In-Home Fireproof Safe VS Offsite Bank Safety Locker

Have you been pondering over a suitable security solution for your valuables? If yes is your answer, then right now is the time to lay down your options to pick the appropriate one. You have heard about fireproof safes, but do not know if it is a reliable choice. Or, maybe you are not sure how to pick the right one. You consider signing up for your own safety locker at your bank, but still doubt if that would fit into your busy schedule. Well, you are caught in a dilemma. This article will help you understand which could be the best for you and your asset documents.

It is true that banks offer good security lockers for their customers. They are closely watched by the bank's security surveillance team and also subject to legal protection. These boxes are also fireproof and waterproof. Since your safety locker is not located in your house, it has no threats from burglars or natural disasters like earthquakes that could collapse the entire house. After all of these optimistic services, a bank locker has its own disadvantages when it comes to accessibility and expenditure. You can not get immediate access to your valuables anytime you require them. Your bank will not be open all times, including weekends and holidays. Banks do not approve for storing dangerous equipment like guns and pistols. Secondly, there is a risk of losing the key. Above all, you will be charged an annual fee as long as you hold a locker at the bank.

On the contrary, an in-house fireproof safe can be the best option for you to store your valuables like paper documents including your Wills. It is easily accessible on all days, whenever you require. Hidden safes and floor mounted safes can not be easily removed by burglars. It saves you money that you would otherwise spend on a safety lock annually. It also saves you time from running errands to your bank often.

Apart from all those comforts that a fireproof safe provides, you can not just store anything in any safe. There are indeed some critical details that you may want to pay attention to. It is important to buy a good quality branded, UL rated safe. You can store paper documents in a fireproof cabinet, but not your digital media like CDs, DVDs, and hard drives. It is not a good idea to store photographs or any related items as they are vulnerable to heat and moisture. Not all safes are built to protect the contents, especially digital media for long durations. Each safe has its own characteristics, which is why it is important to buy a fireproof cabinet to protect paper documents from fire and water, burglar safe to keep it away from burglar attempts and a good media safe to secure all forms of digital media. If you consider storing guns, definitely buy a good gun safe. If all these constraints are taken into consideration, then an in-house fireproof safe can indeed be a good investment compared to the conventional bank safety locker.

Tiki Statue Enhancements: How to Decorate Your Tiki

Tiki statues come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Some may look just right the way they are, and others may be a bit rough. If you have purchased one (and certainly if you made your own) you may want to consider embellishing the appearance to make it exactly fit your personal taste. With a little effort and some simple materials, you will be able to make your tiki really pop, and give it a finished look that will catch anybody’s eye.

The first thing to consider when finishing or embellishing a tiki statue is a sealing material. Most tikis are made out of some form of fibrous material, whether it is wood or the trunk of a palm tree. If it is to be displayed outside, the need for protection from weather is obvious. Even if the tiki is used indoors it is a good idea to have it sealed to protect it from dirt and stains.

One of the best sealing materials is polyurethane. Simple to apply, durable and easy to clean up, polyurethane makes a great finish. The best way to apply it is with the biggest brush that will fit in the urethane container. Bristles of the brush are able to get into tiny crevices that sponges and other application tools are unable to reach. I have found that using a circular motion with the brush really allows the brush to cover well.

Something to consider is that it will take a LOT of polyurethane to cover your tiki, especially if it is the first time you are sealing it (it must be redone once in a while to ensure good protection). When I sealed a 7 foot tiki, it took about one gallon (admittedly the tiki had many rough areas which tend to soak up more of the polyurethane).

Attention must also be given to the type of polyurethane used. Not all polyurethane is the same. They are designed for many different purposes. Try to find one that is specifically for outdoor use, protection from UV, heat and moisture. I used Helmsman Spar Polyurethane, and it seemed to work well.

An enhancement that I find very attractive and allows for a very authentic look is the burnt look. Perhaps it has to do with the connotation of primitive cultures, or Polynesian affinity for fire and acknowledgement of its power, but it just looks darned cool! Making it an even more attractive enhancement, it’s VERY easy to do. All you need is a propane torch and you’re all set. Simply decide the area for the burning and apply the torch. I like to burn the areas around the eyes, nose and mouth, but you can really add it anywhere you’d like. If you use this technique, make sure you have a safe area (noncombustible) and a bucket of water or other fire suppressant because sometimes the wood or palm trunk will catch fire. It usually goes out on its own in a few seconds, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

Next you may want to consider adding color. While many people consider it “unauthentic” and prefer their tikis natural, others enjoy the judicious application of a bit of paint. I enjoy both types; they each have their own appeal or “vibe.” When I do use color, I like colors in the red/orange/yellow spectrum (perhaps again tapping into the “fire” motif), and generally paint just the eye and mouth areas. I have, however, seen tikis painted with virtually every color you could imagine,-sometimes completely covered! As with most of these issues, it’s a matter of personal taste.

