A Beginners Guide to Easy Woodworking Projects

If you are just starting out with woodworking you probably have a lot of questions. This is completely normal when you start anything new, especially something that seems so complex as woodworking. Finding easy woodworking projects is just one step you should take. The other is learning everything you can about woodworking.

There are many reasons why we take up this hobby. For some it is so they can build furniture that is really high quality and not flimsy like what you find in most stores these days. For some they just like to create. Whatever your reasons, you have picked a great new hobby. And if you take it on with the right passion you will be successful.

The first thing you need to understand is wood, how it reacts to the elements and the types of wood. There are many different properties of wood and understanding this will save you a lot of frustration when you start projects.

You will come to know that as wood is exposed to the elements it can change. Basically it contracts and expands because of rain, dryness, and humidity. This occurs over time and is something you need to account for.

The wood that you are going to be using for your project will be either a hard wood or a soft wood. You need to familiarize yourself with these terms and the woods that fall into each category. Certain woods are going to work best for certain projects. Getting this wrong can make your project worthless down the road.

Woodworking Tools for Beginners

You will also need to spend some time to familiarize yourself with the different types of woodworking tools. Don’t rush out and buy everything you see. You can build your collection over time and as a project requires a new tool you can set out to get it. You might find buying new woodworking tools a bit of an addiction! This is normal and most of us enthusiasts go through it.

There is a wealth of knowledge out there for learning woodworking. The best thing you can do is just get to work on some projects. You will find in time that your skill level will grow as you complete more projects.

Finding Easy Woodworking Projects

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10-Minute DIY: Bypass Thermostat to Test Your HVAC Unit

A thermostat is simply a switch: inside it is a mechanism that activates whenever it detects a too-high or too-low temperature. And because it’s a switch, you can turn it off.

First, make sure the thermostat is set to ON, and set on either A/C or Heat. See if there are any programming overrides. Finally, replace your batteries if your unit is battery-operated.

Still not at “room temperature”? Now it’s time to check the HVAC unit itself by bypassing the thermostat.

Supplies needed: masking tape and a pen or pencil, flat head screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver

How to Bypass the Thermostat

1. Turn the circuit breaker for your HVAC system off.

2. Remove the thermostat cover plate with a flathead screwdriver. (Each model is different: some will have a cover plate that pulls off easily, while others require you to twist, push a tab down, or remove a few screws.)

3. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the wall mounting screws from the thermostat.

4. Using masking tape, label the wires coming out of the thermostat. They correspond to the letters R, W, Y, G, and C on the terminals of the thermostat.

5. Carefully unscrew the thermostat terminals, then disconnect the wires from your thermostat. You can use some masking tape to secure the wires and keep them from falling back into the hole in the wall.

6. Connect the R and W wires. The other wires should not be in contact with one another. Turn the circuit breaker of the HVAC unit on; the furnace should turn on. Turn the circuit breaker off, and untwist the R and W wires.

7. With the R and G wires, repeat step 6. This should cause the fan to activate. Turn the circuit breaker to the HVAC unit off and untwist the wires.

8. If steps 6 and 7 caused the furnace and fan to activate, then you have a faulty thermostat. Replace your unit as soon as possible.

9. However, if the tests didn’t cause your furnace or fan to turn on, the HVAC system might be at fault. Make sure your unit is getting power; if it’s getting power but isn’t running, this could point to a break in the wire connecting the thermostat to the furnace or to a problem with the actual furnace. At this point, you’ll want to call a professional for an assessment.

Whatever the results, you just saved a chunk of change by doing these tests yourself.

Adam enjoys writing about home improvement and technology. He works with F.H. Furr Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. More info at

2-Story Pole Barn Plans

A 2-story barn is a great investment and can be easily built with a set of good quality 2-story pole barn plans. Any barn adds value to your property, but a 2-story barn is even better because it can have so many different uses.

A 2-story barn gives you so much more space for not a lot more money. Any time you decide to build up instead of out you are saving money. This extra space can simply be used for storage if that’s what you want.

Recently, a lot of people, especially bachelors or retired couples, have been converting the second story of their barn into an apartment or living space loft. This is not hard to do with a good set of pole barn construction plans and allows you to live afford-ably while doing what you love.

When selecting your 2-story pole barn plans, choose plans that are easy to read with a clear diagram for each component of the barn. The plans should include easy to follow step by step instructions. There should not be any confusion in between steps. (Be sure to read the plans in their entirety before starting construction. If you are unsure of anything, return them).

The pole barn blueprints should also include a complete, itemized, materials list. Every nail, bolt, or screw should be listed with the amount needed. The plans should also come complete with cut sheets for each section of lumber. Both of these items will ensure that your project is completed with the least amount of material waste as possible.

