How to sharpen and clean a chainsaw

How to safely use a chainsaw

Personal protective equipment. The first and most important is to get the right gear. Get a hard hat, slip resistant and cut protection gloves, cut retardant or steel toe boots, eye-protective goggles and chaps with around 8 layers of cut-retardant material. In short, you need to have eye protection, ear protection, long pants, gloves, chainsaw chaps, sturdy boots and a long sleeve shirt. Ensure that you are not wearing loose clothing.

Now that you are well clothed, take a keen look at your working area. Ensure that there are no bystanders and keep clear of anything that might get damaged.

One thing that most homeowners forget is that they operate the tool over shoulder height or on a ladder.

Before using your chainsaw, it’s important to check it first. Ensure the chain is not loose and that everything is intact and nothing missing.

Using the chainsaw

Chainsaw operations are divided into three- limbing, bucking and felling.

Limbing- removing branches from a downed tree.

Bucking- cutting the trunk of the downed tree to desired length.

Felling- cutting the tree in a controlled manner so that it falls where expected.

Starting the saw

To safely start a chainsaw, place the chainsaw on the ground and between your legs. Ensure the chain brake is engaged and that the choke is closed with the start switch on. Next, pull the start control out to the ON position. The third step will involve pulling the starting handle with your right hand until the saw fires. Step four involves pushing the choke in and pull again. When the saw starts, you will need to squeeze the throttle quickly to disengage the high idle. Turn off the ignition switch to stop the saw.  

When handling a chainsaw, maintain good footing, keep good balance by not overreaching and watch for tripping hazards. Keep your left hand including the thumb firmly around the front handle.

How to deal with kickback and pinching. Kicking occurs when the top corner of the bar is pinched or hits a hard object.

Chainsaw general maintenance

In order for the saw to continue serving you, you need to observe general maintenance. Here are some of the things to keep checking on your saw.

Regularly inspect the bar and clean it.

Check the chain tension every time you use the saw and adjust as necessary.

Check the air filter and clean or replace if need be.

Always check and follow the manufacturer’s manual and especially on using the right fuel.

Observe and check the operation of the throttle lockout, oiler and chain catcher.

How to sharpen the chain

Its always good to keep the chain sharp. Check the manual on how to sharpen the chainsaw. Some chains are not to be sharpened manually as they require a specific sharpening device.

Should you decide against hiring a professional to do the sharpening and do it yourself, make sure that you are wearing heavy work gloves. The first step is to secure the bar and activate the brake to ensure that the chain is locked. Sharpen the cutting teeth and when done, turn the saw to file the other teeth. After finishing with the teeth, file the depth gauges with a flat file.

Projects to add value to your home

Most people think that in order to add value to your home, you will need to spend a lot in your projects. In case you want to sell your home, what will you do to make it more appealing than your neighbors? Making those small fixes around your house can increase the value of a home by as much as twenty percent. With many homeowners, these are some of the changes that can be done- bathroom renovation, repainting your walls, updated kitchen and improved flooring.

Here are some tips that you can follow:

  1. Upgrade the kitchen. Start by changing the paint.
  2. Start small and plan what you need at that specific time. Identify what you need first- between getting upgrades for yourself and for your home value. Upgrades for your home may include replacing old faucets, doors and lightings. On the other hand, upgrades for you include furniture, window treatments and artwork. Just decide on what upgrade you are working on at a specific time and proceed gradually.
  3. Tackle one room at a time. Even if it involves a simple coat of paint, tackle one room at a time. This will of course be dictated by the amount of free time that you have, your budget and comfort level.
  4. Clean your house by removing dirt before it accumulates. Remember, a buyer would be more willing to spend on a clean house than one with a lot of dirt and junk.
  5. Beautify your bathroom. Check on your faucet, change your countertops to granite of marble and always keep it clean.

What can you do to increase the value of your home at low budget?

