Marquise Diamonds – Full of History

If you’re looking for a diamond that is versatile, dynamic, and is steeped in history, then a Marquise-cut diamond could be perfect for you. Here we discover all the particulars about this diamond and how it has become a much-loved cut by many.

The Beginning of the Marquise-Cut Diamond

Back in the 1400’s, diamonds became increasingly popular gems used in royal jewellery and as a result various cuts of the precious stone were developed over the years. The creation of the Marquise (pronounced Mar-KEE) is all thanks to King Louis XV of France. He requested for the royal jeweller to create a cut of diamond that was based on the shape of Marchioness Madame de Pompadour’s mouth, his mistress at the time. Jewellers will also often refer to this particular cut as a “Navette Cut.”

Based on the Shape of a Mouth?

While the shape of the Marquise was created to imitate the shape of a woman’s mouth, a more detailed description could be used. If you can picture an oval where each end has been pinched to a point, that would better depict the true design of the Marquise or Navette-Cut diamond.

All in the Detail

The ideal amount of facets in a Marquise-Cut diamond is 56 and the length to width ratio should be 2:1. This particular cut of diamond is often found to be less expensive than its round cut counterparts and it maximises carat weight giving the perception of a much larger looking gem. Because of the various angles of the Marquise, the stone can be breathtaking all on its own or can look equally amazing with accompanying stones either side.

Flexibility in Marquise

Many women love the Marquise; not only for its stunning beauty, but also for the many ways you can have the stone set. Because of the shape of the Marquise, ladies can decide to have the stone lay across the finger width ways, parallel to the knuckle or length ways to make the wearer’s fingers look long and slender. The only concern when setting the Marquise cut should be the fragile pointed ends – without protecting the points they could easily chip and diminish the beauty of this unique cut. To avoid chipping, be sure to have the claws in the setting surrounding the points as much as possible. One of the most famous Marquise engagement rings was that of Catherine Zeta Jones. Michael Douglas proposed with a breathtaking antique 10 carat Marquise diamond engagement ring, needless to say her answer was “yes!”

Lift Equipment Rental For Exterior Painting

In this difficult economic climate it is not only prudent but also necessary to find ways to save money on home repairs. There are many things that people think of when they choose to do some work themselves but an often overlooked task that can be done is painting the exterior of the house. House painters can cost upwards of ten thousand dollars but the tools necessary to do it your self can be rented for far less. After purchasing the paint and the necessary brushes for trim work it is easy to simply rent a sprayer and most importantly look into lift equipment rental.

Climbing up on a ladder can be difficult and dangerous when it comes to painting the high places on a house. Also they only allow a limited area to be painted before you have to climb down move the ladder re-level it and then climb back up to start again. A much better solution is to look into using a boom lift. These machines are able to extend up to almost forty feet in the air. Many lift equipment rental centers will provide a demonstration of how to operate and level the machine so that once you get it to the house you can easily set to work confidently. One of the biggest benefits is that they can be adjusted on the ground and leveled. Once leveled it is possible to control the height and angle of the boom from inside the basket. Because the basket is fully surrounded the likelihood of falling out is low and it allows movement within the basket and the storage of extra materials. Having everything with you and being able to simply maneuver around without climbing up and down will make the job go more quickly and far less stressfully than climbing up and down a ladder.

It is clear that lift equipment rental is a safer alternative than using a ladder and much more cost effective than hiring painters but it is important to keep in mind two things when borrowing this type of machinery. When you pick it up you want to be sure to check it out and point out any damage like scratches or dings that are on the equipment. Be sure that all of the parts are in good working order and the unit has been gone through thoroughly. Then before you return it make sure to have it in the same condition that you received it in. The rental of lift equipment can be a money saver but not if you return it late or in a damaged condition. These things are not inexpensive to replace and you do not want what was meant to be a budget saver to end up costing an arm and a leg.

History of Crystal Chandeliers

A chandelier is a fixture fixed at the ceiling with two or more arms bearing lights. It was first used in medieval churches and abbeys in order to efficiently illuminate large rooms and halls. During those times, a chandelier usually took the form of a wooden cross that has spikes in order to secure it

From then on, chandeliers took on more elaborate forms. It was not only used for lighting purposes, it took on decorative and aesthetic functions. It was not surprising that chandeliers are found in palaces and home of the rich. Chandeliers, eventually, became a symbol of wealth.