If there are decorative carvings on your tiki (for example palm trees, pineapples or flowers) you may wish to highlight them with paint. On my first tiki, I carved a palm tree below the face and colored the “fronds” bright green, and burnt the “trunk” with a torch for contrast. It made the palm tree stand out nicely.

If you do choose to use paint, carefully consider your brushes. I would recommend using one smaller than one used for the application of the polyurethane. You will probably want to get into areas that are relatively small, taking care not to get paint beyond a certain point. Actually using two brushes is a really good idea. Use a medium one for larger surfaces and a very small one for tiny or highly detailed areas.

When choosing paint, make sure that it will be durable. Do not use a type that will wash off (for example Tempura). I chose acrylic paints from a local department store craft section, and was able to get exactly the colors I wanted in the quantities I wanted. Unless you are painting a whole tiki, you would probably not use more than 8-16 ounces of any one color. If you’re painting really small areas for accent, you may use even less.

Enhancing a tiki statue is really quite easy as long as a bit of care is taken. While “primitive” tikis can and do look great, adding a few enhancements in just the right places can sometimes take them from “good” to “really extraordinary.” If you choose to use some of the enhancements described herein don’t be surprised, when you show off your work, if others have a hard time believing that you actually did it yourself instead of some professional.

Office Space Subletting Terms on Maintenance, Bills, Damage and Electrical Charges

Office Space subletting terms

Have you ever wondered what the term 'Subleasing an office space' means? Well, subletting is a simple term, which is used when a tenant leases his leased property to a third-party. This is a pretty common term in the real estate department and the idea of ​​subletting is also pretty simple. However, the terms and conditions followed in this process are intricate and complex. Catch a glimpse of the following text to grab a more insightful idea about the topic.

Sublessor and Sublesee

While renting a property, a tenant may feel the urge to sublet the property to another party. In this case, the tenant becomes the sublessor and the second tenant or the third-party becomes the sublesee. Both these terms refer to the fact that these two parties are actually leasing the property simultaneously. Take for instance, if a company leases an office space that they become a sub owner. Now, if this company wishes to expand its ability, then it can always lease small units of this office space to a third-party. This third-party there before becomes the subleasee or the subtenants in this respect.

Maintenance of property by the Subtenant

Among the various terms and conditions for subletting a property, a major clause is concerned with the with the proper maintenance terms undertaken by the Subtenant. According to the terms, the subtenant or the third-party has to take the responsibility of maintaining the property. The subtenant also has to keep the furniture and the decorations safe from wear and tear, as it was kept initially. The second tenant is also liable for all the damages caused to the property.

Repayment of pending bills

The second tenant is also liable for paying all the pending bills of the property. He remains liable to the original Lessor in this respect. When there is a lower rate of interest, the original tenant is awarded with a comparatively less rent. However, when there are high market rates, then the subtenant has to pay a significantly higher rent to the first tenant.

Damage recovery charges

Very often, the Subtenant has to pay a specific amount to the sublease as a security deposit for any and every damage caused. This damage cost is not covered in the monthly rent, wear and tear charge and utility charge. Again, the original tenant returns this deposit amount to the third party, if the office space or property is returned in the initial condition when it was subleased. This deposit money is then returned to the subtenant within thirty days of the conclusion of the term.

Payment of utility, telephone and electricity charges

According to another vital term of clause, the subtenant has to pay a percentage of the utility charges, telephone charges and electricity charges, if the charge is not fixed by the sublease. The third-party might also offer the said services, if the bills are not paid on time.

These mentioned terms cover the major clauses that are to be followed by the sublease and the subtenant. Keep these clues in mind while subletting a property. The various terms and conditions associated with office space subletting is mentioned in this text. The complete meaning of the term 'sublease' is also thoroughly mentioned here.

Hardwood Spline – What You Need to Know

If you’re laying a hardwood floor anywhere within your home, then you’ll likely need some hardwood spline. A spline is the slither of wood that connects two pieces of hardwood floor, where they join and change direction. For example, where two hardwood floors meet in a doorway and the wood changes direction, you use a spline to connect the wood and hold it in place securely.

Before you begin to lay your wooden floor, you should prepare in advance everything you’ll need. And one of those things is a strip of hardwood spline. Here are some thing you need to know about and should consider with hardwood spline:

Consider How Much You’ll Need: It’s worth preparing in advance how much spline you need before you begin laying the hardwood floor panels. There’s nothing worse than getting started on a project and having to stop halfway through because you don’t have everything you need. If you don’t have any spline, then you’ll have to halt any progress as soon as you need to change the direction of the wood. Just as you will need to – or have already – calculated how much you’ll need of the actual wooden floor panels, work out how much spline you’ll need. It’s worth getting more than you actually need to take into account any errors or inaccurate estimates.

