Adhesives for Mosaic Art

Before starting that first mosaic project, the artist must decide upon the correct adhesive. Choosing the glue will insure that the mosaic will last forever. If you choose the wrong adhesive then be certain that your tesserae will not last long on the surface no matter where it is placed or how well it is prepared.

There are several types of adhesives. Each one works better with different surfaces and tesserae. Gaining a better understanding of these choices makes creating your mosaic more enjoyable and less worrisome.

PVA Glues

PVA glue is simply a water soluble adhesive. It is easy to clean up by just using water. For this reason do not use a PVA glue on any project that will be kept outdoors. Even if the piece will be kept under a covered patio, the humidity will still affect the fortitude of the glue. So a PVA glue is only good for indoor use.

This glue has several uses in mosaic art. Mixing 1/5 PVA glue with 4/5 water, gives you a great sealant for wood surfaces. Simply brush on and allow to soak in. After it has dried then you can just mosaic on top.

This glue can also be used to adhere tiles to fiberglass mesh in the double direct method. Use full strength but sparingly so that it doesn’t completely cover your mesh. You need to make sure there is room for the final adhesive to get through to the tiles.

PVA glues can be used with any type of tesserae and are easily used on wooden and acrylic surfaces. It typically comes in a squeeze bottle and is perfect for children since there is no odor. The most popular brand in mosaic art is Weldbond since it dries clear.

Thinset Mortar

This cement based adhesive is the best glue for exterior projects. It typically comes in gray or white and can be tinted with grout colorants for self grouting pieces. There are several brands to choose from at your local hardware store. The only drawback is that you have to purchase it in large quantities of 25 pounds or more. Some mosaic supply companies offer thinset in smaller quantities for people that just want to try it out.

Thinset mortar is best used on cement, backer board, wood, and terra cotta surfaces. It bonds well with most porous surfaces. Do not use thinset on glass or metal surfaces as it will not adhere. This is the ideal adhesive for concrete stepping stones.

This adhesive can be very messy to use. The instructions state to mix this powder with water. However, it is highly recommended to mix well with an admix of either latex or acrylic. Admixes are a liquid that makes the thinset very sticky and easier to adhere to glass tiles and other nonporous objects. Only mix a small amount at a time. Once the thinset starts to haze over on top then you must throw it away. So mix just enough to cover a workable area of about 30 minutes. Do not buy the premixed thinset as it is not as good as working with the dry mix and admix.

Use gloves and a mask when mixing the thinset. Also use materials that can be discarded when mixing and working with thinset such as plastic containers, plastic spoons, old rags, newspaper. Once you finish just throw away everything. Don’t try to reuse containers with thinset inside. Never wash thinset down a sink drain. It will stop up your pipes!

Silicone

Silicone is perfect for adhering tesserae to glass and acrylic. It is typically clear and works great for placing transparent glass on a glass surface. Silicone is also rated for exterior use.

It usually comes in a tube or caulking gun. It is somewhat difficult to get used to working with though. Silicone tends to get stringy when being applied. Take care not to get it on top of your tiles. If you apply it too thick then it will squish up between your tiles and could lead to a mess.

Epoxy

Epoxy is the best adhesive for applying tesserae to metal. It holds up well outdoors and can be used with any type of tiling material. It can also be used on other surfaces like wood and glass.

Epoxy is difficult to use. It comes in a two part series. You have to mix each part together and use quickly. Only mix a little at a time or you will waste a lot. Benefits are that it is a very strong adhesive and it dries clear . This has a very strong odor so use in a well ventilated area.

Other Glues

There are many other types of adhesives that different mosaic artists rely upon. When you find a new glue, read the label carefully to make sure it will do what you need. Check to see if it is for exterior use, highly toxic, and what surfaces it can touch.

Some other brands that are well liked by many mosaic artists include Liquid Nails for Small Projects, MacGlue, and Gorilla Glue. If you are not sure about a new adhesive, then try a little on a small piece and see what you think.

Unfortunately you will learn that some adhesives are not good at all. Some make a huge mess. Once you find an adhesive that you like, then use it as often as you can.

Finishing the Edges of Your Glass Tile Installation

A big question for home owners installing glass tile is how to finish the edges of your installation. If you are used to working with ceramic tiles then you have to realize there is a difference with glass tiles. Ceramic tiles only have the color on the top so the edges are usually a plain white and must be covered up. Most glass tiles are colored throughout so even the edges are colored. This means that you don’t need a bull nose tile to cover the edge to keep color.

Since most glass tiles are fairly thin, you have several options for completing the exposed edge.   A popular way to do this is to just rub grout into the small gap along the edge. First you need to tape it off so grout doesn’t get on the wall or surface that the tiles are adhered. Then grout as usual making sure to rub the grout down the edge of the tiles. As soon as you clean off the excess grout, remove the tape to give a nice finished area.

