Monthly Archives: March 2014

  • Budget-Busting Storage Ideas

    If you have lived in the same home or apartment for some time, clutter can begin to build as you accumulate more items. It is not uncommon for most homeowners to reach a stage where they either need more storage capacity or maybe never had enough to begin with. You can increase capacity using general Construction Supplies to modify or build shelves, cubbies, or cabinets with your electric tools. What’s more, as a DYIer, more storage can be created at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone else to do it.

    Catch-All Closets 

    Storage IdeasThe average closets are typically pretty bare-bones affairs, with one rod for hanging clothes and one shelf nestled above. As such, extra shoes, boxes, and a wide variety of other items tend to get dumped on the closet floor. Additional hanging space for clothes can be easily increased by adding a second, even a third rod. In addition, some homeowners like to build shelves with construction supplies such as pre-finished pine boards. Start with two rows of shelving, and add more when need. You can either attach shelves to the closet’s back wall or construct a free-standing shelving unit, whichever works best for the space.

    Below the Bed

    Think of all that wasted space below the bed that can be used for more storage. Some homeowners like to only keep one season of clothes in the closet at a time, with other clothing tucked out of harm’s way. Below the bed makes for an ideal storage spot. Large plastic tubs can be purchased inexpensively from your neighborhood box store. Some tubs even come with wheels for easy maneuvering and quick access.

    Furniture with Stowing Capacity

    If you have been thinking about replacing or adding furniture, consider investing in benches, trunks, coffee or side tables that contain storage capacity. Hall benches, ottomans, and tables make for ideal stowing locations. Built in cupboards and compartments under the bench are ideal for storing extra bedding, decorations, toys, books, and the like. Otherwise, some of these items would either take up space in closets or require an extra piece of furniture to store them in.

    Improved Kitchen Organization

    Some kitchens look messy and appear to have less storage capacity than they actually possess. If your kitchen has numerous things taking up lots of space on counters and table tops, we recommend purchasing decorative baskets or fun containers to hold common kitchen items. Another idea is to hang hooks underneath cabinets to hang pots, utensils, hot pads and more. If interested, you may even want to use some leftover construction supplies from building closet shelves to make colorful stacking boxes that hold less frequently used kitchen items. It is easy to construct wooden boxes, install hinges for the lid, and add decorative cushions to provide increased seating and storage capacity in the process.

  • Creative Coat Rack Ideas

    Coat Racks are very useful furnishings to have during all seasons of the year. They are particularly advantageous during winter months when heavy coats affected by rain, sleet, or snow need to dry out before hanging in a closet. While coat racks are easily available in stores or online outlets, the creative crafter will enjoy making their own unique coat rack using a few simple Construction Tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, electric tools, and saws. What’s more, incorporating fun and unique shapes on walls or constructing free-standing coat racks, can fuse functionality with either elegant or eclectic interior design features that add appeal to any home decor.

    The Shape of Things to Come

    Coat Rack RepairIt’s amazing what you might find around the house that can be adapted or used as a base or portion of a coat rack. Other inventive sources to find unique shapes/items from which to begin building your coat rack can be consignment shops, used goods stores, even junk yards. Some of the most inventive coat racks around have been built using old oars, modified pole lamps, reclaimed and distressed barn boards, and much more. Below are a few simple suggestions for stimulating ideas to create an unusual coat rack for your next arts & crafts project. We will have more specific coat rack ideas in future blogs.

    • Wall Stenciling: This practice is unbelievably simple. There are numerous wall stencils available in a variety of shapes and sizes in many home furnishing stores which can be easily adapted for coat rack purposes. The most commonly used stencil shape is that of a tree.  All that is required is the stencil, an electric drill, and some hooks. Simply drill a hole in strategic locations on tree branches. Install the hooks where you want coats to hang and you have a coat “rack.”
    • Distressed Wood Wall Mounting: Another simple coat rack idea using basic construction tools is to take an old piece of wood reclaimed from torn down buildings, such as barns, to mount on the wall. All you need for this creative coat rack is a saw, nails, stud finder, and hooks or wooden pegs. Simply cut wood piece (if needed) to size, locate studs, and nail to the wall. You can install hooks or pegs either before mounting on wall or after, whichever you prefer.
    • More Used Wood ideas: A modification of using distressed wood is to find old items in the garage, attic, or junk yard such as skis, oars, paddles, palettes, and wooden signs in which to install hooks and mount on the wall. There are all many of items around the house or in used good stores that can be used to make your coat rack.
  • Four Fire Prevention Strategies

    Over 3,000 people die in America each year due to home fires, most of which can be prevented by using simple fire prevention techniques. Some Personal Safety Equipment, such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, play an important role in warding off fire danger. In addition, testing electrical equipment to identify any potential problems periodically, as well as purchasing the safest kinds of personal heaters and GFCI outlets, will go a long way in reducing the risk of fire as well. Beyond that, four (4) basic strategies as listed below will definitely minimize fire danger and provide a safer environment in the home (and garage) for you and your family.

