Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Intermediate Kitchen Maintenance

    Thousands of kitchen fires erupt unexpectedly throughout the U.S. each year. Causes can be attributed to a variety of factors from faulty wiring, improperly maintained Electric Equipment, unattended cooking episodes using stove tops or ovens, up to and including small appliances like toaster ovens or in-home grilling systems. However, there are several common sense strategies the homeowner can undertake to reduce fire risk in the kitchen. Having personal safety equipment handy is one of the most effective ways to address a spontaneous flame. For example, every home should have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen that is easily accessible in case of a small fire event. There are other more proactive strategies that are very important and can also help prevent kitchen fires. Continue reading

  • Advanced Home Repairs

    Wood siding shingles offer an attractive feature to the décor of many homes. Besides their beauty, cedar shingles provide a near water-proof barrier, protecting the home’s exterior. Yet, it is this moisture proof quality that can cause shingles to crack or split given the softness of the wood. Consequently, it is likely you will need to replace at least some shingles during home ownership. Replacing wood siding shingles can be accomplished with a telescoping ladder and some Professional Grade Tools including nails, a hack saw, a razor blade knife, wood putty, and new replacement shingles. Whether your house has horizontal 6-inch lap boards covering the entire exterior or decorative row style rectangular shingles covering only a portion, the advanced handyman should have no problem installing new shingles. Continue reading

  • Heating Solutions For Small Spaces

    space heaters

    Portable Heaters have been helping to heat homes, cabins, garages, patios, and construction sites for several decades. By definition, they provide a mobile mechanism in which to move a heat source from one location to another. What’s more, portable heaters are often used in spaces that don’t need to be heated all the time, often making them far more economical to operate. Whether you choose electric heaters, propane, Kerosene, or oil fired heaters, if a room or space only needs to be heated when occupied, they can be far more cost effective than installing or extending a central heating system.

    How They Work

    Most portable heaters operate using convection, which circulates hot and cold air. When hot air rises, cold air sinks. As heat is continually forced out of a portable space heater through a blower or fan system, it forces cold air to move and circulate, all of which equalizes the air temperature in the heater’s immediate vicinity.

    Portable heaters are also manufactured using a radiant heating system. Radiant heaters produce infrared rays to warm their surroundings, again pushing cooler air away and downward. Equipsupply.com carries an extensive variety of both convection and radiant heaters. Profiled below is just a small sampling of our portable heaters that provide excellent warmth for small or open spaces, even for rooms that only need to be heated when occupied.

    Electric

    DeWalt 1.65 kW Electric Heater: There are no fumes or open flames with this DeWalt electric heater. It comes with an adjustable thermostat, is built using heavy duty construction, is safe to operate, and does not require monitoring.

    Propane

    MH55FAV 55K BTU Mr. Heater: This Mr. Heater unit packs a powerful punch, heating up to 1,250 square feet of space. It runs using a 20-pound propane tank and can provide heat for up to 14 hours. As such, it is perfect for the garage, workshop or certain construction spaces.

    Oil Fired

    LB White Forced Air Tradesman 75K BTU Kerosene Heater: Heating a massive area volume, the LB White 75K BTU kerosene heater heats up to 1,750 square feet of space. It comes with a dual prong direct spark ignition for rapid starts and comes with a comfort control thermostat.

    Radiant

    DeWalt 45,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater: Using a lightweight 20-pound propane tank, this radiant heater provides maximum portability mounted on its solid steel frame, with solid rubber foam tires for easy maneuvering. Heating about 1,000 square feet of space, the DeWalt 45K BTU heater is ideal for warming patios, decks, or an exterior stairwell. It comes with a rapid fire ignition system for quick heating.

    If you are looking for a cost-effective and efficient heat source, check out our entire line of portable heaters. Whether you prefer kerosene, propane, oil fired or electric heaters, we offer a wide variety of sizes and models to choose from.

