Category Archives: The Handyman

Metal Manipulation Basics: Metals Ideal for Spinning

Metal ShavingsMetal spinning is a highly efficient metal forming process that involves spinning a piece of metal at high speeds and applying controlled pressure to manipulate it into the desired shape. Also known as spin forming, this process allows the manufacturer to form metal into various shapes without using heat and without losing any material. This minimises overall product loss and saves time collecting metal shavings for recycling.

Metal spinners UK use this spin forming technique to produce a variety of different products, including hubs, vases, wheels and even musical instruments. Metal spinning is very similar in concept to clay pottery sculpting, only it uses metal instead of clay. The process, however, is limited to creating rounded objects.

Ductile Metals Only

Since the technique involves shaping metal by spinning, not all metals are suitable for spin forming. It requires the use of ductile metals. Ductility refers to a substance’s ability to withstand stress without breaking. It is different from malleability, which refers to the ability of metal to be formed into different shapes.

Metals that lend themselves well to the spinning process must be ductile – for example, gold is very malleable, but not particularly ductile. It breaks when under stress, which is why pure gold is not a suitable material for metal spinning.

Common Ductile Metals

There are several types of ductile metals that are commonly used for metal spinning. Brass, aluminium, and copper are some of the most common metals used with this technique.

As for steel, not all types of steel are suitable for spin forming. Depending on the type, it can be too brittle. Typically, harder types of steel, such as carbon steel, cannot be spun due to its hardness and brittleness.

Instead, it is better to use stainless steel or mild steel. Stainless steel is ductile because it is an alloy of several more malleable metals, which may include aluminium and chromium. On the other hand, mild steel only contains a small percentage of carbon, making it more ductile than carbon steel. 

There are many more types of metal that can be spin formed. Metal spinners must have an in depth understanding of the properties of a metal before attempting to use metal spinning techniques on them.

How To Maintain a Tower: HVAC Towers for Your Building

Cooling TowerLarge buildings need immense air conditioning for internal heating and cooling. You yourself may work in a large building, and you may be in charge or have some influence over your building’s air conditioning. Your building may likely be using a heat pump for its air conditioning needs.

Pumping Heat In and Out

A heat pump does exactly what the name says: it pumps heat into your building using a furnace or boiler in winter. During summer, the process goes in reverse — the heat is taken out of your building. For this process, the heat pump transfers the heat to a cooling tower. Inside the cooling tower, evaporation is used to take the heat out of the hot water from your building’s air conditioning system, and into the air outside your building.

Tower Maintenance

Now, cooling towers need to be maintained regularly in order to keep energy costs low. You can follow these simple maintenance tasks to keep your building’s tower working at optimum energy efficiency.

Checking Tasks

Some maintenance can be done by simply checking parts of the cooling tower. You can listen in on the tower, and try to notice any unusual noises that may come from it. Afterwards, you can check for debris in the strainers and inspect the water distribution system. You can also inspect water levels in the water supply to make sure there is just enough water being used.

Cleaning Tasks

Other tasks you can do include cleaning out the cold water basin. It is important to keep the cooling tower side stream filtration free from dirt. To save you the trouble, you can actually install a basin sweeper for automatic cleaning. You can also lubricate fan shaft bearings. Experts recommend lubricating every three months to keep the operation going. Again, you can install bearing greasers for automatic maintenance.

You can do so much more in maintaining your building’s cooling tower. With an outfitted and well-maintained HVAC tower, no matter the season, you will be working in a comfortable environment with the right temperature.

What to Do When Construction Estimation Goes Wrong

Construction EstimationEstimation refers to the technical process of foreseeing the construction costs. Unfortunately, cost overrun is one of the construction industry’s grim realities. There are several scenarios that lead to underestimating the actual costs of development.

Although common, there are many ways to avoid committing these errors and bringing value engineering onboard.

Construction Estimation Errors

1) Accidental Omission

Believe it or not, but all omissions in the construction are accidental unless someone deliberately omits an item to compromise the project. Although the latter warrants litigation, there are soft and hard costs that are excluded by mistake.