One form of chandeliers is the crystal chandelier. According to Jutta-Arnette Page, curator of the European Collection at the Corning Museum of Glass at New York, it varied and evolved through time but its height came during the development of lead glass in England in the 17th century.

The addition of lead gave old crystal its clarity and sparkle. The effect of lead is its ability to make glass highly refractive. The refraction of glass defines the quality of the chandelier. As was stated by Donna Wilkinson in her article written for Arts & Antiques Magazine, “tiers of flickering candle flames were reflected in the diamond like drops and pendants, every color of the rainbow was dispersed throughout the room.” She even described the experience as reminiscent of Europe’s 18th and 19th century splendor.

The problem of achieving refraction during those times was that rock crystal was rare and very expensive. In addition, cristallo, was very brittle and this poses difficulty in cutting the crystal that could make fraction possible. Attempting to find a substitute, an English glassmaker, George Ravenscroft, developed in 1676 a crystalline glass that would serve as an alternative for rock crystal. He discovered after a series of experimentation that glass becomes soft and easier to cut if lead oxide is added. The ease of cutting made the glass highly refractive and became even more transparent than rock crystal.

Lead glass gave fire and life to glass crystals, according to Jessie McNab, associate curator of decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She claims that “when it was used on chandeliers with candles, it was absolutely brilliant.”

The demand for chandeliers increased. Chandeliers became luxury objects and designs soon became even more complex. Chandeliers in the 1750s were greatly influenced by Rococo. Chandeliers bore touches of cut-glass pendants and such ornaments giving it more sparkle. In 1765, the elegant style of Robert Adam made crystal chandeliers longer. The shafts of the chandeliers used Grecian-um designs. Their arms were strung with chains of pendants and their candle sockets and drip pans became very elaborate. Bells or flowers are examples of these drip pans.

The achievement of the “English Crystal” had undergone a lot of experimentation and obstacle. However, the European continent is still hoping that it would soon be able to catch up. Such attempts can be seen in the works of J. & L. Lobmeyer in Vienna and baccarat in France who were able to achieve exceptional lead crystal chandeliers in the 1820s and 1830s. Artisans, today, have not stopped pushing themselves. Their goal to achieve perfection had surely made chandeliers a truly one of a kind art work.

What Are Biker Patches?

Biker patches are used to denote a biker’s club affiliation. They are typically worn at the back of a vest. Apart from signifying the club membership, bikers use the patch design and color to say something about themselves too.

Patch Layouts

There are no specific rules on how these patches are designed. Often though, a one piece patch signifies motorcycle associations while the two piece patch means the rider is a member of a biker’s club.

The three piece design is known as the outlaw motorcycle club patch. Outlaw motorcycle clubs are biker groups that are not officially recognized by the American Motorcycle Association.

The three piece biker patches have crescent shapes above and below the club logo. These crescent shapes are known as rockers. However, not all bikers who don three piece patches belong to motorcycle outlaw clubs, which sometimes lead to confusion.

The 1% and #13 Patches

The 1% patch is worn by outlaw bikers in reference to a statement by the American Motorcycle association that 99% of American bikers abide by the law. This refers to the belief that outlaw bikers are criminals.

In response to the 1% patch, some bikers wear 99% patches to express their membership in an officially recognized club.

The #13 patches stand for the letter M, the 13th letter in the alphabet. The M stands for marijuana, meaning the biker takes or sells drugs.

Other Types of Biker Patches

The 9 or 9er patch means the rider has Indian blood. The letter “I” is the ninth letter in the alphabet, hence the number. The Ace of Spades means the biker will fight for their right to the death; a flag patch can refer to family lineage or the country where the bike came from.

MC or MCC means motorcycle club while the President patch is worn by the rider who holds that position in a club. There are also memorial patches. These patches have messages like “in memory of…” These can be worn anywhere by the biker, not just the back of the vest.

More Biker Patches and their Meanings

Patches with wings can mean different things, but most of the time it stands for achievements made by the biker within the club. In some cases the wings and their colors could refer to criminal or sexual acts. A biker who wears a patch made of skull and crossbones is saying they’ve cheated death or killed someone.

Other patches denote their position in the club, like Vice President, Secretary or Sergeant at Arms. Some patches are made up of road names. The road name patch is the moniker given to the biker by a higher authority in the club.

