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The Art of Shaping Metal

Pulse Between Temperatures When Welding Anodized Aluminum In The Field To Retain Its Strength

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pulse Between Temperatures When Welding Anodized Aluminum In The Field To Retain Its Strength

Anodized aluminum is often used in manufacturing because it’s light, affordable and resists corrosion. Welding anodized aluminum can be challenging, though. If you ever have to weld a piece of machinery in the field that’s made with anodized aluminum, here is the challenge you’ll face, along with a way to overcome it. The Challenge Anodized aluminum is difficult to weld because it contains two metals, the anodic coating and the aluminum, that have different melting points. As Engineers Edge explains, the melting point of aluminum is only 658°C (1,216°F). Aluminum oxide, which forms the anodic coating, melts at 2050°C (3,722°F) — over three times higher than plain aluminum. When welding, if you’re using a temperature that’s only hot enough to melt the aluminum, you’ll never break through the outer anodic coating. A torch that’s only 658°C will never melt aluminum oxide. If your torch is hot enough to weld the outer coating, however, it will melt and weaken the aluminum inside. According to Lincoln Electric, heat-treated aluminum is only treated to 204°C (400°F), and temperatures above that alter its mechanical structure. Even if your torch isn’t hot enough to melt aluminum, it may still weaken it. The Solution in a Lab In a lab, you could use ultrasonic welding to fuse together your weld. As HowStuffWorks describes, ultrasonic welding transforms electric pulses into high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves can bond two metals together, similar to, but without using, heat. Ultrasonic welding, however, requires large, advanced equipment to produce and direct the high-frequency sound waves. While it would be a viable solution in a lab, most companies don’t have portable equipment that can make ultrasonic welds in the field. The Solution in the Field When working with anodized aluminum in the field, you’ll have to pulsate the temperature back and forth. The torch should alternate between a temperature that’s hot enough to break through the aluminum oxide and one that’s cool enough to not damage the aluminum. With some practice, you should be able to vary the temperature so you’re able to weld the aluminum without over-temping or blistering it. Depending on your equipment and preference, you can either use an automated pulse or manually vary the temperature with a thumb switch. Using an automated pulse makes long jobs less tedious, as you don’t constantly have to toggle a switch, but doesn’t afford you as much control as manually altering the temperature. Even when expertly done, this technique will leave some scratches from where the torch broke through the aluminum oxide. When welding agricultural equipment, a few scratches aren’t usually a major issue. If you want to remove them, however, you can buff them out with a wire brush and sandpaper. Use the wire brush first, as it will work faster than the sandpaper, and then use the sandpaper to make the minute marks that remain disappear. The Equipment You’ll Need When altering between the two temperatures, you’re demand for electricity will vary greatly and instantly. One moment, you may need a lot of amps, while just a second later you may require very few. The instant changes in electric requirements can place a strain on your power supply. If you’re using an old transformer machine, it will struggle to change how much power it provides quickly. Therefore, if...

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How Recent Oil Prices May Impact the Oilfield Equipment Rental Industry

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Recent Oil Prices May Impact the Oilfield Equipment Rental Industry