Caulking is a way to get a smooth finished look to your tiles. When grouting, leave the gap of the tile edges alone. After the cleanup, take a caulk that is your grout color and caulk down the edge. You may be caulking other areas too so you can do it all at the same time. 

Framing it out is another way. It looks good but is a little more work. This is especially nice if you are doing wainscoting with tile on your wall or just running a border of tiles around your bathroom. Take a piece of molding and stain/paint it first. Then nail it in to frame your tiles after installation. It would be best to grout before doing this part.

Some people don’t want the tiles to just stop at the end of their cabinets and counters. Try stair stepping the tiles down in a diagonal path to give it a more flowing look. This looks especially good if your top cabinets are not as wide as the bottom ones.

As you can see, there are several ways to finish the edges of your installation. You can make it as simple or elegant as your space needs.

Painting Contractor Agreements and Contracts

When you agree to provide painting services to a customer it is advisable to enter into a proper written agreement with them. If you have some kind of contract in place then both parties will know where they stand and understand their obligations.

So how can you put a contract together for your painting business? Well, a good first step is to have a look at the contracts that other painters or general contractors are using. You can find some good templates and examples online. These will give you some ideas on the type of clauses that you want to include. Remember though that every business is different so you will also have to consider adding clauses that are relevant to your unique situation. Lastly, you should have a lawyer look over any contract or agreement to make sure that it is set out properly and that you haven’t left anything out.

A good contract should look out for the interests of both parties. You should make sure that you include clauses that reassure prospective clients. A contract that is stacked too much in your favor could scare clients away.

Below are some suggestions for agreement terms that contractors may consider incorporating into the painting contracts for their companies.

Basic Contract Details

The basic requirement of a contract is a clause that sets out the parties that are entering into the agreement. Names and the date should be specified and there should be lines drawn up ready for both parties to sign their names.

Company Standards and Details

Outline some basic details about your painting company to reassure clients that they are dealing with professionals. Let them know that you are licensed, if that is a requirement of your state. Assure them that all work will be carried out in a manner that is in compliance with building codes and regulations for painters in your area.

Insurance Cover

Include details on the liability insurance cover that you carry in case they suffer damages as a result of your work on their property.

Project Dates

Set out a timeline of dates and times relating to the painting job. Let them know when you will be starting, what days and times you will be at the house and the date that you will be finished by.

Painting Job Description

Define which property you will working on by setting out its address and other details if necessary. Using as much detail as you can, describe the painting work that you will be carrying out and the quality standards to which you will be working. Include details on all surfaces that are to be painted, the type of paint that will be used and the number of coats that will be applied. It is common for painters to do a full clean up after a job and dispose of any toxic substances in the correct way.

Customer Inconvenience

Being as precise as possible, set out details as to how the customer will be inconvenienced due to the painting work going on at their property. Let them know when their access to certain areas of their home will be restricted.

Equipment and Supplies

Painting contractors usually provide all of their own equipment and materials for a job. State that your company will provide all of the equipment and supplies, if this is indeed the case, and list the items that you will be using. This can be a reminder to the customer about the value of the service that you are providing.

The other approach is for you to purchase paint and other supplies and then seek reimbursement from the customer. Under this approach you would provide an invoice that set out material costs and labor costs separately.

The Weather

If you are signing a contract for outdoor painting work then you may need to include one clause relating to weather. Your ability to paint the exterior of a building may be limited by rain or other severe weather conditions and this could delay a job.

Payment Terms

A good agreement should set out the payment terms and the obligations that the customer has in this respect. Set out the amount that must be paid, the dates that payment becomes due and the methods of payment that are acceptable.

Painters usually charge a flat fee for a job no matter how long it takes. Others have a price structure that includes hourly rates so the total cost of the painting job may not be clear until it is complete.

Always insist on getting a partial payment before you start work. This should be an amount that is enough to cover the basic costs that you will incur if the customer refuses to pay the final invoice for some reason. On larger jobs it is also common to have a payment schedule so that you can receive additional payments as the project progresses.

Indemnity

Some painting contracts include an indemnity clause. This usually states that the painting contractor has no right to sue the client in the event that they suffer a loss or damages as a result of their work for the client.

Advertising Signage

These days it is common for painting contractors to include a clause in their contracts stating that homeowners allow them to place advertising signage in their front yard. This can be a great advertising opportunity while you are working on a painting job. Some areas have ordinances that forbid this kind of advertising though so local regulations may deem such a clause irrelevant.

Changes, Delays and Other Problems

While this can get complicated, it does pay to remember that things can often change and you may need to have some kind of contingency plan. You may provide for some level of delay in completing the paint job and you may need to clarify what right the customer has to make changes to the job requirements along the way. Some contracts will also set out exit options or provide for a method of dispute resolution if such a situation arises.

