New Castle Construction - Modern Equipment & Professional Services

Deck Building Dont’s

underside of a custom built deckTermites and wood rot often accompany each other because of lack of foresight on the builders part. If your contractor builds the deck first, and then stains or paints the deck, the damage has already been done! Experience with termites and wood rot has taught builders a much better approach to the age old problem plaguing Custom Decks and Porches.

Primer is used as an underlay on any surface to be painted. Primer is meant to bond deep into the woods grain and allow other paints or stains to properly bond to the woods surface. If no primer is used, the paint or stain applied will not properly adhere to the woods surface. Redwood hates to be painted. Quite often, when the redwood gets to be about seven to ten years old the owner decides to paint it. Six months later, all the work has blistered and peeled off. Redwood has tannic acid in it’s wood that specifically resists paint or stain. That is why paint stores offer a specific primer just for redwood. That termites do not eat redwood is a myth. They do! Add termite poison (Copper Sulfate) to the primer coat.

Prime and paint or stain all six sides of the the wood prior to construction. That way, once you have laid the boards down, they will have already been primed and painted, thus not allowing an access route for the termites or the water. If you have built the deck with virgin wood, and then paint it after it is done (like so many people and contractors do), it will lead to problems. Wood shrinks and settles over time. When it does, the wood that did not get painted is then exposed. The exposed woods allows the moisture to wick into the woods interior like a sponge, and gets trapped inside. Termites see the unpainted wood made soft by the water and attack. They like the water content in the wood.

Putting a gap in the wood to allow for proper drainage helps allow the wood to drain, but also allows it to breath. On a hot day, the breeze often can blow the cooler air trapped from under the deck up through the gaps in the decking and create a cool breeze.Using treated wood near the ground is very important. If you can not afford the added expense of treated wood, you can treat the wood yourself. Douglass Fir is a hardwood, and is not too expensive. You can prime the wood used as sub structure plus add a good amount of termite poison into the primer coat.

That will take a bite out of their appetite.Use a raised footing. When a post is attached to the ground, it usually is set in concrete with a metal strap.Too often, the steel is set into the footing like planting a tree. The water puddles at the base of the post and rot begins. Use a 2″x 6″ cut 1 foot x 1 foot and nail it into a square. Place that atop your footing and fill it with concrete. Place your steel strap in the center of the square.

Once the concrete has dried, strip your form. Now the water can not rot the wood should a puddle be formed. Grade dirt below deck substructure to allow space between dirt and deck. (8″-12″). In some parts of the U.S. Subterranean termites bore up from underground so an air gap is encouraged.Screw your decking boards down, don’t use just nails. Screws keep it so much tighter, so that nothing can get through the gap because it is so tight. Statistics show that screwed decks last 50 % longer than decks attached with just nails.Use only 100 % acrylic exterior paint or stain. Cheaper paints last half the time or less and in the long run are a waist of time and money. You want your paint or stain to decay over time so your deck wood does not.

Once your deck has been built properly, please do not be afraid to re-coat the deck’s surface every 5 years to keep it looking nice for years to come, and unlike a composite, with a real deck, you can change the color as often as your wife tells you too!

Everything You Wanted to Know about Hammers

types of carpentry hammersHammers are useful tools that are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and weight.  Every household needs to have some sort of hammer, and the different styles indicate the variety of uses of this valuable instrument.

Traditionally, hammer handles were made from wood, as this allows for easy replacement, if and when necessary.  Today, hammer handles are built into the head, as this creates a natural shock absorber, each time the hammer is used.

Let us take a closer look at the different types of hammers on the market, and their primary uses.

Types of Hammer Used in Carpentry

Claw Hammers may be the most familiar, and these are commonly used for all types of general work, the handle can be made from hickory, steel or glass fiber, and they sometimes have a rubber hand grip.  This tool has a special “V” shaped cut out that is used to pull nails from a workpiece.

Ball, Cross and Straight Peen hammers are commonly used by engineer’s, to shape metal pieces, and also to close rivets.  They weight between 4 ounces and 2 pounds.  The handle is usually made from Hickory or Ash wood.

