Guest Posts

How to Use a String Line Level

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A well-kept garden is a source of pride and can transform the overall beauty and value of your property.

Some of your projects may include:

  • planning a garden bed
  • Erecting or remodeling pavers, walkways, and

For all of these projects, you will need a string line level to get your angles right.

A string line level is a specific type of spirit level which is used for leveling over long distances. You can attach them to a taught string to determine the level between two stakes in the earth to find level ground.

String line levels are way cheaper than other types of levels. However, allow yourself a bit of preparation and time to ensure you get the best performance possible.

You Will Need:

  • A long length of string
  • A measuring tape
  • A line level
  • Two posts to tie off the ends of the string

Step 1

Tie the string at one corner of the side of the area. Attach the line level to the center of the string using the small hooks on the level.

Step 2

Ensure the string is taught and slide the level up the string. Draw it evenly to prevent sagging. Sags or dips will give you an inaccurate reading.

Step 3

Match the end of the sting to the wall or post. Make any adjustments until the bubble on the line levels out. Tie the string in place.

How to Use the Line Level for Pavers

First, excavate enough space for your paver in the patio or walkway. Make sure that the ground under the paver is level.

For good drainage, slightly grade the ground so that you do not create any flooding along the patio or walkway.

Place the stakes alongside each other. Fasten each end of the string to the wooden stakes. Make space for any adjustments and put the line level in the center of the string.

Wind the string tightly around one of the stakes. Adjust the string accordingly until you reach the level you desire.

Use a measuring stick or tape measure to get the correct distance from the string to the ground to get the depth you need.

Mark points along the string until you get the desired depth. You may have to dig, fill in or tamp the ground as needed to get the correct depth.

Using a Level to Level the Ground

You need two wooden stakes and a length of string. Tie the first end of the string to the stake. Hammer the stake into the ground at the highest point in the area.

Pull the other end of the string and tie it loosely to the other stake. Place the line level on the string at eye level.

Make the needed adjustments until the bubble is resting between both black lines on the vial and secure the sting in place.

Sources:

http://www.johnsonlevel.com/News/LineLevels

https://www.familyhandyman.com/carpentry/how-to-use-a-level-over-long-distances/view-all/

http://www.thefilix.com/

10 Useful Tips for Correct Generator Use

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Generators are machines that convert movement into electrical current. They are especially useful during a power outage. The most common type is gasoline powered. Here are some helpful hints to use your generator.

  • Keep Away from House or Building

The generator releases dangerous gases as exhaust, the most life-threatening of which is carbon monoxide. The farther away the generator is from people, the lower the risk of harmful effects. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed to monitor threats.

  • Do Not Plug Your Generator into an Outlet

Backfeeding involves plugging a generator into a socket on a building’s power circuit. This is illegal, as it risks the user’s life. There are recommendations available throughout the internet for how to correctly backfeed however, due to the safety risk and illegality we must never do this act. It is recommended to install the correct power supply for using your generator.

  • Cooldown Your Generator Before Replenishing Fuel

Fuel tanks on generators are at the top, so that fuel can drain down into the machine easily. The combination of heat and gasoline are ingredients for an explosion. Leaving the machine to cool for as long as needed before resupplying the fuel is the best way to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

  • Distribute and Stockpile Gasoline Properly

It is illegal to stockpile more than 5 gallons of gasoline in your home. For usage in your generator, the tank does not hold that much, so, you really do not need more than that size can for use. The other thing to consider is the ease in pouring the gas into the generator tank. Having a larger can will be a problem to handle, so it is recommended to stick to regulations required.

  • Store Your Generator on a Level Surface

The manufacturers warn that generators must be kept on a level surface for its system to function properly. Within the generator, there are moving parts that help to lubricate the machine to prevent drying. If it were not on a level surface, you would not be able to measure the oil level accurately, which may cause dryness that ultimately damages the machine.

  • Safely Store Motor Oil

Generators usually require their oil resupplied after every fifty (50) hours. If the generator is brand new, the first oil change is after twenty (20) hours of use. Consider these times when storing oil to prepare for your next generator usage.