    Four Fire Prevention Strategies

    Faucet Repair
    1. Install Personal Safety Equipment: This is the simplest, most basic of fire prevention efforts. To install personal safety equipment, you must first identify what will alert you in case a fire erupts. Common items such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and the like are must-have items for every home. Ideally, smoke detectors should be installed on every floor, with rooms occupied frequently like the kitchen, family/living room, and bedrooms having dedicated smoke detectors installed. We recommend fire extinguishers be present in the kitchen, garage, laundry room and one per floor in multi-story homes.
    1. Develop an Escape Plan If Fire Should Occur: Having a plan for evacuating the family in the event a fire breaks out should not only be developed, but also practiced semi-annually. If you have a multi-story home, be sure and identify specific escape routes through upstairs bedroom or hall windows. Make sure you have ladders tall enough and sturdy enough to reach designated exit points and literally practice “escaping” from them.
    1. Practical Fire Prevention Applications: Portable heaters are a major source of house fires each year. This often occurs due to dangerous heater placement, using older heaters that don’t have automatic tip-over shutoff switches, or overloading outlets with extension cords and octopus outlets. When using personal heaters, always make sure they are placed at least three (3) feet away from walls and any flammable surface and/or other electrical equipment. In addition, do not overload wiring capacity with multiple electrical items plugged into to extension cords or octopuses.
    1. Safety Products That Reduce Fire Risk: Every home should have GFCI outlets installed in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry room, and garage workshop area. In addition, replace personal heaters with new ones that have automatic shut-off switches in the event they tip over. (See Equipsupply.com’s full line of portable heaters.) Finally, if you have a workshop with electric tools and/or numerous conventional appliances in the home, we strongly recommend purchasing the Short Stop AC Leakage Tester. It is perfect for testing small electrical tools, extension cords, and appliances drawing up to 20 ampules.

     

  • Gutter Maintenance To Protect Home Exteriors

    It is not uncommon for homeowners to take for granted the value of rain gutters as part of their home’s exterior. Without fully understanding the roofing drainage system, infrequent maintenance may result, or none at all. Knowing the vital role gutters play in home care can prevent catastrophe. When rain occurs, the water slides off the roof and into the gutters for final drainage through the downspout. Without gutters, rainwater would simply fall off the roof and create a trench, eroding the ground around the home’s foundation. The more frequent or heavy the rains, the greater the erosion and flooding potential. Consequently, keeping gutters anchored in place, rust-free, and cleaned of leaves and twigs is vital in maintaining effective drainage. Whether the home is a one or two-story dwelling, having a reliable ladder, including a Telescoping Ladder, and basic electric tools such as a leaf blower, are essential to keeping gutters properly maintained and in good working order.

    Cleaning the Gutters

    Faucet RepairKeeping gutters debris free should be undertaken twice a year, in the fall and spring. If bird or rodent nests develop in between semi-annual cleanings, the gutters should be freed of these clogs as well. If clogged, rust can develop or worse; the gutter can become heavy from buildup, slope downward, or even become detached from the roof.

    Debris Removal 

    Keeping gutters clean is not a hard task. All you need is a good ladder such as an extension ladder or telescoping ladder, work gloves, and a lawn blower. The advantage of varied ladder heights is that some houses are split level or two-story. Having a secure footing using a multi-level ladder is not only vital to safety, but also provides practical access to different heights. Euipsupply.com has several ladders below that are lightweight and exceptionally reliable when used to clean gutters:

    • 18’ Telescoping Ladder: This heavy duty 1800EP Professional Line telescoping ladder is rated to hold 300 pounds. Fully extended, it reaches 14.5 feet, the same climbing height as an 18’ extension ladder. It is lightweight at only 30 pounds and is easily stored when collapsed.
    • 8’ to 15’ Skyscraper Telescoping A-Frame Ladder: The triple-locking hinge system on this A-frame telescoping ladder provides stability and safety. It comes with tip-&-glide wheels for easy maneuverability. The aircraft-grade aluminum ladder holds up to 300 lbs, while incorporating 24 different ladders in one ladder system.
    • Featherlite Extra-Heavy Duty Fiberglass Extension Ladder: This 28’ extension ladder is perfect for second story gutter cleaning. It has slip-resistance serrated D-rungs for safety and rungs lock for reliability. It comes with heavy-duty large pivot feet with slip-resistant rubber pads. Fiberglass construction allows for easy carriage and stowing. Holds up to 300 lbs of weight.
  • From Family Memorabilia To Event Supplies