A Pin Hammer is basically a lighter (no more than 4 oz.) version of the above mentioned peen hammers, and these are perfect for cabinet work.

Club Hammers are also referred to as Lump Hammers, and these are helpful in light demolition.  This type of hammer weighs between two and three pounds; and the handles are made from synthetic resin or wood (Hickory)

A Sledge Hammer is used for heavy jobs, such as breaking up stone or concrete.  For best results, it is recommended that you swing this hammer like an axe.  Due to the fact that debris can become airborne, it is also recommended that a person wear protective gear when using a sledge hammer.

Mallets are unique; as they do a job (such as tapping wood joints together) that metal faced hammer would not be effective in doing, and more than likely will cause damage to the workpiece.  You will notice that there is a slight tapering at the head, to help with being effective in their designated job.  The handle and the head of a mallet are made from wood (usually Lignum Vitae or Beech)

Special Hammers include Brick Hammers (used for splitting bricks), Veneer Hammers (used for tapping/pressing veneers in place), Woodcarving Mallets, Spring Hammers (used mainly by makers of picture frames) and Upholster Hammers (ideal for driving nails and tacks into confined areas).

Power Hammers are also known as ‘powered nailer’s; and these type of hammers are useful in fixing floorboards, decks or other areas where many nails will be needed.

Important tips and advice for working with hammers

  1. Always use the best hammer for the task at hand, as it will not only make your job easier, but it will not cause damage (to either the workpiece or the hammer).
  2. If you find that the hammer head slips off the nail, use medium grid sandpaper, and roughen the face of the hammer head.
  3. When hammering delicate pieces together, put a pieced of scrap wood between the hammer and the work piece to prevent damage.
  4. Timber is known to shrink in dry weather conditions.  If you notice that a timber hammer handle looks and feels loose, submerge the hammer head, overnight, in water.  This will cause the handle to expand and naturally tighten the head.

Whether you are “handy” or not, every home should have a hammer – or two.  Which is why, this great tool makes a useful and unique house-warming gift.

Small Town Towing Services

tow truckCar owners value their vehicle so much. When their cars stall or break down, the priority is to find efficient towing services to prevent further damage to the automobile. The services drivers look for are not limited to towing, but pulling the car to safety and making necessary repairs as well.

This can only be done by selecting the most capable car towing firms. Let’s be honest here… Not all towing companies are created equal.

Choosing a Towing Company

The car owner should find out about the rates for the service or if payment is required outright. There is a possibility that your insurance company will reimburse part or even all of the expense. A number of towing companies go to the extent of helping in the documentation that is required by the insurance providers.

Many service providers do not restrict their services to pulling stalled vehicles, but also offer roadside assistance. These firms are also capable of providing emergency support such as taking care of discharged batteries, replacing flat tires and refueling drained fuel drums. They will help to get all the contact details of the tow company that can provide you with the most efficient services.

Calling for these tow truck brings your automobile to the nearest repair facility. The reason could be an accident or collision, but not limited to this since towing services are needed in other situations such as attending to vehicles being repossessed by collection agencies, banks and other creditors.

Types of Tow Trucks

There are different kinds of tow trucks which can perform these services. The hook and chain, flat bed and wheel lift models. Hook and chain trucks make use of chains that are wrapped around the stalled vehicle’s axis or scaffold. However, this can result to unnecessary damage as it is not meant for new vehicles, but for units that have been dented in an accident or those that do not have steel bumpers, front and back wheels. This equipment is seldom used nowadays.

Small town towing companies frequently employ the wheel lift tow trucks, which are simple to chain and employ a metal harness instead of a shackle. This crossbar is clipped to the front or back tires of the vehicle to be towed. The front or the rear portion of the vehicle is raised from the ground by using a hydraulic pulley.

Flatbed or rollback tow trucks are equipped with an empty base at the back of the truck. With the use of hydraulics, it can lean back to form a ramp. The vehicle can be driven to the flatbed or a lifter can be used to pull it onto the truck. Flatbed tow trucks are the favored method for hauling vehicles since they do not place pressure on the vehicle or drag it for a long period.

