How To

Difficult Carpet Stain Removal

Newer technology has changed the way carpet stains are treated. According to a fellow from Bend Carpet Cleaning, some of the newer products used to treat carpet stains include BlueMagic 900, Folex & OxyDry spot remover. These treat stains with enzymes that break down the stain on the molecular level.

A few simple steps and your carpet stain will be resolved. Read more…

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How to Take Care of a Venus Flytrap

Venus flytraps are fun plants that are fascinating to watch. As one of the most accessible carnivorous plants, they are available in most garden stores and big-box home improvement stores.

However, it can be difficult to keep a Venus flytrap healthy and alive for long. The conditions inside the typical home simply aren’t remotely similar to the conditions in the rainforest that flytraps originally called home. The low humidity levels indoors make it necessary to grow Venus flytraps under domes to create the right conditions. Read more…

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How to Put up Rain Gutters

How to Put up Rain Gutters

Adding gutters to your home can be an important way to save your house from water damage and flooding. Gutters, also known as eaves troughs, can keep water out of the basement and prevent the home’s foundation from getting moldy. A professional may best install some gutters, such as long seamless or decorative gutters, however, smaller sectional ones can be attached by anyone. Here, we explain how to put up rain gutters. Read more…

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How to Build a Ramp for Elderly People | Ramp for Elderly

Ramp for ElderlyRamp for Elderly

If you have an elderly family member, a ramp for elderly folks is a necessity. But, ramps for elderlyaren’t just for wheelchairs. While some elderly people don’t have any trouble walking, climbing steps can prove to be a challenge. A wheelchair ramp can make it much easier for them to leave or return to their home.

If you have rental properties, you must follow certain codes and guidelines, but whether it’s your home or one you rent to someone, you need to follow building codes. Not only is it the law, it will make a much safer ramp for anyone that is disabled or elderly to use. Read more…

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Feng Shui for Beginners | Learning Feng Shui for Beginners

Feng Shui Lucky CoinsFeng Shui for Beginners

Ever walk into a strange place and instantly feel comfortable and at home? If so you are probably feeling the effects of feng shui, the Chinese art of balance in design and placement. Pronounced “fung shway”, the phrase translates literally as “wind-water” and is an ancient philosophy that seeks to create balance between artificially created environments and the natural elements, including water, wood, metal, fire and earth. By creating this balance, practitioners believe positive energy, or “ch’i” is enhanced and brought close, benefiting those surrounded by it. Followers believe this ch’i will bring prosperity, renewed vigor, and health, making feng shui one of the more popular trends to emerge in recent years. Read more…

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Ceiling Fan Installation | Installing a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan InstallationCeiling Fan Installation

Ceiling fans in your home can be a real energy saver with an added bonus of more comfort for everyone at little cost for the electrical power that operates the fan units. Fans are less expensive to buy now than several years ago, making the total package a bargain from store, to ceiling, to air circulation. Ceiling fan installation is not incredibly difficult. Read on to find out how.

Ceiling fans help lower both air conditioning and heating costs. In air-conditioned rooms, the cool air tends to pool on the floor surface. With the paddles of a slow turning ceiling fan stirring the air, cool air is distributed throughout the room. In heating situations, rooms may be comfortable at a floor level, but uncomfortably warm near the ceiling: a sleeping loft; and upper berth of a bunk bed; or a room with a cathedral ceiling are good examples. The fan corrects this by circulating the rising warm air throughout the room. It costs just pennies to distribute the costly-produced heat. A ceiling fan working during the summer season to cool can provide plenty of comfort for a fraction of the cost of running a window or central air conditioning unit.

Ceiling Fan Installation – The Right Size

THE RIGHT BLADE SPAN:Critical in choosing a ceiling fan is the correct blade span. The span is the distance from the tip of one blade to the tip of another opposite blade.

Thirty-six inch fans are the rooms up to 9×12 feet. Examples are kitchens, bathrooms, large closets.

Forty-two inch fans are designed for rooms up to 12×15 feet. Examples are kid’s bedrooms, large kitchens, family rooms, studies.

Fifty-two inch fans are for rooms larger than 12×15 feet. Living rooms, dining rooms, large porches, master bedrooms, recreation rooms, large family rooms are examples.

The number of fan blades can be important in your ceiling fan selection. Most fans have four blades. Others have five or six blades. The additional blades permit a smaller fan to produce similar air movement of a larger fan. For example, a smaller fan with more than four blades is about equal to a larger fan with four blades.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Configuration

DIFFERENT CONFIGURATIONS:There are three different basic installation configurations you should consider: downrod style, next-to-the-ceiling style, and “duomount” style.

Downrod-This is the traditional style. The design incorporates an 8-inch downrod from the ceiling to the top of the fan motor. The design is tailored to rooms with high ceilings-those over 8-feet-or rooms where the fan will be installed over furniture. It is an excellent choice for cathedral ceilings. Downrod units generally have a self-aligning ball hanging canopy. This device lets you install the fans on ceilings with up to a 45-degree slope or pitch.

