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Tool Chests by Craftline Solve Problems

Craftline tool chests solve a big problem. Nobody likes the feeling of frustration when you need a tool and can't find it. With the right tool chest, you no longer have to spend all that valuable time and energy looking for the tool you need. Of course, you have to put stuff back when you are done, but just think of how you will feel knowing that the next time you need that certain screwdriver or wrench, you'll know exactly where to go to find it. And a distinction needs to be recognized between tool chests and tool boxes. Sometimes, accessing tools stored in a tool box can be just as frustrating as just throwing everything into an apple box. Things get jumbled and lost because there just isn't enough shallow area to actually see what you have in there. That's probably one of the main advantages you get from using a tool chest over a tool box.

First, let's take a look at some of the details of tool chests from one of the premier tool chest manufacturers: Craftline. This company makes a nice series of tool chests that offer something that will work for any tool storage need. They make relatively small and portable chests, as well as large and more heavy duty chests on rollers. On the smaller end, the 2 drawer portable tool chest has heavy duty locking catches, easy-slide drawer slides, comfortable aluminum heavy duty handles, and a handsome glossy black powder coat finish. This chest would be suitable for the average homeowner or small project workman.

Moving on to some larger tool chests, there is the 3 drawer chest that has many of the same features as the 2 drawer unit, but has handles on the ends and no hinged lid compartment on top. This would be perfect for small shops where portability isn't needed. Craftline also offers a 3 drawer chest that is portable and looks and functions just like the 2 drawer, but larger. Many people with a regular tool box don't realize how nice chests like these are. You get basically the same amount of storage, but with much higher accessibility to your tools. The space that is normally just filled with a jumbled mess, now becomes easily organized and, therefore, more useful.

There are also 6 and 7 drawer tool chests from Craftline, but these are not really portable. They have handles on the ends, but can get pretty darn heavy to move. However, if you have a lot of tools, these are ideal. The chest that I especially appreciate is their small drawer system. This is a unit that is offered with either 4x 3" drawers, or 2x3" and 1x6" drawers, or 2x6" drawers. I love this sort of versatility because many of the tools used are small and are more easily managed if they can be kept in separate divider drawers, while a few larger tools could be kept in the larger drawer. If you have tools, then you know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to tool storage.

Finally, the tall tool chests really maximize storage space with up to 7 drawers, while sacrificing none of the quality features normally found on Craftline chests like: durable steel, attractive finish, ball bearing slides, locks, and removable inserts.

Tool chests take over where tool boxes fall short. If you use tools, and know how frustrating a tool box can be, then you owe it to yourself to make the switch to a tool chest.


Assembling Metal Building Kits

The question as to whether metal building kits are something most people can actually assemble on there own is a good one. It reveals an underlying truth about the confidence, or lack thereof, that most have when it comes to taking on a larger project like putting up a building. It's not something all that shocking. It is a relatively common experience to have big ideas about what we can do, only to discover part way through it that we really shouldn't have started in the first place. Of course, when that happens we have to go into "get out of it however you can" mode. As applied to metal building kits, that means getting a contractor or friend who knows what they are doing to come help you finish it.

The first time I was involved with metal building kits I happened to be in the role of friend who had the tools and know-how to go save a friend of mine who got in over his head. He had purchase the kit thinking he could assemble it with no trouble. The thing was, he didn't even have basic tools. He didn't have a socket set. He had no wrenches. I don't think he even had a saw. I think he just had a screwdriver and a hammer. In his case, he clearly should not have attempted such a large do-it-yourself project. He made a bad decision. I think the marketing behind the product misled him and it just wasn't a good fit. In the end, we were able to make the best out of a potentially bad situation. We all had a good laugh out of things at his expense (something we still get mileage out of), but when the building was finished, he had what he originally wanted.

The next time I dealt with metal building kits was when I purchased and built one of my own. It was a large one with windows, a pedestrian door, and a garage door. I was feeling pretty confident going into the project. I saved quite a bit of money on my purchase and was pretty excited to have some extra storage space on my property. I thought it was a good idea to have another covered area for my old truck project and for my Harley. I was right. Anyway, the big day came when the kit arrived. We unloaded it and got familiar with the plans. We had prepared a concrete foundation in advance of delivery so we were good to go.

As we started working, I remembered helping my friend with his job. I remembered that the thing about assembling metal building kits was to lay everything out, verify that all the needed materials and tools were at hand, and then follow the instructions carefully. So, that's what I did. The frame assembly took no time at all and before I knew it we had it bolted to the foundation and were moving on to covering it. I was happy with how quick and easy assembly really was. I don't have a lot of construction experience, but even so, the windows and doors went in smoothly and worked great.

If your confidence is high going into a project like assembling metal building kits, and you have the tools and help you need, then you will have no trouble at all.


