Although some of the tools are similar to high-quality tools

Black & Decker Corp. launched a new tool line last week aimed at grabbing back a market Japanese competition took over a decade ago.

The company spent seven years and tens of millions of dollars on its new DeWalt line of tools. The rollout, kicked off last week at the National Association of Homebuilders trade show in Las Vegas, is a direct challenge to No. 1 Makita Corp.

If the push succeeds, it could be worth $250 million worth of business a year to the tool-and-appliance maker, and could also serve as an announcement that Black & Decker can still introduce innovative new products despite its heavy debt.

“This is the biggest marketing initiative this company has ever attempted . . . They’ve got a hell of a shot of making an impact on that part of the market,” said Clifford F. Ransom II, an analyst for Ferris, Baker Watts in Baltimore.

The line of 32 power hand tools, marketed under the DeWalt name, is aimed at home building professionals who buy their tools from consumer retail outlets like Home Depot and Hechingers.

These buyers — small contractors or tradesmen, often working out of the backs of their trucks — spent $432 million on power tools last year. But they spent very little of it with Black & Decker.

Although the company dominates in expensive tools aimed at industrial and commercial construction users, and also in lower-cost tools aimed at do-it-yourselfers, it has almost no presence in the middle ground.

Black & Decker blames the problem on confusion between its two lines of tools. Less expensive do-it-yourself tools aren’t designed to hold up to the rigors of professional use, but are sold on the same shelves as the hardier professional tools. A professional who wore out a consumer tool in a week has a bad taste left in his mouth.

Analysts agree, but add that real quality problems with its mid-range line contributed to Black & Decker’s bad reputation. Professionals switched to the high-quality Makita tools in droves.

The DeWalt introduction is designed to address both brand confusion and perceived quality problems.

In the first place, it’s an entirely new line, which is supposed to solve the quality problems of the past. Black & Decker says the new tools are better than Makita’s. The company is confidently pricing them at a 5 percent premium to the competition.

Although some of the tools are similar to high-quality tools offered to the industrial market, they’ve been redesigned with the small contractor in mind. For instance, industrial drills require a key to change a drill bit — no problem if you’re in a factory where everything is kept in its place.

But for a contractor hauling his tools from job site to job site, having to keep track of a key is just one more headache. So Black & Decker designed a “keyless chuck” that lets the customer change the bit without the key.

In the second place, the company dropped the Black & Decker name from the tools to avoid confusion with its consumer tools, which are often sold alongside its professional tools.

Although not well-known in the general consumer market, DeWalt has a good reputation among industrial users for its large stationary tools.

Better still, generations of shop students learned on DeWalt best miter saw and other tools in school.

 

Introduce you to airless paint sprayer

Home painting is no longer hard and time-consuming thanks to a small paint sprayer. Fences, garages or barns with smooth coat within an hour or two that is impossible before now can be done easily by paint sprayers. These tools are not only powerful, portable but also easy-using by inexperienced people. Who have never painted before can even get high result with it. There are various kinds of paint prayers are available, and the airless is one of the best paint sprayer.

painting with airless paint sprayer

Why painting with an airless paint sprayer is better?

The airless paint sprayer with compressed air guns is able to vaporize and shoot materials better, especially for thin or medium objects. However, while spraying, small amount of paint is left at the gun, clog and block the way. For long-time using, the clumps of paint clogged at the gun limit its efficiency. These sprayers are preferred for small jobs to reduce overspray.

Different kinds of airless paint sprayers are provided in which the smallest one is also the most contented one. The level of pressure from diaphragm systems is indicated between that of compressor and piston pump sprayers, but in real it is even higher than air compressor. The most advantage of these sprayers is the airless system with piston which can create about 2500 PSI to 3000 PSI.

A piston with high PSI makes gun powerful that can be used with long hoses to apply for large material supply up to 5 gallon can of paint. With this piston, small painter with a ¼” hose can pull paint 25 feet away and larger one can pull up to 150 feet, which allows us move around a medium-sized building without material supply.

High pressures airless device can work not only far from material supply but also for great paint job. The paint is vaporized into tiny drop that coat the painting surface, drenched thoroughly and uniformly to create smooth surface. Moreover, all fissures and grooves on the surface will be filled with paint to cover tightly. This device ensures our objects’ surface have good coat without any marks, streaks or uncolored parts.

Paint Sprayer Good Brands

Graco, Wagner, HomeRight, and Titan are the most famous companies that produce highest standard and various function paint sprayers (Wagner Flexio 590, Graco Magnum x5, … ).One of the best airless paint sprayer is Graco magnum x7.

Graco Magnum x7 airless paint sprayer

Hand-held module with a paint cup or feed hose, portable freestanding or car types, all are found in those product lines. In this latter case, the spray gun becomes a small but wonderful dispenser that can be applied for almost situation however awkward it is, such as for a chink in narrow area.

Because of the powerful gun, especially of large one, airless paint sprayer must be used carefully. The piston with high pressure up to 3000 PSI can pull paint into skin to muscles. In this case, the toxic must be immediately removed with the help of medical techniques. Please follow the instruction, practice and never point the nozzle to others to prevent being injured.

Airless paint sprayer with good spray gun ensures the perfect finishing surface. Can fulfill fast, precise with smooth coat with high coverage, airless system is what you actually need for all painting projects, and trustful and reliable especially for bigger one. New way of painting that airless device brings turns hard job faster and more enjoyable for everyone, both beginners and experts.

Fitness to go: it doesn’t take a “super mom” (or dad) to master a jogging stroller

Three years ago, the sight of a “super mom,” half-dazed and painting behind a jogging stroller containing a 20-plus pound bundle of joy, would have left me in awe. Two children later, I consider pushing just one child in a jogging stroller light training. Having graduated to the “deluxe playground on wheels” (double stroller) to accommodate an infant and a toddler, I know the secrets to making a stroller run an experience everyone can enjoy.