Consider safety measures when choosing a small town towing service in order to prevent unnecessary damages and loss of lives, destruction to vehicles or unwarranted accidents. Make sure that car lights and flashers are turned on and working, particularly in roads where the volume of traffic is heavy. There are also regulations that are being implemented according to state and federal laws. The bottom line is to follow these regulations.

Using Different Types of Spot Welders

Stationary spot welderThis device uses an electrical current, to join metal pieces together. Two clamp-able electrodes send an electrical current through the metal pieces. Naturally, the metal between the electrodes heat and fusion occurs. The area that has been “fused” together is referred to as a spot weld.

Spot welding is a process that is most effective for joining thin pieces of metal (ranging for 0.02 to 0.12 inches thick).

One of the benefits of spot welding; is the fact that a lot of energy is delivered to a direct location in milliseconds. This allows the weld to happen quickly, without the possibility of excessively heating the entire metal sheet.

The energy (heat) that is applied to the spot is determined by the resistance between the electrode, and the size and length of the current.

The amount of energy used is directly impacted by the thickness of the material, and the type of electrodes being used in the process. For instance, if too much energy is applied, the piece will melt, creating a hold rather than the intended weld. If not enough energy is used, a poor quality weld is usually created.

The components of a basic spot welder include:

(1) an energy storage unit – such as a capacitor bank

(2) power supply

(3) a switch

(4) transformer

(5) electrodes

The storage unit is helpful, because the welder needs to deliver instantaneous intense power to a workpiece.

The switch releases stored energy into the transformer, and then the transformer increases the current, while decreasing the voltage.

The electrodes are sized and shaped, in order to accommodate the type of application required. They are usually made from a low-resistance alloy, like copper.

Types of spot welders

While there are multiple types of spot welders for sale, These are the two most basic types used today: Hand held and stationary welders. They both have the same components, and the metal is fused in the same manner, but they are designed for purposes that are very different.

Hand-held spot welders

Hand-held versions are great for repairs that are off-site, as this is a portable unit. The drawback of this type of unit is the minimal effects of the cooling system. Electrodes wear out faster, and the speed of spot welding repairs are reduced, due to the excessive heat generated.

Stationary spot welders

Stationary welding machines are used for high production. Water is generally circulated inside the electrodes, to keep the unit cool. Some other features found on a stationary unit are an adjustment for clamping pressure, thickness of metal and welding time.

 Metal being spot welded

Applications that use spot welders

Spot welding is commonly found in the aerospace and automobile industries. This is the process of choice for many manufacturers, because the process is completed quickly; and it can be an automated process, which may reduce certain work area safety hazards.

 

It can also be found in an orthodontist’s office, because this technique is quite effective in re-sizing metal molar bands, and creating braces.

The making of batteries also benefits from this process. Spot welding is a lot cooler than other types of soldering processes.

The Many Uses of a Vertical Milling Machine

Vertical Milling Machine ImageA milling machine is a valuable tool that is used to drill and cut through metal. It can create holes and make indentations, so pieces can easily be fit together. Basically, milling machines are used to alter and/or manipulate solid material (usually metal), to be used a variety of applications.

The cutting tool rotates and removes excess material from the workpiece. The spindle, which is situated perpendicular to the table, allows for drilling to be performed also. This machine is used specifically to cut accurate shapes into metal pieces.

While there are many cutting and metal forming machines available, the milling machine is among the most popular due to it’s versatility. In fact, companies find that the large investment in such technology is well worth it and they find that they receive a substantial return in their investments in a short period of time. They come in two basic setups: Vertical and horizontal.

Vertical Miller Types

Vertical and horizontal are the two major types of milling machines, with there being two subcategories of vertical mill for sale: the “turret” and the “bed”. The main difference between the bed and the turret is how the table moves. With the bed version, the table moves only against the axis of the cutter, and the turret table moves with and against the axis of the cutter.