Painting contracts should not only be a means of providing legal protection for business owners. When set out right with terms that are fair, they can also be a crucial part of the marketing process. It would be sad to lose a job due to the fact that a client didn’t feel comfortable with the written agreement. So make sure that your painting contract is worded in a way that is reassuring to the client while looking after your own interests at the same time.

Chandelier Care Tips – Cleaning Remedies From The Kitchen

Most proud owners of elegant lighting fixtures like chandeliers know how relaxing it feels to look at a sparkling, clean piece that elegantly reflects on your walls, ceiling, and furniture.

However within time, your lighting fixtures can lose their glitter and allure, because of many factors. Layers of dust on the crystals and grime from other airborne pollutants may let it lose its shine. When this happens, it means it’s time to clean them. The frequency of cleaning these depends on the lighting piece’s location, type of crystals and the shape of the crystal jewels.

How To Properly Remove Dust From Chandeliers

Chandeliers need thorough, yet careful cleaning when it appears dusty or dull. Just look at your chandelier frequently, and you’ll know when to do the cleaning. Every time you dust your house, it would also help to take off the dust from this fixture using an anti-static dust brush.

While dusting, take note that the fixtures crystal pendants, if it does have one, shouldn’t beat each other, as this may create invisible cracks and eventually spoil the clear structure of the crystal. If you have a modern chandelier design, you can clean it without detaching the pendants from the frame.

Most home décor experts suggest that while handling crystal pendants, use white cotton gloves. Mix a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol and three parts distilled water. Put it in a spray bottle, put on the cotton gloves, and spray one glove with the solution. The other glove should be kept dry. Carefully caress the crystals with the damp glove and wipe it immediately with the dry one.

Cleaning Chandeliers With Materials From The Kitchen

There are a lot of cleaning agents in the kitchen that could be of great help in cleaning your chandelier. However, most lighting experts caution owners not to use packaged cleaning fluids, even if they claim to be for crystals, as these may contain ammonia or other chemicals that will eventually degrade the frame finish.

Lighting and home décor stores can offer you appropriate cleaning solutions, which are produced by chandelier manufacturers specifically for cleaning these lighting fixtures. You can use them by following the instructions on the package. If you have a classic crystal chandelier, it would be better to detach the crystal from your chandelier first, for cleaning. Hand-wash the crystals in lukewarm water, using mild dish soap. Rinse them in clean water and dry with a soft clean cloth.

In addition, draw the trim diagram or a sketch of the crystal pendant patterns of your chandelier before removing crystal. This helps in easily reassembling it without difficulty. Wear white gloves when re-hanging the crystal on the chandelier, and do not put the crystal pendants back to the chandelier while they are still wet, as it may cause the corrosion of the metal parts of the frame. Most importantly, do not handle crystal with bare hands. Always wear white cotton gloves, as crystal easily picks up fingerprints.

Crystal chandeliers need extra care when cleaning, especially when the crystals lose its shine and start looking dull. Clean modern-designed chandeliers with glass shades when they begin to look dusty or grimy. To keep your fixtures regularly clean, dust it lightly every two or three months with a feather or wool duster. Make sure you know how your crystal or glass design goes together before you begin cleaning, so you wouldn’t have any problems reassembling it again.

http://goldenageusa.com – Golden Age USA

Harley Davidson Shovelhead Motorcycle Engines

For those of you that would like to learn a bit more about the Shovelhead Engine, this article will teach you the basics. For starters, the shovelhead engine is a type of V-twin engine that was manufactured by the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company between 1966 and 1985. The design for the shovel head engine was developed based on the design of the Panhead engine. The difference is that the shovelhead engine includes more powerful cylinders and pistons as well as a modified look.

What some of you may not know is that the shovelhead engine received its name from the unique look of the engine’s rocker box covers. These covers bear a resemblance to the heads of coal shovels. That is how the name “shovel head” came into existence…

Back in the mid-sixties, the Panhead engine was initially developed to fit Sportster choppers. As time went on, the Panhead lost its attraction and went out of style due to the fact that Harley Davidson began developing bikes that required more horsepower.

Around that same time, the shovel-head engines entered the scene with newly designed top ends that were created to give you more acceleration and power. Unfortunately, many motorcycle experts now say that the weight of the new shovel head engine detracted from the speed and power of certain models in the sixties. In fact, the shovel head engine was originally designed as an engine for an outboard motor (a motor for boats), but it did not function in water or in moist air.

In the 1970’s, minor changes were made to the shovel head engines that helped fix some of the problems demonstrated by the weight of the sixties shovel head model. However, most Harley specialists would say that even these revisions did not quite catch the shovelhead “up to speed.” This was mainly due to that fact that Harley Davidson had to stick by government regulations that basically said choppers could not have more than a top speed of 90 miles per hour.

