How to Buy Used Woodworking Tools and Equipment

If you are new to woodworking or if you have been doing it for some time it is obvious that one of the major expenses incurred is the variety of woodworking tools required. We all need to get the best value for our money and reduce expenses at the same time. It is possible to purchase used tools and equipment if you follow a few common sense rules. This is knowing which tools to purchased used and who to buy from. Once you understand this you will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you will save and have in your budget to focus on the projects you would like to build.

Where to Find Used Tools and Equipment

There are many places that you will be able to find used woodworking tools and equipment to add to your shop. A few good sources can be Craigslist, woodworking forums on the internet, flea markets and even auctions in your area that you can find using your local newspaper. If you take some time and look around I am sure that you can find other sources as well. You want to keep in mind that you do not want to jump at the first thing you see. Take the time to determine if you are getting good value or simply wasting your money. You will find that a lot of things out there are really not worth buying. One thing that I pay particular attention to is the availability of replacement parts on a piece of equipment. You certainly do not want to buy a piece of equipment that you will have trouble getting parts for if you need them.

Another thing to consider is the purpose that these tools or piece of equipment is meant for. If you are a professional woodworker or a hobbyist moving toward a business you need to be especially careful. You cannot invest in a piece of equipment that is not up and running and contributing to the bottom line. This is a sure way to go out of business. If you are in one of these categories it is important that you develop a relationship with a business that sells used tools and equipment professionally. By doing this you are more likely to be happy with your investment and the reseller will get to understand your needs and do what they can to help you.

How Old is Too Old

It is only natural to wonder how old a piece of equipment can be without being considered useless. Many people are surprised to find out that this is not a big consideration as woodworking tools and equipment are often reconditioned. The things to look for are the availability of replacement parts that we mentioned earlier and the age of the motor. If you are buying a 20 year old piece of equipment that still has the original motor you are most likely looking at an upcoming problem. This is another reason you want to be in a relationship with a professional reseller. They can provide valuable information in this regard.

Do not sell yourself short by only focusing on the cost. The purpose of buying used woodworking tools and equipment is to get quality at a reasonable and reduced price.

Using French Drains To Prevent Water Damage

French drains (“FD”) can be effective tools when it comes to preventing water damage. With a French drain, you can divert ground water from your building, hence prevent foundation damage.

Now, for those of you who are unsure on what a FD is, this is a perforate pipe which is placed on the ground and covered with gravel. The pipe works to redirect ground water from your structure to a preferred location which would ideally be a good distance away from your structure.

Such drains can help divert water from low lying areas of your home into a drainage system, the street, a lower area of your compound or a dry well. If you are building your home by the hillside, it’s always recommended that you install a FD along the retaining wall so as to avoid flooding.

Why Would You Need A French Drain

They can help:

  • Prevent water leaks
  • Prevent basement flooding
  • Relieve your sump pump

A leaking pipe could easily cause flooding within your basement. This could come with a wide array of problems–such as structural weakness, mold and mildew build up, amongst others. Such damage could be prevented quite easily when there is a FD installed in your home, as it could help prevent the water from accumulating within the basement.

Sump pumps are usually used to prevent such occurrences. FDs could also be used along with sump pumps to relieve it off its load. Flooding is usually unexpected; however it can occur on any structure with heavy rainfall. You can ensure that your structure is safe by having a French drain installed. French drains help you stay one step ahead since they prevent water damage and don’t merely work to regulate flooding.

When to Install a French Drain

  • You are building a hillside retaining wall
  • Water normally gets into your basement when it rains

If your home is always the subject of basement flooding when it rains, a French drain can be an important part of your drainage system. The drain would ideally be placed within the basement’s perimeter to intercept the water before it can make its way to the basement. The French drain could also be placed inside the basement, to catch water as it enters your basement.

In fact, this is one of the safest ways to ensure that your basement does not flood. When building a retaining wall that is a hillside, a FD would need to be placed on the concrete footing of the wall or the gravel base. For this to work you would need to ensure that drain does not clog up with silt; it’s best to have a professional install the drain.

Water damage can have negative effects on the structure of your home and your health. The good news is that you can easily prevent water damage from occurring by simply having a French drain installed on your property as such drains make ideal drainage systems and require little to no maintenance.

5 Qualities of Decorative Concrete

Does your home seem old to you? Are the colors of the walls fading or you just want to make your rooms look more elegant? Our home is the place where we stay for most of the time in our lives. No wonder, our home needs to be something that we love.

