6 of the Most Popular Woodworking Plans You Can Get

Now that you have a little time on your hands and you are not going anywhere, you could make those projects which you have waited to make for a long time. Vacation time is perfect, as you have no other pressures to interrupt you. You have the woodworking skills, now is the time to put your knowledge and skills to use.

How about starting with some outdoor furniture.This project will take a little longer than you thought at first, as there are many details to attend to, in making these stools, chairs or tables. Follow the directions closely and in the end you will be very pleased with the results. Everyone loves to sit in these chairs and when you have completed them, sitting in comfort, with your cool drink beside you on the table, will be a wonderful, fulfilling feeling.

Let us go on to the next project, some birdhouses, to put in your garden, to entice the spring migratory group back, to nest in your yard. What a great feeling, accomplishing something which the birds would like to have to raise their brood of babies. When the birds leave again, your bird house will be there making a statement in your flower beds, or under that big tree that is there. You will need to consider making this out of good hard wood, as it must endure the hard elements of the weather conditions. The damage that could occur would not be so nice, when you have gone to all that work.

Your best friend, the doggy, needs a new home. Whatever size your dog is, you will be able to adjust the measurements of the doghouse to fit your pooch. Measure the width, the length and the height that it will need, then make your pattern according to your plans. If your dog is a chewer, you might want to line the inside of the doghouse with a material which he can not destroy. The wood of course, would not be a good choice, so maybe tin or some kind of metal would be more appropriate, just on the inside.

We will keep working on the furniture for the outside for now, especially since the good weather is here and you can do the work outside too. The folding picnic tables would be a challenge, but you are up to it. Look how much you have made already. Anything which folds up, would be a something worth tackling. You will need to measure and calculate accurately, so that this table will be able to fold and unfold relatively easily.

When you are looking for the pattern for a folding picnic table, take into consideration the size of the different people who will be using it on a regular basis. Make sure it is big enough to hold them and the proper wood to be used, has to be strong and capable of seating that many.

A wine rack could be used in your basement, taking note how many you will be storing and the space that is available for it.

Cabinets would be handy, to place all those extra things, such as your outdoor jackets and boots as you come in the back door. This will keep the clutter in one place.

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5 Tips For Safer Woodworking

Taking a hunk of wood and turning it into something beautiful that you can enjoy for many years to come brings a great deal of satisfaction. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a woodworking beginner, you want to practice safer woodworking at all times.

Anytime you are working with tools and raw materials, one has to practice safety. This applies not only to woodworking, but also to just about any working environment. Just a little precaution will make sure that your woodworking project will be an enjoyable experience. Here are a few woodworking safety tips to help you help you practice safer woodworking.

1 – Have an organized woodworking environment.

It’s so important to have a well – organized workshop. Make sure your tools and supplies have a storage space that is out of your immediate working area. Having things scattered around and disorganized is not only frustrating when you’re trying to find something, but tripping over something or having it fall on you while your working could be disastrous. Take the time to keep your area neat and organized.

2 – Have a plan.

Know your woodworking project before you ever get started. Have it clearly in your mind what the steps are going to be for your project and organize your tools and materials accordingly for that step in the process.

3 – Safer woodworking requires the right safety equipment.

This is so important and probably should be number one on the list. The professional should already be aware of these items, but if you are a woodworking beginner here are a few must have safety items.

  • Gloves are a must in many situations. It’s true that you can’t feel what your doing near as well while wearing gloves, but there are work gloves available that are very comfortable, allow a greater sense of feeling and still provide good hand protection. Take care of your hands and they will take care of you.
  • Goggles are absolutely required anytime you are cutting wood. You only have one pair of eyes. Protect them. If you are ripping wood on a table saw a full – face shield would be even better.
  • Shoes must be worn. Dropping a heavy tool on a bare foot may do more than just hurt a little and your not going to like pulling splinters from the bottom of your foot. Wear a good pair of shoes. Your feet will be glad you did.
  • FIRE!! Remember you are working with wood. It is flammable and so are any paints and stains you may have in your shop. Sawdust is especially flammable, even the dust floating around in the air. If you smoke, don’t do it in your shop. Always have a good fire extinguisher in close proximity just in case, and make sure it is maintained on a regular basis.
  • I always recommend wearing long pants and even a long sleeved shirt when working with wood. Especially if your using power tools. Woodchips and splinters are going to fly. You don’t want them stuck in you.

