Vinyl Plank Flooring – A Less Expensive Substitute For Hardwood Floors

One of the best things that can be said for vinyl plank flooring or any kind of vinyl flooring is that that it is extremely easy to install. What is also especially nice about vinyl plank flooring compared to the more traditional vinyl designs and styles available is that it was specifically designed to look like real hardwood flooring – and like other vinyls, it is actually more resistant to water and other kinds of moisture penetration than hardwood or even bamboo.

Vinyl plank flooring is very different from anything you are likely to see in many stores and schools today. No longer do you need to stick to the staid old geometric designs of yesteryear: instead, you can provide your rooms with a look that truly adds a new dimension to any renovation or remodeling works that you are carrying out.

Installing the vinyl plank system takes a lot shorter period of time compared to using real wood planks. Usually you will find that you can install this kind of flooring within a matter of hours rather than taking a number of days, especially if you have never laid real wood flooring before. And because it is waterproof, it is a great solution for providing a room such as the kitchen or bathroom with a real wood look, but at half the cost and without the worries of the floor becoming damaged through water getting into it.

Unlike more traditional forms of vinyl flooring such as sheets or tiles, this style comes in long rectangular pieces that look just like any other kind of wood plank. You must keep in mind that course that they do not come with the same thickness that you would find with hardwood or bamboo flooring. Because it comes in planks rather than squares or other geometric shapes, this helps to add to the illusion that what you have is real wood flooring. Each plank is usually 3 inches wide by 36 inches long and if you install it in a staggered fashion then you will find that it results in an even better better approximation of the look of wood plank flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring comes in 20 different types of wood grain and color and some are coated with a satin urethane finish which provides better protection against dirt and scuffing. Each plank has been micro-ground using only the best precision equipment available, so once installed the floor acquires a really seamless look. This in turn only adds further to the illusion of it being real wood – without the cost or hassle that you would normally associate with the installation of any kind of hardwood flooring.

Developing a Year Round Tax Planning Strategy

Have you ever met with a tax advisor and been told you could have done something about a tax problem if only you had acted sooner?

When most people think about tax planning, they usually think:

It's something you do when you have your tax return prepared. It's something you do at the end of the year.

While both of these times have a place in a tax strategy, often times it is simply too late or there is not enough time to get the best results.

This is why I am such a big fan of year round tax planning.

Year Round Tax Planning

Year round tax planning does not mean you spend the entire year working on your taxes. In fact, year round tax planning can be done in very little time and still have a big impact when it comes to reducing your taxes.

If you are developing your year round tax planning strategy, here are 3 areas to focus on:

# 1 The Entities

Entities are one of the most effective ways to reduce your taxes – when used correctly. When used incorrectly, entities can increase your taxes.

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself about your entities.

Do you need to change how your entity or entities are taxed?

Sometimes an entity is formed with the strategy that once that entity hits a certain level of income, then how that entity is taxed needs to change.

This can be a very cost tax mistake if it is missed. Do you need to add an entity or structure how your entities are owned?

Knowing the right time and the right entity for your tax strategy can save as much as $ 10,000 per year in taxes.

Regularly reviewing the entities in your tax strategy helps ensure each entity is providing maximum tax benefits.

# 2 The Numbers

I'm constantly sharing that tax planning is all about the numbers.

Many of the questions I'm asked I answer with – let's run the numbers. Many tax strategies are based on income and expenses being at certain levels. It is not uncommon for these numbers to change during the year.

Certain changes in the numbers can affect the effectiveness of the tax strategy. It is critical to know when the numbers change so timely adjustments can be made to the tax strategy.

# 3 The Documentation

When it comes to permanent tax savings, the 3 most important words are:

Documentation, Documentation, Documentation!

Proper documentation increases the accuracy of the information you provide to your tax advisor. This helps your tax advisor do more for you because they have good information. Proper documentation also provides the support the government will want to see if you are audited.

Best of all, when you keep proper documentation, you do a better job of identifying all of your obligations so it's a great way to reduce your taxes.

Documentation may include:

Annual meeting minutes

Proper bookkeeping

Keeping receipts

Loan documents between you and your entities

Agreements between you and your entities

Mileage logs Activity logs (particularly in the US for those who claim "real estate professional" status)

It is very easy to get behind on documentation. This is why I like to include it in year round tax planning.

