the most resilient and best known of all the vinyl flooring made today. They can offer you as the customer a wide range of products in their vinyl flooring range. In this article we will discuss some of these products to help you decide whether they are the right choice for your home.

As well as it being durable, vinyl flooring also comes in a wide variety of patterns such as marble, natural stone or tile as well as wood, all of which look very similar to their natural counterparts. They also come in a range of geometrical and historical patterns as well as diamond and floral styles.

Each vinyl flooring that Armstrong manufactures is made using a ToughGuard construction which contains a core that is durable and is resistant to tearing, gouging or any other kind of damage that can be caused to the structure of it.

As well as providing you with a variety of patterns, styles and colors they also come in either a high or low gloss finish. Also, many of their vinyl floor coverings come with a layer which is resistant to scratching and abrasive wear because it contains aluminum oxide. This particular coating is known as CleanSweep Plus.

The most popular range in the Armstrong vinyl flooring collection is called Destinations. This comes in a variety of natural patterns and is a mid range priced kind of floor covering. There are other ranges as well including MasterWorks which comes with an embossed look to the flooring and includes the CleanSweep Plus layer as does the Destinations range. Each of these particular kinds of flooring cover come with a 15 year warranty.

However, if you are on a limited budget then you may want to consider Armstrong’s discount vinyl flooring range known as Initiator. This comes in the more traditional kinds of vinyl flooring patterns that we instantly recognize and still comes with the ToughGuard inner core but only comes with a 5 year warranty. Certainly when it comes to vinyl flooring the more you spend on it the better quality it will be.

But if you are looking for an Armstrong vinyl flooring which will add a new dimension to any room in your home then why not consider their Natural Fusion collection. This is one of the thickest vinyl floorings you are ever likely to come across being manufactured either by Armstrong or any of the other vinyl flooring manufacturers around today.

In fact the techniques used to produce this particular flooring make it very difficult for someone to distinguish it from the real thing and again has the CleanSweep Plus finish along with aluminum oxide and polycarbonate. The warranty on this particular range of Armstrong vinyl flooring is 20 years and is certainly one of the longest warranties provided by any vinyl flooring manufacturer today.

Electric Fuel Pumps – Design, Work and Faults

Electric fuel pump is used in modern internal combustion engines to supply fuel from the fuel tank to the injectors. The pump should deliver fuel under high pressure, so that the nozzle can spray it into the engine. For the proper engine operation fuel pressure should be within allowed specifications for a given engine. Too low-pressure can lead to “fuel starvation” engine misfire, excessive vibration or stop the engine under load. Too much pressure causes uneven engine running too rich mixture, and excessive pollution.

Electric fuel pumps are usually installed in fuel tank (intake), although some can be installed outside. Some cars may be equipped with two pumps (one pump inside the tank and the main pump on the outside). The location of the pump in the fuel tank helps mute the buzzing noise of pump’s electric motor. Submersion into the fuel helps lubricate and cool the pump’s engine. Driving with fuel tank filled with less than ¼ of its volume can shorten the life of the pump and cause rapid overheating. It also increases risk of pump left without of gas during rapid acceleration or deceleration.

The pump is usually part of a module that also includes a float that carries electrical signals to the level indicator, located on the dashboard. If the fuel pump needs replacing, it can be replaced separately or the complete module assembly (it is expensive, but much easier).

Different electric fuel pumps have different designs. Some older designs used to use forced displacement of the circulation pump chamber. This type of pump can produce very high pressure and constant flow. But at the outlet of the fuel pump has been strong pressure fluctuations, so often in the gas line after the pump was installed damper to reduce the amplitude of pulsation of gas pressure. Circulating chamber can also be installed outside the tank and used with the second low-pressure pump installed in the fuel tank.

There is another type of fuel pump – “rotor-type”. This design is similar to design of the oil pump and uses the offset rotor to push the fuel through the pump. Another variation of the roller pump – “vane-type”. The blades are used instead of rollers to push the gas through the pump. Most modern cars use a pump turbine. Blades of the impeller push gas through the pump. Turbine type pumps do not produce the pressure fluctuations these types are less complicated to manufacture and more reliable in operation. It is possible to replace a fuel pump by not original unit. In this case fuel pump’s output should be within original specifications and as consumption the same as the original one. Use of an improper specs can cause deterioration of performance of the car.