It is easier to address soft cost omissions like permit fees than hard costs since these expenses are directly related to the construction processes. These are the items missing on the plans and aren’t specified. Thus, they are not included in the estimates.

What to do: Use a good checklist or a detailed plan and specification. Construction estimation software can also be quite useful.

2) Wrongful Assumption

Similar to false benchmarking, wrongful assumptions are mere guesses and unfounded at that. These are the items you think are already covered in the bid but are not. Nonetheless, assumptions can happen not just on specifications, but also apply to logistics, methods, schedules, etc. They are inaccurate and open to other parties’ own guesses, which may render the estimation useless.

What to do: Communicate with other parties clearly, especially with the sub-contractors; make sure all parties know what are expected of them based on the plans, specifications, and contracts with full descriptions of the scope of work

3) Inadequate Allowance

A euphemism for wastage, inadequate allowances refer to inaccurate measures. Unscrupulous bidders use this tactic to win contracts. The problem with this is the future shortage in the materials or the time to do all the necessary works. Both impact the quality of the construction as well as the constructed building itself – all because of the failure to consider sufficient allowances.

What to do: Put realistic allowances based on the actual quality level of the output or pick materials early on and based the estimates on these

These are just three of the most common reasons for cost overruns. The key is to be proactive about the entire process. Preemptive measures must be considered primarily and not necessarily corrective actions.

Understanding Swiss-Type Machining

Swiss-Type MachiningThe Swiss turning machines were considered to be specialty tools in the field of machining. But today, it's in demand and extensively used even in shops, which predominantly use only conventional turning machines. There are many professionals and businesses, who can help you understand how the Swiss machines work and can help you become proficient with them. They can help you use the machines proficiently and optimally.

Different from conventional machines

When using the Swiss turning machine, the machinists should adapt to a different way of thinking. In this machine, contrary to the conventional ones, the turning tool remains stationary and the stock stick advances. This difference is very important and should be remembered especially when you deal with Z-axis offsets.

Guide bushing

The heart of a Swiss-type machine is the guide bushing and this means the sizing of the parts to be machined is absolutely essential. If the size is not correct for the guide bushing, the work will have multiple errors. The bushings are available in different materials such as steel and carbide sleeved. So you also have to consider the workpiece interaction before machining the parts.

Segmentation is necessary

The cuts in the order cycle also change when you use a Swiss-type machine. The length of the guide bushing warrants that the parts to be machines is segmented into sections. If this is not done the stock will fall out from the guide bushing. This implies that the machining of the part is done typically in sections of 0.75 inches, which is the standard length recommended.

There are other differences too, which includes the fact that the cutting fluid use is oil instead of the conventional water. Oil offers more lubricity and complete freedom from bacterial growth and ensuing unpleasant odors. But since oil is not a coolant like water is, the Swiss machine gets heated up and will require shop towels or gloves, while changing the tooling parts. 

Keeping Your Workstation Clean and Free from Dust

Dust layers on work deskWorking with wood and metal can present a number of health hazards. For instance, small bits and pieces could get into your eye, or you could inhale them accidentally. This is aside from the risk of having to deal with flying metal parts and poisonous fumes. This is the reason organizations like OSHA require the use of certain protective gears and equipment to ensure the safety of the workers.

Making Workplace Safe

One of the ways you can make your workplace and workstation safe is to make use of a downdraft table. You have to keep in mind that one of the things you have to keep clean would be the air that you would be breathing in. Downdraft tables and booth can help you in this area by capturing and filtering dust as well as blowing away any fumes and smoke. In most cases, a downdraft table would have a built-in ventilation as well as a filter to keep the air clean.

Downdraft table typically comes in a number of designs – each with a different feature. For instance, some tables would use activated carbon to absorb fumes and smoke. This is typically recommended for those who would be working with metal. There are also those designs that make use of water to cleanse the air around you. You might also find some tables that have a central filtration system that draws air in, cleans it, and then blows it back to your workstation.

Typical Uses

Regardless of the design, however, you would most likely come across a downdraft table in such activities as grinding and sanding. If the activity involves grinding, a downdraft table will typically feature a wet scrubber as well as a dust collector. The same is through when deburring activities are being done.

