Every home needs a room in which to build and fix stuff. Unfortunately, there rarely is one, so a lot of work happens in inconvenient places – like on the kitchen table! Many homeowners turn to the garage when they need a workshop. It’s out of the flow of family traffic and no one minds if you make noise there. But garages are typically crowded with all sorts of equipment, including mower tractors, bikes, kayaks — and maybe even a car or two! Besides, who feels comfortable with keeping saws and other power tools within reach of every neighborhood child who drops by for a play date?
A much better choice for the home workshop is the basement. It usually has everything you need, including plumbing, electrical service, and access for large items. Heating and cooling are not usually big concerns because temperature swings in basements are not dramatic. Below are some great pictures of a basement workshop created by Alan Lily.
What basements typically don’t have is a climate that’s friendly to tools. Excess humidity can quickly rust your prized set of chisels. Flooding can ruin your supplies. The lack of adequate lighting is a safety hazard. In addition, concrete slabs are not fun to stand on for long periods. And while it’s not critical, stained and ragged masonry walls are not particularly inspiring to the woodworker trying to replicate a grandfather clock or a pencil post bed.
All of the above can be quickly remedied with many of the same products used to convert a basement to a game room or an entertainment area. Basement Systems, Inc. offers a menu of products that will dry out your basement and keep it that way. Its interior perimeter drain and sump pump systems have a proven track record in hundreds of thousands basements across the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Its Total Basement Finishing™ (TBF) division offers wall, floor, and ceiling products that not only look great but are waterproof (just in case the unthinkable happens). Impact-resistant wall panels are offered with insulation for basements that would otherwise be too chilly to work in. Or you can opt for bright white non-insulated panels that hide ungainly masonry walls and provide a vapor barrier at the same time. TBF’s basement tile- and plank-style basement flooring products easily snap in place and offer a vapor barrier and thermal break.
Click here to see a video view of the basement workshop.
Tim Snyder, former editor of American Woodworking and an avid woodworker himself, recommends some additional tips should you consider converting your basement to a workshop. “It’s wise,” says Snyder, “to wall off the workshop from the rest of the basement. Having a door to the workshop area solves several problems: it can be locked for security and safety, and it helps with dust control. He also recommends drop ceilings. “They do a pretty good job of dampening noise transfer to upstairs. In addition, they can accommodate fluorescent light fixtures over workstations,” says Snyder. Snyder says that you should also bring at least two new circuits to your shop. “Keep the lighting and the power tools on separate circuits,” he says. “If you trip a circuit while ripping a board, at least you won’t be left in the dark!” Snyder adds that a dust control system is a must. “In my own shop, I have a centrally located dust collector that I can easily attach to each of my dust-making tools.” Dust collectors can be wall- or floor-mounted and can be used to power a shop sweep accessory. He also recommends an air filter. Good ones, such as those from Grizzly Industrial, Inc., can draw 1400 CFM and filter to 1 micron.
Other basement workshop design tips
- Replace old corroded windows than no longer function. TBF offers sliding vinyl units that can be opened for ventilation.
- Keep access ways clear so you can move supplies in and finished projects out!
- Install cushioned workstation mats wherever you’ll be standing for long periods. They help fight fatigue.
- Install a high-capacity dehumidifier so any excess humidity is eliminated before it can tarnish your tool collection.
- Devote a separate cabinet to safety equipment so you always know right where it is. Store dust masks, respirators, safety glasses and goggles, and hearing protectors there. Emergency eye wash and a first aid kit are good ideas as well.
- Install a utility sink. It will save you from running upstairs every time you need water to wash a brush or rinse glue off your hands.
Having a basement workshop, especially one that is comfortable place to spend time, is a great asset to a home. Not only will it allow woodworkers to pursue their hobby, but it’s a great place to fix miscellaneous household items and to work on projects with your kids.
This is written by Joe Provey for Total Basement Finishing.
xDroid Takes The Fun Of Video Racing Games Into The Real World
Want something that brings the thrill of racing video games into the real world? It’s here and it is called xDroid. At last the best features of RC cars and racing video games come together. You can race, drift, jump, play with friends and even code your own games. And you get to control everything from your smartphone.
xDroid brings the best parts of video game racing to the real world. You can play demolition derby, capture the flag and much more. It uses three main elements to work its magic: The mobile gaming app, the xDroid car and the xPoint.
The xDroid is a 1:16 scale hobby-grade smartphone-controlled car, but if you already own an RC car, you can use your own by upgrading it with an xCore. The xPoints are basically small interactive checkpoints that you can position along the route. These will let you collect bonuses, earn scores, and get power-ups. The app has the games, acts as a controller and also a social platform.
I don’t know about you, but I have often dreamed of a Mario Kart type game that I could play in the real world with RC cars. xDroid makes it possible to play this and other video game type racing games.
I can see people really getting into this to the point where it becomes a real sport. The system seems like it has everything you need to play and create good games right out of the gate. You can check out the Kickstarter for more info. This is going to be fun.
Equipment and Supplies Necessary For A Hunting Trip
Hunters can not head out on a hunting trip without first gathering the necessary equipment and supplies. They won’t be able to take down the prey without having the means to do so, and they can’t keep themselves safe without the right gear. Bringing the right equipment and supplies out hunting will be the difference between a successful trip and an unsuccessful one.
