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Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

3 Important Tips for Novice Machinists

Anyone attempting to set up a mechanical fitting/machining shop can attest to the seemingly steep learning curve. Certainly, getting starting with machining is not a trivial matter at all. However, it is not nearly as overwhelming as it can seem.

The secret, as with many things, is to break up the process into a few simple, actionable chunks.

Study Up on Types of Machines and Machining Tools

If you are setting up a machine shop, chances are that you intend to sell your services at some point. Mechanical fitting is a wide field, so it is important to figure out exactly what types of parts you will be dealing with.

Different parts require different machines to repair and manufacture. Once you’ve chosen your niche, you need to determine the materials and sizes that you will be dealing with.

For example, you may intend to manufacture and repair steel protective casings. In this case, you know that your primary material will be steel, and that you will need fairly accurate machinery (since protective casings are usually built with tight tolerances).

Generally, you can do a lot with a lathe, a bench grinder, and a drill. Learn to use the basic machines, and if any specific needs arise that your machines can’t seem to fulfil, then you can expand to more specific machinery.

Learn to Operate both Manual Machines and CNC

CNC (computer numerical control) is a huge part of modern machining. Computer-aided machining has the potential for far greater accuracy and speed than manual machining. In fact, many people will espouse the superiority of CNC machining over manual machining.

While this is certainly true for top-end machines (that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars), learning the principles of machining through manual operation is still a highly beneficial process.

Manual skills translate to a deeper knowledge of the principles of mechanical work. This not only allows you to operate CNC machines better, but gives you the ability and knowledge to identify and correct problems as they occur.

Master Basic Measurement Equipment

Essential machining equipment goes beyond simply the tools that do the actual machining. Measurement equipment is a vital part of any mechanical shop, and is critical in ensuring that work is completed to the highest degree of accuracy.

Learn to properly and accurately use the following tools:

  • Callipers
  • Micrometer
  • Centre Finder
  • Edge Finder
  • Dial Test Indicator

The above tools should be able to take most of the measurements necessary to carry out mechanical fitting and machining.

To familiarise yourself with their use, practice on a fairly complex part. Find a part (which you know all the dimensions of already) that has holes, curved edges, and multiple angles, and practice using the tools to calculate the dimensions.

If your measured dimensions correspond with the official ones, you know that your measurements have been accurate.

For more information about mechanical fitters or machining in general, contact a company such as Hamilton Engineering.

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Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Ways to Advertise Your Local Business on a Budget

A website and social media presence are both great ways of advertising a local business, but they’re not the only ways to get customers through your front door. If you have a business that needs local customers and clients such as a hair salon or restaurant, you also don’t want to concentrate too much on gaining a worldwide audience as you would with a website, but should concentrate on advertising in your neighborhood. Consider some simple but effective ways of doing this while staying on a budget.

1. Use car signs and bumper stickers

Magnetic car signs (like those available from Ascot Sign Company) are good to use if you need to remove them at certain times, whereas bumper stickers are a good choice if you don’t mind having a permanent sign on your car. These signs get seen by everyone in the neighborhood as you drive around running your errands, and a simple logo and website address can be enough to get customers and clients to want to find out more.

2. Use flags and banners outside your establishment

If you don’t have an obvious entrance then customers and clients may not be able to find you. Using flags and banners not only makes your entrance stand out, it can also catch the attention of anyone driving or walking by. A flag or banner that advertises a sale or other special event can also draw in foot traffic.

3. Create flyers and circulars

You can have flyers and circulars delivered with the local newspaper or with coupon books, or you can walk around the neighborhood and deliver them yourself. In either case you reach your local neighbors directly, more so than creating a website and social media presence, both of which are difficult to target to a local audience.

4. Use online classified ad sites

Classified ads are no longer just found in newspapers but there are many websites that carry local ads that you can place for your business. Use these generously, in various categories. This can help you to reach as wide of an audience as possible.

5. Partner with other businesses in your area

You might work with another business to offer discounts on each other’s services, or to allow marketing material to be posted in both sites. For example, if you cut hair you might offer a discount on a neighboring massage therapist’s services for every hair cut, and they offer a discount on your hair cutting service with every massage. You might allow flyers to be displayed on your counter for a restaurant next door if they put your flyers on their counter as well. Working with local businesses can then turn their customers into your customers.