  1. Replace or paint doors. Should the doors be in awful state, consider replacing the doors. If they are in good condition, paint them afresh.
  2. Do low maintenance landscaping. Here, you can use plants that will do well in your region and also those that re drought-resistant. They will require less water and maintenance.
  3. Plant a tree. The trees will provide shade in the future plus reduce cooling costs to as much as forty percent.
  4. Upgrade the kitchen appliances. This is not a cheap alternative as you will be required to purchase new appliances like dishwashers, stoves and microwaves.
  5. Replace your carpet with wood floors. Hardwood floors are getting common and popular among potential homeowners.
  6. Improve the energy efficiency. Get a professional to evaluate a home’s insulation, window efficiency, HVAC systems and other factors that impact the efficiency of a home. If you are looking at an inexpensive way to improve a homes energy efficiency, install a programmable thermostat.
  7. Maximize storage space. One of the ways to achieve this is installing shelving units.
  8. Keep it clean. Ensure the interior is clean from the floor to the ceiling. Clean your windows, mirrors and doors.

Here are some of the home improvement projects to avoid.

  • Sunrooms.
  • Home office remodelling.
  • In-ground swimming pools.
  • Room additions.
  • Whirlpool baths
  • Garage additions.
  • Gourmet kitchens with high-end accessories.
  • Expensive landscaping.

I hope this article will help you as you try to increase the value of your home most being DIY.

Home improvement ideas under $100

If you are thinking that you cannot revamp your house with roughly $100, you must be wrong. I will provide some of the idea that you can do for less 100 bucks. Most of these ideas are both inexpensive and do it yourself projects meaning you don’t have to hire an expensive contractor. When looking at these home improvement ideas, not all will work for your home; so, choose the ones that will work for you.

Some of the common ideas include painting your walls- this being one of the most common ways for redefining your home, adding a low cost stair runner- this helps with strengthening grip on slippery stairs, installing dishwasher for water conservation- try saving energy by getting new Energy Star-qualified dishwasher to save on electricity and water bills, rewire a vintage entry lantern- these lanterns look as if they were crafted by blacksmiths from their humble designs, renewing old flooring with paint- this will bring life to your rooms with painting the floor with a light checked pattern being the most common idea among most homeowners, make shade and add privacy together with interior shutters- installing shades will prevent neighbors from seeing what is in your rooms plus adding wood shutters will make it look beautiful and lastly, get more flowers without spending more bucks- this technique involves dividing perennials every three to six years to thin clump-forming plants.

Basement Renovation Ideas

  • Replace carpet stairs with beautiful wooden ones.
  • Design a basement bar.
  • Reduce clutter with DIY shelving.
  • Replace your basement door with a French door.
  • Install hardwood like vinyl plank flooring.

Bathroom Renovation Ideas

  • Get new handles for your cabinets.
  • Repaint your cabinets.
  • Add a feel of stone exterior to your tub.
  • Design an amazing mirror frame.
  • Get a ladder shelf.
  • Design your toilet paper holder with your own ideas.
  • Get matching set for carpet and towels.
  • Replace your old flooring with vinyl tiles.
  • Try a deep bathtub.

Bedroom Renovation Ideas

  • On your plain closet doors, add mirrors.
  • In your children’s bedroom, store their books with a book tree shelf.
  • Get yourself a hidden room.
  • Design murphy beds.
  • Adopt clever closet storage.
  • Get a large mirror to open up your room.
  • Design your throw pillows.
  • Get blackout curtains.
  • Makeover your closet door.
  • Get a beadboard ceiling.
  • Repaint your room and remember to choose the rights colours.

Kitchen Renovation Ideas

  • Place drawers under the sink.
  • Install pull-out shelves.
  • Get new main appliances.
  • Install glass cabinets.
  • Design vertical storage for your utensils like baking pans.
  • Re-decorate with kitchen artwork.
  • Put few plants in your kitchen space.

Living Room Renovation Ideas

  • Facelift the fireplace.
  • Design custom Semi-DIY shelving units.
  • Add panelling to your walls.

What about the common rooms including stairs, closets and hallways?

  • Replace plain doors with panelled masterpieces.
  • Creative storage under the stairs or design book shelves.
  • Get a day bed and reading deck.
  • Add frames to your light switches.

Let budget not be your reason for failing to add a bit of life to your home. There are some ideas that are DIY and can be done by literary any homeowner.

How to get paint off your carpet

If paint happens to drop, drip or splash onto your carpet, you will need to attend to it as soon as possible. In order to deal with the paint exclusively, its good to identify the kind of paint you’re dealing with. The type of paint you are trying to remove will affect the cleaning method and products you will be using. In order to understand better, there is latex paints, oil paints, water-based paints and acrylic based paints.

