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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Antler Art: Making a deer antler lamp

Antler art is becoming progressively more popular in the western United States. Pieces range from antler handles on cabinets, antler handles knives, antler candle stick holders, antler lamps and even antler chandileres. Most antler art is made out of whitetail deer antlers or mule deer antlers but can vary with cheep, moose and elf antlers being popular choices as well. Many of these decorative pieces can sell for thousands of dollars with your more traditional lamps usually selling in the 125-300 dollar range. Making your own antler lamp is easy with a few tools and simple tips.

Antler Lamp:

The first step in making the lamp is finding the actual antlers you are going to use. Antlers can be bought on ebay or you may choose to use a pair that you already have if you are a hunter or outdoorsman. The most common method is finding antler shed. Every year deer grow new antlers and around March or April they shed their antler from the previous season. Finding sheds is not that difficult but you do need to know where to look.

The first step in finding sheds is making sure it is ok for you to be on the land you are hunting for them on. Obtain permission from the owner or stick to public hunting ground around the area.

Next is to hunt on land where you have seen deer, preferably bucks.

Stick to fence lines and heavily traveled deer trails as deer are more likely to lose their antlers in transit from one area to the next.

Deer often times lose their antlers in bedding areas as well. These areas consist of tall grass and thick trees most often.

When you have an antler or antlers you must now decide what you want to do with them. Several different lamp styles can be made. One style consist of a single antler, usually a larger antler, and a piece of driftwood with desirable characteristics. Another style of lamp consist of two antlers, usually small in size. To form this style of lamp turn one of the antlers over to form a bridge like structure, then fit the other antler on top, often interweaving the antlers in the most natural occurring position.

Once you decide which type lamp you want to make you have to perfect your desired layout. The antler to antler fit, or antler to wood fit must look natural and leave the end of the antler, or the base in a verticle position that will allow us to drill for our cord and lamp set.

Tools:

This project will require a few simple tools that will make the task much easier.

1) A simple bench vise.If you do not have one you can buy a clamp on bench vise that will attach to almost any table at Home Depot for about $20.

2) A lamp kit. These can also be purchased at Home Depot or the lighting section of most local hardware stores. The kits generally cost about 15$ and will include everything you need but a lampshade.

3) Lampshade. Rustic style lamp shades are the most desires. Actual cowhide shades can be expensive but are available online at a discount price. For this project we have chosen a resembling leather lampshade purchased at walmart for around $12.

4) 3/8 x 8 inch drill bit. This will be the bit used to tap the hole for the wire through the antler.

5) The project will also require a drill, preferable a cordless variable speed.

6) 5 Minute 2 part epoxy. This can be purchased at Home Depot for about $5.

7) Screws- select screws that have a small head as these will require less filling. Also look for screws ranging from 1.75 inches to 2 inches in length. The screws should have fairly fine threads as well.

Tapping the antler for the wire.

1)The first part in this step is to tap a larger hole for the nipple of the lamp. This hole should be straight up and down to assure the lamp is straight when finished.

2)After you tap the hole for the nipple plan out the rout for the wire. You will need to use a zig zag pattern when drilling the holes for the wire, which includes coming out the side of the antler and starting again in that hole to follow the curvature of the antler.

3)After you have drilled out the side of the antler once fit your antlers together again in the disired shape of the lamp. Mark where the wire will come out of the anler and go into the other antler or wood. Make sure to leave as little of the wire exposed as possible, and make exit holes on the back side of the lamp if at all possible.

4)After marking your holes continue to drill the antler for the light cord.

5)Drill the hole in the second antler of the driftwood in the desired spots, usually coming out the back of the lamp when sitting on a table.

6) When you have finished drilling you hole through both pieces of the lamp its time to run your cord. First cut the tip of your cord of flush with a pair of pliers. start the cord at the bottom of the lamp and run it through both pieces until you have reaches the tip piece where the light bult fixture will eventually go. If needed run a piece of wire through the lamp first, attach wire and pull it through.

7) After you have ran your wire it is time to screw the two pieces of the lamp together. Line your antlers up in the disired way and mark the holes to be drilled. Use the smallest drill bit you have to pre-drill a hole through the first antler and into the second. Then use a drill bit just bigger than the head of the screw to counter sink the screw atleast 1/8 inch. The lamp should not require more than 2-3 screws, the fewer holes to fill the better.

8) After pre-drilling the holes its time to screw the antlers together. This is where a variable speed drill comes in handy. Run the screws in slowly to assure you don’t crack the antlers. Snug the screws up only hand tight.

9) Run the lamp wire through the nipple and install the nipple into the pre-drilled hole. Use 5 minute epoxy to set the nipple into the antler permanently. follow the wiring instructions that came with your lamp kit to hook up the light socket. Once the light socket is hocked up tightern all screws and let lamp sit for 10 minutes to assure epoxy is dry.

10) Once you have allowed proper drying time for the epoxy you may now install you light bulb and your lamp shade.

Conclusion:

Antler art is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in your home. The pieces can be expnsive, but with a little time and a few tools you too can enjoy the beauty for a fraction of the cost.

