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Archive for the ‘DIY’ tag

Just Do It – Build Your Own Porch!

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The front of a house seems incomplete without a veranda. In the back of your house, it can be a fantastic setting for private parties. It’s also a good place to relax after a long hard day.

Those who wish to capitalize on their power tools and carpentry skills may be interested to know how to build a porch. First, though, check if any building permits are needed and that your plans comply with local building codes. Building even an open, unscreened porch may require a permit as it is considered an extension or add-on to your house.

One of the first things to install is the footing, or posting. This supports the entire veranda and attaches it to the ground (naturally) and must be done well for good results. An easy way to determine where the posts should be located is to mark off the boundaries of your intended porch. All that needs to be done next is to dig down to the frost level; about 12 inches across for each post and pour the concrete.

One way to put in a post is to first place the post in the hole and pack dirt around it before setting it in concrete. The other involves first pouring about 8 inches of concrete in the hole, leaving it to set for a day before inserting the post. The next 2 inches are filled with rounded gravel before the rest is topped off with concrete. All concrete must be left 24 hours to dry before proceeding further.

Ledger boards are attached to the house before the deck is completely built. Usually, 2′ x 10′ boards are nailed directly onto the sill about 4 inches under the door and provide more support for the veranda. Subsequently, joists can be attached via joist-hangers that are attached to the ledger board with galvanized screws. Beams are installed atop the joists, followed by the decking material of your choice. Always use pressure-treated lumber that has been treated to be weather-resistant.

The railing you install as a final touch can be build from a railing kit obtainable from hardware stores. Once again, you are required to comply with safety standards set forth by local building codes. Now you no need to search for a carpenter for building a porch, you yourself can build a beautiful porch.

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June 26th, 2010 at 7:07 am

Step By Step Instructions to Build an Acoustic Guitar

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Anyone who has had their gaze drawn down the soft, sinuous curves of an acoustic guitar is sure to have felt an irresistible urge to handle the magnificent instrument. It can be a challenging but worthwhile pursuit for an enthusiast to combine the knowledge of woodworking and a love of music and learn how to build a guitar.

Plans for building guitars are available from a wide variety of sources. The type of wood you select for the body of the instrument plays an important role in the sound that is generated. The wood used should be 0.25 inches thick and be durable yet lightweight. Types of wood that are commonly used include cedar and spruce.

The front and back parts, or pieces, of the guitar can be cut out with a jig saw after precise measurements are made. The two pieces have to be exactly the same shape to ensure a perfect fit. The sound hole is an integral part of the instrument that produces a sound with more bass if it’s smaller, and more treble if it’s larger. This has to be cut out near the center of the front piece.

Both the back and front pieces have to be braced for support and strength and to lower the risk of the wood cracking in drier conditions. Braces are made from similar wood and attached with wood glue. The glue must be allowed to dry before proceeding further.

Forming the sides of the instrument is a time-consuming process that requires much patience. Two strips of wood, approximately 5 inches wide and long enough to wrap halfway around the body pieces are needed. The strips have to be soaked in hot water and individually shaped to fit the contours of the pieces. A Styrofoam mold can be used to ensure the strips keep their shape. The strips ar

Anyone who has had their gaze drawn down the soft, sinuous curves of an acoustic guitar is sure to have felt an irresistible urge to handle the magnificent instrument. It can be a challenging but worthwhile pursuit for an enthusiast to combine the knowledge of woodworking and a love of music and learn how to build a guitar.

Plans for building guitars are available from a wide variety of sources. The type of wood you select for the body of the instrument plays an important role in the sound that is generated. The wood used should be 0.25 inches thick and be durable yet lightweight. Types of wood that are commonly used include cedar and spruce.

The front and back parts, or pieces, of the guitar can be cut out with a jig saw after precise measurements are made. The two pieces have to be exactly the same shape to ensure a perfect fit. The sound hole is an integral part of the instrument that produces a sound with more bass if it’s smaller, and more treble if it’s larger. This has to be cut out near the center of the front piece.

Both the back and front pieces have to be braced for support and strength and to lower the risk of the wood cracking in drier conditions. Braces are made from similar wood and attached with wood glue. The glue must be allowed to dry before proceeding further.

Forming the sides of the instrument is a time-consuming process that requires much patience. Two strips of wood, approximately 5 inches wide and long enough to wrap halfway around the body pieces are needed. The strips have to be soaked in hot water and individually shaped to fit the contours of the pieces. A Styrofoam mold can be used to ensure the strips keep their shape. The strips are glued to end and neck blocks before the front and back pieces are glued to the sides thus forming the body.

A mortise, or groove, is cut in the top of the body where the neck is attached after the body is sanded and smoothened. The construction of the neck, bridge and fret board are laborious and it is recommended that a commercial, pre-fabricated unit is used. Attach these securely with glue and leave to dry before stringing the instrument.

e glued to end and neck blocks before the front and back pieces are glued to the sides thus forming the body.

A mortise, or groove, is cut in the top of the body where the neck is attached after the body is sanded and smoothened. The construction of the neck, bridge and fret board are laborious and it is recommended that a commercial, pre-fabricated unit is used. Attach these securely with glue and leave to dry before stringing the instrument.