How does electric fuel pump work?

When the ignition, the electronic control unit excites the relay, which supplies voltage to fuel pump, its motor starts to rotate, and within a few seconds it creates necessary gas pressure. Fuel feeds into the inlet pump through a mesh filter to delay the rust and dirt. Outlet of the pump the gas passes through the check valve, single acting (valve maintains a residual pressure in the system, when pump does not work) and feeds to the engine through the fuel line and filter. The fuel filter catches any rust, dirt and other solid contaminants that have passed through the pump to prevent the penetration of these particles in the injectors.

Further, the gas enters the fuel rail, located on the engine and from the rail to each injector. Fuel pressure regulator, located on the ramp, maintains the fuel pressure and throws any excess back to the tank. Start the engine and the electric fuel pump starts to operate continuously and to keep pumping gas until the engine is running. If the engine stops, then the electronic control unit receives a signal from the sensor and the crankshaft ECU will turn off the pump.

A lot of cars (especially Fords) have an inertial emergency switch which disables the fuel pump in the event of an accident. It is envisaged to reduce the risk of fire when the fuel line is damaged. To return the emergency transmitter to its original state – press the reset button on the sensor. On older cars pumps operated at a constant speed. In newer designs pump’s speed is being controlled by the electronic control unit in order to precisely match allowed specifications.

Fuel pump failure

The fuel pump can fail for several reasons: – Due to the presence of contaminants inside the fuel tank (dirt or rust); – When driving out of gas; – As a result of overheating (in constant motion with a low level of gas in tank); – Low voltage (problems with electrical wiring); – As a result of overloading (for a clogged fuel filter excessive resistance of the filter element can cause an overload of electric motor pump). The harder the conditions of the fuel pump, the more power is required for its operation. Electric fuel pump often fails without any warning. You may drive your car without a trouble, and within a minute the pump fails, the engine just stalls and the car gets up in the middle of the road. Or in the morning you are going to start the car but the engine just will not start.

By what signs can one predict the damage the fuel pump? One way is to listen to the noise of the pump when the ignition is on. Complete absence of noise indicates that it is not working. It can be caused by a malfunction of the pump, pump relay malfunction, the fuse or the lack of voltage. On most cars when fuel pump fails you wouldn’t see usual Check Engine light on. Most modern engines equipped with the union to check the fuel pressure on the ramp nozzles. Connecting fuel pressure gauge to the fitting check valve will quickly show whether the pump produces pressure or not. On engines without pressure test union, to measure pressure can be done by connecting directly to the fuel line at the junction of the ramp. If the gauge indicates zero – the pump does not work. If the pressure is less than nominal, it will be necessary to carry out further diagnosis to identify the causes of low fuel pressure.

Lean on God

When you lean on the Father God this is your right and privilege as a human being. The many people that call out to God are like the warriors in the battle, they know not what is ahead, but have the faith of defeating and conquering because they have trust.

We know not every battle we fight will be won, but we know with our faith that the battle is ahead and whatever the consequences are they will be to our advantage later. It’s about faith and trust. It’s about the times that we are trying to get through hurricanes in our life and see no protection, but we trust that God will help us through the storms of life. It’s always a challenge to know that when we reach for something unreachable because we have the love of God in our hearts that everything we do will be blessed – from the people that try to ambush you, to the people that try to take from you all of these things are in God’s control. He’s testing, asking for your spirit to get close to Him and understand His way is not our way.

Think of the many apostles that leaned and trusted God, their lives were not glamorous, they weren’t being promoted they were serving, trusting and helping one another, they were healing people in Gods love. If anything they lived to be the martyrs that the Bible shows us they are. Thrown in prison and having faith enough to accept it. How can we complain? How can we say God hasn’t given me enough? Re-examine all you have and thank God for that. Even the things that go wrong can be an undercover blessing. You must always treasure the things of God and lean on not your own understanding and build your trust on every word of God. He knows you, everything about you.

