The Best Tips for Buying a Plasma Cutter

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With a good quality plasma cutter, the serious do-it-yourselfer can lower cutting costs while improving productivity. Craftspeople who’ve experienced air plasma arc cutting can see the huge difference from standard oxyacetylene or mechanical cutting involving the use of snips, shears, saws and cut-off wheels. The plasma cutter eliminates the need for going through a preheat cycle and is able to cut any electricity-conducting metal while enabling effortless portability and reducing the heat-affected zone. Cuts obtained are characterized with small kerfs (cut ends or slits). If you need to trace shapes, cut holes, bevel, gouge or pierce smoothly and in less time, make sure to observe the following procedures for using a plasma cutter.

 

plasma cutters

 

Make sure everything you need is in the package

A complete plasma cutter package includes all the torches and cords for use with the plasma cutter itself. Make sure you have a work or ground clamp as well. You also need the right power cord. Some models come with pigtail adapters for 220-volt current and 110-volt current. Plug the correct pigtail adapter to the power cord.

Everything in the package comes in a heavy-duty carrying case, which keeps all the items required to operate the machine in just one place, including consumables and consumables cases.

 

 

Set up the workpiece

Take the ground clamp and affix it to the workpiece.Make sure the ground clamp is attached close to the exact spot where you will cut. Although the metal you work on has light surface rust in places or has some heavy coating of mill scale, those factors won’t really cause plenty of issues to what you are going to do. One great advantage to plasma cutting is the method can cut through thick rust, but you may not be able to get a good ground through. To handle this issue, just wiggle the clamp through the surface till the teeth are able to dig through the rust, Should the rust be really heavy on the surface, work it off using a good quality grinder to give the ground clamp a spot on which to attach. The working surface should be safe while enabling you to move freely. Using a grate or something similar as a worktable should be just fine.

 

 

Select the correct tip suitable for the amperage setting

A tip used for lower amperage settings features a small orifice to ensure maintenance of a narrow stream of plasma at the exact low setting. If you have an 80-amp setting and use a tip designed for 40 amps only, the orifice of the tip will get distorted and this will also decrease the life of the consumable. On the other hand, you won’t be able to focus the plasma stream that well when you work at lower settings utilizing an 80-amp tip, which also results in a wider kerf. To cut in corners, utilize patterns or work in tight areas, you need to get further reach via extended tips.

With faster travel speeds, you can get cleaner cuts, especially on aluminum. Adjust the machine to full output and vary your travel speed as well when working on thick material. For thin material, use low amperage settings and change to a low-amperage tip to get a steady narrow kerf.

 

Plasma cutter

 

Set up the machine with the right air pressure

Plug the machine in. Connect the air hose to the back of the machine. Turn the air flow on. Make sure you have clean, dry air, as running wet air can also result in a waste of consumables, and the machine is not going to cut as well as it should. Blow the moisture out to drain the the bottom of the air compressor.

Some units have a regulator knob sticking out the side of an air compressor tank, which allows you to dial in the exact air pressure you need. Other models have an LED regulator. A top-mounted knob is to be turned until the middle LED lights up, indicating the machine is ready to go. An automatic internal regulator ensures safe operations. Set the current based on the gauge rating of the metal you will be working on.

 

 

Start cutting

It will be a good idea to make a sample cut first using the same type of material you will be cutting to make sure you have set the right setting and travel speed. The trigger activates the machine. Typically, the trigger is equipped with a safety system that has to be lifted first before the trigger itself is depressed. Engage the pilot arc, which burns through any rust, paint or grease that may be on the workpiece and comes in contact with the workpiece itself. At this point, the larger cutting arc takes over.

Make sure the cutter stays close to the metal. Use the guide around the nozzle to cut with templates when available. Some plasma cutters come with a drag shield, which enables the user to leave the torch on the surface of the workpiece while ensuring that the tip doesn’t come in contact with the metal. Allowing the tip to touch the surface of your workpiece will not only shorten consumable life but will also ruin the quality of the cut.

For models without a drag shield, use your other hand to support the hand you are using to hold the plasma cutter.

The cutting arc should exit the workpiece at a 15- to 20-degree angle opposite the travel direction. If the arc travels straight down, the user may not be moving at an optimal speed. On the other hand, you are moving too fast if the arc sprays back.

After cutting, turn the machine off and detach the clamp.

 

 

 

The Best Tips for Installing Ceiling Speakers

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Ceiling speakers are a great idea for those who want to setup a really great looking audio system that will also sport high quality sound. Of course, the quality of the speakers purchased is very important in this regard, but how you choose to install them is equally important. Here are some tips on how to install ceiling speakers so you get the best sound with minimum effort and zero headaches.

 

Ceiling Speakers

 

Safety comes first

This is the first tip and it is the most important. Installing your speakers in the ceiling or walls needs to take certain things into consideration, such as, for instance, the fire codes in your building. You will need to make sure that you do not stumble upon any electric wires when you install the speakers.