    Unless you have an overlarge home with lots of built-in shelves and cabinetry, you may be in need of increased storage. Even if you have significant capacity, organizing stored items can be a challenge. By using Electrical Equipment such as a reciprocating or circular saw by Makita to build more shelves in closets, living rooms and elsewhere, you can increase space to store and organize things more effectively. From party event supplies to family memorabilia and heirlooms, adding shelves and, in some cases, cabinetry can increase your ability to keep items from being damaged and user-ready. But first, knowing what you really need to keep and what can be tossed is the first step in identifying how much more storage you need and what kind.

    Simple Strategies

    From Family Memorabilia To Event SuppliesUnnecessary items should be periodically culled from the home. If you haven’t undertaken this exercise in a while, you will need to conduct a thorough appraisal of what is truly essential for your home to function. Keeping items of sentimental value can be just as important as functional items. Yet, personal items from the past can lose their meaning over time. As such, reassessing things periodically and tossing what is no longer important can free up needed space.

    Maximizing Storage You Already Have

    Closets easily become dumping grounds for all kinds of items thrown in haste on floors or shelves, from shoes to hats, and more. By culling first and adding shelves or cubbies for essentials, you can increase storage capacity. More shelving helps with organization of personal items as well. Installing more rods for hanging clothes can also help. By creating a double rod system, added capacity naturally improves your ability to organize your clothes.

    If more cabinetry is required in the kitchen or bathroom, think about purchasing pre-made cabinets. You can also build your own, depending on carpentry skills. Floor space permitting, some rooms can benefit from free-standing cabinets to increase storage.

    Additional Storage Strategies

    The garage can become a catch-all for all manner of items, from infrequently used electrical equipment such as your Briggs & Stratton generator to the family’s Christmas decorations. These lesser used but essential items can take up space that could be more effectively stored in another way. For example, you may want to add rafter beams to store lighter objects (like holiday decorations) overhead. Another option is to build or buy a free-standing storage shed for the backyard. Electrical equipment such as mowers, blowers, and other lawn and garden tools are bulky, taking up a lot of garage space. By storing them in a shed, your garage can be more effectively organized and increase overall storage capacity in the process.

  • From Wrought Iron Bedposts To Fencing

    Heavy metal objects make for exceptionally stabilizing bookends. Even for beginning crafters, items as simple as hand weights, antique irons, even cast iron skillets are fun to paint, decorate, and adorn the bookshelves. There are other heavy metal cast-offs also making their way into popular crafting circles. Portions of wrought iron fence, knobs, decorative metal headboards, even lawn statuary, have become effectively used in recent years, providing both weight and a unique work of art. When choosing to adapt existing heavy metal for bookends, you will need some basic Professional Grade Tools to cut through metal and build your special creations.

    Cutting Away The Gem

    From Wrought Iron Bedposts To FencingWhen using any portion of heavy metal regardless of origin, you will need professional grade tools to cut through the metal if it is not already free-standing. While occasionally you can find fun items at junk yards or scrap metal outlets, some of the most breathtaking pieces will need to be cut away from an existing structure. To do this, we recommend using a power saw that can cut through metal quickly and cleanly. Equip Supply has a number of electric saws that provide exceptional cutting precision through a variety of materials. A beginner saw is highlighted below:

    • Makita Reciprocating Saw: The Makita Reciprocating Saw is lightweight at approximately 10 pounds and easy to operate. It can be maneuvered conveniently through small spaces, allowing access to metal carvings and portions of fencing, headboards, or lawn decorations. It operates with a 4 position orbital or straight cut rhythm and has a long 1 ¼ stroke action that facilitates faster cuts, reducing operational stress.

    Putting Metal on a Pedestal

    Once you have the object(s) cut away, you will need to affix them to a base. Base selection is based on preference. You may be interested in using small cast iron skillets. Many individuals turn them upside down so the bottom of the skillet is host to the metal object. Some crafters like to affix wrought iron pieces to masonry. Stone tiles or corner molding masonry make perfect bases for this. Still other crafters choose heavy distressed wood from old barns to use as a base.

    To affix your metal to its base, you will need a heavy duty adhesive. Lighter weight metals may be applied with super glue. However, if the metal item you will be affixing is fairly heavy, we recommend using strong adhesives such as that used for flooring. Choose either water based or urethane adhesives that can be applied with a paintbrush or trowel. Some crafters choose floor adhesive in a tube for an even easier application. Finally, if your cut metal object has jagged edges you will need to file them smoothly with a simple metal file before gluing.

