Think Heavy: Basic Repairs With Katie

How To Locate The Connections For Your Hydraulic Cylinders So That You Can Replace Them Yourself

Posted by on 7:21 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Locate The Connections For Your Hydraulic Cylinders So That You Can Replace Them Yourself

Depending on the type of machinery you operate, there may be one or more than one hydraulic cylinder that you will need to replace at any one time. In a manufacturing setting, for example, there are many automated arms operating with the use of a hydraulic cylinders. Hiring a professional to replace these cylinders can be very costly. If you would like to save your plant some money, you can replace the cylinders yourself. After you have ordered and received the correct cylinders and accompanying parts, you will need to locate all of the connections for the cylinders so that you can remove the faulty ones and replace them with the new ones. Here is how you can go about locating those connections. Look for Any Electrical Connections The power on this equipment should be turned off before you get started on any hydraulic cylinder repair or replacement. Look for any cables, cords or wires that connect the cylinder to the rest of the machinery. These usually run along the outside of the working “arm” of the equipment and are very noticeable. Find their insertion or connecting point and carefully detach them before moving on the next step. Look for the Joints The joints are the places where the cylinder is connected to an arm of the machine. Usually a large bolt goes through the center of this joint and through the center of a eye hook on the end of a cylinder. Locking the large bolt in place, you might have a couple of cotter’s pins, which look like large hairpins, or a couple of very tight nuts. A plumber’s wrench can help remove the nuts, while the cotter’s pins you might have to cut and/or pull free from the small holes in the ends of the bolt. Doing either of these loosening tasks will free the end of the hydraulic cylinder from the work arm. Look for the Hydraulic Pressure Connections Every hydraulic cylinder in machinery is connected to an air pressure valve and hose. Most of the time, these pressure hoses are easy to spot because they connect directly to the cylinder and are in plain view. At other times, the hoses might be threaded down inside the main block of the machinery. After you have freed the cylinder from the working arm/joint, you should be able to locate the very end of the hose. Follow that with your fingers and hands to where you feel the hose connect to another length of hose or a pipe. These sections should unscrew from each other. (If you cannot see this or reach it, you might have to take more of the machine’s arm apart to get to it.) Now you are ready to reverse the steps in order to install the new cylinder. Contact a company like Bayou City Hydraulics for more information or...

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Three Ways To Protect Your Home From An Electrical Fire

Posted by on 10:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Protect Your Home From An Electrical Fire

In America, 13% of home fires are related to electrical problems. These fires are insidious because they can start through no fault of  your own while you’re sleeping, on vacation, or even away at work. Although you may not be able to totally guarantee that such a fire won’t happen to you, there are some steps you can take to increase the safety of your electrical system so that it’s less likely to malfunction. Here are three ways to protect your home from a fire started by electrical problems. 1. GFCIs GFCIs are designed to prevent fatal electrocution by interrupting the flow of electricity during an electrical shock. To do this, the outlet keeps track of how much current is flowing out and back into it at all times. Because electrical fires are often started by malfunctions where current escapes from the system, this type of outlet can stop the fire before it starts. It’s not a guarantee, but it does make leaving things plugged in much safer. Fortunately, upgrading to GFCIs isn’t a huge investment; often your electrician can wire several normal outlets “downstream” of each GFCI in such a way that it protects them too (similar to a circuit breaker, except the circuit breaker doesn’t notice if current is escaping the system). So you may only need to buy about one per room.  2. Updating old wiring Some wiring systems used in the past, such as aluminum wiring, can be extremely unsafe. Others, such as knob and tube wiring, may have been safe originally but are often incompatible with additions that were made later. These additions can then cause fire hazards. And if you have an old wiring system, it’s also quite likely that you need more power than it can safely carry. Ask your electrical contractor for advice if your wiring system is more than a few decades old. 3. Preventive maintenance In order to stop electrical fires before they even start, it’s a good idea to have your electrical system inspected regularly. You should have a licensed electrician inspect your system once every three to five years, but you should also perform safety checks on your GFCIs twice per year in between these scheduled maintenance checkpoints. To perform this type of test, all you have to do is plug something (such as a small lamp or other light fixture) into the GFCI, turn it on, and push the outlet’s red TEST button. The power should go off, causing the light to go out. Then when you push the RESET button, the light should go back on. These three methods will help you protect yourself, your family, and your belongings from an electrical fire. When you hire an electrician for your periodic inspection, be sure to find one who’s licensed and has experience with residential wiring. Contact a service like Cole Electric Inc to learn...

