Willis Newton Interview – 1979

Willis Newton was the longest living Texas outlaw who robbed more than 80 banks and trains. He and his outlaw gang robbed more than Jessie James, the Daltons, and all of the rest of the Old West outlaws-combined. Their biggest haul occurred in 1924 when they robbed a train outside of Rondout, Illinois-getting away with $ 3,000,000. They still hold the record for the biggest train robbery in US history.

In 1979, I interviewed Willis Newton at his home in Uvalde, Texas. A few months later the outlaw died at age 90.

When I stepped up and knocked on Willis Newton's door there was no response. After a minute I heard a raspy growl, "It's open. Come on in."

Stepping inside the rundown clapboard house with the unkempt yard, I saw a small, with looking looking old man glaring at me from his rocking chair. "What the hell do you want?"

"Mr. Newton, I am the guy that called you yesterday and wanted to ask you some questions."

"I is not talking to no one about my life.

I knew then that doing an interview with the old outlaw was going to be a tough nut to crack. As best I could, I reminded him of our phone conversation on the previous day when I asked him to provide me with some details on how to rob a bank or a train. I told him I was writing a paperback novel (which was true) and that I needed some help in depicting a factual description of how the robberies took place (which was also true). After a few moments of consideration, he gestured to a chair in the small living room and agreed to answer "just a few questions."

In contrast to the chilly weather outside, it was hot and stuffy in his cluttered living room-being heated by a small gas wall heater. I quickly unloaded my tape recorder and after a brief conversation with Willis, handed him the microphone. I asked him how to stage a bank hold up and what was involved in robbing a train. Then like turning on a wind-up toy, Willis essentially started telling me his life's story. From time to time, I managed to get in additional questions but for the most part he rattled off the well-behaved accounts of his life in machine gun fashion-rationalizing everything he had done, blaming others for his impersonations, and repeatedly claiming that he had only stolen from "other thieves."

I had no idea what to expect when I stepped into his little house that day but what I encountered was the quintessence of the criminal mind. Everything he had done was justified by outside forces, "Nobody ever give me anything. All I ever got was hell!" As I listened in rapt attention, he sat center stage speaking in a high-pitched raspy voice, pontificating on an assortment of subjects of his choosing. Lacing his speech with large quantities of profanities, vulgarities and racial slurs, Willis was quite articulate in telling his stories – a master of fractured grammar. At times he would slip into mythological story telling mode where he would talk of killing rabbits and camping out while on the run from lawmen. Then with a little prodding he would return to the basic facts of his story.

In the process, he told me how he was raised as a child and how he was first arrested for a crime "that they knew I did not do." He went into detail about his first bank holdup, how he "greased" a safe with nitroglycerine, robbed trains, and evaded the lawmen that came after him. Willis described the Texas bank robberies in Boerne, San Marcos, New Braunfels, and Hondo (two in one night). He also related the double bank robbery in Spencer, Indiana and proceeded to give accounts of bank robberies in a multitude of other states.

He often recounted the events of the Toronto Bank Clearing House robbery in 1923 and finally the great train robbery outside of Rondout, Illinois, where he and his brothers got away with $ 3,000,000 in cash, jewelry, and bonds. He went into great detail about the beatings he and his brothers took from the Chicago police when they were later captured. As he told the story his face reddened and his voice rose to a pitched screech until he had to pause to catch his breath. Then lowering his voice he described how he managed to negotiate a crafty deal with a postal inspector for reduced prison sentences for himself and his brothers by revealing where the loot was hidden.

He told about his prison years at Leavenworth and his illegal businesses he ran in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after he got out of prison in 1929. He complained bitterly about being sent back to prison in McAlester, Oklahoma, for a bank robbery "they knew I did not do, "in Medford.

After returning to Uvalde, Texas, following his release from prison, Willis swore that he "never had no trouble with the law after that." When I asked him about his elderly brother's botched bank robbery in Rowena, Texas, in 1968, he exploded, "They tried to get me as the get-away driver but hell, I was in Laredo, over 400 miles away! I had 12 Witnesses that said I was there the night old Doc and RC got done. "

At the end of the interview, I asked him to comment on the Rondout loot buried in Texas by his brother, Jess. He said he knew where it was buried-just not exactly where because "Jess was whiskey-drunk when he hid it." Looking at the frail aged man dressed in a frayed union suit and a pair of stained pants, Willis did not appear to have any loot left of any of his robberies; although, locally it was rumored that from time to time he would spend money that appeared to have been printed during the '20s or' 30s.

Finally, I turned off the tape recorder and thanked him for helping me with the details I needed for my paperback Western. Returning to my car, my mind was awhirl with the stories I had just heard. The thought of writing a book on the old outlaw had never crossed my mind and I was very sincere in telling him I was a fiction writer and not a biographer. But what a story he told!

The following week I put the cassette tapes in a safety deposit box thinking the information might be useful for a future writing project. A few years later, I transcribed the tapes, added my notes and filed the interview away. Then while working on another book I came across the interview file and knew I had to write his story-but the complete story, not just what Willis had told me in the interview. As I found out this was a much bigger project than I had anticipated. I tracked down several hundred newspaper and magazine articles on Willis and his brothers, court records and police reports. Then, where I could, I interviewed the few remaining people who actually knew and had first-hand knowledge of Willis Newton.

Along the way, I unearthed some startling evidence that dispelled the myth that Willis and his brothers had never killed anyone in the commission of their numerous crimes. This is the first time that this fact has been brought to light.

When I had finished the research, I knew I could write his story. With some minor editing, culling some of the blatant racial references and over abundances of profanities, I tried to keep his words to me intact. I do not espouse demeaning racial terms regarding any ethnicity of people-whether it is the Irish, Jewish, Hispanic, African, Italian, or other deprecated populaces.

In a few instances, I had to structure his accounts for clarity. He spoke in a rapid fire jailhouse prose using a wide range of criminal jargon that sometimes was difficult to follow. Wherever possible I strove to retain his colorful phraseology, using the common expressions of the day.

In writing the Willis Newton book, I omitted most of his repeated self-justification for his actions in which he took great pains to paint himself as a gallant criminal-in the Robin Hood vein. It is true that he robbed from the rich but he got very little to the poor. In a few of his accounts, he did describe giving the "hard money" (silver coin) to some poor and downtrodden farmer that had helped him. In addition, he repeated the idea that he never meant to harm anyone in the robberies; "all we wanted was the money." There is no doubt that Willis Newton was shaped and stamped by the rough economic conditions of the southwest in the late 1890s and early twenty century. Yet at the same time, there were hundreds of thousands of other people that strived to work hard and become solid citizens of their communities. It was his choice to go after the "easy money."

In poring over hundreds of newspaper reports and magazine articles, I was stuck with how much of the story varied with what Willis had told me, sometimes substantively. At the same time I found that the news, in their rush to get their story out, misspelled names, got their facts wrong, under or estimated estimated dollars of loot taken, and had a very difficult time keeping the Newton brothers' names straight -Willis and Wylie (aka Willie or Doc) deal with them fits.

A few weeks before Willis Newton died, he was admitted to the hospital in Uvalde, Texas for tests on a multitude of physical problems. After he had been there a few days, I went by his room and visited the old outlaw. I knocked on his door and he managed a weak, "Come on in."

When I entered his room, I saw a very emaciated version of what I had seen in March of that year. Rail thin and covered with a crimson rash on his legs, Willis cocked his head sideways and demanded, "Who are you?"

I politely reminded him that we had talked at his home earlier and that he had given me advice on robbing banks and trains. He nodded his head and stared up at the ceiling, "Yeah, I remember now."

I told him I was sorry to see him ailing and in pain. He replied by saying, "Yeah, I'm headed to the bar ditch. got my mind. Only crazy people kill themselves but I is not crazy. "

Realizing that his time was about up I asked him if he had any regrets or was sorry for anything he had done in his life. He cocked his head sideways and raised his head up off of the pillow glaring at me. "Hell no," he screeched at me. "I've still been doing them things but my body's done played out on me. If I was 20 years younger, I'd be running guns across the border into Mexico and bringing drugs back! is not ashamed of anything I done! "

So much for contrition and redemption.

I did not know how to respond and remained quiet. After a moment he stared at the ceiling again and added, "The only thing I'm sorry about is that $ 200,000 those who left in that bank when they got spooked. getting out before we get caught. ' Hell, we left $ 200,000 just sitting there on that counter.

The next day they moved Willis to a hospital in San Antonio where he died on August 22, 1979. Fierce and defiant to the bitter end he died the way he had lived-as an outlaw.

During my 1979 interview with Willis he went into great detail about the times he had spent in jail or prison. In describing his first prison time he said, "I was jailed for 22 months and 26 days and then sent to Rusk (prison) for two years. ! " Then over the years he spent over 20 years incarcerated in some type of penal confinement. I never got to ask him the question: was it worth it?

My guess the answer would have been a resounding, "Hell yes!"

Spending a fourth of your 90 years of life behind bars severely seems worth it to me.