It’s no secret that the oilfield equipment rental market has remained strong throughout recent years. According to recent analysis, this lucrative market is currently on track to reach an estimated worth of $53.7 million by 2019, up from an estimated $26.8 million as of 2014 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.9 percent. However, the recent drop in crude oil prices has delivered a sharp shock to producers in the Canadian oil sands and elsewhere. If you’re worried about how your oilfield equipment business will fare in light of this recent slump, you might want to take a look at the following analysis. Oil Prices at a Glance Since late 2014, the per-barrel price of oil has embarked on a downward trajectory, eventually bottoming out at less than $45 per barrel in mid-March 2015. The price has since rebounded to $53 per barrel as of July 2015, but analysts doubt that oil prices will recover to pre-2015 levels in the coming months. Analyses point towards two key factors: an ongoing oversupply of crude oil from major export markets and the reluctance of OPEC members to stem production. Persian Gulf oil producers are concerned that tightening their crude oil supplies to raise prices may come at the cost of losing valuable market share. These developments have had a pronounced effect on Canadian oil sand investment. According to a recent industry report, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) expected national oil production to reach 5.3 million barrels per day by 2030, approximately 1.1 million barrels per day less than its expectations from the previous year. Pipeline delays have also had an effect on oil sands production despite strong demand in key markets. Numerous regulatory issues and strong opposition to controversial pipeline projects have played a role in curtailing pipeline production and well-needed market access. Cutbacks Could Force Greater Efficiency So what does this mean for the oilfield equipment rental industry as a whole? For starters, it means that you can expect cutbacks in demand from your customers, especially as major players within the Canadian oil sands arena reevaluate and even possibly curtail their capital expenditures. As long as crude oil prices remain depressed, it’s likely that demand for testing, monitoring and extraction equipment will remain soft throughout the rest of the year. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the industry. If you operate a large truck fleet for transporting rented oilfield equipment to and from work sites, then you may have noticed a significant decline in overall fuel costs. You may also be able to ride out the downturn by focusing on improvements in your equipment logistics systems, especially when it comes to inventory tracking and bookkeeping. These improvements can help you maximize equipment utilization, reduce delays and ultimately reduce costs. Shifting Gears Another way you can shield your business from potential demand slumps is by diversifying into general construction equipment rentals. This can serve as a fallback for surviving periods of soft demand. As Rental Equipment Register’s Michael Roth notes, oilfield equipment rental companies are already seeing synergies with their construction equipment counterparts. Some general equipment rental companies have even set out to acquire oilfield rental companies as a way to diversify their own customer bases and vice versa. Overall Outlook In spite of the recent slump in crude oil...

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Keep Your Drill Press Running Smoothly: How To Remove, Clean And Reinstall A Chuck

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Your Drill Press Running Smoothly: How To Remove, Clean And Reinstall A Chuck

Drill presses are usually fairly maintenance-free pieces of equipment in most shops. However, drill press chucks are exposed to the “line of fire” on a daily basis and can become clogged, dirty and less-effective over time. That’s why they need occasional cleaning and lubricating to keep operating at a peak level and to prevent possible damage to the work piece or press itself. Below is how you can remove, clean and lubricate, and reinstall a drill press chuck: What you will need One-by-two piece of scrap lumber – you will need about 30 centimeters in length. Chuck removal tool Cable tie Mineral spirits Air compressor with blowgun attachment Cotton swab with long handle Shop towel or rag Ball-peen hammer Eye protection How to remove, clean and reinstall the chuck 1. Unplug the drill press – before performing any work on the drill press, be sure to disconnect the power. If you accidentally turn on the power while attempting to remove or install the chuck, it could violently wrench your hands. 2. Get the chuck into position for removal – be sure to remove any bits inside the chuck at this point. Next, rotate the vertical control for the drill press until the chuck is at its lowest level. Lock the handle in place with a cable tie fastened to the drill press chassis. 3. Locate the spindle access slot – your drill press contains a vertical slot on the spindle that permits access to the chuck’s shaft for removal purposes. If you do not see the slot, be sure the chuck has been lowered all the way. 4. Remove the chuck from the spindle – drill press chucks are held in position with a precisely tapered fit. The chuck shaft is tapered to align exactly with the spindle’s socket, and friction keeps the chuck from falling. You can remove chuck with a removal tool provided by the manufacturer and as outlined in item A below; however, if you are unable to locate your tool, you can still remove the chuck as explained in item B: A. With the tool – the chuck removal tool consists of a small piece of flat metal with a tapered end. Insert the tapered end of the removal tool into the spindle access slot and push it firmly into position. Next, place a few shop towels or rags on top of the drill press table to provide a soft landing spot for the chuck. Strike the chuck removal tool sharply with a ball-peen hammer. It may take more than one blow, but the tool will push the chuck’s tapered shaft downward and release it from its socket. Be careful to keep your feet clear if the chuck falls to the table and rolls onto the floor. B. Without the tool – line the drill press table with shop towels or rags to protect the chuck from damage when it is dislodged from the spindle. Next, hold the piece of scrap one-by-two lumber so one end rests on top of the chuck; you may wish to wear gloves to avoid getting splinters in your hand. Next, firmly strike the other end of the board with the ball-peen hammer. It may take several blows before the chuck falls free from the spindle. Watch your feet in...