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Tips For Choosing The Right CNC Lathe For Your Fabrication Shop

Posted by on 10:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Choosing The Right CNC Lathe For Your Fabrication Shop

If you’re looking for ways to automate your metal fabrication shop and eliminate some of the human element, one of the things you might want to consider is investing in a CNC lathe or two. CNC equipment will help you to simplify your fabrication processes and ensure a consistent product every single time. Here are some of the features you’ll want to look for when you start shopping for your first CNC machines. Swing Specification Basics Every CNC machine has a swing specification. It refers to the machine’s capacity for the size of the materials that you can put on the machine. The actual swing specification is the largest diameter of material that you can place on the lathe without striking the safety guards. It’s important that you consider this as it applies to the size of the materials you’ll be cutting. If you put something too large on the lathe, when the chuck spins, it could hit the safety guards and damage them, putting everyone in your shop at risk of being hurt.   Turning Diameter Dimensions The turning diameter is another measurement that you need to consider. This diameter refers to the largest material you can put on the machine and still turn it with the standard lathe tools. If you’re going to be working with raw materials that measure an average of 18 inches in diameter, you’ll need to be sure that you’re choosing a lathe with a turning diameter that will accommodate that. Otherwise, you’ll find that your cutting tools can’t get all the way around the raw materials. The more space you have in your turning diameter as compared to the size of your raw materials, the more flexibility you’ll have in your manufacturing.   Turning Length Restrictions Another specification that you need to evaluate is the lathe’s turning length. This measurement refers to the longest dimension of raw material that the machine will be able to turn based on the axis and dimensions. Make sure that your raw materials won’t exceed the maximum length that your lathe can accommodate. Torque and Horsepower Capacities Every CNC machine is rated for its horsepower and torque capacity. Make sure that both are sufficient for the type of material you’re going to be working with. For example, if you’ll be working with steel or something equally heavy, you’ll need a machine with higher torque and horsepower ratings. A CNC lathe is a great investment for any growing metal fabrication shop. With the tips presented here, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate your choices and select a machine that’s going to be a good fit for your...

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Scrap Metal Safety Steps To Help Reduce Theft

Posted by on 3:30 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Scrap Metal Safety Steps To Help Reduce Theft

If your business is having some remodeling done or if your building is going to be removed and replaced, you may have scrap metal available within the structure that you can save for a monetary exchange. When the project is underway, scrap metal is at risk for theft as many people know it holds value. Here are some steps you can take to help keep your building’s scrap metal out of the hands of thieves when waiting to cash in. Call A Pick Up Service Before you start your project, call a few reputable scrap dealers in your area to find out what the going rate is for an exchange. Knowing how much you can get for your metal will help keep you focused on safeguarding it and will help you in determining the value as it is retrieved from rubble. Consider hiring a scrap metal recycling center with pick up service like Scrap Metal Processors Inc. They would send someone to your property to get pieces you save each day if you alert them to do so. This can help save you money as there will be a much lesser risk of theft if you remove the items on a daily basis. Collect In One Area Make a steel cage to hold any scrap metal pieces found during the project. Stack the pieces inside and lock the cage so that the risk of robbery is decreased. You could also punch a hole in each piece and string a chain through the stack. Use a lock through the chain links to contain the pieces. The scrap metal will be too heavy to lift off-site without being noticed. When it becomes time for a pick up, the key can be used to unlock the cage or chain lock so the pieces can be hauled away. Use Distinct Markings Each time a piece of scrap metal is found, place a small symbol on it with a bright-colored paint. If your scrap metal is taken, you can alert authorities of this marking to help find where the pieces had been taken in exchange for money. A call can be made to area scrap dealers to warn them there was a theft in the area. If someone comes to their shop with a piece with a marking matching the description, they can call the police so the perpetrator can be reprimanded for their wrong-doing. You would then be able to cash in on the pieces on your...