  • Reduce Cord Length

Bearing in mind the cord usage and length when using your generator. The noise factor is generally reasons for positioning the generator away from the house. If you use an extension cord, remember not to exceed 100 meters, as the farther the generator is from the source will cause compressor burnout because of the amount of stress generated.

  • Security Measures for the Generator

Reducing robbery of your generator is very important. Cementing or anchoring with a heavy duty chain is the most effective measures you can take. “Prevention is better than cure!”

  • Costly to Run Out of Gasoline

Some generators continue to produce electricity as the gasoline runs out. When the generator comes to rest, the electrical load from your appliances will drain the magnetic field from the generators coils making it unable to generate power again after refueling. The generator will need to be repaired by recharging the magnetic field.

  • Never Reuse Stale Gasoline

Fuel stabilizers can be added to reduce stale gasoline causing starting problems. This does not prevent gasoline from going stale so it is recommended to drain the fuel tank and run the carburetor dry then resupply when needed.

 

How to Choose the Best Weed Wacker Today

People who live in a house understand the importance of having a tidy lawn. Furthermore, it is well known that this is a weekly operation that can suffer no postponing. Though there are families who prefer to ask for professional help, the majority rather do it themselves as a recreational activity. However, in order to actually enjoy it, it is extremely important to own a practical and operational tool. The best weed wacker for you is the one that helps you get the job done in effective time with optimum results.

It is important to know that choosing the best weed wacker is definitely not a random purchase. You cannot simply pick the first one that you see. Furthermore, the price is the aspect that must be analyzed last; otherwise you may end up with a tool that will cease to work from the first day. The purpose of this article is to reveal the things that you must consider when you want to buy such a device. Remember that the first step in such an acquisition starts from your house, to be more precise you need to measure the size of the lawn and the toughness of the grass.

A weed wacker is a tool with a mono-filament line that helps you cut the grass and get rid of unaesthetic plants. It is practical in every household, and most important it can help you finish the job fast and effectively. The best weed eater is the one that is adjustable not only to the landscape, but also to your height. Furthermore, it should help you trim crowded spaces or narrow alleys.

 

Qualities of the Best Weed Wacker

When it comes to purchasing the best weed eater for your yard, it is important to consider the following aspects:

  • The size of the yard and/or garden;
  • The type of the machine;
  • The type of shaft;
  • Maintenance;
  • Comfort of use;
  • Warranty.

The size of the yard and/or garden is the first thing that must be taken into consideration. If you skip this step, you may end up with a device that cannot handle the surface, thus will burn before finishing the job.  It is important to know that small lawns can be efficiently trimmed with a corded electric weed wacker. They are quiet and eco-friendly and ensure enough movement to reach every corner.

Medium yards require more movement. This means that it is not efficient to depend on the length of a cable or the position of the socket.  An optimum purchase would be a cordless weed eater powered by a battery. However, they do not represent a good choice for big yards and gardens as the battery may get empty before finishing the job. In this case, remember to browse the gas operated ones.

As it can be seen there are three major types of such machines: corded, cordless and gas powered. Corded electric weed wackers are the ones that do not require a recharge during the trimming process. They are lightweight and can be operated with ease. Before you actually purchase one make sure that you have a socket close to the garden, otherwise you will not be able to use it.

Cordless weed wackers run on batteries. They can be rechargeable or not. These devices are also very quiet and eco-friendly. The only restriction would be the battery capacity that determines how long it lasts. If you really want or need high power than gas weed wackers represent the optimum purchase. They are a bit noisier than electric ones but can handle successfully even the most difficult jobs.

The type of the shaft is another important aspect that must be taken into consideration in order to make an efficient purchase. There are three main types available: straight, curved and split. Straight shafts are long and can trim with ease any area of the yard. Tall people will definitely enjoy them most.

Curved shafts can be handled with ease and ensure an optimum balance. They are not very good at reaching complicated corners, but pretty much do what they are supposed to do. Split shafts will definitely be noticed with ease thanks to their versatile design. They allow you to remove the trimming head and add other attachments, such as leaf blowers or tree pruners.