The Men of Mayhem patch is given to bikers who have performed violent acts for the club. The same meaning is attached to the I.T.C.O.B (“I Took Care of Business”) patch.

Biker patches are employed primarily for establishing a biker’s association. But as the preceding information makes clear, these patches can and often reveal much more than that.

Toro Snow Shovels – The Easiest Way To Remove Snow Safely For City-Living Urban Dwellers

If you live in the city, Toro snow shovels is the best equipment to get for clearing snow in the winter. The shovel recommended below sells out quickly once snow is in the forecast, so get ready early, ahead of everyone else.

Here are five (5) major reasons for city residents to use a power shovel, and where to get the best deal.

  • Electric – The Toro Power Shovel runs on electricity. No need to run out for gas in the middle of a snowfall. You’ll be ready whenever snow hits the ground.
  • Compact – This power shovel is much smaller than a typical snow thrower. You can store it easily in a closet or hanging on a wall.
  • Easy – This equipment is easy for anyone to use. It weighs less than 13 pounds, so you can lift, twist and carry it around easily and clear snow at the touch of a button. You can also adjust the height and angle of the handle making it comfortable to operate for all sizes.
  • Fast – You’ll save time removing snow with a power snow thrower compared to manually removing snow with a shovel. Clear your steps and pathways fast and get on with your day.
  • Safe – Using a regular snow shovel and manual labor is prone to injury and backaches. Winter conditions and ice also adds to your risk of injury. Keep you and your family safe, and let this power tool do the hard work for you.

Where to get the best deal?

Like many products today, the best deals are found online. And due to its popularity and reputation, you may find Toro snow shovels are out-of-stock when you need one. Get yours now before snow hits the ground in your area.

How to Safely Use Car Lifts

Are you looking for a way to make your garage space more efficient? Using a car lift system is great for doubling your storage space. Car lifts are also great tools to have available when you are working on your vehicle. These systems work great, but you need to make sure you have a lift you can count on.

It’s always important to think about safety requirements, especially when you are talking about placing thousands of pounds of metal over your head. First, when you select a car lift, do some research. Look at the various manufacturers that offer car or auto lifts. You want to choose a lift from a company that has a reputable name for building lifts.

Car lifts are not something that you want to scrimp on quality. You want to buy the best quality lift available. Check to see what type of cylinders is used in the lift. Then find out what additional safety measures are included with the lift, and if there is anything additional safety equipment that may be needed in place when the car lift is extended.

Once you purchase a car lift, you need to make sure you keep it in excellent operating condition. If you are using a hydraulic lift, you want to make sure that you regularly check the fluid levels. It’s especially important to periodically check the pistons and cylinders. You want to make sure that the machinery is kept free from any kind of debris. Of course, it’s also important to lubricate all moving parts.

Another part of the lift that must be carefully maintained are the hydraulic hoses. It’s just a fact of life that hoses will split over time. Check often for breakdowns that could cause the lift to leak hydraulic fluids. If you do notice leaks, immediately lower the car lift (gently).

When it comes time to use the car lift, make sure that you are loading the lift according to the manufacturer recommendations. You want to be sure that you don’t overload the lift with a vehicle that is too heavy or too big. Always center the vehicle on the platform and make sure the emergency brake is set.

Taking care of your car lift is one way to make sure that the equipment lasts and that you feel safe and secure. A good car lift can be an essential piece of equipment that will make working on cars much easier, and can be an essential item for the devoted car fan. One car lift can make a big difference to your storage ability and you options for working on vehicles.

Commercial LULA ADA Compliant Elevators

Commercial LU/LA ADA compliant elevators have become one of the most practical mobility options for physically challenged individuals. LU/LA elevators are specially designed for physically impaired individuals to help them move about between the floors in commercial buildings. This provision is demanded by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and is therefore an important part of all commercial establishments including shopping malls, courts, schools, churches, etc.

Safety features to ensure ADA compliance

LU/LA or Limited Use/Limited Access elevators conform to the safety standards of the United States Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The elevators are equipped with several advanced features such as automatic stainless steel control panel, electro-mechanical interlocks, speed governor, emergency alarm, laminated cab, emergency backup, fully automatic sliding doors and other safety features, while providing sufficient space for wheelchairs. LU/LA elevators also feature fire emergency Phase I and Phase II functions. Furthermore, the LU/LA elevators comprise a fully automatic operating system ensuring the maximum safety of the occupants.