Start today

The small things add up. Identify one small thing you can do today to start your year round tax planning strategy. It can be one very small thing. Then, build on that every day.

Following Building Codes – Vital in Installing Stair Railings

Stairs serve an important purpose to people whether it's installed in a home or building. But apart from providing access to people in going to and descending from upper levels, a vital component of the stair also ensures the safety of users.

The stair railings protect people from falls during their ascent or descent. These are made up different parts – baluster, newel post, guards, landing newel and handrail. The balusters are the ones that protect people from falling off while the handrails help users in keeping their balance while going up and down the stairs. These same parts give the stairs its unique style.

As stairs come in different types, shapes and designs, they also need to be constructed in a variety of ways. Depending on the available space in a home, stairs can be gradual or steep, wide or narrow, hidden or grand. The tread part or the one you step on can also either be an open or closed type. In addition, stairs can be built right in place or you can have one ordered according to your specific requirements.

Another thing to take into consideration when installing stair railings is to be aware of the building codes in your locality. Any stairs need to comply with codes to ensure their safety to all users. The codes specific to the heights of risers, depth and width of treads as well as placement of handrails. While there are national standards, local codes vary and feature different restrictions. Your city or county building department is your best source for the local requirements.

The restrictions are usually on the types of stairs, their measurements, head-height clearance, placement and construction of railing. If you're installing a spiral stair, for instance, you need to follow codes concern measurements. A tread depth of 9 to 10 inches at 12 to 14 inches from the narrow side is usually required by many codes.

For the balusters, the opening or spaces between the vertical posts should be from a minimum of four inches to a maximum of six inches. This is so because a wider space in between can allow small kids to get through which may result in accidents.

The handrails need to comply with certain codes as well. For stairs located against the walls, the required handrail height in the US should be from 30 to 38 inches only while for open stairs, it should be from 34 to 38 inches. In Canada, the allowed height is 32 to 36 inches. A handrail is a must if the stairs are above 24 inches high.

It is also critical that stair railings include handrails that can be easily secured by users. There have been many cases of slips and falls from places that use wide handrails wherever made from wood or metal. The flat and wide types used in stair railings are not advisable because they are not friendly to the hands.

Protection is the foremost goal of stair railings but this can only be achieved if the proper building codes are followed during installation.

Aluminum Deck Balusters: The Best of All Worlds

When building an addition onto your house as extensive and prominent as a back deck, you want to make the right choices along the way. Hiring a good contractor to build to your specifications is an excellent first step. Professional work will always hold up and look much better than something done by an amateur. But even if you're doing the work on your own, you'll have multiple opportunities to change and shape the character of your project. Aluminum deck balusters carry with them several benefits. Among them, strength, appearance, and weather resistance. Here are some reasons why this type of railing gives you the best of all worlds.

When you choose aluminum deck balusters, you are not pigeonholing yourself into a single shape the way you are with some other materials. Do you want restrictions when you start planning what is often the most decorative aspect of a project like this? You'll already have some, simply based on size considerations. Do not add more by choosing a material that only gives you a couple of shape options. Because of the durability of the metal, you can have just about any shape you can think of.

Weather Resistance
Metal railroads have a lot of advantages over wood, and they were extremely popular in the 70s and 80s, particularly among DIY-ers. But most metal railroads come with one big problem: they will ever rust. This weakens the railroads and it looks terrible. Aluminum deck balusters are highly resistant to rust. You can also have them powder covered, which will give you an even longer lasting finish and greater protection against the rain and oxidation that threatens other metals. Of course, unlike wood, you will not have to worry about splintering or rot. And unlike steel, you will not have to bring out the paint can every couple of years.

Additional Benefits
Are aluminum deck balusters the right choice for your project? Every homeowner has to make that decision based on a number of factors. But if you do decide to go in that direction, you'll be the recipient of a host of benefits, in addition to its weather resistant qualities and flexibility. The metal is known to be resistant to shrinking and expanding in accordance with shifting temperatures. You will not have to worry about treating the railing with pesticides to keep them free of termites. You get a good product for a good price. Ask your contractor or local supplier about your options.