Next-to-ceiling-For ceilings 8 feet or less, this style is a wise choice. Installation permits maximum clearance in rooms which have high traffic. There are two configurations in this style:

Adapter configuration-This utilizes a traditional fan design. It has a bottom plate, side band, and top plate. Instead of a downrod, the adapter provides additional clearance from the bottom of the fan to the floor.

Cannister configuration- It has the same clearance as the adapter. Its design combines traditional and modern styling in a unique look.

Duo-Mount style- It permits a traditional downrod installation or a next-to-ceiling installation.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Specs
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:The blades of ceiling fans must be at least 7 feet from the floor. There should be at least 12 inches of clearance between the top of the blades and the ceiling surface of the room in which the fan is installed. The blades should also be free to rotate: no obstructions in the rotation path. If you are doubtful about blade clearance, be sure to check the length of the fan blades at the store.

Ceiling fans operate on regular housepower. You can connect the fans directly to the wires in a ceiling outlet box, for example. No electric transformers or special switching devices are needed. Or, you can run a power wire to the outlet box. Buy No. 12/2 wire with ground for this installation. You can tap into an existing power wire in the attic or crawl space. Or, you can fish a wire to a wall outlet and tap into power at this point. A third alternative is to run a wire from the main electrical entrance panel. However, you should have a professional make this connection-and the other connections, if you don’t have the know-how.

CAUTION:Before working with electrical wires, turn off the power to the circuit on which you will be working at the main electrical service entrance. Do not flip a switch in the room and expect the power to be off. Go to the source panel.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Installation
Installation Data:Hanging brackets can vary slightly by fan design and the manufacturer of the fan. Most brackets have a ball and socket of J-hook suspension. The ball-and-socket keeps the fan in a level mode while it is running -and not running and the device also helps prevent vibration and noise created by the rotation of the fan blades at various speeds.

Some manufacturers suspend their fans with a J-hook device. The fan just hooks over a bracket connected to a ceiling joist or other similar framing in the ceiling.

To install any ceiling fan to an existing outlet in the ceiling, remove the ceiling light first. In order: remove the cap nut holding the decorative covering or escutcheon over the electrical ceiling box; then unscrew the lock nut, strap or hanger bracket, and the stud or nipple assembly that connects to the center of the box; after you turn off the power at the main service entrance, disconnect the power wires from the light socket assembly. If there is just an escutcheon or decorative plate hiding the ceiling box, simply remove the nut holding the escutcheon to the box.

If there is no light or escutcheon, there may still be an electrical box hidden by plaster or gypsum board joint cement. If you get at an angle to the light on the ceiling, you may be able to detect a slight texture difference in ceiling material, and that’s where the box will be located. Peel back the ceiling covering material with a cold chisel and hammer to reveal the ceiling box or electrical connection at this point.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Bracket
SWIVEL BRACKET-The bracket usually is attached to the framing member that supports the electrical box. This member can be a joist, rafter, or “cripple” that has been nailed into position to support the electrical box.

Do not attach the bracket to the electrical box make sure the bracket is fastened to a framing member that is securely fastened. This framing must support the weight of the fan as well as the torque produced by the rotation of the fan blades.

Ceiling Fan Installation – J Hooks
J HOOKS- If the fan will be mounted on J-hooks the device is also fastened to a framing member such as a ceiling joist. It goes through a knockout in the bottom of the electrical box directly into the framing member. Do not fasten the j hook to the electrical box.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Beams
ON EXPOSED BEAMS-If the fan will be mounted on an exposed beam ceiling, such as in a room with cathedral ceiling, position the fan between the beams, using a 2×4 or 2×6-inch length of wood between the beams to hang the fan. You can use a fan with a ball-and-socket type (swivel) hanging device. Or, you can buy a “Hang-Fast” bracket (or similar bracket) for the installation. There usually must be 6 ins. of space for the bracket. Brackets also may be used where attic crawl space is not available for mounting and hooking up the ceiling fan.

The blocking between exposed beams can be spiked to the beams with 16d or 20d nails. If 16d, use finishing nails, countersink the nailheads, and fill the holes with a matching wood filler.

Then install a ceiling electrical box to the wood blocking. Knock out the round plug in the bottom or side of the box to accept the power wire and the box connection. The knockout is also for the hanger, which is fastened to the blocking through the knockout. Do not fasten the hanger to the ceiling box. The ceiling box hanger will be covered by the coiling escutcheon usually provided in the fan kit.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Ceilings
ON FINISHED CEILINGS-If the fan will be installed on a finished ceiling that has no outlet/wiring, find a joist or rafter behind the ceiling covering and cut a hole through the covering where you want the fan to be located. Make the hole a bit larger than the electrical outlet box that you must install.

With a saw, notch the framing member the width and depth of the box so the bottom of the box will be flush with the surface of the ceiling. Or, mount it on the side of the framing member so the bottom is almost flush with the bottom of the ceiling material.