4 – Equipment Maintenance should be something you practice regularly. Make sure your tools are in good working order and always make sure you are using a sharp blade in your power saws. A dull blade will catch the wood when you are cutting and cause what is known as “kick back”. “Kick back” while using a power circular saw will not only ruin your cut but can cause serious injury.

5 – Set your safety rules, practice them every time you work, and make sure anyone coming into your shop is aware of them as well. You not only want to keep yourself safe, you want to keep the safety of others in mind as well.

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3 Hot Tips for You to Keep in Mind When You Are Constructing a Pole Barn Shed

If you have plans to build a pole barn shed, then you need to make sure that a few things are where they should be before you even begin your construction.

Have you got the location right?

This is not an ordinary project that you can just plough through without even mapping it out in advance. This is not like building an ordinary garden shed. What is planned here is something much bigger and more complex.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that you have got the location right. This is a very crucial element of this project. If you land up getting this wrong, you can bet on one thing – it is going to cost you a great deal of time and money. And to top it all, you can be sure of the fact that it is going to cost you your reputation too! (And it would not matter if you are a pro or just an amateur!)

Build on higher ground

One of the big factors into play here is that as far as possible, you should always build the shed on high ground. The reason for this is that in doing sure you are ensuring that the drainage system is the best that money can buy. Also, you will be fully confident that in this manner, you will avoid all risks of the building flooding (and getting damaged due to the flood waters.)

Get the positioning of the door right

Make sure that you position the door or the open side in the direction that is opposite to that of prevalent winds. This is to ensure that damage due to winds is avoided in the hot summers as well as in the cold winters.

Plus, this will give the shed the maximum chances of survival against severe storm like conditions.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Build and Install Residential Solar Power Panels for Your Home

With the ever-increasing energy crisis, there has never been a time in history when it was more necessary to invest in residential solar power. Having the ability to install home solar power systems as a way to circumvent increasing electric costs is a way to ensure your family’s daily energy needs can be met. No matter what the cost of fuel, you can generate your own free unlimited power by harnessing energy from the rays of the sun.

Gaining Solar Energy Knowledge –Educating yourself about solar power is simple to do by purchasing e-Books available on the Internet. Some e-Books contain complete exact easy-to-do instructions, along with comprehensive material lists (most of which can be found at your local home improvement store).

Easy to Build –Though you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on a profession installation of a residential solar power system, building your own individual panels is easy to accomplish. Through simple-to-understand instructions obtained from e-Books found online, you can build a solar energy system.

Affordable Home Solar Panels –While cost prohibitive just a few decades ago, solar power panels are inexpensive to fabricate and install. Once up and running, the minimal cost of a solar panel will immediately start paying for itself.

Expandable –It is very possible to start building your residential solar energy system with just a single solar panel or two. Fabricating small individual panels that can be connected easily to the entire system allows you to continually increase the size of your system. Eventually you can create a system large enough to supply all the daily energy needs your home requires.

Sell Your Solar Power for Profit –After you have completed a “whole house” solar energy generating system, you can continue to add solar panels to make your system even larger. Any additional unused energy generated by your solar panels can be sold to your local electric company, by way of a reverse electric meter. When not drawing electricity from the local electric grid, your meter will run backwards, delivering any electrical power generated by your solar energy system, not being used by your family, resulting in a credit or check for you.

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$Save Big Money$ And Perform The Seasonal Check Up On Your Central A/C By Yourself

It is that time of year to get your A/C inspected.

