Category Archives: Blogging

DIY: Stand Up Desk With Mechanical Drive

standing desk at home office

I wanted an ergonomic working desktop for a long time. At such a desk, you can work both sitting and standing, which is healthy for the back. That is extremely beneficial if you work remotely at home. But at Ikea, the price tag started from $500, and in other stores, the price went up to $1000. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money, so I decided to assemble the desk myself. It took me about $200 for everything.

In fact, this is a common table, the tabletop of which can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button. The tabletop lifts in about a minute, but the speed depends on the specific lifting mechanism you buy, the more expensive the mechanism, the faster it lifts the tabletop.

In addition, I found it comfy to place a stand-up desk converter on the desktop, so I could place all my stuff at hand. Here’s a detailed guideline on how I managed to make a homemade office standing desk.

Step 1: Materials

Here’s what we need:

  • Two linear drives (I bought on eBay for $150)
  • Wood (pine, $50)
  • 12-volt battery (already got it)
  • Wires
  • Screws
  • Insulating tape

Useful tools needed: a drill, a saw, clamps, a stapler, pliers.

Step 2: Designing

Before assembly, it was necessary to figure out how the whole structure would work in general. And although the plan can be sketched on a piece of paper, I decided to build a 3D model in Autodesk Maya. It is usually used for animation, but as it turned out, it is also suitable for engineering purposes.

Step 3: Linear Drives for the Desktop

I bought linear drives that push the tabletop up on eBay, they already came with all the electrical equipment, and this is a plus because I know nothing about electronics. The length of each bracket is 16 inches, the weight capacity is 220 pounds. It is quite convenient for placing two monitors.

Step 4: Making the Legs

Each leg has a tiered design, it seems each leg consists of two legs. One internal and one external. The inner leg is movable, it is the one that goes up and down like an elevator, and the outer leg is like an elevator shaft.

The design is actually extremely simple, and this is how I made it. First, I traced the outline of the bracket on paper to understand what size the cavity inside the leg would need. Then, relying on these dimensions, I made an internal leg, and using the measurements of the last one, I made the external leg.

Step 5: Attaching the Legs to the Desktop

Now when the legs are ready, attach them with the screws / glue to the tabletop.

Step 6: Mounting the Electronics

I mounted the switch directly into the countertop and drilled a hole in it on purpose. Then I secured the wires so that they would not hang down.

Step 7: The Desk is Done

The ergonomic standing desk is ready! Now you’re able to work while standing, sitting, in general, as you like. Moreover, you don’t need to make an entire home renovation to add a working spot or a man’s cave. The standing desk saves lots of space and keeps all your working stuff near you, which is a great perk.

Apart from that, it takes 60 seconds to lift the desktop, and the same goes for its descending. I spent $200 on making the desk and I have to admit, it is worth it!

My ATV Won’t Start – Troubleshooting

ATV front close up

ATV won’t start? Not sure where to start examining? Let’s check out the main reasons why the ATV may not start.

Unfortunately, the gear of any manufacturer sooner or later begins to be capricious, no one is immune from this. But finding a malfunction and starting an ATV that won’t start is not so easy, especially if you are far from a service station. This could be challenging, especially if you’re about to take part in ATV races, you need to find the defect right away.

As trite as it may sound, the first step is to check the presence of gasoline in the gas tank. Believe me, very often people try to start an ATV with no gas.

Check if the engine power button is off, it is usually located on the left side of the steering wheel, and also pay attention to the fuses, one of them may have burnt out.

Next, take a multimeter and measure the battery charge level of the ATV: a charged battery should produce from 12.6 to 12.8 volts and turn the starter confidently if the battery is discharged, power it.

You also need to pay attention to the battery terminals, they must be clean and not oxidized, and the clamping bolts must be tightened properly.