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

John Deere Commercial Mowers

History:

Deere and Company, known as John Deere, is a machinery company that was founded in 1837. John Deere is well known for producing agricultural equipment such as tractors and combines. Recently John deere has stepped into the positions of producing lawn and garden tractors and commercial lawn mowers.

John Deere Mowers:

John deere now has a vast line of weed eaters, trimmers, push mowers, verticle riding lawn mowers, lawn tractors, zero turn mowers and commercial lawn mowers available to the public.
The grade of their equipment range from the average home owner to equipment that is specifically built for the professional landscaper and engineered to stand up to everything tested.

John deer technology:

John Deere commercial grade lawn care equipment utilizes cutting edge technology to give them the advantage of the competition. At the heart of the John Deer professional grade mowers lies the legendary Kawasaki engines. Kawasaki has been building one of the top engines in the industry for years and is known for making one of the toughest, hardest working low maintenance engines in existence. The engines on the mowers range from 23 all the way up to 31 horsepower, providing plenty of power to push through even the toughest conditions. The engines also utilize an electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, which is proven more efficient than the carbureted engines. The system also allows the engine to sense when more power is needed and inject fuel accordingly. Unlike older model mowers, this assures that when the mower is idling or moving at slower speeds it is not using unnecessary amounts of fuel. This aspect proves to be very important to companies when choosing mowers as the mowers are able to obtain better fuel economy and run longer on a single tank of gas.

Another unique feature available on John Deere commercial mowers is the mulch on demand system (MOD). This system is very useful and essential to landscapers. The system consist of a series of pullies and baffles under the deck of the mower. When a lever is pulled the baffles engage and close off the chute of the mower, keeping the cut grass clipping from being blown out the side of the deck as usual. By using this system, landscapers are able to go around flowerbeds, sidewalks, cars and windown without having to worry about spraying grass clipping all over or throwing a rock and damaging a customers property. With this unique characteristic, time and energy that would once be spent blowing off sidewalks and cleaning out flowerbeds can now be devoted to other task.

John Deere professional grade mowers also use the legendary 7Iron deck system. This system is stamped from a single piece of ultra strong 7 gauge steel. Unlike traditional decks that are cut and welded, with the 7Iron deck being made from a single sheet of steel, strength and durability are increased exponentially. This means no more worrying about hitting that unmarked stump and ruining your deck by breaking the welds. The 7Iron deck is one of the toughest in the industry and is sure to stand up to any challenge.

Why do landscapers continuously choose John Deere products over other brands?

Year after year professional landscapers continuously choose John Deere products over other brands for many reasons. John deer mowers are some of the best machinery being produced right now and utilize cutting edge technology. John Deere mowers are also some of the fastest mowers in the industry, which cuts down on cutting time and allows the crew to move onto other projects, therefore making more money. JD mowers are backed by the legendary name and warranty, 1500 hours guaranteed on all professional grade mowers. Most of all, professional keep coming back to John Deere products for one reason; they just plain work. Deere mowers are some of the toughest and long lasting machines in the industry, while other mowers are in the shop getting repairs done, John Deer mowers are out getting the job done and bringing in revenue.

Conclusion:

John Deere has been one of the leading manufactures in the agricultural world for over 175 years. John Deere sales have exploded with the introduction of commercial lawn care equipment, and rightfully so. John Deere makes some of the toughest equipment and utilizes state of the art technology, it is no wonder they are the leading seller in yet another industry.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The New Winchester Model 70

History

The Winchester model 70 is a sporting rifle that began production in 1936. The rifle was manufactured by Winchester Repeating Arms Company from 1936 t0 1980. In 1980 Winchester made a contract with U.S. Repeating Arms and the Olin Corporation, allowing the company to use the Winchester name and logo. The rifles were manufactured at a plant in New Haven Connecticut.

What made this rifle popular:

There were several things that made the Winchester model 70 a very popular gun and even picked up the name “the rifleman’s rifle”. The first component that made the rifle a top seller was the price. The model 70 gave the shooter all the perks of a high dollar rifle at the fraction of the cost.
The model 70 also features a much desired Mauser action. The Mauser action differs from the push feed action of the much popular Remington 700 in a few key ways. While the push feed loads the firing pin when the bolt it pulled to the upwards position, the Mauser action loads the firing pin while the bolt is pulled down. This makes it possible to cycle rounds faster into a Mauser action rifle. The Mauser also utilizes a control round feed with a claw type extractor. The claw extractor allows the bullet to be grasped and places from the magazine precisely in the chamber with no risk of misalignment or the shell falling out. Shooters often times find when cycling a shell for a second shot that the cartridge is misaligned and does not flow into the chamber smoothly and properly. This feature of the model 70 once again gives it a leg up over push feed actions with being able to cycle rounds faster.
Another fact about the Model 70 that makes it a much desired rifle is the fact that it is and always has been manufactured in the United States. This may not seem like a huge issue, but with the economy like it is today it just may make the difference in a sale. Customers that are looking at new sporting rifles and at the same time supporting their economy are going to choose the gun that has “made in U.S.A.” stamped on the side of it.
The Model 70’s also feature a much desired 24 inch barrel chambered in all the standard calibers. Other gun manufacturers such as Savage and Remington are starting to go to a 22 inch barrel in order to make guns lighter and in some senses cut down on production costs of the rifle. The benefit of a 24 inch barrel over a 22 inch barrel are actually greater than one might think. In your larger standard calibers such as the .270 Win. and the .30-06 Springfield the benefits go up even more. Since these calibers are loaded with a slower burning powder, the longer barrel gives the powder a chance to burn faster and therefore increase velocity speeds of the bullets. The longer barrel also stabilizes the bullet better and essentially makes it a more accurate gun.
Another popular feature of the Model 70 is the square-bridge receiver. With the bottom of the receiver being square instead of cylindrical, maximum contact is achieved between the receiver and the stock which increases consistent pressure on the action and improves the overall accuracy of the rifle.