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4 Ways To Reduce Equipment Weight Through Fastener Adjustments

Posted by on 6:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Reduce Equipment Weight Through Fastener Adjustments

Reducing weight is a frequent need in industrial and manufacturing processes. While the weight of fasteners may seem insignificant, it can make the difference between exceeding a weight threshold and staying within the safety bounds specified to equipment being used at your facility.  The following are four suggestions on how you can reduce the weight of equipment and the products you’re working with by making a small change to fastener use or selection: Opt for a different fastener material Material can make a big difference when it comes to fastener weight. There are several different options out there for lightweight fastener materials. Some examples are titanium head cap screws and aluminum hex nuts. Titanium and aluminum are significantly lighter than typical fastener materials like steel or iron.  Fasteners constructed of lightweight materials like these sometimes need to be purchased from specialty vendors.  Remove unnecessary fasteners If you’ve never put some thought into how you can use an absolute minimum of fasteners, you’re probably using too many. Every fastener you use adds to the total weight of your equipment by a certain margin.  Of course, you need to make sure that you’re not compromising the structural integrity of your equipment or product when you remove a fastener. Make sure that any removals are carefully analyzed by authoritative technical staff members.  Analyze fastener placement Sometimes, manufacturers find themselves having to reduce weight only on a particular part or component of a completed product or equipment piece. In this case, strategic fastener placement could allow fasteners to be removed from the component in question or placed elsewhere.  One example of reducing weight through analyzing fastener placement is adjusting fasteners to lower the center of gravity of a piece of equipment, thereby making it more stable. Even marginal reductions in center of gravity can save lives in an automobile’s design, for example, by making the vehicle in question more easy to control.  Optimize profiles for your fasteners The smaller your fasteners are, the less material they are made of and the less they weigh. By opting for smaller fasteners, you could cut an appreciable amount of weight off of a product. One possibility to look at when reducing weight by optimizing fastener profile is the length of your bolts. Another possibility is hollowing out fasteners so that they weight less. Screws with a hollowed shaft are often adequate to provide the needed structural support, but they weigh much less than solid...

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Neon: A Glowing Choice For Business Signs

Posted by on 10:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Neon: A Glowing Choice For Business Signs

Neon used to be the hot sign type in town, especially during the 1940s through 1960s. The always bright but sometimes slightly garish glow of neon lights has brought many a customer into a hotel, bar, or even grocery store throughout the decades. Although neon has lost popularity in recent years, it has a romanticism and commercial pull unmatched by other types of signage. If you want to make your business stand out from the pack, consider ordering a custom neon sign. Impact Since neon signs are created with tubes filled with neon gas, they have an entirely different look than LED or other types of signs. Songs have been written about the “glow” of neon lights, and they have a distinctive almost retro look. In a world of LED lighting, a neon sign stands out. In fact, neon signs have several museums devoted to them. The Neon Museum is located in Las Vegas, perhaps the city that most utilized neon at one point in its history. Ordering a neon sign or resurrecting a vintage model will announce that your business appreciates art and has a more daring sense of style than your competitors.  Flexibility and Affordability Of course, the cost of neon varies according to what size sign you want and how elaborate your sign is. Some of the most striking neon signs in the US include the Kismet Lodge sign in Desert Hot Springs, California, the Grain Belt Beer sign in Minnesota, and the Indianhead Motel sign in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, all examples of what can be done in neon. Glass blowers who work in neon can add artwork, including your logo or other graphics.  Neon signs can also be created in approximately a dozen colors, including red, orange, green, and blue. Once your sign is created, you can expect it to light up for approximately 200,000 hours or around ten years, so it is a bargain of expression and durability. If your sign is creative enough, people will come just to look at it and then become your customers.  In many cases, neon sends out a siren’s call to consumers and art lovers everywhere. A neon sign is more than just a marketing tool: it takes on a life of its own. When you are having a custom business sign created, explore the options that neon gives you. Instead of just another sign, you could end up with an iconic piece of art that elevates your business above the rest. Visit Snyder Signs Inc to design a custom sign for your...