Most parents break into a cold sweat just thinking about taking a jogging stroller around the block. Where does a novice runner begin? How do you run without using your arms? If you think that a jogging stroller is beyond your parenting, running and aerobic skills, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Jogging stroller is better than standard stroller

The jogging stroller can be intimidating, especially if you have little to no hands-on experience with this rugged, all-terrain contraption that looks more like a high-tech moon buggy than a stroller. Fortunately, however, a jogging stroller may actually be more user-friendly than a standard stroller — even on roads, sidewalks and gravel — thanks to three 14-inch to 20-inch tires. Additionally, the large tires make pushing 45 pounds surprisingly easy (unless you happen to be running up a hill). Don’t be surprised if, after doing a few trial runs, you find you never want to use a standard stroller again.

Types Of Jogging Stroller

There are two types of jogging strollers — the single and double passenger.

single jogging stroller

single jogging stroller

While the single typically comes with more perks (it’s lighter, has hand brakes, larger tires, it’s easier to maneuver, folds for an easy fit into most car trunks and sports a more comfortable seat), it only holds one child.

double jogging stroller

double jogging stroller

The double passenger stroller, often already equipped with a windscreen/rain tarp and removable front wheel to adapt to a pull-cart for bicycles, is slightly more cumbersome — especially to the novice jogging stroller operator. However, it’s ideal if you have two children and are interested in packing lots of weight training into your running routine.

What stroller to purchase?

Both types of strollers cost between $150 and $300. If you want to purchase a used jogging stroller, be prepared to buy at a moment’s notice. It’s a hot item, especially during the spring and summer months. One of the greatest advantages of the used stroller is that it is already assembled. However, if you can put together a crib, you can easily master the stroller.

If you purchase a two-passenger jogging stroller with a hard plastic shell and no padding on the seats, you can make it more comfortable for your children with a standard outdoor chair cushion with ties ($10 to $20). Cut holes or slits in the cushion for the shoulder straps and lap belts to pull through, and tie to the frame of the stroller. In less than five minutes, you have a comfortable stroller ready for an all-terrain ride.

Guide

Once your stroller is ready for its first run, help yourself and your passenger(s) prepare for a successful run with the following guidelines.

For Parents

  • Make sure you spend at least five to 10 minutes stretching.stretching
  • Start out slow. Runners who typically travel five to seven miles may want to consider starting off with one to two miles. Beginners may want to experiment with one to two miles of speed walking mixed with five to 10 minute intervals of jogging. It will be hard to motivate yourself for a second day of running if you are an aching mass of raw muscle.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Invest in sports bras that provide adequate support. Although an underwire push-up bra may give you some impressive cleavage, it may not give you the support and comfort you need. Nursing moms might try wearing two sports bras, or a combination of a sports and full-support bra to minimize or alleviate breast discomfort. Also, they should empty breasts, especially if running first thing in the morning. Breasts tend to become engorged after a full night’s sleep.
  • Invest in a good pair of running shoes ($45 to $100).
    running shoes

    running shoes

    Many running enthusiasts recommend buying a new pair of shoes every 300 miles. If you are prone to impact injuries ankles, shins, knees and hips), you may want to switch your shoes more often. (Helpful hint: When trying on new shoes, if the shoe is uncomfortable or falls into that “all it needs is a little breaking in” category, don’t buy them. Your feet and body will thank you later.)

For Passengers

  • Feed your kids, change wet pants, and take toddlers on a last visit to the bathroom prior to venturing down the road. You may want to pack along a spare water or juice bottle, or spill-proof sip cup — especially for longer runs or hot weather.
  • Dress your passengers appropriately for the weather. Keep in mind they are passive participants in your exercise plans, and the elements will affect them differently. Don’t forget the sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.
  • Avoid running close to nap times. Exercising first thing in the morning can be a great way to start the day and take advantage of cooler temperatures — especially during the hot summer months.
  • If the scenery doesn’t appear to hold your children’s attention long, try throwing in a couple of their favorite toys. Be sure to avoid anything with small or moving parts that can easily break off and be swallowed.
  • If you find yourself stopping and starting because your passengers are fighting over toys or can’t seem to keep their hands to themselves, place a piece of foam, pillow or board between them to create a safe barrier.
  • Always remember to properly strap in your precious cargo with the appropriate safety belts. Also, you may want to post lists of emergency phone numbers on the inside and outside of the stroller in lieu of advertising any personal identification information.

Running Forms

Before you even reach the end of your driveway, you will notice there is nothing natural about running behind a jogging stroller. In fact, the more experienced you are at running, the harder it will be to break old habits like running with a long stride or using your freely swinging arms to help keep your pace. However, you’ll soon adapt to a new running form.

You can use one hand or two to push the stroller. If you are running with a single passenger stroller, it may be easier to travel with one hand on the stroller handle and allow the other arm to swing freely at your side.

If you are using a two passenger stroller, however, most runners recommend using both hands to compensate for the additional awkwardness of the larger stroller and extra weight. Allowing your shoulders to swing slightly, in lieu of your arms, will help alleviate some of the initial awkwardness. Avoid the temptation to run along beside the stroller since your ability to steer in a straight line will be impaired. Additionally, you may want to decrease the length of your stride to avoid hitting or tripping over the stroller. Remember to allow your hands to comfortably rest on the stroller handle and bend your arms slightly at the elbows.

If you want to add an additional challenge to your run, try experimenting with hills of varying grades and lengths. Learning into the hill and flattening out your body will help make ascension easier. Contrary to any thoughts you may have on your way up a hill while staring at the rear tires of the stroller, no one has ever been severely maimed, injured or died from being backed over by a jogging stroller. While descending, lean back away from the stroller and try to resist running full-force down the hill in order to avoid a runaway stroller.

With a little practice, running behind a jogging stroller will not only be second nature, but it will be a great way to spend some special time with your children and work off those last few pregnancy pounds. While you may be a super parent for exercising with your children, it doesn’t take a super hero to master the jogging stroller. See you on the jogging trails.