If you notice that the starter does not turn, when trying to start the ATV, you must first check and, if necessary, replace the starter relay. To check if the starter itself is in good condition, you need to make sure that the engine mass is in good condition (oxides, no contact, wire damage) and apply a plus to it directly from the battery (observing the polarity), if the starter is twisted, look for a problem in the wiring. If there is no reaction to your actions, most likely the starter is out of order.

Check spark plug condition and spark itself. If you notice a significant variation in spark plug color, you may need to adjust the carburetor of your ATV.

In order to check for the presence of a spark, it is necessary to unscrew the spark plug, insert it into the spark plug cap, lean it against any metal part of the ATV (do not forget about safety precautions: there should be no gasoline leaks nearby) and turn the starter, the spark should be confident and clearly visible. If there is no spark, it is necessary to replace the spark plug. If the spark does not appear, check the wiring and also replace the ignition coil.

Make sure your ATV air filter is clean and soaked and the air tube from the filter to the carburetor is not damaged or clogged.

Determine if gas is flowing into the carburetor, if the gas filter is clean, and if the gas pipes are intact. Clean the carburetor with cleaning fluids and blow out the passages.

Determine if the gas pump is working properly. After turning on the ignition, the sound of turning on the gas pump and pumping gasoline into the gas system should be heard. It is also necessary to check the performance of the gas pump relay.

A very common reason for poor engine start-up is a worn piston and, as a result, poor compression (as a rule, this applies to ATVs with decent mileage), you can measure the compression with a special device called a compression meter.

Quite often, the ATV starts badly in winter, but there is a set of techniques that greatly facilitates the start of the ATV.

These are perhaps the most common malfunctions that prevent the ATV from starting. We hope that the provided manual was useful for you. In addition, when choosing a new ATV, do not forget to check if everything works well, so you could ride with no probs.

Basic Horse Care Guidelines

man filing horse hooves

A noble animal will bring satisfaction to his owner with his great sporting achievements for many years and will become a loyal friend, only if the owner knows how to care for the horse duly.

How to Clean Your Stall Properly

Take the horse outside or into a free unit. Clear the space from troughs, drinking bowls, and toys. Use a pitchfork or a shovel to remove wet bedding and manure and put it into the cart. Make sure that the dirty bedding isn’t stuck in corners. Sweep the entire unit. Use a disinfectant if necessary. After the floor is dry, add clean sawdust or straw and spread it evenly. Refresh the food and water, clean the dirty toys.

Horse Hygiene

When it comes to horse care, it is important to know how to clean up the animal properly.

Comb the hair on the mane and tail on a daily basis, preferably with a plastic comb. When brushing the hair on the tail, you should stand correctly from the side of a horse. Then start removing the hair and dirt with gentle movements from top to bottom. There are special horse sprays to help hair get tangled less when combing.

In fact, the skin of thoroughbred horses requires your caring attention at least three times a day. In the morning, you should wipe the eyes and nostrils with a moistened sponge, and the hair with a bristle brush. Before you tack up a horse, you should completely clean your companion with a soft brush, if he’s too dirty, use a rubber curry comb.

In order to groom your horse duly, it is important to know the sequence of the steps:

  • Start from one side of the horse’s head.
  • Go over his shoulders.
  • Clean his back.
  • Repeat the procedure on the other side.
  • Brush the limbs.

Don’t forget to follow precautions: do NOT sit next to the horse’s legs, carry out all the moves with strong but gentle pressure, do NOT stand behind the horse. When brushing is finished, wipe the horse well with chamois or a damp cloth. After training, it is also important to clean the horse, in order to check if the saddle or harness don’t rub the horse’s skin. Lubricate it with special ointment if necessary.

Hoof care

The most important question is how to take care of the horse’s hooves. First of all, forging is essential. To do this, you need to find a good farrier. The owner could not be aware of all the “ins and outs” of the work, but they should keep in mind two things:

  • The farrier is obliged to adjust the shoe before setting it on the hoof. He mustn’t apply a hot shoe and then bend it, which could lead to damaging the hoof and its unreasonable narrowing.
  • Nails of different sizes are suitable for various horses. So if it’s too large, it may pierce the hoof and reach the living tissue of the leg. As a result, the animal, at least, could get inflammation, and at worst, he will die slowly.