Get The Correct Size: This is just a simple tip, but be sure to get the correct thickness of the hardwood spline, that is the correct size for inserting between where the wooden panels join. As you probably know, hardwood panels come in different thicknesses, thus, so does spline. Again, there’s nothing worse than being halfway though laying the floor then realizing you have to stop because the spline is too thin or thick. So as well as getting the appropriate length of spline, be sure to get the correct thickness. If you don’t want to buy the spline of the specific thickness, you can always cut a piece of hardwood yourself to the appropriate length and thickness.

Where To Get Your Spline: Spline is available in your local DIY store, or you can even buy it online (and potentially at a huge savings) if you know what size you need. It can often be cheaper to buy things such as this from the Internet. Also, you can even make your own spline from any hardwood that you have available, although this is only recommended if you are quite handy and have a desire to put in the time and effort to do this yourself.

In conclusion, if you want your hardwood floor to flow seamlessly from one room to another, even when the wood panels change direction, then you’ll need some hardwood spline. Oak is often used as a hardwood spline for hardwood flooring, but you can also use plywood as a cheaper option. Take your time, and be sure to use the spline accurately with a tight fit, and no-one will be any the wiser that there is a transition in the wood.

Discovering How a Scorpio Woman Flirts

I have recently had quite a few men ask me how do scorpio women flirt? To answer that question we first need to answer how scorpio women act. Scorpio women tend to use more overt types of flirting because of their strong passion for love and their deep desire to connect with others.

Scorpio is about metamorphosis. Scorpios transform the painful poisons of possessive passion into a higher consciousness based on universal love.

Flirting is giving out signals that you may be interested in someone and has become a part of our daily lives. It is the most common way people indicate interest in one another. Some people are good flirts while others are not. Scorpio women tend to be great flirts. They give the people they are interested in little butterflies in their stomach which is as a result of the way they move their body and smile at you while checking you out.

The key indicators to look at to determine if you are being flirted with are eye contact, playing or towing with their hair, the way their body moves, touching, and the way they speak. They also tend to whisper to their friends. This is how a scorpio woman would flirt.

A scorpio women may also mirror your tone of speaking and your body posture, and she will laugh a lot (possibly at something neither of you would find funny any other time).

Especially watch their body posture; does she lean in to you when you are looking in her eyes? Does she cross her legs towards you? When she uncrosses her legs; does she point her body towards yours? You will be able to determine a lot by her body posture, and it is important that you reciprocate with your own ways of flirting.

The main thing to remember when flirting with a scorpio woman is to embrace their passion and have fun. The best flirtatious moments happen when you understand what’s happening.

If you would like to uncover more about how scorpio women flirt as well as many other types of women and know the exact body posture, and eye contact to look for to know if she is flirting with you then visit my website for a free report on body language that has helped thousands of men attract and understand women.

Creating Shade On A Patio

There's nothing quite like reclining in a lounger and enjoying your patio when the weather allows it. But sometimes even the most sun loving amongst us need to catch some shade when it gets too hot to bear, so this needs to be kept in mind when you are designing, creating and enjoying your patio.

So it's essential then to make sure your patio area has some shade that you can retreat to when the sun really breaks through. If you are in the process of designing your patio area it's worth seeing if you can extend it to go under the cover of a tree if you have one nearby. View your garden from all angles during a sunny day to see where the sun gets to, and where the natural shade from your house falls as the sun moves round.

Of course, patio furniture will generally come with the option of a matching umbrella that can be used to provide shade when you are sitting at your patio table, and it can be moved and tilted to protect you as much as possible. This is an instant and affordable option for all patios.

A more permanent solution would be to install an awning or canopy which would be attached directly to your house. The more advanced options are retractable, offering you the most versatility without being an eyesore when not in use. You will also have a choice of natural shades and colors that can be chosen to fit in with the color of your garden furniture, for example.

Another possibility is to use a combination of hanging baskets to form a wall display that also provides some shade once the flowers are in full bloom. This will not provide as much shade as the other suggestions above, but it can help to improve the usability of certain areas as the sun moves round.

Another less well known way of creating a shady patio is by purchasing a sunshade sail. This is basically a big piece of material (usually triangular or rectangular) that is attached to whatever points you wish by cord and O-rings. This can be one or two points on your house, a tree branch, a fence, or whatever you wish. In this sense they are more versatile than an awning, as they can be used on a patio area in the middle of a garden, so long as you have places to string them up from.

However much you like to soak up the sun, it's important that you do not overdo it, and by using a combination of the methods above, you will always have a shady area to retreat to.

How To Choose Awnings For Your Home or Business

Before, awnings just served as protection from the sun and rain for houses. But now, awnings are included as part of a house's or building's architecture not only for its primary purpose, but also to add charm and create a statement.