Power wires (12/2 with ground) are “fished” between the joists or above them, if there is a crawl space above the ceiling. The power may be tapped from an existing circuit (turn off the power before working), or you can run a brand new circuit from the main electrical panel. Have a professional electrician make this connection. Since a ceiling fan doesn’t require special electrical power, try to tie-in to the power on an existing circuit.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Pitched Ceiling
PITCHED CEILING OR BEAM-If the ceiling is slightly pitched or the fan will hang from a beam, it is recommended that you use either a swivel hanger or angle kit. These hangers permit the fan to hang level. The fan can be supported by a hook. You’ll need a block of wood to support the hook and fan. Use a short length of 4×4. Pre-drill it and bolt it to the beam. The power wire can be staple-nailed along the top or bottom edge of a beam and then routed into the electrical ceiling box. You can paint or stain the cable so it matches the beam and doesn’t show.

Mount the bracket and put the blades into the holders. Now fasten the blades to the fan Switch operation from fan. Wiring hookup is for 3-speed pull chain. Wiring provides for optional light kit, which is operated independently of the fan by pull chain switch. Ground is green.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Assembly
GENERAL FAN ASSEMBLY:Most ceiling fans are assembled the same way. There may be slight variations between manufacturers, but the difference will be noted in the instructions in the fan package, if present. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Screw the hanger to a framing member, making sure the hanger and the framing member is securely fastened. The hanger may go “through” a knockout in the electrical box.
  2. It is never connected to the box. Run the downrod through the canopy. Then run the three electrical wires from the fan through the downrod assembly.
  3. Assemble the downrod into the motor stem. e Attach the downrod to the motor stem, insert the bolt provided and insert and spread the cotter pin. Fasten the set screw so it is secure.
  4. Lift the fan into position without the blades attached. Put the vaulted ceiling mount or swivel into the hanger bracket. Now connect the power wires as explained elsewhere in this article.
  5. If the fan has a light kit, remove the switch housing on the fan and the center screw. Screw the light kit onto the bottom plate. Have a helper hold the kit assembly in position while you connect the fan’s blue wire to the light’s black wire and the fan’s white wire to the light’s white wire. Use wire nuts for these splices and wrap them with electrician’s tape (plastic type). Now screw on the bottom plate, light and attach the glass.
  6. Mount the bracket and put the blades into the holders. Now fasten the blades to the fan motor. The unit is assembled.
  7. Connect the fan to power. The white wire goes to white, and black to black. The ground wire connects to the ceiling box via a screw or clip. Or it is spliced to an incoming ground wire. Check to make sure that the fan operates in forward and reverse. If the fan has a light kit, test the lights at this point.

Ceiling Fan Installation – Wiring
Wiring hookup to control light from a wall switch-This connection lets you control the fan with the factory 3-speed control, but with a separate wall switch for an optional light kit.

To control fan with 3-speed transformer and a standard wall switch or supplemental variable control. For variable speed, leave pull chain on the high speed setting.

To control fan and the light from a wall switch. Put the pull chain on high speed, although the chain can be put in any speed without damaging the motor.
ceiling fan installation, easy ceiling fan installation

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How to Repair Cracked Concrete | Concrete Repair

Cracked ConcreteHow to Repair Cracked Concrete

It doesn’t take a lot of skill to make repairs in concrete walks and driveways. It takes some muscle, however and you can get wet and dirty. The money you will save and the rewards of doing it yourself are worth it. There is one caution: always, without fail, wear safety glasses and heavy gloves when chipping concrete. In this guide on how to repair cracked concrete you will find patching techniques to make repair jobs go easier. We can’t offer any special pointers on how to keep you dry and clean.

How to Repair Cracked Concrete – Cracks

PATCHING CRACKS:One of the most common masonry repair jobs is patching cracks in concrete. Before you patch the area, first determine what is causing the crack, if possible. If the crack is a structural problem, it must be corrected; otherwise, the crack will simply keep getting larger and larger. Read more…

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How to Sneak Into a Movie | Sneaking Into a Movie

Movie, Popcorn, Tickets (won't be needing them he he)How to Sneak Into a Movie

Before you can hop into a movie you first have to get into the theater, here are a few way on how to sneak into a movie. If you have any additional ways of getting into a theater without getting caught please let me know and I will add them to the list. However you get into a theater I can not stress enough that you do not sneak through the back there are cameras and alarms, it’s not impossible to get by theses but it is a lot easier to sneak through the front door. Movie employees will not usually ask to see your ticket unless you are suspicious or they are checking everyone’s ticket for a special engagement, stay away from screens where they are checking tickets if you don’t have a ticket for that showing.

Keep in mind that at most theaters, the shift will change around 5:00 so if you go just before then the new shift will not recognize you, so you will be free to hop to another movie (Thanks to Dave and Big Rob for that tip).

How to Sneak Into a Movie – Options

Pay for a ticket This is by far the easiest and most reliable way to get into a theater, simply pay for a ticket and you’re in.