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Air Compressor Safety Rules For Small Shops

Posted by on 6:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Compressor Safety Rules For Small Shops

Compressed air tools are a must in many shops since the air gives the tools the extra power necessary to drive in a nail or tighten a bolt. It’s not uncommon to have multiple people working in the same tool section, especially in small manufacturing shops where separate stations for each employee aren’t possible. For these smaller shops, it’s vital that every employ understands the basic safety rules for working in the compressed air stations, whether it is a normal part of their job duties or not.  Rule #1: Safety Protocols Must Be Followed at All Times Make sure each station is equipped with ear and eye protection and require that any employee entering this station for any reason when the compressor is in operation must wear the proper safety equipment. You may also want to instigate protocol that doesn’t allow employees to walk into the section when another employ is operating the compressor to power tools, since reduced hearing could lead to an accident – compressed air should never be aimed at a person or the skin. This protocol isn’t usually necessary if the compressor is being used as a simple cleaning tool. Rule #4: Insist on Inspections It’s a good idea to teach inspection protocol to all employees, even if they are not necessarily assigned to the compressor stations. This ensures there is always someone nearby to perform a safety inspection when necessary. Inspections are relatively simple: Make sure all hoses and fittings are tight and undamaged. Inspect the hose for any obvious signs of damage, such as fraying or permanent crimping. Check the connectors at the end of the hoses and make sure they are in good working condition. Make sure all safety valves move easily and then are set to the lock position before operation. That any bleed-off hoses are in good repair – these are vital if there is a main hose failure so that the excess pressure can escape properly. Rule #3: Mind the Hose The hoses on the air compressor only deliver air at the proper pressure when they are in good working condition. Allowing a bend or crimp in the hose reduces pressure at the delivery point, but may allow too much pressure to build up behind the crimp. This can result in a leak and damage to the hose or compressor unit. If the hose is damaged, employees must turn off the compressor and bleed out the air remaining in the hose before unclamping and replacing it. Rule #4: Keep the Repair Bin Stocked It’s vital that the proper-sized clamps and hose fittings are used on every part of the compressor. Failure to do so can lead to leaks and reduced pressure, and it can also put a strain on the compressor motor which can burn out the equipment. Keep a basic repair kit near the compressor at all times, along with an illustrated chart to indicate which fitting to use on each part of the hose. This ensures that all staff members are aware of the proper replacement procedure, and it minimizes the chances of the wrong clamp being used when someone is in a hurry.  For further information on air compressors, visit the website here....

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Does Anyone Give A Dam: Different Kinds Of Dams

Posted by on 11:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Anyone Give A Dam: Different Kinds Of Dams

When you hear the word “dam”, you may first think that someone is trying to use a dirty word. However, they may just be talking about a structure that is used to control water. There are a lot of reasons for dams to be built. They range from creating a farm pond to flood control to creating reservoirs to creating power, like the Hoover Dam.  Just like there are different reasons, there are different kinds of dams. Arch Dam Odds are that the picture in your head of a dam is an arch dam. These dams are shaped like a huge arch, with the arch facing upstream to take the force of the water. An arch is a very strong shape. It’s often used in construction because of that. It’s no different in a dam. The force and weight of the water is spread out along the arch, and then into the abutments that anchor the dam on either side and are dug down into the earth. The Hoover Dam is an example of an arch dam. Barrage Dam Unlike most other kinds of dams. a barrage dam isn’t used to retain or contain water, it’s used for flood control. That’s because these dams are made of several gates spread out horizontally. The gates are in-between the supports of the dam. The gates can be opened or closed in order to control the amount of water that goes downstream. They are used to smooth out the flow of the river. The gates may be open all the way when there hasn’t been a lot of rain so that the river downstream continues to flow at a reasonable rate.  Fill Dams These dams come in two basic types, earth fill and rubble fill. They are either constructed of two parallel concrete walls that are filled with soil or rubble, or they are the basis construction material of the dam. If they are used as the construction material, an impermeable material is often used on the upstream side so that water can’t leak through.  Gravity Dam The biggest feature of a gravity dam is the fact that is just too big and heavy for the water to move. They take advantage of the earth’s gravity, using it to give the dam strength, and having the force of the water run down into the earth. It also uses the weight of the water that it’s holding back in order to strengthen itself. Gravity dams are often combined with arch dams to create a very strong dam.  There are several sub-categories of each kind of dam, but these are the basic kinds of dam. To learn more, visit a website...

