How Paint Sprayers Work

For any painting job, it’s important that you use the appropriate tool so you can get the job done in the best and fastest way possible. Painting small and plain or flat surfaces can be efficiently done using a paint brush or a roller. On the other hand, a best paint sprayers may be suitable when dealing with large areas or surfaces with intricate or complex details and imperfections such as cracks, bumps and gaps as paint sprayers are known the smooth and uniform finish that they are able to produce if and when used properly.

Paint sprayers are not usually recommended for small and quick paint jobs because they can require some tedious prep work and cleaning procedures, which can take some time to get finished. Moreover, paint sprayers can be a bit costly as you can lose as much as 75 percent of the paint if the paint sprayer is mishandled or used the wrong way.

There are two types of paint sprayers that you can choose from – the air-powered sprayers and the airless units.

The Air-Powered Sprayer

In terms of price, air-powered paint sprayers generally priced higher than the airless ones and may cost around $200 depending on the size of the compressor. This type of paint sprayer also creates a smoother and more uniform coating or finish than does its airless counterpart as it releases smaller and finer paint particles onto the surface.

This type of sprayer works by using high pressure air to force the paint through the spray gun’s nozzle, which atomizes the paint particles into very fine mists that are sprayed onto the surface and produce a fine and uniform coating.

Spray guns that are used for air-powered paint sprayers come in two types. One is siphon feed air-driven gun and the other is the pressure feed type.

So, how does a siphon-feed spray gun work?

If you are going to paint a large area and want a fine finish for your surface, then a siphon-feed spray gun is most likely what you need. This type of spray gun produces light and fine paint particles that are also ideal for working on areas with complex and intricate surfaces.

This type of spray gun works by using compressed air, which creates a fractional vacuum inside the system as it goes through the intake tube near the nozzle. The air pressure outside goes through a small hole into the paint cup and pushes the paint up to fill in the vacuum. The compressed air then forces the paint out of the nozzle.

When working on a large area or surface using a paint sprayer with this type of spray gun, you will need to stop painting from time to time and refill the paint cup since the nozzle draws paint only from the paint cup.

Another type of spray gun is the pressure-feed gun, which, unlike the siphon-feed spray gun, does not create a vacuum. In this type of spray gun, certain amount of compressed air is directly channeled into the paint reservoir. As the name suggests, pressure-feed spray guns use high air pressure to push the paint up the nozzle propelling the paint out as fine, mist-like paint particles that allow for a fine finish.

The Airless Sprayer


This type of paint sprayer is usually cheaper by considerable amount than the air-powered type of paint sprayer. However, they produce large particles and heavy paint spray patterns, which are not ideal for getting a fine and even finish. Nonetheless, this type of sprayer produces less overspray so less paint is wasted.

Spray guns are classified as bleeder or non-bleeder.

Bleeder guns are used for paint sprayers with compressors that have no air reservoir. With this type of gun, you can turn the paint flow on and off but the air shall continuously pass through the nozzle as long as the compressor is running.

On the other hand, non-bleeder guns have trigger controls that can stop the air from flowing through the nozzle. If the bleeder type of spray gun is designed for use with compressors that have no air reservoir, the non-bleeder type is built for use with compressors that have a storage tank.

Prep work

Starting a paint job right is just as important as finishing it right. Thus, preparing your work surface, your work area, the paint that you’ll use for your project as well as gearing up yourself would be necessary regardless of the type of paint sprayer that you intend to use for your paint job.

  1. Prep up your work surface

Some of the ways by which you can prep up your work surface is to scrape, sand or clean it with a paper towel or a piece of cloth. Doing so will remove from any dirt and dust that can get trapped in paint once you start spraying.

  1. Prep up your work area

Aside from cleaning your work surface, you’ll also need to prep up your work area by masking or covering areas, which you do not intend to spray paint on. You may also use a large piece of dropcloth, plastic or cardboard to confine, block, and keep oversprays from reaching and hitting untargeted areas.

  1. Prep up your paint


Before feeding paint into your paint sprayer, check your paint for blobs or coagulated large particles of paint, which can clog your paint sprayer’s gun or tip. You may use a commercial strainer or an old stocking made of nylon to filter your paint. 

4. Gear up for safety


In any paint job project, your safety should come first as no fine finish can amount to you being safe from any potential harm and accident. Wearing protective and appropriate gears such as a respirator designed for paint spraying, a pair of gloves and goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt would be necessary especially if you would be using a high-pressure best paint sprayer, using a best paint sprayer can be good option for you. Traditionally, to paint house, a paint brush or a roller is used. Which can exert enough force to cause paint to penetrate the skin and put you at risk.


Small kitchen appliances, you can’t live without

In this fast paced world, without the involvement of technology, life would be unbearable. From dawn to dusk, imagining a life without gadgets or appliances is simply impossible. At this time, when we need to handle both the home and profession simultaneously, these appliances are serving us to make our hectic life easier.

These appliances are serving us to make our hectic life easier

The kitchen is considered as the heart of the house that demands more attention. This part of the house consumes most of the time and effort. These appliances are our only support in completing the work by reducing the effort while saving time. Thousands of the gadgets are available, combining both the large and small. While large appliances like refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ovens, etc. are the major part of the kitchen, small appliances bring the diversity to it. Some of the small appliances are the inseparable part of our daily life, without which thinking of a single day would be difficult.

Coffee makers: For many of us, a day never starts without a cup of coffee. For those coffee lovers, science has presented this useful gadget. In the morning, when you are struggling to catch the clock, spending 10-15 minutes for making a cup of coffee seems completely waste of time. For saving the time, there should always be a coffee maker in your kitchen. This is the only that can be seen outside the kitchen also. Coffee maker has entered into the offices, shopping malls, shops too, to satisfy the coffee lovers.

Toaster and Toaster ovens: Another companion of your morning bliss is a toaster and toaster ovens. Lovers of crispy breads in the breakfast is not less in number. For them, toasters are the inseparable part of their kitchen. Usually, toaster lovers are in love with toaster ovens too for melting butter or cheese and warming up the foods.

