среда, 30 ноября 2016 г.

All About DIY Raised Bed - Part 1 - A Piece Of Rainbow

All About DIY Raised Bed - Part 1 - A Piece Of Rainbow
All About DIY Raised Bed - Part 1 - A Piece Of Rainbow
TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

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Because there’s quite a lot on this topic, I am going to make this into a 2 part series.

Today we will look at all the basic hows and whys.

Next week we will explore more creative variations of building beautiful raised bed gardens. ( Update: part 2 is here. )

Let’s start with the most obvious benefit of a raised bed – ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

1 . An instant garden can be created anywhere with minimal work.

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Vegetable Garden with Lettuces

Many backyards are not ideal garden sites, some have weeds or grass, some have poor soil or too much paving.

A raised bed can go right on top without digging up anything. Just fill with soil and start planting! ( images: BHG | Mother Earth News )

2 . Easy to build.

There are many ways to build a raised bed, which we will explore in Part 2 next week.

The materials are quite simple, just 1×4 or 1×6 boards, a few screws, connectors, and / or posts such as 2×4 or 4×4.

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The key is to choose rot resistant wood such as Cedar, Redwood, or any local wood that has similar qualities, which can last 10 to 20 years. Certain types of pine can work, other types might be too soft. Talk to your local lumber yard.

Avoid pressure treated wood, as they may contain harmful chemicals. Some say they are safer now than before, but I personally would still go with un-treated wood.

Sealers are not required. However if you do choose to use paints or sealers, choose non-toxic ones. ( images: 1 | 2 )

3. Gopher proof

This is a huge plus for us. We have so many gophers here in our garden, and gophers LOVE many veggies.

We used metal stucco lath to line the bottom of our raised beds. You can also use galvanized hardware cloth like shown below from Foods for Long Life .

We stapled ours on the inside of the beds.

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Chicken wire does not work as well because the holes are a bit large, and they deteriorate more quickly.

Be careful when digging. If the wires are punctured, gophers will find their way in!

This happened to us. Our broccoli plants started disappearing one day, and we saw the little mounds of soil – criminal evidence!

Luckily, it’s easy to trace a gopher tunnel. We found the punctured spot and blocked it with large rocks. No more damage after that!

4. Super Productive!

Raised bed gardens minimize soil compaction and promotes healthy root growth. When you fill a raised bed with great soil, you will be amazed at how fast each plant grows!

Which leads to our next section: tips on how to maximize the benefits of a raised bed.

1 . Soil is the key

Filling a raised bed can take a ton of soil, literally. Unless you have just a tiny bed, don’t try to fill it with bagged potting soil! It will take FOREVER! Look for bulk soil, compost or horse manure. Contractors often have free soil from excavation which they give away.


We were impatient, so we had a place delivering several cubic yards of great soil compost blend. Make sure to do some research. I have met gardeners that ended up with really bad soil delivered.

Here’s another great method, at much lower cost! Start with readily available materials, and let nature do the work! ( image: Ecofilm )

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You can make your own rich soil! This method above is called lasagna gardening. There are some fabulous books on this topic, such as this one Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

The title sums it all!

Plants use up soil, so remember to replenish with compost and add organic matter each year.

2 . plan for comfort

Gardening is hard work. Raise the raised bed to a seating height of 18″, or counter height of 36″ will make it so much easier for many people who have physical discomfort such as back pains. ( source )

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3. add beauty

When planning a raised bed garden, think about multi-functions. How about garden beds that not only produces food and flowers, but also become design element that makes a garden more beautiful and inviting?

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In both examples above, the raised beds add structure and define the spaces in very attractive ways. ( images: 1 | 2 )

Next week I will share some great tutorials on different ways to build these raised beds and more!

If you love raised beds, you will love these 32 creative containers made from surprising materials!

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And these 25 most beautiful DIY friendly garden paths-

Ultimate collection of 25 most DIY friendly & beautiful garden path ideas and very helpful resources from a professional landscape designer! - A Piece of Rainbow

Update: part 2 is here- 20 inspiring raised bed with tutorials!