  • The Seasoned Organizer

    Creative organization and storage can be easily accomplished in basement rooms that the family uses. In this blog we will spotlight fun and colorful ways to build or buy storage units that hold commonly used items the family access in a finished subterranean space. For example, by using Construction Tools such as a handsaw, hammer and nails, as well as enamel paint or stain, the advanced Weekend Warrior can build under-the-stairs shelves in a weekend. Another fun storage solution is to purchase used (or new) gym lockers and paint them in a variety of colors to spruce up a partially finished basement storage area or workout room. A third option includes using otherwise ignored ceiling or rafter space that is easily accessible via our collapsible Telesteps.

    Finished Shelves Under the Stairs

    Organizer If you have a finished family or recreational room in your basement, you may want storage in which to keep frequently and not so frequently used items. Games, books, family photo albums, and other paraphernalia, can all be conveniently kept in a set of shelves built under the stairs. The first thing you will want to do is, with your tape measure, measure at least six inches from the floor for your first shelf row. You can enclose the space with a wood front panel from floor to first shelf if you choose, although it’s not essential that you do so. The important thing to remember is to factor in space so that nothing is stored at floor level.

    Next, decide what items you are likely to store in this area and measure the height of those objects and design shelf heights accordingly. You may want to allow for taller objects (or stackable objects such as games) to be placed on upper shelves, with shorter items on lower shelves. As a seasoned craftsman, begin cutting and sanding the wood before installing the shelves. Once this step is completed, wipe down shelves with a damp rag before painting or staining.

    In the Rafters

    Some basements may have a combination of finished and unfinished rooms that have exposed rafters or ceiling beams. In either case, you may be able to utilize this area for storing things like fishing gear (in the event of an unfinished room) or excess bedding in see-through plastic tubs or exotic baskets in a finished bedroom. All of these items can be easily accessed by buying reliable Telesteps from EquipSupply.com. Telesteps are collapsible, are conveniently stored in their own case, and easily tucked out of sight.

    Lockers Make the Grade

    Finally, a third organizing and storage solution for the basement includes shopping around for new or used lockers. They make a great addition to a recreation or workout room. When buying used lockers, you can spruce up your workout room by painting them in a variety of colors. If buying new, most companies sell lockers in several color options. Lockers make a great place to store tennis rackets, golf equipment, workout towels, and a whole host of other sporting good items.

  • Organizing The Basement

    In previous blogs we discussed the importance of organizing the home and garage. In this blog we will look at improving storage space in the basement for the Weekend Warrior. A well organized basement to store household supplies, paper products, infrequently used items such as camping gear, holiday ornaments and the like, will keep things neat, clean, and easily retrievable. By using ordinary Construction Supplies such as plywood and 2-by-4’s, along with general construction tools including hammers, saws, and sanders to make shelving or other storage units, your basement will be ship-shape in no time.

    Throw Out What You Don’t Need 

    Shelves The first order of business in organizing the basement is to ditch any item you no longer use. The best rule to follow is “if it hasn’t been used in one to two years, get rid of it.” The exceptions to this are family heirlooms, items of historical significance, and/or things you are likely to use or keep over extended periods of time such as carpet remnants, baskets, and the like. An additional element to consider when organizing the basement is to only store items that can be stored safely in a cool, sometimes moist, dark environment. If an item is not “basement appropriate” find another location or make sure it can be stored safely in an airtight plastic bin or bag. If you live in a part of the U.S. that is humid, we strongly recommend getting a dehumidifier to provide a dryer environment.

    Building and Setting Up Shelves

    Decide and measure ahead of time which items will fit best in which location in the basement before you build any shelves. Also, it may be advantageous to install shelves under a stairwell to keep infrequently used things out of harms’ way. Also, if you are planning to use your construction equipment to build floor to ceiling shelves, make sure to reinforce any tiers that will hold heavier items. Heavy items should only be stored on units that have been reinforced with metal brackets in corners and sides. Furthermore, never store heavy items over five feet high even if they are infrequently used. The last thing you want is to put too much weight on shelves that could collapse or to risk an injury when trying to retrieve something.

    Metal Shelving Units

    You may decide to purchase metal shelving units for some parts of the basement. If so, make sure they are heavy gauge metal. While most plywood and 2-by-4 stud built systems offer the strongest shelving, metal units can still be a great solution for storing things like excess paper products, seasonal clothing, and lightweight family memorabilia.