Blenders: Blender, as a small kitchen appliance, is an excellent choice for the juice lovers. The main task of the blender is blending two or more products together. This one should not be confused with food processor. The motor of the blender is less active than a food processor and even the blades are also less sharp. That’s the reason why juicy particles should be used in blenders.

Food Processor: While cooking, chopping the vegetables takes a great deal of time. Especially, when you are chopping vegetables for a large number of people. Food processors come with different types of blades to cut vegetables in different shapes.

Rice cooker: Boiling the rice in a big pot for hours and waiting for it to be cooked, is the tale of the old days. Now, we have a small kitchen appliance that helps in cooking the rice by just pushing a single button. You don’t have to worry about the spoiling the texture of the rice also. With the rice cooker, you will get perfect rice each time.

Mixer: If you make cakes or breads at home, you must know, how laborious it is to mix the ingredients together. For making your baking experience better, bring a mixer at home. Mixer has the option of mixing both dry and wet ingredients together.

Microwave oven:  No small appliances are more loved and widely adopted by the users than a microwave. For many, a kitchen is incomplete without a microwave. Its extreme durability and easy operation method make it popular among the users. In microwave, food heats faster than the conventional oven.

Electric grill:  Electric grill is a popular choice among the health conscious people Different types of grills are welcome at the kitchen. Electric grills are small, smoke-free and easy to clean. Foods cooked on electric grill is tasty and healthier than the pan-fried one.

Fryer: Though not as healthy as a grill, but still fryer is now in trend. To bring a restaurant taste in home made food this deep fryer is unparalleled.

Some of the small appliances are the inseparable part of our daily life


Kitchen appliances, whether they are small or big equally useful for our daily life. They not only reduce our efforts, but saves our time too. But there is an issue too, all the appliances are run by electricity only, which will definitely raise your electricity bill. Therefore, while buying any appliances, energy output should be checked for saving money in the long run.


Basic tools needed for home improvements

As a home owner, I felt, my newly bought home was screaming for a little redo. When finally, I decide to give it a complete makeover, I realise my tool box is not well equipped with the required tools. Surely, having a hammer and screwdrivers will not be enough to define your tool box a well-equipped one.

A well-equipped tool box is necessary to work in and around the house

A well-equipped tool box is necessary to work in and around the house. For small deeds, like hanging the photo frame or putting the furniture together, giving a call to the mechanic is never a good idea at all (you have to pay the charges too). But, when you are well equipped with all the basic tools needed for the home improvement, you can easily fix those little mishaps and save some money too.

Storing the tools

Imagine, you have collected all the tools required, but at the time of use, you are not finding many of them. You must not have set a place for keeping the tools and naturally, they are misplaced. The tools should always keep in the right place. You can use a bag or a drawer or an actual box for keeping the tools , but some prefer to have a full-fledged workshop with well-equipped tools. Whatever the option you choose, but never forget to put the tools back in their place after each use.


Screwdrivers:  This is the most common and useful tool in your tool box. Aim for both flathead and Phillips-head screwdrivers. They are available in different sizes and can buy in kits. While buying, prefer the one with magnetic tips and comfortable grips for better screwing and unscrewing experience.

Claw hammer: A tool box is simply incomplete without a hammer. It’s a must-have tool. When one side is used to put the nails in and the other side needs to pull it out from the wall. For better grip, go with the one that has rubber or plastic handles. These handles also prevent shock.

Pliers: The jagged jaws of pliers help in pulling and holding the object tightly. Having a single plier is not enough, you should collect different sizes of pliers to maximise the  uses of it.

Adjustable wrench: Having an adjustable wrench is similar to multiple wrenches. There is a screw on the head of the wrench to adjust the size of the opening. To tighten the nuts and bolts along with loosen the plumbing fittings this tool works wonderfully.

Measuring tape: You may think, measuring tape is not a necessary tool that you should include in your tool box, but the truth is that you certainly need one. Basically, a long one about 25 feet to meet all your needs. You certainly will agree with the fact that measuring two times is better than cutting once wrongly. From measuring the curtain to measure a room for a new flooring, you need measuring tape everywhere.

Utility knife: This is one of the important and useful tools that every toolbox should contain. Whether you need to cut or sharpen or even give shape to something, this utility knife works smoothly and efficiently. You will wonder how you have managed till now without a utility knife.

Ladder: Not all improvement areas are in our reach. Sometimes we need to repair the ceiling as well as change the light bulb, for reaching those unreachable places we need a ladder too. Always keep the ladder in a secured place and beyond the children’s reach to avoid accidents as you can’t fit it in your tool box.

Work light:  A flashlight should always be a part of your emergency tool kit. It’s your friend of emergency situation, especially when you are working on low or no light.

Wire cutters : You may forget, but scissors are not designed to cut wires. So, for cutting the wires while working there should always be a wire cutter around.  

Pencil: It may sound weird, why  you need a pencil in the toolbox, instead of, in the pencil box. But, you need  to keep one in your tool kit. If you are planning to drill an area, use the pencil in marking the spot or may be wants to measure an area for setting your newly bought cabinet, take the measurement and mark it with a pencil for better understanding of the measurement.

The tools should always keep in the right place


Not all the home improvement work will be in your reach, especially the one related to electricity. While working with other stuffs except electricity, these tools will help you in handling  and successfully accomplish the job.  The successful projection of a project depends on how efficiently you have handled it and these tools will be your companion in this journey.

A complete beginner’s guide on using the wood router widely

Why a wood router is known as the most versatile tool in the world, the answer is only known to a contractor, whose sole dealing is with wood or wooden products. Nothing can give a piece a wood a better and artistic shape than a wood router. Whether you need to polish the edges or making grooves and dovetail, woodworking routers are the best tool that every workshop should own. Even if you’re not a professional contractor, but an amateur, still a wood router should be in your collection. But for finding the best word router that will suit your job, a proper understanding regarding the routers is important.