As I left Willis Newton's hospital room for the last time I spotted his physician who was a personal friend of mine. I asked him about Willis' condition and he confirmed what I had been told by the dying man. Then with a twinkle in his eye he asked if I wanted to see an X-ray of Willis' spine.

Sure, I had no idea what to expect.

We went to a nearby viewing room and he slapped a film on the lighted viewing board. There was a very distinct spot located near the spinal column. "That's a German Luger slug he's been carrying around for about 30 years. Some old boy shot him up in Oklahoma."

As I gazed at the image, the physician concluded by saying, "And destroyed if that old outlaw is not going to be buried with it!"

I guess you could say it was a fitting eology-of sorts.

The Cold War: A Look At The Myths And Reality Of Berlin

I will take you on a fascinating journey through a time where the World was completely different to the one of today, a journey that I hope you enjoy.

10. Access to West Berlin.

During the Cold War Berlin was divided into four sectors. The West was controlled by the French, British and Americans and the East was controlled by the Soviets. Sat in the heart of East Germany West Berlin was connected to West Germany by three main supply routes. The Berlin transit corridor was an autobahn that ran from Checkpoint Alpha in Helmstedt, West Germany to Checkpoint Bravo on the East German/West Berlin border. The Berlin railway network – The British train ran to and from Braunschweig. The French train ran to and from Paris and the American Train ran to and from Frankfurt. Finally there were the Berlin air corridors.

Travelling along the Berlin transit corridor was fascinating. Approaching the border was like something out of a science fiction film. Row after row of high-powered lights lit up no-mans land and the sentry towers. The Soviet manned checkpoints were an opportunity for me as a child to spot the rank, unit and sporting medals worn by the Soviet sentries. The Berlin travel document contained all names of those travelling in the vehicle. It was written in English, French, German and Russian. The only two places that Allied soldier’s and their families were allowed to stop in East Germany was at the Soviet controlled checkpoints.

9. The Berliner Fernsehturm.

The Berlin TV tower is an iconic sight that sits just inside East Berlin. The Soviet/East German propaganda machine was always in play and the story of this building was no exemption. Construction started in 1965 and was completed in 1969. It stood at 356 metres and registered as the fourth highest free standing building in Europe. An old cold war tale suggests that Pope Paul VI gave millions of dollars to the East German Government in order to build churches. The East German Government was lead by Walter Ulbricht. Ulbricht decided that the money should be spent on a TV tower instead.

So when construction on the tower was completed in 1969, 3 million turned out to see it. When the sun shines on the steel dome at the top of the tower a cross appears in the reflection. Rumour has it that the planners were not aware of this ingenious creation. The citizens of Berlin nicknamed the tower the ‘Popes Revenge’.

The Berliner Fernsehturm is still going strong today giving tourist an opportunity a bird’s eye view of a magnificent city. At the top sits a café, which rotates twice in the hour and sits just below the viewing platform. This is not a place to eat for those with a fear of heights.

8. The BRIXMIS & SOXMIS.

The British Commanders’-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany and The Soviet Exercise Mission were in a nutshell ‘authorised spies’. The BRIXMIS were made up of officers and NCO’s who were trained in identifying different types of Soviet armour and units. They worked out of their HQ in Potsdam, East Germany. Travelling around in small teams generally in Range Rovers or Opel Senators, these were known as ‘Tour Cars’. Tour Cars were marked up with a yellow number plate, a number and a Union Flag.

Tours took BRIXMIS teams across East Germany to the training areas of the Warsaw pact forces. Often crossing the line of duty, BRIXMIS operators would go that extra yard to get a close up photograph of a new piece of Soviet armour.

The SOXMIS ran in a similar format, operating out of black Lada cars in West Germany and West Berlin, somewhat less luxurious of their British counterparts. British soldiers and their families were encouraged to report Soviet tour cars. If I remember rightly the number was Herford military 2222.

The French and Unites States military also ran missions in the East. If you are interested in Cold War history there are numerous books worth reading on the subjects. The missions literally took part in a game of Cold War hide and seek.

7. The Stasi.

The East German Secret Police were ruthless and feared. Approximately 13 million residents lived in East Germany and around 900,000 were employed by the Stasi is some form or another. This was a big case ‘Big Brother’ and paranoia.

The Stasi developed out of the internal security and police apparatus established in the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany after World War II. The law establishing the ministry, whose forerunner was the Kommissariat 5 (modeled along the lines of the Soviet KGB), was passed by the East German legislature on February 8, 1950, four months after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic. The Stasi, whose formal role was not defined in the legislation, was responsible for both domestic political surveillance and foreign espionage, and it was overseen by the ruling Socialist Unity Party. Its staff was at first quite small, and its chief responsibilities were counterintelligence against Western agents and the suppression of the last vestiges of Nazism. Soon, however, the Stasi became known for kidnapping former East German officials who had fled the country; many of those who were forcibly returned were executed. Source Britannica Encyclopidia

Any telephone call made by a resident was automatically recorded if the call was over a certain distance. Residential flats were bugged and generally at least one flat belonged to the Stasi and was used as an intelligence cell.

It was encouraged to report any suspicious activity undertaken by your neighbour, failing to do so could result in a prison sentence.

Millions of files were produced by the Stasi on its citizens. To date almost 2 million people have looked at records that were kept on them. What is ironic about this organization is that it was still active less than 25 years ago. The chilling Stasi museum was opened to the public and can be found in Berlin.

8. Intelligence gathering.

Intelligence agencies will go to any lengths to gather information. In this list you will be interested to know that they were given information for free.

Due to the fact that East Germany was a communist country, Westerners including Allied troops and their families enjoyed cheap shopping in East Berlin. Porcelain could be bought at giveaway prices. Such was the value of dining in East Berlin, social function were often organised by British soldiers wives committees.

The wives would travel across into East Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie and enjoy cheap dining and alcohol. It is rumoured that the Stasi and KGB bugged waiters, tables and restrooms for purposes of intelligence gathering. Wives would often have ‘lose lip’ syndrome after a few glasses of wine. In turn snippets of information would be leaked, intercepted and analysed by specialists. Even the smallest amounts of information were priceless. What seemed as an innocent social function turned into an information gold mine for Eastern intelligence services. I am sure that any of the good lady wives that are reading this will laugh about this today, at the time it was a serious matter. I never did like East German restaurant food, especially the cheap imitation black fizzy soda.

7. Soviets In The West.

I have already touched on the SOXMIS. Despite having control of East Berlin, the Soviets also had a permanent location in the West of the city. The Brandenburg gate is one of the most iconic buildings in the World and lies in between the Reichstag and where checkpoint Charlie used to stand. During the time of a divided city, the Brandenburg gate sat in the East a few hundred yards away from the Berlin Wall.

From the West you could drive slowly up to the Berlin Wall and approach the Brandenburg gate. On the left where two Soviet tanks from the Second World War which formed a monument for all the Soviet soldier’s who lost their lives in street to street fighting in 1945. Guarding those tanks were two ceremonial Soviet sentries.

It is rumoured that a vehicle once stopped and the Soviet sentries were photographed. Remember this is a time where digital photography had not been invented. As a result stopping in a vehicle was completely forbidden.

The Soviet memorial in the West was another reminder of the cities dark past and a reality check that there was indeed a ‘Phoney War’ taking place. As a child I remember my parents driving around the sights of Berlin. As I was sitting in the back of the car looking at two Soviet sentries I often wondered who they were. The were probably thinking about being stood inside the warmth.

6. The Teuflesberg.

Situated in the Charlottenberg district of West Berlin, the Teufelsberg or Devil’s Hill was man made. In 1945 Berlin was just a sea of broken buildings. Millions of tons of rubble were moved and a lot of it ended up in the spot that is now known as the Teufelsberg.

Its origin does not in itself make Teufelsberg unique, as there are many similar man-made rubble mounds in Germany (see Schuttberg) and other war-torn cities of Europe. The curiousness begins with what is buried underneath the hill: the never completed Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) designed by Albert Speer. The Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier. In June 1950 the West Berlin Magistrate decided to open a new rubble disposal on that site.[1] The disposal was planned for 12,000,000 m3 (16,000,000 cu yd). Wikipedia

The Teuflesberg had two main functions, it was a recreational area for the public and it was also the eyes and the ears of Western intelligence. In 1961 Allied intelligence agencies ran operations from the top of the hill. They listened in on Warsaw Pact radio traffic. Such was its suitability it was decided to build a permanent sight there. The field station was manned 24 hours a day and I recall a neighbour of ours worked there as an operator in the Royal Signals. I would love to bump into him now and chat about some of the intelligence that he was privileged to have handled.

What was once at the heart of the Cold War now lies in ruins. Vandalised and covered in graffiti, the famous land-mark can still be visited by tourists.

5. The Iron Curtain.

The thousands of miles of barbed wire, watch towers and lights were given the name the Iron Curtain by Sir Winston Churchill in his famous speech. Even today the sight of the heavily manned border that divided Western and Eastern ways of life still are still fresh in the memory.

People talk about light pollution, unless you actually crossed the border at night you have never seen light pollution. Evenly spaced out watchtowers dominated the skyline, they overlooked no-mans land to their front and beyond into the West.