Stainless Steel Balustrading – Modern and Stylish

Balustrades is a kind of low partition that is positioned at the edges of bridges, stair cases etc. These are made of short posts, which form a row and have a long rail at the top. Earlier, balustrades were used solely for railings, as time passed their use has changed and now they are installed at balconies, near swimming pools etc. Traditionally, balustrades were made of wood, and they were initially started to be made of other materials, such as glass, steel and stainless steel.

Before I tell you more details about stainless steel balustrades, I need to tell you something in details about stainless steel. It is basically an alloy. The way this metal is produced, makes it far more durable and strong compared to normal steel. And, as the name suggests "Stainless Steel" it can resist stains.

Balustrades add a modern look to any home. For an external balustrade, the tough nature and little maintenance of stainless steel is preferably suitable for any environment. Especiala the coastal areas, which has bad effects on normal steel.

These balustrade accessories manufacturers from all over the world, offer a variety of designs and colors which adds to the beauty of your house. Some of the most commonly used are flat bar, tube, square and rectangular box section, wire rope chains, marine and commercial applications.

Although balustrades are available for various purposes, I will try and give some insight to railing balustrades.

Product Description:

The material used to produce is high quality 201. Their height varies from 855 mm up to 1300 mm. The thickness of the steel at the side can range from 6mm to 13mm. Their surface is made up of polished steel, PVD are also being used. Typically, the balustrade is made of a single pillar with a very bright surface.

Benefits of Balustrades

This is the perfect material for building balustrades as it is predominately robust and tough. It can take all the falls and thuds that it is expected to receive over the life span of a staircase without being damaged.

• Adaptability. The nature of these material means it can be made into nearly any shape or size for a balustrade. Arched looks are no issues in steel, and remarkable slants can be just easily created.

• Presence. Not only is it a robust and sturdy material, It gives a good look to your house. The variety of metal textures gives it a smooth and contemporary look which will mix in smooth with contemporary building plans and their colorings.

• Price. Using these balustrades is an economic choice, mostly due to the obtainability of material, and the comparative easiness with which it can be adjusted, installed and joined.

See more:

How to Repair Wood Staircases That Squeak – From Below and From Above Approaches

Staircases that squeak are quite annoying, so if you have one with this problem you probably want to know how to fix it. You should first know the anatomy of a staircase. Its main parts are the tread (the horizontal part that you step on), the riser (the vertical part making a joint with the tread) and the banister (the side component that you hold onto while walking up or down). The banister is made of the handrail (the part which you grasp), the balusters (vertical posts along the length of the banister) and the newel post (a larger post at the bottom of the staircase).

When you work from below the stairs on making the squeaking stop, you should have these prepared: wood shims, a hammer, yellow carpenter's glue and a small wood block. It may be dark below the staircase so you should have a flashlight or some other source of light with you. Falling debris can hurt your eyes, so put on your goggles for safety. Ask a friend or family member to walk on the staircase so that you notice where the problematic spots are and what exactly moves there. Cover the wood shims in glue and place them with their thin end forward into the joint formed by the tread and the corresponding riser, where the squeak sound occurs. Tap the shims and drive them in by placing the block of wood between the hammer head and the large end of the shim.

When fixing the problem from above the stairs, these are the items you will be using: pencil, measuring tape, electric drill, screwdriver, flathead wood screws size 2

What you will actually do is tighten the joint between the riser and the tread by tightening a screw that will hold them together. For starters, if the tread is not flush with the riser, make a measurement so that you mark the point where the two meet. You will make drills through the tread into the riser and you should get to the center of the latter when doing this. It is useful to know that the edge of a riser is usually

Breaking Psychological Barriers

Before 1954, running a sub four-minute mile was considered to be impossible according to physiologists at that time. It was thought that a four-minute mile was the physical limit of the human body.

When Englands' Roger Bannister ran a 3: 59.4 to break the world record, he not only broke a physical barrier but he also broke a psychological barrier as well.

Australian John Landy, who was considered to be the premier miler of that era, was at a restaurant in Helsinki when news came to him of Bannister's achievement.

"I had gotten into this frame (of mind) where I had easily the best performances. Bannister had only run 4:02 once. I'd done it six times. 'but I was pretty positive. I thought if he can run that, maybe I can run it. It certainly raised my sights. "

Six weeks later, Landy, broke Bannisters' record by running a 3: 58.0.

