Saturday, November 18, 2017

Major garage transformation

Garage - Photo: Wikimedia
One of the most commonly encountered questions when thinking about converting your garage for a new use is the warmth of the floor. Whether you are choosing to convert your garage into a spacious home office or to convert it into a gym room, you have to take into consideration some improvements for your floor.

Since the garage has a concrete and uninsulated floor you should focus on making it warmer and more resilient. Furring up the floor with wood and plywood can accomplish both tasks. As a warning, you should use pressure-treated wood or protect the wood which is in contact with the concrete by placing a layer of felt paper between the wood and the concrete.

First of all measure and determine how much you want to raise the floor. All garage floors have some amount of slope from the back wall to the wall with the garage door in it to allow the water runoff. To achieve a level floor you will have to adjust the joists, for this if you are placing the joists perpendicular to the slope in the floor each of them would have to be ripped down or shimmed up and if the joists are parallel to the slope, you can rip them on a taper or use shims to level them.

Ok, you finished remodeling the floors, now it’s time to examine your walls. You might be surprised to find out that your walls are not even with the foundation they sit on. They may be set back from the foundation or maybe overhang it in other areas. Only one step will solve these problems: selecting a lumber size that is deep enough to extend the framing past the concrete. By notching each end of the furring strip and attaching one strip to the face of each wall stud will result in an even wall that completely hides the foundation. Also, it will be deep enough for the R-21 wall insulation, this type of insulation being the most common code requirement. 

When remodeling the walls and the floor several obstructions may appear. Obstructions like pipes, ducts, wires and other impediments to smooth walls may exist. For small obstructions such as wires or small pipes, you could adjust the furring strips enough to accommodate them. The solution for larger obstructions is to box around them. If the obstruction is a water heater or something that you will need access to, you can frame it in and enclose it on three sides and then provide a removable access panel for the fourth side.

A building permit may be required for a garage makeover. Of course, all the methods presented here are purely theoretical and only for guidance. All garages are different and some adjustments to the used methods or materials may be required in order to accommodate to your garage. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mountain Bike Anatomy

Maintain Bike - Photo: Pixabay
A mountain bike is the one thing you need before you go mountain biking.  A mountain bike contains many parts, which will be covered below:

1.  Bottom bracket - This attaches the crankset to the body of a bike. 

2.  Brake cable - This is the cable that connects the brake lever to the brake mechanism.

3.  Brake lever - The lever on the handlebar to activate the brakes.  The left side is the front brake and the right side is the rear brake.

4.  Chain - The circular set of links that transfer power from the chainring to the cogs.

5.  Chainring - The toothed rings that attach to the crank to hold the chain.

6.  Crank - The lever that extends from the bottom bracket to the pedal, transferring the power to the chainrings.

7.  Derailleur - The mechanism for moving the chain from one cog to another.

8.  Downtube - The section of the frame that extends downward from the stem to the bottom bracket.

9.  Front shock - The shock absorber on the front fork.

10.  Handlebar - The horizontal bar attached to the stem with handgrips on the end.

11.  Headset - The mechanism in front of the frame that connects the front fork to the stem and handlebars.

12.  Hub - The center part of the wheel that the spokes are attached to.

13.  Idler pulley - The bottom pulley of the rear derailleur that provides spring tension to keep the chain tight.

14.  Nipple - A threaded receptacle that holds the end of the spoke to the rim.

15.  Pedal - The platform to pedal on; attaches to the crank.

16.  Rear shock - The shock absorber for the rear tire on dual suspension type bikes.

17.  Rim - The metal ring that holds the spokes on the inside and the tire to the outside.

18.  Saddle - The seat.

19.  Seat post - Offers support for the seat. 

20.  Skewer - The metal rod that goes through the hub, attaching the wheel to the dropouts of the frame.

21.  Spindle - The free rotating axle that the crank arms attach to; also a part of the bottom bracket.

22.  Spokes - The thick wires that join the hub to the rim.

23.  Stem - A piece that attaches the handlebar to the steering tube.

24.  Wheel hub - The center of the wheel that the spokes are attached to.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Archery Targets

Archery targets - Photo: Pixabay
Archery is the game that involves the shooting of arrows that are released from the bow and shot at a target. The closer you shoot the arrow to the archery targets, the more your score will be. The scored targets of each player are added and the person with the highest addition is declared as the winner. 