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Water Delivery For The Workplace: Five Factors To Look For

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you the owner of a small to medium business who’s concerned about the quality of water your employees may be drinking? City water, while treated, has been tested and shown to contain contaminants such as trace amounts of antibiotics and various bacteria. And while these contaminants probably won’t cause long-term detrimental effects, nobody wants to think about the possibility that they could be lurking in the water fountain. As a conscientious business owner who cares about his employees and their health, contracting with a reputable water delivery service may be the answer. A water delivery service will ensure that you and everyone who works with you has clean, uncontaminated, and great-tasting water to drink throughout the workday, but how do you choose the service that’s the best fit for you? The best and most professional delivery services will offer the following benefits: Safe Drinking Water Opt for a company whose water has received stamps of approval from industry organizations such as the International Bottled Water Association, the Food and Drug Administration, or the National Sanitation Foundation. If you’re not sure, ask. A company who has these certifications will be eager to share the information with you. If your question is met with hesitation, keep looking. Optimized Drinking Water Some water companies enhance their water with minerals that improve the taste. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are things that your body needs anyway — plus, they make your drinking water taste delicious. While the amounts of minerals added are miniscule at best, you’re still getting small doses of nutrition with every sip.  A Versatile Delivery Schedule Whether you need fresh water delivered once a day, once a week, or once a month, a good water delivery service will be able and willing to accommodate your schedule. All businesses are not created equal, and if your employees perform manual labor or work outside in extremes of temperature, they’ll need more water than those who work in climate-controlled office buildings. Your delivery service should understand and be willing to work with you on this requirement.  Peripherals Nobody has time to shop two or three different sources to find the equipment needed to have water delivered. Go with a company who offers up all the peripheral materials you’ll need to get started: Jugs of varied sizes Water Coolers Cups Filtration Units The bottled water you provide for your employees should be fresh and cold, cups should be on hand, and you should have the right size cooler and jug for each department. These goals are much easier to meet if you can order everything, including the water, from one supplier.  Outstanding Customer Service Just as you give excellent customer service to your clients, so you should receive it from your water delivery service. Staff should be personable, friendly, and easy to work with. Deliveries should be on time and consistent. The amount of water and items delivered should be accurate. If you encounter a problem, there should be someone to take your call and help you solve it. And each delivery should be properly invoiced in a way that’s easy to read. A quality delivery service will charge for exactly what you ordered every time without tacking on mystery fees. Once you’ve made the decision to have bottled water delivered in to...

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Do You Sell Raw Milk? 3 Reasons Your Farm Needs A Scraper System