Later that year, in the "Mile of the Century", in a race to decide who was the fastest miler in the world, Bannister ran a 3: 58.8 to Landys' 3: 59.6. It was the first time two men had run sub-four-minutes divided in the same race.

By the end of 1957, sixteen runners had completed the feat. Now what was thought impossible has become common, at least among some runners. John Walker of New Zealand ran at least a hundred sub-four-minute miles in his career but American Steve Scott has the most with 136. The current record in the mile is 3: 43.13, held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco.

Another long-standing psychological barrier in the world of sports was Bob Beamons 'incredible long jump of 29' 4 1/2 "(8.90 m) in the 1968 Olympics. a sport where records are broken by inches and seconds, Beamon shattered the record by near two feet.

Oddly enough, Beamons' coach at the '68 Olympics was Ralph Boston. In 1960, Boston had broken Jesse Owens long jump record set in 1935. It had held for 25 years. From 1960 to 1967, the record had only advanced by 8 1/2 "inches.

Beamons' incredible leap was thought to be a freak accident that would never be duplicated. It was an accomplishment that was totally beyond Beamons' or anyone else's ability at that time. Beamon never came close to that mark again. It was considered to be the athletic feat of all time.

In the late eighties, Carl Lewis had begun to creep closer to Beamons' mark. With his world record speed in the 100 meters, Lewis had advanced the long jump record to 28 '7 ".

In the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, five days after just setting the world record in the 100 meters by running it in 9.86 seconds, Lewis' 10-year unbeaten streak in the long jump came to an end, even though he put together the greatest series of jumps in history. Lewis had never before reached 29 feet, and this day he did it three times, including 29 '2 "(wind-aided) and 29' 1" (against the wind). But Mike Powell, who had lost 15 consecutive times to Lewis, unleashed the longest jump in history – 29 '4 "(8.90 m). Powell had stunned Lewis and the world by finally beating the 23 year-old-record.

I've used these two stories from the sports world to illustrate that the things that often hold us back, are more psychological than physical. Limiting barriers are more in our minds than actual reality.

Henry Ford

"If you think you can do a thing or you think you can not do a thing, you're right."

You are not limited by anything except your own limiting thoughts. Many times, psychological barriers are just arbitrary standards. They could be marks such as earning $ 100,000 a year, getting straight A's in school, or setting new sales records. Why is it we establish these marks? We as human beasts are goal-seeking organizations. We need something to work towards. A worthy goal gives us something to shoot for.

I'm sure Mike Powell, on his way to breaking Bob Beamons' record had preliminary goals he had to achieve. He first had to break the 25 foot mark, then the 26 foot mark, and so forth, until, after years of long training, spurred on by stiff competition from Carl Lewis, he put it all together to break one of the greatest records in sports history.

Many times we do not achieve our goals or objectives because we believe they are beyond our reach. When we see someone obtain some great achievement, we think it looks so easy. We just do not see the long years of hard work that got them there. Great achievements take time, no matter what field you are in. Working toward your goal requires a lot of faith because you just do not know whether it will all pay off. Goals are not reached without struggle. Long-range goals require great endurance of faith and persistence.

Breaking down our psychological barriers often comes down to trying one more time, trying a different approach or adjusting your methods just the right way. It's for sure; you will never get past your roadblocks without trying.

Success comes to those who overcome obstacles, conquers adversity and never gives up.

LG Phones

It seems the South Korean electronic giant LG Electronics Inc. wants to mimic the earthquake created by the Apple iPhone in the highly volatile mobile-crust. In an order to catch the thunder, LG electronic launched its second iPhone-like handset with many features that the iPhone doesn’t have: 3G and high-speed cellular data networking.

Coming in the model of KS20, it bears a strong resemblance to the iPhone of its shiny front-face that is devoid of almost all buttons.LG KS20 is compatible with 3G WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) networks, the 3G standard being deployed by most operators around the world. That means the product would cater to the demand of iPhone in those countries where it doesn’t support the service provider like Japan and South Korea.Another feature that LGKS20 is counted higher than the iPhone comes in the faster data networking. WCDMA supports speeds of around 384k bps (bits per second) in its basic version and the LG phones will also work on networks that have been upgraded with HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) data networking at speeds up to 3.6M bps. That’s significantly faster than the EDGE (enhanced data rates for GSM evolution) data network on which the iPhone operates.