Using a good quality set of
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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.


3 Important Reasons Why You Should Create Electricity With Easy-To-Build Wind Power Generators

Only recently have wind power generators been able to produce enough electricity to make them a worthwhile investment. New technological advances in wind turbines design have made wind power more efficient. Through the implementation of more aerodynamic blades, small wind turbines for home use can now generate sufficient electricity to power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in the home, business office or farm.

· Going Green – This alternate method of electricity production provides a new avenue for “going green”. This natural approach helps the environment while also reducing monthly utility bills.

· Affordable Generated Electricity – Wind power was once an energy source only for the rich. Today however, home wind turbine kits are now available for any do-it-yourself beginner interested in using the natural resources, available on his or her property.

· Disconnecting from the Public Grid – Used in conjunction with solar panels, and bio-diesel energy production, “whole house” electrical generation systems diminish or replace fossil fuel generated power. Removing yourself from the grid of your local electric company by creating self-sustaining renewable resource energy can eliminate monthly utility bills, and in some cases provide an extra income. By federal law, any local electric company must purchase unused renewable resource energy from any supplier.

· Increased Home Value – The do-it-yourself beginner can accomplish construction of a basic power generating system for under $100. Connecting a series of different natural energy producing systems can create enough electricity to make a dramatic difference in lowering your electricity bills. Because wind and solar power is generated from an unending renewable resource, it can produce free electricity for decades. Every dollar not needing to be spent on electricity every month significantly increases the value of your home.

· Educating Yourself – Learning how to create power entirely from the sun, wind and bio-diesel sources generated by your household, can make you energy independent from the public electric grid. Complete blueprints and specific details can be found in e-books available on the Internet.

Effectively harnessing the power of wind can supply enough energy to offset your on-going utility bills. Through the use of wind power generators, you can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the need to be connected to the electrical electric grid.

Whether assembling wind power generating kits or constructing your own wind power generators [http://diysolarpowersystem.info/diy-solar-power-kits-made-easy/], specific detailed information, from e-books, can provide you with an easy step-by-step construction.

Timothy Lancester is a committed environmentalist, who has spent a lifetime dedicated to living a “green” lifestyle. His home electricity is produced through 100% renewable resources using wind, biology-diesel and solar. An enthusiastic do-it-yourself aficionado, he fabricates entire own DIY Solar Power Systems [http://diysolarpowersystem.info/diy-solar-power-kits-made-easy/].

3 Things You Need to Know in Order to Use a Ceramic Tile Finder Successfully

Tiles most of us have them in our homes, normally in our bathrooms, kitchens and also as flooring. In this article we are going to look at the best way of using a tile finder in order to source the tiles of your choice.

If you are wondering what the purpose of a tile finder is the answer is two-fold and quite simple.

a) One purpose of a tile finder is as a very simple tool you can use to browse and view thousands of designs, patterns and textures in order to choose tiles that will go with your decorative plan. For this reason tile finders are classically used by design consultants.

b) Another key use is by people looking to add to or replace tiles they already have. For example it may be that they have extended a room and need to add to an existing area of tiling with tiles that match exactly. Also people turn to them when looking to replace lost or damaged ceramics.

Whatever the reason here are three things you will need to know in order to do the job well.

1) Size of area to be covered – Sounds obvious but unless you know this information you will not be able to make a purchase and may lose out on a deal. Simply measure the width and height of the area you want to cover and multiply one value by the other in order to calculate the area to cover.

2) Tile Size – Why not think about this and make a decision up front about the size of tiles you are going to use. Larger tiles make a room look smaller but also reduce the amount of time required to decorate.

3) Batch No – If you are adding to or replacing worn tiles make sure you have details of the make and batch id of the tiles you are trying to source. This will allow a good
http://www.discountceramictilefinder.com/”>tile finder to go straight to the product you are after.

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3 Common Items You Can Use to Remove Stains on Your Carpet

When you talk about carpet cleaning, people often think that it can only be done using commercial carpet cleaning products and items you buy at the stores. This is not entirely true though. Although majority of the carpet cleaning involves carpet cleaning solutions which you buy commercially, there are some common items, some of which you can even find around your home, which you can make use of to remove stains on your carpet.

If you encounter a food, drink, or any other kind of spill that caused a stain on your carpet and you don’t have any commercial carpet cleaning products available, don’t worry as there are other options that you can make use of. Below are three common items that can be pretty handy when it comes to cleaning carpet stains.