Another interesting tidbit of info is that if the engine came with a feature called the FLH Electra-Glide Package, it was identified as a shovel head engine for police bikes. Sometimes this feature is called the Police Option. It definitely made it easier for Police to run cars off the road.

Additionally, The FLH Electra-Glide package also enabled the engine to turn over longer while the machine was in idle. Unfortunately, it made for a heavy bike that was not easy for the average rider to maneuver or brake instantly. It’s very hard to find a Harley shovelhead engine with the original FLH Electra-Glide package. It’s very rare and is prized by motorcycle and chopper part collectors. 

Lift Recliners – How To Choose The Best Lift Chair Recliner

In today’s internet market, lift recliner manufactures are developing products that are internet friendly. Meaning retailers and manufactures of lift recliner chairs are able to provide well manufactured and quality web sites to help consumers pick their perfect lift recliner without leaving the comfort of their homes. Consumers are spending more time researching and learning about products that can help them regain mobility. The only problem is the lack of information to help consumers make the right decisions. In this article, consumers will learn the best way to go about picking and buying their perfect lift recliner chair.

Sizing a lift recliner to fit the person is absolutely necessary to ensure the chair fits a users needs. If the lift recliner is not sized properly, it could be a very costly mistake and leave the consumer with an improperly fitting lift chair recliner.

There are 3 major factors to consider when sizing a lift recliner. Everyone is made differently with different shapes and sizes. It is very important to have a lift recliner that fits the owner’s size and frame. Manufactures today are making lift recliners in every size possible. From petite to the big and tall, no matter what size or shape a person may be, there is a lift recliner to meet their needs.

Most lift recliner manufactures will recommend an electric recliner by height. Models are defined in size ranges. For example, one of the most popular lift recliners on the market is the Pride LL-570. The reason this electric recliner is so popular is because it is recommend for someone within the range of 5-5 to 6-0 foot. So have the owner or users height available when choosing the right lift recliner.

The second variable when choosing a lift recliner is the seat dimensions. People have different sizes and shaped gluteus maximus’s. Yes, that is correct, making sure the lift recliner fits the length and width of a persons tush is required to ensure one feels comfortable while sitting in their lift recliner. One can measure the width of their tush by sitting down and measuring from hip to hip. Measure in a few areas and choose the larger number for best comfort. Record this number and have it ready when researching potential lift recliners.

The last factor in choosing the best lift recliner is the weight of the person that will be using the electric recliner. It is very important to select a lift recliner chair that has the ability to lift the person under the recommend weight. Most manufactures will document the maximum weight capacity to help determine the best recliner lift chair. So have the user’s weight ready when sizing the proper lift recliner.

Whether one were to choose to order online or over the phone, having this information ready will better ensure the best lift recliner will be purchased. Happy lift recliner hunting.

Sample Elevator Speech – What Works Best for a Business Elevator Speech?

An effective Elevator Speech is one of the most important marketing and networking tools for any small business. Why? Well because there are so many opportunities to put it in play, and therefore many chances for an elevator speech to get you into a conversation with potential clients.

These opportunities include:

  • Networking events
  • General conversation (have you ever been asked: “So, what do you do?”)
  • Answer Phone messages
  • Website copy
  • Email signatures
  • Presentation opening statements

and many more. The key requirement is to have your listener/reader think: “Hmm, that sounds as though it could be something I am interested in (or I know someone who might be) – I would like to hear more about that”

This is called a desired response and will lead to further contact and/or conversation. When that happens: Elevator Speech mission accomplished!

There important elements to consider when putting together your elevator speech, but keep this goal in mind – you want the audience to be hungry to learn more about you and your company.

A summary of these elements, with some samples:

Name and company – minimize this. Sad to say most people will forget this as soon as you tell them. Don’t believe me? How often have you had a 5 minute conversation with someone who asked you at the end: “Sorry, what was your name/company name again?”

Avoid lengthy descriptions of your company – the most common mistake here. Make mention of it by all means especially if the name gives a hint of what you do, but it only needs to sound like this:

“Hi, I’m Jerry with Acme Chiropractic”

“Hi, My name is Jerry with Acme Remodelling”

Target Audience – go for a balance of detailed focus and brevity. This will take some work but the tighter you can define this, without spending 5 minutes defining it, the better. For example:

“I work with women over 40 who are suffering from nagging back pain and are frustrated they can’t find a long term solution” (Chiroprator)

“We are focused on families looking to sell their house who want to maximize the resale value by remodelling, but are on a tight budget and are confused as to which work to have done” (Remodeller)

“We help business owners who are concerned they don’t have adequate insurace coverage and are confused as to whether they have enough, or are paying to much and are OVER insured” (Insurance broker)

“Our clients are small business owners who want to get leads from the internet and are frustrated their website isn’t getting it done and don’t know what to do next” (internet Marketer)

These samples have a few things in common:

  1. Brevity
  2. Focus
  3. Emotion – they speak to the emotions of the target audience.

If you do nothing else with your elevator speech, consider using these samples as a starting place for your 30 second introduction – the attention is gained in the first 10 seconds and following this approach will help you get that attention from your ideal clients.