It is not that in every front the LG handset surpasses the iPhone. It is missing one feature that some customers will consider of utmost importance: Apple’s OS X operating system. The LG phones runs on Windows Mobile 6.0 which is often criticized for being harder to use and clunkier than the Apple operating system.

Lace Frontal Wig Guide

Lace frontal wigs are a great asset for any woman who wants to have the natural look of a lace front wig but is not yet ready to give up her fabulous weaves. If you are just trying out lace wigs or just can not part with your favorite weave brand, a lacefrontal is a nice introduction into lacewigs. This guide presents a brief overview of what there is to know about lacefrontals.

What is a lace frontal?

A lacefrontal is similar to a front lacewig in many ways. The lace is around the perimeter of the hairline to provide a natural looking appearance. The main difference is that a lacefrontal is completely a piece that can be installed from the hairline up to the crown of the head. Many lacefrontals are shorter than this providing only 3 to 5 inches of lace.

The lacefrontal also achieves everything that other lacewigs do. High quality human or synthetic hair is installed on most lace frontals. These are also cheaper than many full lacewigs and front lacewigs because they are half the size.

Why should I consider a lace frontal?

A lace frontal is a great purchase for women seeking more natural looking weaves but do not want to commit to the full lacewig. Many women are fans of their hair weaves and extensions minus the unnatural hairline or scalp. With a weave, you have direct access to much of the scalp unlike a lacewig where you must remove the unit unit.

A lacefrontal is also a good option for women suffering from thinning hairlines or at the crown of their head. If you have a thick head of hair, you do not want to add on a full lacewig. Many women like to think of a lacefrontal like a spot treatment for their hair. Place it in the spot that needs it most, no more and no less.

How is a lace frontal installed? Can I do this myself like a lace wig?

A lace frontal is best installed by a professional since more weaving and hair extension techniques are also employed. If you are very well versed in lacewigs and hair weaving, then this is something that you can most likely do. If you are only good at one of these skills, you will need professional help.

A lace frontal is installed like any other lacewig around the hairline area. For the back half, some stylists choose to directly integrate the lace frontal into the extension through braiding techniques while others prefer basic blending of the two units.

By using this guide, you can better familiarize yourself with lace frontals. Whether you are a weave or extension lover for life, it never hurts to try something new. As always, make sure to seek professional help if you are unsure about lacewig application and using lace wig hair products.

Clearwater Beach Homes – What to Watch Out For With Waterfront Homes

Clearwater Beach Homes that are waterfront have some unique features you have to pay attention to when buying.

The 4 main areas you'll find homes for sale in Clearwater Beach are Island Estates (Intracoastal waterway frontage, canal frontage and non-waterfront), the north beach area (both Gulf frontage, Intercoastal frontage and non-waterfront), the south beach area (mostly on the Intracoastal waterway or canals) and the Sand Key area (mostly on the Intracoastal or canals).

I'm going to focus on the waterfront homes here so I can bring up the features with waterfront homes that are unique and need to be looked at when you are considering buying one of these houses.

The first is the seawall. Usually the seawalls for houses on the Intracoastal or canals are made out of reinforced concrete and act as a separation between the soil of the property and the water. There is also a cement cap on top of the seawall that is also made of concrete. (There are some seawalls made of material other than concrete but the ones I have seen so far in the Clearwater Beach areas have been only the concrete ones.) Houses on the Gulf that are beachfront will not normally have a seawall, so this mainly applies to those on the Intracoastal or canals.

Seawalls can be expensive to replace so you'll want to know the age of the existing seawall (if the owner knows) and have it checked during the home inspection. Your inspector will want to look for any cracks in the seawall or cap and other indicators of problems. If the inspection shows that there is damage or that the seawall may need replacing in the next few years, you may want to get an estimate from a reputable company that does this type of work.

The second feature can vary in waterfront homes, but usually they will have a dock and / or boat lift and / or davits (kind of like two arms that project over the water with cables that can lift and lower a boat). Again, this is mostly for those houses on the Intracoastal or canals.