His Will and your will

It brings glory and honor to God when you stay the course of His will, He sends you the Holy Spirit as a guide to help you with tasks ahead. When you stray from God the Holy Sprit brings you back gently to the will that the Father has in store for you. Stay the path, you will gain your trust with Him as He guides you along life’s difficult paths. But mostly, pray for strength because the powers of this world sway you this way and that off the path.. lean not on your own understanding, trust the Master of heavens and earth. Jesus Christ


Rush Poker Review at Full Tilt

Rush poker is a new style of poker that has just been released at full tilt poker; this is probably one of the coolest things to happen to poker in many years. With this sort of poker game you are constantly in the action, it is extremely fast paced and lets you play lots more hands than you usually would. So what is rush poker and how does it work?

The idea is very simple, instead of joining one table you join a pool of players playing at many tables, lets say you start on a table and are dealt a rubbish hand that you intend to fold, well, with rush poker you do not need to wait for the action to reach you, instead you can instantly quick fold the hand and the software will move you instantly to another table where a new hand is beginning again, if you do not like the hand move table straight away till you find a hand you like. Basically, you are just seated randomly at the tables with the other players in the player pool, when you find a hand you like you play it, simple as that.

When you do play a hand, you are in play until your action in the hand is over, therefore, if you fold you do not have to wait for the hand to complete before you start another hand. The general fast nature of this game means you can see far more hands than you would in standard play; it is almost like multi tabling. At one table, you will find that players playing in these sorts of games are playing hundreds and hundreds of hands an hour.

Camper Awnings

An awning is a covering attached to the exterior wall of a building that is designed to act as a sunshade. It is a typically outdoor arrangement consisting of canvas or acrylic fiber cloth that is stretched tightly over a light framed structure of aluminum, steel, or wood.

Awnings are generally found on the outside of buildings, either above a window, door, on the patio, or above the area along a sidewalk. If columns are provided to independently support the frame, an awning is able to stand by itself or extend enough from a building to cover the entrance, as is customary in the case of high class hotels and restaurants.

Camper awnings are either of retractable type fixed to the side of the camper or stand-alone type light framed structures. They are available in many versions and can add visual interest to a camper as well as provide temporary shade for the entrance, and windows. The entire awning system is specially designed so as to be quick and easy to install, set up, and disassemble. Camper awnings are generally durable and dependable. They come in a variety of colors and designs. The awnings are always installed such that the roof fabric stays above the camper windows and doors to act as a shield from the sun or create a temporary outdoor patio. When using a retractable version, usually the shades can be unrolled and positioned when the camper is to be parked for a long duration.

Camper awnings usually come as knocked down kits that include arms or braces, horizontal rafters, and the overhanging vinyl blinds or fabric shades. The manufacturers always provide detailed assembly instructions along with the kits, to enable swift accident-free assembly of the awning. These low-maintenance awnings can be installed any time on any kind of camper. When the awning has to be installed, all that is generally required is to simply release the braces and fasten a few poles.

Awnings – Rain Or Shine

In the past, awnings were manufactured by a commercial awnings company but were not rated by wind tolerance. However in today’s modern society, awnings or canopies in fact comes in two basic types, either motorized or manually-operated models. The latter is actually operated by hand while the former is powered by electricity. Either way, both types have their own advantages. For a start, these contraptions offer affordability and easy maintenance not to mention the ease of adaptability to almost any deck or patio. This is because the support arms can in fact be angled back against the house itself or better yet, set vertically on the deck or floor of the patio. At the same time, the arms provide the necessary extra support and stability especially for owners who live in places that are very windy. Both types of awnings are also very versatile as attachment of certain accessories is now obtainable.

Aside from the power source, motorized awnings differ from the manually-operated awnings as they have no vertical supports but instead have retracting lateral arms thus fashioning an area with an unobstructed shade. In addition, these awnings are basically operated by an electric motor that is in fact generally hidden inside the roller bar of the awning. The arms themselves essentially open and close the awning easily with just a touch of a switch mounted on a wall making motorized awnings extremely convenient not to mention very classic, simple and beautiful. Retractable awnings are now considerably very trendy with the modern household and building particularly with the increasingly high energy costs. Most owners now prefer to decrease or go without air conditioning and simply make use of awnings and canopies.