You can try using decorative concrete to make your home look classier and better. Decorative concrete supplies have increased down the years and you can find one easily. You can use decorative concrete in your floors, walls, driveways and even patios. So, what are the top five qualities of this type of concrete? Here is a look.

1. It’s affordable

Yes, installing this type of concrete is affordable and do not cost a lot. You can actually save money as well. Most of the methods to produce this type of concrete uses acid staining that is not expensive.

2. Choose from a wide variety of colors

You can choose from a wide range of colors, textures and even design. What’s more, you can even add in shapes and sizes and well as unique designs in each slab of concrete. You can have floors designed differently and walls designed differently. You can even have your concrete slabs look like fossils and let your home visitors be wowed.

3. It adds in to the elegance and aura of the rooms

Bright colors of walls do not always brighten up your mood. Rather, a bad color choice may be an eyesore as well. What’s more, you need the walls and the floors of the rooms to actually complement each other. This is what decorative concrete helps at, adding in to the overall aura of the rooms.

4. It’s different

Everyone has painted walls but only few have decorative concrete. Be it the exterior driveway for your car or the wall of your bedroom, this type of concrete will surely make your home look a lot more livelier.

5. It is durable

The best part about this is that this type of concrete is durable. It can last for years. While there are certain precautions to take like you may need to protect the walls from direct sunlight should you choose to use concrete dyes to build the decorative concrete. However, most decorative concrete lasts for years without a problem.

New Year, New Trends in Color and Design

We’re well into the new year, and the Chinese New Year has just kicked off as well. As the fashion world starts to look ahead to spring, they release their predictions and pronouncements for the trends of the upcoming year. 2014 will prove to be fast moving light-hearted and fun if these newly announced trends have anything to do with it.

Saturated colors, Rich Fabrics

What color are your walls? If they’re beige, grey or white, this may be a good time to update your wall color. Rich, deeply saturated colors like navy and plum are the new look. In fact some designers consider Navy the new “neutral.”

If having a navy wall or room makes you a little uncomfortable, start with one piece of furniture or a few fabric accents. If you have beige walls and a white sofa consider how rich plum colored pillows and a throw rug might give that room a nice color “pop.” If you don’t want to replace your sofa but you want that deep luxurious plum color, you could get a fabric furniture cover. This will allow you to change the color of the couch as trends change without having to spend a fortune.

New Takes on Classic Design

Floral patterns are back – but not your grandmothers florals! Bold and bright is what’s “in” this year. Interpretations of floralpatterns are no exception. Mixing and matching bold pattern and bright florals will modernize your overall look.

When shopping for fabrics, consider rich luxurious textures. Corduroy, velvet and suede are sophisticated and durable. These rich fabrics will hold up to darker color schemes and make your room feel trendy, yet comfortable.

No More Matchy-Matchy

2014 is the year to take bigger design risks when decorating. You probably already know that like colors and hues work well even if the patterns differ. This year consumers have even more variety to choose from.

Consider bringing different colors, textures and finishes into your home. You will be surprised how fresh and lively your space will look as you push the boundaries of what you thought would look good together.

The Color Purple

This year’s “Color of the Year” is Radiant Orchid – a vibrant purple with pink undertones. Purple is thought of as a healing color. It is also the color of wealth and royalty.

If choosing a deep plum or orchid color is not your “cup of tea,” then consider going to a lighter color, such as lavender, for your walls and use brighter shades of purple as an accent.

Sculptural Artwork

This year is all about textures and the art on your walls is no exception! Hanging sculpture is what’s “hot” for 2014. Sculpture adds interest and dimension to your walls. Consider a range of materials: Metal, wood, horn, or even macrame or fabric.

If you don’t feel particularly crafty, consider the many local independent artisans in your community. Attend some local arts and crafts shows and you’ll discover a whole world of creativity. Maybe you’ll even find that wall sculpture that makes your heart sing every time you look at it.

How to Remove Old or Damaged Insulation

Insulation needs to be removed and replace from time to time to ensure that it is working to its full potential. Hiring a contractor for insulation removal is the best way to have this done; however, if you do not have the budget for that, you can learn to do it yourself. There are many reasons why you may need to replace your insulation including roofing system leaks, rodent infestations and other types of contamination. The act of removing the insulation is not too difficult, but the attention to detail that it requires is taxing. If you educate yourself about the type of insulation you have and how to remove it, you should be able to complete this project in about one day.