If you are still unconvinced about the architectural beauty of awnings, you might want to have them installed for the following reasons:

* It protects the window frames from the rain, sun and snow. Most window frames and windowpanes are made of wood. We all know how wood responds to environmental changes. Even with sufficient wood coating and polish, wood deteriorates faster when exposed to the harshness of the weather conditions.

* Your house may have a porch or a patio and you have some furniture there, where you relax as you read a book or have a cup of coffee with your friends. Such furniture, regardless of the material, wears out faster when exposed to the sun and rain.

* When it's raining, you normally keep your windows shut, blocking fresh air from coming in through the windows. If your house has awnings, during rain showers, you can keep your windows open and still prevent rainwater from getting in.

* When you are watching TV or using the computer, you usually have the windows shut, or the curtains or blinds down to reduce the glare. If awnings were fitted, you would not need to block natural light from the rest of the room since the awnings will reduce the glare on the monitors positioned near the windows.

* A major effect of having awnings, according to a study, is that it can reduce summer heat increase by 65% ​​for windows facing south, and 77% for windows facing east and west.

So if you are now convinced that you would like your house or your building to have awnings, do not just go out there and get one. There are things that you need to consider.

* Material

The most commonly used materials for awnings are outdoor fabric and aluminum. Those made of outdoor fabric come in a variety of color and shapes; however, these require more maintenance than aluminum ones.

Those made of aluminum are sturdy and require less maintenance. These awnings, however, have limited design and color options.

* Angle

It is recommended that for windows facing east or west, the size of the drop should be 65-75% for the best efficiency. For a window facing south, the drop can just be 45-60% since less coverage is needed, as the sun has a higher angle from this direction.

* Side panels

Side panels may alter the architectural feel of the awnings. Side panels are also beneficial in adding coverage in a different direction.

* Stationary, Retractable or Freestanding

Roll-up and retractable awnings allow you to permit the sun to shine into the house during winter.

Retractable awnings are also good for patios or decks. These awnings have a mechanism that allows it to be extended as far as necessary.

Retractable awnings can also have motors and switches for ease in retraction. Some also have sun and wind sensors to automate the retraction.

Retractable awnings are not for heavy rains, high winds and snow, though. So make sure these are properly protected from such weather conditions.

Freestanding awnings may also be used for patios, decks or terraces. Business establishments, as these also double as an advertisement, usually use these.

* Size

Small awnings are used for their decorative effect. If you would like to maximize the protective function of awnings, choose the bigger ones.

* Style

The most popular styles are traditional with closed sides, traditional with open sides, dome style, double bar standard, waterfall, quarter barrel, gable walkway and semi-circular entrance.

To check the most applicable style for your house design and the direction of your windows, consult an architect.

* Color

Apart from considering what color goes well with your house or establishment, if possible, choose a light-colored awning since it does not only block direct sunlight light other awnings, but this also reflects sunlight. By doing so, it lessens the amount of heat that comes in.

Also to minimize the heat that comes into the house, make sure that there is a gap between the side of the house and the top of the awning to prevent the heat on the awning to be transferred to the house.

Keep these tips in mind when consulting your architect while designing your house or business establishment.

The Advantages of Limestone Driveway Paving

A pavement plays a crucial part in adding beauty to a home. Perhaps, the condition of a pavement is greatly determined by the quality and type of materials used. A great driveway is that which is durable and requires minimal maintenance. Moreover, when choosing paving materials, it is important to select those materials that match the prevailing climatic conditions of an area. Getting the right kind of paving materials coupled with greataving ideas can render a high home or business profile.

Limestone has been the trusted product in making pavements. It is obtained naturally from ocean beds and caves and is preferred for its natural ambiance and durability. It adds charm and compliments with the color its surroundings.

The Benefits Of Using Limestone In Making Driveway Pavements

  • Limestoneaving is cost-effective

Limestone driveway paving is an economic option that one can use in making great driveways. Limestone pavers are suitable especially in areas of high traffic as such places require high costs of replacement and maintenance. Despite the affordability of limestone, it creates an impression of an expensive pavement.

  • Limestone is durable

Some areas which experience adverse weather conditions can make pavements slippery. Frequently replacing pavements can be stressful to homeowners. The application of limestone in making driveway pavements is an ideal way to reduce such stressful replacement costs. Beside, limestone is a heavy duty stone that is hard to transport around. This is why most homeowners today are going for limestone as it will last longer.

  • Variety of color options to choose

Variety is what most people like. Limestone offers a wide range of colors to complement the needs and styles of most homeowners. Limestone can be given a variety of finishes. This there before makes it easily customizable to match with the needs of every home owner.

  • Limestone pavers are easy to replace

In case there is a need to replace a driveway because it has broken limestone, it becomes very easy. Limestone can be crafted into any shape and size to match the needs of an individual. Limestone pavers are high flexible and customizable.