The look of stoneware … and you just spray on paint

Create the lacy pattern with a fork!

Lace Stone Boudoir Set

MATERIALS

General

  • Spray paint(*): Mauve Dust waterbased enamel, Rose Quartz basecoat, clear acrylic.
  • Glitter paint*.
  • Small flat paint brush.
  • Fork.
  • Newspaper/dropcloth.
  • Paper towels. Sandpaper.
  • Glue gun and glue sticks.
  • Scissors.
  • Ruler.

Tissue Cover

  • Wooden boutique tissue box. Wooden boutique tissue box
  • Mauve pregathered lace, 5/8″ wide,2 1/4 yards.
  • Pink satin ribbon, 1/8″ wide, 1/2 yard.
  • Wooden hearts, 2 3/4″ across, two.
  • Pink satin roses, 12mm, two.
  • White pearls, 3mm, two.

Shelf

  • Wooden corner shelf. Wooden corner shelf
  • Mauve pregathered lace, 5/8″ wide, 12 inches.
  • Pink satin ribbon, 1/8″ wide, 1/4 yard.
  • Pink satin rose, 12mm, one.
  • White pearl, 3mm, one.

Tote

  • Wooden tote. Wooden tote
  • Mauve pregathered lace, 5/8″ wide, 1 yard.
  • Pink satin ribbon, 1/8″ wide, 1/2 yard.
  • Pink satin roses, 12mm, two.
  • White pearls, 3mm, two. (*) Plasti-Kote Ultra[TM] Decorator Water Based Enamel, Fleck Stone[TM] Basecoat, Clear Acrylic Topcoat; Delta Crystal Glitter Stuff were used for this project.

INSTRUCTIONS

(Note: Read instructions on paint cans before beginning project. Allow paint to dry several hours between coats.)

1. Paint the wood pieces. Spread newspapers or dropcloth to protect working surface and adjacent areas from overspray. Stuff paper towels in tissue cover opening to protect interior. For undercoat, spray two coats of Mauve Dust enamel on all sides, tops, and bottoms of tissue cover, shelf, and tote, and one side of hearts; let dry between coats. (Note: For ease in painting, spray top and sides first; let dry, then paint bottom.)

For basecoat, work on one side at a time for each wood piece. Spray on two coats of Rose Quartz in a circular motion. While paint is still wet, use fork to draw squiggly lines in several directions over painted surface until area is completely marked. (Note: Small paint clumps may appear, but will be sanded down when paint is dry.) Apply basecoat to sides and top of tissue cover, shelf top and front, sides and handle of tote, and painted sides of hearts. Let dry overnight.

When paint is completely dry, lightly sand all “lace-stone” areas, removing small paint clumps. Spray all painted surfaces with one coat of acrylic topcoat. Let dry.

Finishing

2. Tissue Cover. Glue lace around outside top edge of box, having straight edge of lace even with top edge; overlap and glue ends down. Glue lace around outside bottom edge of box, having scallops even with bottom edge. Glue lace around opening on top of box.

With scallops facing outward, glue straight edge of lace around back outside edge of each heart. Cut satin ribbon in half; tie each half into a bow. Cut ribbon ends at a slant. Glue one bow to top center of each heart. Apply a coat of glitter paint to satin roses; let dry. Glue one rose underneath each bow; glue one pearl to center of each rose. Glue hearts in center of opposite sides of box.

Shelf. Having scallops facing outward, glue straight edge of lace under rim of shelf top. Tie pink satin ribbon into a small bow; cut ribbon ends at a slant. Glue bow to top center of heart cut-out on front of shelf. Apply a coat of glitter paint to satin rose; let dry. Glue rose to center of bow; glue pearl to center of rose.

Tote. Glue lace around top outside edge of tote. Cut pink satin ribbon in half; tie each half into a bow. Cut ribbon ends at a slant. Glue one bow to center top of handle, above cut-out heart, and one to center front. Apply one coat of glitter paint to each satin rose; let dry. Glue one rose to center of each bow; glue one pearl to center of each rose.

Basic furniture stripping

Furniture strippingIf you’ve ever wandered through a garage sale, you’ve probably found a piece of furniture that you fell in love with — at first glance. But upon closer inspection, its outward appearance looked like it was beyond hope.

Well, now you can buy those ugly ducklings, because we’re going to show you how to remove that old, worn-out finish and bring back the natural beauty of the wood. Even if you’ve never stripped furniture before.

First, however, we need to say we’re not going to go into detail on how to apply a new finish after you’ve stripped off the old.

DO YOU HAVE TO STRIP?

Completely removing the finish from an old piece of furniture, or “stripping,” may not be necessary. Often, the old finish is just tired or dirty and only needs a good cleaning, or what’s called “restoration.” That’s a thorough scrubbing of the wood with mineral spirits, followed by a couple of new coats of varnish.

But if the old finish, whether it’s paint or varnish, is cracked or flaking, it’s time to strip. If you want to change the color, it’s time to strip. Or if you want to put on a hard-finish top-coat, such as polyurethane, the only way to get good results is to first strip off the old finish. And, finally, if the piece has deep stains or scratches, stripping is the first step in repairing these problems.

TOOLS TO DO THE JOB

Here are the tools you’ll need to remove old finishes, all of which are in your home now or available at most paint and hardware stores:

  • Two flexible putty knives — one with a 2-in. wide blade and one with a 3- or 4-in. wide bladeputty knive
  • medium-grade steel wool, or a finish-stripping scrub pad
  • a brass-bristle brushbrass-bristle brush
  • a scratch awl or ice pick
  • a kitchen vegetable brush
  • string
  • old toothbrushes
  • old 1-1/2 or 2-in. wide paint brushes to apply the paint stripper
  • cardboard, newspapers or an old dropcloth that you’re willing to throw away
  • aluminum pie tins — to catch the drips and to collect the old finish
  • rags
  • mineral spirits — for solvent-base stripper cleanupmineral spirits
  • oxalic acid and borax — to remove black water stains
  • tack cloth, and
  • safety gear

You’ll notice that a number of these tools should be “old.” Stripping is a messy job and often the tools need to be thrown away after use.