Use the rest room There are some theaters where they will let you use the restroom because there are no other restrooms in the area, just go in while it’s really busy and when you come out, go down the hall and into a movie . If it is busy enough then you should be able to go un-noticed.

Use the phone This is the same principal as the restroom, you just need to time it right, if about 4 movies are letting in at the same time the should be enough diversion that you can slip past the workers without a problem.

Buying popcorn This one is a bit of a stretch, you can ask the door person if you can go in to by some popcorn. We all know that movie popcorn is the best so they will usually let you do this but unless it’s really busy then you can’t get lost in the crowd.

Have a friend bring you a ticket stub If you are in a group of say five then you can get away with only buying three tickets. Three people buy tickets and go sit down, two of those people stay and the third takes all three ticket stubs and gives two to the fourth and fifth people, keeping the third stub for himself. This will work best when there are 2 or more entrances to a theater so the same door guy doesn’t see you going in and out. Note: This works because you only need a ticket stub for a current movie to enter a theater. also Chris says “the whole buy a ticket and slipped it between 2 people does not really work. in my facility as well as many others, the two halves of the ticket are different. i train my floor man to only take one side.”

Ask for a stub While I don’t suggest this next technique I have seen it done. You ask people in the movie for ticket stubs and then take them out to your friends. I can’t honestly suggest that you try this because there is no way to tell who you are asking for a stub, it could be an off duty theater employee and that would end your hopping real quick.

How to Sneak Into a Movie – Backdoor
Sneaking in the back door or through a theater exit Listen carefully to this one, THERE ARE CAMERAS at the back doors and ALARMS on the theater exits. It is far easier to sneak in the front then it is through the back. DO NOT SNEAK THROUGH THE BACK DOOR.

Follow a wondering child from Reed Little kids have a tendency to wander around and run past people at the door, it’s only natural for a parent to run after them. If the child runs out of view from the person at the door then you should be home free. This one could work but it is sometimes hard to get kids to wander where you want them. Note: Please use children that you personally know (your own, a younger sibling, the neighborhood kid), do not go bribing strange children with candy to do this for you or someone will think you are trying to poison then or abduct them and you could get put in jail. If you try this I will find you and kick you in the groin so don’t do it.

Get a free ticket Jameson If you live in a big city, find out where and how to get all the free passes to screenings you can. If that movie is like some hot or whatever, no problem — because once you’re in, just go into whatever you want. This is an excellent way to get into a movie theater. Listen to special radio announcements and the local news segment on the morning news.

How to Sneak Into a Movie – Old Stubs
Old ticket stubs Chad Just use your old stubs. It really works quite well, especially when they are the line is long and they are letting in several patrons. Keep this in mind. When you are a 15-18 year old theater worker and being paid a little above minimum wage to tear tickets, you could care less about people sneaking in–I know that I did. Usually, just flashing a stub is enough to get you in. If it’s real busy too, just hold up your stub outside of the line and step over the rope. The pimply-faced kid tearing tickets isn’t going to stop to grab your stub and double-check it. This really depends on two things. One is the guy checking to stubs a jerk? If it was I then I would probably check the stub because that’s how I got my jollies. Two is it really busy? If it’s super busy then they can’t really run after you because more people are coming though the door with tickets and you are in.

Another trick with old stubs Kit Theaters with more than one floor often will post workers to make sure that you belong on that floor. (If a 25 plex has theaters 20-25 on the 3rd floor, you will need to show a stub for one of those theaters to get on the 3rd floor). If your first movie was on the first floor and the next one you want to see is say, on the second, just whip out a stub from the last time you bought a ticket for the movie on the second floor. Put your thumb over the date and name of the old movie, and just let them see that you have an appropriate number. I have not had any experiences with multiple story multiplexes so I can’t say if this would work but if you make sure that you cover up the date and that the movie is still playing on that level things should be cool.

Credit card receipt Kit With the new credit card machines in theaters, another way to sneak in without paying is possible. The machines print out a receipt that is the same size of a ticket, and perforated in the middle just like a ticket. Go to the flick with a friend, buy one ticket and put the credit card receipt underneath it. Hand them to the ticket taker at the same time. I doubt they will look at the underneath “ticket” because it feels exactly the same. Ask where the nearest bathroom is when you hand it to them, and that will distract them. This also works best when a lot of people are entering the theater. The key here is the distraction. By taking the ushers mind off of what they are doing you increase the chance of this trick working. This one all really depends on how much the usher is paying attention but it would probably work most of the time, especially when it is busy. On the same note you can buy a child’s ticket and get in for half price (Trish)

How to Sneak Into a Movie – Job App Technique
Apply for a job Ian Another great way to sneak in is to ask to apply for a job at the theater! You will always be taken to the manager’s office, where you’ll be asked to fill out an application. The usher always walks away, and the manager doesn’t pay you any attention, so after you apply, you are in the theater, free to sneak into the movies! This method works best if you’re in high school, about the age of the average worker at a movie theater. While this will get you in the theater it probably isn’t a good idea. As a general rule of thumb you should wait till you have the job before you start stealing from your employer. Don’t do this if you are serious about working at the theater, this practice is unprofessional to say the least.