This game is categorized into two types i.e. field and target. The player shoots the arrow from various distances at one target in archery targets and in field archery, the players are allowed to move around in the course and shoot at the targets of various sizes from various distances. The bows that are used in the later type of this game have a traditional look. 

The bows that are used in the archery targets and the field target are made up of fiberglass or carbon and are fitted with stabilizers and sights. These bows are attached with stabilizers to stabilize the bows while playing the game. The arrows are attached with a pointed tip of metal in the front and at the back; these arrows are provided with slots to attach the strings of the bows. Straw ropes are stitched together to make the butts or the targets and then the canvas targets are pinned with colored papers. 

The adventurous archery targets involve many rules that need to be followed by the players or the shooters. During the competitions, the players can use any other bow except the crossbow. One of the rules of the game also specifies that every player should have a different colored crest on his/her arrows as a sign of identification. The arrows can only be shot when the player is given the signals. 

Every player is allowed to shoot only six arrows at the specified target. The shots are counted valid even in the circumstances like: after shooting, the arrows that fall down from the bow or the bows that do not reach the shooting line. The longest distance is to be shot first and the distance of shooting gradually increases after the first shot. 

The shooting distances are different for the men and the women competitors. For men, the distances are 90 meters, 70 meters, 50 meters, 30 meters and for women, the distances are 70 meters, 60 meters, 50 meters and 30 meters

Listed below are some of the archery targets that are available in the market. The pro weave target faces are durable and are stuck together by pressure and heat. These types of boards can be used for improving the shooting skills.

The 3D archery targets will add a lot of excitement to the game. These types of targets are available in the market and can be used by the beginners as well as the expert shooters. These archery targets can be made at home also by using corrugated cardboard, cording, foam padding, 2x4 wooden boards, excelsior etc. 

Archery is a game of skill and concentration and if practiced regularly it can certainly be improved.

Basic Burglar Alarm Equipment

Photo: Wikimedia
Security and disaster alarms are no longer new to most people. These devices have already been available for quite some time now and have been continuously innovated. 

These deterrent instruments are usually found in business establishments. The very reason for installing such devices is for protection of properties against attempted burglary and destructive disasters like fire.

Banks and jewelry shops are examples of businesses that need high security. By using burglar alarms the security that these businesses need is met. In fact, they are being required by their insurance companies to have the most complex and effective burglar alarm that they can have. The higher the security needed the more complex the burglar alarm must be. 

Burglar alarms that are installed in homes use the basic principle of an alarm system. By simply using the electrical flow, alarms can be triggered to sound when conditions are met. For example, for a closed circuit alarm, when the door opens, the current flow powers the sounder. Contrary to the open circuit alarm because when the current is cut, the alarm sounds. 

There are only three main parts or major equipment a burglar alarm has. These are 1) the control panel, 2) signaling device and 3) detectors. These parts are being interconnected for it to work. There are systems that use radio frequency, infrared, and the like in order to connect one part to another. The system that uses radio transmitters and receivers is called the wireless system.

Control Panel

A control panel is the central processing device of the system. It is where you program the system to work according to the specifications of the home or building. It is also where you can turn on, turn off or reset the alarm system. The control panel can be accessed using remote keypads. All specifications of a control panel may differ according to the prerogative and design of the manufacturer. The detector zones can be programmed in the control panel so whenever the detector receives unusual frequencies, the control panel processes it and let the sound device alarm. A control panel also contains a memory chip that stores the user’s settings. There are other features that a control panel may contain. It can be found in the user manual or specified in the product brochure.

Signaling Devices

These burglar alarm equipment make sounds whenever the condition is met for it to alarm. A sounder may be a bell, a buzzer or a chime. Most commonly the sounder that is being used for burglar alarm systems are those that are loud enough and that can cause panic to the burglar. These days, sounders are already partnered with a strobe. A strobe is a special lighting device. It has a lamp inside that is mounted in such a way that it rotates as the sounder sounds. The most common colors used for the strobe are red, blue and yellow. Speech dialers or telephone relays are also part of the signaling equipment. 


Detectors are also called as sensors. These equipment are responsible for reporting unusual movements to the control panel. There are several types of detectors that are used for a burglar alarm system. Here are some of the commonly used detectors:

Magnetic Contact Detectors – this type is usually used in windows and doors. These devices are mounted on the edges of the doors and windows. 