Other safety information is related to how you choose to work when doing this operation. For instance, if you use a ladder, make sure that the ladder is very stable and it is placed in an area where it is comfortable for you to easily reach the area on the ceiling you are working on. Make sure to always have a hand on the ladder and do not carry heavy objects while climbing the ladder.

Make sure you turn off the electrical power while you are drilling holes for the ceiling speakers. Since there could be electrical wires in the wall, you should use an exploratory wire wrapped in electrical tape, so you can avoid any accidents.

In case you plan to install your ceiling speakers in an attic, keep in mind that these areas are poorly ventilated and you need a fan for circulating air. Stay hydrated and let a friend or a member of the family know where you are.

 

Plan ahead

It is no use to just start drilling and cutting drywall for installing your speakers without a bit of planning in advance. Decide where you want your ceiling speakers to be placed before making any purchase. Depending on what you want to do once your audio system is set in place, listen to music, watch movies, or play games, you may want to opt for a different placement for the speakers.

 

See if the desired locations work

It is very important that you do not start drilling in areas where electrical wires go through the walls and ceiling. So, a highly recommended advice is to drill a pilot hole and use a stud finder to see what you are dealing with behind the wall. Besides eliminating any possibility to puncture an electrical wire and cause an electroshock, you need to see if the speakers you want to install have enough room. Mounting dimensions should be listed inside the manufacturer’s manual, so pay attention to what is written there. If you are satisfied with the results, fix the templates provided for your speakers and use some tape to keep them in place, so you can get to work. Check to see if the templates are positioned properly, and you will be able to setup your ceiling speakers fast and easy.

 

Ceiling Speakers 1

 

Search for any pre-wired wires for speakers

There are homes where pre-wired wires for speakers may be in place. This means, of course, less work for you, so you should be interested in finding out whether or not your home has such features included. Check the documentation of your home and any pictures showing the wiring before installing the drywall. Hole saving brackets are also a solution in case they were used by the people who installed the drywall in your home.

 

Proceed with caution when cutting drywall

In order to install your ceiling speakers with ease, you will need to cut the drywall to the necessary dimensions. The templates mentioned earlier will give you the guidelines for cutting the drywall according to specifications. In case you want to install rectangular speakers, first drill two holes in two opposite corners. Round speakers require you to drill two holes opposed from one another. Professionals advise using a manual drywall saw and carefully proceed to cutting starting from one hole and going towards the next, abiding by the template.

Keep the saw at an inward slant, so that you do not have to patch your work a lot later on, or to minimize the amount of patchwork needed. Get rid of all the excessive material before you get the speaker inside. Repair and patch the drywall, so you do not have to work more later, with the speakers already in place.

What is living on benefits really like?

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Americans might not have heard about people living on benefits, but such cases are more or less common in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, over the years, various TV channels have taken the opportunity to describe the cases of multiple individuals, but the fact of the matter is that the so-called ‘truth’ exposed by the media couldn’t be farther from reality.

In an attempt to grow their audience, many TV channels from the United Kingdom have showcased some circumstances where people receiving out-of-work benefits were even more privileged than those who are forced to take a traditional 9-to-5 job.

Of course, such cases are spectacular and have somehow managed to convince the public that it is only due to a failing benefits system that these people are allowed to avoid work altogether and worse yet, even be paid for it.

The hard truth? Living on benefits is definitely not a lifestyle choice

Most of those watching these TV shows or the producers themselves have somehow gotten it into their heads that living on benefits was a personal choice of those shown on TV. In fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most people on benefits need a loan today, and that’s because it is virtually impossible for them to survive on as little as forty to fifty pounds per day.

What’s more, many of these individuals have a hard time coping with the situation from an intellectual standpoint. Many claim that they feel useless and that they constantly have the feeling that, just because they are walking down the street on a workday, passersby will know that they’re living on the social aid offered by the government.

While most of the TV audience for these shows have made the call to ignore the cases altogether, others have decided that they can’t keep quiet any longer. The critics say that living on benefits is a decision that anyone can take with ease. In actuality, more than half of those who receive any type of financial aid are job seekers just like any other random person down the street.

But who makes up the rest? Some are single parents who can’t cope with taking care of their children without providing them with the attention they require. Others are disabled individuals, who make up another important part of the percentage of people living on benefits. And finally, there are people whose pensions just aren’t enough to provide them with what they need.

As some of the resources we’ve come across have pointed out, the system is failing in one respect, and that is that it is incapable of removing the stigma around this type of living. Both the politicians and the media have somehow ended up in charge with the role of stigmatizing those on benefits.

 

It’s not only happening in the UK

In the spring of 2016, VICE published an article about a 31-year old Frenchman, Benjamin, who had decided to quit his job and start helping the people around him. The French have a unique benefits system of their own, although it might be slightly more intelligent compared to that available in the United Kingdom, which is to say that not anyone can receive financial compensation from the government.