Professional installation offered by suppliers

LU/LA elevators generally require comparatively smaller pit depth and less width, but are best installed during the construction of the building. Post-construction installation is also offered by suppliers in which case structural modifications to the building would have to be made.

ThyssenKrupp Access, Federal Elevator and Savaria Concord are some of the leading LU/LA elevator manufacturers. They provide affordable ADA compliant LU/LA elevator systems with advanced safety features to secure the total comfort of the occupants. The Orion LU/LA from Savaria Concord is a heavy duty elevator system that suits small buildings with two or three floors. Serenus LU/LA elevator from Federal Elevator incorporates several advanced safety features along with manual or automatic entrances. The Evolution from ThyssenKrupp Access is another high quality LU/LA elevator.

Authorized dealers provide different models of commercial LULA ADA compliant elevators along with other commercial and residential mobility solutions such as stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, dumbwaiters, pool lifts, vertical and inclined platform lifts, tub lifts and ramps.

License Plate Number Search – How To Do A License Plate Lookup Online

In order to conduct a license plate number search or license plate lookup online you need what is called a reverse lookup directory. This is a database which contains license plate numbers for millions of drivers. It works like a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or MSN except that with a reverse lookup directory, you find records by entering license plate numbers.

Looking up license plate numbers online is very easy and quick. You first need to have a license plate number. Then go to a reverse lookup directory and enter the license number in the search box provided and click on the search button. If a match is found, the system will then display the records so that you can see the information that you’re looking for. The information returned usually includes the name of the registered vehicle owner and their address.

When looking for a website to conduct a license plate lookup, you may need to consider some of the following:

– How much do they charge? Do they charge per search fees or do they require you to join as a member before you can access the records database?

– Is the database kept up to date?

– Do they provide customer support?

– How big is their database? Does it cover every driver or only a fraction of them?

– How do they compare with other providers?

Membership-based lookup directories tend to be much cheaper than the large online private investigation services. For example, some larger private investigation services charge as much as $89 per search while some membership-based lookup services online charge a small one-time fee for unlimited searches. Membership-based lookup services give you access to the same resources and databases that are used by professional private investigators. Looking up a license plate online is one of the fastest ways to find out the registered owner of a vehicle.

Gone are the days when you had to hire a private investigator to find out the owner of a license plate number. These days you can do it online in minutes. Most people are not aware of this because online license plate number search is quite a recent development. The really good thing about looking up license plate numbers online is that it’s far much cheaper than hiring a private investigator. It also means that you can do it online wherever there’s an internet connection.

What Are the Benefits of Corn Stoves?

The info about the corn stoves delivered here will serve one of two matters: either they will reinforce what you recognize about these stoves or it will teach you something fresh about corn stoves. Both are beneficial results in the field of all types of stoves.

Corn Stoves

Corn stoves (also advertised as Stoves and Fireplaces), are a domestic heater or a modest commercial heater that utilizes local inexhaustible whole kernel husked corn pellet, wood pellet or several biomass as fuel. Localized inexhaustible whole kernel husked corn pellet is provided through 2 million localized farmers in the U.S.A., or globally, in maize developing regions. Decently set up stoves may cut back household heating prices by up to 80%.Corn stoves may incinerate biomass fuel of any type that the auger will feed such wood pellet, soybeans, cherry seeds, orange seeds, or sorted wood chips. In the case of a misfunction, Corn while a fuel will auto- extinguish in fewer than sixty seconds. Different biomass fuel similar to wood will proceed to incinerate until all the fuel is expired. A modest quantity of biomass or wood pellet cooking stoves will incinerate corn or a pellet blend.