The Interchangeability of Ford 4-Speed Shifters From 1962 to 1973

There is no such thing as a Ford Mustang, Fairlane, Galaxie 4-speed shifter. although, the shift handles will interchange for the most part, they will only be correct for their designated application. There are over 30 individual handles used during the period. All Handles with a reverse lock out up to January 2, 1968 had a 1′ 7/8 bolt spacing after that their was a 2 “bolt…Saddles can be changed to accommodate switching handles around from one model or year to another.

Exceptions to the interchangeability rule include the Galaxie Top Loader linkage from 1964-65 it will also fit the Fairlane and Tiger top loader for the same year, also the T10 Galaxie linkage will also fit a T10 Fairlane transmissions. This is the case even though the Fairlane transmission is 2″ shorter.

In 1969 Ford changed the 4-speed shifters to eliminate the cable lock out. The lock out feature was built into the shifter control mechanism itself. This feature was a brittle stamped steel piece, It usually broke at about 65, 000 miles depending on usage also the main spring had the same breakage problem. Although the control mechanisms were basically the same between Mustang, Torino and Galaxie the linkages were different and the shift handles were different. Only the Mustang Big Block use an adapter plate and this unit was use only for one year.

Ford went to the Hurst shifter in 1970 and was use by Mustang/Cougar and Torino/Cyclone only, even though the 1970 adapter plate. had a Big Ford part number they never put a 4 speed in a Galaxie. that plate was used for Torino/Cyclone only and for the Mustang three different adapter plates were used they were the Big Block, Small Block and Boss 429. The Hurst Handles in 1970-71 were flat and 1972-73 were round both had Hurst emboss on them and in each case the Torino/Cyclone handles were longer than the Mustang, but the round handles in1972-1973 were only slightly longer.

The housing in 1970 Hurst shifter control mechanism were cad plated and in 1971-1973 were black oxide. 1972-73 Torino/Cyclone control mechanisms were different then the 1970-71 and used a stamped steel adapter plate and their were no part numbers on the plate.

In conclusion when it comes to Ford 4-speed shifters you can never say never and you can never say always, their is on such thing as a combination shifter during that era. If you are restoring one of these models and need shifters parts be aware of these differences it can save you time and money. Know your source and where you get your Ford 4-speed shifter parts so your project goes smoothly.

The History of Wood Burning Stoves

Wood burning stoves started out as a way to heat a home more effectively than with open fireplaces, which had traditionally been used. The first models were placed against the opening of the fireplace so that the fumes could escape through the chimney. They were essentially a metal box, but they heated a room more thoroughly than a traditional fireplace because they reached further into the room.

Eventually, wood burning stoves were developed that were completely closed. This meant that instead of relying on an open fireplace they had their own chimneys and a flue. This development allowed the stoves to be positioned away from the wall so that the heat was distributed all around the room.

Early Designs

Wood Burning stoves originated in America and it was in 1642 that the first one was invented in Massachusetts. It wasn’t until 1744 that the idea was substantially improved when Benjamin Franklin produced his own wood burning stove. Named ‘the Franklin Stove’ after its inventor, it was made from cast iron. Although it was open fronted and similar in appearance to a brick fireplace, it gave off more heat than a traditional fireplace and less smoke whilst using a smaller amount of fuel.

Another improvement that Franklin installed was a flue, which was initially situated in the floor of the stove and later next to the chimney. The main feature of the Franklin Stove was the ability for air to circulate.

Various minor improvements then took place over the following two centuries, but the original design of the Franklin Stove is still credited to Franklin. This design remains today, but various changes to style and efficiency have taken place.

In 1796, the Rumford fireplace was constructed by Count Rumford. It developed from the original Franklin design but included various enhancements. One of these was to angle the hearth and make the choke of the chimney tighter so that the smoke would be drawn up the chimney faster.

Construction

Early wood burning stoves, on which modern designs are based, were made from either steel, cast iron or another type of durable metal. They had a thick door and adjustable grates to control the amount of air in circulation and therefore control burning.

Wood burners have a chimney at the top and a flue. They usually stand on brick, concrete or stone, and it is essential that the floor that they are mounted on is level. Smoke is drawn outside the building and will flow upwards providing the air outside is colder than the gasses inside the chimney.

Progress

As developments in wood burning stoves took place, they were able to perform other functions besides heating the home. From the early 20th Century features such as metal draws and ovens were added so that they could be used for cooking.