Plans For Woodwork

For those of you who are into the art and hobby of woodworking, you know the importance of a woodworking plan in a project. It doesn't matter if you are working on a chair or a bench, the plan will make or break your entire DIY project. You rely on the plan to give you the exact measurements for each part of the project. If one or more of the measurements are wrong, the whole thing can go haywire and all your efforts can be wasted. So, what are the important elements of a good woodworking plan?

Important Elements of Woodworking Plan
FREE plans are good because they are free. You can opt for free woodworking plan as long as the plan is proper and correct. Regardless of whether you are using free or paid plan, you must make sure the plan is free from error. You need to consider the following elements when you use a plan for your woodworking project.

Photo or Real Picture of Final Woodwork
This photo or real picture feature is very helpful for a woodworker, especially for the beginners. If you are able to see what the woodworking project looks like, it will definitely help you form a mental picture of your final work. In some ways, the mental picture will help you work faster and clearer in your project.

3D Plans
Today's computer technology and advanced software should be able to give nice and vivid 3D view of the project. The 3D view enable you to picture the project from different angles and should also help you to have a concrete idea of the item you will be building. The ability to visualize the item in 3D during the building process is definitely going to help you in completing the project faster.

Clear and Legible Measurements
Make sure you have a DIY plan which you can see the measurements clearly and legibly. You definitely don't want a plan that looks like someone simply scribbles the measurements on the plan. A good plan should have easy to read measurements, even for the smaller dimension components. You should not need to strain to read the numbers.

Systematic Step-By-Step Instructions
If the plan comes with step-by-step instructions, you don't need any guess work in your building process. The instructions will lay down the order of things to be done. The working process can be slow and delayed if you are not sure which are the tasks you should complete first.

A Printable Plan
The plan you have should be printable in A4 size, even for the individual view. You should not squeeze all the views in one A4 paper when you do not have an A3 size printer. You need to be able to have a printout that you can read without a magnifying glass.

There may be some other minor elements you want to consider in a good plan. All in all, the above will be a good checklist to get a workable and acceptable woodworking plan.


Woodworkers Challenge: Building Foosball Tables

There are a lot of great foosball tables on the market today, but some people just like to do things themselves. My husband is one of them, and once researched making a foosball table for our family.

The first thing that Jeff did was look at high quality foosball tables, play on a few of them and decide what features he liked best. This is what he came up with:

  • Center ball return on both sides of the table
  • Off center serving holes (the holes are off center to the center line, this way the serving side serves the ball slightly closer to their own men.)
  • Textured surface
  • Thick side walls
The table has to be very solid and sturdy, weighing around 350 pounds, this way the table will not move when play gets exciting. A 3/4" plywood works best, it is heavy and less expensive than solid wood (especially a heavy hard wood like maple), though even it will still need to be doubled up in areas. Besides birch plywood and particle board some other basic materials that you will need from your local hardware store include wood screws and glue, nuts and bolts to attach the legs, four adjustable table feet, a sheet of plexiglas to cover the play surface, clear spray adhesive, hinges, and some veneer strips for giving the table a finished look.

From a foosball store (easiest found online) you will need 13 foosball men each in two different colors, rods and bearings, handles, a high quality ball, and play field trim strips. The rods and handles are probably the most expensive single purchase, running up to $300 (which can double the final price of your foosball table) depending upon the quality you purchase. If you can salvage any of these parts from an old table, you can save quite a bit of money.

The dimensions of most foosball tables are very similar. Here are the basic dimensions for making your own table.
  • Table length, width and height: 55.5" x 30" x 36"
  • Play field size: 48" x 27"
  • Play field depth: 4.25"
  • Side walls: 1.5" thick
  • Back walls: 3.75" thick
  • Goals: 8.375" x 3" (with rounded top corners)
  • Rods: 6" apart from center, 3.125" up from surface
  • Goalie rod: 3" from back wall
If you are a woodworker, then most of the construction can easily be figured out. There are only two parts to the table that may need a bit of explaining. The first part is the ball return, and the second is the play field. The lower and upper halves of the foosball table are made separately and then assembled together with hinges so the the ball return can be accessed if necessary. With a ball return on both sides of the table, there is a simple "L" shaped ramp going from each goal to its respective return (the person who is scored on gets the ball).

The table top play field may take a bit more explaining. The base is 3/4" particle board with a paper playfield attached on top (either draw your own or you can find plans online). Then using the clear spray adhesive, secure the 1/8" plexiglas on top. Some people like a smooth surface, but many of the top tables have a textured surface which makes for better ball pinning. To texturize the surface, use 60 grit sandpaper to roughen up the plexiglas. This gives you a great play surface for around $30, but if money is not an issue, you can put out about $250 and purchase a play field.

Well, that is the basic information for building your own foosball tables. Jeff likes drawing up his own plans, but you can find more detailed instructions online if you do not enjoy that aspect of woodworking. Good luck!