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Raw milk is packed with nutrients that humans need, including 8 essential amino acids and a generous amount of water-soluble vitamins. Children who grow up drinking raw milk may be less likely to develop asthma and other respiratory infections. Unfortunately, these impressive benefits are often overlooked due to the risks associated with the consumption of unpasteurized dairy products, such as exposure to Salmonella and Listeria. If you sell raw dairy products, it’s important to provide a safe, sanitary home for your livestock. Here are several reasons why scraper systems are a must if you sell unpasteurized milk.  Limited Exposure to Pathogens Cow manure works great as a fertilizer for your crops, but it also provides an excellent breeding ground for unwanted pathogens, like E. Coli and C. Jejuni. This wouldn’t be so bad if the pathogens died off fairly quickly, but some of them can survive for months. These pathogens can make your livestock sick, and that’s bad news if you plan to sell unpasteurized milk. Some of the same pathogens that make your cattle ill can also hurt humans. Farmers can’t always clean up piles of dung immediately, which is why a scraper system is so important. It slides bacteria-breeding piles of feces away from your livestock, so healthy cows do not step in manure from sick cows. Some scraper systems can even be installed below the flooring so they do not disturb livestock. Pest Control If you currently use shovels or another method to remove cow dung, you have probably noticed that some insects can’t resist the scent of fresh manure. Buzzing flies and other pests can be annoying, but they also affect the health of your cattle. Some pests feed on the body tissue of your prized milk makers, leaving behind open wounds or even dangerous diseases. This makes your cows uncomfortable and unhappy, which can affect their milk production. Studies show that cows who are happy produce more milk than cows who aren’t, so take good care of your cattle if you want them to make plenty of milk for your customers. Scraper systems quickly remove pest-filled manure from the area where your livestock dwell. A top-notch scraper system can remove dung piles multiple times a day, so feces disappears before obnoxious pests have a chance to bother your beloved cattle.  Compliance With Local and National Dairy-Farm Regulations Running a farm can be stressful at times, especially since you have to abide by numerous regulations if you don’t want your business shut down. Some folks believe that the Food and Drug Administration unfairly targets dairy farmers who sell unpasteurized products. This belief could be untrue, but it doesn’t hurt to protect yourself — and your livestock — from government agencies. Regulatory agencies are allowed to make surprise visits to ensure that you are running a safe, sanitary farm, so it’s wise to be prepared for unexpected visitors at any given moment. Imagine what might happen if an inspector shows up and finds your livestock area covered in cow dung. Your farm might be shut down, or you could lose your license to sell raw milk. Prevent potential issues from arising by installing a scraper system near your cattle. The scraper will keep the floors free of feces, so your cattle are not wading through piles of manure...

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How To Make Your Own Porta Potty For Camping

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Not all camping sites have an outhouse or a porta potty and you may not want to find a secluded bush to do your business. If you are camping with little children, they may not always be keen on the idea of “going potty” without a toilet. When you are going to be camping in an area you know has no bathroom facilities, it is a good idea to bring your own supplies to make a bathroom. Here are some items you can use to make your own portable bathroom while you are camping. Toilet To make your portable camping toilet you will need an empty five gallon bucket, preferably with a lid. Also, you will need several five-gallon plastic bags to collect the waste inside the toilet while you are camping. For longer camping trips and when more people will be using the toilet, you will need more plastic bags. But, it is always better to have too many bags than not enough, so bring plenty.  To neutralize and control the odor from the waste, get a container or bag of sawdust and a dog food scoop. You will use this to sprinkle over the toilet waste each time the portable toilet is used.  Line the bucket with a garbage bag, then snap a plastic five-gallon bucket toilet seat and lid onto the top. To get the toilet started, sprinkle about an inch of saw dust in the bottom of the bag inside the bucket. Then, each time someone uses the toilet, use the dog food scoop to sprinkle new saw dust over the waste. After each use, close the toilet’s lid to keep any odors inside the toilet.  When you are finished camping, or the bag gets more than half full, remove the toilet seat lid, and lift out the plastic bag for disposal. Then, you can either line the bucket with a new plastic bag or replace the original lid onto the bucket for travel home.  Bury the waste in a cathole at least 200 feet from camp, trails, and water. Dig the cathole 6 to 8 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches wide, dump the bag’s contents into the hole and rebury it. Because you are burying the waste with the sawdust, it will help it to decompose. Carry the used plastic bag out of camp with the rest of your trash and dispose of it in a trash can.  Toilet Paper Dispenser To make a convenient toilet paper dispenser, you will need: 1 plastic container with a lid, such as an empty coffee container Sharp scissors 3 feet of twine, rope, or string  Make sure the container is large enough to fit one toilet paper roll inside.  With a pair of sharp scissors, cut a slit opening vertically up the side of the container, then feed the toilet paper through the opening. Using the scissors again, puncture two small holes, two-inches apart on one side of the plastic container. Thread a three foot length of rope, string, or twine through the holes and tie the ends together. You can use this rope to hang the toilet paper dispenser from a tree or bush nearby. Privacy Wall If using the toilet in the middle of the woods is uncomfortable for you, then you can...

