Home Improvement

Gasoline and electric chainsaw are presumably one of the most widely used tools all around the world. While a chainsaw is productive and give great results, this machine is packed with high levels of power and therefore involves great risks of accidents. Be sure to read more about the best chainsaw sharpeners for instance, a dull saw is more dangerous than you can imagine.

There are news and reports every now and then regarding accidents related with chainsaws. Most of these accidents related to chainsaw are mainly in concern with lack of proper technique while using the machine and lack of proper care and maintenance.

While the chainsaw itself comes with numerous safety features, almost all manufacturers recommend a thorough inspection before use. This detailed inspection involves checking and making sure that all the safety of the machine is properly installed. Most companies have improved the safety of electric chainsaw by adopting several new safety designs.

chain-saw-safety-infog

Kickback

One of the most widely faced issues of chainsaw is kickback. When the tip of the guide bar touches an object while the chain is moving, a reverse reaction takes place in split seconds. This in turn kicks the guide bar up towards the operator which can cause serious cuts. In most cases, kickback usually occurs when least expected and most victims of this issue are either inexperienced operators or tired users.

To solve this major issue, chainsaw companies either try to minimize the risk by incorporating chain brakes or avoid it by using chain and bar design. Staying away from kickback occurring unexpectedly is almost inevitable, so it is best to use reduced kickback chain. Although this type of cutting chain does not completely eliminate kickback, it sure does lessen the impact.

Chain brake

Nowadays, most electric chainsaw comes with a chain brake with which operators can stop the moving chain. This chain brake consists of a steel brake band that is placed around the driven clutch drum. The brake band also consists of a powerful spring which provides a clamping force.

It is also advised that operators are not to be fully dependent on chain brakes and make sure that chain sharpening is correctly done. This is because blunt chain cuts poorly which increases bar loading and the operator’s fatigue.

Chain catcher of an electric chainsaw

Chain catcher is a great safety tool that is featured in most chainsaws. The main function of a chain catcher is to prevent the chain being thrown back at the operator in case of chain derailment and breakage. When the chain, in any case, happens to break, chain catcher shortens the derailed chain by catching it. This causes the chain to smash against the rear handle’s hand protection by moving underneath the saw body. In order to not cause any damage to the chain, chain catchers are mostly made out of aluminum.

Operator training

The biggest causes of accidents with electric chainsaw are mostly in concern with operators lacking proper technique and experience. Most companies advise newbies to go through a proper operator training classes to fully learn how to use the machine properly and using precautions in case of malfunctions.

Home Improvement

Cheap Rugs and Carpets – Decorate on a Budget

I am a huge fan of bagless canister vacuums, specifically my Canister Model. However, through necessity and personal choice, I have spent my entire adult life as a highly thrifty individual. Since my tastes in general tend to be upscale, I have been forced to be creative when shopping for high-price items.

Not long ago I moved into a large home with hardwood floors. The lack of carpets made noise echo off the walls and chilled my bare feet in the mornings, so I began to look around for rugs and carpets as a solution. To my dismay, I found that cheap rugs were ugly and of low quality and all the carpets I liked were far too expensive for me to even consider buying.

Fueled by frustration and fully aware of the potential danger of slipping while walking on hardwood when wearing socks, I looked for more inventive and innovative ways to shop for inexpensive carpets. I now share my solutions with you in the hopes that, as a nation, we can continue to live well while spending far, far less.

Rug making is a skilled craft and the materials that go into it are expensive. I understand and respect this, and therefore would in no way want to inhumanely underpay human beings for their labor. Because of this I refused to buy cheap carpets from distributors or large department store chains.

I looked instead to recycling options, knowing that they would take more time to search, but would align with my ethical and environmental standards.

Many years ago I got lucky and found a gorgeous handmade carpet that someone had only just thrown out. No longer with me, I began to travel through nice neighborhoods the night before ‘big garbage’ pick up day. I found many rolled up wall-to-wall carpet remnants and several nice pieces pf well made furniture, but no rugs to my liking. Although this method can work, it is better to look in general and see what you find, rather than looking with a specific item in mind.

I next began to frequent tag sales, estate sales and the occasional government auction. Of the three I found tag sales to be the most work, but also the most rewarding. I found well-made carpets and rugs for very little money with varying states of wear. I like a lived in look, and don’t mind used goods, so this worked out very well for me. Estate Sales also had a large selection of even better quality rugs at slightly higher prices on average, but I felt a bit like a vulture. Shopping at government auctions made me feel even more like a carrion feeder, and so I could not stomach buying anything at all. However, it is a feasible option for anyone who doesn’t mind the process.

Next I posted ads up on the community message boards of nice neighborhoods, and on craigslist. I stated what I wanted, in general, and gave a vague indication of the price I’d be willing to pay. It took a bit of time but I got luckier than I planned and ended up with an embarrassment of antique rugs to choose from. This method can be unpredictable, and again, you need to be comfortable buying something used, but it is also an excellent solution if you have the patience to wait for the right rug at the right price.