20 most amazing raised bed gardens, from simple wood raised beds to many creative variations. Great tutorials and inspirations! - A Piece Of Rainbow

Happy gardening! xo

Original article and pictures take http://www.apieceofrainbow.com/raised-bed/ site

Advanced Router Techniques

Advanced Router Techniques
Advanced Router Techniques
TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

Routers are one of the most versatile woodworking tools, useful not just for making trim and cutting edges, but for solving a whole range of woodworking problems. Learn how to cut curves, straighten boards, flatten bows and much more.

Similar Projects

Cut slots for biscuits with a slot cutter mounted on an arbor that's equipped with a bearing. Cut a continuous slot on boards thicker than 3/4 in.

If you want to make biscuit joints, you don't have to buy a biscuit joiner. In most cases, a router equipped with a 5/32-in. slot bit can cut perfect slots to fit the biscuits. Mark the biscuit positions on both adjoining boards as you would with a biscuit joiner. Then cut a slot that's about 1/2 in. longer than the biscuit. On thick boards, you don't even have to mark out anything; just cut one quick, continuous slot on each board. Add glue and biscuits and then clamp it to create a strong joint.

There are two situations where a router can't substitute for a biscuit joiner: A router can cut slots only along the edges of a board, not across its face; and it can only cut along square edges, not beveled ones. Most slot cutters cut slots about 1/2 in. deep, which suits No. 20 biscuits. If you want to use smaller biscuits, buy a kit that includes three bearing sizes for No. 0, No. 10 and No. 20 biscuits (available online and at woodworking stores).

When I get a new router, the first thing I do is explain to my wife why I need yet another power tool. The second thing I do is remove the plastic base plate. Then I make a plate that's a few inches larger than the original from 1/4-in.-thick acrylic. I use the original plate as a template to position the screw holes and the center hole. Acrylic has sharp edges, so I round them slightly with sandpaper. In about five minutes, I have an oversized plate that I can fasten to a trammel, stretchers, or any other jigs I dream up. One of my routers is mounted on a 12 x 12-in. piece of 3/8-in.-thick acrylic and does double duty. Although it's a bit big and clumsy, I can use it as a handheld router. Or I can screw it to a pair of sawhorses, attach a primitive fence, and use it as a portable job-site router table.

When you have a crooked board, the best tool for creating a straight, smooth edge is a “jointer.” When you want to shave down a door just a little—more than a sander can handle, but not enough for a saw—a handheld power planer is best.

If you don't have these tools, try the second-best solution for either of these jobs: a router with a “pattern” bit (a straight bit guided by a bearing). Just clamp or screw a straight guide to the workpiece. The router's bearing rolls along the guide, and the bit cuts a straight, smooth edge. Use plywood, MDF or a perfectly straight board as your guide. Inspect the edge of the guide before you rout; any bump or crater in the guide will transfer to the workpiece. If you're shaving off more than 1/8 in. of wood, make multiple passes no more than 1/4 in. deep. Choose a pattern bit that's at least 1/2 in. in diameter. The larger the diameter, the less risk there is of chipped, splintered cuts. “Top bearing” bits are more versatile than versions that have a bearing below the cutter.

Whether it's a cupped board or a panel that was misaligned during glue-up, the best way to flatten wood is to run it through a planer. But even if you have a planer, you've probably encountered situations where it's not wide enough to handle the job. Here's how you can use your router with a straight bit to plane wide material: Mount an oversized base plate on your router and screw the base plate to a pair of stiff, straight “stretchers.” Make your stretchers at least twice as long as the width of the workpiece, plus 8 in. Make a pair of rails at least 8 in. longer than the workpiece. The height of your rails depends on the length of your router bit. Plane the “crowned” side of the workpiece first. To do this, slide the stretchers back and forth across the rails. This is a slow process; you may have to make several passes, lowering the bit about 1/8 in. after each pass. When the crowned side is flat, flip the workpiece over and flatten the “dished” side. Routers leave a rough surface, so both sides will need sanding.