Also, buy only the smallest amount of stripper that you think you’ll need to do the job. Storing excess stripper in your home can be dangerous. It’s better to have to buy more than to store.

CHOOSING A PAINT STRIPPER

Deciding which stripper to use will depend on a number of factors: your safety when using the stripper, what you’ll be stripping, how much time you have to do the job, and how much money you want to spend.

Most solvent-base strippers contain methylene chloride, a potent chemical that makes them fast and thorough. However, the vapors these products give off as they evaporate can be extremely dangerous, even deadly.

If you or a member of your family is sensitive to chemical fumes, is pregnant or you simply want to play it safe, consider using a water-based stripper. These products are safe to use in most situations, according to the manufacturers.

water-based stripper

water-based stripper

Since stripping furniture involves both horizontal and vertical surfaces, it’s best to choose a stripper with a semi-paste consistency. The semi-paste type will cling to the vertical surfaces; liquid strippers won’t.

You also need to decide how much time you have to work on the project. If you want the stripper to work in minutes, use a solvent-base stripper. But if you can let strippers work for hours or even overnight, consider using the water-base type.

The cost of materials could also be a factor. Solvent-base strippers sell for around $15 a gallon. The water-base strippers cost $20 or more.

Finally, you could consider having the furniture stripped by a professional.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Here’s a good point to remember: If a product is strong enough to strip paint, you don’t want to breathe it into your lungs, get it on your skin or in your eyes. To prevent this, you need to use the following safety equipment:

  • Safety goggles ($5). Make sure you get goggles and not glasses. Goggles wrap around the head and protect the entire eye; glasses don’t.Safety goggles
  • Solvent-resistant gloves ($5). Don’t use the rubber type you wear when you wash dishes.Solvent-resistant gloves
  • A respirator ($15 – $20). Make sure it’s a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirator, suitable for use with paint strippers.respirator

These products are available at most full-service paint stores.

Also, wear a long-sleeve shirt to keep the stripper off your arms.

STRIPPING TIMETABLE

Stripping furniture is not a quick, one-day project. It’ll take a minimum of two days, depending on how difficult it is to remove the old finish, the size of the piece and whether there are ornate carvings and moldings.

Flat surfaces strip the fastest; intricate carvings and curved or rounded pieces often require multiple applications of stripper.

The most important point on using paint stripper: Don’t rush it. Read the container label before starting and then follow the instructions completely. Once you apply the stripper, give it time to penetrate, but don’t let it dry out. If it does, you’re in for even more work.

TEN STEPS TO SUCCESS

1. Your work area must be well ventilated. If possible, work outdoors in a shaded area, such as on a patio or at the apron area of your garage. The temperature should be above 50 degrees F.

2. Once you choose a spot, lay down cardboard or three or four layers of newspaper.

3. Make sure you’ve read the directions on the stripper container.

4. Apply the recommended amount of stripper using an old paint brush. Spread the stripper in one direction only. A back-and-forth brushing action will reduce its potency.

5. Let the stripper work the recommended length of time. For solvent-base strippers it’s between 10 and 30 minutes. Water-base strippers need to work longer, at least a couple of hours or even overnight.

6. If you’re using a solvent-base stripper, check it periodically to make sure it doesn’t dry out. If it starts to dry, apply a little more, in the same direction as the first coat.

7. When the stripper has been in place the recommended time, lightly rub the area with medium-grade steel wool or a paint-stripping scrub pad to loosen the old finish.

8. Now use a putty knife to remove the old finish from the flat surfaces. A vegetable brush works great on curved areas, such as legs. Use the aluminum pie tins to collect the old finish.

9. Our table had a raised edge, grooves and round sections — three areas that are always hard to strip. Here’s how we dealt with each:

  • To loosen the old finish along the raised edge, we used a brass-bristle brush .
  • To remove old finish from the edges, we used a scratch awl. Make light strokes to avoid gouging the wood.
  • And, to remove the finish from the round legs, we wrapped medium-grade steel wool around a length of string and used it in a back-and-forth, shoeshine motion.

10. Finally, don’t get discouraged if all the finish doesn’t come off the first time. Be prepared to apply more coats of stripper, especially in curved or carved areas.

DISPOSING OF THE OLD FINISH

Once the piece is completely stripped, you’ll have to dispose of the old finish. The best way to do this is to put the aluminum pie plates outside in the shade and allow the stripper to evaporate. Place any solvent-soaked rags outside, too. Make sure they’re out of the reach of kids and pets.

Most cities have hazardous waste disposal areas that will take this type of residue. Contact your city hall for instructions for your area.

ONCE THE OLD STUFF IS OFF

Before you apply the new finish, make sure the surfaces are smooth and clean. To get rid of any solvent stripper residue, rinse the entire surface with mineral spirits. If the stripper is water-base, use clear water.

If you notice any black water stains on the stripped areas, you can bleach them out using an oxalic acid solution. Then neutralize the acid with a borax and water solution. Oxalic acid and borax are available at most full-service paint stores. Follow the directions and safety instructions on the oxalic acid container.

To get the best-looking finish, you need to sand the stripped wood. Sanding is done in three stages: Use 100-grit (medium) sandpaper for the first sanding; 180-grit (fine) for the second; and for the final sanding, use 220-grit (very fine) sandpaper.

To get rid of any dust, wipe the entire piece with a tack cloth. The tack cloth is a cheese cloth that has a sticky coating to pick up and hold dust.

THE NEW FINISH

Now you’re ready to apply the new stain, but make sure the piece is dry first. Any major brand name product should give you good results, if you follow the directions.