Infrared Detectors (passive infrared) – these are basically used to detect motions or unusual irregularities in the place. This can also be used to detect temperature changes and smoke. 

Vibration sensors – these devices are quite more sensitive than the magnetic contact detectors because a little vibration from the window or door can be interpreted by the device as unusual and may possibly trigger the control panel to sound the alarm.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Brief History of Parachutes

Skydiver - Photo: Pixabay
The physics behind a parachute is easy to understand. But making real ones are far from easy. Making toy parachutes seem like a good idea for an easy science project but experimenting with different variations is not as easy as tying strings to a fabric. Making parachutes for use in real life takes a lot of risk and accuracy.

Before modern parachutes gave us the thrill of skydiving it took a lot of guts for early investors to design parachutes that actually work and not fall them to their death. The history of parachutes went through a lot of development and a few deaths. 

The modern parachute was invented by Louis-S├ębastien Lenormand in 1783. However, there are earlier versions of parachutes created by a few centuries earlier. Before the silk parachute was invented, there were basic designs built that worked on the same principles. 

Parachutes, past and present

The earliest form was a cloak attached to wooden struts. It was made by an Arab Muslim named Arem Firman in the 9th century. He jumped from a tower in Cordoba and suffered only minor injuries. Parasols were used in China for entertainment. It allows entertainers to jump from high places and float to the ground.

Leonardo da Vinci also sketched parachute with conical designs. It served as an escape device to enable people to jump from burning buildings. In 1617 Faust Vrancic was the first person to be able to make a successful jump with a parachute. 

Jean Pierre Blanchard developed his own parachute as a means to get off a hot air balloon. His first demonstrations were done with a dog as the passenger. He later on unintentionally put his invention to the test as he escaped from his ruptured hot air balloon. 

In the 1790's he made a parachute out of silk which was more stronger and lighter than previously used materials. Early parachutes were made of linen with a wooden frame.

Andre Garnerin invented the vented parachute in 1797 and made a successful jump using Blanchard's design. The vented parachute improved stability during descent. Gleb Kotelnikov invented he knapsack parachute. It was popularized by Kathleen Paulus and Paul Letterman.

The first major use of parachutes was in the military. It was by artillery spotters and pilots. Unfortunately, the parachutes were heavy and pilots were not able to use it entirely. The German Air Service provided parachutes to their pilots. Unfortunately, there were many setbacks that most of the pilots died when using them. 

Leslie Irvin was able to invent a parachute that can be used by pilots when jumping out of the airplane in 1919. The Irvin parachute became successful leading to the creation of the Caterpillar Club. 

Experiments on parachutes were continued by several countries. It was then used in surprise attacks by dropping soldiers in enemy lines in World War II. The soldiers were called paratroopers. Airborne forces and crew were trained and equipped with parachutes.

Their designs were developed and improved over time. After the war parachutes were used in skydiving which is an extreme sport. The latest parachute is called Ram-air which has the same capability of a paraglider.

It enables its passenger to control the speed and direction of the parachute for a soft landing. It's made of nylon and uses the latest technology to prevent tearing.    

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stamp Collecting: A General Overview

Stamp Collecting - Photo: Maxpixel
Stamp collecting is a hobby that is enjoyed by many.  If you are interested in enjoying this popular hobby, you may be looking for more information.  After all, some of the most successful stamp collectors in the world are ones who first took the time to research and examine stamp collecting as a hobby in general.

The history of stamp collecting is a topic that many professional stamp collectors and hobbyists enjoy researching and discussing.  It has been noted that stamp collecting was first made popular by children, namely teenagers.  With that in mind, around the 1900s, stamp collecting evolved into a hobby that was enjoyed by individuals of all ages.  This increase in popularity was mostly due in part to the examination and determination of stamp values.  Many later realized that stamp collecting not only had the possibility to be a fun hobby but a profitable one at that.

As previously stated, there are many stamp collectors who collect stamps for their own personal use.  On the other hand, there are those who buy, sell, and collect stamps for profit.  The many purposes of having a stamp collection are just one of the many reasons why this hobby skyrocketed in popularity.  There are many stamp collectors who do so for the sole purpose of having a hobby that keeps them occupied, those who collect stamps to pass down to their future family generations, and those who do so solely for the purpose of making money.