Attack dogs roamed in areas between the huge fences, a deterrent to any would be escapee. Reports have recently suggest that the attack dogs were pretty docile. Either way, I would not have like to have taken any chances.

East German border troops where paired up according to their marital status. Two single border guards where not posted together for fear of one of them trying to escape themselves.

German civilians who had been granted authority to travel from the West to the East or vice versa where subject to strict vehicle searches, even to the point of having their fuel tanks dipped. I will come on to escape attempts later on.

For those that never had the chance to see the East-West divide, imagine a prison but only on an enormous scale. That was what the ‘Iron Curtain’ looked like.

4. The threat of war.

The Allied troops in West Berlin were simply there as a token effort. Britain had just 16 tanks stationed there. Some 40 miles to the North West of Allied controlled West Berlin was a Soviet garrison that housed some 15,000 troops. Vogelsang was a ghost town that was home to armour, howitzers and infantry fighting troops.

In parts of RAF Gatow the only thing that separated it from the might of the Soviet Army was a 12-foot fence. The Allied Forces stationed in West Berlin were little more than a token effort of force. It is hard to say how long they would have lasted in the event of an all out war.

Both Allied and Soviet powers paraded their military machines through the streets of West and East Berlin respectively on an annual show of strength.

The British often ran an Exercise known to the troops and families as the ‘Rocker’. Exercise Rocking Horse and later Exercise Berlin Bear Defender was a crash out test. Troops were called into their respective garrisons in response to a ‘notional Soviet attack. There were often wagers between friends on when the next ‘Rocker’would be called by the Brigade Commander.

3. Checkpoint Charlie and the escape attempts.

Some 24 years after the Berlin Wall was declared ‘Open” Checkpoint Charlie still holds a vivid image for me. The checkpoint was the main crossing point between West and East Berlin. Plenty of myth and legend surrounds the famous land-mark. Bizarrely it has been moved from its original location along the Berlin Wall.

East German guards would occupy the controlled crossing point and would demand to see an individual’s passport from page one all the way through to the back page.

The Checkpoint Charlie museum paid homage to those that had escaped from across the border to West Berlin or West Germany. One such escape attempt involved an East German athlete hurdling the checkpoint barriers and leaping for safety into West Berlin.

Another audacious attempt involved a pilot flying a light aircraft underneath East German radar and over the border into West Berlin.

Arguably the most famous escape attempt was depicted in the film ‘The Crossing’. Two families made a hot air balloon of a period of months. The piloted the balloon from East Germany across the Irion Curtain into the West.

West German officials often returned some successful escapees to the East. They were not the lucky ones; interrogation normally proceeded a long stint in the Siberian salt mines.

2. Life in tow cities.

A city of enormous proportions, the residents of West Berlin went about their daily business just like any other populous in Western Europe. The only disruption came during the Berlin Blockade, which will be covered in my final list. Public transport was what you would expect of any normal German city, first class, reliable and punctual. Shops were always well stocked and showed no signs that it lay in the heart of communist East Germany.

The City often hosted the biggest rock concerts. Artists such as Michael Jackson performed in the West. His ‘Bad’ tour in 1988 attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters. Concerts where often held on 17 Juni Strasse near to the Brandenberg Gate. This was a propaganda stunt designed to show the East what they were missing.

In the East, the residents lived a completely different life. Paranoia, empty shelves, poor housing and low wages where typical of any communist state. There was a very long waiting list for the East German car the Trabant. Made from fibre glass with a two stroke engine, the cars often looked like patch work duvets. In late 1988 advances were made on the cars, they came fitted with a sun roof. I remember walking along the streets of East Berlin on our monthly visits, locals would literally stand and stare at you the ‘Westerner’. It was surreal.

1. The Berlin Blockade.

It was arguably one of the most iconic events in Cold War history, along with the Cuban Missile Crisis. On the 24th June 1948 until 12th May 1949, the Soviet Union blocked the rail, air, road and canal routes into West Berlin.

The Berlin Blockade resulted in a massive operation undertaken by the Royal Air Force, United States Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and South African Air Force. Fuel and food was flown into West Berlin in wave after wave of logistical resupply sorties. Over 200,000 flights were flown.

The Allied powers never gave up on West Berlin and eventually the Soviet’s lifted the blockade. Their plan had failed and brought about the berth of two new states of power.

In 1949 East and West Germany were born as a result of the Berlin Blockade. The separate German states would remain for another 50 years.

On 5 April, a Soviet Air Force Yakovlev Yak-3 fighter collided with a British European Airways Vickers Viking 1B airliner near RAF Gatow airfield, killing all aboard both aircraft. The Gatow Air Disaster exacerbated tensions between the Soviets and the other allied powers. Internal Soviet reports in April stated that “Our control and restrictive measures have dealt a strong blow to the prestige of the Americans and British in Germany” and that the Americans have “admitted” that the idea of an airlift would be too expensive.

On 9 April, Soviet officials demanded that American military personnel maintaining communication equipment in the Eastern zone must withdraw, thus preventing the use of navigation beacons to mark air routes On 20 April, the Soviets demanded that all barges obtain clearance before entering the Soviet zone. Wikipedia

Looking back, living in Berlin, the history and the situation at the time almost seems mythical. It wasn’t, it was very real but it felt very surreal. Even after all these years talking about those Cold War days still make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I recently sat down for a discussion with my uncle who served in Berlin as a British Soldier. He visited a Soviet camp shortly after the German unification. He talked about the large number of Soviet vehicles that were just static lumps of rusted steel and iron. It makes you wonder, had the balloon gone up, would the Soviets have been in any shape to put up a fight against the Western Allies?

Wrinkle Free Garments

Ironing the garments is considered a myth today. Our time-starved people want to spend minimum after cloth-care. Ironing the garments has lost the heat after the developments in wrinkle-resistant fabric finishes. Wrinkle-free finishes has hit the market of casual men's trousers in just five years.

The Wrinkle free quality of garment has been labeled various terms like Wrinkle-resistant, wrinkle free, durable press and permanent press. The industry also uses these terms for several finishing agents that have been appended to fabrics to avoid or reduce the amount of wrinkles.

Today's drive of wrinkle-resistant informal wear is not just a reprocessing of the dry, brittle durable press in wash and wear finishes of yesterday. The most modern wrinkle-resistant fabrics are newly devised products that were born of modern technology.

These wrinkle-resistant finishes were favored in the early 90's when they were inserted into men's all-cotton trousers. The finishes have given the root industry a new life on lease. Hagger and Farah are the first companies that introduced wrinkle-resistant pants to their bands. In 1992, Hagger introduced a line called "Wrinkle'Free" all-cotton pants. The line made a big impression on the market and by December 1993 Haggar gained 76 percent of the market in that class. Savan line is Farah's edition of the wrinkle-resistant pants. These lines of finishes were flattened with Duck Head and Levi Strauss Dockers.

Wrinkle-resistant garments are not free from problems; various troubles like attraction to grease and oil, fabric debasement and environmental interests are connected with these garments. Although, most of the problems have been reduced, companies are continuously ignoring techniques to better the properties. To improve the aesthetics is the biggest improvements.

Wrinkle-resistant garments should inevitably exist in wardrobes. After rejuvenating the bottom industry, the finish has hit the other segments of menswear industry like woven and knitted dress and sports shirts, jeans and suits. Wrinkle-resistant clothing incorporates even the children's attires and areas of womenswear market. The success of the finishes on garments will result in extra progress in other markets.

Due to the escalation of formal wear in the work place, the wrinkle-resistant industry has secured new heights in garment industry. Wrinkle-resistant garments are not only at department stores and mail order catalogs but also at stores like Wal-Mart and Kmart. The home furnishing industry has secured the wrinkle free concept by adding the finishes to sheets.

Our belief that wrinkle-resistant garments are costlier than finish-less ones is right; but for the most part they are moderately rated. All the products of wrinkle-resistant items do not give the same result. There are no inflexible courses of actions for manufacturers; since, it is suggested that customer should buy a popular brand that s / he trusts.

The wrinkle free finish (various other terms are "Easy Care", "Durable Press", "Wrinkle-Resistant", "Wash and Wear", "No-Iron" etc.) is achieved by cross-linking cotton. Permanent press finishes build cross-links between adjoining cellulose polymer chains; these provide cotton some flexibility and resiliency. Such cross-linked cotton can return to its earlier condition from deformity stresses and that wrinkles will not create.

Even today, DMDHEU is an important cross-linking force. With magnesium chloride as the acid catalyst to start a reaction, it creates cross-links in the formless areas of the fiber. Through the counteraction (> NCH2 => NH + HCHO), free formaldehyde is discharged. Insufficient curing also results into the discharge of formaldehyde at an extreme temperature. Various techniques have been evolved to define the amount of formaldehyde discharged, such as after-washing of cured fabrics, the insertion of formaldehyde scavengers like carbohydrazide to the bath, use of urea in the pad-bath or application through a spray, modification of DMDHEU to etherized, glycolated or methylated DMDHEU.