At the present, with the many breakthroughs in manufacturing, the modern awning or canopy can now be constructed with a wide array of coverings such as fabric, aluminum, corrugated fiberglass and corrugated polycarbonate. For the reason that strong and high winds can damage an extended awning, there are now improvements with the latest designs. For instance, awning manufacturers incorporated a gadget called a wind sensor to allow the awning to automatically retract in certain weather conditions. Some of today’s awnings and canopies offer a wide variety of accessories that not only improves versatility but also increases the usefulness particularly for owners with decks and patios. For instance, awnings can add screen protection and transform your outdoor area into a room that is practically free from pesky bugs. Side screening also cuts down on wind and mist that are coming from the sides of your awnings while patio lights will certainly let you and your guests enjoy the decks during evenings and special occasions. Awnings and canopies have really undergone a transformation and luckily for us, with just a call to an awnings company you can certainly order one that would fit your style and specifications.

With the advent of global climate change there is nothing quite like a canopy, shutter or awning to protect your windows and outdoor areas. Not only are they energy-efficient but they are also considered to be a practical way to stay cool during summer especially if you have a garden with trees about or a pool where you can devise an awning to cover it. If you have a house that has a lot of windows facing the sun, consider a wide awning that retracts when not in use. So when it comes to canopies and awnings, you are now able to acquire one for your home and business, one that not only fits your needs but can also add elegance to the structure. The patterns and colors are much simple yet with a decidedly modern feel and reach out to the homeowner or customer. In the process, those garish and circus-like stripes have definitely been trimmed down and given a mix of conventional yet interesting modern touches.

The Rule of 20 in Acol Bridge

The Rule of 20 is a technique used by players in the card game of bridge. Bridge is played by four players and each player is dealt a hand of 13 cards. Before the bidding starts each player adds up the number of points in their hand, counting four points for each ace, three for each king, two for each queen and one for each jack that they hold. Then,starting with the player to the left of the dealer and working clockwise around the table, the bidding is usually started by the first player to hold 12 or more high card points (HCP).

Can you open the bidding with fewer than 12 points?

Usually if a player holds fewer than 12 points they will pass. Sometimes though, because of its shape or make up, a player might think their hand is suitable for opening the bidding even if it doesn’t contain 12 points. How can the player decide whether to pass or open the bidding? This is where the Rule of 20 comes in. It is used in just one situation – when deciding if your hand is suitable for opening the bidding and you hold fewer than 12 points. The Rule of 20 will help you decide if a hand with fewer than 12 points is suitable for opening.

Using The Rule of 20

If no-one else has opened the bidding when it comes to your turn and you think your hand is good enough to consider opening, you should start by adding up your high card points. Then add to that total the length of your two longest suits. If the total is 20 or more, your hand passes The Rule of 20 and you can open the bidding if you want to.

Here are some examples to help you understand.

Hand 1

(spades) A 7 5 4

(hearts) 6 5 3

(diamonds) A K 8 5 3

(clubs) 9

Hand 1 has 11 HCPs. The lengths of the two longest suits are five and four. This makes a total of 20, so the hand is suitable for opening.

Hand 2

(s) 8 3

(h) A Q 9 5 4

(d) K J 6 4 2

(c) 5

Hand 2 has only 10 points but has two 5 card suits. So adding the points (10) to the length of the two longest suits (10) gives a total of 20. It passes the Rule of 20 so we can open with one of a suit.

Hand 3

(s) Q J 4

(h) A 7

(d) 10 7 5

(c) K J 8 6 3

Hand 3 has 11 points, but adding in the length of the two longest suits (5 + 3) only gives a total of 19. This hand doesn’t pass the Rule of 20 and so isn’t suitable for opening.

Assembly Robots

Assembly robots are among the most sophisticated equipment on the manufacturing floor. They are designed in such a way that they can manufacture each product component and the final product in sequence. They replace the manual method of production with automation.