Benjamin was a young individual who had worked long hours at a startup for approximately two and a half years before becoming a part-time worker. After standing up for an employee who was being ill-treated by the bosses, he made sure everyone at the office started to know that he hated his job and wanted to be fired.

And fired he was, after sending an email to a shareholder with all of his bosses on cc inviting him out for a meal to tell him his perspective on his job. The VICE article was written in April 2016 and Benjamin hadn’t had a job since 2014. Guess what? That wasn’t because he was looking or because people weren’t willing to hire him — but because he wasn’t.

The man claims that he now has time to pay attention to the people and things that truly matter in his life. Whenever he gets too attached to the idea of having money, he starts reassessing his personal needs.

People quit their jobs because of burnouts

For people who have never worked in the IT and online marketing environments, it might be more or less difficult to understand the concept of burnout. In fact, it might seem like a grave exaggeration, especially in the eyes of an individual who has to make a lot of effort to get through a day’s work.

However, the hard truth is that surviving in the corporate world is very difficult. The first time you apply to a job for a big company, the ad might appeal to you because of sayings like ‘office perks,’ ‘flexible schedule,’ ‘great pay,’ or whatever else recruiters might use to lure in the candidates. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take more than two to three months for things to turn sour – overtime, not as many perks as you might have thought, and hardly any free time because you also have to work from home or on the weekends.

Of course, this isn’t the case of all corporate environments, as there are happy cases such as Google, which is a company that obviously cares about its employees.

The same VICE article we were referring to earlier mentioned the case of Vincent, aged 37, who was used to making 4,800 pounds per month as a project manager in information technology. In 2008, he left the company he was working for after attempting to kill himself. He had already suffered a burnout in 2003, but he received only three weeks of sick leave.

Cases where people working for various corporate companies either die from exhaustion or suffer burnouts are extremely common nowadays, and some have even died at the office. In October 2017, a Japanese woman died from overwork after logging 159 hours of overtime in a month.

The common signs of burnout range from severe exhaustion, cynicism, and emotionally draining work to a complete absence of positive emotions and dire thinking, also known as catastrophic thoughts. It’s very easy for other people to judge individuals who are caught in a vicious circle that entails overworking day in, day out, but the truth is that not many of us could do it without suffering a burnout ourselves.

 

Let’s talk figures. What is it like to live on benefits?

Whether they were laid off or they now receive benefits because they are single parents, most of the people in these situations find it difficult to manage their money and will often end up in debt. The cases where these individuals have to live on less than 100 pounds per week are extremely common, with many of them having to do the same for not just one, but two persons.

Most people living in the United Kingdom will know that it is often difficult to rent a room in a house or flat with a minimum of 300 to 400 pounds. If what you receive per month in benefits is about 600 pounds, that 100 pound-figure we were mentioning earlier on isn’t even real. You’ll have to live with approximately fifty pounds per week, which is virtually impossible as a daily trip to any supermarket might cost you at least ten to fifteen pounds, and that’s only if you stick to the basics for yourself — not for your family, too.  

 

Prejudice makes it worse

There have been cases where people have tried to get a job time and again using their local Job Centers. Unfortunately, upon being unsuccessful for several weeks, they started becoming depressed, and once they manifested their concerns to the counselors at the centers, they were looked down upon and were even removed their benefits.

The reason why this has happened to so many people is that many consultants don’t have the open-mindedness that’s necessary to manage such circumstances and they fail to manifest an empathy toward the person who is in dire straits.

A small study performed by Robert de Vries in Oxford has revealed that people are far more tempted to associate benefit claimants with words like ‘useless,’ ‘bad,’ or ‘dirty’ than they would with ‘wonderful’ or ‘clean,’ for example.

What’s the progress?

According to the Quarterly Benefits Summary published by GOV.UK in November 2017, things aren’t so bad as one might think. In fact, the jobseeker’s allowance number has decreased from 1 million in 2000 to 460 thousand in May of 2017. The same happened for those claiming income support, as there used to be about 2.5 million in 2000 and in the month of May 2017, there were only 600 thousand.

The areas where we’ve noticed an increase in numbers are Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance, as well as Employment and Support Allowance. Both the pensions benefits and the housing benefits figures have remained somewhat stationary.

So, as much as the media might like to hyperbolize the whole situation, it isn’t as tragic as one might be tempted to believe it is.

 

The Best Tips for Choosing New Golf Balls

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Not all golf balls are created equal. Golf balls have been manufactured nowadays to match the advances in the engineering of golf clubs, which is good news for those who love the game as much as they love playing their best golf. You can considerably improve your game by choosing the right golf ball. Amidst the tweaking in design to accommodate the different needs of players, choosing the right golf ball has become a necessity rather than an afterthought.

golf balls

 

Check out the material

The cover of the golf ball can either be urethane or ionomer.