Options to DMDHEU are also being researched. Major choices are polycarboxlicacids, typically BTCA (1,2,3,4,4 Butane Tetra Carboxylic Acid) or citric acid. However, BTCA is not cheap to use and citric acid creates yellowing. Another technique has been to use polymers of maleic acid to create ester cross-links, and yet another to fix a quaternary group through an epoxidation counteraction to the cellulose chain to create cross-links. Research on all these options is in progress. Commercially, it is the remodeled DMDHEU (glycolated or methylated) that is most used now. The item is pre-cushioned to check untimely curing and also pre-merged with a catalyst. Today the catalysts with the basis of Magnesium are accepted most. When curing times are scanty, citric acid or aluminum chloride can also be compounded to speed up catalysis.

Following is a standard method for a pre-cure or post-cure finish:

DMDHEU (45%), 2-20% of weight of DMDHEU but not less than 1% owb; wetting agent. 0.1% owb; and softeners, 2-8% owb.

The wetting property lets the fiber internally penetrated, so that cross-linking may occur all through the fiber cross-section. A high-density polyethylene brings back some of the missing tear force and abrasion resistance by displacing lubrication. It also possesses a collaborative effect with silicone or fat-based softeners to create an agreeable hand. Among the silicone softeners, counteractive polysiloxanies with silanol functional end-groups (Fig 2) perform as elastomeric finishes providing better wrinkle resistance, good dimensional firmness (smooth drying properties) and exceptional soft handle with good sewing ability. They can also decrease free formaldehyde discharge by re-establishing part of the resin. Various types are available today: Pretavyl VP 1601A by Boehme Filatex Inc., and siltouch RS by Yorkshire Chemicals.

Types of Technology for obtaining "wrinkle free" finish
The dominant application techniques currently employed are based on the following processes: pre-cure; post-cure; garment-dip; spray (metered) application; and Vapor phase.
In pre-cure, the fabric is processed with resin, dried and cured in flat open-width form. This fabric can be used to manufacture garments that stand firm against wrinkling through wearing and have a soft look after washing and tumble drying. Since the cross-linked fabric defends any attempt to press in wrinkles, it will be impossible to bring in sharp long-lasting creases. Generally, such fabrics are applied in the womenswear market for some skirts, casual trousers and shirting where smoothness is the main benchmark.

A post-cure process provides a choice to manufacture a garment with soft drying and wrinkle resistant agents along with sharp creases that have a lasting effect for the life of the garment. In this treatment the resin is padded onto the fabric and discharged at low temperature (as in the Koretron process). The fabric is then cut, garment constructed and creases pressed into the garment. An extreme temperature treatment in this make up is given to cross-link resin. Although this procedure provides exceptional results, it has not been doing well with garment producers because of apparel limitations of colors, styles and fabric weight, and the requirement for a direct connection among mills, garment manufacturers and retailers.

To improve this procedure, a company in Japan applied a post-cure finish to fabric that was mercerised in liquid ammonia, giving excellent easy care properties together with the soft handle of non-cross-linked cotton. Liquid ammonia mercerisation is a process applied at ultra-low temperatures and it generates deconvolution of cotton, smoothing of the surface, swelling of the fiber to a circular cross section, enhanced absorbency, firmness and shine, and a very soft touch.

The other three alternatives are useful to finish the fabric only after it has been composed into a garment. In the garment-dip method, garments are fabricated from non-resistant fabric, then infused with a resin process similar to that applied to the post-cure process, extracted to about 65% wet pick-up and then tumble dried to 8-10 % moisture stuff, a critical factor that is determined using a moisture meter.

In the spray method, the resin is smeared by spraying it onto the garment during tumbling in an encoded revolving tool. A microprocessor is applied to gauge the accurate quantity of chemicals and to monitor the rotation time, expected wet pick-up, spray rate and process time. Like post-cure process, the garments are then pressed and cured. The process is more and more applied to both menswear and womenswear with the market moving towards washed-down appearance and softer handles.

In the vapor phase process, the fabric is dried and finished at the mill, cut sewn; before cross-linking, it is press into garment form. Gaseous formaldehyde is then used with an acid catalyst in a particular chamber oven. The garments are later processed to create cross-linking. Then the surplus moisture is drained. The formaldehyde itself creates the cross-links (conventional resin will always have unreacted N-methylol clusters that can hydrolyze to discharge formaldehyde). Manufacturers of shirts and other lightweight garments are using the treatment today. Neverheless, it is apparently not easy to manage, possibly resulting in uneven processes and higher strength losses.

Choosing fabric for "wrinkle free" finish

The garment finisher generally does not produce its own fabric and it may have to cope with unwelcome damages in tensile strength, tear strength and abrasion resistance in the fabric when cross-linking. Due to the added value, garments are returned since low strength might prove to be costlier than fabric returned.

For manufacturing an up-to-standard wrinkle-free garment, various safety measures must be taken in fabric choice:

. The root fabric must possess enough strength to put up with 40-60% loss in tensile and tear strength and still hold sufficient strength to provide a garment of satisfactory wear life and lastingness.
. It must also possess exceptional absorbency to let resin enter the very center of the fibers and create cross-links. Surface adhering resins do not give any useful results and are incompetent and causing waste.
. If the fabric is dyed, the dye must be able to hold acid catalysis and high temperatures. Sulfur dyes, which are recognized to produce acid upon storage, are to be completely avoided.
. Residual extractable on the fabric (like starch from size) can counteract with resin and minimize its influence; a high amount of size removal is so critical.
. Fabric pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0 with an alkalinity of less than 0.05% (expressed as sodium hydroxide).

Choice of equipment

Producers and researchers are continuously evolving tools to serve to this specialty section. But they are still perplexed if these new machines – specifically presses and curing ovens – are worth the investment. While selecting the technology, many features such as type of product (shirt or trouser), WR procedure, time, vacuum, temperature and chemicals must be taken into account.

The two most decisive factors working behind "A" quality pressing of 100% cotton and permanent press garments are temperature and control of cycle. Presses should be prepared with high-heat, cast aluminum

garments are temperature and control of cycle. Presses should be prepared with high-heat, cast aluminum heads or with additional electrical heaters to provide a processing temperature about 150 degrees centigrade. Since the temperature sets out the curing procedure and monitors the overall smoothness, it is very important to manufacture permanent press garments. Typically, presses active in garment factories function within the range of 116-125 degree centigrade will not provide a perfect finish.

Hoffman and Vapor-press International have introduced the latest range of pressing machines wherein microprocessor monitors both temperature control and pressure applied accurately. A feature called head-hesitation holds up the head lifting so that creases are not formed on the garment – such creases can set forever while curing. As a safety measure, a head positioning set up lets the head lift by an inch (after pressure is applied) allowing a vacuum to dry the garment completely. Pre-timely interference by mechanics is a major problem in garment factories. This complication is enhanced by an Operator Penalty System that counts penal points every time an operator attempts to disrupt the cycle.

Curing is generally performed in hot-air-box or tunnel ovens. A tunnel oven is faster but needs a specific amount of garment development and a material handling system to and from the tunnel. Airflow design in these ovens monitors temperature variations, movement of the garment and wrinkle relaxation, and is there before the most significant selection standard. Pladrest Heating Ltd., founders in this line of work, has surfaced with a series of ovens to permanently press garments. The air velocity is regulated at last, in as much that temperature variation has been shot down to a noticeable 3 degree Centigrade over a single garment. Evolutions are also on the go to improve microwave-curing technology. As against average convection curing, the temperature increase in microwave ovens is supposed to be faster, consistent through the fiber cross segment, and to give a minimum damage to the fiber.

Best Fabric For You – How to Buy and What to Look For

Here's some helpful hints when buying fabric.

You can select the best fabric for you by knowing the advantages and disadvantages.

Make sure you read all labels for care and fabric content.

Here's a guide when you're not sure about fiber:

You will be able to identify fiber absorbency by the wear of ability and durability. The more absorbent fibers are the more comfortable they are to wear. They absorb body moisture and moisture. Since they absorb moisture they are less sooner to static electricity and will clean more easily.

The less absorbent fibers are the less comfortable they are to wear, but since they are less affected by body heat and moisture they wrinkle less and they hold their shape better. However, they become static-prone. Here you can determine the best fabric for you that will wear well by knowing their absorbency.

More absorbent – wool, linen, silk, cotton and natural fibers Less absorbent rayon, acetate, acrylic, nylon, polyester and synthetic fibers.

Here you can determine the best fabric for you that will wear well by knowing the lengths of fibers that will affect its performance and appearance.

Long fibers are synthetics. Silk is the only one that is a natural long fiber, but there are longer wool and cotton fibers that have some of these characteristics: Lustrous and smooth, pill resistant, more resilient.

Short fibers are natural and synthetic fibers cut. They are cut into short lengths twisted into a yarn that has a fuzzier appearance like soft and fuzzy, tend to pill and wrinkle more easily. Now wool gabardine is a long fiber and wool flannel is a short fiber.

Be sure to read the labels on ready-to-wear and on the end of the bolt for your best fabric overall guide to fiber content and care.