Assembly robots comprise complicated programming languages, controllers, and advanced sensors. They possess a powerful control unit, a user-friendly programming terminal, process-oriented software for each application. According to their applications, controllers in the system are fundamentally simplified and are available in the different sizes. They also offer a complete set of accessories fully integrated to deliver high performance and smart solutions. They require a lot of engineering to design and install the cells. A correctly programmed robotic system helps in minimizing interruptions in continuous production line.

Assembly robots can work 24 hours a day without interruptions and can perform challenging applications. The consistent output of a robotic system, along with quality and repeatability, are benefits of assembly robots. Their automation task is unlike other robots and help to solve even the most difficult and demanding automation tasks. Assembly robots reduce overall dimensions and wide working volume. They also offer speed and flexibility to optimize the cycle time.

Many robot manufacturing companies offer a wide range of assembly robots, as per their applications. While manufacturing the robots, they use highly integrated programmable devices to develop more powerful and easier ways to execute various operations. These manufacturing companies give a warranty, robot training, and prototype tooling for various assembly robot integration packages. They also offer the customer care service with trained technicians, who solve queries of customers from programming issues to robot system failure.

The technology involved in assembly robots has advanced to such an extent that operations can happen with one click and have also have almost done away with manual manufacturing. Assembly robots are flexible with controlled automation and are the best way to ensure quality controls.

Woodturning: Mounting The Wood To The Lathe – Center Work

Wood lathes come generally with centers and face plates to hold wood to be turned. Beginners are faced with the challenge of mounting the wood and getting it safely cut. There are a few simple things to get one started on the adventure and we will begin, as do most woodturners with spindle turning.

Most wood lathes will be sold with two centers and others are readily available from after market suppliers. The centers are pointed fittings that attach to the head stock and tail stock and are called drive or spur centers for the head stock and tail centers for the tail stock. They are used almost exclusively for spindle turning.

While a few spur centers attach by screwing onto the head stock, most centers, both spur and tail, attach by means of a tapered section. This will usually be a Morse taper number one or two. All that is required to know about the Morse taper is it will hold the attachment very securely and the size is necessary when replacing the center.

Many woodturners begin by placing a square piece of wood between centers. Mark the center of each end of the square and indent the centers with an awl. The spur center will look like a point with two to four spurs surrounding it. All that is necessary is that the point go into the wood sufficiently to engage the spurs. They do not need to go far into the wood, just to engage it. Placing the point into the wood and rapping it with a wooden mallet should easily suffice.

The tail center may be solid or it may have ball bearings and rotate freely. The solid or dead center will need a drop of oil on it to prevent friction burns. If your lathe comes with a dead center it is a good idea to replace it with a ball bearing or live center as soon as possible.

With the spurs engaged into the wood and the spur center in the head stock the tail stock is brought up and the center of the tail center engaged in the wood. The tail stock is tightened down, the tool rest is checked for clearance and the work is ready to turn. It is a good safety feature to snug up the tail center before starting and then to periodically tighten it while turning. The spur center can act like a drill bit and loosen the work over time.

Start small with the work between centers. Later you may wish to experiment with chucks and glue blocks but a great deal of enjoyment can be had and good work made between centers.

Hammer Toes X-Rays Can Be Revealing

Hammer toes x-rays are sometimes ordered when a patient has pain on the bottom or in the ball of the foot, especially if the deformity is not obvious. Redness on the top of the affected joint is often the first sign. If the redness is noticeable, your doctor might not order an X-ray.

Physical examination is sometimes the only necessary diagnostic tool. After evaluating the location of a person’s pain, if pain is present, and physically manipulating the joints, it is often possible to see the stiffness that is symptomatic.

During the early stages, before obvious deformity occurs, it is possible to correct the problem by improving flexibility. Exercises geared towards stretching the tendons and increasing muscle strength may help. But, it all depends on the severity or advancement of the deformity.

Accompanying problems are another factor that helps to determine treatment. A condition called “cross-over-toe” can accompany a hammertoe and a bunion on the big toe. The root cause of this problem is the bunion.

