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Finishing Wooden Furniture

Finishing Wooden FurnitureWell hey again everyone. I’m back with the second bit about making your own furniture from real wood without paying a lot of money to get the job done. Previously I talked about sourcing affordable wood at mills or other places where large quantities of raw wood can be obtained cheaply. Now, I want to tell you about cutting and finishing the wood to get a final product you can actually use. It might seem like a daunting job, but with the right tools and a decent stain and sealant it’s possible to make some fine wooden furniture for a fraction of the retail cost.

Because I’ve covered acquisition and initial work in another post, I’m going to focus exclusively on the finer, finishing work this time. Anyone who has worked extensively with wood in the past, even at a middle school level, will understand this finishing work refers mostly to sanding. To get the best smooth surface possible while pulling away the smallest amount of wood in the finishing process, it’s actually vital to sand multiple times, with sandpaper which becomes steadily finer with each sanding. This will undoubtedly sound like a waste of time to some craftsmen, but I assure you it is not.

This is good and bad. It’s good because you can use any sanding device to do the hard work for you and simply change sanding discs, pads or surfaces out as needed to do whatever project needs doing. It’s bad because you need to have multiple grades of sandpaper available, or get multiple sanding discs in different grades if you don’t have a machine which will load plain sandpaper. You can see all kinds of different sanders and their available options at if you need a visual aid to go with the written explanation here.

While many people think the sanding process is simply to make wood smooth and less likely to give slivers to people who touch it, that’s just one of the reasons wood furniture and other objects need to be sanded. Another reason is that level, even surfaces allow wood primer, stain and sealant to leach into wood more deeply, which in turn creates better seals and longer lasting stains. To waste time doing this fine work on rough wood would just be silly, and leaving these steps out of the finishing process is simply stupid since water in wood tends to create rot if left unchecked.

This could be an annoyance, like in the case of a wooden chair which crumbles under the mass of the occupant. But it could also be very dangerous, like if a porch, deck or patio were made from wood planks and full of people, maybe some animals, maybe some cooking implements like a grill when it decided to cave. Now that I’ve outlined the steps to finishing wooden furniture and explained why each is important, I think I’ve actually given you all some good information. Keep it in mind if you find yourself working with wood in the future – and don’t be afraid to share your experiences with the rest of us.

Knitwit’s Hunting Tips

Knitwits Hunting TipsAs a young computer and AV guy living in the middle of one of the most populous areas here in the United States, you might think I don’t know anything about roughing it from a glance. While it’s true that I’m no survivalist and I wouldn’t want to get caught in the middle of nowhere without tools and a phone, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the outdoors. I used to be an avid hunter and it’s still something I enjoy, though adulthood leaves me far fewer opportunities to just put everything down and disappear for a week. I’m not even that old yet and I already miss being a kid now and then, heh.

Like anything else, you can learn to be a better hunter by watching others who are good at it while they do their thing. Unfortunately, this is also a great way to end up buying all kinds of tools, accessories and other gear you don’t necessarily need to be a good hunter. There’s no substitute for experience, even if it comes with all kinds of features, bells and whistles and costs an arm and a leg on top of all that. I recommend checking with any hunting clubs, sporting goods stores or similar locations in your area to see if you can’t pick the mind of more experienced hunters before you get started.

See, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then it’s very hard to figure out where you’re going to go, or what you’re going to hunt, or how you’re going to hunt it. That’s why getting information from veterans is a must. That’s also why you’ll want to check other sources for knowledge. I think features a lot of information about techniques, tools and other aspects of hunting. By understanding these better, you can make yourself a better hunter. However, so far I’ve just been talking about gathering information. What about getting real-world experience?

Knitwit’s Hunting Tips

Well, there are ways to do that too. Paintball is a pretty popular sport. The thing about it is, if you’re good at sneaking up on people and catching them unawares with a “bullet”, you already have an edge when it comes to sneaking up on animals and doing the same thing. Paintball can teach you many useful skills for hunting, like moving quickly and quietly, breathing deeply and regularly to keep your breathing quiet, checking your flanks along with your rear to watch for hidden dangers or missed opportunities, and more. There are few safer ways to learn how to hunt than this.

By combining knowledge with experience, it’s possible to become good at anything, including hunting. But one thing you can do to improve your hunting skills which you can’t necessarily do with other sports is to gauge your prey. Read up about the habits of the animal, or animals, you are trying to hunt before you go hunting them. This will give you important information like where to find your prey, what times of day it is active, what it sounds like, what it smells like and so on.