Manufacturers use blends for decreasing cost, increase prestige, increase wash ability, decrease wrinkling, increase comfort, or increase strength.

A pair of pants that is 65% cotton, 35% polyester will wrinkle less and wear better than all cotton. A pair of pants that is 65% polyester, 35% cotton will wrinkle less and wear better, but be less comfortable.

People today go towards comfort and easy care, so you can determine the best fabric here on the blends of fabrics.

Fabric labels. Here's a list of fabrics that you can decide would be the best fabric for you and they they will wear:

Linen and Cotton – Has increased absorbency and comfort, less static build-up and better dye ability.

Silk is luster, luxury and comfortable.

Wool – Has added bulk and warmth, increased absorbency, increased shape retention and wrinkle recovery.

Mohair has added strength, loopy texture, added luster.

Camel and Cashmere has added warmth, luxury, improved drape ability, soft smooth texture.

Angora rabbit hair has softness and fuzziness.

Acrylic have improved softness, wool-like qualities.

Rayon is a lower cost fabric with better absorbency, lower static build-up and added luster.

Nylon has increased strength, abrasion resistance, wrinkle resistance and lower cost.

Acetate has improved drapes ability, more luster and shine and lower cost.

Polyester has wash and wear qualities, wrinkle resistance, shape retention, durability and is a lower cost fabric.

Spandex has comfort and elasticity.

Different blends can change the care instructions. If you have a wool skirt it can become washable if it has polyester added.

Look at the care instructions and care as you would for sensitive fabrics. For example, a wool becomes washable if polyester is added. If you are not sure of the care read the instructions and care as you would for the most sensitive fabric. Here you can determine the best fabric by how your clothing should look and feel.

The fabric weaves are how it affects the durability and appearance:

Plain weave – For each yarn it runs over one and under another in both directions and produces a strong firm fabric. Fabrics can be of all weights like chiffon, gingham, canvas, flannel, challis are examples of this most common weave.

Satin weave – The yarns passes over several crosswise yarns to produce very lustrous, shiny fabrics. These long yarns can easily be worn by causing snags.

Charmeuse and satin are a perfect example of this fragile weave.

Dobby and Jacquard weaves – There figurative designs are woven into the fabric. Dobby designs like birdseye and pique are usually small, geometric figures. Jacquard designs like damask, tapestry, brocade are more complicated and can be quite large. They are both expensive to make and can be fragile if there are large areas of long float threads.

Twill weave is a diagonal parallel rib that is a formed weave. It is the most durable weave of all. It is strong, resilient, wrinkle-resistant, and often soil-resistant due to the yarn density like denim, gabardine, silk surah, and calvary twill.

Knits are a series of interlocking loops instead of yarns that cross over each other at right angles. Knits are durable, comfortable. They give and are subject to snag at times. There are both single knits like tricots and sweater knits and double-knits like interlocks and traditional double knits.

Here are some shopping tips for finding the best fabric:

Wool and wool blend tweeds are very fast to sew because they hide sewing mistakes. They also mold into shape easily.

Solid colors are faster to sew than plaids, prints are faster than both as the print in the fabric does not require matching. Plaids are take the most time because of the cutting concentration and planning required.

Make a note in a small notebook with the following five basic pieces and make sure you take it with you when shopping for your best fabric. Also, make sure you use the yardage conversion chart on the back of the pattern catalog if your fabric width is different.

Jacket, Pants, Skirt, Blouse, Matching skirt, Jacket lining and Jacket interfacing.

Buy the same amount of lining as for the fabric you will need for pants and skirts. Will you be able to tell if this is the best fabric that works for you.

Do the following tests on ready-made clothing:

On wrinkle resistance fabrics crush it in your hand and release. Now, do the wrinkles fall out quickly? If they do not the garment will look like it was not pressed. so, high natural fiber content will wrinkle more.

To check for shape and wearing qualities stretch it with both hands and hold for 5 seconds. If it slips apart easily then strain on the seams could lead to a problem at stress points, but, if it springs back, it will hold its shape.

Tighter knits the heavier it is the less absorbent the fiber and the better it holds its shape.

Take a look at the fiber content for comfort by checking the absorbency and compare it to your fiber. These are lightweight and higher in natural fiber content are more comfortable to wear.

Synthetics are warm and feel clammy because they do not breathe or absorb as well as natural fibers and may not be the best fabric for you.

If you are buying fabric or ready-made clothing you should wisely invest your money into the best fabric quality you can afford for your five basic long wearing pieces. These coordinates need to be durable and make you look great! Here are some advantages and disadvantages. You can determine which would be the best fabric for you:

Here's some advantages and disadvantages on different fabrics:

Wool Gabardine:

Advantages: It wears very well, comfortable and holds their shape well. Wrinkles hang out.

Disadvantages: Dry clean only. It shows press marks very easy. Cleaners can over press too. You can request careful pressing, but it's very expensive.

Polyester Gabardine:

Advantages: It is wrinkle-resistant. It is also very durable and washable. It's a year around fabric except in the hottest and cold climates. It always looks crisp and fresh.

Disadvantages: May snag and is less comfortable to wear than wool, as polyester is cold in winter and warm in summer.

Linen:

Advantages: It is very comfortable as fiber is extremely absorbent. Dark colors or neutrals are season less fabrics.

Disadvantages: It loses body after many cleanings. You can spray fabric finish to restore crisp feel. Dark colors show more wear than light color due to the dyes used.

Crazy-like:

Advantages: Choose the heavier weights for better wear and wrinkle resistance. It wrinkles less than real linen. The blends are rayon, polyester, cotton. Can be worn year round in dark or neutral colors. Washable.

Disadvantages: It loses its body after washing or dry cleaning. It is not as durable as real linen or as rich in appearance.

Polyester Crepe:

Advantages: This fabric drapes very nicely. You can have fullness without bulk. It is wrinkle resistant, very durable, machine washable. Loosely woven fabrics will be more comfortable.

Disadvantages: Pretreat oily stain before washing. Remove from dryer immediately to prevent heat setting wrinkles and puckered seams. Feels clammy with tightly woven types which are not absorbent.

Silk Crepe:

Advantages: This fabric drapes like no other fabric, it feels wonderful and comfortable in all climates. Recommend dry cleaning, but can be washed.

Disadvantages: Very expensive. Must hand wash or dry-clean. Perspiration can damage fibers and stain.

Silk Broadcloth:

Advantages: A sportier fabric that wears better than crepe. Available in shirting stripes, plaids, gingham, also solid colors. Hand washes nicely. Less expensive than crepe de chine.

Disadvantage: Does not drape as well as crepe. Wrinkles, perspiration can damage fibers and stain.

Cotton or Blended Broadcloths:

Advantages: More casual than the fabric above. Washable, usually inexpensive. More comfortable than polyester; wrinkles less than silk. Blends include cotton, polyester, rayon.

Disadvantages: Does not drape as well as crepe. Those with higher cotton content will wrinkle more, higher polyester content will make less comfortable.

Wool or Wool Blends:

Advantages: It's soft, lightweight, drapeable. Those with wool should be dry-cleaned, some blends (cotton, rayon, polyester) may be washed. Usually has a soft, warm, brushed surface.

Disadvantages: Wool is more expensive to buy and to care for, but most durable. Generally a cool weather fabric.

Wool Tweed, Flannel, Wool Blends:

Advantages: This fabric is easy to sew. Flannel is a good wintertime fabric and comes in medium and light weights for all climates. Blends (wool, polyester, nylon, acrylic) are usually lighter weight, lower in price and some are washable.

Disadvantages: This fabric is for winter season only. Can be expensive. Flannel wrinkles more than wool gabardine. Blends will not wear as well as 100% wools. Can be scratchy. Dry clean 100% wools.

Wool Knit, Jersey:

Advantages: All weights are comfortable to wear. Warm in winter. Drapes well in lighter weights, tailors well in heavier weights. Knits are the easiest fabrics to sew.

Disadvantages: Very expensive. Can snag more easily than a woven fabric. Will stretch out of shape during wear, but can be pressed back to shape. Dry Clean only.

Polyester Knits:

Advantages: All weights are wrinkle-resistant, travel well. Machine washable. Hold their shape. Inexpensive.

Disadvantages: Like all polyester, can be warm in summer and cold in winter because fiber does not breathe. Pretreat oily stains before washing, remove from dryer immediately.

Corduroy, Velvet, Velveteen:

Advantages: Can be sporty or dressy, depending on type. Some are washable others should be professionally cleaned and pressed. Inexpensive.

Disadvantages: Can show press marks and wear lines easily, not very durable. Require special sewing techniques. Wrinkle easily, will stretch out of shape during wear, but will recover shape during washing or dry-cleaning.

Ultrasuede brand fabric:

Advantages: Elegant and extremely durable. It is versatile and comes in two different weights for many types of garments. Machine washable, easy care. Holds shape during wear, can be season less, depending on color. Sews easily.

Disadvantages: Very expensive. Requires special, but easy to learn, sewing techniques. Because it is partially polyester, it will be warm in summer but not as warm as 100% polyester.

After reading about the different types of fabrics you can decide which is the best fabric for you.

