TIPS & ADVICE

Solutions For Your Home – Square Deal

By precisely measuring 45- and 90-degree angles, the combination square is often called upon to create miter joints in addition to marking lines, measuring thickness, checking for square, and making other measurements. For instance, combination squares can be used to check the depth of cuts or to assure the straightness of the blade on a circular saw. To make sure that the combination square itself is square, extend its blade as far as possible and scribe a 90-degree angle along the blade. Then flip the tool over and scribe another line which should be perfectly parallel. “Measure twice, cut once” applies to every aspect of a project, angles as well as length. We have all the tools you’ll need to make sure you are plumb, straight, and true, from combination squares to measuring tapes to levels. HINT: A quality combination square has a blade with easy-to-read markings and a cast-iron

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Solutions For Your Home – Pretty Gritty Stuff

Aluminum oxide, probably the most common, has a high degree of “friability.” which means that it fragments under heat and pressure. This is a good thing because fragmenting creating new “cutting edges. In a sense, then it is self-sharpening. Silicone carbide, which is harder than aluminum oxide, is better suited to cutting harder materials than wood, such as metal and fiberglass. Ceramic, the hardest abrasive, is generally available on belt sander-belts in lower grits for shaping and leveling wood. Finally, garnet, the softest abrasive, is not friable and wears out faster, but it cuts smoother than the others. Clearly, there are a lot of factors that go into making even a simple decision like which soft of sandpaper to use. If you have any questions, you need to ask one of our friendly staff members. We will be happy to explain the different sorts of sandpaper and which one to

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Solutions for Your Home – Starting A New Lawn

If not, enough new soil should be purchased to cover the projected lawn area with 4-5 inches of topsoil. If necessary, amend the new topsoil with compost (1 part to 3 parts of existing soil). Next, have the soil’s pH tested. The ideal pH for most grasses is between 6 to 7 (neutral to slightly acidic), which makes the soil’s nutrients readily available to the new grass. Before seeding, be sure the grade is sloped away from the house for a minimum of 6 feet. All soil should be smoothjed and evened out to avoid water-collecting low spots. Spring is a great time for yard and lawn projects. Whether you’re starting a new lawn or just sprucing a new lawn or just sprucing up a long-lived garden, we have everything you need. From seed and soil to garden tools and mowers, we have all the supplies to make this year

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Solutions for Your HOME- WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A BIND

Instead, support the door by opening it wide and inserting a wedge under the latch edge. Then, remove the loose hinge-leaf screws and determine whether or not the leaf will accept larger-diameter screws. If so, install them and re tighten the hinge. Otherwise, you can reuse the original screws by widening the screw holes with a quarter-inch drill bit and then hammering lengths of quarter-inch dowel (coated with glue) into the holes. Work on one hinge leaf at a time. Finally, reposition the hinge leaf and secure it by driving the screws into the dowels. Is your door binding? If so, this is a fast fix that will dramatically improve your quality of life (no more banging doors). And we’ve got everything you need, from leaf-hinge screws and shims to dowels and glue. And our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to make sure you understand the procedure so you

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Legislated Changes Continue in Your Lighting Department

EISA mandates screw-based light bulbs that will use fewer watts for similar light output. Standards are technology neutral; any type of bulb (CFL, LED, etc.) can be sold provided it meets the efficiency requirements. Common household light bulbs that traditionally use between 40 and 100 watts will use at least 27% less energy by 2014. EISA applies to the manufacture date and began with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012. It will work its way through the 75W and 60W bulbs, and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. (California began the transition one year earlier.) 2011 Bulbs         After EISA         EISA Effective Date 100 watt             72 watts max     January 1, 2012 75 watt               53 watts max     January 1, 2013 60 watt               43 watts max     January 1, 2014 40 watt               29 watts max     January 1, 2014

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Solutions for your HOME – CUTOFF DATES

Evergreen trees that need to be pruned are best clipped back in late spring or early summer. After that, they are not likely to grow much more. Evergreen shrubs can be pruned in early spring. Fruit trees should be pruned in early spring before the buds have appeared; berry bushes are typically pruned in late fall or early winter once the berries have been harvested. Rose bushes are generally best pruned in late winter, with early spring the latest cutoff time. Do you have any questions about today’s column or any aspect of outdoor maintenance? If so, you need to talk to an expert. Our staff members have been there and we know just how to help you. We can provide the great advice you need at the start of a project to prevent unhappy outcomes. And, of course, we have all the tools you might need. HINT: If you

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Solutions for the HOME – LEDs LEAD THE WAY

While these types of bulbs are certainly more efficient than the incandescent they were made to replace, halogens emit considerable heat and compact fluorescent contain mercury, which can pose breakage and disposal issues. LEDs (light-emitting diodes), on the other hand, run cool, safely, and seemingly forever. In fact, LED bulbs are designed to last 24,000 hours. Moreover, according to the Department of Energy, with the rapid adoption of LED bulbs, electricity demand for lighting in the United States could be reduced by one-third by 2027. Choosing a light bulb used to be so simple. Now it’s a complex question of efficiency versus esthetics and prices versus environmental impact. Lucky for you, there’s expert help at hand. Our on-staff experts can help you navigate the now-complex matter of choosing a light bulb. Just like we can help you with anything in our extensive selection of hardware and tools. HINT: Because LEDs

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Solutions for your HOME – NICE AND TIGHT!

Unfortunately, this leads to potentially disastrous results, from stripped threads to broken bolts to damaged equipment. A torque wrench makes easy work of tightening bolts, nuts, and plugs to the manufacturer’s torque value. The better torque wrenches hold their calibration longer and provide an audible “click” when the correct torque is reached. These tools are well worth their cost and should be treated with kid gloves in order to avoid repair or recalibration. The investment in money and care is well worth it. If a torque wrench is dropped, its accuracy may be compromised. We have all the hardware and tools you’ll need to get the job done right. But, more importantly, our expert staff members can give you the good advice that you need to make sound decisions early on. And don’t forget our extensive paint section, for once you’re done! HINT: Needless to say, never use a torque

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Bluebirds Can Bring Happiness to Your Backyard

Sneade’s Ace Home Center has in their expanded Backyard Birding Centers a couple sizes of dried meal worm products in sealed containers. These meal worms work well in attracting bluebirds. If have tried wild bird seed with dried cherries and in addition peanut suet has worked also. If you want to bring bluebirds to your backyard to eat, then you should first start with a bluebird house. Bluebird houses have specific dimensions. They should be 8 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 5 inches deep. They need a 1 1/2 inch entrance hole centered 6 inches from the floor. The next is built mostly by the female, in cavity or birdhouse. She lays four to six pale-blue, sometimes white eggs between March and July. You need to get your bluebird houses up in late February. Mount it 5 to 10 feet high in an open and sunny area. They like

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How to Help Your Feathered Friends in the Cold Weather

By Gold Crest Distributing Birds rely on fruit, berries, seeds and bugs, which are difficult to find during the winter season. A bird’s day begins with the search for food and his/her search starts at dawn and continues until the sun sets. If a bird is able to eat enough, it will store enough energy to survive a cold winter’s night. It then starts all over for another day. Wild birds or backyard birds depend on every seed, berry or insect it may find. With the continual decline of natural habitats, birds need our helping hands. Our feathered friends require food, fresh water, shelter from the elements and protection from predators. Yes! Hawks, falcons, cats and even bald eagles are in our state looking for their next meal. FOOD: High energy food is important. Suet, peanuts, black oil sunflower seed and even meal works give backyard birds the high energy

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