I discovered a new passion – hiking!

dhikingHi everyone! I’m back and this time I will share with you one of my recent experiences. Many of you may be aware that I am a young professional living in New York, but a very few know that I take the time to try out new and exciting things once every often.

Last weekend, I had gone out on a hiking trip to the Anthony’s Nose, a famous hiking trail along the Hudson in Westchester. My friend told me it was all the rage, so I got my gear, looked at some great boots at HikingAddicts, and decided to go! An excellent trail for people who are just beginning hiking, Anthony’s Nose is the highest pear around the area, which overlooks the Bear Mountain Bridge as well as the Bear Mountain State Park.

About an hour’s drive away from Manhattan, any season is perfect to go hiking and trekking around Anthony’s Nose, except for the winters.

This hiking trip is approximately over 3.5 km and the peak stands at an elevation of about 900 feet. A couple of friends and I drove to Manhattan early in the day and we started off the hike at about 9 in the morning.

As we made our way across the trail, I was genuinely mesmerized by the vast sights and sounds that the area had to offer. Starting off close to the Hudson River, the trail quickly ascends, offering an ethereal view of the river and the parks below. As we reached the vantage point, I could do nothing but click photographs of the wonderful view that was offered to us.

The trail that we followed is a famous one and s known as the Appalachian Trail. There were many other adventure enthusiasts who were on the same trail as us. While our group covered the entire hike in just less than 3 hours, it is possible to cover the distance in about 2 hours. The peak, along with the mountains, forms an excellent ridge and is comprised of calcite and granite crystals, offering a rugged experience to hikers.

The hiking trip to Anthony’s Nose is one that I will definitely recommend to all people living around New York. It proves to be an excellent hike for people of all ages and for hikers of any level of experience. It is not too far away from the city and the entire hiking trip can easily be completed in a day’s time. Make sure to carry your camera, some snacks, some music and have some good company around when going for this hike. It will definitely be an experience worth remembering.

I have been on a couple of hiking trips earlier, but they were all when I was only a kid and was accompanied by adults. This time around though, my experience was much different, (probably because I am an adult and have more freedom) and I can definitely say that hiking is quickly growing on me.

I am already eagerly planning out more hiking trips for later. New York City has a number of hiking and trekking trails to offer around it and I will surely take advantage of this.

Keeping the Hands Busy

Keeping the Hands Busy-Hey everyone, time for another little post. I don’t make it any secret that I’m good with a yoyo. I’ve been playing with them and doing tricks with the things since I was a kid and while I’m not old just yet, I’m not really a young man anymore either. We’re talking nearly 20 years here, during which I learned a few other, more important things thanks to my simple hobby. Keeping your hands busy is important to good physical and mental health. This isn’t exactly breaking news or anything; it’s something people have known for a long time now. But is there a single best type of activity for this purpose?

Well in my case, I found the perfect way to keep busy, keep my mind and body working, while I maintain an income and live a lifestyle I enjoy. I’m talking about creating and editing videos, either for my own purposes or, more usually, for someone else who’s looking to advertise, or inform, or sell something. I understand not everyone is going to find this a viable option, too. It’s fortunate there are other ways to keep the hands busy. I’m just saying, this is how I do it. But lots of people use musical instruments.

Making music gets many different parts of the brain going – parts which are normally doing very little during your day to day life. It also gets your fingers moving, gets your muscle memory learning which holes on the flute to pin down when you blow, or which tabs on your favorite trumpet can be pushes together to make the sounds you’re looking to make. This is not something people can just pick up overnight; there’s a lot of time and work which goes into learning a musical instrument. However, learning how to play well and playing just to keep busy are two very different things.

What I mean is, there’s no need to be at the kind of level where you might get an invitation to play at Carnegie Hall, or anything like that. You could be a total amateur, with literally no past experience playing trumpet, and playing trumpet would still be very good for your body and mind. I keep mentioning horns because I’ve played trumpet a few times myself. If it sounds like a good time to you, then I recommend checking out to see all kinds of different trumpets.

However, do keep in mind that on top of the fact you don’t need to be good to get benefits from playing an instrument, your instrument also doesn’t need to be some top of the line, multi-thousand dollar piece of equipment. You could just as well pick up something from some secondhand or thrift shop, as long as all the parts were in working order, and start playing all the same. Perhaps some of my readers who currently play instruments can comment on this for the rest of us? If you’ve got something to share, please do, by all means.

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