What Is Residential Engineering?

Engineering is a complex area of practice because many of the branches overlap or blend into each other. Residential engineering is a good example of these blurry boundaries because it is such a complex undertaking and involves a variety of knowledge areas, practical skills, and sensitivity to the needs of clients in order to be done successfully.

Start with a definition

The practice of residential engineering involves taking engineering resources and applying them to work for clients that can include home buyers, homeowners, lenders, realtors and contractors. This work can involve a single home or a large community that will include thousands of homes as well as schools, parks, and other features.

Look at Examples You See Everyday

Unless you live in complete isolation, it is more likely than not that you have seen the projects created by these engineers. Large golf course communities, lakefront developments, or even housing in downtown areas are all within the purview of these professionals.

Some of the services they provide include the following:

Site selection: Before any project can begin, the people who are funding it must choose the right location. This involves consideration of surrounding areas, roadways, potential zoning concerns, costs, and other factors that vary from one project to another.

Surveying: Surveying is the process that determines the exact location and height of certain boundaries and structures which will play a role in positioning infrastructure and even property lines.

Architectural Planning and Design: While not all firms offer architectural planning, it is an important part of the process because it takes into account all aspects of the project from site selection through to the living requirements. Additionally, depending on where you are building there may be structural codes that need to be met and should be accounted for in the early stages of the project.

Permits and rezoning: In many regions, there are zoning restrictions that can impede a residential engineering project or permits required to undertake certain types of development. A residential engineer must understand the process for rezoning a given area and getting the right permits.

Water: Whether it is planning for storm water or ensuring that there will be sufficient drinking water for the people who move into a development, water resources and planning are a major concern.

Construction administration: Residential engineers are not restricted to the early stages of a project. In some cases, they also play an active role during the construction process, ensuring that the structures are built in accordance with the plans.

Residential engineering is an exciting field because it is challenging and rewarding, requiring a great deal of knowledge and skills to create a product that will affect the lives of residents each and every day.

However, it is worth noting that many firms do not like to work in this area for a number of reasons; so make sure to ask any potential firm or group if they in fact can actually handle your project in a manner that meets your individual customer needs in a timely manner.

Commercial Roof Insulation

Insulation is a way to keep heat inside a room or building, it reduces the loss of heat through certain areas like the walls and the ceiling. There are many different ways to insulate the roof with one of the most popular being Insulation Foam, in fact some insulating foam can be used to not only insulate the roof but repair it at the same time. This gives you a few benefits over re-roofing, for starters it is a much cheaper method, it will save you a substantial amount on your heating bills, has the ability to create a dry, warm, clean loft space and comes with 25 year guarantees.

The foam used is a rigid spray foam that is applied to the underneath of the roof tiles or slats, it fills and seals any gaps that it comes into contact with, creating a very solid foam structured. The council use this method for insulating their properties along with blue chip companies and local authorities. Another benefit to the foam is that after the installation is complete it requires absolutely no maintenance what so ever and can be left alone with peace of mind.

Some insulating methods have a limited lifespan and are not likely to last for the duration that the building will, however the foam insulation has a very long life expectancy and should last for the building life expectancy.

If you are looking in to this for your building make sure you chose a company with a good reputation.

Spray Foam Equipment

Expanding spray foam insulation is a type of insulation based on spraying the insulating foam directly over the area to be insulated. Just as foam board insulation requires foam core boards, expanding foam insulation uses spray foam.

Spray foam insulation is a relative of foam board insulation, using a quite similar material to foam core boards, with the main difference being in the method of applying the insulation itself.

If you intend to insulate your entire house for example, or any other large building, you have two options: one is to hire a specialized company that will do it for you, with a corresponding fee of course, or, if you are a hardcore DIY fan, you may attempt to install the insulation yourself.

It might sound an untouchable idea at first, but with a little study and care you will find that the DIY method might be the cheapest and why not the more enjoying option.

If you are serious in thinking about DIY spray foam insulation, you must first know what equipment you need. The following is a short description of the basic components of a foam spray machine.

The proportioner:

This is the heart of any spray foam machine. It is the part that creates the foam by proportioning the components and pushing them further. The best one for all around use would be an electric one, but make sure it has intuitive controls and balance pressure valves.

The spray foam hoses:

These are basic hoses, which have the sole purpose of transporting the foam from the proportioner to the spray gun. The hoses come in different colors, diameters and lengths, and it's always a good idea to use hoses that are corrosion protected, to prevent any nasty surprises.

The spray foam gun:

If the proportioner is the heart of the installation, then this is the hand. Inside the gun, the two components of the foam are mixed and expelled at certain pressures towards the surface to insulate. The moment the two components come into contact they react, so care must be taken after usage, to avoid clogging. Before, before buying one, try and find out how easy it is to clean.

Al these components will help you succeed in insulating your house. Spray foam insulation can be used instead of foam board insulation, but you should take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of the two insulation methods.

Tips For Choosing the Perfect Timber Garden Shed

A garden shed is more often than not used as a storage facility for gardening equipment but an ever growing number of people are now using their sheds as a place to relax. If you are planning to use your shed for multiple purposes, you should ensure that you choose a durable product but also one that integrates the overall appearance of your garden. A quality timber garden shed will definitely fit the bill.

Timber garden sheds are usually more expensive than sheds that are made of other materials. Unlike metal or vinyl sheds, which can be artificial looking, a timber garden shed will blend well with the garden environment and it gives your home a more classic appearance. It can also act as a comfortable area where you can go to put your feet up. Timber is known for its excellent insulation qualities which can protect you from extreme temperature conditions during the winter months.

There is a wide variety of sizes and designs of wooden garden sheds for you to choose from. Depending on the size of your garden, you can select a compact model with just a few windows and a door or you can purchase one that has a number of more elaborate features. If you are thinking of using your shed as not only a storage facility but also as a relaxation spot or kid's play area, it is wise to select a model that has several rooms.

Make sure that the shed is spacious enough to store all your gardening tools as well as any equipment that you are planning to acquire in the near future. For instance, if you are planning to replace your present lawnmower with a larger model, the shed should be big enough to store the new product. The storage area in your shed should have a high ceiling so that you can build shelves to store more items.

The floor of your shed is another thing that needs consideration. Most wooden sheds are built with integrated wooden flooring but you can also choose a floorless design that can be installed over a concrete base. Although a concrete base provides more stability it is clearly not movable. A shed with an integrated floor can be moved to any part of the garden but make sure that it is made of lightweight timber if you plan to move it around from time to time.

Timber garden sheds come in four basic designs; these are apex, corner, transverse and pent. However, if you do have a larger budget you can have a bespoke model built for you and this will guarantee that it fits in well with the design of your garden. The apex shed is the most common type of garden shed and it is a simple structure with a triangular roof, a door and several windows. On the other hand, a corner shed is designed to be located in the corner of a garden and it is typically a five-sided structure with two sides attached to walls. A transverse shed is a wide version of an apex shed, while the penthed has an inclined roof.

There are other considerations that you have to make when choosing a timber garden shed and these include the size of the door for moving tools in and out of the shed, security as well as ventilation. You can consult a garden shed specialist to find out which type of wooden garden shed is most suitable for your home.

Numerology Reveals the Hidden Meaning of Your House Number

Continuing with this series of articles giving you insight into where you live, in the meantime consider this: the house or apartment of where you live, even the block of land chosen you! That's right, even though you might think you chose where you live I have news for you, it chose you …

Developing this a little further, how many times have you heard (it may've even happened to you) of someone falling in love with a house but unable to afford it, yet – the finances became available. And, of those who had all their finances organized unable to proceed to the sale for one reason or another. It's happened to me and I'm sure it's happened to you – it's all about the where you live being where you're meant to be – lessons to be learnt – Karma to unfold or a journey to begin.

House Number Four: This is the most unpredictable of all the house numbers – with one crisis after another. The occupants often visit psychiatrists or seek someone to talk to! Expect your life to move in a completely different direction from what you had in mind if moving in here, take a tip and go with the flow for life is changing in ways you can not predict.

Aquarians will enter your life (you may be one yourself), but as long as they are not born on Jan 26, Feb 8, Feb 17 you can let them in! Life will offer many moments where you'll be called upon to help or counsel others. This address may even look different to others in the area or the occupants considered a little 'strange.' It also joins those involved with the physically handicapped! Some personal comments: I've often seen this number to have all the electronic gadgets, computers, plasma televisions, etc. Another thing I mention to people moving to this address is to look after their back and to invest in a decent bed. Linked to the planet Uranus in Astrology and has connections with all things Astrological along with the 11th house in the Astrological Chart (see my previous series)

When we talk about the 'unusual' you have to consider the actual appearance of the building or its color, even the occupations or occupants could have considered 'unusual' either by their looks, careers or something 'harder to define.' Let me give you a personal observation for this number crops up in my life more than I would like to admit and when it does and did I notice and notice that my life plans-goals-objectives seemly alter of their own accord. I want to go one way – life wants to go another. Call this Fate or Destiny, call it what you like but I fully believe the place (s) we live are the place (s) we are meant to be living at for the energy / vibration has attracted you – just like a magnet a magnet) joins iron filings and forms patterns. I live and work at a Number Four (103) my profession is all about helping others and yes, there are a few gadgets along with an interest / passion for Astrology – Numerology. I do not have any problems with my bed but it would be nice to have someone else share it with me now and then LOL …

When we include the meanings (simple) given to House Numbers 1-9 and those reducing to these numbers we'll explore the sexuality of Numerology for like it or not we are sexual as well as spiritual animals and Numbers give a clue to both.