  • Limestone pavers are very versatile

This is the most beneficial feature you can enjoy from a limestone paver. Limestone pavers can be used for both residential and commercial pavement areas.

There are various types of limestone pavers that every homeowner can choose. They are available in various colors, textures as well as surface treatments. The amount available will vary depending on the permeability of the paver. Limestone pavers can be found in dark, gray, light, creamy, buff, gold, and white. Most of the limestone pavers come with honed surface; however, some other types of can be thermalled at very high temperatures to give it an ideal texture. Similarly, the edges can also be cut to attain the suitable shape and size to suit a driveway pavement.

Limestone paving will add 'chic modernity', elegance and crisp to a home or business premise entrance. As they are the first thing that a visitor sees when visiting your house it will make a good impression showcasing the area and making the driveway luxurious and fashionable.

Retrofit Your Existing Radiology Equipment With New CR Solutions

While technological advances in medical image processing has superseded most older technology, there is still a great deal of older equipment that is quite serviceable. In addition, due to budgetary considerations in the profit-driven US health care system, discarding such equipment may not be practical.

The ideal solution in such cases is to retrofit your old equipment with newer computed radiography (CR) technology. Such CR solutions make it possible to integrate older equipment that is in danger of becoming obsoleste and give it a new lease on life?

About Computed Radiography

CR is a "bridge" between conventional radiography and the digital variety. It uses the same same equipment, but replaces traditional film with what is called an imaging plate. This plate contains a material known as photostimulatable phosphor, a special chemical that responds to x-rays. Placed in a special cassette, this plate is positioned over or under the region of the patient's body to be examined as the x-ray image is being taken. This plate is then run through a CR scanner, which is a specific kind of laser scanner designed to create a digital image.

Using portable x-ray machines, this makes it possible to use existing equipment to create medical images that can then be saved in DICOM format.

Manipulating and Editing the Digital Image

DICOM is an image file format similar to the better-known.jpg and.png formats commony used for Web images. As such, a DICOM image can be enhanced and enlarged like a Photoshop or GIMP image. What makes the DICOM format so useful to the medical profession is that a DICOM image file also includes vital patient information, preventing that information from ever becoming separated from the image.

How is a CR image Different From Digital Radiography?

While both CR and Digital Radiography (DR) can use stationary or portable x-ray machines, and both produce digital images that can be edited with computer software. The main difference lies in the nature of the media; whereas the former uses an imaging plate housed inside the cassette, DR is able to capture an image directly on to a flat panel detector, eliminating the need for a special cassette.

For the small clinic with budgetary constraints, such CR Solutions can allow the facility to benefit from the latest digital imaging technology, making it easier to achieve more accurate diagnoses than ever before.

Assembly At Home Jobs Up Your Alley?

Assembling products at home? What is that? Do people really do that? That's a good question when you consider that assembly work at home is really quite rare. I know … we've all heard of the endless work at home opportunities from stuffing envelopes to day trading, but assembling other peoples' products at home? What exactly does a person with an assembly work at home job do?

It's a pretty easy job, but unfortunately, as stated earlier, is a lot rarer than most people might realize.

Let me give you an example. When my dad retired to Florida a few years back, he was going stir crazy after just a few months. Hetried working at the local grocery store. But he was an excellent carpenter and cabinet maker. But having done that all his life, he was looking for something new. So he answered an advertisement for product assembly at home. The Company would provide all the material, and my dad would just put it together for a fee. No limit to what he could do or how many or how fast. The faster the better, he was told.

They ended up sending him small dowel rods to be glued together into picture frames. It would take a normal man half a day to finish one. But my father made himself a little frame jig, cut all the pieces that were irregular in length to a uniform size, and glued them up. The prep took him half a day and assembling 100 frames at 45 dollars apiece took him the rest of the afternoon. He sent them in and got back a check. Things were looking good with this company. With his check they processed him material for another 100 frames. He did the same thing, sent them back, but was then told they were too perfect … too uniform. No Check. And no more supplies. They never even answered the phone again.

While it is true that assembly work at home may open doors for people who want to find a great way of earning extra money, it is generally short lived, and often folks end up spending more than they ever get back.

But there is a better way!

I only wish I had found it before my dad passed away. My friend Stephen Pierce turned me onto selling items online instead of making items. People purchase all kinds of things up here, but the best product I've found to sell is information. Many people think that the Internet provides all the information they need for free, but it is not true. I tried to learn how to sell on my own. It was a huge learning curve, and I nearly brave up. Thankfully, I stuck it out until it really paid off. If you'll train yourself for wealth, you'll find out why it's changed my business life forever.

Here's to your monumental success!