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3 Essential Tips For Safely Welding A Used Pressure Tank

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are a welder and have been asked by your employer to fix a used pressure tank, you may wonder if there are any special precautions you need to take beforehand. Below are three essential tips, and you can click here for more information, for safely welding one so that no one is injured and a potentially explosive missile is not created. Clean The Tank Thoroughly Both Inside And Outside Thoroughly cleaning the tank both inside and out will serve two purposes. First, it will ensure there are no residual, flammable gases or fumes that could cause an explosion when exposed to the heat of your welding torch. Second, cleaning the tank will also prevent contamination of the weld itself. If any dirt or paint remains on the metal, it will form air pockets in the joint. This will make it crack when the tank is filled, causing it to leak and potentially burst open under pressure. When cleaning the tank, do the inside first. Fill it up with water to lift any remaining liquid from the sides. The oxygen in the water will also dissipate any fumes. Then, turn the tank over to empty it. After you have turned the tank over, scrape off any paint around the area where you will be welding. Use a damp cloth to wipe the dust off along with any liquid that may have gotten on the exterior while cleaning the inside. Prepare The Tank Based On The Gas It Previously Contained Once you have cleaned the tank both inside and out, you will need to prepare the tank. These preparations will largely depend on the type of gas was previously stored in it.  For example, if the tank was used for argon gas, extra precautions are imperative since the gas is extremely volatile. Before you start welding, fill the tank halfway with water to ensure any fumes that are still present or released during the heating of the metal are released. Also, leave a space opened so air can circulate within the tank. The oxygen in the air will further assist the water in eliminating any fumes. The tank should also always be chained down and protected from static electricity as discussed in the next section. Each form of gas will have its own special precautions. Always read any safety instructions written on your particular tank to find out what they are before picking up your torch. Chain Down The Pressure Tank And Use An Electrostatic Strap Even after your tank has been cleaned out and properly prepared, there is always the possibility there will still be droplets of flammable liquid or fumes inside of the tank. If these are ignited by your welding torch or static electricity, the tank could explode or even become a projectile like a missile if there is an opening on the side. As a precautionary measure to prevent an explosive missile, chain down the tank before you begin welding. This will prevent it from moving across the room and striking someone. When using the chain, use two links and criss-cross them to anchor them to the platform. Once the chain has been placed, you will need to properly ground it using an electrostatic strap. This strap will double-ground the tank to protect it from any electrostatic discharge caused...

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How To Inexpensively Repair A Damaged Glass Window Using Nail Polish