Biking Safety Practices Before and While Riding

Biking Safety Practices In BrisbaneThe convenience that bicycles offer makes them a valuable means of travel at present. People who need to travel short distances can benefit from bikes. Furthermore, the health rewards one can get from riding at least 30 minutes a day are priceless.

However, as the number of biking injuries and deaths is alarming, it pays to know some safety practices before riding.

Before Hitting the Road…

Prepare the bike by checking for potential issues. Make sure that both front and rear brakes, as well as the headlight and taillight are working. Tire pressure and tread depth should also be correct. Lastly, check if the chains are running smoothly and are well-lubricated.

Know that riding without proper gear is a violation. Doing so also puts one at risk of injuries. Use a properly fitting, bright-coloured helmet with CSPC sticker.

When Riding…

Biking rules and regulations in every state have certain differences. However, the standard guidelines include the following:

1. Ride as if you are driving a car. Follow the road rules and remain as predictable as possible. Do not counter traffic flow and remain in your lane.

2. Remain focused. Be aware of the traffic around you. You must also watch out for obstacles on the road, including car doors that suddenly open when driving near the sidewalk.

3. Use hand signals. Hand signals will make other drivers aware of your next move – whether you are turning left or right, or slowing down or stopping.

4. Avoid distractions. Do not use your cell phone when riding. Listening to music is also not advisable.

5. Stay visible. Make sure that your tail and head lights are working, especially when driving at night. Wear a bright coloured shirt for others to see you easily. A variety or reflectors are also available at Brisbane bike stores like the Yellow Jersey Bike Shop.

Biking should make travelling short distances easy, but safe. Avoid accidents and injuries by knowing the road rules and biking safety practices. A quick bike test before you leave should also make the ride safe and hassle-free.

3 Ways You’re Ruining Your Home Appliances

Appliance Repair in Salt Lake CityAppliances make things easier. From washing the dishes to doing the laundry, home appliances reduce a dull chore to a convenient touch of a button. Despite their invaluable services, however, many homeowners often fail to maintain their appliances in good condition and cause them to operate inefficiently. In most cases, it leads to a frequent breakdown and shortening of lifespans.

Improper Installation

Many homeowners often attempt to install their home appliances without proper knowledge or skills and do a botch jobs as a result. For instance, installing a laundry unit in too small a space causes it to heat up more, hiking your power bills and running down the unit quicker. In addition, you should not attempt to repair a faulty home appliance unit without the proper tools and knowledge. Rather, you should call a trustworthy appliance service in Salt Lake City and have it fixed professionally.

Improper Use

People wear out their garbage disposal units by failing to understand the limits and capabilities. Shredding fibrous materials such as artichoke leads to the entanglement of the unit’s motor systems leading to a breakdown. Be sure to read the owner’s manual thoroughly before operating your unit to avoid putting it to the wrong use. Again, flushing the unit with ice cubes occasionally  keeps it clean by scouring the walls as well as keeping the blades sharp.

Improper Cleaning

Despite washers and laundry units providing a cleaning service, you need to keep the clean for an excellent service. Internally cleaning the units with the appropriate products rids them of build-up that could clog crucial internal parts like the pump causing them to jam or break down. In addition, it clears up the bacteria that could pose a danger to your health and wellbeing.

Homeowners ruin their appliances by putting them to wrong use. If you don't want hefty losses, start taking better care of them.

Newbie Driver: The ABCs of Accident and Emergency Preparedness

New DriverIf you are a new driver and have recently just gotten your license, congratulations! However, you also need to be ready for any sort of vehicular mishap or accidents while on the road. Here is a simple ABC list that can prepare you for anything.

Apply For Insurance

Most likely you already have the standard car insurances if you've recently bought your vehicle, but you may want to check what it actually covers. If you aren't satisfied with what the existing insurance offers, do ask the company for options. With second-hand cars, do check if their insurance is still applicable and it's coverage as well. While you're at it, you might as well check your own personal insurance and see if you get extra benefits as a new driver.

Before Leaving, Check Everything

See if there are any leaks or puddles under the car that wasn't there when you parked it. See if the brakes are working. Check your tires including the spare. See if there are any scratches and cracks on the glass or the body. Look if your headlights and signal lights are in good working condition. There are actual checklists online that you can print if you want to be finicky.