Cutting shapes with a pattern bit has two advantages over cutting with a jigsaw, band saw or scroll saw: Because you perfect the pattern first, you won't make mistakes when you cut the workpiece. And when you're making several identical parts, a pattern saves time, since you do the fussy shaping work only once.

To make the bracket pattern shown here, we cut 1/2-in. MDF with a jigsaw and perfected the shape with a belt sander. We traced the pattern onto boards and rough-cut each bracket, leaving about 1/8 in. excess to be removed by the router. We made the pattern and each rough bracket about an inch too long so we could drive screws through them rather than use clamps, which often get in the way of the router. The screw holes were cut off when we cut the brackets to their final length. As with straight-guide cuts, you may have to make several shallow passes and then a final pass after you remove the pattern.

If you need to replace a piece of trim but can't find a match for the wood species or profile at a home center, walk over to the tool aisle and check out the router bits. Sometimes a router bit—or a combination of two bits—can reproduce a trim profile. Rounded edges and coves are the easiest to match. A 1/2-in. round-over bit, for example, produces perfect base shoe molding.

Most home centers and hardware stores carry only common bits. For slot cutters or pattern bits, visit a supplier that caters to woodworkers. To buy online, type ìrouter bitsî into any search engine and you’ll find dozens of sources.

Many bits are available with either 1/4-in. or 1/2-in. shanks. If your router takes both shank sizes, go with the beefier 1/2-in. bit. It’s not much more expensive, and because it’s a thicker, stronger bit (more than four times the mass of a 1/4-in. bit), it will be less prone to breaking, wobbling or vibrating. A more solid bit means a cleaner cut. And the additional mass will also do a better job of dissipating heat and lessen the chance of burning a profile.

If you have a 1/4-in. router that doesn’t come with an optional 1/2-in. collet (the part that receives the bit), you may be tempted to buy an adapter so it can take a bigger bit. Don’t. It doesn’t have the same power and torque to run 1/2-in. bits. Save your 1/4-in. router for light stuff such as profiling edges and laminate work. Buy a router designed to accept 1/2-in. bits for heavier work.

When a table top or chair seat splits, you might be able glue the crack back together. But often the crack is too dirty and splintered to form a strong glue joint. And even with a good glue joint, the stresses that caused the split in the first place may crack it open again.

Here's how to make a stronger repair: Cut a recess in the back side of the wood with a 1/2- or 3/4-in. straight bit and glue in a plywood “scab.” Make the recess deep enough to accept plywood that's about half the thickness of the wooden part. When cutting the recess, start at the crack and work outward, gradually enlarging the recess. If you have to deepen the recess with a second pass, you may have to make a homemade base plate large enough to span the recess.

Often, you can create a curve that's “good enough” using a jigsaw followed by a belt sander. But when an arc or a circle has to be flawless, a router is the perfect tool. Some careful setup is required, but the results are worth it. Mount an oversized base plate on your router so you can screw it to a 1x4 trammel. Before you start cutting the arc, raise the bit just above the wood. Then position it at the top of the arc and at both ends to make sure the cutting path is correct. When you cut, make shallow passes no more than 1/4 in. deep. Keep the router moving to avoid burn marks. You can use a 1/2-in. or smaller straight bit or a spiral bit to cut arcs. Spiral bits cut faster with less chipping, but they cost about twice as much as standard straight bits. Don't use a spiral bit that's smaller than 3/8 in. diameter. Small spiral bits break easily when you're making deep cuts.

Whether you're building furniture or installing trim, avoid leaving sharp edges on wood. They're more likely to chip, splinter or dent with everyday use. Sharp edges also create weak spots in paint and other finishes, leading to cracking and peeling, especially outdoors. Fussy carpenters often ease sharp edges with sandpaper or a file. But a 1/16- or 1/8-in. round-over bit does the job more consistently and neatly. These small-profile bits are difficult to set at the correct cutting depth, so always test the cut on scrap wood first.