Turret milling is one of the most versatile and adaptable types of processes. The benefits of using a turret milling machine include:

  1. Versatility.
    2. Efficiency.
    3. Adaptability.
    4. Precision cuts.
    5. High quality output.

Regardless of the subcategory, the piece that is to be cut using a vertical model is situated vertically on the mill, and drops downward to complete the cutting process. The piece is moved upward, descending or vertically, contingent upon the directions inputted by the administrator. Cutting upward is the most habitually utilized, and is perfect for bits of thick metal. Although “down” cutting is not used as often, because it is only useful for thinner metal pieces, it does per-form a higher quality cut.

Vertical milling machines have both manual and automatic controls, and all are centrally located, so that the
operator can easily reach what is necessary, to have these machines running smoothly and efficiently.

Some examples of manual control would be the handles, and also the wheels that are used to alter the height and the angle of the table. The angle of the table is often displayed on a digital monitor, so operators can easily make an accurate and precise cut.

Speed of the cutting tool can be changed automatically, as can the direction (forward or reverse) of the cutter.

Final Word On Millers

A user of vertical milling machines can expect years of faithful service from this world class machine. Some of the highest quality vertical milling machines have unique and beneficial features, including, but not limited to: (1) an automatic cooling system; (2) extra built in safety features; (3) electrical components that are top of the line.

This single machine instrument is utilized by hundreds, if not a large number of assembling, generation, and other modern operations. While there are numerous diverse variants with distinctive sorts of engineering, for example, machine numerical controls, laser well-being fences, and significantly laser guided measuring apparatuses, this single bit of supplies has the ability to build gain-fulness and proficiency of just about any metal cutting or boring operation.

To recap, milling machines are used to shape both metal and wood. The turret version of a vertical milling machine is the most up-to-date technology that uses the CNC (computer numerical coding system), to calibrate and program specific designs into the machine. The bench moves along the work piece, and the spindle remains stationery, as the cut is being made. This technology allows the machine to make accurate and efficient cuts.

How to Deal with Electric Machines Safely

Electrocution and other electrical related accidents are more likely to happen in a manufacturing milieu with machines. This continues to be the top cause of problems in a work area. This is why companies have been mandated to follow work safety standards.

The threats of electrical accidents do not only endanger the life of workers but also poses a threat on the investments of the company. Electrical problems may cause hazards like fire which is way too much to handle. So to avoid these problems from happening, here are some of the electrical safety guides that every staff member should follow.

Proper Maintenance

The first thing to ever do is to schedule a maintenance deal. A specific schedule will help organize everything. This is also a good step in order to induce awareness to the staffs that there are sections of the work milieu affected by the maintenance to avoid confusion.

When handling maintenance and repair, the staff should see to it that all of the electrical lines are turned off. Since machine tools are made up of metals and electrical lines can run through it, there is a big chance that it will cause electric shock if touched.

A specific schedule may already call the attention of the workers about maintenance but there will also be a need to put up signs especially on power outlets in order to avoid accidental switching. Most accidents in work places happen because staffs tend to turn switches on never knowing that someone is working.

Machine Guard Safety

Proper Safety Training

On the side of the staff on the other hand, proper outfit should be worn to avoid getting caught in problems. These outfits should not only be worn during maintenance tasks but also everyday as there will always be a threat when it comes to electric outlets. Wear leather boots to prevent getting electrocuted while stepping into open wires. Protective gloves may also come handy.

There are also some things that staff should avoid wearing. One is jewelries. Aside from jewelries possibly getting caught in machines, these are made of metals too that would turn out to cause much damage once in contact with an open electric field.

Of course, wearing protective shields will do a lot in preventing electrocution but it will also help to maintain organization in the workplace. Never let cables and wires go scattered on floors. Have it tidied up away from the usual paths of workers. If there are spillages, have it dried up instantly. Spillages conducts electricity fast that it can cause instant damages in an instant it is stepped. Aside from workers handling machines, it would help to hire utility personnel to clear the area.

There is so much to remember to maintain the safety inside a workplace especially when working with large machines. Yet, all of these should be taken by heart to avoid accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Act are mandated to bring safety in the workplace. Aside from the handy tips on electrical problem prevention, read on this act to have additional knowledge in maintaining a safe workplace.