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June 26th, 2010 at 6:35 am

Do It Yourself – Repair a Damaged Tree Bark

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The tough exterior surface of a tree known as the bark protects the tree from being damaged by a number of insects and some environmental factors. Once the bark of the tree is partially or completely removed the tree is more vulnerable to infection and may soon die because of this. Basically the tree will not likely survive once the bark has been compromised significantly. Sometimes people accidentally injure tree bark by doing simple things like utilizing gardening power equipment close to neighbouring trees. However, if the damage is mended as soon as the incident occurs then your tree will possibly strive without any problems and replenish its bark in under year, so much so, the spot of the initial accident will not be noticeable to any one else. While certain types of damages are repairable, those that occur on older less vibrant trees will not be easily or likely fixed. In addition large areas that go further than the bark to deeper layers of tissue are actually irreparable. Yet there are still a couple things you can do after your tree has been negatively impacted none the less.

Required Materials

Duct tape

Tree Bark Solution (Optional)

Pesticide (that is safe for trees)

Required Tools

Scissors

Blade/Sharp Knife

Instructions

How you approach the blighted area will be related to the severity and what is potentially happening to your tree.

If a large chunk has been removed from your bark you will have to find that portion to begin repairs. Retrieve the portion that has come out, cut a bit of duct tape and fix the piece to the tree with the duct tape. Strap your duct tape around the tree with the piece in place to ensure that it will hold. This should stay put during rainy seasons because of the bonding strength of duct tape. However, if it starts falling off merely replace the previous duct tape with a bit of new duct tape. This should be left in place for three months and not much longer as the tape can actually damage the existing tree bark. During this time look in on the tree to ensure that it is healing properly. Basically once the tape is removed the bark should stay on the tree without needing the tape.

If you cannot find the missing bark, or there is none, just a big enough area left without bark coverage you will have to nurture the wound to incite rapid healing. Depending on the damage to the area you will have to refine the bit using a knife or blade. Get rid of any jagged pieces and then construct an eye shape on your damaged area with the tops and bottom being narrow and the middle having more width. The tree will heal rapidly and should not succumb to its injury. During this time insectscan hide in the wound and negatively affect the tree therefore you may wish to spray that section with a bit of pesticide to get rid of any eggs that may hide in this susceptible area. When the tree has restored itself this will not be a big concern.

You may think about utilizing a store bought healing solution. It works by forming a protective layer over the tree after you spray the contents from the can. Essentially it works similarly to a sealant. It is not certain if that this will promote healing and this may actually have the potential to destroy the existing tissue. However, you may try it if the methods here do not prove useful in your situation. The worst thing that may occur is that the tree dies as it intended to anyway.

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June 25th, 2010 at 8:01 am

Do It Yourself – Repair a Washing Machine

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Fixing a washing machine may depend on what issues you are having. Some problems are minor and need just a bit of tinkering while others will possibly need replacement parts and/or the services of a certified repair man. A few of these issues that may arise are shown here with guidelines on how to approach repairs.

Required Materials

Replacement Parts (if needed)

Belt

Motor

Required Tools

Pliers

Blow Dryer

Instructions

These instructions are based on each individual issue you may encounter when your machine goes awry.

For a dead machine that makes a low humming sound perform a few checks. Check to see that the hot and cold water supply lines are on. It is not impossible for the top of the pipe to maintain the on position but not necessarily be on from the shaft. Therefore you will need to unscrew the pipe line using a pliers and check to see that the shaft is actually turned in the right direction. If it is fine then check your inlet hoses, they may be clogged up from debris or frozen because of the weather conditions. If it is blocked you may try to unblock it by unscrewing the hoses and flushing them with a big gush of water, or by blowing air threw them. For frozen pipes you can possiblyslowly defrost them with a drier however, this effect will not last long if it is still very cold.

If the drum is not rotating, this may signal: a broken belt, a jammed machine as a result of an article clothing being caught in a specific section or motor issues. If it occurs because of a belt or motor issue you may have to get parts and replace them, it is best you let a professional examine the machine if this is the case. For a jammed machine inspect it properly and meticulously remove any articles of clothing you may discover in the particular area.

If the door will not open this could be the result of water still left in the machine, most times this is the case. Do not attempt to force the door open, rather have a professional look on the machine to make sure you do not accidentally damage any parts. If you have the skills needed to pump out the water yourself and the door is still closed this could indicate that the actual electrical interlocking system has deteriorated. In this case you will definitely need a professional to look on the extent of the damage.

In circumstances where there is flooding or overfilling the first thing your will need to do is check that your drain is not blocked. If it is you will have to manually clear the drain by removing any debris from it. However, if the drain is working properly then you will have to check the control system to see that the fill levels are functioning perfectly. If they are not functioning properly call a repairman to have this problem repaired, it is not likely that you will be able to alter these levels yourself.

If there is smoke in the drums this could signal a problem with the control system or fill level. Basically the heater may have come on without there being any water within the drum. Turn off the machine instantly and do not try to tinker with this issue yourself instead get a repair man to check it for you. If your machine starts working on its own still have a professional look at it just to be sure that it will not occur once more.

If the fuse blows, don’t be prompted simply to just change it this could signal a serious problem with your electrical wiring. Typically the machine should be placed on its own breaker, when this is not the case it may disrupt the normal flow of electricity to other parts of your home, hence it is important to have a qualified electrician look on your machine to avoid constant replacing of the fuse, or more unthinkable, an electrical fire.

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June 25th, 2010 at 7:20 am