Wood router is known as the most versatile tool in the world

Which router to choose?

Two types of wood routers are usually seen; Fixed-base wood routers and plunge wood routers. Both the routers are used for different purposes. You should pick the right one that is suited your job well. Wood router reviews are the great options for understanding the features of a router and to decide which one to pick. Let’s have a look on them.

Fixed-base wood router:  This one is more user friendly and a perfect choice for the beginner’s. Unlike the plunge routers, it has a stationary base. Fixed-base routers are perfect for polishing the edges and for the designs that demand straight line direction. The main issue with these routers is that you cannot change the depth while working. You need to adjust the depth before start working. These routers are competitively cheaper than the plunge one.

Plunge wood routers:  These routers emerge with all the benefits that a fixed-base router lacks.  Unlike the fixed-base routers, it has a spring-loaded base and is equally capable of working both at the edges and mid of the wooden platform. The main strength of this tool is that you can adjust the depth of the router without turning the machine off. As it is capable of more versatile work, the price is also higher than the fixed-base routers.

Wood routers are the inevitable parts of any workshop

How to use a wood router?

Though wood routers are considered to be most important and versatile tools that every woodworker should have, but everything can be in vain if you fail to operate the tool properly. Especially, plunge routers are the tricky one. Improper uses can be dangerous, as a spiral sharp blade constantly spins while a machine is operational. Fixed-base wood routers is comparatively easy to maintain, but also needs proper knowledge before operating. Let’s have a look on how to operate this useful tool to get the most out of it.

  • Step 1– Adjust the poplar board with the working table edge, keeping the side of the board extending out. As the router spins clockwise, the board should be placed on your right side.
  • Step2– Take out the router along with two wrenches from the router kit. These wrenches must be set to their respective places. The bigger one will be at the end of the router and the small wrench should be fitted with the router shaft. To loose the nut, the bigger wrench should turn anti clockwise holding the small one tight.
  • Step 3- As we have loosened the router collet, now it’s time to place the router bit into the collet by sliding, until it comes out at the bottom. After the bit comes out, tighten the bigger wrench, keeping the smaller one steady at its place.
  • Step 4- Two comfortable handles are attached at the both sides of the routers to operate the tool smoothly. There is a place underneath the router where the bit and the poplar board meet. Now, set the router on the board.
  • Step 5- For controlling the depth of the bit there is a knob that can turn clockwise for raising the bit and anticlockwise for lowering it. After setting the bit at the central of the poplar broad edge tighten the knob.
  • Step 6- The router should hold tightly for avoiding any unnecessary circumstances. As the router contains sharp blades, a simple mistake can prove fatal. There is an operational switch on the side of the router that must have been turned on for start working. As soon as the switch will on, the motor will start working and the router also.
  • Step 7- Don’t forget to check the thickness of your work piece which is very important to provide required support to the router.
  • Step 8- Always use the router from the left side to the right, so that the cutting edges of the bit touch the wood first and do not push the router towards the working wood for deep passes. This may harm the router. Instead, making shallow passes is better rather than deep passes for better result. Slowly, let the router slide along the edge of the working wood piece and when the work will over the router should glide off.
  • Step 9- Don’t forget to plug off the machine after each use. Afterall, safety comes first.


Wood routers are the inevitable parts of any workshop. One can keep one or both the routers in their collections, but not knowing the proper uses of the tool can turn it into another unnecessary garbage of your workshop. Hope these simple steps would help you in learning the proper use  of the tool.  To get more from your best wood router , there is no alternative to learning the operation.

7 Non-Waffle Recipes You Make With a Waffle Iron

A waffle makes for a crispy addition to any breakfast or dessert spread. Purchasing a waffle iron is a good way to stay prepared for any quick morning meal. But there are a few clever ways to get some additional use out of a waffle iron. Modern models are typically electric, meaning they heat up shortly after being plugged in to a wall outlet.

The rapid heating time makes it perfect for any quick snack or entree that needs to be pressed. Cookbook pamphlets and websites are based around these kinds of novel uses of traditional gear. New cuisine styles demand a look from both amateurs and professionals a like. That may inspire them to buy the best waffle maker out on the market.

  1. Pressed Hash Browns

Hash browns may be one of the more uniquely American breakfast lineups to be served. Diners often serve them as a staple feature, though their popularity has diminished in the home. Waffle irons will make the cooking process go by even easier, since the device heats on both sides. A quick cooking oil spritz will get the surface ready for the mixture. Sliced or julienned potato strips are required for proper hashbrowns to take shape. They may be dipped in an egg and milk liquid to make them friable in to patties.

  1. Quick Polenta

Polenta is often thought of as Europe’s answer to grits or cornbread. A yellow corn meal is used to shape small cakes or a pan fry that needs a deep dish. But there are subtle advantages to using a waffle iron for the recipe. It will add more of a crispy touch to the contours of each cake. That will make for a more pleasant bite when the guest takes a piece. It will prevent the oil from pooling on the griddle surface. That will make the polenta soggy as it cooks to a cake form.

  1. Carrot Cake

Perhaps the most delectible dessert when paired with a main course, it can be difficult to achieve. Awaffle iron can make it easier to approximate the traditional carrot cake texture. The basic wafflebatter is mixed using a milk, eggs and flour combination. The addition of sugar and shredded carrotswill transform the batter in to an exquisite dessert. Following official recipes will give cooks an idea of how to start with their cake. They should be aware that the iron will press the batter and form waffles after the mixture is set down.

  1. Cinnamon Rolls

The subtle cinnamon flavor and iced glazing has made these rolls another popular breakfast choice. Each batch has to be baked in an oven until the surface is lightly browned. A standard batch needs to be flattened with a rolling pin and molded in to a pan before heating. The best waffle maker will simplify that process, cooking these rolls with a minimal amount of effort. Each of these cinnamon rolls will peel off the griddle with a contoured shape. That will pique the interest of patrons interested in something new for breakfast.