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have a cracked or chipped window, or a window with a hole in the glass, then you may believe that replacement is your only option. However, windows with a small amount of damage can often be salvaged. The following procedure uses nail polish to help seal cracks and fill-in holes or chips; even if the repair isn’t intended to be permanent, this repair will enable you to stabilize the damage until you can get the window replaced. Here is what you need to do: Materials and tools needed Clear nail polish – choose a plain, transparent nail polish that does not contain any additives such as glitter Wax paper – you need enough paper to cover the damaged area Masking tape – any kind of masking tape is acceptable; just be sure to remove it from your windows immediately after repairing the damage 6-inch piece of two-by-four lumber – a scrap piece of lumber is sufficient as long as it is flat and clean Razor blade scraper – you should choose a new blade that is sharp and clean for best results White vinegar – ordinary household vinegar is effective, but avoid using cider or other flavored vinegar Liquid dish washing soap – any brand will work well, but those with anti-grease additives add extra cleaning “punch” Distilled water – using distilled water will help prevent any spotting on the glass Spray bottle – new spray bottles are inexpensive and available at most retail stores Microfiber cloth – choose a clean, dry cloth that isn’t torn or shedding any fibers Computer air duster – this is also called canned air, and it is commonly sold for cleaning computer keyboards and other electronics Helper – you will need the assistance of a willing helper to complete the glass repair What to do 1. Prepare your glass cleaner – the glass needs to be squeaky clean before attempting any repairs, and the following homemade glass cleaner recipe will remove dirt, oils and any other gunk: Mix 2 cups of distilled water with one-fourth of a cup of white vinegar and one-half teaspoon of liquid dish washing soap. Gently stir the mixture to avoid creating an excessive amount of bubbles. Pour the mixture into a clean spray bottle. 2. Spray the glass with a generous amount of your cleaner, and allow it to sit for about 30 seconds.  3. Wipe away the glass cleaner with your clean microfiber cloth; be careful not to press too hard to avoid lengthening cracks or breaking the glass entirely. 4. Repeat the cleaning process listed in steps 2 and 3 on the opposite side of the glass. 5. Spray a few short bursts of canned air into the chip, hole or crack to dry any trapped moisture. 6. After the glass is clean and dry, cut a piece of wax paper that is slightly larger than the damaged area. Have your helper tape it over the spot on the undamaged side using masking tape; if the damaged area penetrates the glass, then it doesn’t matter which side you cover first. 7. Have your helper press the flat side of the two-by-four piece on the wax paper; be sure they use firm, but gentle pressure. 8. On the opposite side of the glass from the...

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Set In Stone: Exploring The 4 Amazing States Of Concrete

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Concrete is a versatile material that both develops naturally and is made by humans for building purposes. The oldest observable patch of concrete developed more than 12 million years ago from natural limestone and shale deposits. People started constructing concrete out of similar materials starting in 1300 BC. Concrete never fails to amaze in part due to its ability to exist in four different states. Here’s a rundown of the four stages that concrete goes through. Powder Concrete starts as a natural mix of sand, gravel and cement particles. The cement is an interesting mix of limestone and clay granules that form a glue-like concoction upon contact with water. In nature, erosion results in the mix of tiny rock particles and gravel needed to create natural concrete. Humans carefully measure out the ingredients in an effort to create the strongest combination possible. This enables people to create tall buildings out of concrete without worry about the materials crumbling under pressure. Manufacturers constantly experiment with new stone types for the gravel, including recycled aggregate, to meet the needs of the ever-changing building supply market.   Slurry When creating a new concrete mix, producers stir up a small batch with water and perform the slump test. This test also indicates the perfect amount of water to add to the mixture. After determining if the concrete formula and water allowance is just right for building, manufacturers create 22.7 kg bags of the mixture and print instructions on the outside. Building professionals from a place like Carmix Canada Limited must correctly mix up the concrete to create a thick slurry that will easily pour into the forms, but holds shape throughout the drying process. The mixing process actually starts by measuring out a precise amount of water and slowly pouring the concrete mixture over the surface. A quick mix turns the ingredients into a slurry that can be poured into structural forms of all kinds. Solid Perhaps the most exciting part of concrete making is the process of turning into a solid. The concrete does not simply dry out during this time. Instead, the materials go through a series of chemical reactions, which heat up and solidify the mixture. As the chemical bonds develop, heat from the reactions continues to rise for twenty hours with an initial high spike during the first fifteen minutes. The chemicals also produce calcium silicate particles that add immense strength to the formed concrete. The bond creation process continues throughout the 28 day curing process. Fragment Submerging a fully cured piece of concrete in water does not return it to its slurry state. Once the chemical reactions finish, the concrete is fully transformed into a solid state for good. The only way to change its structure is to break it up into tiny pieces. If you want to remove a concrete slab, you will need to break it up into gravel-sized chunks using a jackhammer. Concrete producers can use this gravel mix as the aggregate in a vat of recycled concrete by adding in just the right amount of cement particles. Alternatively, you can use the small gravel pieces as a driveway surface or for drainage in the garden. Observing The Process When having a new concrete pad or path poured, consider observing the four stages for yourself. Watch...

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