Then a friend gave me the idea to ask local dry cleaners and rug cleaners if any rugs or carpets had been abandoned, unpaid. There were several, although a few shop told me that they get rid of them annually, so it is best to call first and plan on looking just before the first of the year. These are available at the very least­ for free (they are going to throw them out or donate them, after all) and at most for the price of the cleaning they. This method is the closest thing to purchasing a new rug and may be more appealing to those squeamish about used things.

I personally did not try the following, but I did consider them as options initially. One method to get a new carpet is to go to carpet warehouses and ask for free remnants, or cheap remnants. The options may be limited so this may work for purely functional, not aesthetic, carpeting. The other method is to look into buying rugs wholesale. Use craigslist or just regular networking to get a bunch of people together to purchase a large order of rugs or carpets which can be reduced to wholesale prices due to bulk.

Life

Leaving Home – Setting Up a New Kitchen

A Couple of Simple Tips Will Get You Started Cooking

To do your own cooking, especially when starting out, you don’t need to know a lot of recipes. In fact, you only need to know how to make two or three different dishes, and then you can “mix these up” – change them around as required. We’re going to show you some dishes that have the basics – chicken or fish, potatoes or rice or couscous, and vegetables. Here are some tips that will work very well for you.

Items you will need:

– Non-Saucepan with lid
– Non-stick Frying Pan with lid
– Tongs (try Bed, Bath and Beyond)
– Wooden Spoons
– Measuring jug for cups
– Oven Mitt

– Soy Sauce
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
– Worcestershire Sauce
– Salt
– Pepper
– Fish seasoning
– Boneless Chicken Breast
– White fish filet
– Red/Green Peppers
– Sweet Potatoes
– Onions
– Carrots
– Bok Choy
– A package of peeled garlic cloves
– Rice-a-Roni, several boxes
– Couscous: it comes in jars

Preparing your meal

Mostly, you need to make the rice and vegetables first and then prepare and cook the chicken or fish second. That’s the order we’ll go in here.

Rice-a-Roni

riceroni

Until you get used to cooking rice on its own, try Rice-a Roni. There are many different flavors. Just follow the directions on the box. You’ll need a saucepan, a measuring cup, and some butter. Here is a superb tip: cook your vegetables with the Rice-a-Roni. Whether it’s carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans, squash, just add them to the rice/water mixture as soon as it starts boiling, wait for the boiling to start again, and then timing according to the directions on the box. You’ll get a nice rice-vegetable mixture every time, and it goes down very well.

Couscous

Couscous tastes great but few people seem to have heard of it or use it, which is surprising as it is about the easiest thing in the kitchen to cook. Couscous looks a bit like fine yellow rice. You boil a cup of water in a saucepan, and after it boils turn off the heat, add one cup of couscous and just leave it for 5 minutes. How easy is that? Want to mix it up? Instead of water use vegetable stock, or wine. Just make sure the wine boils for a minute to get rid of all the alcohol!

Roasted vegetables

If you have an oven, you can roast vegetables, and they will taste great. Turn on your oven to 425 degrees F. Take any or all the following – sliced sweet potatoes (you need to slice them pretty thin, so they cook through), carrots, onions, bok choy, red and green peppers, garlic cloves, and so on. Cut all into bite-size pieces. Lay the vegetables on a baking tray (one usually comes with the oven), sprinkle over with EVOO and salt, and mix the vegetables all around with your hands. It will cover your hands with EVOO/salt EVOO/salt mix, but you want to get all the vegetables covered. Put the baking tray in the oven and leave for about 40 minutes. Make sure to use an oven mitt when taking the tray out, it will be HOT.

Chicken

chicken

Buy boneless chicken breasts. You can buy them in packs, frozen, and take out as many as you need, when you need them. Or, you can buy boneless chicken breasts fresh, on sale at the supermarket, and freeze them yourself. Pack each breast in a sandwich baggie, squeezing out the air, and just throw them in the freezer. When you need to use them, pull out as many as you need and defrost them in a blow of water.

When it’s time to prepare your meal, cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat up in a frying pan enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to cover the bottom of the pan. Throw in the chicken on a low-to-medium heat and let it start simmering. Add some soy sauce and some Worcestershire sauce to taste, maybe a little salt as well. Also, add in some garlic cloves. (You can never have too many of those). Put on a lid if you have one and let the chicken simmer slowly for 15-20 minutes until it’s cooked through. Then serve it with your potatoes or rice and vegetables. The secret with this recipe is not to get too much liquid in there. After you’ve made it a couple of times you’ll learn how to work it properly.

Fish

Fish can be a little more expensive. We have a Hispanic supermarket chain near us which seems to have a better selection of meat products than other places, and one of the items they offer is frozen boneless bass. Any filleted white fish will do. Again, if you can buy a few pounds frozen and keep it, you’ll always have some ready. White fish can be cooked in much the same way as chicken, but it does not need cooking for nearly as long. Simmer it up in some EVOO. Instead of the Worcestershire sauce, instead try the Fish Seasoning that you can find with the spices at any food store. Fish just needs cooking for a few minutes.

Presentation

After practicing these recipes a couple of times you’ll get the timing down. Before you serve up, make sure you preheat the plates. You can put the plates in the oven for about three minutes if you’ve had the oven on, or else run the plates under hot water for a minute each to take the chill off them.

Good luck with your cooking skills and check back for more ideas!