Corn stoves sporadically or endlessly agitate and/or stir the pellet/fuel during combustion. The requirement to agitate to maintain combustion is a safety benefit specific to corn fuel. Other solidified, fluid or natural gas fuel does not involve agitation to sustain combustion. Wood pellet stoves or a corn stoves filled up with wood pellet as a fuel could burn the home down if the hopper full of non-corn fuel catches on fire. Shelled corn stashed away in a container or the stoves hopper is totally risk-free from combustion. Corn must be endlessly stirred or sporadically agitated to expel and burn the 34% hydrogen held within the kernel. A pellet stove doesn’t stir the fuel as needed for corn combustion. Numerous stoves will incinerate solid biomass fuel like whole kernel shelled corn pellet, biomass pellet fuel, wood pellet, forage, or rubbish. Some corn stoves can incinerate 100% shelled corn, or varieties of wood pellet, cherry pits, soy beans, orange seeds, lemon seeds, grape seeds, rice, or sorted ground corn cobs. A corn stove will incinerate solid fuel that involves continual stirring or stable vibration to endorse combustion. When the stirring or vibration of the burning fuel has passed, a corn flame will auto- extinguish within moments. Locally inexhaustible shelled corn is risk-free, clean, environmentally favorable, non-volatile, non-explosive. Corn as a fuel creates zero smoke (zero opacity) and very little (0.00x MMBTU)CO2. Corn burning can equal 98.6% efficiency, expelling just 5 to 10 gallons of solid effluent or ash per dwelling annum. Specific to corn and additional biomass stoves comprises the ability to safely preheat both the combustion air and fuel by safely stashing away the corn within. Corn stoves may apply the preheated internal room air for combustion air. Corn combustion waste run through a filtrated room air heat exchanger before being exhausted outdoors.

Types of Pressure Cookers

With today’s fast moving lifestyle, pressure cookers are becoming popular and popular. If you are planning to join the pressure cooking fad, then it’s just time to learn the types of pressure cookers before you go shopping.

There are two types of pressure cookers, the old-style, or the “first generation” models, and the new-style, or the “modern generation” models. Older models use a moving “jigger valve” that makes its hissing and earsplitting sound. New models has pressure selector dial which eliminates the “noisy” jiggling valve that rocks back and forth on top of old-style pressure cookers. These two types of cookers have different styles of valves, and if your pressure cooker is the hissing type, it means the pressure has to be checked.

As a child, my mother had a pressure cooker that I found noisy and scary with its wobbling cap on top. While Mom’s first generation cooker gave us wonderful Sunday lunches every time, generally, there were fewer features and less safety measures in the one-pressure setting of the old-style cooker we used. We always have to adjust recipes to fit and the moment her pressure cooker starts to hiss, we were never allowed to come near the stove.

When cooking’s done, she would either leave the cooker until pressure drops on its own, or place the pressure pot in the sink and run cold water over it to bring down the temperature and pressure. Today, although some older domestic models are still manufactured and sold, they still do not have safeguards and some can even explode, but thanks to the new generation models, cooking with pressure has been improved with safety.

Modern cookers are designed with several pressure settings and multiple pressure safety release systems making them 100% safe. It uses the new technology combination of stainless steel with aluminum core for effective and even heating. They are made of sure durability with easy-to-clean pressure release valve and a no hassle self-locking handle. There is no jiggling and no hissing which means it is quiet and does not release excess heat which can in turn heat up the whole kitchen.

Modern pressure cookers are built with quick release option into the pressure regulator to quickly lower the pressure inside the pot without losing the heat. With optical and acoustical signals, modern models show the cooking time which notifies when the right cooking temperature has been reached. This feature allows you to add other ingredients then simply resume pressure cooking. Even if overpressure occurs, modern type cookers push out excess steam from a valve stem with a perceptible “hiss”, and no matter pressure continues to rise, the sealing gasket would be ejected through the cooker’s built-in safety notch in the lid, and safely vent the pressure.

With the added features of a weight release valve, gasket release system, metallic safety valve, and double locking system that won’t allow the pressure lid to be removed until it’s safe to do so, we could say no more noisy, hissing, rattling, and spitting pressure regulators to scare our children, and absolutely no more dangerous and unpredictable over-pressure plug that can accidentally blow the lid and scatter your food all over the kitchen!

Now let’s face it, which type do you think is better worth buying no matter the cost?

Using Acrylic for Your Do-It-Yourself Solar Panel

Transitioning part of your home’s energy supply to solar power is more feasible than ever before thanks to the ease and cost-efficiency of making your own solar panels. In bookstores and online, you can find plans for do-it-yourself solar panels that can help you power anything from a few outdoor lights to your entire home. Several plans suggest that it is possible to build a do-it-yourself panel for less than a third of the price of purchasing one in a store.

The solar panel building process requires many important decisions: How much power do you want to get out of your system? Where should you put your system in order to get maximum exposure to the sun? Another important decision is to select the proper casing material for your do-it-yourself solar panel.