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Yard Projects And Underground Utility Lines

Posted by on 8:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yard Projects And Underground Utility Lines

There are many projects and tasks that you may want to do in your yard to make it more useful or beautiful. Some of these projects can be done easily but some of them are a little bit more involved. You may want to dig a fire pit, level and even out the yard, dig trenches for sprinklers, or plant a tree. Each one of these tasks require you to dig a substantial hole in the ground. Before you dig any of these kinds of holes, you will first want to make sure that you are not going to hit any kind of utility line such as gas, electric, fiber optic or any other utility. Below are a few of the reasons why you should always call a utility locating service before digging in your yard. Dangerous. The most important reason why you will not want to dig before you locate the utilities is that it can be extremely dangerous. You could hit a gas line which could cause a leak and potential explosion. You could hit an underground electrical cable which can cause electrocution. These are very serious situations that can cause injury or death. Interrupt Service. Another reason why you do not want to dig in your yard until the utility lines have been located is because you will not want to disrupt your service or the service of your neighbors. If you were to hit a cable or power line, the cable service or power could go out in people’s homes. When this service is interrupted, it can take hours and even days to get it back up and running again. More Work. If you dig a large hole only to find a utility line runs right through the middle of the hole, you are going to have to do a lot more work. You are going to have to fill up the hole and dig a new one away from the utility. By not calling a utility locating service right away. You will increase the amount of work and time that it takes to get your project done. Do yourself a favor and call the utility locating service from the start so that you do not work more than you have to. These are some of the main reasons why it is important to call a utility locating service any time you are planning a yard project that involves digging. To get professional help, contact a company such as 1st Call...

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Answering Two Basic Questions You May Have About Selling Scrap Metal

Posted by on 2:30 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answering Two Basic Questions You May Have About Selling Scrap Metal

Selling scrap metal has emerged as a viable way to generate income by parting with some of the items you no longer use. However, many people lack any experience with selling scrap metal, and this can cause them to fail to fully understand this process. Fortunately, knowing the answers to the following two common questions about selling scrap metal will help you to make informed decisions during this process.  Is It Possible For You To Sell Appliances For Scrap Metal? Upgrading your home’s appliances is a task that can dramatically improve the appearance, comfort and value of your home. However, you will need to make arrangements to get rid of your old appliances. Luckily, it is possible to sell them for scrap, and this may help you to offset some of the costs of purchasing your new appliances.  However, it should be noted that there are usually some limitations on which appliances can be accepted. There are many appliances that require toxic chemicals to function. A common example of this is your refrigerator, and while these appliances may be rich in metals, the cost of draining and disposing of these chemicals is prohibitive. As a result, you will likely need to drain and cleanse these appliances of these substances before a scrap metal dealer will be willing to accept them.  Can You Sell Electronics For Scrap Metal? Computers and other electronic devices have become an integral part of life, but disposing of these items when you need to replace them can be a tricky task. Fortunately, it is possible for you to sell some of these devices to scrap metal dealers. In particular, computer towers and laptops are often accepted by these professionals because they contain trace amounts of gold and other precious metals.  Unfortunately, there are many different electronics that these providers will not accept, and the list of banned items will vary from each scrap metal provider. Due to this, you will need to make it a point to contact the scrap metal buyer to determine which electronics you will be able to bring to the scrap metal buyer.  Selling scrap metal can be a great way of getting rid of some items from around your home, but it is important to note that there are often very different rules for each metal buyer, like those found at http://www.puremetalrecycling.com/. By understanding these two commonly asked questions about selling scrap metal and their answers, you should find it easier to understand what this process will be...

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