  1. Flattened Soft Pretzels

Pretzels are fun and easy to make with the proper ingredients. A basic sour dough recipe is used for the base ingredient set. The chef should divide the dough in to pieces small enough to be flattened on to the iron itself. Familiarity with the waffle iron will make it simple to press the dough in to a unique shape. Pretzels are best served with large rock salt and a spicy mustard dip.

  1. Chicken Nuggets

Making chicken nuggets at home is a fun and quirky way to introduce meat to kids. They can follow along as chicken meat gets flattened with a mallet and becomes malleable. Parents and caretakers should handle most of the smashing before they pass along anything to their kids. Each nugget has to be formed before it is dipped in a batter mixture. They can be outlaid together on the waffle iron grid before they are pressed simultaneously. The uniform features of each nugget makes it easier to heat the batter completely. The result will be a waffled texture that intensifies its crispy outer coating.

  1. S’Mores

Following along with the “dessert for breakfast” trend, S’Mores are a flavorful addition to the waffle iron recipe log book. They combine a graham cracker coating with a chocolate interior. A marshmallow filling could be added to make for a more complex flavor. It has to be pressed just long enough to sear the outside and melt the gooey interior.

Oasis at home

If you’d like to renovate your kitchen, re-do your bathroom or set up a home theatre, join the club. These are today’s hottest home improvement passions.

Spring is the perfect time to renovate your kitchen, bathroom or create a home theatre. Home shows everywhere provide inspiration and information and stores are stocked with tempting new products. No matter how small or large the project, you need ideas, a sound plan and the right help. Here’s a guide to creating a great kitchen, bathroom or home theatre: the three rooms that satisfy you appetite, soothe your soul and excite you senses.


Country-style kitchens with wood cabinets are still a raging trend according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) most recent survey. The traditional look exudes a warm and friendly atmosphere that comforts Canadians’ coccooning habits. The modern high-tech kitchen is losing appeal as kitchens become more like family rooms where the family eats, pays the bills and does homework.

Consequently, kitchens are getting bigger to accommodate the growing number of people who are drawn there. Meal preparation has become a family affair where everyone helps out. More space is needed to entertain guests who tend to gravitate to the kitchen. And more storage room is needed now that kitchens have become mini recycling depots.

For cabinetry, the element that sets the tone of the kitchen, oak is the most popular choice because of its warm look, uniform grain and durability. However, door fronts with glass panes are also popular and give a brighter, more open look to small kitchens.

Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is gaining ground for a flooring choice. Wood was formerly taboo in a kitchen but today’s products are so well sealed and protected, that as long as food and spills are cleaned up quickly, it’s durable and adds warmth to your kitchen.

If there’s room, many homeowners enjoy the benefits of an island. It provides extra work space, storage room underneath and a counter for a quick breakfast or chat with a guest. If there’s no room for an island, add a peninsula instead. It’s an extension of your countertop that juts out enough to provide the same benefits.

Kitchen renovations are the most challenging renovation projects because they involve both plumbing and electrical requirements. You not only want a kitchen that is esthetically pleasing and comfortable, but one that performs efficiently.

Hire a certified kitchen designer (CKD) by contacting the NKBA for names (1-800-FOR-NKBA FREE) or ask at your local kitchen store. These designers have passed an NKBA exam on kitchen planning. Richard Saxe, vice president of communications for the NKBA’s Ontario chapter says, “You need someone with technical knowledge of construction, plumbing and electrical systems.” They also guide you through the selection of materials, fixtures, appliances and accessories.

Using a professional saves you money because they can detect and solve problems before they affect your budget. “For example, detailed measurements are crucial,” says Saxe. “A mistake as small as one inch can make a big difference. If tile is installed in a kitchen, but its exact thickness isn’t taken into account, a tall pantry cabinet might not fit between the floor and ceiling.”

Kitchens have always been the heart of the home, but today they are quickly becoming the brains too. When renovating, have your kitchen wired for a sound system, intercom and security system. The kitchen is usually the control centre of today’s “smart” homes.

Renovating your kitchen is worthwhile not only for the joy it brings to your household, but also for its payback value. The average kitchen renovation (12 by 15 feet) costs about $13,500. Cabinets account for about 52 per cent, flooring four per cent and the rest is spent on fixtures, lighting and accessories. A major kitchen reno has a payback value of about 98 per cent; a minor kitchen reno pays back 100 per cent.


The averaged bathroom reno (8 by 10 feet) costs about $5,000. Bathrooms, like kitchens, are also warming up from the laboratory look of the past. The trend is to make the bathroom look more like an extension of a bedroom with furniture such as chest of drawers and chair, small accent carpets, exercise equipment and clothes storage.

Handpainted sinks, jewel-toned fixtures and facuets worthy to be called sculpture all add to the comfortable atmosphere homeowners want to create. The idea is to make this a warm and cozy room for relaxing and lounging, rather than just a place to wash and dress.

The bathroom is also getting “greener.” Water-conserving bathroom fixtures are capturing homeowners’ interest as environmental concerns grow. An average family of four uses more than 1,000 litres of water a day. The toilet guzzles abut 40 per cent. In Ontario, many municipalities have adopted, or are drafting water-conserving laws. Building codes will soon demand 13-litre toilets and by 1996, six-litre toilets will probably be mandatory. Residential urinals are expected to be common fixtures for their water-saving design.

Other products that manufacturers are launching include low-flow showerheads that cut water consumption in half and faucets with guarantees of drip-free performance.

Make sure the bathroom you are renovating is “green” enough for the future. The payback value of a bathroom reno is 88 percent and if you are adding another bathroom to your home, the payback is 98 per cent of the expense.


Home theatres are well worth the price of admission for the sensational sight-and-sound experienc they deliver.

Have you heard about the newest form of aerobic exercise that involves sitting still? It’s called the Home Theatre Workout. Canadian homeowners with eye-popping, big screen TVs and you’d-swear-you-were-there sound systems, get their heart racing, blood pumping and break out into a sweat — without even getting off the couch.