Additionally, the horse needs another shoeing after six weeks. Long delay may cause the hoof to narrow, inhibiting growth and weakening the limbs.

Horse grooming tools

The basic horse grooming kit includes the following tools:

  1. A curry comb is a round tool with short teeth. The manufacturing material is typically plastic or hard rubber. It removes dirt and hair, stimulates the skin to moisturize naturally.
  2. A stiff brush or hard brush – a brush with hard natural bristles. It cleans more thoroughly than a soft brush.
  3. A soft brush – a brush with soft bristles for removing small particles and dust.
  4. A hairbrush with sparse teeth made of plastic or metal for grooming mane and tail.
  5. A hoof pick, which is used to get rid of dirt from hooves.
  6. A metal or plastic scraper that removes excess liquid and dirt from the coat.
  7. A towel, chamois leather, or dry cloth for sensitive zones.
  8. Scissors or electric clipper.

All of these tools mentioned above can be purchased individually or as a ready-to-go set. Check out a horse grooming kits overview by to purchase one for your companion.

Bottom Line

To sum up, the owner should understand that the horse requires responsible solid care. Therefore, it is crucial for them to constantly broaden their horizon, read the relevant literature, or hire professionals who can help them to care for a horse at any time.

Woodcarving for Kids – What to Start From

wood carved elefant figures

Is it safe to let a small child make crafts from real wood, with real tools? No, of course, saws and nails, hammers are very dangerous for the child, even under the supervision of an adult. You need to learn to work with them, but later, at school age. Craftsmanship is loved by children of any age, including boys who dream of making real wood crafts. How to combine creativity and safety?

Children want to act like adults, and that’s fine. They grow rapidly, but in childhood try to imitate us by any means available. Finding a safe way for children to craft as adults is not easy: carpentry is on the safe list today, provided you buy a special safe kit. There are such sets today!

Hammers, nails, screws, sharp tools, sharp parts made of natural wood, rotating saw blades are safe for adults who know how to work with them; but we don’t even consider giving our little son real wood carving tools, even under our supervision. Because it is very dangerous, and hand injuries cannot be avoided. It is more comfortable to involve the child in cooking or baking experiments, physical and chemical experiments, photographing, designing.

But the boys dream of building and working with wood. So, we find a way to make the impossible possible.

Fortunately, today there are many toys that give children a safe way to develop their favorite hobbies, and without making a big mess.

Toys that look like real building kits give children a safe way to design, create and cut materials. Using a special tool of a special set, which will not really cut wood, but still cut the material, children can safely cut sheets of dense foam, which looks exactly like a real tree. When cutting into pieces, it even sounds like they are cutting a real tree! Using small plastic, reusable nails and screws, as well as a hammer, children can fasten the cut pieces together to assemble their design according to the drawing.

The kit contains assembly instructions, but children who can invent their own design project themselves can do something from scratch, according to their sketch. You don’t have to spend an hour trying to remove a splinter, you don’t have to run to the medicine cabinet for the patch: these sets are really safe, and you can safely let the child “cut the tree” and build what he intended.

Besides being fun activities for children, there are many advantages of real building kits.

1. They are cost effective. In addition to safety, money is also an important reason that often forces parents to say no to children’s requests for something to buy. None of the parents like spending a lot of money to buy all the tools, equipment, materials and accessories for their new hobby. What if he only tries once, and then does not want to continue to develop a new hobby? Where to put all the just bought materials and tools?

The deluxe wood set with tools includes all the tools and materials to make 8 different projects. It’s a lot. Trying is more than enough. The starter kit is the perfect gift for a birthday or a rainy day on vacation. This game will take the child a long time, it’s worth it. The price of the kit is relatively low.