The cover’s essential purpose is to allow a high percentage of light to reach the energy-generating solar cells below while protecting them from violent weather and damaging ultra-violet rays. Glass and acrylic are the two materials most often employed for this purpose because both are above the necessary threshold of transmitting more than 90% of light. Despite their similarity in this regard, acrylic, also known as plexiglass, has a number of advantages over glass for the do-it-yourselfer.

Plexiglass Solar Panel Covers: A smart alternative to glass.

  • The most important advantage of using plexiglass for protecting your panels is its strength. Plexiglass has an impact resistance that is around eighteen times that of ordinary glass and it is therefore far less likely to shatter due to inclement weather or an errant baseball.
  • In addition to being stronger, plexiglass solar panel covers are around 50% lighter than an equivalently-sized sheet of glass. This is an important factor to consider if your do-it-yourself panels are to be placed somewhere that is sensitive to excess weight or if you have to lug your completed panels to your roof for installation.
  • If your project design requires your cover to be cut to a custom size, using plexiglass for solar panels is likely to be a far cheaper option. While glass is less expensive when ordered in bulk, plexiglass places less of a burden on your budget when purchased in small, custom-cut quantities. Also, be sure to find out if your local plastics distributor already has the size you need in stock. This could save you quite a few dollars on labor costs.
  • Finally, due to their light weight and resistance to shattering, plexiglass solar panel covers are cheaper to ship and handle.
  • When working with plexiglass, there are a few considerations that require planning ahead for optimal results.
  • Over long periods of time, plexiglass can sag under its own weight due to its lack of rigidity in comparison to glass. It is this same flexibility that earns plexiglass solar panel covers high marks for impact resistance. Avoid this issue by incorporating multiple points of support for the plexiglass solar panel cover.
  • Plexiglass also tends to expand and contract with extreme temperature shifts from season to season. Plexiglass shifts at a rate of.00004″ per inch per degree of change on the Fahrenheit scale. Therefore, an increase of 100 degrees from the coldest day of winter to the warmest day of summer would change the length of a sheet of acrylic with an original length of 36″ by.114″ [.00004″x36″x100°]. The effects of expansion and contraction can be negated by allowing enough “wiggle room” in the frame to compensate for the change in seasons.

It is important to note that if you live in an area with frequent hail storms or one that experiences extremely low temperatures, it might be wise to consider UV-stabilized polycarbonate as an alternative to plexiglass solar panel covers. This is due to polycarbonate’s superior strength and ability to resist cracking. UV-stabilized polycarbonate is, however, substantially more expensive than plexiglass and it will turn yellow over time in the sun (something plexiglass does not do). For most do-it-yourself solar panels, a 3/16 inch sheet of acrylic will get the job done.

Call a local plastics distributor today to find out just how easy and cost-effective it can be to incorporate acrylic solar panels into your do-it-yourself solar power project!

Planks, Awesome Abs Without Doing Crunches

One of my favourite ab exercises are planks and side planks. They are fantastic core exercises because:

1. They work the whole core including the low back.

2. Planks are great for people who find traditional crunches painful in their neck and back.

3. Planks are incredibly effective for core strength and definition.

4. They have many variations from beginner to advanced.

5. Planks can be done anywhere, anytime.

Basic Front Plank

-With clasped hands place them in front of you on the floor under your shoulders.

-Go up on to your toes so you are supporting your weight with your elbows and toes.

-Now flex your abs and lower your butt.

-Remember to breathe and time yourself for 1 minute. If you can’t make a minute right away drop to your knees and take a 10 second break. Get back in to the plank for the remaining time.

Variations

Beginner

-Support yourself on your hands, instead of your elbows.

-You can also use a stability ball placed securely up against a wall. Put your clasped hands and elbows on the ball.

Advanced

-Support your weight on one foot

Side Planks

This exercise is an oblique toning machine!

-On you side stick one elbow in to the floor under your shoulder. Your forearm should be straight out and your whole arm should create a 90 degree angle.

-Stack your feet one on top of the other.

-Now raise your torso off the ground. Stick your outer oblique toward the ceiling. Hold for 30-45 seconds each side. If you can’t make it right away drop to your knees to recover and then get back up there.

-Your other arm (that is not supporting you) can be straight up in the air for balance (easier) or folded across your torso.