How do they do it?

They feed their VCR the latest action-thriller video, fasten their couch seatbelt and hold on for a visual and audio ride that practically burns calories and flexes muscles. And you probably thought people who watched a lot of TV were Couch Potatoes…

Just test-watch a big screen TV and surround-sound system with a video like “The Fugitive” with Harrison Ford. An opening scene has Ford trapped in a crashed bus that’s flipped over and is straddling train tracks. A massive train, with its blinding headlight and piercing whistle, barrels down the tracks toward Ford and you. Ford leaps off the bus, the train careens into it with a fire-bll explosion and you jump out of your seat, if not your skin. Luckily both Ford and you are safe – except for the fact that you’ve spilled your drink on your lap. Only then do you remind yourself, “It’s just a movie.”

Set up your own private movie palace and say goodbye to getting a babysitter, searching for a parking space at the theatre, standing in line at the ticket booth and squeezing yourself into a fold-down theatre seat, surrounded by 100 strangers.

A home theatre in your living room promises a sight-and-sound experience the whole family will enjoy, at your convenience, whether it’s after dinner or in the middle of the night. You and Arnold Schwarzenegger can jump from the top of buildings, your kids can fly through the sky on Aladdin’s magic carpet and together you can run from a heard of “Jurassic Park” dinosaurs with Sam Elliot. And all without leaving home.


Peter Kelly, manager of Bay Bloor Radio in Toronto, says if you already have a TV and hi-fi VCR, you’re half way there. “If you have these two components then you can get a name brand audio system and speakers for less than $2,000. If you already have speakers, it’s even less than that.”

If you’re starting from scratch, you can get a decent home theatre for about $3,000 to $4,000. To set up a more elaborate system, you need $5,000. Stretch your budget to $10,000 and you can have it all – and probably charge admission to your friends.


Louis Fillion Inc., a Montreal company that built up a thriving business mainly as audio specialists, recently expanded into home theatre products because of the growing interest. Fillion says, “When a customer wants to install a home theatre in his home, he often already has a 28-inch TV. We suggest he keep it for now and invest in a surround-sound audio system. Later, when his budget allows, he can get a big screen TV later. We recommend a good sound system that will suit his dream installation when he can afford it. A small screen with a good sound system is like having a big screen with a poor sound system.”

True-to-life sound is vital to the getting a sensational home theatre experience because some experts and psychologists say hearing a crash has more effect on you than just seeing one. So if you’ve got a TV, hi-fi VCR and stereo system, all you need is a surround-sound decoder and speakers.

Fraser Brooks, manager of Sound Plus in Vancouver, says there is a lot of confusion about surround-sound. “Most people have heard of it and seen a Dolby logo sign on their TV screen when watching a movie. But they don’t know if it exists in their TV or in their speakers, or what you need to get it,” says Brooks.

A surround-sound decoder lets you use your stereo receiver to separate sounds and drive them through individual speakers (also called channels).

It takes five speakers to get surround-sound: left, right, centre (separate or built into the TV) and two rear speakers. A good system allows you to not only hear the exploding glass when Bruce Willis blows up a building in the movie “Die Hard,” but to also hear him whisper on his transmitter as if he’s whispering in your ear.

A five-channel decoder with Dolby Pro-Logic circuitry can be a separate unit or built into amplifiers, receivers and TVs.


Ideally, the location of a home theatre would be a plain room in your home with no features such as a fireplace or windows. But in most cases, home theatres are installed in family and recreation rooms and they work well. Even a spare bedroom, if not too small, is equally suitable.

Fillion says, “When we design a system for a home we not only suggest what components the customer should install and where, but make suggestions regarding the decor of the room. Many homeowners formerly hated audio and video systems because the components were ugly and wirees were running everywhere. But times have changed. The modern designs blend much better with most decors.” And the variety of cabinetry available, offering options to cover the components if you want, provides something for every taste and budget.

Lighting of the room is crucial to the picture quality of your TV. Direct or ambient light washes out the image. Put the TV on a clear wall along the narrowest dimension of the room, in the darkest area. Watching TV in semi or complete darkness is best; a movie becomes even more believable if there are no distractions from reality.

The backdrop behind your TV also affects your home theatre experience. The plainer and darker the wall, the better. It shouldn’t compete with the image you’re watching.

How the audio components are placed is just as important. The left and right speakers should be placed on either side of the TV. The centre speaker (which is the one you hear the dialogue through) should be directly above or below the TV screen so it associates directly with the image. Front speakers should be placed at ear level when you’re seated.

Surround-sound speakers should be behind or toward the rear of your seating so you are bathed in sound. Wall or ceiling speakers are ideal for this. The sub-woofer (the speaker that gives that low base sound) is the only component that can be placed almost anywhere but the rear is best.

A good dealer will sit down with you, have you sketch out your room and advise you on component placement. Many will come to your house and set it up for an installation charge. This is well worth the extra money. You can have great products, but if they aren’t installed right, you won’t be getting the experience you paid for.



If the TV you own today is smaller than 28 inches, you should probably demote it to your bedroom or kitchen if you want to set up a home theatre. A 28-inch TV or larger is the starting point for a decent home theatre experience.

There are three kinds of TVs: direct-view (up to 37 inches), rear projection (over 37 inches) and front projection (over 70 inches). One of the newest developments is wide-aspect ratio TVs. Toshiba’s Theatre Wide, for instance, has a wider, but less tall format and a 16:9 (width to height) ratio. Standard TVs have a 4:3 ratio so the new wide-aspect TVs allow you to enjoy the same magnificent images and sweeping vistas seen at the movies, without the dark horizontal bars that appear when letterboxed or cinemascope (21:9) programs are seen on a conventional TV.

Theatre Wide has 900 lines of resolution, a 160 degree viewing angle, and 450 ft lamberts making it the brightest wide-screen picture in the industry. An advanced comb filter technology that eliminates dot crawl and cross-color interference further improves picture performance. A specially designed short-focus lens provides consistent picture focus in the corners – especially critical for widescreens TVs. The addition of a new dark screen improves contrast for a richer, deeper picture and razor-sharp images. You can also scroll the image vertically and adjust its location to your preference.