Probably the 2 most important of these, cost-wise, are the dock and lift. You should have these included in the inspection you have done to find out their condition and to make sure that any davits or lifts are functioning as they should. If there appears to be any potential problems you should have them checked more thoroughly by a good company that services and installs them to see if the issues are minor or major and to get an idea of ​​what it may cost to repair or replace them, as needed.

Although it is not really a feature, a third area you should pay attention to is the cost for home and flood insurance. Being on the water does result in a higher insurance cost than you'd see for homes inland so you do not want to be surprised by waiting until after you have a contract on a waterfront home to find out what your insurance premium may be. You can reduce that cost some by having storm shutters on the windows and doors but you should talk with your insurance agent to find out exactly what you can do to reduce the costs and how much reduction there would be.

My final comment on Clearwater Beach homes that waterfront is that you need to be more attentive to maintenance. The salt air is corrosive and any outside metal can rust more easily and quickly. It may take more of your time but it will cost you less in the long run to make sure you regularly and properly maintain all the outside aspects of your home (including lifts and davits).

The Truth Behind the Facade – Men's Postpartum Depression

New evidence suggests that postpartum depression is no longer just a condition experienced by new mothers. It may also affect new fathers in much the same way. Postpartum depression in new fathers is a relatively new concept, possibly coming to light thanks to a growing acceptance of the full range of emotional experience that men are capable of.

Society as a whole has traditionally embroidered the idea of ​​the strong male figure with a narrow emotional range. Men now have increasing freedom to admit their feelings on a wide range of issues, including those that our own fathers and grandfathers would not have discussed with others, including men's postpartum depression.

Paternal postnatal depression in not a new phenomenon, despite awareness of it is. More light has been shed on this in recent times thanks to increasing social acceptance of men's emotions. Similar to the feelings that new mothers so often go go experience following birth, men's postpartum depression can strongly affect the entire family. In a recent interview on "The Mommy-Muse Is In: Empowering Your Journey into Motherhood," men's health specialist Dr. Will Courtney shared this: "So often, mothers and fathers expect this experience of" baby bliss "that everyone suggests parenting is going to be like. Suddenly, things start feeling a lot more difficult than they ever expected. "

Parenthood is a comprehensive event – whether experienced from the male or female point of view. The transition from being a couple to being a family can be an aggressive challenge. Although the majority of men report a deep satisfaction with being a father, they do report that the transition from being "just a man" to being a dad is a frustrating, scary, daunting experience that requires massive adjustment. Men's postpartum depression can become quite severe, requiring mental health counseling from a qualified practitioner who understands the trials of new fatherhood and knows how to help.

Men typically are well-skilled at concealing their postpartum depression. They may, or may not, show any of the traditional signs that a new mother does, such as loss of interest, crying, and general sadness. Although a new father may attempt to "keep up appearances," the best clue that he might have an underlying problem is found by being alert to things that appear to be "just not right" in regards to his normal behaviors.

According to Dr. Courtney, men may try to avoid parenting and new fatherhood alike, a sort of "out of sight out of mind" mentality. "I'm hearing a lot from new dads about the experience of not being able to tolerate being around the baby. Usually, men feel horribly guilty about feeling that way, and also very confused because this is not what they were told to expect with the birth of their child. to do is to try to get away from the thing that is kind of making them feel all of these things.

New parents can take steps before the birth of their new baby (or even after the birth if they sense a problem) to better cope with postpartum depression. Here are some steps that you can take: Accept that postpartum depression is real in both men and women. If a man has a history of depression, beginning mental health counseling before the baby's birth is a great preventive measure. For couples with poor communication or strife in the relationship, couples counseling during and after the pregnancy can help offset depression by opening up the lines of communication between both partners. Economic problems should be faced head-on with the creation of a livable budget to alleviate the financial stress on the couple. Social support for both mom and dad is important. Decide who you can rely on if you need a sitter, etc.

New mothers and fathers must understand that postpartum depression is a completely natural condition that should be treated, not hidden. There is no shame in being depressed after the birth of a baby, especially considering that millions of parents experience some type of postpartum mood disorder each year. Seeking out treatment for the condition is an admission of being a parent who is willing to do whatever it takes to be the best parent and partner possible.