During hammer toes x-rays, the bunion would be seen in views taken from the top of the foot. They occur in the first joint (closest to the foot) of the big toe. In the X-ray, the joint will appear enlarged and the toe will point towards the others, to varying degrees.

If the bunion is not corrected, there will be continued pressure on the second toe, which may cause pain, blistering, corns or calluses. Eventually, the second toe develops the hammer-appearance and in order to accommodate the deformity in the big toe, the second toe becomes an overlapping or cross-over-toe.

Like many other problems affecting the health of the feet, hammertoes and bunions are often caused by poorly fitting shoes. Narrow, pointy-toed shoes are common causes, but over-pronation may be involved, too.

Hammer toes x-rays may not reveal over-pronation. Taking an imprint of the bottom of the foot is the usual method of diagnosis. A low or absent arch will be present, which can be observed on the imprint.

In over-pronation, the heel angles inward. So, instead of balanced pressure throughout the foot, more pressure is placed on the inside area, the side with the arch.

Examining the person’s posture and appearance of their knees is another diagnostic method. In severely pronated feet, the person appears knock-kneed.

If your doctor orders hammer toes x-rays, he or she may also do these other diagnostic tests to find related problems and come up with an effective treatment plan. If over-pronation is a problem, orthopedic insoles may be used to straighten to provide support and reduce the pressure on the knees and other lower-body joints.

These are not problems that should be overlooked or taken lightly. The health of your feet affects the health of your total body. Deformities can become permanent. The irritation and inflammation caused by the initial problem can contribute to arthritis in other joints of the body.

So, if your doctor orders hammer toes x-rays, take his advice. Before you even visit your podiatrist, consider buying more practical shoes. That’s the first step.

How To Install Flooring

Learning these skills will make or break you in a flooring installation. It is the base structure after all that your new floor will be built upon. There are a lot of different actions that are categorized as floor prep. I’ll explain a few.

Skim coating:

This is the process of applying a thin light coat of floor leveling compound with a flat trowel edge held at almost a 90 degree angle to the floor dragging it across the floor in a side to side S-like pattern. This technique is used to cover old adhesive residue, like the black glue used to glue down old 9″X 9″tiles. Also when laying a sheet vinyl floor you can skim coat over an existing vinyl floor, to fill in the old pattern, so it does not show through, to the new floor. This is helpful especially if the underlying floor is concrete, and you don’t want to rip the vinyl off the floor.


This kind of prep is taking a bag of self leveling compound (SLC), mixing it with water to the ratio stated on the bag, and pouring the mixture on your sub floor. The Self-Leveling technique is used when your floor is beyond the scope of skim coating. Usually when you have a height difference in the floor greater than an inch, or if it is a concrete floor that is severely pitted. I’ve also used this method to level a ceramic floor before installing a new floor over the top. Once you start pouring, it is helpful to have a friend mixing up another bucket of leveler, so you can keep the mixture flowing at an even rate over the whole floor. If you let too much time elapse between pours you can end up with ridges in the cement that you have to smooth out later with floor leveling compound. It’s very important to follow the manufactures directions on the bag to the letter. Not following these directions can result in a mixture that will not perform right, causing more problems than helping.

Sanding and screwing:

Sometimes when installing underlayment on your sub floor, or installing a hardwood floor directly to your sub floor you will come across high spots in your sub floor where two pieces of plywood sheets come together. This is called a “high joist”. You must sand these flat before laying down your new flooring. If you don’t, you will transfer this peak in the floor to your new floor, causing a host of problems. A good belt sander is recommended to do the job. While you’re at it, go around and check for screws and nails that are sticking up beyond the surface of the floor, and countersink them by hammering or screwing them down.

Eliminating squeaks in the floor

This is also part of this type of floor prep. Make sure everything is quiet in the house and walk around the floor to find the “offending squeaks”. I usually have a permanent marker in hand and mark it with an X. When I have found all the squeaks I go around with a screw gun and drive deck screws into the floor joist, that runs closest to the mark for the squeak. Most houses are built with the floor joists running 16″ on center, but it’s a good idea if you go down to your basement and check out the spacing before wasting time driving screws into nothing but the sub floor and air. I have actually found cases where the floor joists were 24″ on center!