They also changed in appearance, from a metal fireplace to a freestanding stove with four legs. These freestanding models were often constructed from cheaper materials, which were less resilient but had the advantage of making them portable. They had flat metal surfaces so that pans could be placed on top of them for cooking. Alternatively, a pot could be inserted into a hole in the stove and heated directly by the flames.

Late 20th Century Developments

The concept of a sealed unit with controlled air circulation remained, with the main changes affecting appearance and function rather than efficiency. For example, as well as being used for cooking, pot-bellied and cylinder variations of wood burning stoves emerged.

In the 1970’s, however, major innovations took place, which arose because of the oil crisis. As wood burning stoves increased in popularity their inadequacies became apparent. For instance, the use of a wood burning stove as the main source of heating for the home demanded enormous amounts of wood. Apart from this factor, they created pollution and were a fire hazard.

The fire hazard was a consequence of householders reducing the air intake of the wood burner once the fire was burning well. This was so that the stove would burn for longer periods and produce a more even heat distribution. The problem with this was that there would be unburned resins escaping up the flue. Once these resins cooled sufficiently creosote would form inside the stove pipe. This was hazardous as the creosote would ignite once a certain temperature was reached, resulting in a dangerously hot fire throughout the stove pipe.

This culminated in a drive towards producing more efficient models, which had longer burn times and lower levels of pollution.

The Present Day

Thankfully, today’s wood burning stoves have addressed earlier problems. Modern wood burning stoves are constructed from steel and aluminium and are airtight. They have firebrick linings, which means that they retain more heat and are therefore more efficient. They are also kinder to the environment as current models give off fewer gases, and any co2 that is emitted is absorbed by growing trees.

Nowadays, stoves have to meet set guidelines regarding smoke emissions due to environmental concerns. Because they are considered as an environmentally friendly source of heating they continue to retain their popularity in the 21st Century.

There are now a wide range of wood burners on the market in various shapes and sizes and with different heating capacities to suit requirements. What these modern wood burning stoves have in common is their efficiency and kindness to the environment. Added to that, many people find them attractive because they create a homely feel and a sense of nostalgia.

Cook The Eggs With Rice Cookers

Eggs are known for having a lot of nutrients to offer. Protein is very prominent in eggs. These proteins are vital in the build up and repair of the muscles of the body. You have to know that eggs are also economical to have. There are a lot of eggs that you will find in the market. Some of the famous ones are that of chicken and quail. These eggs can be boiled in pots or pans or fried. You have to realize that you can also cook eggs using the rice cooker that you have at home. The eggs come with the rice that you will cook. There are some tips that you have to keep in mind for you to have a guide in cooking the eggs. These will surely help you a lot.

The first thing that you need to do is to gather the materials that you will need for you to cook the eggs. Make sure that you have the equipment with you, rice, eggs and water. These are the basic things that you will need. You have to wash the eggs carefully before proceeding. It is very important for you to remember that the eggs will mix with rice. It is just right that you will clean it well to avoid any contamination.

Wash the rice that you will cook. Measure the rice that you will cook and the water that you will add. Put them together in the equipment. Turn the equipment on as soon as you are finished. Observe of the equipment is really functioning.

Try to observe the rice that you are cooking. You may put the eggs inside if the rice is half way done. The eggs can be cooked now. Push the eggs inside. Make sure that you have submerged at least 80% of the eggs body. This will ensure that the eggs will be cooked with the rice. It will just be enough for the eggs to be cooked with the rice.

After the rice has been cooked, try to make sure that you will allow the egg to stay in the equipment for 15 minutes. Leave it there first. You have to know that you need to cool down the egg after. Try to use running water so that you will not be burned. This will also prevent the egg white to stick with the shell.

The tips mentioned will surely help you a lot in cooking eggs in rice cooker. These will guide you well. You have to know that the tips mentioned are important as they can help you save a lot energy. Time can also be conserved. You have to remember the tips mentioned for you to have a guide. These will help you for sure.

Create A Business Plan To Ensure Success In A New Job

A client of mine called yesterday to say that he is on the verge of getting an offer from a large bank. Before they will extend him an offer the recruiter has requested that he submit a business plan outlining his plans to achieve his goals. The job is a wealth management role which would require that my client bring about $10 million in investment dollars to the job within the first year. If you are not familiar with this type of job it means that he needs to find and solicit individuals with that much money to invest and persuade them to invest the money through the bank.

My client is a relative newcomer to the community in which he currently resides so the potential employer wants to make sure he has a plan for finding and selling individuals in his new community on their wealth management services. Seems fair. But it got me thinking that, really, anyone starting a new job should create a plan before taking the job. The plan will probably have to be modified once you take the job because jobs frequently change over time. With that said, if you create a plan for adapting, learning, and succeeding in your new job before you start it will give you a good starting point and the associated confidence that comes with having a plan.