Now, you could call the nearest HVAC certified contractor to come out and give your system the once over and charge you for many things he did not actually do. He will tell you your charge was low and he had to clean the condenser and there was a mouse nest in it and they ate some wires or a part was bad…you get the idea – basically the equivalent of an auto repair shop taking advantage of people.

OR you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.

Here is a list of things to look for and check out.

The first thing you should do is give your condenser a good visual inspection. The condenser is the unit that sits outside your house, it houses the compressor that moves the refrigerant around the cycle. The condenser should be level within 10 degrees, this will keep the oil and refrigerant where it is supposed to be. Take the cover off of the electrical connection box and look for bare wires, mice like to make nests in here and chew the wires. Open the disconnect box and look for mice nests and bare or loose wires. Look the fan blades over for any damage. Look at the fins for damage and cleanliness, use a light bristled brush and clean any debris that has accumulated on the surface of the fins. Look at the suction line insulation and make sure there isn’t any missing.

Check to be sure your condensation line coming from the “A” coil housing on your furnace is still connected and is still going to its drain. The “A” coil is the evaporator that the refrigerant travels through and is turned from a liquid to a gas as it absorbs the heat from the ambient air passing over the fins.

Look at the filter and be sure it doesn’t need to be changed. If there isn’t sufficient air flow the evaporator coil inside your furnace will freeze up and there will be no cooling.

Now you should be ready to start the unit up for the first time this season. Switch the selector to cool on your thermostat and set to the desired temperature. Be sure the disconnect is turned on. The condenser may take a minute to start up so you should have time to get outside by it to listen to how it starts. listen for any growling or any noises that would indicate a hard start. This will indicate that your compressor motor is nearing the end of it’s life. Watch to make sure the fan starts and runs at it’s full speed. Feel the suction line under the insulation and make sure it feels cool. Also feel the liquid line and make sure it feels slightly warm, this could take a few minutes.

If there are inspection ports on your furnace before and after the evaporator, you can check to see what the temperature differential across the coil is, it should be approximately15° to 20° difference for a regular DX coil in home Central A/C. If there is not, you can make some by drilling a small hole after the plenum. the plenum is the piece of duct work that sits directly on top of the “A” coil. This should only be done if you are very confident of where the coil ends inside of the duct work. If you accidentally puncture the coil you will loose the refrigeration charge, possibly hurt yourself, or others, and need to replace the coil, which is not cheap. I do not recommend this if your are not confident. However if you are confident and proceed, just put a small 1/8″ hole in the plenum and push a meat thermometer or any thermometer that will fit in it, and see what the air coming from the coil is. The thermostat will tel you what the temperature before the coil is.

If the temperature difference is way to low you probably WILL nee to call in an expert. Be sure if you do that they can present you with a HVAC certified contractor license or logo of some sort before you let them touch your system. there are a great many want to be contractors out there, they may be cheaper but their work is cheap also.

I hope this will save you some money and that it may have taught you something along the way.

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About Cladding Stone

There are a lot of things that you can do to decorate your home. You can put pathways in the garden and build patios and all kinds of things like this. One of the other things is to use cladding stone on the walls of your house.

Cladding stone is basically a thin slab of stone that you can stick to your walls to create the impression that the house is made of stone. The stone is generally glued to the walls of the house using a special kind of cement. You have two options when it comes to using cladding stone. You can either do it yourself or you can have a contractor do it for you.

Doing it yourself

If you want to make use of cladding stone but do not want the added expense of hiring a contractor to do it for you then you can apply it all yourself. You will have to order the cladding stone from a supplier. You will then have to work out how to mix the cement that you need to fix the stone to the walls. Then you will have to find the time to actually do the work and fix the stone to the walls. It will take a lot of time to get the job done though. You will have to be careful to make sure that you get the stones placed correctly and that you fix it to the walls properly the first time around. You do not want to have the stones falling off in the middle of the night and scaring you all to death.