How Portable Air Compressors Work

There are many portable air compressors on the market today of varying sizes and power. And though they vary by size and power, they all work on just a couple of different technologies to generate air pressure.

Most air compressors work by what's called positive displacement. This is different from compressors that use rotating impellers to generate air pressure. Instead, air pressure is increased by reducing the size of the space that contains the air. Usually, this is done with a reciprocating piston.

Like a small internal combustion engine, a conventional piston compressor has a crankshaft, a connecting rod and piston, a cylinder and a valve head. The crankshaft is driven by either an electric motor or a gas engine. While there are small models that are comprised of just the pump and motor, most portable air compressors have an air tank to hold a quantity of air within a preset pressure range. The compressed air in the tank drives the air tools, and the motor turns on and off to automatically maintain pressure in the tank.

At the top of the cylinder, there is a valve head that holds the inlet and discharge valves. Both are simply thin metal flaps, one mounted underneath and one mounted on top of the valve plate. As the piston moves down, a vacuum is created above it. This allows outside air at atmospheric pressure to push open the inlet valve and fill the area above the piston. As the piston moves up, the air above it compresses, holds the inlet valve shut and pushes the discharge valve open. The air moves from the discharge port to the tank. With each stroke, more air enters the tank and the pressure rises.

Portable air compressors use a pressure switch to stop the motor when tank pressure reaches a preset limit, about 125 psi for many single-stage models. Most of the time, though, that much pressure isn't needed. Therefore, the air line will include a regulator that is set to match the pressure requirements of the tool being used. A gauge before the regulator monitors tank pressure and a gauge after the regulator monitors air-line pressure. In addition, the tank has a safety valve that opens if the pressure switch malfunctions. The pressure switch may also incorporate an unloader valve that reduces tank pressure when the compressor is turned off.

Many articulated-piston compressors are oil lubricated. The pistons have rings that help keep the compressed air on top of the piston and keep the lubricating oil away from the air. Rings, though, are not completely effective, so some oil will enter the compressed air in aerosol form. Having oil in the air isn't necessarily a problem. Many air tools require oiling, and inline oilers are often added to increase a uniform supply to the tool.

On the negative side, these models require regular oil checks, periodic oil changes and they must be operated on a level surface. While solutions to the airborne oil problem include using an oil separator or filter in the air line, a better idea is to use an oil free portable air compressor that uses permanently lubricated bearings in place of the oil bath.

Though many portable air compressors are similar, this should help you to understand some of the mechanical differences of the various types available.


A Few Simple Tips To Help Your Kitchen Remodel Go Smoother

Does your kitchen floor look like it's been there for decades? Do the counter tops look like they have been trampled on by elephants and ate on by many little kids? Does your floor plan look like it was built back in time with a different decorating pattern? If this is your kitchen I would look in to updating or remodeling your kitchen. If you update your kitchen with newer appliances and cabinets you could raise the value of your house, and if you remodel your kitchen that can also raise the value of your house but it also you're your ideas and creativity you have in your head come to reality in real life. The starting of the kitchen remodeling you might need some and maybe a lot of patience and time as your kitchen is mess, but at the end of the whole project will be kitchen you can be proud of and one your can share with all your friend and family.

When remodeling your Kitchen you can just do small up grades or you can do a full out remodel with brand new everything in your kitchen. When thinking of doing a small upgrade you can replace appliances, get new handles for cabinets, or refinish the cabinets. Or you can replace your floor cause it looks like its been walked on for a hundred years or replace your counter tops. These changes will have a new effect on your kitchen and also raise the value of your house. But if you decide to do a full scale remodel of your kitchen this can have the most effect on your house and will want you to showoff your new kitchen.

To start your remodeling process of you kitchen you should make notes on what you want to do, what you are going to replace and about how much money you will or are willing to spend to remodel your kitchen. Walk through your kitchen and take notes on what works and what doesn't work and what you want to replace or keep in your current kitchen. Start by picking up magazines on kitchens and looking through them and taking notes on what you want to do and do some research on the internet also and what down notes you find on the internet.

Another thing you might want to do is make some kind of folder with all your notes and designs your wrote and picked out of what you want and like. Do not hold back this far into your early stages of your kitchen remodeling. The next thing you should do is decide on a budget or decide on how much you are willing to spend to remodel your kitchen but if I was you I would decide on a budget so you don't go over and have unexpected bills you have to pay that you cant afford. The next stage of your remodeling process is to match you creative ideas to your budget and what you can afford. By doing this you might be real surprise on how much you can get for you money and how much your creative design will cost you. By this point it would be a good idea to find and contact a designer and maybe even a space planner for your project. They will be very helpful with your design and some advice, tips and some unexpected money issues that might have came to your mind.


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