Original article and pictures take http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Woodworking/Woodworking-Tools/advanced-router-techniques/View-All site

вторник, 29 ноября 2016 г.

10 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Peeing Outside The Litter Box - Crayons and Collars - Life with Kids and Pets

10 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Peeing Outside The Litter Box - Crayons and Collars - Life with Kids and Pets
10 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Peeing Outside The Litter Box - Crayons and Collars - Life with Kids and Pets

I agree. There is really nothing grosser than cat pee. Especially when it’s on your bed, rug, walls or…well, anywhere other than the box (and even then, it’s pretty gross). Cats peeing outside the box can be a big downer.

But, according to many experts, inappropriate elimination (a.k.a. CAT PEE PROBLEM) is actually a pretty solvable issue….as long as you’re willing to put a little effort into it.

Here are 10 reasons your cat might be snubbing the litter box and what to do about it:

1. Health Problems

Always start here. Get your cat to the vet for a thorough check up before anything else. You’d be surprised at the number of health-related issues that can cause a cat to pee outside the box. I heard about one woman whose cat had fleas and was so uncomfortable that he was peeing on the rug. Once the fleas were gone…the cat was back in the box.

2. Number of Litter Boxes

Most experts agree that you should have one box for each cat plus one extra. I realize this can be challenging….and finding places for multiple boxes can be hard. But if your cat is peeing outside the box, it’s a good idea to figure it out. And, remember to put the boxes in different locations in the house. To your cat, three boxes lined up in a row = one box.

3. Where The Litter Boxes Are Located

Location is everything, baby. Your cat might not love where the box is located. If it’s in a noisy or threatening area, he may elect to do his biz elsewhere. Washing machines, furnaces and heavy trafficked areas are places your cat might not like. Do other pets or kids have easy access to the litter box area where your cat might feel threatened or trapped?

4. Type of Litter You’re Using

Most litters are made with owner convenience in mind…..not whether or not the cat likes it. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Some things to think about: try an unscented litter or a finer material. You can try a variety to see what your cat prefers. Some experts recommend creating a litter box buffet….line up several of the same boxes with different litters (this is one time boxes in a row is okay) and see which gets the most action.

5. How Much Kitty Litter You’re Using

Some cats are sensitive to the depth of the litter in the box because when they use the potty, they have to grab the litter with their paws to stabilize themselves. Super deep litter can be painful to grip for some cats, particularly older cats who might suffer from arthritis. Also, some cats don’t like the feel of the litter grazing against their nether regions while they’re “occupied.”

6. Type of Litter Box

Again, most boxes are made for the owner’s convenience, not the cat’s comfort. If you’re using a covered box, try taking off the lid. Or, consider pitching your dinky pet store box and buying a big, clear underbed storage container or even using your kids’ old plastic baby pool. Cats like space when they’re in their loo. Give it to them!

If your cat is older and suffers from arthritis, try a box with lower sides that will be easier to get into. For you DIY types, use a box cutter to cute one side lower than the rest (be sure to sand the edges after you cut so kitty doesn’t get cut!) so he can get in and out more easily.

7. Litter Box Liners

Most cats don’t like these liners…they move around and claws can get stuck on them. And, really, they’re not that convenient.

8. Harsh, Scented Cleaning Products

Don’t use smelly, scented, or harsh cleaning products to scrub out the box. Your cat’s sensitive sniffer may take offense. I like to use an all natural, unscented cleaner and hot water. Scrub the heck out of that box and you should be fine. And don’t forget to completely replace the litter boxes periodically.