Rifle or Bow
There is one main piece of equipment a hunter needs, and that is their weapon. It’s difficult to take an animal down without the proper weapon to do so. The season in which you’re hunting plays a major role in determining whether you should take a rifle or bow. A bow is often the preferred hunting method because it’s quieter and the arrows can be reused time and time again. Shops like James River Archery offer the latest technology in hunting equipment, including the Micro Hex Hunting Stabilizer.
Hunters are meant to wear something orange, typically a hat or vest, in an effort to protect themselves. They may want to stay camouflaged and hidden from whatever animals they’re hunting, but they need to let other hunters in the area know they’re there as well. Seeing a bright orange color from a distance will let others know not to shoot in that direction. It’s a simple safety precaution that must be taken by every hunter.
Warm, Yet Protective Clothes and Boots
Hunting gear includes clothing and shoes. A hunter’s outfit must keep them warm no matter what temperature they’re in, especially since many tend to head out in the early morning hours when it’s still chilly. The outfit should also help protect the hunter, providing extra layers to keep the weather and insects and critters, from doing any harm. Both an inner and outer layer should be worn along with weatherproof and all-terrain boots that are comfortable for long treks through the wood.
Animals can often smell humans in the area without needing to see them. If they can tell that a person is nearby they’re more likely to wander off in the opposite direction. Using a scent-blocker on the clothing worn can help keep a person’s scent at bay so no prey knows they’re nearby. A more attractive scent can be used to attract the animal, such as doe urine to bring more bucks to the area thinking a female is near. Hunters will use different foods and scents depending on the type of animal they’re hunting. While deer enjoy eating corn and peas, rabbits will come to an apple cider scent or apples.
No one should ever head out hunting without first obtaining the proper license. There are only a certain number of game a person can tag and bring in to have processed and used for meat. People can face serious fines if found hunting without a license, so it’s better to start off each season with an updated version. Hunting and fishing licenses can often be obtained online or from a store that sells hunting gear. Hunting big game requires people to apply and be selected before they can continue.
The right equipment and supplies need to be worn and brought along on a hunting excursion. Without them, the venture would not be successful. Certain rules and requirements have been made for hunting for a reason, so all hunters will be safe and protected while they’re out in the wilderness.
From Smoke To Vapor: Is It For You?
Over the past few years, vaping has become incredibly popular. It’s proven to be a very strong competitor to traditional smoking, leading lots of people to ditch cigarettes in favor of vaping.
People are making that choice for several reasons. If you’re thinking about making the switch yourself, you may find it a little strange to think that you can just drop cigarettes in favor of vaping, and certainly the transition will take some adjusting. But in time, you may find that the advantages of changing will be easy to see, and they’ll give you plenty of reason to stay with vaping.
You Can Choose Your Product
Generally speaking, a cigarette is a cigarette. The flavor is the same, the nicotine content is the same, and even the appearance does not vary dramatically from brand to brand. About the only distinction is the carton, which spends most of its time in your pocket or purse anyway.
With vaping, you can mix things up a little bit. You can find vape and ejuice deals that will let you try any of a number of different flavors and levels of nicotine, all without spending hours digging through stores. They can range from the tame to the extreme, and if you don’t like them, you can change them.
Your vaporizer itself also reflects your personality. Because vapers use the same device for months or even years, they work hard to avoid designs that cramp their style and push them back to cigarettes.
It’s Smoking Without The Smoke
Clearly, vaping is not nearly as intrusive as smoking. The vapor does not carry the distinctive odor of cigarette smoke, making it far less unpleasant to those around you. The vapor doesn’t discolor clothing or leave your vehicle permeated with an almost-indestructible odor.
Vaping is based on water vapor instead of acrid smoke. It isn’t intrusive to those around you; it doesn’t burn their eyes or leave them coughing and sneezing anytime you’re around. And it’s short-lived, dissipating quickly into the air around you while still giving you that smoking look.
Vaping Is Safer & Cleaner
A fundamental component of a cigarette is the combustion. A tiny but incredibly hot area of tobacco converting to ash dangles delicately at the very end of the cigarette, ready to fall loose or to be dropped with the entire cigarette. Over the years, there have been countless cases of injuries and deaths from these small points of ignition, along with equally innumerable cases of damaged clothing, furniture, carpet, and other valuables that were on the receiving end of a dropped or falling cigarette.
Cigarette smoke also discolors your teeth, your clothing, your paint–you name it. It also leaves behind messy cigarette butts that clog storm sewers, fill trash cans, and create a fire hazard both in buildings and in the outdoors.
There is a lot of appeal to nicotine. Smokers enjoy the feeling they get from nicotine, but smoking has always been problematic in terms of its risks as a fire hazard as well as the unpopular and unpleasant impacts of the smoker on those around them who are not smoking.
Vaping eliminates both the fire danger and the troublesome smoke, allowing the vaper to enjoy nicotine without creating such an imposition on those around them. These benefits are the driving force between the growing popularity of vaping, and they suggest the trend will continue.