Soldering Fundamentals

Soldering is a process of joining two metals together with iron by the use of a solder alloy to form a reliable electrical path. It is not a simple task since it requires experience and knowledge. It is very important to make a proper soldering joint since faulty joints are one of the major causes of circuit boards failure.

Soldering is one of the oldest methods of joining two metals. There are several techniques of connecting two metals together like connecting with bolts and nuts, rivets, etc. Soldering process is still the most popular way of connecting two metals because of two reasons:

– joint is solid and there is not a movement in the joint

– there are no interfacing surfaces to oxidize

For beginner a soldering process looks simple. It looks that the solder simply sticks to the metal like some kind of conductive glue. However, what happens during this process is far different. When hot sold comes into contact with surface of copper on circuit board, a metal solvent action takes place. The solder dissolves and penetrates the surface of copper. Copper and solder blend together and form new metal alloy that one part is copper and the other part is solder. Solder is already metal alloy of tin and lead. This process can occur only if the solder and surface of the copper are hot enough. In addition, surface should be clean and free of oxide film. This oxide film forms when the metal is exposed to air. Sometimes a copper surface may look clean but, actually, it can be a thin layer of oxide film on the top of the surface.

In that case, when solder is applied to copper surface it will not stick to copper. Oxide film forms very quickly on the surface of heated metal. No solvent and penetration action takes place because oxide film prevents interaction of solder and copper. That is not god joint and that solder can easily scraped off copper surface. Therefore, oxide film should be removed from copper surface. This can be accomplished with the use of fluxes. Fluxes are mixtures of natural and synthetic resins. Some solvents and abrasives could also be used for cleaning of copper surfaces but they are not as good and efficient as flux. Flux removes oxide film and keeps removing it during soldering process. Flux is in the solid state at room temperature. Melting temperature of flux must be lower than melting temperature of solder. Soldering wire usually has flux in the middle of wire. There are many different types of solder with different solder to flux rate. When soldering is completed, all flux should be removed with solvent.

The main requirement for soldering operation is a source of heat. Soldering iron is a tool that provides heat during soldering operation. The iron tip should be clean. Cleaning of iron tip should be done before every use by wiping it on wet sponge. During soldering operation, solder should be applied to a clean and properly heated copper surface and not to the iron tip. That way solder will melt and flow without direct contact with soldering iron and provide a smooth surface. Otherwise it will form irregular appearance, built-up and poor filling. Soldering is not finished at moment when iron is removed from joint because at point point solder is still fluid. Component being soldered should be held tightly in place until the temperature decreases to solidify solder.

If a hot soldering iron is applied for too long or with too much pressure to joint it can significantly damage, deform and even lift the pads and conductors on circuit board. Copper foil on circuit board is very thin. Average thickness of copper foil is 0.0007-0.0028 inches (0.0175-0.070 mm). Do not apply any additional force on soldering iron. The iron tip should never be pushed down on the copper surface.

After soldering project is completed, iron should be kept in a holder. Iron tip should be cleaned and coated with thin layer of solder.

Low Carb Gluten Free Food

Individuals with food sensitivities who used to miss out on their favorite foods because of their condition have each a reason to be happy with the amount of low carb gluten free products that are available. Sufferers of celiac illness who are watching their figure to feel better and deter other sicknesses may also take comfort in the indisputable fact that there are now many low carb gluten free options.

Some breakthrough low carb gluten free products actually have a superb flavor such that celiac disease sufferers need not feel deprived anymore. It's got to be stated though, especially by people looking to control their weight while watching a special diet, that some products, like gluten-free grains, are possibly higher in carbohydrates than other types. Other than that, folk with celiac disease also contend with some unpleasant hidden glutens, particularly when they eat out. Testimonials of some weight-watching celiac disease-sufferers show that their low-carb diet can be compatible with their gluten-free diet choices.

For those who have not found a measure of dietary bliss in the same manner, you may wish to check out quality brands that also supply enough fiber and iron. As an example, there's a make of natural oatmeal that sources oats from pedigreed-seed oat farmers dedicated to growing pure oats, which then bear thorough testing for the presence of gluten, then post-packaging batch testing before, being offered to customers.

There are many other quality, mouth watering and no-guilt low carb gluten free additions to the diet of people with special food desires, from cake and gravy mixes, organic cheese, cereals, and soups to protein bars, and many others.