Apply a final top coat. If the piece will get heavy-duty use, consider applying polyurethane rather than regular varnish. It’s recommended that you apply the same brand stain and finish.

Proceed with caution: the do’s and don’ts of operating a plural component sprayer

A plural component sprayer represents a significant capital outlay for most contractors, and protecting that investment is a compelling reason for learning to use the equipment correctly. Additionally, the contractor who takes the time to thoroughly learn sprayer operation will be rewarded with high quality results on the job.

Operating a plural component sprayer the right way is nor rocket science, but using it incorrectly can cause major problems. In fact, one of the most common causes of coating failure is operator error, due to carelessness or lack of knowledge or experience, such as the spray tech neglecting an important step in sprayer operation. The results can be disastrous and expensive to remedy.

Proper operation of a dual component sprayer actually begins long before the trigger is pulled. The equipment and material preparation that take place before spraying starts set the stage for success. Attention to detail must continue through chemical application, completing the job and shutting down and storing the equipment after use.

A plural component sprayer can be used to apply polyurea, polyurethane and other high-performance, two-component, elasromeric coatings. The finished quality of any of these coatings depends on the ratio of the two components, typically referred to as “A” (the resin) and “B” (the curing agent) as the mix exits the gun. The ratio at the gun depends on viscosity, temperature and pressure of the chemicals during delivery.

The spray technician has all of these variables under his control. The more effectively he can manage them, the better results he will achieve. This article takes a closer look at the steps involved in operating a plural component sprayer to help the spray technician understand the key factors that can impact the quality of the finished product.

This is a very important step that often gets neglected in the rush to get the job done, understandably so when there are schedules and deadlines to be met. That is unfortunate, though, because preparing the chemicals lays the foundation for the quality of the finished coating. Inadequate attention to this step will yield a less than adequate result.

To get every job off to a good start, mix the resin in the drum at high speed for at least an hour before starting to spray. The pigment in the resin is thicker and heavier than other components and sinks to the bottom during storage. It needs to be mixed back in with the other components before spraying begins. Vigorous agitation is essential to blending the components of the resin to make it a uniform viscosity.

The recommended drum mixer to use is one with a series of blades along the shaft. This configuration helps move the material sufficiently to get the solids on the bottom back into suspension. To create the maximum movement in the chemical, the mixer blades should be about one-third the diameter of the chemical drum. Keep the mixer running at moderate speed while spraying to keep the resin at consistent viscosity during the entire job.

Do not show up at the job site, connect the drums of chemicals to the sprayer and pull the trigger. At least, do nor do this and expect a good result. Poorly mixed resin will yield a product that is off-ratio (having incorrect proportions of components A and B). The transfer pump cannot pick up thick pigment that is settled at the bottom of the drum. This means the material mixing at the gun will be the curing agent, plus the thin liquid from the top of the resin drum so the mix will contain excess curing agent. The technician should observe a drop in the component A (resin) pressure at the machine when this happens.

The problem with spraying material off-ratio is chemical cross-linking cannot occur. Chemical cross-linking is what causes a coating to cure and achieve the desired physical properties, such as tensile strength and chemical resistance.

PREPARING EQUIPMENT

As soon as the resin is mixing, sprayer preparation should be started. This is the point at which temperature and pressure control begins, so it is important not to rush this part of the process. Spraying material at too low a temperature or pressure will cause the mix to be off-ratio.

Temperature influences the viscosity of the material and the ratio of A to B. The spray technician needs to control three heat settings before and during spraying: hose, component A (resin) and component B (curing agent). For optimal results, all of these temperatures should be maintained at greater than 150 degrees F, unless specified differently by the spray equipment manufacturer.

Turn on the sprayer hose heat and uncoil the hose (to prevent it from overhearing) at least one hour prior to spraying. Turn on the component A and B heaters on the machine when the hose heat teaches 100 degrees F.

The goal is to bring the chemicals to 150 degrees F before spraying begins. Applying a band heater to the drums of chemicals can help bring the material to the right temperature more quickly, but care must be taken to avoid scorching the material in the drums. Do not cut short the prep time for a job and skimp on heating times for hoses or chemicals.

When material is not heated thoroughly before spraying, it will exit the gun in a stream instead of a fan pattern. At the first sign of this error, the technician needs to stop spraying and correct the problem.

STORE IT RIGHT

How chemicals are stored can influence preparation time and the quality of the material. Drums containing resin and the curing agent should be stored inside, at temperatures between 60 and 110 degrees F and elevated on pallets to prevent contact with bare, cold concrete.

Pressure is equally as important as temperature in achieving an even spray pattern during application and a quality coating that cures perfectly. Allow time for the static pressure (pressure read on the gauges when the trigger is not pulled) for both components to reach 2,000 psi before pulling the trigger. Maintain equal static pressures at this level or above at all times during application.

Starvation is a common pressure problem that occurs when the pressure on the curing agent side drops too low. A pressure drop can be caused by a clog in the filter at the chemical supply or by too high a viscosity in the chemical. The curing agent will separate, and a partial vacuum or cavity will be created at the bottom of the drum (cavitation).

Continuing to spray at too low a pressure will result in a coating that appears to have normal physical properties but will blister on the surface within an hour. (Off-gassing of an uncured primer also can cause surface blisters.) Alternatively, the coating may appear to be normal and set on the top surface, but the interior will remain tacky and unset. The thin top layer can be peeled away to reveal the inferior, uncured interior.

It is important to note that off-ratio material is more than just an aesthetics problem. The finished coating will exhibit diminished adhesion and physical properties such as tensile strength, elasticity and abrasion, or chemical resistance.

Do not ignore warning signs of low pressure. These include a reduced spray pattern or fingering in the spray. At the first sign of trouble, the technician should stop spraying and correct the problem. Scheduling two technicians on every job can help minimize the risk of quality problems. While one tech is spraying, the second one can monitor temperatures and pressures at the machine.