Hiring a contractor

This is the more expensive option for putting cladding stone on your walls. You will not have anywhere near as much to do though. All that you will have to do is contact a contractor and they will do the rest for you. It will cost you to have the contractor to do it for you, but it will save you a lot of time as you will not have to do the work yourself. You will be sure that the work is going to be done correctly.

The choice of whether to do it yourself or to do it through a contractor is one that you will have to make for yourself. You know how much time you have available and how much money you have to spend. You will have to decide which of the options is going to work out to the cheaper and more practical option for you. The contractor will cost you more than doing it yourself will but the work will be done correctly the first time around. Doing it yourself will cost a lot less but you will have to find the time to get the job done and learn how to do it correctly. It is essentially a choice between saving time and saving money. You will have to work out how much your time is worth to you and decide which is actually the more expensive option to take when you want to put cladding stone on your house walls.

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9 High Impact Stair Safety Tips

Stairs are high traffic areas and fairly dangerous. Many people fall and are seriously injured every year. Many of these falls are avoidable with some simple safety practices. You do not want to become a statistic. Here are nine important safety tips for stairs.

1) The most important tip is to be aware as you are ascending or descending. Simply pay attention! Watch where you step and be careful or debris, children’s toys, other people and animals, and anything else that may be in the way, that you may inadvertently step on, or that may bump you. Just paying attention will greatly reduce the number of accidents

2) If it’s dark and there are lights, simply turn them on. If you can’t see well it is more hazardous. You won’t see that toy or branch for example.

3) Do not carry too much. Instead make multiple trips, whether you are carrying laundry, groceries, or anything else. If you are overloaded you may be unsteady and will not be able to see well either.

4) Use the handrail if there is one. Anyone can slip including you! Handrails are not just for the elderly.

5) Do not use your stairs as storage space. Far too many people store things on their stairs almost as though they are a closet. Although having a few objects on the stairs that are intended to go up or down on the next trip may be OK, too many people have lots of junk stored on their stairs.

6) Replace any lightbulbs that burn out. Good lighting is important for safety, and light bulbs are inexpensive.

7) If the lighting is not sufficient, add more lighting. In some areas always on lighting may be appropriate for safety. In others, perhaps lights installed with motion detectors may be more appropriate. An electrician is well worth their modest cost.

8) Regularly remove and debris and other stuff that may accumulate. This includes snow, ice, dirt, leaves, branches, and anything else that may be in someone’s way or that may cause them to trip or slip. This applies mostly, but not entirely, to outdoor stairs. Some times of the year may require cleaning the stairs far more often than others.

9) Regularly check the state of stairs, handrails, etc. Maintenance is often required and should be performed promptly. Maintenance should be preventative and not just performed when absolutely necessary.

These 9 simple tips can prevent an awful lot of accidents!

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3 Cost-Saving Tips for Cleaning Your Carpet

Carpet owners constantly worry about the cleaning and maintenance of their carpet. Keeping carpet nice and beautiful is not an easy endeavor. You will need to invest a lot of time, effort, and yes, even money. This is one facet that many owners worry about as the upkeep and cleaning of carpet can sometimes cost quite a bit of money. Many owners agonize over fitting the cost of cleaning the carpet within their tight budgets.

If you are one of these owners, there is always a solution to getting your carpet clean without having to dole out a lot of money. There are several ways you can save some money while still having clean and beautiful carpet in your home. Below are 3 cost-saving tips that you can use to help save money while cleaning your carpet.

Use Vinegar as a Cleaning Solution – Cleaning your carpet doesn’t always require using a store-bought, commercial carpet cleaning product. There are a lot of great, yet inexpensive, carpet cleaning agents that you can make yourself using household ingredients. One of these common products is vinegar. Yes, vinegar works great for eliminating stains and dirt from your carpet without hurting your budget. Using vinegar is very simple; you just mix one part of it with four parts water to create an effective cleaning solution that will help remove stains from your carpet.