Always remember to take precautions before starting this project. You’ll want to protect your skin from the fiberglass insulation with long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves. If you have long hair make sure it is pulled back, or you can cover it with a hat.

The first thing you need to do before diving into this project is to test for asbestos. Asbestos is very dangerous to handle and this step should be taken very seriously, as your health depends on it. You can purchase a at-home asbestos test kit at most hardware stores. Follow the directions provided with the kit carefully. If your insulation tests positive for asbestos, you’ll need to call a qualified professional right away. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious lung problems. If your test comes up negative for asbestos you can move forward with your insulation removal project.

Prepare your work area by laying a tarp or drop cloth down. The cloth will protect your home from insulation residue and debris. If you have a rodent problem you may find carcasses or droppings in the insulation and the drop cloth will help keep any of that nasty, unwanted material from entering your home.

Next you’ll need to identify the type of insulation you have in your home. This is fairly simple to do. The first step is to identify it as blown-in insulation or blanket insulation. If you find blown-in insulation, you’ll need to rent or borrow a high efficiency particulate air vacuum, more commonly known by its acronym, HEPA vacuum. The vacuum will be inserted into the wall to suck the insulation straight out. Blanket insulation can be removed be bagged and removed by hand.

When you are finished make sure to clean up any remaining debris using a high powered vacuum. You want to be sure to remove any bits of insulation and animal refuse before installing any new insulation.

Want to Build a Home in Three Days? Try a DIY Flat Panel Home

There is a growing demand in the United States for prefabricated flat panel homes. The DIY home building kits that are already big business in Europe and the UK are catching on in the states like wildfire for homebuyers that are purchasing them.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a Do-it-yourself (DIY) kit is a prefabricated kit you can buy that allows you to purchase and assemble a house on your own. These homes are completely or partially built away from the owner’s actual building site.

A flat panel home, as it name implies, means that the house is manufactured in panels or sections allowing for the ease of shipping the parts to be built at the site of your choosing.

The DIY home kits offer some appealing features compared to buying an existing home, especially being able to have one in place on your building site in a very short time. The average traditional home can take three months to a year to construct and be ready to move in, depending on the complexity of the home. That’s not an ideal solution for many potential homebuyers, especially if they just want a small home.

What’s amazing about some of the better DIYs out there is that you can build a home on your own in a fraction of the time that it would take to build a home of equal size. Some can even be assembled in less than a week’s time.

Unity is a good example of a company that sells a DIY that you can assemble in a very short time. The company has been around forty years and offers several different models of DIY flat panel homes.

However, the most interesting ones for the homebuyer that want a home quick and cheap are the Xyla model cottage-style houses that Unity offers. These single-story models can be assembled in a little over three days. Think about it, you can have a house of your own-albeit a small one-in just over three days!

The Xyla starter models range in size from a two bedroom, one-bath model that is about 1028 Sq. Ft. to a three bedroom, three-bath model that is about 1591 Sq. Ft. The flat panels of the home are transported to your site by truck, and then assembled around a pre-dug concrete foundation with a small crane.

Unity saves a lot of construction time by installing the building’s siding off site. They use a decorative trim to give it an appealing uniform look instead of a façade of panels strung together that is common in many homes you see these days. The Xyla’s panels are put together on a rustic timber frame that crests in the center. The panels are then put together around the foundation.

Another feature of the Xyla flat panel home that makes it special is its upgradability. You can start out small and then upgrade to a bigger house by adding on flat panel modules. This gives a lot of pricing options that aren’t available with many static, traditional homes that are on the market.

Also, the longer you live in the Unity home the better your cost savings are because the DIYs require very little energy to maintain and run. When you get a home from them you are enveloped in a tight and heavily insulated envelope that nearly puts renewable energy options to shame.

There you have it-an energy-efficient house you can build in a short amount of time. It’s really hard to beat a 3-day lead time for a place that is extremely livable like the DIY flat panel kit in this article. You can also upgrade the inside of your completed DIY home using some helpful and creative home decoration tips from a professional (or yourself) to make it that cozy dream house you’ve always wanted.