  1. Removing oil paint

The first step involves to scrape off the paint using a putty knife. This should help remove a good chunk of paint if its still fresh. The next step is to blot up with a clean white cloth. Add turpentine to your cloth and continue to blot. The purpose of this is to separate the paint from the carpet fibers. At this point, you can easily remove the paint without scrubbing. To clean up the area, mix dish washing detergent and cold water.

  • Removing acrylic paint

First, use a wet rag- that you can throw away to wet and moisten the spot first. Use less than 15ml/ tablespoon of laundry detergent to your rag. It is important to note that you don’t have to scrub the spill into the carpet but rather blot it away.

The second step- Use acetone added to your rag and dab the spill. Its important to note that you will be using just enough acetone to wet the rag.

The third step involves using a carpet cleaner to remove the spill. This will try and clean the area. A toothbrush could come in handy to gently scrub the carpet. Apply the chosen carpet cleaner to the carpet and scrub the carpet using the toothbrush.

The fourth step would be to vacuum the carpet cleaner. This will need a wet vacuum to achieve the best of results. Using a dry vacuum could get seriously damaged.

For you to get the paint out completely, repeat the second, third and fourth steps as this would take even up to 2 hours while trying to clean the carpet.

  • Removing latex paints and water-based paints

Use a towel to blot the paint spill. Get a towel that you can throw away as it might get stained.

On the second step, clean the spill using a dishwashing detergent solution. To get this right, use a tablespoon of the detergent plus a cup of lukewarm water. Add the solution to a rag and blot the spill. Should the paint happen to dry, let the solution sit on the stan for around 5 minutes before attempting to clean it up.

Now you can vacuum the solution. This prevents the liquid from creating mold and remember to use wet vacuum.

Repeat the process if need be to completely remove the stain.

As seen from the above processes, it is very possible to remove paint off your carpet without hiring the professionals. You can easily achieve the results should it be latex, oil, water-based or acrylic paints.

How to sharpen reel mower blades

What I like about reel mowers is the clean cut they will give you. However, you will need to keep the blades sharp. Reel mowers have five cutting blades. A gear inside the wheel hub turns the reel and as the machine goes through the grass, the reel will trim grass to the same height as the cutting bar. Unlike the rotary mower and line trimmer, the reel mower makes clean and even cuts.

Reel mowers have blades that spin from north to south in a vertical pattern as opposed to other forms of lawn mowers. Some of the causes of the blades getting dull is as a result of the blades contact with stones, tree trunks, rocks and other forms of obstructions.

When it’s time to sharpen the blades, you can either opt to do it yourself or hire the professionals to do it for you at a cost. How do you know that its time to sharpen your reel mower?

  • When the cutting unit is noisy
  • When your schedule shows it is time to sharpen
  • When the grass is not cut cleanly

Alternatively, you can check the cutting edges and the bed knife. Check if they are dull, bent or being run without slight contact against each other.

When the wheels become dull, the user will be required to work extra when pushing the mower along. Dull blades will likely push over blades of grass rather than cutting them. In addition, rusty blades can cause damage to your grass making the lawn more prone to turf diseases, fungus and pests.

When the blades get dull, they need to be sharpened. The blades could get dull quicker if you are using the reel mower to cut grass longer than 4 inches or if you cut the grass when it is still wet and damp. Sharpening the blades of a rotary lawnmower could either use a bench grinder or electric handheld power grinder. These cannot be used on reel mower blade.

If you need to use a file to sharpen the reel mower blades, mill file is the right tool.

Should you decide to file the blades, wedge a broom handle into the blade assembly to prevent it from accidentally turning while filing. Remove the debris using a stiff wire brush or sandpaper rated for metal. Pass the file on the rusty blades around three to five passes. When you think you have done a good job on the first blade, remove the broom handle and rotate the cylinder to access the next blade. Use the broom handle to prevent it from rotating and repeat the sharpening process. The last process is to lubricate the moving parts.

If filing is not for you, then you can use a sharpening compound on reel mower blades. Here, you will use a kit that comes with a handle and a sharpening compound. Apply the compound on the blades to sharpen the beveled edges as they scrape against each other. Use the handle to turn the reel mower’s driving gear in one direction for three to five passes and then turn to the opposite direction.