  • From Submersible Pumps To Generators

    Whether you live in a flood plain or not, it is wise to protect your property the best way you can from unwanted sewage backup or flooding due to accumulated ground water from heavy rains. To protect your home, two basic Electric Tools can help. By installing a submersible pump that evacuates fluids, water is automatically expelled when it reaches a certain level. Additional electric tools that will keep pumping going in the event of a power outage include portable generators, standby generators, as well as backup battery equipment. All told, these items can prevent a lot of headaches when flooding occurs.

    Generac Portable GeneratorSubmersible Pumps

    Also known as sump pumps, the submersible pump is a common electrical tool that contains a sealed motor. The entire pumping assembly is set in a cavity resting below ground level in the basement. The submersible pumps’ function is to remove fluid through a pushing force. Submersible pumps are used for homes in low-lying areas, near creek beds, or to prevent flooding when the ground becomes saturated with rainwater or sewage backs up.

    Equip Supply has several Koshin submersible pumps effective for residential or even small to mid-size commercial properties, two of which are profiled below:

    • 2” Submersible 1 HP Pump: This compact and lightweight pump is double sealed for protection. Its performance is aided when water is funneled via the outer wall, which continually cools its motor facilitating long-lasting use.
    • 3”Submersible 2 HP Pump: Uni-body constructed, this powerhouse pump has a full water processing channel for the outer wall which facilitates “maximum endurance.” It also comes with a dual 110V or 220V AC volt design for versatility at home or on construction sites.

    Portable Generators Keep Pumps Operating

    In the past few years, America has sustained numerous catastrophic weather events, from hurricanes to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Portable generators are invaluable in providing a temporary energy source that keep submersible pumps going. They can even operate lights and some appliances, depending on the fuel tank and wattage of the generator you choose.

    Equip Supply has a number of highly efficient Briggs & Stratton generators. Two of our popular models are profiled below:

    • Briggs & Stratton 7000w Elite Generator: This Elite Series generator comes with a 7 gallon fuel tank that provides approximately 9 hours of run time at a 50% load. Versatile, it operates on either 120v or 240v power and comes with rubber outlet covers for water protection.
    • Briggs & Stratton 10,000w Pro Portable Generator: This powerful 10k wattage Pro Series portable generator can keep a lot of appliances going, including submersible pumps. Ideal for large homes, construction sites and commercial buildings, the 10K Pro Generator comes with a 7 gallon fuel tank and can operate for approximately 7 hours at half capacity. Runs on either 120 or 240 voltage.
  • From In-Screen Tucks To Mesh Replacement

    If you have just endured a storm’s damaging winds that have left torn and tattered screens, repairing and replacing them can be easily accomplished even by the first-timer. What’s more, with basic Construction Tools already in your toolbox, you can save both money and time by repairing them yourself. Construction tools as simple as a flathead screwdriver, a reliable utility knife or a sports knife, and a pair of scissors should do the trick. You might even be able to repair some screens without removing them from the window casement, using telescopic ladders to reach higher windows as needed. If your screens are heavily damaged and require complete mesh replacement, all you’ll need to additionally purchase is spline with rolling tool and the mesh itself.

    Repairing Loosened Mesh in Screens

    Faucet RepairAnyone can tuck in loosened screen mesh in the grooved areas of the screen. Simply take the flat end of the screwdriver and gently tuck exposed mesh back into place. If large portions of the screen have come loose from the storm, remove the entire frame from the window casing and lay flat. If only a small portion is loose, oftentimes it is easier to tuck into place without casement removal, even for upper story windows. Excellent screwdriver sets available at Equipsupply.com include the Pacao 6-in-1 set and the GRIP 6-in-1 Pro screwdriver set. We have several dozen ladder styles and sizes that include extension, telescopic, and step ladders that are perfect to access upper story windows.

    Replacing Torn Mesh in Screens

    If more catastrophic damage has been done to your screens, they are still easy enough to replace on your own. Simply purchase enough mesh yardage and spline to cut and install into the screen frame. To do this, you will need to remove the frame from the window casing and cut the mesh with scissors. To get ample enough mesh, measure from outer frame edges and cut accordingly.

    Next, your screwdriver will easily pry out the old spline from the screen frame. Once this is removed, cut the new spline so that it fits each length and width of the frame. Place the mesh evenly on the frame top, ensuring that it is taught but not out of grid alignment. Now take the spline lengths and, using your spline tool, insert it into the groove and tuck into place. Try not to force it; just gently secure in place. If any extra mesh remains exposed, simply take your utility knife and crop the excess. Excellent knives available at Equip Supply include the GRIP Multipurpose Folding Knife and the AccuSharp Sports Knives.