2. Construction is a new experience for children. Most of the children still have not touched in instruments that are not toys, with which you can really do something interesting, real. For kids who want to carve more than simple buildings, you can buy gears and other add-ons, there are expansion kits with motorized parts that give children the opportunity to build boats that can really then be launched on the water.

3. There is no mess. Scraps can be recycled and used for other projects, the child will not ruin the furniture during work, will not scratch anything, and you will not have to clean the sawdust for hours (which happens when working with real wood).

4. These kits are really safe. You will no longer have to feel guilty, depriving your children of activities that they really want to do, but which are dangerous. A child can calmly and enthusiastically saw something, beat, collect mock-ups, and it’s difficult to convey what a relief it is for parents to understand that the child will not get hurt!

How to Make Your Men’s Cave

3 men having a chat over a drink

Psychologists say that a man needs personal space. Experiencing stress, a woman in a hurry to share problems with loved ones, and a man prefers to digest and ponder the problem in private. We already knew this, we just decided to sort out the problem with the arrangement of the men’s cave in the proper way.

All observations about men and women were described by John Gray in his book “Men from Mars, Women from Venus”. It was not about any specific space for a man, but about a personal space where no one would bother him. Since that time, such personal spaces began to appear everywhere and eventually acquired a new meaning – men cave.

6 rules for arranging personal space for men:

1. Refrigerator

It is desirable to be of considerable size to accommodate beer, and not far from the refrigerator to allocate a shelf or place for snacks.

2. TV

Better if it will be more than a refrigerator. Do not forget about the sound (take care of this by purchasing a good audio system). You can still have a game console.

3. Sofa

A necessary household item for relaxation. Preferably large, soft and most importantly – leather. We apologize for the show off, these are the traditions. In addition to the sofa, a couple of chairs in which you can: fall apart properly, drink beer and take a nap.

4. Bar or place for alcohol

The pride of every man, pleasing to the eye every time you look at her. Reflections over the bar. In the “men’s cave” – a necessary attribute of the interior.

5. Table

Must have. Can a coffee table. You do not have to buy a table, you can make it yourself from a wine barrel.

6. Walls

Posters, posters, paintings, pennants – this junk is useful. Unforgettable about masonry or other ways to decorate walls, and also about shelves with books or things dear to the soul.

Personal Style

Analyze what style you choose in clothes and relay your addictions to the interior of your home. If classic things prevail in your wardrobe, look for items that look as solid and solid as the men’s “threefold”.

If you are a creative and enthusiastic person, a hedonist and a connoisseur of beauty, think about the furniture of designers from the middle of the last century, today it is as relevant as it was 50 years ago.

If you value freedom the most, you may be interested in the freedom of loft-style. But always choose materials that will age perfectly: natural stone, wood, tin, copper or leather, which even looks worn authentic.

What You Need for Knife Wood Carvings

selective focus photography of mask sculpture

Volume sculptural woodcarving is considered as the most complicated form of carving. DIY decorative wood carvings are created in several stages during which you need various tools for carving as well as lots of inspiration and patience.

Very often carvers choose figures of animals to create sculptures. Creating wooden creatures is a fascinating and beneficial activity. How beautiful they are in their variety – elegant, powerful, calm or impetuous. Image one of these beautiful masterpieces would be a significant part of your home interior. Professionals are looking for new inspiration for work both in various photographs and drawings depicting animals and in observing interesting specimens in zoos or zoological museums.

Preparing to create wood figures

After the idea has been formed and enough material has been picked up, it’s high time to make a sketch. If together with the figure of an animal or bird, a whole composition has set, it also needs to be drawn in detail. It’s desirable to parse a complex figure in space from all sides. The sketch is transferred to tracing paper and then to the wooden blank.

At the preparation stage, experienced carvers strongly recommend that you do not start work immediately on the tree. In the beginning, you should make a model by molding it from clay or plasticine. A measured, carefully thought-out stucco model will help not to make mistakes and the work will be done much faster and better.