DIY Shed Blueprints – The Right Plans Can Make Your Work A Lot Easier

Shed building plans are always there to help when you are thinking of building a shed on your own. Some people may prefer buying ready-made sheds or utilize shed building kits. But using a plan lets you make a shed while keeping your budget low. Ready-made sheds are pretty expensive and might not be exactly what you are looking for. Pre-built kits are easy and convenient but building your own shed from scratch is also a good solution.

First of all look in your building department or local zoning if a permit is required to build a shed. Then decide upon a place in your backyard or garden where the shed is going to be. Make sure that the shed doesn’t block an important view or a window from your house and also that it’s not positioned over important lines like phone or water lines.

Next you have to come up with a design for your shed. You can design it yourself or you can buy shed building plans. There are plenty of different plans available in the market as well as online. Second option is recommended if you don’t have much experience of construction. The plan will come with full instructions and diagrams that will help you throughout the construction.

Now for foundation of the shed you have two options. One is concrete foundation and the other is skid foundation. Skid foundation is cheaper and simpler as compared to concrete one. It will require some lumber and gravel which stabilizes the shed. Concrete foundation is more permanent and lasting. It’s also more durable and sturdy.

If you are building a wooden shed then you can utilize two pieces of plywood with a lattice between them to make the wall. Doing this will provide better insulation and the walls will be more sturdy. You can start with making frames of joists and skids which will lead to the entire construction.

You can build the roof in gable or barn style because it’s functional as well as beautiful and not too complex when it comes to construction. First you need to make roof trusses which you have to position at 5 to 15 inches in order to support the roof. Over the top you can place PVS sheets, iron sheets on bituminous compounds.

Building the door is the last step and the most important one. Calculate the size of the door accurately otherwise it will give you trouble while opening and closing. Door must be sturdy because it’s moved and utilized more often. Shed door can be made of boards that are armored by diagonal and horizontal beams for more robustness.

Now once the door is installed you can build in drawers, cupboards or anything that you think you will require in your shed. It will take a couple of days for shed to complete so be patient. Using shed building plans always make the job easy and you will know where you stand through the entire process.

Designing Your DIY Home Office On A Budget

Anyone that has ever tried to use a room in their house as a home office realizes that there aren’t clear boundaries, and there are usually constant interruptions. You know the type of interruption, right? You’re working late and kicking back multiple cups of coffee while you work on that project that’s waaaay past the deadline.

About the time you raise that fourth cup of coffee to your lips, the cat all of a sudden decides he wants to jump up on your desk and help you type. You wind up with coffee all over you and your computer, your project paper has 10 lines of cajkjkjjhoirejiojoiarjoeiuoijaorijoij where the cat jumped on the keyboard, and the culprit is shambling off casting dirty backward looks at you like you’re the one that messed up. And of course the deadline is still looming large.

You may not have a cat, but you may have other interruptions: the TV, kids, your spouse, significant others, etc. You don’t want to spend a lot of money to build another room, and it’s definitely cheaper to use an existing room in your house as a home office. Sooner or later, though, that last straw happens, and you just can’t take it anymore. To keep your sanity, it’s going to be better for you to build a home office and declare it off limits to your family, friends and pets. You may want to look at getting a flat pack home office.

DIY Flat Pack Home Office

Remember that you wanted to save money by keeping the home office in an existing room in your house. Well, you can save money over a traditional style building by building a flat pack home. Think about the possibilities-it’s an entire building that you can lay out all of your equipment and furniture in, and it will be off limits to everyone but you. Also factor in that you can save as much as 60% over what a contractor would charge to construct a building on your property of the same size. That gives you even more incentive to go this route.

Inexpensive DIY Office Building

Homestead Timber Buildings offer the perfect DIY flat pack option for those of you that are on a budget that want a charming and sturdy office building. The building is called the “White Room,” and you can build it onto your existing home. The White Room retails for £4,000, and you can save money on building permits because one isn’t needed since it is less than 2-1/2 meters high.

The white room features include a strong timber frame and lots of versatile inner space. If you live in a climate that gets cold, you can also order optional insulation to be installed in the wall’s cavity. That model is called the Green Room, and it costs £8,200.

You’ll get to customize the room space by selecting the door and window positions when you order. The instructions for putting the building together are delivered to you at the same time your room components arrive. Assembly components also include durable timber floors, walls, double-glazed windows and doors with high-quality secure locks pre-assembled inside them.