Spraying a test plaque is the best and easiest way to make sure that temperature, pressure and viscosity are correct and the equipment is operating smoothly. The rest plaque should be about 2 x 4 feet, large enough to allow the quality of the spray pattern and coating to be evaluated.

This may sound like a waste of good material, but it is a cost-effective practice that will save time and material in the long run. If the rest plaque is perfect, the technician can proceed with the job. But if problems are detected in the test, it is far easier and cheaper to correct them at this stage, before gallons of material are sprayed on the actual project substrate.

COMPLETING THE JOB

With plural component sprayers, what happens after the job is finished is as important as what takes place during the preparation for the job. The key is keeping equipment clean. Some curing agents are highly reactive with air, which means daily maintenance is very important for protecting the equipment. Residual material that sirs in pumps and lines for more than a few days can solidify and block the lines. Likewise, any residual material left in the nozzle or gun will set if the gun is nor properly cleaned at the end of the day.

Properly shut down and clean the machine and gun after every job or at the end of the day. The pressures in the lines and pumps should be bled down and the fluid sections of the pump fully retracted at day’s end or the conclusion of the job.

On a daily basis, the gun should be broken down according to the manufacturer’s instructions to be cleaned and greased. Every technician who operates the sprayer should be required to read the maintenance manual and demonstrate knowledge of cleaning the machine and the gun.

Success with a plural component sprayer on the job starts with adequate training. Every technician who will be operating the equipment should be thoroughly trained in every step, from setup to cleanup.

Falling prices boost demand for VCRs, microwave ovens

video cassette recordermicrowave oven

VIDEO CASSETTE recorders and microwave ovens are the twin stars of the home appliance market this year, the gifts many Canadians will find under the tree Christmas morning.

Demand for these products is growing steadily. Canadian retailers expect to sell a million video cassette recorders and 825,000 microwave ovens in 1985. Before the year is through, one in three households will own a VCR and one in four will own a microwave oven.

No longer a luxury, these appliances have evolved into mass market items. When microwave ovens and VCRs were introduced, in 1972 and 1976 respectively, both were priced at about $1,000. Since then, prices have tumbled, and you can now find models selling for less than $300. (Sharp’s subcompact microwave oven sells for $229. Sears has just introduced its lowest-priced VCR ever, a top-loading, wired remote control Beta model, for $299.) Top-of-the-line models are also becoming more affordable. A VCR with high-fidelity sound reproduction initially sold for $1,500. Now you can buy one for $700 to $800.

A microwave/convection oven, a combination that gives the best of both worlds, carried a $1,200 price tag when it was introduced in 1980. Now it’s priced as low as $750 to $800. Until recently, these units sold slowly. They’re expected to capture a 5 per cent market share this year.

Industry sources predict that prices of both appliances will stabilize in 1986, because of a decline in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the Japanese yen. However, imports from Taiwan, Korea and Singapore may fill the gap.

Low-priced, non-Japanese imports – with names like Samsung, Goldstar, Danby and Candle – are already making inroads in both VCR and microwave sales. Quality is steadily improving. “Though critics say there is no comparison between the Korean or Taiwanese plants and Japanese manufacturing,” says Canadian Consumer magazine in a report on VCRs this month, “it’s expected these low-end players will claim part of the market.”

Consumer Reports tested microwave ovens last month and found the Korean-made Samsung equal in quality to Sanyo, Sharp, Panasonic, Quasar and Toshiba. Eaton’s recently introduced a Samsung model under its own Imperial brand name.

Also on the quality side, VCR manufacturers are improving their picture quality. Sony recently introduced SuperBeta, which, according to tests by Consumer Reports, fulfills the manufacturer’s promise of a 20 per cent improvement in image resolution. VHS makers are fighting back with HQ (high-quality) models.SuperBeta vs VHS

As for microwave ovens, manufacturers are scaling their units down to suit smaller kitchens. The biggest sellers this year are compact models with an oven cavity of .9 to 1 cubic feet. Though they don’t cook as quickly, they save money as well as space, selling in the $350 to $400 range.

There is still room for improvement. VCRs come in three incompatible formats – Beta, VHS and eight-millimetre – and microwave ovens offer power levels ranging from 500 to 700 watts and timing systems varied enough to make it difficult to follow recipes.

VCRs, prone to breakdowns and costly repairs, come with warranties of only 90 days to one year. Even Toshiba, which gives 50-month warranties on appliances such as TVs and microwave ovens, gives only one year on VCRs. “There are a lot of moving mechanical parts,” explains Toshiba Canada spokesman Martin Siefarth.

Consumer Reports surveyed its readers and found most had owned their machines for two years or less. “We expected few people to report any trouble,” it said. “However, 20 per cent of the two-year-old machines had already visited the repair shop.” Microwaves, on the other hand, are more reliable and come with manufacturers’ warranties of two years for parts and labor, and five years for the magnetron tube.

Ease of use is a problem for both VCRs and microwaves, which have so many features that buyers can be overwhelmed. Manufacturers should simplify their control panels and instruction booklets.

Inglis Ltd. launched its first microwave ovens this fall with a toll- free telephone number for customer inquiries. A direct line to the consumer is an initiative other manufacturers might consider.

How to help customers size and select the proper generator

The maximum electrical load for generators and their actual electrical load ratings are generally not the same thing!

For advertising purposes, the maximum electrical load is usually quoted. However, this electrical load is meant only for a very short duration (start-up loads) and is not indicative of the actual sustained electrical load the generator is designed to handle. The maximum load duration varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some manufacturers won’t even specify a duration or cycle time for the maximum load.

The Kubota owner’s manual is a good example. The AE6500 generator has a maximum 6,500-watt output, but it’s rated at 5,400 watts. The AE6500 generator

The owner’s manual doesn’t explain the rating system, nor does it provide any warnings. The owner’s manual only warns not to exceed the current rating identified for each receptacle.