9. Stressed Out Cat

Lots of things can throw a kitty’s psyche out of whack: Moving, new furniture, house guests, a new baby, a new cat, etc. Give your cat some time to adjust to the new situation. Practice patience and, above all, don’t give up on him! When he’s stressed out, your cat needs you more than ever. If you do have a new situation, consider consulting with a behaviorist like one of our fave experts, Marilyn Krieger. Behaviorists can give you great insight into your particular situation and lots of ideas for how to remedy the problem.

10. Dirty Box

SCOOP THE BOX DAILY. Seriously. It will make your cats happier and keep the stink at bay. Cats may avoid a dirty litter box (wouldn’t you?).

Believe me, I know how disgusting cat urine can be. And who has time to deal with cat pee all over the house, on top of everything else? Please, please don’t give up on your cat and please don’t relinquish him to a shelter. What do you think is going to happen to a cat in a shelter who has a pee problem? Right. You owe it to him to work through it.

Visit our sister site, The Happy Litter Box, for more

Cat Spraying No More
tips. Or email us at caroline(at)highpaw.com and we’ll get you some advice.

Original article and pictures take http://www.crayonsandcollars.com/10-reasons-your-cat-might-be-peeing-outside-the-litter-box/ site

Adding Mudroom Built-Ins to the Garage

Adding Mudroom Built-Ins to the Garage
Adding Mudroom Built-Ins to the Garage
TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

As part of my garage makeover plans I wanted to add a 'mudroom' to the back wall. This was my inspiration photo:

Erin from a Charming Nest actually built it from 2 IKEA Hermes TV consoles. Those cost $150 EACH plus she had to add all the wood on the top and build it in herself. For a total cost of $600. It *IS* gorgeous, but I needed to do it for half of that, although she was my inspiration 100%!

I wanted more shelving/cubbies for all the kids stuff, but I did want a bench for them to sit on and some low shelves for shoes.

So I went to Ikea and browsed around and here is what I came up with:

A Billy Wall Shelf ($40):

And a Smadal TV Stand ($70):

Using the dimensions I sketched out my layout on the wall (like I previously did for my workshop) The pink lines indicate stud placement, which I knew would be important for hanging the wall shelf as well as securing the shelves to wall for earthquake safety:

I wanted to back the unit with plank style beadboard ($20) so I cut down a large sheet with a jig saw:

It didn't need to be exact since I was covering up all the edges with shelving:

Because the wall had an outlet right in the middle of where I wanted to place the built ins, I had to measure where exactly it would fall:

I then used the drill and the jig saw to cut out a hole for the outlet:

After attaching the beadboard to the wall with paneling nails, I assembled all the bookcases and pushed them into place. Because of my planning, I was able to hit two studs to hang the wall shelf without trouble:

Because the "white" color of Ikea furniture is not really white, I took a shelf in with me and had Home Depot color match it for me ($10) and I painted the paneling:

After pushing the bottoms of each of the bookcases flat against the wall, it quickly became clear how NOT FLAT the drywall really was. There were huge gaps behind the bookcases:

After shimming and attaching each set of shelves to each other and to the wall with screws and L-brackets ($3), I was still left with quite a gap behind them:

Nothing a little quarter round ($15) couldn't take care of. I also added quarter round on the outside of the bookcases for a finished look.

The last thing I wanted to do was add crown molding ($30) on the top of the cabinets for a finished look. However, I ran into one major glitch: How do you add crown molding when the cabinetry changes height?

After researching options, I decided I would put a super short return and end it where the cabinets met.

You probably couldn't use this option if you were adding molding to cabinets with different elevations if they had doors since the doors wouldn't be able to open and close, but in my situation that was not a problem:

I think it came out great:

I repeated the process with all the cabinets, and then caulked the gaps. Lastly I added two corbels like my inspiration photo ($20) and 4 hooks ($18) and painted all the trim:

I didn't attach the TV stand/bench to the wall because I liked the ability to pull it out to sweep under it, and if I ever want to remove it in order to put in a second set of hooks, I will have that option.

Original article and pictures take http://www.thekimsixfix.com/2012/04/adding-mudroom-built-ins-to-garage.html?m=1 site