    Finally, always store items in sturdy boxes, plastic tubs, and/or airtight containers to preserve your important possessions. We strongly recommend labeling each box or container as well. That way the next time you need to find an item, it can be easily located and retrieved.

  • From Mason Jar Terrariums To Fish “Bowls”

    If you have been looking for a new twist on the age-old Party and Event favors or table centerpieces, we have some exciting and fun ways to light up the mason jar. Listed below are four great ways to add some pizzazz to any event by using mason jars of various sizes. All that is required is some ingenuity, sand and candles, plus a few living things, and you will have your party and event supplies for guests' favors covered. Some of these mason jar projects take a little longer than others; some only five minutes or less. Regardless of which ones you choose (or a combination of several) rest assured you will stand out from the crowd in the favor-giving and centerpiece department.

    The Herb Terrarium

    Party And Event Mason Jar Creations The basic supplies required to build an herb terrarium in a mason jar include the jars themselves, a little potting soil, pebbles or small stones, herb plants (oregano, basil, thyme, etc,) shells, rocks and a small decorative toy, if desired. Simply place some pebbles in the bottom of the mason jar for drainage. Next, add some soil, plant the herbs, and set off the herb garden with decorative shells and/or a colorful small plastic toy just for fun.

    The Candle Holder

    This is a really quick and easy party and event favor. Place fine grain sand in the bottom of a mason jar and pop in a colorful votive or taper candle. Taper candles work well in larger mason jars while votives are nice for pint size mason jars. Some crafters like to use mason jars with lids attached as they can snuff out the candle simply by closing the top of the jar.

    The Fish Bowl

    A fun idea is to buy a beta fish and place in a quart size mason jar. We suggest getting some colorful aquarium stones and plastic aquatic plants to place in the bottom of the jar. Beta fish like to hide among the plant leaves; it soothes them.  Plus, you want to make their environment look as much like their natural environment as possible. You can even add a plastic sea horse if you like for added color.

    The Drinkable Mason Jar with Straw

    Very easy, the drinkable jar ‘glass’ offers a new twist on an old theme. Some restaurants and breweries use mason jars to serve drinks in. Depending on preference, you can add waterproof stencil decorations to the outside of the jar. Or, as an alternative, buy jars that come with screw on metal lids. Using metal cutters, cut fun shapes like a simple daisy design. Be sure and cut a hole in the middle for the straw.

  • Create Distinctive Bookends

    Some of the most distinctive bookends have been crafted from portions of recycled furniture such as old legs or antique bedposts. Converting old furniture parts to attractive and unique bookends can be a fun way to add character and an artistic flare to an otherwise ordinary looking bookshelf. What’s more, scouring local used furniture stores or garage sales can yield a treasure trove of items to work with. Even if the furniture pieces you have selected are not heavy enough on their own, it is easy to add weight to them so your books will be held in place. All you’ll need is some imagination, basic construction supplies such as sandpaper, glue, paint or stain, and felt, lead or heavy metal, as well as a reliable set of Professional Grade Tools including a saw and a drill. 

    Getting Started

    Creative BookendsOnce you have found the perfect old furniture leg or headboard knob for your bookend, your first step is to cut it to the desired height/length with your professional grade tools. Depending on how heavy or solid the wood is, use either a reciprocating saw by Makita or, if lighter and/or hollow, a basic hand saw such as our Pacoa hack saw should do the trick.

    Next, if you want to stain or paint the piece, sand it down to a smooth finish using fine grain sandpaper. Simply stain or paint to your desired color and let dry. If you prefer the ‘shabby chic’ look or the wooden leg or bed post already has an attractive finish, you are ready complete the base. To do this, sand the bottom of your wood piece to a smooth finish. Now cut a piece of felt the size and shape of the wood’s bottom. Take some wood glue and apply to the bottom, carefully attaching the felt. Set the entire item on some waxed paper until completely dry.

    Adding Weight To Your Bookend

    If you are using a piece of wood that is either light or hollow, adding enough weight that will hold back books can be easily accomplished. If hollow, simply fill up with lead (buckshot works well) or a piece of heavy metal. To keep weight in place, add Styrofoam or pillow cushion material, wedging the metal securely before applying the felt as described above.