An ionomer cover is constructed using plastic elements. On the other hand, a golf ball cover made of urethane is made using soft, rubber ingredients. Choosing the material for the golf ball cover really depends on the player’s specific skill level aspects, which include the driver distance as well as unintentional habits to spin that the player may have.

Someone new to the game or who has a high handicap is better off checking out ionomer-enclosed golf balls. This type reduces slicing and hooking while allowing the user to get the ball travelling higher, which those with slow to moderate swing speeds can fully appreciate. This type of golfer can also work well with a two-piece ball that offers emphasis on low spin and distance.

Golfers who play on an expert level will do well with a urethane-enclosed golf ball. A player of this type typically shoots in the 70’s to the low 80’s, which signifies excellent control of the swing and the capability of going on a birdie run in every round. Urethane-covered golf balls are beneficial for short games while being long on the tee. The expert player can select between 3- and 5-piece balls.

The player whose skill level lies between the first two requires more focus on their side spin. This makes a 3-piece ionomer-enclosed golf ball a good bet, which delivers low spin, high launch and more roll on the ground.

 

 

Take note of the construction

Choose the type of golf ball construction to suit your needs. Golf balls are marketed as multilayer items with 2- or 3-piece designs. Multilayer balls are geared toward minimizing the effects of spin on them.

For golfers who want additional backspin, a 3-piece ball is ideal.

In addition, once you have understood your greenside control needs, pick a ball to fit those needs.

If you are the type of player who considers control around the greens as critical to every game, a three-piece urethane covered ball should do fine. If control on the greens is not really a big deal, or even a soft feel, or all you want is just getting a long distance from your driver and a spin with full irons is vital, check out golf balls with medium- to low- hardness on the cover.

A number of golf balls can give far distances with soft feel. However, control around the greens doesn’t come with soft feel.

 

golf ball on green

 

 

Take note of compression ratings

Low core compression can give a ball a soft feel despite a relatively hard cover, which won’t grip high-loft clubs. Thanks to improvements on core technology, there are now plenty of good choices in the category for feel-distance in golf balls.

For players who have high swing speeds and can propel their drive over 240 yards in the air, a suitable compression rating is 100. Individuals with lower swing speeds should do well with a compression rating from 80 to 90.

 

 

Check out Spin

With a low spin golf ball, the side spin of shots is reduced so the ball can fly straighter and truer through the air. The distance travel may not be much but the decreased spin will result in a higher amount of roll when landing. This type is suitable for those who find it challenging to achieve ground distance or who slice the ball.

A mid-spin gold ball offers a choice between a low spin and a high spin golf ball. By taking the benefits of the other two types of balls, the mid-spin ball delivers strong distance with a unique feel and softness. This type is usable by all players.

A high spin golf ball is engineered to raise the level of air spin for it. When hit, this type is propelled through the air with a certain level of back spin to cover a longer distance. This type is made for those who hit the ball right to left with a draw.

high spin golf ball

 

 

The golf ball should match all aspects of your game

You want a golf ball that will complement all aspects of your game. It is necessary to evaluate one’s overall game along with their weaknesses before making a final decision on a golf ball.

For those who often end up 10 to 15 yards short on their target driver length or on long par 3s, going for a golf ball geared to provide further distance is always the best choice.

Individuals who find themselves hitting greens while the ball remains unstuck, a ball geared for higher spin could enable possible hitting of more greens in moderation.

 

 

 

4 Effective Tips to Clean the Carvings in Wooden Furniture

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I am sure that there might be many folks like me who just love the antique look that wooden furniture can bring to their homes. Are you one among them? Well, happy to hear that!

However, now, we can buy some of the most premium quality wooden furniture from the high-end online stores like made.com at an affordable rate.

So, the barrier of expensiveness would most likely not come into your way anymore to feel the grandeur of wooden furniture at your home!!

But, when you have such furniture in your home and that too the highly carved gorgeous ones then you face a major problem.

Let me guess it!!

Isn’t it the difficulty of cleaning the carves in them?

 

I, too, go through this problem almost daily!! Those things that look so stunning and ornate always need an extra attention to let them look as beautiful as they are.

 

You need to act a tad smarter and keep the following tips in your mind:

 

1) Remove the gunk smartly

 

If you have neglected the carved areas of the wooden furniture in your home for quite a while then dust might just get strongly settled over. So, all that you need to do is simply take every possible stride to clean up.

You can just fold a small business card or any kind of hard paper into a cone-shaped structure and push it into the narrow carved areas of your furniture. Moreover, you can even use a toothpick or a soft toothbrush to do so as those artifacts can be something perfect to remove debris from the complicated grooves and cervixes.

 

 

2) Go for homemade cleaners

 

Want to know about a magical homemade cleaner? You can just add one part of gum turpentine and three parts of linseed oil together to make this stuff. Then, you just have to shake this up, and finally, mix it with a shallow amount of hot water in a disposable container use. Trust me, this cleaner is going to work really well!