Because of this ambiguity, you need to help your customers add up their electrical load requirements to ensure they purchase a generator with a rated load that exceeds their electrical needs. You first must understand that there are two types of electrical loads: resistive and inductive.

Resistive load

Resistive loads are pure resistance loads. Examples are lights, toasters, welders, radios, televisions, and electric heaters. Simply put, the resistance remains constant, so the current and wattage remain constant when a constant voltage is applied across the resistance.

Inductive load

We can generally think of inductive loads as windings typically used in motors. Depending on their design, electric motors draw different amounts of current per horsepower developed. Therefore, inductive loads are given a letter designation rating that relates to the kilowatts needed per horsepower or Kilovolt Amp (KVA)/horsepower (hp.). Inductive loads normally burn out generators due to their start-up current draw, so I will teach you how to understand them.

Every induction motor greater than 1/20 hp has a code letter on its name plate (see Chart 1).

Letter   KVA/hp

A     0-3.15

B     3.15-3.55

C     3.55-4.0

D     4.0-4.5

E     4.5-5.0

F     5.0-5.6

G     5.6-6.3

H     6.3-7.1

I     7.1-8.0

K     8.0-9.0

L     9.0-10.0

M     10.0-11.2

N     11.2-12.5

P     12.5-14.0

R     14.0-16.0

S     16.0-18.0

T     18.0-20.0

U     20.0-22.4

V   22.4 and up

Note: 1 VA = 1 Watt or 1,000 VA = 1 KWatt

This letter indicates how high the inductive currents will be during start-up. This “motor code” is a National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standard for induction motors which relates the locked rotor (or start) KVA required per horsepower of running power (1 KVA = 1,000 Volt Amps). Starting a Code “G” motor at 65 percent of the rated voltage is standard in the generator industry. This standard began with the military specification for generators.

When a motor is first started, the rotor essentially stalls, and extremely high currents (far in excess of the rated currents) flow. These currents are nearly 90 degrees out of phase with the generator voltage, so the motor produces very little rotational torque. As the motor begins to turn, these high currents begin to drop off and come into phase until the motor comes up to speed, at which point the motor current levels off.

If a capacitor or inductor is used as a load in an AC circuit, current flows, but very little power is delivered to the load. Inductive or capacitive loads tend to shift the current out of phase with the voltage. That is, when the voltage across the load is peaking, the current flowing at that time is very low, and vice versa.

The following charts will prove very useful in determining your customers’ electrical needs and in recommending the correct size generator to meet those needs.

Chart 2 gives the approximate starting load for electric motors.

Average Starting Watts Required

Motor     Approx.   Universal   Repulsion     Capacitor Split Phase

HP Rating Running Watts Motors   Induction Motors Motors     Motors

1/8         275         400         600           850     1,200

1/4         400         500         850         1,050    2,000

1/3         450         600         975         1,350     2,700

1/2         600         750       1,300         1,800     3,600

3/4         850       1,000       1,900         2,600

1       1,000       1,250       2,300        3,300

Note: These are not absolute values. Actual values should be measured with a Clamp type induction pickup meter.

Chart 3 lists wattage requirements for both resistive and inductive electrical appliances.

Air [*] Conditioner

(12,000 Btu)               1,700+

Battery Charger

(20 amp)                     500

Belt Sander (3″)           1,000

Chain [*] Saw               1,200+

Circular [*] Saw           1,000+

Coffee Maker               1,000

Compressor [*] (1 HP)       2,000+

Compressor [*] (1/2 HP)     1,400+

Curling Iron                 700

Freezer [*]                   500+

Disc Sander                 1,200

Electric Nail Gun           1,200

Electric Range

(one element)               1,500

Electric Skillet           1,250

Furnace [*] Fan (1/3 HP)   1,200+

Hair Dryer                 1,200

Hand [*] Drill (1″)         1,100

Hand [*] Drill (1/4″)         250+

Hedge [*] Trimmer             450+

Jet [*] Pump                 800+

Lawn [*] Mower             1,200+

Light Bulb                   100

Microwave                     700

Oil [*] Burner on Furnace     300+

Oil [*] Fired Space Heater

(85,000 Btu)                 225+

Oil [*] Fired Space Heater

(30,000 Btu)                 150+

Paint [*] Sprayer, Airless

(1/3 HP)                     600+

Paint [*] Sprayer, Airless

(handheld)                   150+

Radio                      50-200

Refrigerator [*]             600+

Submersible [*] Pump

(1 HP)                     2,000+

Submersible [*] Pump

(1/2 HP)                   1,500+

Sump [*] Pump                 600+

Table [*] Saw 10″           2,000+

(*.)denotes appliances with motors requiring additional start-up loads . Loads in Watts (Amp*Volts)

They will help you and your customers add up appliances on each of their circuit breakers, and help determine which appliances require generator support.

Chart 4 is very important.

Maximum Allowable Cable Length

Current @120 @240   #8   #10     #12   #14   #16

Amps   Volts Volts Wire   Wire   Wire   Wire Wire

2.5   300W 600W   — 1,000 ft 600 ft 375 ft 250 ft

5     600 1,200 —   500     300   200   125

7.5   900 1,800 —   350     200   125   100

10   1,200 2,400 —   250     150   100     50

15   1,800 3,600 —   150     100     65

20    2,400 4,800 175   125     75     50

25   3,000 6,000 150   100     60

30   3,600 7,200 125     65

40   4,800 9,600 90

Note: These are minimum wire sizes. Add 25% more or select the next larger size wire. Remember, the larger the number, the smaller the wire!

Power loss in electrical wiring and extension cords often causes generators to overload and burn out. Heavy, industrial power cords are an inexpensive investment to prevent burning out a new generator. industrial power cord

Inspecting the generator’s set-up will help decide any warranty claims.

It is wise to sell or purchase a generator rated at least 15 to 25 percent greater than the anticipated electrical needs to compensate for unexpected or forgotten loads and to remain below the continuous rated load of the generator.