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Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Aluminum Versus Vinyl Window Blinds

Window blinds are a great option for accessorising your window. Binds offer certain unique advantages over conventional curtains when used for window treatment. However, due to the large number of materials used to make window blinds, it may be a bit confusing to pick the best material for your blinds. Aluminum and vinyl are among the most commonly used materials in the making of window blinds. The article below provides a comparison between aluminum and vinyl as window blind materials.

Physical Appearance

Physical appearance is an important factor to consider when choosing window blind material. This is because the blinds not only serve a functional purpose, but an aesthetic one as well. Aluminum blinds are more adaptable with a large number of interior house designs because aluminum blinds can come in a variety of colours and shades.

In contrast, the spectre of colour choices for vinyl window blinds is quite limited, and a large number of vinyl blinds will come covered with a wood-grain surface. In as much as this is a disadvantage in the context of this comparison, it is an advantage in the sense that homeowners need not worry about the additional cost of painting vinyl window blinds.  

Durability

Buying window blinds is not an every-day activity. This is why you need to ensure that your chosen blind material offers great durability when compared to other blind materials.

Aluminum window blinds are known for their great durability thanks to the tough nature of the parent material used to make them. This makes it very difficult for the mentioned blinds to break or suffer cosmetic damage, thereby enhancing their durability by a significant margin.

On the other hand, vinyl window blinds are also durable but cannot outlast aluminum blinds. Superficial or cosmetic damage, such as stains or scratches, are more visible on vinyl blinds. These blinds also don’t have the structural strength to resist pressure as well as aluminum blinds do. They will therefore reach their breaking limit faster than their aluminum counterparts.

Energy Efficiency

A comparison between vinyl and aluminum window blinds would not be complete without comparing their levels of energy efficiency.

As a metal, aluminum readily conducts heat, which makes it inferior to vinyl in terms of energy efficiency. Vinyl window blinds have similar insulation properties with aluminum blinds with the added advantage of moisture resistance. This is why vinyl blinds are the best for use in areas that experience high condensation levels.

There is great importance attached to choosing the right materials for your window blinds.  Be sure to compare various properties of different blind materials before you make your final decision. For more information, contact a business such as Homemakers Lifestyle Blinds, Awnings & Security.

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Using Psychology To Overcome Stage Fright

Do you hate public speaking?  If you go weak at the knees and are suddenly unable to manage a coherent sentence when addressing an audience, then you are not alone.  Whether it’s making a presentation to a few colleagues, delivering a key speech at an international conference in front of hundreds or acting in an amateur dramatics society play, most people suffer from stage fright or, performance anxiety, to varying degrees. 

Here’s how psychology can help you to conquer your public speaking nerves. 

Accept the nerves and focus on the job in hand

The first step in overcoming your stage fright is accepting that it’s there.  It’s important that you learn to work with your nerves, rather than struggling against them.  If you spend the days leading up to the event desperately trying to confront your feelings of anxiety, they will take over your mind and you will lose focus on the actual speech you are going to deliver.

‘Focus’ can be defined as the thing you will be concentrating on while you make your presentation, give your speech or deliver your lines.  This will be the material you are delivering and the audience’s response to it.  Your aim is to ‘inform’ and in order to do that you must connect and engage with them. 

The psychological condition of performance anxiety will make you want to distance yourself from the very people you should be trying to engage with.  Although it can sometimes feel as though everyone is staring at you, just waiting for you to make a mistake or ‘dry up’, you must tell your mind that this is not the case.  It’s not you they’ve come to see; it’s the information you have to impart that they are interested in.  There’s nothing hostile about your audience and it’s not personal!

To combat these feelings you must make eye contact and talk to the audience, rather than at them.  You can banish feelings of anxiety by encouraging audience participation.  Once people are interacting with you, that horrible perception of a ‘me and them’ situation will disappear. Psychology is a very powerful tool when it comes to influencing how you feel.  Think about the passion you have for the topic of your presentation and harness those feelings of enthusiasm as you make your speech.  Your nerves will be carried away in a flood of fervour and your audience will be swept along with you as they pick up the vibe of your enthusiasm for your subject.  