Variations

Beginner

-Put the weight in your knees with your legs bent.

Advanced

-Raise a leg or an arm and a leg at the same time.

The Plank Ab Workout

Do this 2.5 minute plank workout and your abs will be thanking you the next day. If you have trouble feeling a workout on your abs the next day from crunches, this will change everything.

Without rest

30 seconds front plank

30 seconds side plank

30 seconds front plank

30 seconds (the other) side plank

30 seconds front plank

Try to transition as quickly and fluidly as possible. Remember, if you can’t make the whole count just rest and get back up there.

Try Planks!

Building Codes For Stair Handrails and Guardrails

These building codes might not apply in your specific city or county. Make sure that you check with your local building department to verify any of the information below, before actually constructing your stairway hand rail or guardrail.

1. Make sure that the space between your balusters does not exceed 4 inches. The building code used to be 6 inches, but young children were getting their heads stuck in between the balusters so they changed it to 4 inches.

2. The minimum guard rail height for a stairway is 42 inches. This used to be 36 inches, until they had problems with people falling over the lower height guardrails.

3. The unified building codes suggest that your gripable stair hand railing should be between 34 and 38 inches in height. These measurements could vary, depending on which city or county you live in.

4. It’s a good idea to extend the lower and upper part of the stair handrail at least 12 inches beyond the first and last step. This provides additional safety for anyone who uses the stairway.

5. If your stairway has more than three risers, most building codes suggest that you have one hand rail. This hand rail could be on either side of the stairway. Again, this provides additional safety for anyone who climbs up and down the stairways.

If you’re going to build a stair handrail or guardrail, make sure that you contact your local building department for additional information. Sometimes information like this can save people’s lives.

Code vs Common Spacing – Achieving Visually Harmonious Architectural Balusters

Chances are, at some point you have glanced at a house or building with architectural balusters or other elements and thought to yourself, “Something just doesn’t look right”. Oftentimes that “something” has to do with incorrect baluster spacing or misaligned features that throw off the visual continuity of the structure. Achieving visual balance and proportion are key when installing architectural elements such as balustrade systems, columns and decorative capitals. To ensure that architectural elements will properly enhance the design of a commercial or residential project, an architect, builder or project owner may desire the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Architectural Products Specialist who can provide expertise and accurate installation information that results in correct elevation balance that is pleasing to the eye.

The Basic Balustrade System Components

The architecturally correct term for any railing system is balustrade — or balustrade system. A balustrade system is a row of short pillars or spindles, called balusters, with a top railing and typically, but not always, a bottom railing. A balustrade system can also include a newel post and is used to edge porches, patios, veranda, porticos, decks and other exterior facades.

Balusters are the upright support of a balustrade system. They can be square, round or circular or an ornamental bar and can be wide or narrow in dimension. The widest part of the baluster is called the belly, and the narrowest part is called the sleeve.

The newel post of a balustrade system refers to the end element of a run. Newel posts are used when a railing changes direction at either a 90 degree or 45 degree angle, at a transition point to a stair or at the end of a run and, sometimes within a run.

What is 4″ Code Spacing and When Do I have to Use It?

In order to address liability issues specifically related to children putting their heads between balusters in railing systems, the spacing requirements for commercial projects and many residential installations now require that balusters have no more than a 4″ space between balusters at the widest gap between balusters not at the baluster base. Most, if not all, commercial baluster spacing codes are based on the 4″ spacing, and many residential codes have followed suit. Yet the most important factor of correctly spacing balusters for your project is — check your local building codes! Building codes differ greatly across the nation, within a state and even within towns and neighborhoods. We have found that codes can be very specific within historic districts and certain types of commercial and residential developments. So before you begin speaking with manufacturers, check the code!

What is Common Spacing

Common spacing is whatever the designer, builder or project owner deems it or what the manufacturer recommends as having the best visual appearance, and does not necessarily comply with local building codes. It is anything other than code spacing. An experienced Architectural Products Specialist will be able to guide you on various spacing options for their products, but don’t forget to check local building requirements.

Visual Harmony: Why Does it Matter?