3 Types of TV Wall Mounting Brackets For Your Flat Screen

If you would like to mount your flatscreen TV to a wall, you will need to purchase a TV wall mounting bracket. There is a little bit to know about the types of TV wall mounting brackets, so read about them and then decide which option works best for you.

There are three basic types of TV wall mounting brackets:

· Low Profile – the most budget friendly choice, and easiest to install; however, there is no range of motion at all, because your TV is affixed close to the wall. If you need to have access to cables or wiring, this can be very inconvenient and will probably involve you removing the TV from the wall to access the back of it.

· Tilting wall mount – slightly more expensive than a low profile TV wall mount bracket; however, it allows vertical range of motion. You can also access cabling and wires on the back of your flatscreen easily, if needed.

· Full motion wall mount – as the name implies, this TV wall mounting bracket allows full range of motion of your TV. You can move it out from the wall, from side to side and up and down. If you need to move your TV around often, this is most likely the best choice. The drawbacks are that it is surely the most expensive option and the installation procedure is a lot more complex because there are many moving parts.

If you are not sure where you want your TV mounted, try using a piece of cardboard representative of the size of your TV. You can easily tape it to the wall and see how it looks without drilling holes in the wall needlessly. If you want to mount your TV over your fireplace, double check how much heat escapes upwards where your TV will be located. Heat can damage a TV, and this is the last thing you want to do. If you are determined to hang your TV over your fireplace regardless of the heat, you may want to consider installing a heat shield that will deflect the heat from your TV and redirect it away from the unit.

Your new flatscreen is an investment, and you probably paid a fair bit of money for it, so you want to ensure that it is mounted correctly and securely to the wall with absolutely no chance of falling off. You will enjoy your flatscreen for many years to come.

Guitar Techniques – Hammer On – Pull Off

What is a hammer-on?

A hammer-on is basically when you play a note, without picking the string, on a higher fret.

How do you do it?

Fret the 12th fret on the 2nd string with your index finger. Done? Now, get your 2nd finger ready. Pick the string, and bring down your second finger with enough force on the 13th fret. If you do this properly, the 13th fret tone should replace the 12th fret tone, even though you did not pick it again. If you did not "hammer" your 2nd finger on the 13th fret right behind the fret, or with enough force, al that will happen is the first note will stop ringing. Try repeating the hammer-on, and keep repeating it, until the second note sounds out clearly, every time.

Hammer-ons help your playing be faster, as you do not need to pick. Try doing the pentatonic scale with this technique, it's really fun!

Tips

* If you do not get the second note to ring out clearly, make sure you are hammering right behind the fret.

* Repeat this technique on different strings, and on different frets. Each string is different to hammer on

* Try to hammer on two notes simultaneously. For example, pick the 12th fret, 2nd string, hammer on the 13th fret, and next the 14th fret.

Pull off

The pull-off is a technique that is the opposite of a hammer on.

How do you do a pull off?

Put your index finger on the 12th fret, 2nd string, and your 2nd finger on the 13th fret. Pick the string, take your finger off the string. As you do this, slowly pull down on the string. This will cause the fret your first finger is on to sound out .. You probably will not get it the first few times. Keep practicing the technique, and you'll always get the hang of it.

Once you've mastered the above mentioned guitar techniques, try to challenge yourself, by playing things that have both hammer-ons and pull-offs. One of the best (and most productive) ways to do this is to play scales. Hammer on when you're going down, and pull off when you're coming back up.

Additional stuff

* Hammer onto a note, then pull off immediately. See how long you can do this without picking. This is known as a "trill", and is used in many songs.

* It's very easy to give up when you try out this advanced technique. Keep practicing and you'll get the hang of it.

* Hammer ons and Pull offs are very popular in guitar, so it's vital that you master these techniques.

Glass Mosaic Tile Installation For a Steamer Shower

I’ve always enjoyed installing residential tile. There’s something about thinking creatively and making an artistic statement that appeals to me with the challenge. To express a customer’s design vision calls for good communication skills and at least some intuition. Making a customer happy and feeling comfortable in their home environment makes me happy, too. Nothing can compare to the satisfaction of knowing a job has been well done, in seeing a beautiful and properly installed tile job. And, indeed, a glass mosaic tile installation can look fantastic. This glass mosaic installation sure was a challenge in it’s complexity.

A short while ago Debbie and Rich asked me to finish a bathroom that would include tiling a steamer/shower surround with glass mosaic tile, for shower pan, walls, and ceiling. They chose a transparent glass mosaic called Tesserra red #777, non-iridescent, by Oceanside Glasstile of Long Beach, Calif. I believe they wanted to see as well as feel the red hot heat of a steam bath. The glass mosaic tiles were of the same red hue, but randomly varied in saturation: some glass tiles were darker or lighter than others.