Getting a refund Studman If you ask for a refund within the first 15 or so minutes most theaters will refund your money, you can use this to see movies for free. You and a buddy go to see a movie and have him save your seat while you take both ticket stubs to get a refund. On the way there “befriend” the doorman so he or she will remember you, you might say that you have to set your car alarm or something like that. Go to the box office and get a refund. Visit your good buddy the doorman and slip back into your theater. This tip was trimmed for clarity, if I messed up let me know studman. Anyway this is a pretty solid plan to see movies for free, you just have to be a people person and be friendly, other than that you shouldn’t have a problem.

How to Sneak Into a Movie – Getting Caught, Yikes!
OK you get caught, don’t panic, and remember it’s just the movie theater not Fort Knox. If you get caught sneaking into most theaters they will just kick you out, some may have harsher penalties, which you should look into before you go hopping. If you get caught there isn’t too much you can do, just remember you did get caught doing something you shouldn’t have been doing, be polite, and don’t argue because you have no good argument. Below are a couple of things that you could try to make things a little easier on everyone involved in you getting caught.

Say that you lost your ticket (Doesn’t work)In the two years that I worked at the theater the most common thing that hoppers used as an excuse was that they had lost their stub. I’ll tell you right now that this does not work, all movie theater employees have heard it before, it is useless.

Flirting If you happen to get caught by a member of the opposite sex you could always try to flirt your way out of the situation, it’s a long shot but heck you are already caught so it couldn’t hurt to try.

Be honest This will not get you into the movie but things will be resolved quickly. Just admit that you hopped into the theater, they will escort you out and have you leave (most likely). Try something like “Yes I did sneak in” That’s it then just get up and leave. Don’t cause any problems just be quiet and leave. This is highly recommended as you are stuck so you might as well make the situation as pleasant as possible.

Bribing Aaron (noych)If you get caught, and have no other options except admit guilt, then I can suggest one last effort to stay in and see the movie. Since most theater ushers are poorly paid high school students use the thing that motivates them to kick you out. Ask them if they would like to escort you to the movie for a crisp 5-dollar bill. This is cheaper than an 8 dollar ticket, gets you into the movie, and is 5 dollars the usher is making for “overlooking” one person.

This will either work quite well or get you kicked out for trying to bribe the usher, it just depends on the usher that you run into. It is an option if you are desperate to see the movie.
How to Sneak Into a Movie, Tips on How to Sneak Into a Movie
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Knife Handle Replacement | How to Replace a Knife Handle

Kitchen KnifeKnife Handle Replacement

Perhaps you have an older knife that you are fond of, but the handle is cracked or damaged in some way and you would like to replace it. In this article we explain knife handle replacement so you can do the job yourself.

For our method of replacing knife handles, you will need these tools: an ice pick, a fine-toothed wood saw, a hacksaw, a file, a drill, a C-clamp, wire cutters, nails, epoxy glue, and a piece of wood for the handle. The rivets in our new handle will be fashioned from nails.

Knife Handle Replacement – Types

First, we need some basics about knife handles. There are only two main types: full-tang, which extends completely through the knife handle; and half-tang, which extends partially through the handle. The tang is the part of the steel that protrudes into the handle.

Knife Handle Replacement – Full-Tang
Since full-tang knives are perhaps the easiest ones to put handles on, we will explain this method first. You will need two slabs of wood. A piece of hardwood would be nice, but if you cannot obtain any, you can cut the slabs from a piece of 1/4 inch plywood. Before you start, you should wrap the blade of the knife with thick tape to completely cover the cutting edge for safety. Then you can remove the old handles by clamping the knife to a solid object and using a hacksaw to cut into the old handle at an angle near each rivet. Cut so that the rivets are completely sliced loose.

Knife Handle Replacement – Remove Rust & Dirt
After removing the handles, you will probably see rust or dirt or other accumulation on the tang of the blade. You will need to scrape, wash, or sand away this material. After cleaning, place the knife tang on the plywood and trace out two slabs to be cut. Then clamp the plywood to a table or solid object and saw out the slabs being careful to saw outside of the pencil lines. Next, lay the knife tang on each of the slabs and mark where the rivet holes should go with a pencil. Then start a hole in the center of each mark with your ice pick.

If you are using a drill press, you should have no trouble keeping the bit perpendicular to the slabs. But if you are using a hand-held drill this can be a problem. For this reason, you will use rivets made from nails that are a little smaller in diameter than the holes in the knife tang to allow for any misalignment that occurs during drilling. We will make the rivets from nails, so try to select a drill bit of the same diameter (if the bit is slightly larger or smaller it will still work).

