OnTheHouse Express

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Grip-Tite Wrenches
Grip-Tite Wrenches

New England Arbors
New England Arbors


Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together

Tahoe Creamery
Tahoe Creamery

WHY Trap
WHY Trap


. Other Ideas… .

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The Perfect Summer Home Improvement Tool

Indiana Carton Packaging Files 005.jpgThe money and time you save through preventative self-maintenance could be the difference between taking the summer getaway you have been working for all winter or being stuck at home.

The top killers of successful DIY projects are rounded bolts and nuts.  No matter what you try they refuse to relinquish their grip and leave you frustrated and wondering why the socket is unable grip the bolt and allow you to get on with your life.

The answer is in the design.  Nothing is ever manufactured to an exact dimension – rather, it is produced and considered acceptable if it fits within a certain range.  For example, the acceptable range for a ½” bolt head is 0.489” - 0.500”.  Wrenches are also manufactured with tolerances; however, the minimum tolerance must be larger than the maximum tolerance for corresponding bolt heads – the same ½” wrench has a typical tolerance range of 0.501 - .506.  Therefore, using a .506” wrench on a .489” bolt head results in a sloppy fit.  This phenomenon occurs with even the most expensive wrenches available.

http://local.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/e7b7d7cc-2d0a-4788-a1b6-3d598b6693cd/d04f36ff-fba0-49ae-bcbc-bf3caa5f34de/Image/cbfb12a9371c2377cc7fa28380127cab_w640.jpegUpon turning, this “sloppiness” forces the flats of the wrench, to rotate and contact the very corners of the bolt head. This creates extremely high bearing stress points on the corners of the bolt.  This is easy enough to demonstrate yourself by just turning a bolt inside a wrench – you will see the wrench immediately make contact at the corners of the bolt.   

Now you are staring at a bolt with no corners.  Your conventional wrench is made to place all the pressure on the corners that no longer exist.  No wonder you cannot get the thing to move!

Time to reach into your tool bag and figure out your options.

  1. Interference Fit  (ie Bolt-Out™)
  2. Advanced Camming (ie Grip-Tite Super Sockets™)
Bolt Out
Sears Bolt-Out™

1) The Interference Fit bolt remover is similar in size and shape to a socket, but has sharp spiral flutes on its inside, opposite in direction to the loosening direction.  The spiral flute opening is smaller than the corresponding size bolt head or nut to be removed, as the remover is intended to be hammered or driven on – thus the "interference fit".

 As the remover is hammered on, the spiral flutes “dig into” the rounded bolt head or nut, in the opposite direction of loosening.  Once hammered on, the user than uses an open end or box end wrench to turn the remover, and therefore remove the stuck bolt or nut.  Some examples of interference fit bolt extractors are the Sears’ Bolt-Out (shown), or Irwin’s Bolt-Grip.

Single Socket 2 adjusted DSC02862.JPG

2) The Advanced Camming type looks exactly like a socket on the outside, and is used exactly like a socket – dropped over the stripped bolt head or nut (no need to hammer), and then turned by a ratchet. 

This remover works by having a set of steel cams inside the socket, which expand over and onto the flats of the bolt or nut rather than the corners.  As the socket is turned, the cams are squeezed tighter and tighter into the flats of the fastener.  The more torque that is applied, the harder the cams grip the flats of the fastener.  The only advanced camming type product is Grip-Tite Super Sockets (shown).




Interference Fit

• Works on all rounded fasteners – up to 100% rounded

• Limited access - requires enough room to swing a hammer

• If tilted when hammered on it can cause further damage to the bolt head, leaving it unremoveable

• It can crack, or break off pieces of the fastener if not lined up straight once torque is applied

• Does not install fasteners

• More time consuming to use

Advanced Camming

• Functions as a conventional socket – both for installation and removal

• If used initially, will prevent rounding - guaranteed never to round a fastener

• Fits into limited access areas – wherever a socket can fit with extensions

• Quick to use – they drop on as other socket do

• Works on most rounded fasteners- up to 85% rounded

In comparing the two types of products, both will prove effective on nearly all rounded or damaged bolts – there is rarely, if ever, a bolt rounded over the 85% threshold.  It is also evident that the advanced camming product has far more uses and applications than its counterpart - including installation and removal of bolts, fitting into hard to reach areas, and functioning as a conventional socket on good bolts.  It is also the only product that will actually prevent rounding from occurring in the first place.

When taking maintenance and repairs into your own hands this summer, save yourself money and frustration by choosing the right tool for the job!

