December 13, 2011
Rusting patio furniture is easy to fix. Just use a dremel and remove the rusted portions down to the clean metal. If it is a painted surface, re-paint as necessary. If it is a bare surface, like wrought iron or the like, you may want to consider patio furniture covers to keep moisture and rain off of your furniture. Rust is caused by moisture, in that it speeds up the oxidization process of the metal, making it brittle. All unpainted metal will rust eventually due to moisture in the air, but keeping rain and the elements off the furniture will delay the process. You can treat the metal with certain coatings (like WD40), but this is not convenient for those who actually want to use the furniture without staining their clothing. Short of painting the metal, which effectively coats it with an impermeable layer preventing oxidation, your best bet is to put patio or garden furniture covers on top of it when not in use.
December 6, 2011
As most of us know, the sun moves throughout the day. This fact of life makes a tilting patio umbrella very convenient for matching the pesky sun and its movements across the sky. Time has passed and the sun is obscuring your iPad? No problem. Just tilt the umbrella down. But wait? How do I do this?
Most adjustable umbrellas are of the ‘crank and tilt’ variety. The crank opens and closes the ribs of the umbrella and there is a joint
that lets the umbrella pole bend in one direction. Like a knee. There is usually a button that acts as a latch for the joint, locking it together in a straight line. Depressing the button allows the joint to move, pushing the latch out of line with the hole that secured the top portion. These buttons can get rusty and can become difficult to operate. You should keep the joint lubricated with WD40 to keep it flexible.
Other means of tilting involve the same joint as mentioned above, but with a sleeve that locks over a lip on the bottom portion. Lifting up the sleeve should allow the joint to flex and let you adjust the angle of the umbrella.
Like I said, these joints that allow you to ajust your umbrella can get rusty and/or filled with debris. You should consider protecting your umbrella with a patio umbrella cover. These covers will keep moisture, dirt and debris out of the mechanism and reduce maintenance and prolong operation. They can be quite stylish, as well.
November 29, 2011
The number one question about snow thrower cabs is simple: will it fit my machine? I have some first-hand experience with these machines and after a little research, can tell you if your machine will work with one of these protective cabs.
There are two different kinds of cabs, the standard snow thrower cab and the deluxe snow thrower cab The standard cab connects to a cross bar, or the push handle on the machine. Here is an illustration:
As you can see, the standard cab needs a free and clear crossbar to attach to the machine. You will need a space of bar that is at least 3″ wide and more than 3 centimeters in diameter. More recent designs of gas-powered snow throwers generally do not have this crossbar. They generally have a set of handles that protrude parallel to one another. Most electric snow throwers, however, do have this crossbar. The main concern with electric models is weight, as these cabs are heavy and can cause the machine to tip over and become unwieldy. Your machine must weigh at least 40 pounds to be able to use the standard cab.
The deluxe cab attaches differently. It attaches to the parallel bars that often have the linkages and throttle controls. Here’s an illustration:
The deluxe cabin is more versatile than the standard as pretty much all throwers have these parallel bars. The only issue is whether you have enough space. Recent models have been putting more and more along the length of these bars, reducing the available space for fitment. You will need to ensure that you have 4″ of uninterrupted bar to secure the clamps that attach to the rest of the cab.
I hope that is helpful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.