After drilling the holes, place the slabs on the tang and the nails through the holes. You may have to enlarge some of the holes by reaming them out with your ice pick. Then cut the nails to proper lengths with wire cutters and file the ends down smooth.

Then set your new rivets aside and remove the slabs. Bevel down the edges by rubbing them with course sandpaper. Use both medium and fine sandpaper to smooth the bevel at the blade end of the slabs since you will not be able to smooth it after the slabs have been attached.

Knife Handle Replacement – Clean the Tang

Make sure the tang is free from any dirt, grease, or rust and that it has been roughened up with sandpaper.

Next, mix the epoxy and apply it to the tang. Dip the rivets in epoxy and insert them. Lightly clamp the slabs with the C-clamp using cardboard pads to prevent the slabs from being dented. After allowing the epoxy to dry thoroughly, smooth the bevels and finish by rubbing the handle with mineral oil.

Knife Handle Replacement – Half-Tang
To replace the handle on a half-tang knife, first we will fashion the new handle from a block of wood about 3/4 inch thick. Think of a handle shape you would like and draw it on the side of the block of wood. Or you may just want to outline your old handle. If so, draw it a little larger to allow for the sanding. (Remember to wrap the knife blade with tape first for safety.) Then draw a line in the middle of the block at the end where the tang will be inserted. Continue to line up each side of the block to the depth that the tang will be inserted. Now place the block in a vise, or clamp it to something solid
and saw carefully down the line.

Take the knife with the handle you want to replace and saw through the rivets with the hacksaw. Remove the handle, then clean and sand the tang as you did with the full-tang knife.

Knife Handle Replacement – Enlarging the Slot

You will probably need to enlarge the slot you have sawn before the tang can be inserted. Simply insert sandpaper into the slot and sand back and forth, stopping periodically to check the tang for proper fit. Work the sandpaper on both sides of the slot to keep it centered in the block. When the tang can fit into the slot snugly, then saw, whittle, and sand the block to the handle shape you want. Sight down the slot as you work to keep everything properly centered.

Remember to smooth the bevel at the blade end of the handle with fine sandpaper before installing the tang, since you will not be able to smooth it afterward.

Knife Handle Replacement – Alignment
Lay the handle on a table and place the tang on top of it, aligning it with the depth of the slot and sides of the handle. Mark the holes for the rivets, then start a hole in the center of each mark with the ice pick, and proceed as you did with the full-tang knife.

Remember to clean all dirt, grease and rust from the tang and roughen it up with sand paper before applying the epoxy.
Knife Handle Replacement

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Drafty Door | Fix a Drafty Door ASAP!

Drafty DoorDrafty Door

Having a draft through the doors and windows can be annoying and uncomfortable, but it can also be bad news for the energy bill, since most of the heat and cooling can escape through gaps in the door. Doors have a harder time remaining weatherproofed, since they are used very frequently. In order to stop a draft from getting in around or underneath in a door, the gap needs to be sealed while still allowing the door to be used.

There are a few solutions that can assist in weather proofing a drafty door. The most effective solutions contain vinyl or padding that can be installed on a doorstop. They are often attached to the door and the vinyl and padding seals air from getting in and out, but still allows for the door to be easily used.

Drafty Door – Brass Strips

Another effective type of weatherproofing is by using bronze or brass strips. When the door is closed, these strips bend and create a tight fit. They can be a little tricky to install, but they last a long time and tend to resist wear and tear. Foam is not generally a good solution in keeping out a draft because it often causes problems with the opening and closing of a door. It is also not durable enough for constant use, and replacement is often necessary.

Drafty Door – Threshold

While you can weather strip the door, be sure to check the threshold. Fixing a draft through the threshold can be tricky or even complicated, so an easy solution is to install a door sweep. These can be adjusted and cover enough of the threshold to prevent a draft. Shopping for storm door can help with drafts, as well as insulation for the home. The frames of the storm doors and windows can be screwed to the casings, and then sealed with caulk. Most of these storm doors also have a door bottoms that are adjustable, so they can fit tightly with the door threshold.

Fixing drafts in doors and windows can make a living environment more comfortable, as well as saving energy and money. All homeowners should complete such an easy fix, whether you live in hot or cold climates.

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Concrete Walks | Building a Concrete Walk

Concrete Walks

If you’re a newcomer to concrete projects, you’ll find that building a concrete walkway is a super introduction to working with this hard material. Concrete walks are well within most do-it-yourselfer’s to suit your situation. You can make it as wide or narrow as you need. However, in most cases it should not be narrower than 2 feet. The scale of the job is much less than a project such as a concrete driveway or large patio.

Concrete Walks – Step 1

The first step is to design the walk 5 feet wide, unless you have a wheelchair user in the family. Most municipal sidewalks that front a property are 5 feet wide , while sidewalks to front doors are from 3 to 4 feet wide. The sidewalk you plan may be subject to local building codes. Check this with the building department in your community .