  • Borax – Borax, which is otherwise known as sodium borate, is one of the ingredients in detergents and is being used for many household cleaning purposes. Among these is cleaning up dirty stains on the carpet. Borax is effective in removing stubborn stains that can be a nightmare for any carpet owner. To make use of borax, spray the stained area with some water using a spray bottle. Then sprinkle some borax powder onto the stain and gently work it into the soiled area using a soft brush. Let it dry for an hour or so and afterward remove it using a vacuum cleaner. This will surely help in getting that stain from your carpet.
  • White Vinegar – White vinegar is probably one of the most common ingredients being used in the kitchen yet it also possesses certain cleaning qualities that make it very valuable in other areas of the house. It not only works to remove stains from your carpet, it also is effective in deodorizing it. Using white vinegar to clean up different kinds of stains is very easy. Simply place one part white vinegar inside a spray bottle and add to it four parts of water. Spray this solution onto the stain and use a clean white cloth to blot it out until you have removed the stain completely.
  • Ammonia – Ammonia is another household item that you can use for cleaning your carpet. Like white vinegar, it effectively eliminates stains on your carpet and removes any unwanted odors at the same time. Ammonia is a very common item used for cleaning around the house, so finding some won’t be a big problem. Ammonia is used much in the same way as white vinegar, by making a cleaning solution with one part of it mixed with four parts water.

Who needs commercial carpet cleaning products when you have these there items in your very own home? Try these out and maybe soon you wont want to go to the store to buy name brand carpet cleaning products anymore.

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10 DIY Home Improvement Ideas

DIY Home Improvement Idea #1

Install handmade shelves. Rather than purchasing typical cookie-cutter shelves, consider visiting a local craft fair or woodworker for customized shelves. Everything from style, color, design and cutouts can be customized with handmade items. Shelves are ideal for storing tools in the garage or knick-knacks in the family room.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #2

Replace vinyl flooring or install new tiles. These days, convenience is everything. It’s easier than ever to replace vinyl flooring or install tiles with simple self-adhesive backing for easy placement. This will literally give you a new floor surface within a few hours.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #3

Install carpet. Before making a purchase, be sure to measure the area that you need to carpet. If you need to cut carpet, it’s not a problem and special cutting tools can be purchased at any home improvement store. Simply roll it out and secure it to the floor for an easy DIY home improvement project.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #4

Install a ceiling fan. Not only will this add beauty to the room, but it will also help to circulate the air. Just be careful during the installation process and when climbing up or down a ladder.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #5

If you are a big fan of wallpaper, then you already know that it can start to peel from time to time. It’s inevitable. At some point, wallpaper will need replacing and it’s arguably one of the easiest home improvement projects that you can do. Wallpaper is sold at any home improvement store and can be cut to fit any room in your home. During installation, be sure to smooth the paper as you go in order to avoid bubbled areas.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #6

If you like the idea of sitting out on the porch or deck and watching fireflies light up in the night, consider adding an outside addition to your home. Plans can be purchased online or at some home improvement stores, along with the materials needed to complete the job.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #7

Painting your home, either inside or out, is a very popular way of improving it’s overall appearance. Always be sure to read the instructions and use paint in a well-ventilated area.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #8

One of the more sensible DIY home improvement projects includes the installation of a dusk to dawn lighting system outside of the home. This type of lighting will automatically turn on if there is any movement outside of your home and is ideal for anyone, whether you live out in the country or in a larger area.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #9

As winter time rolls around, many people begin to consider replacing their windows to ensure that they are protected from the elements. Many people think of windows as simply something to look through but, in fact, they are much more than that. Windows can actually help to keep warm air inside your home and the cold air out during those harsh winter months, which will make it more comfortable for your family and also your wallet where heating costs are concerned.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #10

Install wall paneling. If you don’t like the idea of painting or simply prefer the look of paneling, a visit to your local home improvement store could be the answer to your next DIY home improvement project. Wall paneling is sold in sheets, is pre-cut and ready for installation. All you need to do is place it in the desired location and secure it.

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10 Reasons For Decorative Concrete Basement Floors

I got really interested in interior decorative concrete applications about 6 years ago. In 2002 I was rehabbing old steel buildings with new facades, landscaping, signage, lighting, basically turning lemons into lemonade.

Flooring was a big issue. The floors were always concrete. The big issue was height at steps and doorways. Any new flooring that added height required doors to be removed, openings raised, new doors purchased and installed. A big expense. At stairways, any increase of floor height at stairs created a zoning violation and hence denial of the Certificate of Occupancy. Tile and hardwood never worked, they always added an inch.