    In the event the wood piece is solid, from your professional grade tools take your electric drill and drill a hole in the base. Now fill the hole with weight per above to achieve the same weighted effect. Make sure you leave adequate space in the upper part of the wooden piece so as to achieve a bottom-heavy effect. Once drilled and filled, finish bookend bottom in the usual way.

  • Preventing Mold In Attics

    It is not uncommon to discover mold growth in the attics of older homes. This is particularly true in colder climates, although attic mold can also be found in warmer regions of the U.S. as well. Fortunately, there are some simple and effective ventilation strategies that can prevent mold growth. By installing a proper venting system using Electrical Equipment and a solid set of electric tools, mold growth can be prevented, even eliminated if not too advanced. In addition to ventilation, we also recommend ensuring roof surfaces are watertight by having your roof inspected annually by a professional. If leaks are found, they should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent any moisture from penetrating the attic itself.

    Reasons Mold Develops in Attics

    Preventing mold in attics - EquipSupplyThere are several reasons mold can develop in attics, with the most common being inadequate ventilation. Contributing factors that lead to mold growth also include roof flashing leaks, either past or present, improperly installed exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, or dryer vents, and inadequate ice shield membranes along eaves in northern climates.

    A Balanced Approach

    The critical factor in ensuring your attic has proper ventilation is in having a properly balanced system. This means your attic should have sufficient soffit venting, which provides air intake, as well as ridge venting, which provides a sufficient air escape mechanism for exhaust.

    Venting the Attic

    Incoming Air

    The best way to vent a traditional style roof is to allow air to enter through vents that are positioned in soffits along the eave system. Two types of vents can be used: highly reliable continuous strip vents or an adequate number of rectangular vents. Another option includes round ventilator vents plugs, which are easy to install with your electrical equipment, although they are often too small for larger homes. Another element to consider when installing attic vents is that if your house has gutters (which most do), soffit venting has to be installed beneath the soffits for adequate ventilation.

    Outgoing or Exhaust Air

    As air rises it needs to escape through the roof top. Ventilating exhaust air is accomplished by installing ridge vents, turbines or powered vents, box vents, or gable end vents. Some homeowners install a combination of vents to provide adequate coverage for outgoing air. In general, continuous ridge vents are the most effective systems for venting hot air from attics. In certain home construction types such as short ridged roofs (hip roof homes) these may be inadequate however. In the main, we recommend seeking a professional assessment as to which ventilation system is adequate for your home’s attic even if you plan on installing vents yourself.

  • Intermediate Safety & Sanitation

    If your home has sustained water damage due to pipes breaking, sink or tub overflows, sewage backup, or floods, some basic steps can eradicate the mold and mildew that may have built up as a result. Remarkably, mold and mildew will develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours after a water event and will worsen if not removed. Luckily there are some simple actions that will eliminate this superficial problem. All you will need is some basic Electric Equipment often found in the home or a construction equipment inventory such as a wet-dry shop vacuum, fans, or carpet blowers. You will also need gloves, brushes, masks, buckets, sponges, rags, and non-ammonia detergent and disinfectant chlorine bleach. If mold has penetrated deep into interior walls, heating ducts, and timber, more drastic action will need to be taken, which we will discuss in a future blog.

    Determining the Extent of the Damage

    Safety and SanitationThe first thing to do is turn all power off if you believe any wiring has been affected. Next, have an electrician check the electrical system before turning it back on. If any standing water remains, however slight, use the wet-dry vacuum to remove it. Now open the house to allow as much fresh air as possible as long as the humidity outside is low. If not, keep the house closed and use electric equipment such as fans, dehumidifiers, and the heater. Make sure you have a professional check your heating system’s ducts for mold or mildew before turning on the heat.

    Remove any clothing, bedding, carpeting, toys, even furniture, essentially anything porous that may be water damaged as it can develop mold or mildew quickly. Throw out all damaged or contaminated food items that have not been stored in water tight containers. Once the affected area is dry and free of soaked items you are ready to remove the mold and mildew.