Balustrade systems, and architectural columns and decorative capitals on exteriors can act as dramatic visual elements of a structure. Following some simple guidelines will help to ensure that the visual impact of these elements is pleasing to the eye. Balusters that are not proportional to the overall scope of the building or balusters that are not spaced in relation to columns and other architectural elements can contribute to the feeling that “something’s not quite right”, also referred to as visual discord. Similarly, when choosing a column, pay special attention to its proportions in relation to the overall building design and elevations. It is essential to maintain visual harmony in both commercial and residential structures since you want people to be drawn to a site.

Conclusion

The ultimate goal of all of these tips is to help guide you in the process of providing a residential or commercial project owner with a structure that is both architecturally and aesthetically pleasing. Since proportion, spacing and style of various architectural elements can be quite overwhelming, it is beneficial to select an Architectural Product Specialist as your “in-house” residential expert. Find someone who is experienced with architectural products and uses their knowledge to add value to your exterior. The chosen specialist will be able to back up their experience with literature that explains proportions and how to accurately space and plan installations that are visually pleasing and architecturally correct.

Code vs Common Spacing – Achieving Visually Harmonious Architectural Balusters

Chances are, at some point you have glanced at a house or building with architectural balusters or other elements and thought to yourself, “Something just doesn’t look right”. Oftentimes that “something” has to do with incorrect baluster spacing or misaligned features that throw off the visual continuity of the structure. Achieving visual balance and proportion are key when installing architectural elements such as balustrade systems, columns and decorative capitals. To ensure that architectural elements will properly enhance the design of a commercial or residential project, an architect, builder or project owner may desire the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Architectural Products Specialist who can provide expertise and accurate installation information that results in correct elevation balance that is pleasing to the eye.

The Basic Balustrade System Components

The architecturally correct term for any railing system is balustrade — or balustrade system. A balustrade system is a row of short pillars or spindles, called balusters, with a top railing and typically, but not always, a bottom railing. A balustrade system can also include a newel post and is used to edge porches, patios, veranda, porticos, decks and other exterior facades.

Balusters are the upright support of a balustrade system. They can be square, round or circular or an ornamental bar and can be wide or narrow in dimension. The widest part of the baluster is called the belly, and the narrowest part is called the sleeve.

The newel post of a balustrade system refers to the end element of a run. Newel posts are used when a railing changes direction at either a 90 degree or 45 degree angle, at a transition point to a stair or at the end of a run and, sometimes within a run.

What is 4″ Code Spacing and When Do I have to Use It?

In order to address liability issues specifically related to children putting their heads between balusters in railing systems, the spacing requirements for commercial projects and many residential installations now require that balusters have no more than a 4″ space between balusters at the widest gap between balusters not at the baluster base. Most, if not all, commercial baluster spacing codes are based on the 4″ spacing, and many residential codes have followed suit. Yet the most important factor of correctly spacing balusters for your project is — check your local building codes! Building codes differ greatly across the nation, within a state and even within towns and neighborhoods. We have found that codes can be very specific within historic districts and certain types of commercial and residential developments. So before you begin speaking with manufacturers, check the code!

What is Common Spacing

Common spacing is whatever the designer, builder or project owner deems it or what the manufacturer recommends as having the best visual appearance, and does not necessarily comply with local building codes. It is anything other than code spacing. An experienced Architectural Products Specialist will be able to guide you on various spacing options for their products, but don’t forget to check local building requirements.

Visual Harmony: Why Does it Matter?

Balustrade systems, and architectural columns and decorative capitals on exteriors can act as dramatic visual elements of a structure. Following some simple guidelines will help to ensure that the visual impact of these elements is pleasing to the eye. Balusters that are not proportional to the overall scope of the building or balusters that are not spaced in relation to columns and other architectural elements can contribute to the feeling that “something’s not quite right”, also referred to as visual discord. Similarly, when choosing a column, pay special attention to its proportions in relation to the overall building design and elevations. It is essential to maintain visual harmony in both commercial and residential structures since you want people to be drawn to a site.

Conclusion

The ultimate goal of all of these tips is to help guide you in the process of providing a residential or commercial project owner with a structure that is both architecturally and aesthetically pleasing. Since proportion, spacing and style of various architectural elements can be quite overwhelming, it is beneficial to select an Architectural Product Specialist as your “in-house” residential expert. Find someone who is experienced with architectural products and uses their knowledge to add value to your exterior. The chosen specialist will be able to back up their experience with literature that explains proportions and how to accurately space and plan installations that are visually pleasing and architecturally correct.