Carving tools

Although you can cut out a tree with any sharp item using special tools to make a beautiful figure with your own hands is much easier and more enjoyable. So you will need the following tools for carving:

  1. Cutter. Knife with a short beveled blade. Depending on the width of the cutting edge, it can have a very different purpose. For example, a hatchet cutter is used for rough processing of wood. Cutters with a narrow edge of up to 16 mm are perfect for hard-to-reach spots and cutting small parts.
  2. The Bogorodsky knife. Suitable for almost all types of work from rough processing to creating a fine study. Perfect for sculptural carving.
  3. Chisel knife jamb. For the professional, this is an almost universal knife. The jamb blade is short and beveled. Most often used on a flat surface.
  4. Bent chisels. They are used to sample the background and have different cutting edge widths from 5 to 10 mm.
  5. Chisels semicircular, flat, angular. They are used for rough notching, obtaining concave parts and indentations on the surface of the product.
  6. Rivets. Chisels with a pointed blade. Used to work on small elements and parts.

Wood selection

DIY carving can be made from almost any wood – logs, glued boards, chocks, branches of an unusual shape, snags and other things. For example, trees with roots are great for creating animal sculptures. And from branching trunks, wonderful wooden cat figures are obtained. The main thing is that the material is well dried and free from defects in the form of cracks, rot or damage by insects. So you can easily store and work out your projects for your perfect designed room.

The ability to effectively use the material comes with experience, and the following softwoods are suitable for training:

  • linden;
  • aspen;
  • alder;
  • cedar;
  • nut;
  • apple tree.

Wooden blanks from these grades are cut without extra effort and do not blunt the tools. There are other options for the material but it will be more difficult to make a thread and process them:

  • Oak. Very durable and decorative but difficult to process due to the high density of the wood.
  • Maple. It has a dense structure and resistance to chips. From maple, you can make small ornaments and details.
  • Pine. It has a pronounced beautiful pattern but prone to chips.
  • Spruce. Worse than pine, it can be cut but it has a more uniform structure.
  • Birch. It has a sharp structure but it lends itself well to decorative processing, is perfectly polished and takes on a color.

Knife Sharpening Basic Tips

knife sharpening with stone

In a perfect world, we would all have time to spend 5-10 minutes every day to sharpen our kitchen knives on a waterstone. This is how chefs finish their shifts – they sharpen their knives traditionally at the end of the day. Remember the best time to sharpen your knife is when it’s still sharp. If you wait until it’s blunt, it will take much higher effort and time.

A sharp knife is essential in order to preserve the true flavors of fresh food. Cutting with a dull knife will spoil food on a cellular level and change its taste and appearance. The quality of the cut is becoming a progressively important problem in expert cooking.

A sharp knife is also crucial for safety. A dull knife is more susceptible to slip on food and might result in physical injury. Sharp knives are also essential for kitchen area efficiency. It will take more effort and time to cut with a dull knife than a sharp one.

Knife honing can be a masterpiece. For this post, we prepared the basic 5 honing tips.

5 Basic Sharpening Tips

1. Keep the right angle. No matter what product you’re using, the particular angle to sharpen is not as important as keeping a constant angle. A 20-degree angle to the surface of the blade is the angle to shoot for as you sharpen. Keep it consistent. You can use a digital caliper to check the angles.

2.  Take it easy. Bill Raczkowski of the American Knife & Tool Institute shared the following insight on a common sharpening mistake: “One thing new individuals tend to do is over-pressure the knife when sharpening. My best analogy is a golf swing or throwing a bowling ball – more effort does not always mean the ball goes further or straighter. It’s an extremely light grip and low pressure on the knife is the best. Let the stone do the work; keep a consistent angle and a constant pressure on the stone.”