  • The Simple Retaining Wall

    Building your first retaining wall may seem a bit daunting. While challenging, if you start with a simple design, all you need is some basic Construction Equipment, lumber, and time to get the job done. Simple lumber-constructed retaining walls can be built in a couple of weekends: one to lay the trench for the foundation and the second for constructing the wall itself. Frequent construction tools required for this project include a circular saw, hardhats if desired, a variable speed drill, a good screwdriver set, a shovel, and carriage bolts. Supplies for the wall itself will include lumber, concrete mix, and gravel. Variable wood options can include standard wood, pressure-treated wood, or railroad ties.

    Digging the Trench and Laying the Foundation

    Faucet RepairDepending in what your retaining wall will be used for, dig a trench to accommodate the height of the wall. If your wall is to hold back slope dirt, it could be as high as four (4) feet, maybe more. If building a wall for a raised garden bed, it may be as low as two (2) feet in height. The trench should be at least half again as deep of the height of the wall to keep the wall securely in place.

    Once the trench is completed, dig individual holes for the posts which will be the same height from ground level to the top of the retaining wall, plus the depth of the hole in which it will stand. Depending on how long your wall will be, installing posts every three (3) to four (4) feet is recommended. Once the holes are dug, sink the posts into the hole. Mix and pour concrete to secure the post in place, leveling off the concrete smoothly. You will need to let this dry and cure for approximately one week, ensuring weather conditions are to remain dry.

    Building the Retaining Wall

    Depending on the type of wood you have purchased (pre-cut, railroad ties, or long boards), cut to desired length if required. Most simple retaining walls are constructed using either 2 X 6 or 2 X 12 length boards. Next, lay the boards so they will meet for bolting into the middle of the posts, then bolt securely in place with carriage bolts. Now, dig several 2 inch diameter tunnels beneath the wall to create a drainage system and fill with gravel. Once these are completed, backfill the space behind the wall with a minimum of 6 inches of gravel, topping off with surface soil. You are now ready to plant your garden or be confident the earth will be held in place, depending on which purpose the wall is for.

  • Master Your First Set Of Bookshelves

    Accomplishing any beginning arts & crafts project can be satisfying and exciting. What’s more, it often stimulates more creativity and enthusiasm for your next project. If you have recently finished building your first set of bookshelves using electric tools from Equip Supply, you may be interested in making an attractive set of bookends to go with them. Some individuals love to shop second hand stores for old irons to adapt as bookends. Others select large rocks to paint with unusual or distinctive designs. Still others love to work with wood. Anything from designing and carving bookends using Professional Grade Tools such as a chisel set from Pacoa to filling a lovely antique vase with sea shells can add an attractive accent to any shelf. If you are drawn to expanding your woodworking expertise, we’ve collected some fun ideas to begin your next arts & crafts adventure.

    Where Function and Art Meet

    Master Your First Set of BookshelvesWhile a bookends’ primary function is to hold books or CDs in place, bookends also provide an opportunity for creative expression. Individuals interested in carving with professional grade tools are offered a unique chance to start with a simple design and work up to more advanced designs. We have included a few simple suggestions that virtually anyone can do with a block of wood, fine grain sand paper, a saw, and chisel.

    • Letters of the Alphabet: Outline whatever letter(s) you choose and trace on a block of wood for subsequent cutting. Once cut, sand to a smooth finish. Next either varnish, stain or paint in preferred color and let dry. Alphabet letters are fun to coordinate with book subjects, author collections, and the like. As such, they can establish organization to your book collection besides the beauty they add to the shelf.
    • The Open Book: A fun rendition of the bookend is to cut a triangle out of wood. It will eventually appear as if it were an open book. Next use your Pacoa professional grade tools to chisel grooves to create the book’s spine. Then chisel vertical lines on the widest part of the triangle block which will represent pages. You may also want to carve borders around the bottom and top of the ‘book jacket’. Sand, stain or paint to desired color and preference. Let dry and place on shelf.
    • The Flat Slab: This can be anything you want it to be, a square, circle, oblong shape with smooth or jagged edges, whatever. In the case of building a flat slab bookend out of wood, however, you will also need to cut another piece of flat wood that is thinner and smaller to serve as the base. On the end you will use as decoration, simply draw on tracing paper your preferred design, cut wood, then carve and sand to a smooth finish. Next, cut a smaller, thinner flat wood piece and affix to the design end with nails or glue. Sand entire bookend before painting or staining. Let dry and place on shelf once completed.

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