Besides replacing the string, weed wackers may require additional maintenance. Most models mainly need to keep the head clean, and they are good to use. Besides this, it is highly advisable to make sure that the air filter is free of debris, and the bolts and nuts are positioned correctly. It does not take much time and significantly increases the life of your device.

Gas weed wackers are a bit more exigent. The spark plugs require regular maintenance and replacement from time to time. Before you store it during the winter make sure that the tank is empty. This is the only way you can avoid corrosion. Make sure you take the leftover fuel to a hazardous waste center.

Remember that you will be using this tool pretty often so it must be comfortable. In this case, the main aspect that must be taken into consideration is the weight, noise level and eventual smoke produced. However, do not make this a priority if you own a big garden as you need a more powerful tool in order to get the job done effectively.

Never buy a weed wacker before checking the warranty. Most products are covered by at least one year of free maintenance, in case they break down. There are brands that ensure free extensions if you register the weed wacker on their site. Just like in the case of comfort, do not turn the warranty issue into a priority.

Conclusion

As it can be seen, choosing the best weed wacker requires time and research. However, considering  that this is a purchase that you will use on long term it is totally worth it. Remember the order of the six qualities of such a device and you will definitely take the best decision.

5 Tips to Make Your Lawn Healthier

Regardless of the condition of your lawn, you will be better off to think ‘organic lawn.’ There has been a lot of publicity about the damage that chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides do to the environment. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough publicity about why plants, including lawns, are healthier and more disease resistant without man-made chemicals. If you have been brought up with a typical chemical lawn and garden mentality, you may think this idea preposterous. It is not. Understanding how grass actually grows may surprise you.

Even if your lawn has been doused with chemicals for years, you can convert it into an organic lawn. Some basic practices of organic lawns are still good advice for improving the health of any lawn even if you also use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

I am a fan of organic solutions, but I also recognize that some people prefer chemically treated lawns and gardens. If you do use a chemical fertilizer or pesticide in your yard, please make sure to carefully follow the directions and avoid overuse, which can do serious harm to your lawn.

Here are some tips that will improve any lawn.

1. Water less frequently, but deeply. Most experts agree that an inch of water once a week is about right for most lawns. This will vary with climate, soil composition, and time of year. To find the best watering cycle for your lawn, distribute several cans or other containers around your lawn and water the lawn. When the containers have one inch of water, turn off the water. Note how long it took to fill the containers to the one-inch mark. Now you know how long to water. You also know which areas don’t get as much water and may need a sprinkler adjustment or change. It is time to water again when the lawn soil surface is dry to the touch. This insures that roots will grow deep. Exactly how deep the roots grow depends on the soil and type of grass.

2. Cut your grass to its recommended cutting height. Some people recommend setting your lawnmower to the highest setting, but I do not agree with this method. Different types of grasses have different cutting height requirements, so it is best to stay within the cutting range recommended for your type of grass.

3. Aerate your lawn. If you aren’t familiar with lawn aeration, it is simply poking holes in the lawn. This is done with a machine that pulls little round pieces of soil, called plugs, out of the lawn. These plugs are deposited on top of the lawn. Although unsightly, they break down and disappear in a couple of weeks. Aeration allows water, air, and nutrients into the soil and prevents soil compaction. Your lawn should be aerated about once a year.

4. Leave lawn clippings on the lawn. Your lawn needs the organic material they supply. Because the grass clippings will be pulled into the soil and decomposed by soil organisms, you will need much less fertilizer. The best kind of mower for this job is a reel or mulching lawn mower because they both leave finer clippings than regular rotary mowers. We’ll talk more about this in the lawnmower section. It is a myth that grass clippings cause thatch. However, if you already have thatch, you’ll want to collect your clippings until you have solved the problem because clippings can make it worse.

5. The best fertilizer for your lawn is an organic fertilizer with a ration of approximately N-P-K: 3-1-2 (3 % nitrogen, 1% phosphorous, and 2% potassium). Follow directions when applying any kind of fertilizer. As an alternative, organic fish emulsion or compost tea will be a healthy treat for your lawn because they both add live microforms to your soil. You can find fish emulsion at your local gardening center, but may have to purchase compost tea on the Internet or make your own. Compost tea is water that has been soaked in compost.