3. Rock it. The oldest honing strategy, which is still practiced commonly today is a stone honing. But don’t presume any rock you pick up can get the job done. Raczkowski once again offered his know-how: “I’ve tried many ‘stones’ and the very best one is an individual choice. A rough stone with low grit density is for the first pass, particularly with a dull knife. A medium stone is next, then fine and ultra-fine. The worse the blade’s edge, the more time it takes to get the best edge. Another factor to keep the knife’s edge sharp continuously: Less time to bring it back to life! I personally use a super-fine flat ceramic stone daily.”

tomato is cut in pieces

4. Know your Stone. Most honing stones can be used damp or dry, however, some stones are quickly broken down by oil. It’s crucial to read the producer’s guidelines on a stone. On the incorrect kind of stone, oil permits the collapsed cutting particles to clog the surface of the stone and can over-lubricate the surface area, slowing the honing process.

5. Blade Test. Test blade sharpness by cutting a paper. If it slices easily through the paper without tearing or bending the page over, you’ll know the blade is sharp.

A final, and apparent, tip: Never test the sharpness on yourself. Conserve your arm hair or skin. Inanimate things more than happy to help figure out if you have actually done the sharpening job right!

Essential Steps to Sharpness

Wet stones

Fill in a plastic container with room-temperature water and let stones take a bath in there for about 10 minutes.

Lay a kitchen towel down on your work surface area and set a stone on top of it.

NOTE: Keep stones wet throughout the process by spraying them with water as you work. Because the mud that builds up on that surface serves as a useful abrasive as you hone.

Form the burr

Set the stone in your stone holder. Establish an angle by setting a matchbook down flat versus your stone, then placing your blade in front of it. This will give you an angle of about 12 – 15 degrees.

You have to hold the grip of your knife strongly in your hand. Spread out the fingers on your opposite hand across the blade in order to achieve more pressure. You’ll want to apply about 4 to 6 pounds of pressure on the knife as you work. So you can use a kitchen scale to check your pressure.

Slide your knife throughout the stone. If you’re a beginner, you may want to practice by gliding the knife 5 or 6 times on one side, then changing to the other side. What you’re pursuing is a smooth technique in which you move the knife in one direction across the stone, switch sides, and after that move it back in the other way on the other side. As soon as you feel that the thin wire (the burr) runs all the way across the length of the knife, it’s time to go on to a better stone.

Try it on

It is necessary to spread your fingers out throughout the blade so you’re using pressure properly and don’t end up with a blade with no sharp blade.

Get across the stone

Draw the knife across the stone, from a corner to the opposite corner, using the whole surface to shape up that blade. See the guide videos if you’re not confident about how to do it right.

man is honing knife

Points of contact

Start your stroke with the heel of the knife just barely on the stone, and sweep across and up, pulling the heel towards your dominant hand and finishing with the pointer as the last point of contact on the stone.

Get rid of scratches and polish

Switch to the 1000 grit stone.

So our aim is to polish up the shape of the blade that we created with the coarser stone and get rid of any scratches formed throughout the preliminary honing.

Wet the surface area of the stone.

Use the same strategy with the coarser stone, glide the knife across the stone.

Complete that edge

Switch to the 3000/8000 grit stone.

Wet the surface area.

Find out which side of the stone is better to use based on your preferred results:

  • Use the 3000 grit side of the stone to remove scratches from rougher stones and to improve the edge. 3000 grit develops an aggressive edge that is well fit to cutting rope and opening cardboard boxes.
  • Use the 8000 grit side to develop a high-performance razor edge with the slightest bite.
  • Use a nagura stone on the 3000 grit and 8000 grit stones to make up a slurry on the surface of the stone, that is required for remarkable sensitivity.

Then, using the same mean, put the final polish on the edge you established with the very first stone.

When your knife is good and sleek, get rid of the remaining material from the surface area by rubbing it with a cleaning stone.

Final honing

Finish the procedure by sharpening your knife with a fine ceramic hone.

Now you’re ready to cut out perfect slices.