To give you a sense for how you might think about creating a plan let me walk you through a few elements that my client and I are incorporating into his plan:

Goal – we have a stated goal that is a specific, measurable, and achievable

Tactics – the specific actions that will be taken to achieve the goal

Analysis – we have analyzed our local market to determine which civic and professional organizations, philanthropic, and social/sporting groups my client should get involved with in order to meet people who have the characteristics of potential clients

Targeted List – we created a list of organizations that my client will join or has joined to start meeting potential clients

Every job is different so each plan is going to be different but you can use some of the thought process and some of these elements to help you get started when you create your own roadmap to success in your new job. I don’t necessarily recommend that you share your plan with your new boss or co-workers until you are sure you understand the expectations, politics, and goals required in the new job. The business plan is something you can create to give you a jump start before you commence work for a new company.

The Benefits of Using Handrails

Whether you’re walking up the stairs, viewing great scenery on a higher level indoors or outdoors or passing through a hall upstairs, you would most likely want to hold on to a handrail, right? This is a standard safety feature that we usually see not only for staircases but even on railings on both ground and upper levels of a home or building including balconies.

Handrails make going up and down the stairs safer and more comfortable. Perhaps you have observed that whenever you’re ascending or descending a new staircase, your hands most often look for something to hold on to. And that’s where a rail serves its main purpose.

But while the handrail is there to keep people safe, not all who use the stairs use it. Rail usage is somewhat associated with age and on stair layouts as found by a study covering five stairs. It showed that only 16 to 18 percent of people descending used the rail extensively while only 10 percent used it in going up. In addition, people are less likely to use it if it will make them take a longer route.

Many of us are aware that a hand rail is put in place to prevent accidents. Specifically, it aims to prevent loss of balance, to help a person regain balance in case of a slip or fall, to help one go up a stair, to guide a person and provide stability notably for those with visual and balance problems.

But today, of course, this safety tool also adds beauty to a flight of stairs or other types of railings. Regardless of where it is placed — either on a wall or on a concrete stairs, a hand rail should be properly installed.

Ideally, the height of a hand rail is determined vertically starting from the stair nosing up to the top of the rail. The height depends on the fixture’s purpose. But normally, it is installed in a position where it can be easily reached and where the hand can grip it comfortably. Studies have shown that in choosing between the appropriate height for hand rails for both going up and down a stair, the height ideal for descent is the most preferred choice. Research has cited that most falls on a stair are those in going down which are considered a major cause of injury.

Ensuring safety does not end in deciding to install a hand rail. Choosing the shape of the fixture is also very important. Experts suggest that a circular shape should be used because of its ability to accommodate all hand shapes and sizes.

A 1988 study by Brian Maki found that the circular shaped rails measuring 3.8 centimeters in diameter are the one that provides the biggest stabilizing force. The same research also found that the circular and oval handrails had the best ratings in terms of grip and sliding comfort. Those narrow rectangular and decorative railings showed low ratings.

Now that you know the benefits of having this fixture in your stairs, make sure that pick the right choice for your home.

Stairs and Railings: Installation Safety Rules

Stairs are very important. It would be quite unusual for a house, or any building for that matter, to be without stairs. Could you imagine what life would be like without stairs in your house?

Stairs are made up of different components, such as the balusters, railings, and posts. These fundamental elements make your stairs functional and comprehensive.

Stair railings are important in the sense that they give people safety when using the stairways. They are particularly helpful to people who have disabilities, or elderly people that aren’t sturdy on their feet anymore. Railings support them while going up and down the stairs without worrying about tumbling down.

Keep in mind that stairs and railings are utilized not only to add beauty to your home, but also to ensure safety for people who live in the house, especially for children and elderly people. You don’t want anyone falling while walking up or down your stairs.

Your home should be accident-proof, especially to little kids around the house. We all know that kids tear around the house, up and down the stairs, sometimes even using the railing as a slide. So, ensuring that everyone is safe by installing solid, sturdy stair railings is a must.

The safety of your stairways should begin by installing sturdy and perfectly fit stair railings. Railings should be installed the entire length of your stairs, up to the landing. Make sure that you get the accurate measurements to the specified areas to ensure the right fitting of the railings. The design of your stair railings should match that of your wood stairways.

When building stairs, there are lots of safety guidelines that must be followed. Make sure that the stairs measure less than forty-four inches wide, with the hand rail installed on the right side. Also, you need to consider putting a handrail at the topmost portion of the stair railing.

Interior stair railings and hand railings must be well secured. You can also add another hand rail at the wall side, but make sure that you will leave approximately one and a half inches of space from the wall so your hand will have enough room to hold onto.

When installing the hand rail, measure the height of the banister and put a mark beyond the stair treads at the top and bottom stair. The balusters play a very crucial role in a stair railing. Therefore, they should be properly spaced, approximately 3 to 4 inches apart, so that little kids around the house cannot stick their heads through them, which will help to prevent serious,or embarrassing, accidents.

