Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category
What Is a Wood Router?
If you’ve ever delved at all into the realm of woodworking you’ve probably come across the term “router.” No, this has nothing to do with wireless Internet service. In the world of woodworking, the term “router” means something entirely different. So just to clarify things a bit for everyone, let’s take a look at wood routers and explain what they do.
An Essential Woodworking Tool
A wood router is a tool used by pattern makers and those who make wooden staircases to make intricate cuts in lengths of wood. The typical router consists of a plane with a blade projecting beyond it for cutting the routes desired. While early routers were of course hand-powered, most wood routers you’ll find today are electric. Many woodworkers still insist that hand routers are superior for more refined woodworking, but for large-scale jobs the electric routers definitely come out on top.
There are many different types of electric routers, but no matter the type you will find they all have some things in common:
- The router unit itself
- A cutting tool or bit (with different types, such as fluted, profile, and helical)
- A guide template
The cutting tools and bits are what give routers their versatility. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of bits that allow woodworkers to craft a mind-boggling amount of variety in their craft.
Different Types of Router
Despite the myriad uses of a standard router, there has still been advancement in the field that allows for even more uses. First, let’s talk about the spindle router. Basically, you’re looking at a vertically mounted electric motor with a collet (for holding the tools) on its shaft. You can adjust the bit for height and you control the router by holding onto the handles (often called D-handles because of their shape) on the side.
The spindle router breaks down even further into two types: the plunge-base router and the fixed-base router. The difference between the two lies in when the depth of the cut is set. With a plunge-base router, you lower the cutter onto the wood and adjust the depth manually, whereas with the fixed-base router the depth is set beforehand. The plunge-base router is considered a more refined tool, but the fixed-base router is often quicker and easier for novices to use.
There are also table-mounted routers that essentially turn the router upside-down and allow you to pass the wood over the router, rather than suspending the router over the wood. Such routers are often better for smaller jobs and considered safer by many.
What has been presented here represents just the very basic facts about wood routers. Though there has been a lot of variation discussed, we’ve really only scratched the surface. The amount of variable bits is simply staggering, and there are new bits created every day. You can also buy accessories that allow you to use your router as a different kind of woodworking tool, such as a bench top shaper or portable plane. The sky is the limit when you are working with a wood router.
About the Author: Mike Rocha is an engineer from Florida with a passion for woodworking. As an engineer and hobbyist woodworker, he uses wood routers regularly and recognizes the ingenuity and versatility that they represent. Being an electrical engineer who designs and develops medical imaging systems, Mike appreciates more than most the ingenious simplicity of these tools. Check out his website if you are looking for the best wood router for your project or if you are looking for router tables for sale.
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How to Get Rid of Flies in the House
Flies are annoying little pests that seem to gather in the least convenient places. They’re hard to get rid of–simply killing a few flies won’t get rid of your fly infestation.
Flies gather at certain spots because they love filth. Flies are attracted to garbage, dirt, blood, and poop. Flies like to get inside people’s homes because our houses are like twenty-four hour buffets of filth. That’s why it’s so common to find flies around garbage or standing water in the home, and it is why they’re so hard to get rid of. If you have a free twenty-four hour source of your favorite food, would you be inclined to go away?
How to Get Rid of Flies Naturally
The best way to get rid of flies naturally is to not attract them in the first place. There are three areas of your life you can work on to keep flies out of it.
1. Clean Everything
Clean your home, your body, and everything else. Remember the simple phrase ‘Cleanliness equals flylessness.’ Since flies are attracted to dirt and grime, blood and poop, and all things unsavory, the first thing you can do to prevent fly infestation is to clean until you can’t clean any more.
If flies have nothing they can eat or lay their eggs in, they won’t want to be in your home anymore. It really is that simple.
Clean your kitchen and your dishes first. These are the most immediate culprits of fly-attraction. Clean up any food spills or small bits of food on your kitchen counters and other surfaces.
Get in the habit of taking the garbage out at least once a day. Stagnant garbage attracts flies like nothing else. If you want, you can sprinkle a little boric acid on the bottom of your garbage can–it is a natural fly killer and it can’t hurt.
Avoid leaving fruits or vegetables out in the open. It is convenient to be able to grab a banana on the way to work, but it could be causing your fly problem.
2. Close Off Entryways
Flies have to find a way to get into your house, so naturally if you close off all their access points, you won’t attract flies to begin with. Check all your window screens for holes you can patch with duct tape. You should also check your doors and windows with weather-stripping. Remember that flies can fit through the tiniest of cracks. Caulk any holes in the walls or windows as well as you can.
3. Clean Up Your Yard
By spiffing up your yard (and removing things that attract flies) you will probably not attract flies into your home. Your yard can be either a welcome mat for flies or a sign that says “Do Not Enter.”
Pick up the dog and other animal poop on a regular basis. This stuff draws flies more than almost anything else. While you’re at it, keep your eyes peeled for dead birds, lizards, rodents, and other creatures. Dead animals draw flies as well.
Finally, try to keep your outdoor garbage can clean and gunk-free. Regularly wash your outdoor garbage bin and sprinkle boric acid to prevent flies from returning.
If you really want to get the flies out of your house, you need to increase the air flow through your yard. Flies hate rapidly moving air, so start to create your fly-free yard by keeping your grass cut short, trimming trees and bushes, and generally trying to create a more “aerodynamic” yard.
Standing water in your yard is a huge draw for flies, so if you want to avoid fly problems, don’t put in a pool, pond, or other water feature. Fill in low-lying parts of your yard with dirt and grass so that water doesn’t gather after storms.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Flies
If you have a fly infestation, it is too late to use the above “preventions”. You’ll want to attack the flies head on with some sort of anti-fly substance or tactic that makes your home inhospitable to flies.
There are natural ways to get rid of flies. You don’t have to poison your whole home to get rid of those pesky trash flies. Here’s our favorite natural fly fighting methods.
Biological Fly Control
Pitcher plants, Venus fly trap plants, and certain bird species can be used to attack flies without using any chemicals at all.
Pitcher plants and Venus fly traps can catch flies, but they won’t keep them from returning. Also, they’re relatively expensive compared to how many actual flies they can kill. This is a good tactic to use in combination with another method, but they won’t keep all your flies away.
Putting in a Purple Martin nest outdoors can make a big impact on the outdoor appearance of flies. These birds are pretty finicky when it comes to their living arrangements, so you have to buy a specific Purple Martin nest and put it in the right spot in your yard. It helps if you have standing water nearby, though it isn’t necessary. If Purple Martins choose your nest for a home, your outdoor fly problems are essentially over.
Chemicals & Pesticides to Get Rid of Flies
When natural methods don’t work, it may be time to get the chemical processes working in your favor. When a fly infestation is severe or natural methods just don’t cut the mustard, there’s no shame in using chemicals to get rid of the flies.
You can buy things called “flytraps” at most grocery stores. These range from all-natural type traps that stick flies to glue all the way up to more complex flytraps that use chemical pheromones to draw the flies in before it traps them.
That old bug zapper your grandparents had in the yard did a great job of killing flies, though of course it also made an annoying sound and cluttered up the backyard.
The real harsh chemical stuff comes in when you decide to use chemical “foggers” or fly bombs that are available at grocery and hardware stores. Look for a fogger product that is “pyrethrin based”–these are the least toxic and some of the most effective chemical fog products for killing flies.
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