 

 

3) Dusting is must

 

If you will thoroughly dust your furniture in every a few week then it will definitely help you to keep them always clean. If you just brush over the whole wooden furniture with a feather duster or a soft cloth then it will remove the majority of the dust. When it comes to the carved areas then don’t forget to brush many times with such a duster.

 

4) Remove the scratches frequently

 

If somehow you get scratches in those carved areas then you can just rub it down with a crayon which is having one shade lighter brown color than wood. Then, you can just follow the same with another crayon which is having a kind of darker shade than the first one. Finally, just swipe up the excess crayon wax with a piece of cotton cloth.

So, what are you waiting for? If you have some premium quality wooden furniture at your home with some attractive but complex carvings within the same then just opt for these tips. Thus, I am sure that you would be able to keep your favorite furniture shining always!!

 

 

 

The Best Tips for using a Shortwave Radio

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While using a shortwave radio doesn’t look like rocket science, it may not be as easy as you might have imagined it. Don’t be baffled by the amount of information you’ll find online. You can become a shortwave radio user in a timely fashion provided you use a set of tips and tricks.

To make matters easier, we’ve decided to give you a helping hand. That’s why we have put together a short list of the best pieces of advice we’ve found to be the most helpful when it comes to operating a shortwave radio as efficiently as possible.

 

shortwave radio

 

 

The right unit

If you already are the owner of a shortwave radio but find that you’re a bit disappointed by the features and quality it comes with, you might want to purchase a new one. Choosing from a plethora of models that now exist on the market can look like a daunting task, but you need to know that most radios can be split into three main categories.

There are analog shortwave radios, of which the price point is somewhere between thirty and seventy dollars. Then, there are SSB radios that are capable of getting both AM and single side band modes, whereas radios capable of receiving just AM. Digital tuners are the last type that can be bought nowadays, but they’re somewhat less affordable compared to the previously mentioned two kinds. They’re easier to manage as users may find it less difficult to find the right frequency.

 

 

Understand the shortwave bands

The simplest way to understand shortwave bands is to associate them with a particular frequency range. While some models display the frequency using megahertz, others do the same in kilohertz. If you’re feeling puzzled about what your unit does, just consult the instructions provided by the manufacturer to find out.

Some broadcasters and websites can announce their frequencies in megahertz or kilohertz, depending on their preferences. Just three decimal places make the difference between the two. For instance, a frequency of 15.5 MHz is the same as a frequency of 15500 kHz. If you’re trying to convert kHz into MHz, all you have to do is move the decimal place three digits to the left instead of to the right.

Why is frequency so important? Let’s say you’re talking to a friend and he or she forgets to say whether he or she is giving the frequency in MHz or kHz. As a general rule, it’s far easier to use megahertz than kilohertz, as they’re significantly easier to pronounce and won’t require you to jot down tens of zeros on end. However, if you’re an amateur who knows little to nothing in regards to the right way to give the frequency, it would be easier for you to use kilohertz. This way, switching to megahertz would be less complicated.

 

 

Can the reception be improved?

You can improve the reception by using an SWL antenna. The simplest way to get one is to look for it online, as you’ll find units you can buy and units you can make on your own if you’re into DIY. Unfortunately, most telescopic rod type antennas that come with the shortwave radios aren’t the best ones in the world, so improving the reception is something you’re likely to want to do.

 

Shortwave radio with antenna

 

How to find the shortwave bands and broadcasting schedules

If you’re willing to invest in a publication filled with the frequencies and schedules, you may want to consider the Passport to World Band Radio or the World Radio TV Handbook. These two come out every year and are filled with new and updated schedules.

Another way of finding the bands is by simply scanning them. Regardless of how efficient this method is, it does little to nothing when it comes to finding out about the schedules. If you don’t want to purchase an annual publication, just look for the schedules online, as there are several websites that offer them for free.

Various websites have even grouped the content according to what users are searching, and thus provide data regarding foreign station, specialized shortwave transmissions and the actual number of channels of which the purpose may or may not be espionage.

 

 

Get a QSL card

Receiving a QSL card can be done by sending feedback to the broadcaster. While most broadcasters will ask for specific feedback, the classic way would be to create an SWL Reception Report, based on the SINPO code. You’ll have to analyze the signal, the interference, the noise, the propagation and the overall quality of the broadcast you’re receiving.

 

 

The Best Tips for Sharpening Your Axe

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If you have been wondering what the most efficient methods of sharpening an axe were, you’ve come to the right place. We enjoy giving out a hand to people who might be struggling with sharpening and maintaining their cutting instruments. As is the case with any other tool designed for cutting, proper use and maintenance are two core ways of keeping your axe in perfect shape.

Even though sharpening an axe might look like a daunting task, we think that it might be a good idea if you had a look at the following tips and tricks that we’ve gathered for your consideration. They speak to beginners and advanced users alike.