Create a List

The list should contain every contact you need in case of emergency and/or accidents. This list should be in your cellular phone or tablet, or printed then placed in your wallet. Apart from towing services, readytowing.com.au recommends listing the numbers of the police, hospitals, rescue teams, and auto-repair companies, along with the numbers of your closest kin and friends. If possible, put these numbers on speed dial on your phone.

It will take a while for you to be an expert driver. Meanwhile, you can feel secure knowing that whenever you drive, you are prepared for anything. So buckle up, do your ABCs and enjoy your trip.

The Major Causes of Emergency HVAC Repairs

HVAC Units In IndianaEmergencies aren't fun, and sudden breakdown of HVAC units are no exception. This usually happens during after normal business operations. Thus, the rise in emergency air conditioner and furnace repair services. 

Certain conditions like unbearable heat or freezing temperature and having a sick elderly at home or a newborn would need a working HVAC badly. Emergencies like these are inconvenient and can be costly. If you rely on your air conditioner or furnace for comfort, wouldn't it be good to ask what causes the problems?

Inappropriate Maintenance Routine

According to LegacyHeatingAndAirinc.com, preventive maintenance for HVAC units and any electric equipment vary from one brand to another. That's why even technicians ask owners for system's manual when doing an annual preventive maintenance. Owners should do too when doing basic and DIY maintenance tasks.

Failing to do this causes another problem, that is incompetent service. HVAC owners need professional service providers for the reliability and safety of their units. Training and experience hone the skill of these technicians for guaranteed satisfactory repair and preventive maintenance service. With professionals, you can avoid costly and potentially dangerous damage that an incompetent technician can cause.

Outdated HVAC Systems

Old and ageing units may perform inferior compared with newer ones. These signs tell you that you need a more efficient, reliable, and safe unit than what you have now.

Either way, you'll spend money on these services to make your air conditioner and furnace running again. One piece of advice that pros give Indiana owners about upgrading is this. When you spend beyond the 50% of your unit's cost, you have to buy a new one. This will prove more cost-efficient in the long run. 

If you want to avoid unnecessary emergency repairs take note of these major causes. And make sure to avoid them.

Moving to a New Office: Basic Preparation Procedures

New Office in East RutherfordYou don’t just up and move your business to a new base of operations. Moving to a new office or workspace takes time and preparation. Ignoring this advice is likely to cause problems along the way.

Have a Schedule

If you’ve moved to a new house before you already know that it’s challenging especially if you don’t spend some time scheduling everything. When you move to a new house, however, you can take your time unpacking and looking for pots and pans in boxes. You can sleep on the sofa if you feel tired and save the unpacking for another day.

With a new office, you don’t have that luxury, unless you’re willing to lose a few days of business, which is always bad especially for your image and how it is perceived by a fickle-minded and less loyal customer base. So have a schedule for moving your things, from the desks to the filing cabinets to the pantry items.

Have the New Office Ready

Make your new office ready before moving your things, because if it isn’t ready you’ll be scrambling to clean the space (including the bathroom if there is one), apply for New Jersey telephone systems, get the Internet up and running, etc., all while you’re also unpacking and arranging your things, an expert from Comtex Inc. advised.

Label Your Boxes

Have your employees box up their things and label them. Label the furniture (desks, cabinets, etc.), computers, printers, etc. using masking tape and a marker. If the items go to separate offices or cubicles, put that information on the labels too. Just make sure the offices and cubicles in your new location are also labeled.

Secure the Most Important Items

There are things you cannot entrust to movers, such as keys to your new digs, sensitive items like external hard drives and files, etc. Bring these with you in your car or a company vehicle. You may also assign an employee to handle only the sensitive items.

Inform Your Bank, Customers, Suppliers, etc.

People who should know about your move must receive the information early. Let them know at least six months before the date. Use your website and social media accounts to announce the move. Call or email your suppliers. Visit your bank. Give the new address to subscriptions, your courier, etc.

Moving to a new office should not be as challenging as it usually is. Planning it carefully will reduce the problems usually associated with a move.