Each one inch square handmade mosaic glass tile was a quarter inch thick with a finished face surface that was seemingly chipped, crazed, or irregular, not smooth. The tiles came in sheets twelve inches square, face glued to brown backing paper with a water soluble adhesive similar to that used for wallpaper. The tiles reminded me of chipped ice cubes, with sides tapered away from the face and a flat back slightly textured from molds. Most tiles were fairly square, some were slightly trapezoidal in shape, as the molten glass poured into the molds overflowed a sixteenth inch to form a sheet that was broken apart after cooling.

The bathroom had been framed in and sheetrocked walls and ceiling before my involvement, with green board placed in the steamer/shower surround area. I wanted to jump right in, assuming I could apply a builder’s felt paper moisture barrier over the greenboard, then install cementitious backerboard and parge it with a waterproofing membrane to contain steam. But, being a relative beginner to any mosaic tile installations, it was a good thing that I had some uncertainty, so I decided to talk first to Oceanside’s technical support experts.

Technical support insisted that I remove the greenboard from the steamer/shower surround. Originally developed as a substrate for directly applying tile, greenboard has now become unacceptable for any bathroom use according to building code. Also, there was a chance, however slight, that steam moisture could permeate the waterproofing membrane and eventually dampen any sheetrock or greenboard, causing deterioration and mold buildup where it could never dry out. More recently developed cementitious backerboard, code approved, performs far better for tile, especially in a wet environment.

Then, a key point to this entire installation, technical support strongly advised me not to apply a waterproofing membrane directly behind any transparent tile. Water would certainly settle behind the tile, especially where steam would force it, causing a splotchy look where some tile would areas appear darker than other areas. Untreated backerboard would allow water to diffuse away.

Finally, expansion joints are essential for glass tile installations, as well as most other tiles, especially in a steamer environment where temperature swings are most pronounced. Otherwise, glass tiles, being brittle, could crack or pop off under shear pressure. I was advised to install expansion joints at the inside corners of walls and ceiling, as this steamer/shower surround measured 4’6″ wide, 7’6″ high, and 3’6″ deep. Of course, the steamer/shower surround area 2×4 walls and ceiling were insulated with R-13 fiberglass batts.

With any steamer/shower, it is advisable to slope the tiled ceiling for water runoff to reduce the chance of steam condensation causing dripping. I reframed the flat ceiling to provide a slope of one inch per foot, this being a judgment call on my part, while the Tile Council of North America recommends a slope of two inches per foot (SR614-05).

After removing greenboard in the steamer/shower surround area walls and ceiling, I installed builder’s felt paper over wall studs and ceiling joists, and lapped it over the shower pan vinyl membrane as a final barrier to water penetration. I then installed 1/2″ cdx plywood, which does have some exterior water exposure rating, unlike greenboard. The plywood had the added benefit of stiffening surround walls and ceiling, creating a stable base for the glass mosaic tile. I stopped the plywood at the built-in seat level 16″ above the shower pan, because I was concerned about water otherwise wicking up through the plywood from the shower pan mortarbed. Below seat level I installed 1/4″ backerboard over the shower pan vinyl membrane and then applied hydraulic cement parging to straighten backerboard bulges caused by vinyl membrane folds and to bring the backerboard into plane with the 1/2″ plywood.

I taped and mudded all plywood and backerboard joints with white alkaline resistant fiberglass mesh tape and thinset. Thinset is not impervious to water, of course. Then I applied two thin coats of Mapei’s trowel-on waterproofing membrane system consisting of Mapelastic #315 powder mixed with undiluted Mapelastic #315 liquid. The powder is reinforced with fiberglass fibers and the liquid is an acrylic latex admixture. Be sure to wear old clothing when using this product, because at the consistency of thin pancake batter, the mix may get all over you, especially when working overhead. When set, the waterproofing membrane remains surprisingly flexible and adheres very strongly to anything. All inside plywood corners were taped, mudded, and waterproofed.

Over the waterproofed plywood and backerboard, I installed 1/2″ backerboard, and I again taped and mudded all joints, being careful to stay away from inside corners. In the backerboard corner expansion joints, I installed 1/4″ closed cell polyurethane backer rod, which is water resistant. I caulked over the backer rod with grey Latisil NS polyurethane flexible joint filler/sealant.

After this preparation, I was ready to tile. I was very concerned about the one inch square mosaic layout, trying to eliminate glass cuts and to balance the field width and height. I procured a pair of glass mosaic tile carbide nippers (available from stained glass supply shops or through the tile supplier), which cut the glass with a chiseling action. The tiles may also be cut by a wet tile saw with a continuous, smooth-rim diamond blade, but I preferred to use a hand-held 4″ dry grinder with diamond wheel to trim and square nipper cuts. The glass acted in a fashion similar to chiseling ice – I could never be certain of an initial square cut, but with some practice, the nippers worked quite well. As it turned out, the layout was fairly easy to adjust with the approximate 1/8″ to 1/16″ spacing of the somewhat irregular tiles. I tried most of all to use more than a half tile. Where cut for layout, it was best to cut the tiles a bit more than it seemed necessary.