 

Sharpening axe

 

The basics

Before getting to work, you should assess the condition of the axe and its handle. Closely inspect the cutting edge and focus on the nicks. Then, decide whether you want to sharpen it for carving or shaving, for smoothing planks for a table, or for felling a tree. You may find different methods on the internet but take into account the fact that there isn’t a universal way of doing the sharpening for every task you might need your axe for.

For example, cutting requires a flat angle while for splitting firewood you will need an axe with a short and abrupt edge.

The simplest way of removing excess metal is by axe grinding. However, this isn’t the most recommended option for people who have little to no experience, as you’ll need to use the grinder very slowly to determine whether or not you still need to remove metal. Perform any quick movement and you might end up ruining the blade.

 

 

The easiest way to sharpen an axe

If you are looking for a hassle-free experience, you might consider using an emery tool or a fine-toothed flat file. The main idea to keep in mind is to stick to the original shape of the blade. With straight bevel faces, you will have to keep the entire bevel face on the wheel or file.

As previously mentioned, a grindstone can do the trick when it comes to repairing minor damage. Wear is something that occurs naturally in an axe, and sharpening against the rotation of a grindstone can be done efficiently and in a rather timely fashion. Perform slow and careful movements both back and forth, so that you even out the entire edge.

Once you’re satisfied with the level of sharpness, you can proceed to hone the edge. This task can be performed with a coarse and then a fine whetstone, which has been previously dipped in water or oil. If you are still looking for a keen edge once you’ve done all this, use a length of leather.

 

Axe sharpening

 

 

Sharpening with a file

This technique is different compared to the one we have described above. It won’t get you the sharpest edge, and therefore, it doesn’t speak to people who are looking to use the axe for shaving. Nevertheless, it’s a great alternative for people who don’t own a grindstone and the sharpness will do its job for all around use.

Start by removing the burrs and nicks with a rough file, once you have clamped your axe. Use a downward motion and remove the metal as evenly as possible, until you start to notice that the edge has started to reflect some light. Be careful when doing these movements, as you don’t want to risk performing a bad cut. Also, if you’re not the handiest person in the world, try using a pair of proper gloves.

Once you’ve reached the sharpening level you have been looking for, it’s time to use a fine file in order to finish the edge.  Use the same downward strokes we were mentioning above and keep the same angle all throughout the operation. To get the right finish, you are likely to require a medium stone.

This sharpening method is rather easy and offers good results for people looking to use their axe on a regular basis.

 

 

Don’t forget about safety

The process of sharpening an axe should occur slowly and carefully, regardless of the method you think is the most convenient. Always pay attention to what you are doing, particularly once you have partially managed to sharpen the blade. In the event you have to attend to some other activity, simply take a break and don’t trust your multi-tasking abilities. Once again, a pair of cut resistant carving gloves never hurt anyone, and it won’t hurt you.

 

 

The Best Tips for Using or Installing a Climbing Tree Stand

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Hunters utilize a deer stand or tree stand secured to trees to provide them with an elevated vantage point for sighting their prey. This type of equipment is either open or enclosed, depending on preference. A similar device is a tripod stand that is technically not classified as a tree stand because it is not attached to a tree and instead has a freestanding design. Knowing how to install and use a tree stand could spell the difference between optimizing every hunting trip and ending up hospitalized or dead.

 

Climbing tree stand

 

Know the parts of the climbing or tree stand

The base piece is what the hunter climbs on to get on the seat, and also serves as the platform to hunt from, to look through the woods and to shoot from.

The top portion of the stand facilitates the climbing process, and from a safety standpoint, provides a place to sit on.

Some hunters prefer leaving the climbing or tree stand attached to the bottom of the tree, especially when they own the property they hunt in. Attachment is pretty straightforward and simple.

The tree stand comes with essential accessories such as the climbing harness, which is considered by many to be the most important piece of (separately bought) equipment that should accompany the tree stand. The climbing harness is used much like a parachute harness that you suit up with. It has a D- or O-ring that clips to another harness that goes around the tree to keep the hunter strapped to the tree. It has a strap that goes between the legs, ensuring the user is secured to the tree. There are other rings through which the straps go through. Pull up any loose straps tight under your legs.

Attach the bag holding your quivers to the stand. For safety’s sake, when bringing a bow and arrow or gun to hunt, leave the bow and gun on the ground and simply attach a rope them that you can use to pull the weapons up when you’ve climbed up the tree.

 

climbing tree stand safety

 

Get on the stand

Get on the platform section and into the center of the stand, which will move on you while you get in it. The tree stand works on a fulcrum mechanism. This functions by taking the hunter’s weight on the stand to brace onto the tree even more. At the base section are straps where the feet or hunting boots are put in. While the feet are attached to the straps, the hunter uses their legs to pull the base of the tree stand up.