The only solution that worked was either a concrete acid stain with concrete sealers or a concrete overlay. Most older floors needed a concrete overlay which added less than 1/8th inch in height.

There are many concrete floors where the only decorative solution is a stain or overlay. One of the largest is basement floors. Almost everyone who owns a home or retail store with a basement has the same flooring issue. Everyone who has a concrete overlay in their basement is happy, those that don’t wish they did.

So here are the 10 reasons why I like concrete overlays on a basement floor.

1. Do It Yourself – yes you can. Many have purchased decorative concrete kits and installed themselves with excellent results for under $2.00 per square foot.

2. Green – Concrete, water based dyes and sealers are non – hazardous. Reducing dust and mold, they are the healthiest floors.

3. Thin – concrete overlays at less then 1/8th inch thick solve the height issue created by other floors. Saves time, money and hassle.

4. Durable – Bonds to concrete with strength of Iron. Cures to a rock hard finish. Many retail stores, restaurants and grocery stores have them because they are durable.

5. Custom – Create simple gray or brown floors. Easily design with patterns using tape or stencils. Acid stains and concrete dyes can be applied. The beauty of overlays is ability to control color.

6. Moisture – Decorative concrete floors can survive flooding. They are porous and breathable allowing moisture vapor from concrete slab to pass through.

7. Versatile – They can be applied right up concrete stairs and walls.

8 Quick application – applications are 2-3 days.

9. Price – In most cases decorative concrete kits can be purchased with all tools and materials for under $2.00 per square foot.

10. Satisfying – The satisfaction of creating your own concrete floor is very high.

That’s why I like decorative concrete overlays on basement floors. They work!

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5 Uses for a Steel Building or Metal Pole Barn That May Surprise You!

There isn’t any product on earth as adaptable and inherently multi-purpose as steel, and there is no structure as useful and efficient as a steel building. Here are five great uses for one of many steel buildings or metal garages that may surprise you…

5. An Indoor Nursery.

Now this may be news to you, but steel is pretty much impervious to mold. Unlike the traditional nursery housing with wood and plastic sheeting, steel is super effective against organic causes of decay. While steel isn’t the most see-through material in the world, set up a few sets of energy-efficient grow lights and some built-in drip irrigation systems and you can have an internal grow operation for seedlings and small plants that can be run 24 hours a day without any detriment from stormy weather or an overabundance of fungal damage. Not only will going with a steel building save money, but it will help increase your plant production greatly!

4. A Motorcycle Repair Shop.

Everyone wishes they had the right resources to set up their own shop, and a lot of us wish we could start our own Harley repair business but lack the funding necessary to build a traditional wood structure complete with commercial garage. Well, not any more. Steel garages so affordable they bring every guy’s dream of running his own business into a reality. With concrete flooring and secure, weather-safe doors, you will have both the means and the space available for a perfect motorcycle repair business.

3. A School Vehicle and Maintenance Garage.

Besides performing well by giving every child an excellent education, schools are also tasked with an incredibly difficult challenge of balancing their budget line by line, as detailed as possible They really have to be frugal when it comes to building any structure, and the cost of building a traditional wood and cement structure to use as a bus-housing unit or a maintenance shop for the school janitor is going to be out of the price range of almost any school, not to mention the difficulty of having to guarantee it’s safety and structural integrity in regards to storms and inclement weather. The best solution for any school district is steel. Steel buildings hold up great against all types of weather and have been tested against hurricane-force gusts. Not only can they be sized large enough to store your school busses, but they also provide great shelter in times of high wind.

2. A Woodshop.

You’ve always wanted to have a small woodshop where you could build tables, cabinets, or vintage-style wood toys but never wanted to ruin the basement with tons of sawdust and destroy your homelife with the noise it would make. Now, with one of many excellent metal garages you can have enough room to build anything you’d like with the added option of insulating the walls as well to keep down the sound of saws and drills. This means more enjoyment on the weekend for you, and less headaches for your spouse!

1. A Dog Kennel.

Dog kennels are notoriously difficult to build and maintain if you go the traditional wood and concrete route, but with a steel building you can save yourself a lot of trouble right from the beginning. By installing the steel exterior structure overtop a pre-poured floor, you can mount fenced in dog-runs and drains easy and efficiently. With walls made of metal you don’t have to be worried about the constant water you will be spraying to clean out each of the kennel openings. This not only saves you money, but saves damage that could have been created should you have gone with a traditional wood structure.

These are only a few of the thousands of storage and business solutions possible with steel buildings and metal garages. Take a chance on finally building towards your dream with the secure safety of one of our Rocket Steel Buildings today! Steel buildings and steel barns –

Steel recreational shelters and boat shelters