Installing a Ceiling Fan

. We believe that a ceiling fan is a must for any home, anywhere. Why the enthusiasm? Comfort, energy savings and lower utility bills are a few reasons. Moreover, a ceiling paddle fan is decorative and, when equipped with a light kit, is a good source of artificial light.

We learned as boys the benefits of having a ceiling fan when we visited our uncle's corner market. He had one mounted just outside the door to his store. The cool breeze the fan provided made for a pleasant welcome. He didn't install the fan to cool his customers, however, but rather for pest control. The stream of air created by the rotating blades would discourage flies and other airborne pests from entering his store.

Many still believe that a ceiling fan has value only in warm weather. In truth, its benefits can be enjoyed year-round.

People without air conditioning can attest to the relief offered by a ceiling fan. However, such a fan also can be valuable to folks with air conditioning. When operated in the normal mode, the blades of the ceiling fan will push air downward causing cool air near the floor to travel upward to mix with air throughout a room, resulting in more even cooling.

The same principle can be applied during winter when home heating bills soar. The only difference is that the fan is run in the opposite direction. In contrast to normal operation, the fan blades push air toward the ceiling, driving warm air downward, which results in more even heating. In either case, the fan can improve comfort and result in a reduced utility bill.

If sweating windows are a problem, a ceiling fan might be a solution. When run in the reverse direction, the fan will cause a movement of air that will cure the sweats. Decorative ceiling paddle fans come in a variety of shapes, sizes, models and features. Four blades, five blades, painted finishes, metallic finishes, light kits and an assortment of glass shades make customizing a fan to meet your specific needs, if you will, a breeze.

Most fan motors are equipped with multiple speeds and a reversing switch. Manufacturers of finer models have various accessories. Variable-speed control switches allow the fan to operate at a wide range of speeds. A variable rheostat or dimmer switch will allow the lights to be adjusted. If you like gadgets and your budget permits it, consider a state-of-the-art wireless remote, which will control lights and fan speed from your easy chair or nightstand. Wireless remotes on some top-of-the-line models control fan speed through a built-in thermostat and will turn lights on and off periodically as a security feature.

Ceiling fans range in price from less than $50 to well over a $1,000. If you don't mind wobbling fan blades, a noisy motor and early replacement, the least expensive is the ticket. On the other hand, if you're looking for a quiet, smooth operation, plan to spend at least $250. Most ceiling fans come packaged in many pieces that require assembly. Detailed instructions and the right tools make installation simple. The most complicated aspect of installation is getting power to the switch and fan location. This isn't a problem when the fan is replacing an existing light fixture.

When running the electrical wiring, use 14/3 with a ground sheathed cable from the wall switch to the fan. This consists of two strands of 14-gauge wire with a ground wire. This will permit the light and fan functions to be operated independently from the corresponding wall switch. We recommend this even if your fan doesn't have a light, since it will allow one to be installed with ease in the future.

Never attempt to perform electrical work without first turning off the electricity at the breaker panel or fuse box. If electrical work isn't your forte, we suggest that you enlist the services of a professional electrician to make the installation, and don't forget a permit, should one be required.

Another important aspect of installation to consider is the weight of the fan. A ceiling fan is much heavier than an average light fixture. Therefore, the bracket from which it hangs should be securely anchored to ceiling framing. Most ceiling-mount electrical boxes for light fixtures are not anchored to framing. In many cases they are attached to a light gauge metal bracket that spans between two framing members and is attached at both ends. This is not enough support for most ceiling fans.

If you have access from above, such as an attic, you can install a two-by-four block between two ceiling joists. The electrical box then can be screwed to the wood block for a secure connection. If you don't have access from above, use a fan brace that can be installed through the outlet box hole. It is an adjustable metal hanger that attaches to wood framing at either side of the fan location and is designed to carry the load imposed by the fan.

Hopes and dreams


Yet there are people who will pray on our emotional attachments with false promises and instant results.

I am constantly approached by individuals promising that magic elixirs that will do everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more.

My clients some of whom I’ve been working with for over 12 years and run successful businesses all over the Bay Area, TRUST me.

That trust is much more valuable to me than making a quick buck. But then I’m old school or maybe just an old fool.

For more fitness tips and to order a copy of my ‘Living Proof’ DVD, go to www.overthehillfitness.com.

Ground-breaking, Green, and born in a Garage

One such company that emerged from a small garage is Sterling International, Inc.. Their RESCUE!®  brand insect traps for wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, flies and Japanese Beetles are sold throughout the U.S. and the world. And it all started with one man in 1982, a young Washington State University graduate and self-described ‘neophyte’ who wanted to build a better fly trap.