How to use Chart 4

Example 1: A generator’s continuous output is 4,800 peak watts combined load. A customer needs to install the generator 95 feet from a water well. What size extension cord should be used?

Answer: First, find 4,800 watts under the load column. Next, look for 95 feet under the cable length column. If the load is 220 volts, the chart calls for a No. 10 extension cord, since the No. 12 wire’s maximum distance is 75 feet. To ensure adequate current carrying capacity, use No. 8 wire.

If the load is 120 volts, the chart calls for a No. 6 extension cord, because the No. 8 wire’s maximum distance is 90 feet. To ensure adequate current carrying capacity, use No. 4 wire.

Example 2: A 1-hp., capacitor motor, water pump is to be run off a mobile generator. The wire will only be 5 feet long, so there is no measurable loss. What size generator is needed in this application?

Answer: First, have the customer bring in the pump’s specification sheet before you do any advising.

Use Chart No. 2 for an average motor’s power use. Since a 1-hp. capacitor motor requires 3,300 watts, the customer needs a generator with a rating at least 25 percent greater than 3,300 watts.

Example 3: An air compressor (220 volts) with a 3,800-watt starting load is to be run on a 100-ft., No. 10 wire, extension cord. What size generator is needed?

Answer: Find 3,800 watts in the load column, and read the current draw. The current requirement is 20 amps. This requires a generator to produce 20 amps x 220 volts = 4,400 watts. A 5-KW generator is the least expensive choice for intermittent use. A 6.5-KW generator is probably even better for a continuous application.

For start-up loading the generator, recommend adding one load at a time, starting with the largest motor to the smallest. Next, add the resistive loads in priority of their use, and never load a generator to the point where the rpm drops, or it will not produce the 60-cycle current needed for most applications.

Paul Dilger is a retired professor of agricultural engineering at Cal-Poly State University. For OPE certification training materials, visit Dilger’s web site: imslo.com.

Microwaves practical with practice, expert says

BY LUCILLE CHAPLAN THE JOANNE KATES column last week on microwave ovens contrasted the claims of oven salespeople with the opinions of cooking experts. Unfortunately, many of the latter claimed limited microwave experience, and there were no interviews with satisfied microwave owners. They do exist. I could supply the names of more than 200 of them – students who have attended my cooking school in the last five years.

As I have microwaved more than three-quarters of my family meals for the past 10 years and written on the subject for about five years, I feel qualified to answer some of the questions raised by the article.

It is true that microwave ovens are for fast-food lovers. They are also for people who like good food prepared quickly, without unnecessary loss of flavor or vitamins, and without heating the kitchen. Microwave ovens are useful for singles, couples, working homemakers (is there any other kind?), and families with children. But they are only useful if you learn to use them. Like food processors, word processors, and typewriters, your microwave oven will require a certain amount of study and practice before you can make the best possible use of it. Oversold owners who expect their new appliance to completely replace their ovens, broilers and crockpots will certainly be disappointed, especially if they feel that because they know how to cook, they don’t have to bother reading microwave manuals.

Before the microwave oven, all cooking was basically the same. Whether you used a campfire or the latest electric appliance, you either heated the pan or you heated the air around the food. The hot pan or the hot air cooked the food. All cooking was indirect cooking.

food is cooked by hot pan

cook by pan

Microwaves heat the food directly, with no effect on the pan or the surrounding air. This direct cooking is faster, more economical, and more efficient, but it calls for different cooking methods. You have to learn them, and learn to apply them.

But is it worth the trouble and the expense? The column asked “Is it worth $600 to cook six potatoes in six times four minutes?” If that’s all the oven is used for, I don’t think so. But I also use my oven for things like pepper squash in 10 minutes, or spaghetti squash in 20. In less than half an hour, I make a chicken and potato salad, from scratch, for a picnic, or a delicious and decorative gefilte fish ring (approved by a committee of critical aunts) baked in 10 minutes for a family gathering. Your use of the oven will depend on your family’s size and tastes and your ethnic background.

A favorite meal of some of my classes is a turkey dinner, cooked in two hours. The turkey is always brown and juicy, and we make dressing, spiced apples, cranberry sauce, and a vegetable dish such as a bean casserole with crisp onion topping. We may have baked potatoes, and they don’t become “wet” because we don’t wrap them in foil or plastic wrap after baking – we use paper towel or a terry dish towel that lets the steam escape.

Different microwave ovens differ in flexibility and in cooking patterns. Most of the newer ovens cook quite evenly, and some very evenly. If you understand your own oven, you can usually get the results you want. I have had no serious difficulty with any of the three brands of oven I currently use, or the two others I used last year.

SAFETY

The microwave is a very short- radio wave that is “broadcast” into the oven cavity. On the spectrum, it comes half way between two other non- ionizing waves, the UHF and the police radio call.

As with the other non-ionizing waves, when the power is turned off, there are no more waves. When you turn off your light, the lamp won’t glow for a little while. When you turn off your radio, it won’t continue broadcasting the news. And when your microwave is turned off, there are no more microwaves in the oven or in the food.

Since microwaves cannot go through metal and the entire oven is lined with metal (the door has a metal mesh too small for microwaves), and since every oven must have two independent switches which will turn off the power before the door can be opened, the microwave is probably the safest appliance in your home.

How about leakage? Well, the only place there can be leakage is around the door. If your door is broken, or if there is a build-up of dirt preventing it from closing properly, it should be either repaired or cleaned. If you are worried, either an electrician or your manufacturer can test it for you – the “testers” you buy are not recommended.

James Van Allen, an authority on radiation for whom the Van Allen Belt around the earth is named, was asked about danger from microwave ovens. He said that you were probably in more danger of having your skin burned by moonbeams.

P.S. Frozen pizzas make a great snack, served crisp and hot five minutes after taking them from the freezer. They don’t have to be specially made for microwave. I have a browning dish. Lucille Chaplan runs the Microwave Meals Cooking School