You put everything together yourself, but you put the glazing panels on the base of the timber building as a last step of the process. You don’t even need to paint the building because the factory paints it inside and out before it is even delivered to you.

How To Balance A Wobbly Ceiling Fan

The first step to balancing a ceiling fan is to make sure that the blades and blade arms are all level. If your fan has ever been accidentally bumped or hit in some way, the blades or blade arms may have been bent slightly and therefore would be out of level. The only items you need for this fix is a ladder and a tape measure. Climb the ladder so that you are positioned just outside one of the fan blades.

With the fan turned off, don’t want to hurt yourself, use your tape to measure each blade tip and make sure they are all at the same height. Extend the measuring tape to a spot on the ceiling and hold it there. The tape measure should stay in one place as you turn the fan, by hand, and measure each blade as it passes the tape. All of the blades should pass the tape at the same height. If there is a blade that is out of level you can use one hand positioned on the blade arm, the other on the fan motor, and gently bend the blade arm back into position. This simple fix may solve your problem. If it does not, move on to the next step.

If you’ve tried to level each blade on your fan and it is still out of balance please proceed with these steps. A balancing kit should have come with your fan when you purchased it. If you don’t have one it can be purchased a local lighting showroom or big box store. The balancing kit comes with a u-shape clip and a few lead strips or small weights with adhesive on the back. To use the balancing kit you first use the u-shaped clip. Attach it to a blade somewhere in the middle, and turn on your fan. Make note on a piece of paper if the fan improved or not. Remove the clip and place it on the next blade and repeat, turn on the fan, record the results. Eventually you will find one blade that improves the wobble more than the others. On the blade with the best results start moving the clip in and out on the blade and repeat the process of turning on the fan and noting your results.

After this process you will have determined which blade and where on that blade the lead weights should be placed. Remove the adhesive cover on the weight and place them on the top of the blade so they are hidden from sight. Turn on your fan and hopefully you have just balanced out your wobbly fan.

TIP:

If you don’t want to purchase a balancing kit you can use items around the house. Try using plain masking tape and quarters or washers, then finalize the mounting of the weight with double sided tape. Make sure that the weights are secured with a good quality tape, you wouldn’t want those to be flying off!

Gazebo Plans For Sale – Professional Blueprints Can Make The Job Much Easier

A gazebo can be a great addition to your garden and you can find many gazebo plans for sale that will greatly help you in building the gazebo. A gazebo can serve many different purposes. You can make a huge gazebo that will let you hold dinner parties or gatherings with friends and family. Or you can come up with a small gazebo where you can spend time alone sipping coffee. Building a gazebo is complex and that is why gazebo blueprints play an essential role in making a gazebo.

Planning should be you major step. In order to achieve professional results, you must plan beforehand as to what kind of gazebo you want. You will find many gazebo plans for sale so you can choose from there as well.

Determine the size of the gazebo that will depend on the purpose you are building it for. If you wish to hold small dinner parties or friends get together then a 12 to 14 feet gazebo will do. Otherwise a smaller size will work for you as well.

Look for a leveled place in your garden. Check it for dirt and debris and make sure it is clean and leveled. Foundation is very important for every building. So for a durable foundation make sure it is leveled and then lay the concrete footing.

Use concrete blocks for footing so that it’s sturdier and long-lasting. However, if it is going to be a temporary gazebo then normal supporting will also do for the surface of the gazebo. But we recommend using concrete footing because of its durability.

Most gazebos are octagon is shape but it is up to you what shape do you want. It can be square too when you wish to enjoy sunny days in the garden. For octagon gazebo, place corner footings over the concrete. The vertical posts should be fitted in all the eight corners of the gazebo and one at the center. Make sure that they are firm and properly aligned.

Then install the deck support and joists to these vertical posts. Also connect them with the center post. Next comes the decking board to be attached with the footings. It has to be straight and placed properly otherwise the inaccuracies will be quite visible in the final structure.

Then frieze panels and top joists are connected with the vertical posts. Raise all the rafters from each post and take them carefully to the king post at the top center. This is a time taking step so you need to be careful and be patient during this process.

Now is the time to connect roofing panels with the rafter. And you can finish the roof by either using wooden boards, or wooden panel sheets. You can even go for shingles or tiles. Whichever suits you!

Add railings, screens or balustrades at the very last. At this stage your gazebo is complete and you can add you own touch in the final structure. You can keep it simple or make it fancy and elevate its beauty.