Terracotta Balustrade and Railing – Typical Assembly and Restoration Methods

At one time, balustrade and railing systems were frequently fashioned using terracotta. Not surprisingly, then, the goal of many terra cotta renovation projects is to restore these elements to optimal condition. Terracotta balustrade and railing systems can be assembled in a number of different ways, which can make terracotta restoration extremely complex or relatively straightforward. This article outlines some of these configurations and the corresponding terra cotta renovation method for each.

Balustrade Systems

Like balustrade systems crafted from modern materials, those made from architectural terracotta are comprised of balusters or spindles, the top rail or coping, the base rail or plinth, and several piers. The main difference is that terracotta balustrade usually consists of many different segments. The following description of a terra cotta balustrade system represents a typical configuration. Each individual baluster is a two-piece unit, and the railings are composed of many short pieces attached with steel pins and mortar. In addition, the top rail of the balustrade is supported by a steel bar and anchored inside the terra cotta piers.

Terracotta restoration for this type of balustrade system involves producing single-piece balusters and rails composed of 12 to 14-feet units instead of many tiny segments.

Caps and Coping

Coping is another word for the top rail of a balustrade system, while caps are used to cover piers. Although terracotta coping and caps can be assembled in many different ways, most configurations require the use of numerous joints. The reason for this is simple: the manufacturing processes for architectural terracotta did not allow large pieces to be produced.

Terra cotta renovation for deteriorated caps and coping usually involves replacing several individual terracotta units with a single piece, which reduces the possibility of water infiltration.

Architectural Terracotta Railing: Threaded Rod Assembly

Unlike terracotta railings that are assembled using mortar, this method involves using threaded rod to attach sections of the railing to the structure below.

Terracotta restoration for threaded rod systems involves unbolting the damaged sections of the terra cotta element, removing them, and then replacing them with a terracotta substitute and (if necessary) stainless steel or galvanized steel supports. The terra cotta renovation process for this type of architectural terracotta railing system is more straightforward than for fully-mortared systems.

These are far from the only assembly methods for architectural terracotta railing and balustrade systems, and a company specializing in terracotta restoration will be able to work with most configurations.

Stairway Chair Lifts

In general, stairway chair lifts can be classified into two categories – straight and curved stairway chair lifts. It’s a fairly obvious distinction and categorization since these are mobility aids designed to help you go up the stairs and of course, stairways tend to either be straight or curved. Straight stairways do not pose any sort of problem for getting chair lifts installed, but if you have a staircase that is curved or contains a 90 degree or 180 degree bend in it, you might not immediately think you could get a stairway lift in your house.

Luckily, you can, though, of course it is slightly more expensive to install a chair lift that has to go around a bend, however gentle the camber because it will probably have to be completely custom made. Straight stairways are easier because they can generally be installed from standard pre-made parts that are simply cut to size. Essentially, the most difficult part of the installation of a stairway chair lift to customize is the railing that the chair glides on. A straight railing is easy to make and easy to install, whereas a curved one would need to be carefully made for the specific curve or camber that the chair has to navigate and travel through.

So installing a stairlift chair on your stairway if you have a a flight of stairs that has any sort of bend it is definitely possible. These kinds of flights of stairs include stairs that have a half landing – usually for 90 degree turns in your stairs, or a full landing – usually created when you have 180 degree turn in the stairs. Some stairways have their turns and bends almost at the top of the stairs, while others have their short radius landings more in the middle; it obviously all depends on the space constraints in your house.

The most important thing when getting a stairlift chair that is going to traverse any sort of bend (and yes they can even go up spiral staircases) is to make sure it is bespoke made. There is nothing worse than having the railing and chair hacked together from other old bits and pieces that don’t quite fit properly and finding your chair gets stuck or snags when you come to going round the corner. Like they always say, buy cheap, buy twice, and this is especially true when you are talking about something that is going to carry you up and down your stairs every single day.

There are special cases when you can install two straight stairlift railing instead of one curved one. This is an option when your stairs make a full 180 degree bend or a full 90 degree turn half way up. In this case, you would in fact have to transfer from one chair to another on the landing so even though it is possible, it is usually safer to just plump for a curved stairlift and be done with it. If you are going for this option, however, it is advisable to get the installer to perhaps scrutinize your landing and give you an opinion on whether you need the landing to be changed slightly to allow a safer platform for transferring from one chair to the other.

The last thing you need to consider with curved stairway chair lifts is how the railings are attached because after all, if your stairs are positioned so that they have a wall half way up and then go around a corner and end up with a banister, people get worried that the banister will not hold the weight of the chair. Luckily, most stairlift chairs these days rely on railings that are embedded in the actual stairs so there is no weight placed on your wall or banister.