Complementing the brillant picture, is a state-of-the-art audio system that has four settings: theatre, stadium, nightclub and concert hall to enhance the home theatre experience.

Other features include a picture-in-picture (P-I-P) option that allows you to watch two programs simultaneously. A picture-outside-picture (P-O-P) option displays the second program outside the main image to avoid picture overlap. The channel search functions let you surf through other channels without interfering with the main picture.

Brooks believes the way of the future for TVs is the new small projection units such as Sharp’s Sharpvision. The unit looks like a slide projector and projects an image from 20 to 200 inches on to any flat surface (although a viewing screen is best). “You don’t have to have a mammoth box bolted to your ceiling to get images of 80 inches and up,” says Brooks. “Screens are getting bigger and bigger. I don’t know when it’s going to stop.”


Remember the sound of helicopters in “Apocalypse Now”? You felt their vibration physically in the theatre and the right sound system should give you the same effect at home. A good A/V receiver is the foundation of a great sound system.

Surround-sound itself is continuing to develop. Dolby Stereo sound transcended to Dolby Pro Logic which will evolve to Dolby Surround Digital in a few years. This will give even better home theatre sound.

THX sound systems, a surround-sound processor develop by Lucasfilms, claim to even more closely mimic the cinema experience. Brooks says, “THX is the newest thing to have for a great home theatre. It’s a design specification or a set of parameters for the amplifier and speakers that generates even more realistic sound effects.”

But sound quality is also affected by the speakers attached. Get the best you can afford but if you have to compromise, spend more money on a good centre channel speaker because that is where the dialogue comes from.

Fillion says, “It’s much easier to buy a TV than a sound system because TVs are a choice made visually. We can show you various makes and models. But to choose a sound system, a store needs to have it set up on the premises to demonstrate it.” Try to find dealers who can let you hear the distinguishable differences between different amplifier and speaker systems.


“Most people don’t use their VCRs more than five per cent of their VCR’s potential,” says Brooks. “They just rent movies, put them into the VCR and play them. Even simple time-shifting to tape something at a later date poses a challenge for most people.”

But that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from improving their products and adding features. Toshiba will soon launch their new high-performance hi-fi VCRs. Toshiba’s revolutionary V3 technology incorporates some features previously only available on professional models. It produces clearer sound and better picture quality than other VCRs. Toshiba’s top-of-the-line M-760 VCRs, for example, have six video heads instead of the traditional four heads. By reducing the width of each head, the pictures are clear, sharp and there is no flickering.

The technology involves a newly designed classics that represents a major step toward global standardization of Toshiba components. Although several different video systems are used through the world, V3 is designed so that the same chassis can be used for VCRs of any, or all of these systems. This standardization give Toshiba the flexibility to provide high performance features on VCRs at more affordable prices.


The popularity of laserdisc players is still limited by their inability to record programs. They are generally more expensive than a standard VCR but their picture quality is claimed to be 30 to 60 per cent better.

Video stores that rent laserdisc movies are limited. Laserdisc movies cost about $40 and up to buy. “But we’re seeing a lot more video stores carrying laserdisc movies than we did a few years ago,” says Brooks.

A laserdisc player’s freeze-frame capability is an added bonus. For certain purposes this is ideal, such as still-picture shows. For example, “Masterpieces of the Hermitage Museum of St. Petesburg” allows you to see these magnificent works of art at your leisure – without going to Russia and walking through the 400 rooms and hallways. It’s the next best thing to visiting to gallery.



Ever had a project stalled by humidity-swollen dowels? Reader Jim Wright advises trimming them back to size with a machinist’s steel drill gauge ($8 at well-stocked hardware stores).

Start the oversized dowel in a gauge hole, and tap it through with a hammer. Gauge holes go up in size 1/64 in. per hole, so you can shave the dowel to the desired size a little at a time.


I keep a piece of sandpaper on my workbench for sharpening pencils, but reader Barney Howard has a better idea. Put strips of adhesive-backed sandpaper on all your big tools–vise, table saw fence, jointer–and you’ll never have to look for that slip of sandpaper in the clutter on your bench again.


Get top speed and accuracy by setting the height of your table saw blades with this wooden gauge. Notch and label a precise series of steps (1/8 in., 1/4 in., etc.) on the end of a piece of scrap wood. No more “almost-accurate” blade settings with your tape measure, and no more trial cuts. The gauge works for router settings as well! Thanks to reader Adolph Pustejoysky for this tip.


You’re dismantling an antique and the screwheads begin to strip. Reader Michael Scheller advises: Stay calm and get abrasive! Wet your screwdriver tip and dip it in any abrasive cleanser (like Ajax or Comet). The coated tip will grip the screw slot and help prevent it from stripping as you turn. The cleanser is corrosive, so clean it off both the screwdriver and the antique screw.


Holding little nails steady is a problem. My finger and thumb are too big to aviod being hit by the hammer. Reader Elizabeth Ray has the solution. Use needle-nose pliers to grip the nail. No more nervous misses or “too-soft” hammer blows!


When stripping old paint or varnish, where do you put the gunk once it’s on the putty knife? Reader Tom Speech’s answer: a plastic gallon milk jug with a semi-circular hole cut in the side. Clean the loaded scraper on the flat edge of the hole. When you’re finished, you may be able to reuse some of the stripper; opend the jug and pour the stripper back into its can. The top of the jug is your funnel.


When you’re ripping narrow strips of wood on your table saw, the strips usually fall into the space between the blade and the throat plate. To prevent this, make a “zero clearance” throat plate cover by screwing a strip of 1/4-in. plywood or Masonite hardboard to the bottom edge of a board. With the blade lowered, clamp this jig to your saw fence. Then, with the blade running, slowly crank the blade up through the throat cover, and cut your strips. You’ll have to crank the blade

up every time you change the fence-to-blade width, so make the throat-cover piece large enough for future cuts.