A sidewalk is almost always 3-1/2 inches thick, although it is called a 4 inch slab This is because the width of a 2X4 is used for forming the sidewalk and the actual width of a 2X4 is 3-1/2 inches. The thickness, of course, can be about any size that you want.

EXCAVATING PROCEDURES: The depth of the excavation can vary a great deal, depending on the climate in your area, the desired height of the walk above ground level, and the type of soil conditions.

If the soil is extremely hard and dry packed and you live in a temperate climate free of ground heave and erosion, you may not want to excavate at all. In this case, scrape back the grass or roots and debris and then level out the area for the walk.

However, contractors usually excavate to a depth of at least 2 inches, skimming off the sod and some of the top soil. Then, when the 2X4s are set on edge, the top edge of the form-and also the sidewalk will be about 2 inches above the ground level.

If, on the other hand, the soil is wet or poorly drained, it is best to excavate at least 6 to 8 inches and lay down a base of gravel or crushed stone that comes to within 2 inches of ground level. The form board will again extend 2 inches above ground. For example, if you dug down 6 inches into the ground, you would then need 4 inches of tamped base to bring the form board up to the correct height. If there is a lot of excavating to do, it is recommended that you have a professional grader excavate for you. The price will not be prohibitive; get at least three bids for the job and a definite time schedule for the work to be done.

To mark the walk’s location, use stakes and two parallel chalk lines. Measure the width carefully. Excavate an area that extends 6 to 9 inches farther (or even more) on each side of the location of the sidewalk so you can have room for the form boards. You can later fill in against the sidewalk edges.

THE BASE AND THE FORMS: To build the form, position two parallel boards in the excavation so that their inside edges form the sidewalk sides. Drive stakes in place next to the ends of the form boards. Starting at the ground level’s highest point, raise the ends of the boards up wit their top edges about 2 inches above ground level.

Check for level with a carpenter’s level across the tops of the two form boards. Fasten the boards to the stakes with scaffolding (double-headed) nails. If the stakes are not flush with or slightly below the tops of the form, saw them off when the form is completed.

Raise the opposite ends of the boards up to suit, either following the contour of the ground, or raising them to match the desired pitch. Then drive stakes, spaced every 3 feet along the form boards and nail the stakes to the form boards. Use double-headed nails throughout, nailing from the outside of the forms.

Install a stake at any location where two form boards join together. Nail the stake to both form boards. Butt the two boards tightly. If the ends of the boards are angled or uneven, square them off with a saw before nailing them into position.

Oiling The Forms- Oil the form boards by painting on crankcase oil with an old paint brush. With the oil treatment, the boards will not stick to the concrete or absorb water from the pour and weaken the concrete. Nail the end form boards to the side forms and drive stakes against the ends to hold them securely in position.

Tamping- To check the level and depth of the excavation, cut a board equal to the thickness of the base and the slab. Center this on a 2X4 that is at least 12 inches longer than the form and nail the two boards together. This combination is called a dragboard or a strikeboard. Slide the dragboard along the forms. Fill in all low spots; excavate all high spots. Tamp to assure a solid subgrade.

Adding base material- Install a base of crushed stone and gravel and tamp them in place, if your specifications call for base materials. Be sure that the gravel is level by creating another dragboard, this one equal in height to the thickness of a 2 inch layer of sand plus the thickness of the slab.

Now add sand. At first it will sift down to fill the openings between the gravel. Keep adding and tamping until there is a 2 in. layer with a dragboard equal to the thickness of the concrete slab.

Reinforcing Mesh-When set on soil that may heave or shift, the wall- will require reinforcing mesh. This also is the case with a subgrade of very wet or sandy soil. The mesh won’t stop the cracking, but it will hold the cracks tightly closed. The mesh is called size 6/6 and 10/10, which means it is made of welded 10-gauge wire having 6 inch square openings.

The mesh is available in rolls and can be cut with fencing pliers or bolt cutters. Take care to fatten the mesh thoroughly so it won’t be near the top or bottom surface on the pour. Before placing the mesh, set small stones or half bricks on the base to raise the mesh up about 2 inches below the top of the form-or the approximate center of the concrete slab. Position the mesh on top of the rocks. Do not allow the mesh to come into contact with the form, or you will have a piece of metal sticking out the side of the concrete. This will later rust and discolor.

Concrete Walks – Concrete Basics

CONCRETE BASICS:There are two ways to go with concrete for the walkway: you can order it from an already-mixed company, or you can mix it yourself. Since a walk way is relatively small, you may opt to mix the concrete yourself, although you should know that the mixing procedure is hot and heavy work.

If you are placing the walk in sections, you must install stop boards that will divide the form into a smaller working space. This technique is best if you are mixing the concrete from scratch. Stop boards also brace forms for stability. You can cut control joints in the slab by slicing the concrete while it is still wet, but floated or troweled, with the end of a trowel. Then use a groover tool to smooth the cut. Put in expansion joints with expansion strips where the walk butts against a solid surface such as a curb.