Decorating Tip: How to Wallpaper Around an Electric Socket or Light Switch

The finishing touches when decorating and wallpapering a room can make all the difference to a professional looking job. Taking the extra time to paper around a socket or switch can really pay dividends.

It's easy to wallpaper around a light switch or socket – just make sure you follow basic safety precautions by turning off the electricity supply at the main fuse box first.

With this handy 5 stage guide we'll teach you how to safely and easily wallpaper around a light switch or electrical socket.

1. Turn Off the Power!

You will need to make sure the electricity is off before decorating around the socket or switch. Not doing so can be very dangerous.

2. Loosen the Switch

With a screwdriver, the loosen the screws in the switch or socket so there is a space around the edge. Hang the wallpaper as usual, letting it cover the switch or socket.

3. Cut Out the Hole

Gently press the wallpaper onto the switch and lightly mark the edges. Make a cut in the center of the paper and then outwards to the corners, stopping about a centimetre inside the edge markings.

4. Tidy the Edges

Smooth the paper onto the wall, gently pulling the socket or switch away to tuck the edges of wallpaper behind it. Use a wallpaper hanging brush to smooth out any bumps near the socket edges.

5. Screw the Switch Back

When the wallpaper paste has discharged, the socket or switch can be screwed back into place. You might need to clean excess paste off the socket but do this very carefully, with only a slightly damp cloth, to prevent water running behind the socket. When you have finished you can turn the power back on.

TOP TIP: Do not use a knife or Stanley knife to cut the paper. You might end up teasing the paper or worse still scratching the surface of the socket or switch. Always use scissors to cut the hole.

So in summary, turn off the power, loosen the switch, gently press the paper on the switch, cut out the hole in the paper, tuck the edges of the paper behind the switch and then when the paste is dry screw the light switch back on the wall.

That's it, you should now be able to paper around a socket or switch without any problems at all, giving you a professional finish every time.

On Art Movements and Cufflinks

One of the world's most popular designers and manufacturer of cufflinks are Swank Incorporated. They were incorporated in April 17, 1936. This particular corporation was attending 12 million dollars a year during the 1960s when cufflinks reached its peak and became popular along the male populace.

Swank Inc. was first among the companies to target the lowest end of the market. They retailed their cufflinks at $ 2.50 a pair and they were successful. Cufflinks waned in the next decades but they were never totally eliminated in the fashion scene. Nowadays, they are making a strong comeback with their gross sales steadily increasing and have been consistent in this trend for the past ten years. And as ever, the French cuff still continues to be the most prestigious and always preferred type of shirt by cufflinks wearer.

Tracing the history of cufflinks would make you realize that the most significant art movements have found its way in the different cufflinks produced during their era. One primary example of this is the art deco era of the 1920s and 1930s. These type of cufflinks are now collector's items that are being eaten after collectors as one of the most popular forms used to revolutionize the art industry.

The revival of the popularity of cufflinks during the previous years inspired the famous businessman, Claude Jeanloz, to launch the Cufflink Museum in Conway, New Hampshire during the latter part of the 1990s. Jeanloz received his first pair of cufflinks from his godmother, and started collecting since then. When he collected a huge number of cufflinks, that was when, he decided to establish the Cufflink Museum which features more than 70,000 pairs of cufflinks on display. To date, Jeanloz collection is still considered to be by far, the largest cufflinks collection in the whole world. The museum also features various cufflinks ads, photos and album covers that feature different celebrities wearing cufflinks like the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Reading through the history of cufflinks, one would find a collection of rich and historical anecdotes involving significant people in history. The period of the 20s decade were typically referred to as Roaring 20s and was the height of the cufflinks invention. During this era, a lot of cufflink manufacturers produced a wide variety of devices and designs for one purpose: to make it easier for a man to insert and remove his cufflinks with the least difficulty and effort yet offering optimal security. With theseventions, people have enjoyed a wide variety of mechanisms in opening and closing their cufflinks. Some of these mechanisms include flip hinges, twist off or button through. There is also a complicated yet sophisticated mechanism called the wrap around cufflinks which is seriously making a big comeback.

Swank arrived at the right time. He took full advantage of the fact that cufflinks are not exclusive accessories for men anymore and made cufflinks more accessible to the common man. They were affordable yet quality was not sacrificed.