A strap goes around the tree, and it has the same type of latching mechanism as the harness the hunter suits up with at the start. This strap is a little more substantial than the first to ensure holding capacity. Take the strap with the D-ring that is at the back of the climbing harness, pull it to the front and hook the D-ring through the loop on the second strap attached to the tree. Listen to a click to ensure it’s in, then twist the knob around to tighten. This attaches the hunter to the harness around the tree, keeping them safe from falling to the ground. Position the harness above the head or at head level.

Make sure everything is secure and…

 

 

…start climbing

While seated on the top portion of the stand, pull your feet up. Using a fulcrum mechanism, the bottom portion attaches to the tree a little higher. Stand up, pull the top portion to you, sit then pull the bottom portion up again. This brings you higher up. Move the climbing harness with the strap higher up. Remember not to move a lot while positioning the strap and harness to a higher position, to prevent potential falls.

Sit down again to take the weight off your legs, pull the bottom portion up with your legs and move the top portion to you again while standing. You will feel the clasp of the bottom of the tree stand bite into the tree, letting you know you’re connected to the tree. The fulcrum action occurs as you lean back. Worm your way up the tree this way till you get to the height you want to hunt at.

Should you encounter a tree limb such as a twig, break it off to move the strap up. If it’s a branch, see if you can work your way around it. If not, you can only go to the height of that branch. Tip: pick trees that are clean and that will allow you to climb to the level you want to be at.

 

climbing tree stand height

 

 

Free your feet from the base

Make sure all the parts are secure and well attached. You will still be connected through the climbing harness, of course, but you’re free to move around in the tree stand.

Pull up your bow and/or your gun that you left on the ground below.

Remember to hunt safe. You can use a face mask so your prey won’t see you. Gloves for holding the bow can also be used. Avoid moving around too much in the tree stand. Despite the secure performance this type of equipment is supposed to deliver, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

 

The Best Tips for Top Loading Washing Machine Maintenance

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Top loading washing machines are known to be the most efficient at helping you have clean clothes all the time. While they are great at what they do, and they are built to last, this does not mean that they do not need some regular maintenance. What many users often overlook is the fact that even a washing machine needs to clean itself, and the fact that it washes clothes doesn’t count. There are areas inside the washing machine that are not easily reached by water and detergent, and, while it may look clean to you, this doesn’t mean that some germs and allergens cannot find their way inside and make nest there. Here are some great tips on how to offer the best maintenance for your top loading washing machine.

 

Top Loading Washing Machine

 

Use the sanitize cycle

New models of top loading washing machines come with a sanitize cycle, which, as you may well suspect, is there for a reason. Now you should know that there are different models and each one comes with its own set of instructions. Some may require you to use bleach or another kind of cleaning substance, while others do not because they come equipped with onboard heaters.

What to do if your machine does not have a sanitize cycle? You can create one yourself. Set the machine on the hottest setting and the largest load. Add a quart of vinegar and 4 ounces of baking soda, to create a grime removing agent. This combination is very effective against removing hard water buildup, as well, which will translate in a longer life for your washing machine.

 

Protect your house against flood incidents

The hoses that connect your washing machine to the water supply can suffer from wear and tear. Cracks and small blisters can lead to serious damage and, if they burst, you will end up with a flood incident on your hands. This type of incident can cause serious damage and you will have to pay more than just for replacing the hoses. The best course of action is to inspect the hoses regularly, and replace them every five years, even if they don’t look that worn. This way, you will not have to worry about floods caused by your washing machine and the unpleasantness that comes with them.

Water level switch malfunctions are other culprits for such accidents. You can appeal to some clever products especially designed to detect water flow related malfunctions and stop the alimentation with water right away.

 

Make sure the washing machine is leveled on the ground

All the legs of your washing machine should sit firmly on the ground. If they are not leveled, the machine will start to vibrate and even shake a lot. This can cause the machine to be thrown off balance and, in time, this can lead to malfunctioning. It is a good idea to purchase a machine with adjustable legs, so you can place the machine as near to the floor as possible. You will be able to avoid any vibrations in the body of the machine and the eventual damage that can appear over time.

Another bad habit that can throw the machine off balance is to overload it. Manufacturers strongly recommend to avoid overloading the washing machine and always pay attention to the advised loading sizes.

 

Top Loading Washing Machine1

 

Take care of the outside, too

It is very important to pay proper attention to the exterior appearance of your washing machine, as well. The eventual gashes and scrapes in paint that can appear over time will give room to rust, and this is something to avoid, if you want to use your washing machine for a very long time. Some touch-up paint can solve the problem fast and easy.

Clean the exterior at least once weekly, as the remains of detergent, softener and other substances used, can turn the washing machine into a sticky mess that can accumulate a lot of germs and bacteria. An all purpose cleaner and a soft piece of cloth are all that you need to clean the exterior and give your washing machine the shine and cleanliness it deserves.

 

Avoid mildew and mold

Once you are finished with the washing machine and you have to let it rest until next time, make sure to leave the lid open, so that the interior can dry properly. Any traces of moisture remained in the washing machine can prove the perfect environment for mildew and mold which, in turn, will cause your clothes to smell badly and also put your health in danger.