    Removing Superficial Mold and Mildew

    Before beginning, ensure the area to be cleaned is adequately ventilated. If you feel at any time your health may be adversely affected, hire a professional to do the job. Otherwise collect and use the following items:

    • Rubber or latex gloves
    • Nose/mouth mask
    • Safety glasses
    • Scrub brushes
    • Rags and towels
    • Phenolic or pine-oil cleaner
    • Non-ammonia detergent
    • Bleach
    • Buckets

    Mix a 10% bleach solution as follows: 1, ¼ cup bleach to a gallon of hot water. Wash all items that are affected with this solution. This includes all metal, glass, wood, and plastics. You may need to use a stiff scrub brush on uneven or rough surfaces to remove any mold or mildew. Allow the solution to remain on item surfaces for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with clear water, then drying. If any item or surface has been wet under 48 hours you may be able to disinfect it with a phenolic or pine-oil cleaner instead. If you try this approach, check the area after cleaning over the next several days to ensure no mold or mildew has developed. If it has, either discard the item or clean with bleach solution per above. If any rebuilding is required in affected areas, allow it to completely dry (typically two to three days) before doing so.

  • Ladders And Saws For The Veteran Homeowner

    The most commonly used Electric Tools by the do-it-yourself handyman preparing the home and yard for the spring and summer include electric saws and ladders. Telescopic ladders, in particular, save on storage space, while large extension ladders facilitate greater access for roof tops and high tree branches that require trimming with a powerful Makita reciprocating saw. Regardless of electric tools you may already own, EquipSupply.com is spotlighting some superior electric saws and several kinds of ladders for the handyman helper in your household. And with Father’s Day not far off, upgrading frequently-used equipment makes a perfect gift and addition to any handyman’s inventory.

    Saws and Ladders - EquipSupplyPowerful and Reliable Electric Saws

    • Makita 7 ¼ Circular Saw: This Makita circular saw has a large cutting capacity at 2 3/8’s, 90 degrees or 1/ ¾” at 45 degrees. It comes with a LED heavy duty gauge aluminum wrap-around base cover that improves durability as well as safety. The line of cut is effectively lit by two lights to boost accuracy. The saw’s well-balanced design provides exceptional handling capability.
    • Makita Reciprocating Saw: The variable speed, 4 position orbital/straight cutting capability provided by this Makita reciprocating saw provides a long 1 ¼ inch stroke for rapid cutting. It is great for tree trimming or cutting lumber for all kinds of home projects. It has a convenient tool-less change and shoe adjustment facility and is lightweight at just under 10 pounds.

    Makita 16” Power Cutter: The Makita Power Cutter provides superior access through cutting arm position switches from center to flush cuts adjacent to walls or above ground curb edges. It comes with a 5-stage foam-paper-nylon system that provides advanced air flow direction and is EPA Phase II compliant.

    Ladders for Every Height and Situation

    Little Giant 17’ Ladder: The Little Giant actually combines 24 unique ladders into one convenient system. It comes with Tip & Glide wheels and is constructed using heavy-wall aircraft-grade aluminum for durability and strength. While the 17’ Little Giant is lightweight and portable, it holds up to 300 pounds of body weight. It is exceedingly safe with Little Giant’s patented triple-locking hinge system and comes with a full Lifetime Warranty.

    Little Giant 21’ Skyscraper: Possessing all the same safety features as the 17’ telescopic ladders’ system, the 21’ Skyscraper is easily adjustable to use on stairs, curbs, and other multi-level terrain/surfaces. It provides great access for upper story work on roofs or building projects. Also rated to hold up to 300 pounds, the Skyscraper is OSHA ANSI A14.2 standard compliant and comes with a full 5-year Warranty.

    Featherlite Extra Heavy Duty Fiberglass Extension Ladder: This 24’ lightweight extension ladder is constructed using rugged non-conductive fiberglass that incorporates heavy duty rung locks for safety and durability. The slip-resistant serrated D rungs provide safe climbing and comfort, which is further supported by large heavy duty pivot feet with slip-resistant rubber pads.

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