In conclusion

Stage fright is a very real psychological condition which affects many people from different walks of life.  Try using the techniques outlined above to help tackle your performance anxiety issues and seek the advice of a professional psychological counsellor at a place like Associated Psychology Services for more advice on how to banish your fears permanently.

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Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Signs That Your Automatic Transmission Needs To be Serviced

The transmission system in an automatic vehicle works differently from a manual transmission system despite serving the same purpose. Automatic transmission systems are more efficient and easier to operate as compared to manually-operated transmission systems.

As a responsible driver and motor vehicle owner, you need to be able to tell when it’s time to have your automatic transmission serviced. This is important for your safety when driving as well as for the longevity of the vehicle transmission system. This article discusses a few common problems associated with automatic transmission systems.

Involuntary Slippage Of Gears

One of the most common signs of automatic transmission problems is the involuntary slippage of gears. When you are driving and you notice that your gear slips from one mode to the other without your input, you should think of automatic transmission service and repairs immediately.

Involuntary slipping of gears is very dangerous because it can easily confuse the driver thereby causing an accident.

Rough Gear Shifts And Production Of Strange Noises During Gear Shifts

Another common sign of automatic transmission problems is the rough shifting of gears. Automatic vehicle transmission systems are designed to work with great efficiency. Shifting of gears should therefore be very smooth and effortless for vehicles with an automatic transmission system.

If you notice that the vehicle no longer shifts gears as smoothly, this is an indication that things are not well with your automatic transmission system.

You should also be keen to notice the production of any noises whenever your gears shift. In the ideal situation, shifting of gears in an automatic transmission should be noiseless. Cranking sounds are most commonly produced during gearshifts and are an indication that a few screws need to be adjusted within the auto transmission system.

Delayed Gear Response

It would not be appropriate to conclude a discussion on the common problems that affect automatic transmission systems without mentioning delayed gear response. Under normal circumstances, gears should respond immediately when they are engaged or when gears shift. If you notice a delay of several seconds before your gears respond to your command, it can only mean that the automatic transmission system has problems.

Delayed gear response is often seen when the car is being engaged from a stationary state. Delayed gear response may also cause a jerking motion on the vehicle whenever gears engage or shift.

For more information, contact a business such as Marko Automatic Transmissions Specialists.

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Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Discover The Perks Of Crowning Your Home With An Automatic Gate

There are many ways to transform your home into the dream residence that you have always wanted. For many, this revolves around splashing a fresh coat of paint on the walls, buying new furniture or working on the landscaping outside. However, all these efforts may be at peril if your most important fixture—your gate—is not worked on. For contemporary homes today, an automatic gate is the ultimate final piece to add to your residence. Find out why.

Improved security

By having an automatic gate secure your home, you drastically reduce chances of break-ins and burglaries. Automatic gates are operated using remote gate-openers, similar to those used on garage doors. Traditional methods of picking locks will therefore not apply and anyone without one of these keys will not access your home. In addition, automatic gates eliminate the danger you’re exposed to every day when you step out of your car to unlock your gate. When at home, enjoy communicating with any incoming visitors through an intercom or videocom before remotely unlocking your gate.

Convenience at your fingertips

It’s never fun having to exit your vehicle, open the gate and then get back into your car to drive through and exit the car again to lock the gate behind. This is a laborious exercise that owners of traditional gates have to endure every day. At best, one has to drag someone along to lock up behind them. With an automatic gate, one has the convenience of operating the gate single-handedly, and all with the push of a button.

For one, this saves valuable time, whether you’re taking kids to school or rushing for an important meeting. Two, the convenience of having to remain in your car protects you from the weather elements such as snow, rain, dust or the scorching sun, meaning you get to arrive at your destination the same way you left the house.

Prestige

Last but not least, it’s undeniable that having an automatic gate elevates one’s home in terms of prestige. The improved functionality and security will make your life easier, increase your home’s value and make you the envy of your guests. After all, not everyone on your street has an automatic gate.

 Automatic gates, like those installed by AGM Automation, can be manufactured in different technologies to suit your personal tastes, thereby complimenting your home even further. There are automatic sliding gates as well as swinging models. When it comes to material, you can opt for wood, iron or a fusion of the two. Needless to say, the design models are endless and will leave you spoilt for choice.

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