 

 

 

5 of the best casinos to play poker in

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Online poker is a tremendous invention that has brought poker enthusiasts around the world together in the past decade. The ability to bluff, raise and bask in the glow of a massive win from the comfort of your own home have revolutionised the gambling world.

Texas Hold ‘Em, Chinese poker and a plethora of other card games are all available at the touch of a button whether you’re sat in bed, on the sofa or on the bus. However, one of the downsides of online poker is that it has discouraged people from visiting some of the best venues in the world.

Despite the allure of online poker, nothing can compare to the buzz of putting on your best clobber and looking your opponent in the eye as you bluff him to rake in a huge stash of chips. Casino holidays and poker holidays have become ever popular in the last 20 years and some of the best destinations in the world are all a budget flight away in Europe.

In this article we take a look at the five must-visit locations in the world for poker lovers.

 

1) The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club – Republic of Ireland

 

Known by locals as ‘The Fitz’, this historic venue has played host to a number of poker luminaries over the years including Padraig Parkinson and Liam Flood. Up and coming poker players across Europe visit The Fitz regularly to test their metal against some of the best amateur players in the world.

If you’re not flush with disposable income, don’t worry, The Fitz offers a range of daily tournaments which cater for all budgets. Although there are plenty of other casino games available, poker is the main draw of The Fitz with bi-monthly cash prize pools regularly exceeding 40,000 euros!

The casino is situated perfectly in the heart of Dublin allowing you to take a tour of the best cultural destinations in the Irish capital.

 

 

2) Casino de Barcelona – Spain

 

One of the main beneficiaries of the 1992 Summer Olympics was the Casino de Barcelona that benefitted from the renovation of the Olympic Port. The resort offers a full range of casino games, poker rooms and amazing restaurants.

The biggest draw for poker enthusiasts is the fact that the casino regularly plays host to a plethora of prestigious poker tours and festivals including The Spanish Championship, The World Poker Tour and The European Poker Tour.

For those celebrity spotting lovers amongst you, Gerrard Pique and his wife Shakira have been known to frequent the Casino de Barcelona. Along with footballing legend Lionel Messi and film star Antonio Banderas.

The casino is regarded as one of the best places to Texas Holdem in the country, although you’ll need to know what you’re doing to get a look in. The venue attracts the most serious of players, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

 

 

3) Concord Card Casino – Austria

 

Regardless of what you read on Lonely Planet, the Austrian capital Vienna is not a terrific holiday destination, it’s intensely boring. But if you are stuck in Vienna, you can find solace by heading to the Concord Card Casino.

The card room is solely dedicated to poker, unlike many card rooms that focus on blackjack and a plethora of other card games. The venue plays host to the Concord Masters, the PartyPoker GrandPix and the 100,000 euros guaranteed game.

There are also plenty of games to suit a range of different budgets, with cash games ranging from 1,000 euros to the aforementioned 100,000 euros. Celebrity chef Scott Conant and footballer Stephan Lichtsteiner have both been seen playing poker in the Concord Card Casino

 

 

4) Les Ambassadeurs Casino – United Kingdom

 

One of the most historic casinos in the United Kingdom, Les Ambassadeurs or ‘Les A’ as it’s known by its patrons was first opened in the 19th-century. Previous owners include the Conyngham family and Leopold de Rothschild, son of Baron Lionel de Rotschild.

The venue was re-opened 27 years ago and plays host to a range of diplomats, royalty, celebrities and aristocracy. Phillip Green, disgraced former CEO of British Home Stores almost put the casino out of business with monster hauls of £2 million at the roulette table in 2006.

The intimate private room named in honour of Leopold de Rothschild is one of the best places to play poker in Europe. It’s reserved for small and intimate gaming parties so you can only expect to get an invite if you’re a high-roller.

 

 

5) Casino de Monte Carlo – Monaco

 

The casino of choice for James Bond can be your casino too. Set in the luscious backdrop of the Monegasque coast with stunning views of the Mediterranean, the casino de Monte Carlo is one of the best casinos in the world.

The venue has a very strict dress code and plays host to some of the richest and most famous people in the world, including European royalty. The best room for the new visitor in the casino is the American Casino Games room where you can play ultimate Texas Hold ‘e Poker.

The minimum bet is 10 euros so it’s not just exclusively for the high-rollers and royalty, and there is also the Societe Des Bains de Mer to visit afterwards and check out the other casino games on offer.

 

Summary

Casinos are some of the best places on the earth, especially when you’re on a running streak. However it’s not just about the poker, it’s about the entire ambience and vibe that you get in the casino.

All of the casinos mentioned above offer the player a unique experience, whether that’s sitting and looking out over the Mediterranean coast, gambling in the Leopold de Rothschild room or wagering bets against Gerad Pique and Lionel Messi.