To order from an already-mixed company, tell the order-taker the length, width, and depth of the project. They will figure the number of cubic yards of concrete you need. Be ready for the concrete truck; the driver will dump it and run and you’ll have to be prepared to level the mixture, fill holes, remove high spots, and so on. Have a couple of helpers handy; you don’t have too much working time with concrete.

Concrete Formulas-If you decide to mix the concrete yourself, look at chart below for mixig ratios.

Air-entrained concrete is needed in areas where concrete must withstand freezing and thawing temperature shifts and deicing treatments. Air entrainment is a process of introducing millions of microscopic air bubbles into the concrete. The air bubbles permit enough space for the absorbed water to expand when the water freezes, so the slab doesn’t crack or break apart. Air-entrained concrete is also easier to place and finish than is regular concrete, because the tiny air bubbles act as lubricants while the concrete is still plastic. Air-entrained Portland cement is available in home center and building material outlets.

Concrete Mixing Ratios:


Concrete Mixing Ratios

PLACING/FINISHING CONCRETE:Before you start the pour or placement, insert isolation joint material in all locations where the slab meets an existing structure. The strips, sometimes called expansion strips, are readily available.

The top of the joint material should be flush with the top of the slab, or even better, 1/4 inch lower. Never have it above the slab. In some circumstances, that arrangement could be a hazard to foot traffic.

If you don’t have permanent interior forms to serve as control joints, cut control joints once the concrete has been floated. The joints should fall every 5 feet in a walk that is over 3 feet wide. In a walls from 2 to 3 feet wide, set control joints every 3 feet.

As the concrete is placed, use a shovel to distribute it as evenly as possible between the forms. Then, with a straightedge 2X4, screed the top of the concrete, removing excess that pushes up before the screed board. This is where a helper comes in handy.

Once the concrete is level between the forms, use a wood float to smooth the surface. When the sheen on the concrete is noticeable, you can finish trowel the surface, although dragging a stiff broom across the surface gives a pleasing nonskid top.

Keep the concrete damp for a week or so. You can use a sprinkler on a garden hose for this. Or, you can cover the concrete with burlap and keep the burlap damp. After 10 days or so, the forms may be stripped from the job and any backbilling with earth completed.

Rain can damage green concrete; the raindrops will pit the surface. Try to avoid rainstorms, but if one comes along, protect the slab with tarps or old newspapers. A pitted surface resulting from a heavy rainstorm can sometimes be troweled over and smoothed-if the concrete hasn’t set up too much. However, once set, the material can’t be troweled.

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How to Repair Stucco | Repairing Large Holes

Applying StuccoHow to Repair Stucco

Repairing damage to exterior stucco walls is not very difficult, and can be accomplished by a novice as well as an expert. Working with cement and stucco may be intimidating at first, but just remember that if you make a mistake, you can ‘erase’ it by spraying with water before it dries and start over. No pressure! Here’s how to repair stucco:

To repair large holes in stucco, you’ll need to purchase a bag or two of exterior stucco mix. This mix usually comes in about 50-pound bags, but in some hardware stores, you can find smaller bags. All you need to do is add water, but follow mixing directions. Some people like to add adhesive to their stucco mix, so ask if you’re not sure. You can mix the batch in a bucket or a wheelbarrow or a plastic tub. Make sure that your mix is not too dry, but you don’t want it runny like cake batter, either.

How to Repair Stucco -Chicken Wire

Make sure you can see ‘chicken wire’ in the to-be-patched area, or insert a square yourself prior to patching. Anchor the piece of ‘chicken wire’ to any exposed 2×4 framing with stucco wire nails. If no 2×4 is exposed, wire edges of new wire to existing edges of existing pieces of wire already in place behind stucco. This will allow the stucco to adhere to something while it dries. While this process is a bit more complicated than repairing minor cracks and small holes, it is also rather simple and can be accomplished in a short amount of time.

  1. Mix stucco mixture according to directions on bag.
  2. Apply a coat of stucco mix using a stucco or rubber based trowel, using half circle motions with your wrist. At first, you may find that more stucco ends up on the ground than on the wall, but practice makes perfect.
  3. Fill in the patch area first, bringing stucco to the very edges of the repair area.
  4. Go over the entire area with a water-dampened trowel. Try to maintain an even coat, sweeping from existing wall to area to be patched. Extend the new stucco past the edges of the repair area in a sweeping motion.
  5. Again dip your float into a bucket of water and gently smooth the surface of the patched area, again sweeping past edges and onto existing stucco to create a smooth, unbroken surface.
  6. Look at the patched area from different angles to make sure that your new surface is flat, and has no dips and bulges. If you see the patched area sagging, sweep the float in an upward direction to remove some stucco and wait for it to dry a while.
  7. With a wet float, go back over the area several times as it dries. As the stucco dries, it will turn a light gray. Keep working it as it dries, though be careful not to get so wet that it starts to sag again.

Repairing stucco is not difficult; a little patience is required, that’s it!
how to repair stucco, tips on how to repair stucco

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