Working out of the garage of a tiny starter home in Millwood, Washington, Rod Schneidmiller fine-tuned a powdered mixture of natural ingredients that, when broken down in water, lured flies.

Money was tight, and Rod could not spend big dollars on complicated molds for a trap design. Working with local vendors, he modified some existing injection molded pieces that were created for other purposes. For assembly of the traps, he contracted with a local organization that employs people with disabilities. Rod started selling these reusable fly traps out of his pickup truck to garden managers at stores in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

At the time, chemical sprays were the standard for controlling pest insects and the “green” movement had yet to hit the mainstream. His idea was so revolutionary that he was laughed out of several meetings with retailers when he tried to introduce the fly trap.

Twenty-eight years later, consumers are discerning as to the safety of the products used around their home and family: the greener, the better.  Insect traps have gained acceptance because of their more favorable impact on human health, plant life, and the beneficial insect population.  And RESCUE! traps are the leader in this category  – you can find them on the shelves of most any store that sells lawn and garden products.

That first product Rod and Sterling created, the Reusable Fly Trap, is still part of the RESCUE! lineup. In addition, they make a popular Disposable Fly Trap and a “Big Bag” Fly Trap with a larger capacity for agricultural areas. Several years ago, Sterling introduced yet another trap made from used two-liter soft drink bottles and post-consumer recycled plastic, called the POP! Fly Trap. All of these RESCUE! fly products catch the most prevalent nuisance and filth fly species, and activate easily with the addition of water.

RESCUE! has also been the market leader with its yellowjacket traps since the late 1980s. Their Reusable Yellowjacket Trap catches all major North American species, and its bright yellow color is a familiar sight in yards throughout the Western United States. Replacement attractant for this trap lasts as long as 10 weeks. There’s also a Disposable RESCUE! Yellowjacket Trap available. Activated with water, it’s perfect for taking on the go for picnics or camping trips.

Both Japanese Beetles and Oriental Beetles are significant pests of ornamental plants and turfgrasses. For those homeowners who battle these beetles, Sterling also makes a trap for them. The RESCUE! Japanese & Oriental Beetle Trap lasts the entire 6-8 week beetle season, with a slide-lock bottom that allows the trap to be emptied and reused.

Finally, Sterling’s newest RESCUE! product is another good reason WHY they are the market leader.

The new W•H•Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets from RESCUE! catches paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, European hornets, and 12 species of yellowjackets. The beauty of this trap is that you need not guess which of these species you have.

No matter where you live, or what biting, stinging, nest-building insects are in your backyard, the W•H•Y Trap will catch what’s bugging you. W•H•Y works on species across the U.S. – whether it’s red wasps in Texas, German yellowjackets in Wisconsin, bald-faced hornets in Oregon or European hornets in Virginia.

The W•H•Y Trap can be used three seasons long. It catches the queens of each wasp, hornet and yellowjacket species in the spring before they build nests, and also captures the foraging workers throughout summer and fall when they’re most likely to sting.

As with other RESCUE! products, the W•H•Y Trap is environmentally responsible, using naturally-occurring ingredients to lure insects to the trap, where they enter through one of two openings. Once inside, the insects either drown in the top chamber, or dehydrate in the bottom chamber. The attractant kit with the trap lasts two weeks, refills are sold separately, and no extra food bait is required.

Sterling International and RESCUE! products have come a long way from those humble beginnings 28 years ago in Rod’s garage. But the vision, tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit he began with can be found within each employee at the company’s headquarters in Spokane, Washington.

Then and now, Sterling International’s mission is to build and sell highly effective pest control solutions which are safe for the consumer, easy to use, and reasonably priced. All of their RESCUE! traps use scientifically-developed attractants designed to replicate what is already found in the natural world – either from the target insect’s body, its food source, or its nest or colony.

Years of field testing and enhancement by Sterling’s team of scientists go into every product to ensure that it consistently lures the target insect in different geographic locations and varied weather conditions.

RESCUE! products are good for the environment, but they’re also good for consumers who care about using the most effective method of pest control. The RESCUE! Traps and Attractants are widely available at home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the United States.

Speaking of which, that’s where the RESCUE! products are made: Right here in the U.S.A.

For information about the W•H•Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets, visit www.whyistheanswer.com. To learn more about the other products in the RESCUE! line, visit their main corporate site at www.rescue.com. You can also reach them by phone at 1-800-666-6766, “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rescuepestcontrol, and follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/rescue.