8 Deadly Mistakes That Can Disable Your SSDI Claim and 6 Actions That May Help You Win!

Applying for and obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) can be a frustrating and confusing process. Did you know that almost 70% of claims are denied initially. That is staggering. While there is no surefire way to guarantee you will get SSDI benefits, this article outlines some of the common mistakes Louisiana SSDI claimants make. Also included are a few actions that you can take during the process to help give your social security disability claim the best opportunity for approval.

Deadly Mistake No. 1 – You Take "NO" For An Answer.
The truth is that close to 70% of initial social security disability applications are denied. If you take "NO" or "DENIED" for your answer, you miss out on your right and ability to appeal your denial. Statistically, social security disability claimants do much better on appeals to an administrative law judge (and then the court) than they do to the initial review. You have to be persistent, patient, and willing to be told no, or denied, and then move to the next step.

Action No. 1 – Appeal Every Denial and Reapply If Necessary.
Do not take NO. If you believe that your medical records and functional limits qualify you for disability, do not give up. Keep fighting by appealing the denials until you can no longer appeal. If you miss an appeal, or your limitations worsen after you have reached a final decision on a prior claim, apply again.

Deadly Mistake No. 2 – You File An Incomplete Disability Application.
Many social security disability claims fail to provide all of the necessary information or documentation social security needs to properly review your file. Sometimes, it is not your fault, but the fault of your doctor or medical facility. But either way, the result is the same, failing to provide all necessary information and records, and make sure your doctor has done so as well, can kill your SSDI claim.

Deadly Mistake No. 3 – You Fail to Dispose All Medical Conditions or Injuries.
Some SSDI claimants will only tell social security about their most obvious medical problem – for example, back pain – but not about other medical issues they may be experiencing, especially mental health problems – such as depression. The fact is that in examining your claim, social security is required to determine how ALL of your medical conditions affect your ability to work. If you do not tell them about all of your problems (no matter how minor each is), they will evaluate you only on your major issue.

Action No. 2 – Discose ALL medical conditions and limitations – physical and mental.
Social Security has to determine how all of your medical limitations affect your ability to work in determining your disability claim. So you need to tell them about all of your problems. Your knee that locks up and hurts for 20-30 minutes every once in a while after strenuous activity is as important as your congestive heart failure. Your ability to maintain personal relationships and take direction from supervisors can be as important as your back pain. Tell Social Security about all of your impairments.

Deadly Mistake No. 4 – You Wait Too Long To Appeal Your Denial of Disability Benefits.
You have 60-days from the date of your denial to appeal to the next step of the process. This is true with each relative denial. Missing the 60-day window to appeal can and often does spell the end of your disability claim. Now you can reapply, but you have to go back to the beginning of the line.

Action No. 3 – Appeal Within 60-days.
Social Security laws and regulations provide you 60-days from the date you receive a denial to appeal. In determining what day you received the denial letter, Social Security rules assume that you received it 5-days after it was dated. To make life easier, if you believe the denial was in error appeal as soon as you can after receipt of the letter. You can appeal online at http://www.ssa.gov or by calling your local social security office. You do not want your valid disability claim to be denied simply because you failed to file your appeal within 60-days.

Deadly Mistake No. 5 – You Over Exaggerate Your Limitations or Speak in Absolutes.
Some SSDI claimants will tell social security – "I can not sit" or "I can not walk". For most disability claims, this is simply not true. You will be able to sit for some period of time or walk some distance. (I do admit that there are a few people where these absolutes are true, but not for most.) When you speak in such terms, the examiner gets a bad impression of you because this is simply not true in the large majority of cases. What happens when the examiner gets a bad impression of you and your credibility is asked? You get denied. Be truthful.

Action No. 4 – Be Truthful And Tell Social Security The Details.
You can never go wrong with the truth. The truth is important to your Social Security Disability Claim. While you do not want to over exaggerate your limitations by speaking in absolutes, you also do not want to under report your abilities. Good responses are those that include details such as "I can hold a gallon of milk and walk with it for 10 feet before I need to put it down and rest," or "I walk to my mailbox to collect my mail. 30 feet. Before I walk back, I need to rest for a few minutes at the mailbox to regain my strength. " Responses such as these that accurately describe your true limitations and provide concrete details allow an examiner to effectively evaluate your limitations. You should also remember that these examiners have heard it all and hear it all. They are very adept at spotting exaggerations and untruths. If they sense that with you, you will lose credibility, which is important.

Deadly Mistake No. 6 – You Approach the SSDI Process Without Understanding It.
For most people, the only experience you will ever have with applying for disability benefits is when you have to do it for yourself. Do you know exactly what you are trying to prove? Many people do not. Often, disability claims think all they have to prove is that they have some type of medical condition and they should win. This is not correct. You need to know what you need to do and prove in order to do it and prove it. Otherwise, you could have a ship sailing to an unknown harbor without a map.

Action No. 5 – Read Informational Sources to Help You Understand The Process.
I believe it is important for social security disability claims to know something about the process the government uses to determine whether or not you will qualify for disability benefits. That's one of the reasons why I write articles, blog, and provide information to disability applicants – it is a complicated process. You can find valuable information across the internet and especially on SSA.gov (the Social Security Administration's homepage). These resources can help you better appreciate the process, especially if you are determined to fight for your benefits alone.

Deadly Mistake No. 7 – Failing to Dislose Your Entire Work History and Vaguely Describing Your Duties.
Sure, you have been doing the same job for the last 7 years, and before that you worked for another company for 5 years. You remember those. But what about in between those two jobs, when you worked with your brother-in-law for 2 weeks and was paid. Social Security will know about every job you had where you paid taxes – no matter how much. You need to think about exactly what jobs you had and what you were required to do in each job and accurately report that to Social Security. This again will go to your credibility if you fail to do so.

A second part to this mistake is not accurately describing your duties. You may tell social security you drive as part of your job. But for how long at one time? How often each week? These details can have a major impact on the disability determination. Leaving out these details can be deadly to your disability claim.

Deadly Mistake No. 8 – Failing to Get A Disability Attorney To Help You.
Disability attorneys are familiar with social security's complex rules and regulations. They know what medical records are necessary to prove up your diagnosis and know the questions to ask your doctor to help prove your limitations. Do you? They know what role a volunteer expert will play during your hearing. Have you heard of a volunteer expert? Do you understand what they are trying to do? I am not saying that you can not win a disability case without an attorney (actually, many people have), or that an attorney guarantees you a win (even the best football teams lose during any given season), but having a well prepared attorney who knows the game plan of the opposition can put you in a better position to find success.

Action No. 6 – Hire A Disability Benefits Attorney.
This may sound self-serving, but doing so can help you present your disability claim in the best possible manner to social security. You would not treat your own broken arm although you have seen a doctor wrap it in plaster of Paris and put it in a sling. A doctor can make sure that it is set properly and knows precisely how long the arm needs to remain immobilized. Similarly, with a Social Security disability attorney, the attorney knows and understands the process as well as certain strategic moves that can bolster you chances for success.

By avoiding these deadly mistakes that can disable your disability claim and taking the actions that could help, you will give yourself the best opportunity to get the SSDI benefits you need to survive.

Constructing A Retaining Wall

There are many circumstances in a construction project where retaining walls may be required. One of the most common is to retain an earth bank, either to prevent the earth from sliding or to protect an object or building. There are many ways and materials that can be used to construct a wall including; wood, metal and concrete. Wooden crib walls and sleepers are commonly used for domestic purposes as they are affordable and easier to handle. The domestic uses also tend to be small and have less loads placed on them, there is also an aesthetical requirement specifically for garden wall purposes.

Metal sheet piling is a fast and efficient method of creating a retaining wall. Large sheets of corrugated steel are forced deep into the ground and the material is backfilled against this. One of the main drawbacks of using Wood and Metal for the construction of a wall is their corrosive nature. Wood will rot and metal will rust, this gives them a short life span. Concrete is an excellent product for building a retaining wall as it has excellent structural properties and it also repels the elements. The concrete products are made with steel reinforcement is encased in the concrete which results rust occurring and once cured the concrete provides excellent protection for the steel and a very strong structure. The reinforced concrete retaining wall can be either constructed onsite using steel cages for the reinforcement and wood shuttering to form the structure. The other alternative is to use precast concrete sections manufacturer off-site and then install them on-site which will help reduce the construction time.