In keeping with the rise in popularity of stamp collecting, especially in the early to late 1900s, stamp collecting increased in popularity as it is easy to do.  This hobby is one that individuals of all ages, gender, and race can participate in and enjoy with ease.  Although many stamp collectors today, especially those with hopes of seeing profits, purchase stamps from dealers, there are no requirements to do so.  Many stamp collectors simply just collect stamps from their mailings, the post office, or from those that they know.

Stamp collecting is also enjoyed by many because it is a fun and safe activity.  In fact, this is why stamp collecting is considered a great activity by parents.  Many parents, especially in today’s society, take comfort in knowing that our activities, aside from video games and violent movies, that their children take an interest in. 

The supplies needed are another one of the many reasons why stamp collecting was and still is a popular hobby for collectors.  No supplies are needed to start a stamp collection, although you and other stamp collectors can benefit from using them.  Magnifying glasses enable you to examine your stamp collection and possibly determine its value.  Stamps albums and stamp stocks allow you to properly store, maintain and care for your stamp collection.  This safe and proper storing is important if you would like to pass on your stamp collection to future generations or if you would like to sell it for a profit later on.

As it was previously stated, stamp collectors can get stamps from mailings, but many choose to purchase stamps to add to their collection.  Stamps that are sought after for purchase often include older, rare, or limited edition stamps.  Stamp collectors looking to purchase stamps for their collection can visit stamp collecting dealers or examine online auction websites.  Online auction websites, like eBay, are a great option for beginners.  Once you are more confident in your stamp collecting quest, you may want to approach professional stamp dealers.

The above-mentioned points are a general overview of stamp collecting.  Although you and other first-time stamp collectors are likely looking to get started right away, there are a number of steps to doing the proper amount of research first.  By familiarizing yourself with the proper way to care for collected stamps, as well as by researching and examining stamp values, you are more likely to see success as a stamp collector, no matter what your reasons for getting started are.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Making a Radio Controlled Boat

RC Boat - Photo: Pixabay
For some reason, being able to control a miniature boat as it skims over the water of a local lake is something that many people find very appealing. It doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or an adult; remote controlled boats are universally fun. On top of that, nothing is more fun than undergoing a huge and daunting project and eventually seeing the results come through. Therefore you should consider building a remote-controlled boat on your own, out of materials that you can buy from any local craft or hobby store. If you are here, you have likely already considered this prospect. It is more than possible and probably easier than you would think.

Since you have taken the more interesting route and decided to build your remote controlled boat rather than buy one pre-made, you will have quite a few more challenges facing you that you wouldn’t have run into otherwise. However, all of the hard work that you put into your remote controlled boat will pay off in the end, and you will feel like you have really accomplished something when you take it out to a lake for a day and it is able to successfully navigate the treacherous waters. You will probably be frustrated along the way as your boat falls apart, or even sinks into the water never to be seen again. However, if you persevere you will be glad that you did.

Unless you have experience in the construction of boats, you will probably want to use plans that someone else has created. You can find plans for remote control boats all over the place – on the internet, in magazines, or in books. You may even use the plans for a full-sized boat, and make a scaled model of it. As long as you are confident that the motor and radio components will not interfere, this is a good route to take. Regardless of where you get your plan, you will need one that is utterly clear in every aspect. Even the slightest typo or misreading could result in your boat sinking, or spin in circles struggle to stay afloat.

As you build the boat, you will need quite a few supplies, first, the wood is a very important part. If you are using custom plans, wood is probably the material you will be working with. You can find quantities of light wood such as balsa at your local hobby store. You should always get extra, since a wood that light is prone to snapping when you least expect it. The wood is held together using glue, and you will start with a hull-shaped structure then plate it with sheets of wood. After it is all done, you caulk the holes and cracks with some sort of putty, then spray it all with a sealant to make it waterproof. After that, you are free to paint it however you see fit.

The motor equipment on a radio controlled boat must have more attention paid to it than other remote controlled projects like cars or planes. If even one droplet of water gets into the electrical components, your entire project will be ruined, and you will have to buy new (possibly expensive) radio equipment. Waterproofing the motor equipment is fairly difficult, and you should always test it with no electricity involved before you actually go out on your maiden voyage. It is usually accomplished by having the motor extend an arm through a waterproof sealant that will prevent any water from getting in.

There are many parts to the process of creating a radio controlled boat, and each one needs to have close attention paid to it. As long as you can invest this time, you should have a great experience. You don’t want the little sailors in your boat frantically tossing things overboard as they try to stay afloat, do you?