I started tiling with the shower pan where I could lap over layout cuts at the perimeter with full wall tiles. Installing a square drain cover helped to make tile cuts easier and complemented the square tile theme. I used Mapei Kerabond #102 white dry-set mortar with undiluted Keralastic #310 liquid acrylic latex admixture to enhance bond and flexural strength. I greatly appreciated it’s long open time for this challenging installation. Using the flat side of a trowel, I applied the thinset and then raked it with a 3/16″x1/4″ V-notched trowel to establish the proper depth of the setting bed. I then used the flat side of the trowel again to flatten notch lines and reduce the possibility of air pockets or voids, resulting in a consistent setting bed 1/8″ thick.

The shower pan, seat, walls, and ceiling tile mosaic sheets were then applied to the setting bed with brown face paper outward, using light even pressure to establish setting bed contact and eliminate voids. Then, to achieve a uniform finish surface, a 3/4″ plywood beating block was lightly tapped with a hammer. I worked quickly applying subsequent sheets with grout joints aligned to avoid skinning of the setting bed and to unify the overall tile surface with the beating block. After 15-20 minutes of setting time, I lightly misted the brown backing paper with a household spray bottle several times, patting with a sponge, using a mixture of water and a small amount of DIF wallpaper remover. After the water absorbed into the paper, the glue released from the paper, allowing the paper to be carefully and slowly peeled away to the side without lifting tiles out. Timing of paper removal was critical not to pull tiles out while at the same time allowing for tiles spacing adjustments in the setting bed’s semi-fresh/flexible state. Particular attention was paid before final set to make grout joints adjustments appear random between individual tiles and adjacent paper sheets to eliminate the sheet pattern. Some individual tiles might sag over time – I would eventually remove them, scrape out the thinset behind, then reattach with some new thinset. I even used some plastic tile spacer wedges where necessary.

Some thinset would ooze into and fill adjoining grout joints, but the setting bed was allowed to cure overnight. Then, taking a putty knife, excess thinset could be scraped out from grout joints when still relatively soft, while not disturbing the tiles. After more curing time, I could then remove residual paper and glue by wiping clean with a damp sponge. I waited for several more days before grouting to be sure the thinset had cured.

But before grouting, I filled corner expansion joints with a color matching sanded caulk to be sure grout did not fill the joints. I was amazed at the holding power of the thinset, as during the application of grout, I really had to force it into tile joints. I used a Mapei Keracolor S sanded pearl grey grout. Of course, glass tile is impervious to moisture, so the grout will take a bit longer to set than otherwise.

After cleaning and sealing the grout, I was able to stand back and feel satisfied knowing I rose to the challenge and accomplished something out of the ordinary. Hopefully Debbie and Rich are happy and able to enjoy many relaxing steam baths.

Some of the Basic Techniques for Working With Mortar and a Trowel

This article will discuss some of the basic techniques for working with mortar and a trowel, and should be considered as a prerequisite before before enacted any form of construction work. Mortar is the basic bonding material that holds bricks, stones and blocks together, a trowel is the essential tool for working with it. Once you master mixing and trowelling mortar, you can repair walls or paving, or launch more ambitious projects such as constructing a brick wall or laying a path with paving slabs.

For most purposes, you can produce workable mortar by following either of the 2 separate mixing quantities. However, for optimal mixing, a cement calculator is recommended. When mixing mortar, remember that you need only roughly 0.01 cubic meters (about 2kg cement) to lay 25 to 30 bricks, as much as you are likely to have time to use before the mix hardens. With practice, however, you may be able to increase the size of the batch to lay about 60 bricks at a time.

The cement-lime mortar at its normal strength is frequently called a 1: 1: 6 mix, since it contains Portland cement, hydrated lime and sand in these proportions. It produces a good general-purpose mortar suitable for most weather conditions. The plasticized mortar differs from it in that the lime is replaced by a plasticizer, which is added to the sand before mixing. The plasticizer makes the mortar more resistant to frost damage, so this mix should be used for work that is likely to be exposed to severe weather.

You can get the ingredients pre-mixed in the form of dry mixes, sold under several brand names, to which only water needs to be added. The dry mixes are more expensive than ingredients purchased separately, but the cost may not matter when only small amounts are needed. Sand for mortar can be any clean, dry, finely graded buildings or soft sand. Never use beach sand as it contains salts that will weakened and discolour mortar and prevent it from drying properly. The exact amount of water required for the mortar depends on the humidity and temperature as well as the moisture in the sand and can not be computed in advance. Add water slowly in small amounts, stirring until it is all absorbed. As you can see, working with mortar is not the most difficult of past-times, and can be learnt by even the novice builder or handyman.