There are other types of precast blocks that can be used. These generally interlock to create gravity retaining walls which will sometimes require a gradient sloping back. These are useful where the end product needs to fit into the environment. It may be that plants can be used in order to help the wall blend it into the surroundings. These types of walls may be used near bridges, on the side of roads, or on residential developments. An example of this would be crib walling. These are reliably large precast blocks that interlock and build up to create the wall. They need a granular infill and then plants and other vegetation can be put on the wall so that over time will blend the wall into its surroundings.

There are many options out there so have a look around and work out which products is most suitable for your job.

Gel Fireplaces Vs Wood Burning Fireplaces

Traditionally, when people consider the available options for real burning fireplaces, they consider either a wood burning or gas fueled fireplace. I'd like to explore the third option; gel fireplaces. To highlight the characteristics of gel fueled fireplaces, I'll compare them to their wood burning counterpart. Most gas fueled fireplaces are used with the addition of wooden logs, so indirect comparisons could also be made in the following text. To make the comparison, I'll examine the topics of maintenance, versatility and style.

Maintenance and cleanliness are very important to homeowners. Gel fireplaces create either smoke nor ash, which are the primary concerns of ordinary fireplaces. This makes maintenance and cleaning very easy. Depending on the type of gel fireplace, you may only have to clean glass and wood components, like any other piece of furniture. Consult the manufacturer's literature or the many how-to sites available online for tips on caring for these materials. Gel fireplaces have fuel that comes in metallic cans, which are easy to replace. Wood burning fireplaces require the log to fully burn into ash, which can occasionally extend to the area immediately surrounding the fireplace. Ash usually spreads when logs are added and repositioned, or when fireplace tools are inserted and withdrawn from the fireplace. This leads to additional sweeping and vacuuming. Also, chimneys may require cleaning, as they become a fire hazard if a blockage occurs.

Wood burning fireplaces require ventilation, usually a chimney, and surrounding masonry. The masonry insulated the rest of the structure from the fire and provides a safe area for embers to fall and smoke to rise. Unfortunately, this requires them to be fixed in one spot of the home. Gel fuel is a very popular choice for both fixed and portable fireplaces. Portable fireplaces can be used indoors and outdoors. Also, they are virtual installation free. This makes gel fireplaces ideal for apartment residents looking to have the warmth of a real flame without going through any construction.

Personally, I love the look of a traditional red brick or darkly stained wooden mantel around a roaring flame. No one could claim that traditional fireplaces lack style or charm. Gel fireplaces have even been designed to imitate the look of regular fireplaces. This includes artificial logs and beautifully crafted mantles. However, gel fireplaces do allow for modern, even futuristic styles, to be implemented. Without a log and the resulting ash, the space inside the fireplace can be used in new ways to produce surprisingly new looks in home heating. This includes using more glass and less bulky fixtures, which creates a clean, minimalist look.

What Kind of Glass Should I Use in My Fireplace Or Wood Stove?

This is a question we hear a lot. Pyroceram, Neoceram, Robax, Tempered glass? The answer will very depending on the style you have. There are many different types of fireplaces and wood stoves that use a wide variety of different glass. This article will help you to decide which type you have and how to order it. There are just a few simple questions you need to answer in order to do so.

– 1st – Do you have a fireplace or a wood stove? If you know the answer to that question then move on down. If your not sure then lets take a look at each one. Most fireplaces have 2 or more doors on the front. Where as for wood stoves they typically have just one door. Most wood stoves seal at the door with a fire-gasket. A fiberglass material that makes a air tight seal when the door is closed. There are also fireplace inserts, which are pretty much wood stoves slid into a masonry fireplace. The idea is to make your fireplace, wood stove or insert as efficient as possible while still providing a beautiful view of the fire.

– 2nd – Now that you know what type of gas/wood burner you have. What kind of glass is currently in it? We are going to assume that the original manufacturer glass is in the unit. When the original glass broke, did it break in a million little pieces or did it break in larger “chunks” of glass. If the glass broke in a million pieces then is a tempered glass. To learn more about Tempered glass click here.

If the glass just cracked, or broke out if bigger chunks then it is know as a glass-ceramic. Commonly know as PyroCeram®(not Pyroceran), Robax or Neoceram. Just different brand names for the same type of product. On this site we use the term PyroCeram®. To learn more about PyroCeram® click here.

– 3rd – What kind of heat does your unit put out? Is it a gas unit, using natural gas or propane? A wood burner that just for looks. Or a Air tight wood burner that produces over 600 degrees?

If it is a gas unit, then it typically uses tempered glass. All though gas units do put out heat, the top end of the heat against the glass is less then 400 degrees. The tempered glass in these units is usually of a clear tint. If you have a masonry fireplace. A fireplace built in the home with brick and mortar. They can have a set of fireplace doors applied to the opening. These type of fireplaces are not very efficient and do not generate heat much higher than 400 degrees. At least not for any extended period of time. The glass in these types of door systems are typically tempered.

If you have an air tight wood stove or insert. These units can generate up to 1200 degrees and are very efficient. The glass in these units must be Pyroceram. Using any other type of glass will cause the glass to fail and could cause a home fire. Pyroceram glass has an amber tint in color. If you have a high efficiency fireplace. This is a fire place that is not air tight, but has a adjustable damper that allows you to control and slow down the fire to burn more efficiently and generate more heat. These units generally supply heat in the 600-1000 degree temperature range and need to use Pyroceram glass.

– Lastly – If your not sure about any of the above, there are still a couple of ways to find out. Look in your owners manual. It should tell your what type of glass was supplied. Contact the company you got it from. They should be aware of the different types and can advise you. Or just send us an email and give us as much info as you can. Brand name, size, wood or gas, and take a picture and attach it. We have seen most of the types out there and should be able to tell you what you need. Still not sure. Then replace it with Pyroceram. This will cover all the bases. It is able to be used in all the applications that we have covered.

Can I Save the Planet?

Ideas to save the planet include grand schemes that only Governments could attempt, down to the small but incrementally effective actions of individuals.

The 'every little helps' approach has a lot to commend it. Everyone can take a unique part, guided by his or her own preference, yet collectively there is great effect. And there are so many options.

We could save water by putting a bucket in the shower, fixing leaky taps, only running the washing machine when it is full, and taking shorter showers.

We could conserve energy by switching off the lights, installing energy saving globes, lagging the roof or only opening the fridge door when we have to.

We could travel less. Between us we made 2.5 billion aircraft journeys in 2009, the result of an ongoing surge in wandering the globe helped by growing affluence and a 60% drop in ticket prices over the last 40 years. Projections are for 3.3 billion journeys by 2014, but we could choose to move around less often.

We could eat less meat. The 'mean American diet' (often referred to by the killer acronym MAD) requires 71% more land and 340% more active nitrogen (the key nutrient for plant growth) to produce than an average vegetarian diet. Being a vegetarian massively reduces your environmental footprint.

All these personal choices are mitigation actions. Ideas for changes to behavior that reduce demand on energy and natural resources and also reduce pollution. Even if only half of us acted on these suggestions we would lower global energy demand, reduce water use and ease the pressure on a host of natural resources. If we all did it, then we might save the planet.

And this is where these articles usually finish. Yes we can! Go turn off the light or even run for office and get some big schemes cooking.

What if the planet does not need saving? Suppose that the trajectory of human exploitation and appropriation of resources is just part of the rich journey of life on earth. Then, by definition, I can not save it.

Convention says that a catastrophic meteorite strike killed off the dinosaurs. What if they had already become so numerous as to have ate themselves out of all available cycads and the dark clouds from all the dust simply tipped a balance that was already teetering?

There is always an alternative explanation to convention. One alternative to saving the planet is that it's not up for being saved. Sure it is changing, and much of that change is a result of human activity from land clearing to pollution. But the earth has changed before and will again.

Perhaps a better question is 'can I save myself?' Not in the selfish sense of pushing to be the first into the lifeboat of a sinking ship, but to save a sense of self and a personal relationship with the earth. This has more depth than conserving electricity and, in time, answers all the questions.

Understanding the Art of Dale Chihuly

One of the things that can define a culture is the different types of artwork that are created. Throughout the years, there have been many different styles and types of famous artwork that have made a statement on different cultures. One style of art that is very popular is sculptures.

One of the great things about sculptures is that they can be created from a variety of different materials. Another aspect of sculptures is that they can either be abstract or realistic. One popular artist who uses sculptures to make a statement is Dale Chihuly.

The type of material that Dale Chihuly uses to create his sculptures is glass. What separates Chihuly from other artists in the same field is his use of color. In 1967, Chihuly was one of the first artists to begin using argon, neon and blown glass to create his magnificent sculptures. His different styles of art lead him to be co-founder of the Pilchuck School in Washington. He also served as the director of the school from its inception in 1971 until 1989.

Dale Chihuly and his associates have helped to forever change the art of creating sculptures from glass. Chihuly and his associates have created new shapes of blown glass and have also been able to redefine some of the existing shapes of blown glass.

What makes Chihuly's sculptures different from those of other artists is how he arranges the different parts of the sculpture. The first technique that he used to create his sculptures was to create each individual piece of the sculpture and then attach all of the separate pieces together. He later created a method of forming molds that could later be used to create art pieces which possessed ribbed motifs. He is also well known for his use of brightly colored glass.