Does that whirling blade spook you when you cut narrow boards on your table saw, even when you’re using a push stick? Build this push box and make ripping easier on the nerves and much safer. Using it, there’s no side “give,” and your hands stay away from the blade.

Screw three pieces of wood together to make a 6-in. long wood channel that rides along your saw fence. Make the top piece the thickness of the fence, and screw on 1/2-in. plywood sides that straddle the fence and just skim your table. Mount a handle on top and notch the plywood side piece to grip the wood you’re sawing.

Reader Roland Oesterle says this push box has worked for him for 30 years.


Drill a hole in a golf ball (the one that refuses to go in the hole) and you have a palm-friendly handle for files and rasps. Tap the file’s tang into the hole and take as many strokes as you want, in comfort. Our thanks to reader Philip Colvin.


If the top of your workbench is getting battle-scarred, make it new again with a piece of 1/4-in. tempered Masonite hardboard (about $10 for a 4×8 sheet). Cut the hardboard to fit the bench top, tack or screw it on, and finish it with polyurethane. After a few years, just pull it off and replace it with new hardboard.

Thanks to reader Greg Bilek for this inexpensive bench-top makeover.


Think safety. If you’re using a power tool and the power goes out, turn off the switch before you try to get the power back on. You don’t want that tool starting up by itself with no one tending it.

Standard measurement equipment at Acrylic Concepts

Sometimes it’s easier to upgrade an existing machine to higher accuracies than to make large investments in more precise equipment. Acrylic Concepts, a small, diversified manufacturer of acrylic components in Kirkland, Wash., discovered this recently when it received an order for 6,500 components that go into headset-mounted displays.

The acrylic component that the company supplies performs a critical function. The trapezoidal part is mirror-coated to reflect the headset display into the wearer’s view. Precision optics producing the focused image force the length of the part to be cut with thousandths of an inch accuracy.

Standard measurement equipment at Acrylic Concepts, even aided by a high-end Biesemeyer fence, could not guarantee this accuracy. To upgrade the apparatus, Loren Howe, president of Acrylic Concepts, contacted Accurate Technology Inc., also of Kirkland. ATI, a maker of electronic linear scales for high-accuracy applications, mounted one of its products, called the ProScale, to Acrylic Concepts’ shop equipment, a Delta commercial table saw.

  • ProScale is a high-precision electronic device designed for making linear measurements with speed and high accuracy.
  • The unit consists of a scale bar, a read head, and a digital display with a keypad. To simplify retrofits, Accurate Technology offers customized installation kits.
  • These kits provide any components and machined parts needed for installing the scale on vertical-panel saws, planers, and sanders.

The custom mounting process ensures compatibility with a wide range of equipment styles. For example, the unit installs so that either the read head or the bar mounts on the moving part. In addition, ATI only partially drills mounting holes. This lets the unit remain sealed if fewer than four fasteners mount the display.

For applications involving CNC machines, ProScale offers a serial data port that transmits the read head position to a computer or other digital instrument.

Howe uses a standard kit to mount the unit on a Biesemeyer fence. After installing the scale, he selects a unit of measurement by scanning through five available modes: 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 in., decimal inch to the closest 0.001 in., and millimeters to the closest 0.01 mill.

For additional accuracy, the 1/16 and 1/32-in. modes include graduations to indicate increments of 1/64 in. Changing jumper configurations inside the display unit limits the number of available modes and mode resolution, facilitating the measurement process. “The scale’s digital readout simplifies measurements,” said Howe. “It’s easy to switch to the desired unit. Measurements in any unit are more accurate and consistent because you don’t have to interpret measurements that fall between lines of a ruler.”

To test the accuracy’ of the ProScale, users make several sample cuts in acrylic and then measure them with a micrometer. They can then adjust the ProScale to account for kerf. Kerf equals the width of the saw blade and produces measurement errors in the absence of compensation. The wider the blade, the greater the error. After making a truing cut to zero the scale, the user moves the cutting blade over by the amount of the kerf to rezero. Subsequent cuts can take place without manual calculations or adjustments for kerf. Because the scale stores all current settings in memory, it is unnecessary to reset the kerf after first turning the unit on.

The scale’s zero setting combined with the reverse scaling feature produces relative measurements. The scale shows the positive or negative difference between consecutive measurements.

“The scale is easy to use and paid for itself in just one job,” comments Howe. Adding the scale to the table saw both cut setup time and increased the accuracy and repeatability of cuts.

Consider Installing A Breakfast Nook

Every room in a home plays a valuable role that needs to be manifested. The kitchen may just be the most functional and utilitarian room to be found therein. It has to be designed in a way that accommodates space inside the home area. A blueprint of a home will showcase some of thedifferent elements that may be installed or upgraded through a repair process. Each kitchen needs to be individualized, but still retain some of the more common features. That will make it appealing to buyers who are used to some traditionalism in their houses. Most kitchen sets are arranged in novel ways that are modern and avant garde at the same time.

Consider Installing A Breakfast Nook:

An illuminated breakfast area is a popular feature for new world kitchens. They require a wall section that is set up near the exterior of the overall housing structure. A billowed window set will be outlaid, allowing sunlight to shine inward in to the kitchen itself. That makes for a warm environment, appealing to the sensibilities of prospective home buyers. It has to be large enough to set up a small table and chairs for guests. Plotting out the space is well worth the effort on behalf of buyers interested in purchases.

Utilizing Floor Space Appropriately:

New installations have to work within the confines of a restrictive floor setting. Each kitchen

will only feature a certain amount of square footage before the owner runs out of space. They may restructure their existing room to make it more accommodating for their tastes. A kitchen island may be one of the best ideas for using the floor space available. They may feature a small oven or sink set that will free up existing counter space. It could also make for the perfect location when it comes to how floor space should be arranged.