Use Baking Soda to Deodorize Your Carpet – Removing unwanted odors is probably one of the most annoying problems that can be faced by a carpet owner. Dealing with this will usually entail buying a cleaning agent to deodorize your carpet. This can get a bit expensive but you can always reach for some baking soda from your kitchen if ever you want to save some money. Baking soda is great for removing nasty smells and odors. Just sprinkle an even layer of baking soda over your carpet and leave it overnight. Then, vacuum it up and you’ll be rid of the unwanted odor from your carpet.

Use Household Detergent When Cleaning Stains – Cleaning up stains and spills don’t always require a commercial carpet cleaning product. You can always try any non-bleach household detergent that you might have instead of buying an industrial carpet cleaning agent from the store. You will be saving time and money while still getting a clean and stain-free carpet.

Carpet cleaning doesn’t have to come at a high price. You can still enjoy clean and fresh carpet without spending tons of money on commercial carpet cleaning products. Just follow the tips above to save you money and still have clean and well-maintained carpet in your home.

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3 Laying Tile Dilemmas And What You Can Do About Them

Laying tile is a complex task and there are many issues to be resolved along the way. Here are 3 tile laying dilemmas you may have to face.

Should You Buy Cheap Ceramic Tiles?

Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Why are they so cheap? Did the manufacturer cut corners? Check if the tiles are the uniform size claimed on the box. Measure 6 to 8 tiles. Remember that even a difference of one-sixteenth of an inch could affect the quality of your tile laying. Are your skills up to handling such a problem?

Should You Lay New Ceramic Tile Over Old Tile?

Yes, provided the old tile does not have a sealant on it and is clean. Add latex additives to your thin set. Use a tile scriber to score the old tiles. Remember you will be increasing the wall or floor thickness. This can cause problems at doors and window frames.

You will always achieve a more professional laying tile finish if you remove the old tiles and correctly prepare the surface before beginning to install tile.

What Color Of Grout Should You Use

This one is really down to personal choice. Buying tiles is expensive both in terms of dollars and your time and effort in laying tile. You don’t want to spoil it by choosing the wrong color of grout for the look you are trying to achieve.

A light colored grout against a dark tile really highlights the grid pattern. This is eye catching but might also make the tiled area look too busy depending on the size of tiles you are laying.

You can add color to grout by adding a measure of dye to the grout mix. If the grout color is a close match to tile color this gives a more blended look to the tiled area.

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5 Ways to Organize Your Closet

Does your closet look like a giant mess? Are you intimidated and frustrated just looking into it? It’s time to get organized. Closet organization isn’t always easy. Many people start to organize and then get frustrated or run out of time. Here are some tips that will help you finish organizing in the time that you have reserved for it.

1) First, turn on some music and get ready to clean. Get yourself motivated by singing along and having a good time. If relaxing is more your thing, turn on a book on tape or something of that sort to calm you and keep your brain entertained while you get your closet organized.

2) You don’t want to run out of time, so we’re going to start with the major things first. Identify your biggest problem area. Did your shoe rack turn into a giant shoe mountain while you weren’t looking? Does your stack of t-shirts look more like you dumped the laundry basket on the shelf? Pick your biggest thing and do that first. If your stack of t-shirts is always a problem, you might decide to hang them instead. If shoes bury your shoe rack that you purchased the last time you organized, get rid of it and get a pocket organizer for the back of the door. The key is to use what works for you and your habits.

3) Get piles of clutter organized. Categorize everything so that you can separate them into different boxes, baskets, or whatever containers you like. Label containers so that you can find what you need in a hurry. Place things that you don’t use often up really high or down low. Reserve the space in the middle for the things that you’ll be using the most.

4) Now move on to your clothes. Get in there and toss out whatever you can live without. Thinning out your belongings will help your closet to seem more spacious and accessible. Giving clothing and other gently used items to charity is tax deductible. You’ll clear out space and do a good deed at the same time. The rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.

5) Now, if you have time left, it’s time to make the closet look a little better and avoid clothes ending up on the floor again. Get yourself some decent
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