Make An Area For Storage:

Different kitchens will feature unique aspects when it comes to storage. Modern homes tend to accumulate plenty of clutter and appliances alike. Owners need cabinet sets to properly set up their appliances until they are used for cooking. When designing a kitchen or remodeling, installing a new cabinet set is well worth the effort it takes to keep properties aligned. Cabinet sets are upgraded according to modern trends and consumer ratings. Sleek and stylish is the wave of the future on behalf of those hoping to set up storage components. They should blend or match well with the existing paint scheme within any major property.

Use Proper Tools For Set Up:

The installation of cabinet sets and counter top space takes planning. It may also require the use of tools that make sense within any set up in a home. A spackle can spread concrete or adhesive on to the surface of bare wood counter settings. Counter top materials may then be applied on top of the cabinet to make it worthwhile. Screwdrivers and drill sets are needed for cabinet installation.

They have to be set in to the wall to make for a useful feature in the room. Storage space will be dramatically increased by the addition of cabinetry sets.

Measure Additions Before Installing:

Accurate measurements are a vital consideration before piecing together a new kitchen. Everything has to be properly aligned, for a few important reasons. Pre-fabricated cabinets and kitchen islands depend on accurate assembly to hold up over time. It will also simply look appropriate when put into place in any given room. The assembly team should take pride in their work before the project itself has been completed.

Standardized measuring tapes and rulers may be used during the installation. After projects are completed, a level should be applied to the surface. That will give people a new take on whether the cabinets and counter tops are straight enough for food preparation. They should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent debris from getting in to food arrangements.

Consider Setting Up A Waffle Maker:

Waffles are quickly becoming an international delicacy found in many homes. A waffle iron is a compact appliance that can be tucked away on the corner of any counter. It needs to be plugged in and heated up before it is used. It applies surface area heat to batter, which will form a waffle when properly cooked.

Each batch of waffles can be altered to make for a special delicacy. The batter may be mixed with chocholate chip or blueberries, which adds a succulent taste. There are also toppings that can be dabbed on each waffle that comes off the iron. Strawberry or peach preserves are popular additions to anyone’s plate. A little whipped cream and chocolate shavings will turn a waffle in to a dessert treat. That just gets the creativity going for those truly dedicated to the culinary arts.

Step-By-Step Instructions For A Kitchen

Modern kitchen areas are versatile and perhaps the most functional of any home’s assets. Space needs to be utilized properly in order to derive the most amount of benefit therein. Suggested layouts will make sense out of the arrangement that is coming together. Kitchen islands, sink space and counter top areas are all useful features to incorporate if possible. Owners may specify features to be installed when they are placing a service request. Each kitchen arrangement has to be planned before installation begins anew. That will minimize any mistakes made on site and get crew members prepared for requests in the kitchen unit.

Utilize A Kitchen Closet

The storage space in a kitchen should be properly set up for modern appliances. Professional chefs and amateurs alike will need rack space and floor area to stack their items. They should be set up along the wall for anyone to access for food preparation. Home owners can take a page from restauranteurs who have succeeded when it comes to storage. A kitchen closet should feature a functional door and other arrangements that make it easy to access appliances. Dry food supplies and appliances may be stacked near one another for all intents and purposes.

Plywood frame pieces may be set up to form storage shelves. Shelving is useful, since it will make appliances stack-able in the closet. Owners can then arrange their wares to make them more accessible during projects. Hooks can be screwed in to the wall on a line to make effective use of space. A spice rack may even be set up inside the closet to store away ingredients. That may serve a dual purpose, since spices typically need to be moved in to a dry area. Closets also shield wares from direct sunlight and kitchen heat itself.

Painting over the exterior will add an attractive feature to any closet. Pastels and light colors blend well with any existing decor in a kitchen. The door should be painted evenly to avoid blotting and distortion. Owners can choose their paint scheme and use a tab to gauge its appearance before getting started.

Evaluate The Layout Of A Kitchen:

These rooms are typically set up in a U-shape or L-shape depending on basic arrangements. That will change up how counter space may be utilized before getting started. An L-shape is formed when a counter-top is outlaid adjacent to the wall area in a kitchen room setting. The U-shape is made using three separate settings, varying between walls and counter top space.

Cabinets and counter-tops are two staple features of nearly every kitchen environment. They provide additional storage that can be used to stock gear for kitchen projects. Valuing artistry is still an important consideration on behalf of owners. Cabinets and counter-tops are typically manufactured according to sheer utility. Owners should seek out manufacturers who add a little embellishment to the features of units. Catalogs will showcase artistic flourishes that add to the appeal of manufactured cabinetry sets.

Floor plans may be used to evaluate the layout as it comes together. Square footage is perhaps the most prized aspect of any setting. It can be graphed by hand or on a computer program to make sense of the arrangement. Realtors and installation teams may issue standard floor plans to new owners. These graphs will be handy for any changes that need to be added later on in the life of a changing kitchen. For instance, owners may want to install a kitchen island once other elements have already been installed on site.

Subtle Features To Install On Site:

Privacy curtains should be added to windows and breakfast nook locations. They can be drawn back to allow sunlight in to a new kitchen setting. An exhaust fan may need to be added above an oven before being utilized as necessary. That can draw away smoke, preventing it from damaging delicate features in the kitchen. Granite or marble counter-tops may be installed to add a lustrous appearance to the entire room. These solid additions will also stand up to cutting and mixing done during food preparation.

New lighting may be needed to complete the formal installation process. Pendant lights are proving to be popular in modern kitchens. They hang from vaulted ceilings and softly illuminate counter top areas. These pendant lights are both functional and attractive for owners who want the best of both choices. Down lighting and fluorescent bulbs are other options to consider while elements are being brought together.

New Appliances To Consider:

Every owner wants the convenience of modern appliances ready in their kitchen setting. A waffle maker is a quirky choice, but it has some useful functions for modern eateries. They will churn out standard sized waffles that can be served for breakfast or snacks. Different batter recipes may include fresh fruits and chocolate chips to be mixed within. Toppings add to the enjoyment of kitchen creations made using a waffle maker unit.