The New Model 70

The U.S. Repeating Arms co. closed their doors on the New Haven Connecticut facility and put an end to the production of the legendary Model 70 in 2006. The plant closed due to declining sales rates and the machinery in the factory was outdated and needed replaced. Customers were very dissatisfied with this news and were craving a new Model 70. In 2008 the first production new Model 70’s were rolling off the line. The makers of the rifle were Fabrique National (FN) in Columbia South Carolina. The factory is known for making machine guns and barrels for the United States Military. The factory is also known for their brand new state of the art CNC machinery.
With this new machinery, FN is able to be more efficient with their production of the Model 70’s. New machinery also means precision, and in the shooting world, precision is everything when it comes to making a highly accurate rifle. The Stock to receiver fit on the new rifles are immaculate, creating a custom-like fit and assuring great accuracy right out of the box.
Another improvement to the rifles in the new MOA trigger. The MOA is a user friendly fully adjustable trigger. The trigger is adjustable from 3-5 pounds and features an adjustment screw for poundage and over travel. One drawback to the trigger is the stock must be removed in order for adjustments to be made.
The rifle also features a new and improved barrel crown. A barrel crown is the cut out section at the end of the barrel. To some this may seem like just a cosmetic quality. The barrel crown does indeed add to the accuracy of the rifle. The purpose of the barrel crown is to get rid of escaping gasses that surround the bullet. This allows the bullet to exist the barrel and stabilize without the flight being altered by the gasses propelling the bullet. FN went with a target crown on their new guns and it seems to have the customers very pleases.
Due to the increased price of steel and other materials, the new Model 70’s do run a little bit more than the old Model 70’s with a price tag of $899 msrp.

Conclusion:

Overall, the Model 70 has been around for over 75 years and now a new and improved model is being built and made available to the public. It is no secret that Winchester has had their issues with declining sales and their New Haven plant shutting down. It seems once again though sales are up and the rifle is one more time earning the title “the rifleman’s rifle”.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Best Chevy Duramax

The Chevrolet Duramax is a General Motors prudcution diesel engine. Teams from Chevrolet and Izuzu came together to create the Duramax and the first production models were in 2001 with the Duramax Lb7 engine. The Lb7 was said to have been one of the best engines ever produced and was even featured in Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 2001 and 2002.

Diesel Engines are significantly different than gas engines in many ways. One of the way the engines differ is in the actual combustion of the fuel inside the engine. In a gasoline motor fuel and oxygen are mixed together and then compressed within the engine. After the fiel mixture is compressed a spark is introduce from the spark plug and the fuel combust. The explosion drives a piston which in tern drives a camm shaft connected to a a crank shaft. From here the power is transfered through the drive-train to the wheels and propels the vehicle forward. The same propulsion concept occurs in a diesel engine as well. In a diesel engine however, the oxygen is introduced first and then the fuel. Since oxygen heats up when it is compressed, when the fuel is introduced a combustion occur. For this reason diesel engines utilize glow plugs and not spark plugs.

Compressions of a diesel motor also run at much hotter temperatures than gas motors do so there must be a difference in the cooling systems of the motors. Compression ratios also vary greatly between diesel motors and gas motors which allows the engines to have more horsepower and torque output then gasoline engines. This is why diesel engines are also prefered to gas engines when it comes to hauling a heavy load or pulling a trailer. With the trucks getting better compression rations, diesel engines often times also get better fuel milage than gasoline powered engines of the same size. Most diesel engines also feature a turbo which boost the engines performance when needed, such as while pulling a trailer or going up steep inclines.

2001-2003 Duramax LB7 Specs:
Configuration:
90 degree V8
Displacement:
402 cubic inches, 6.6 liters
Block/Head material:
– Cast iron block
– Aluminum cylinder heads
Compression Ratio:
17.5:1
Bore:
4.06 inches
Stroke:
3.90 inches
Aspiration:
– Turbocharger
– air to air intercooler
– Maximum boost: 20 psi
Valvetrain:
OHV, 4 valves per cylinder
Injection:
– Direct injection
– Bosch high pressure common rail, CP3 injection pump
– 23,000 psi max injection pressure
Oil Capacity:
10 quarts w/filter
Weight:
approx. 835 lbs
*Horsepower:
235 hp @ 2,700 RPM (2001)
300 hp @ 3,100 RPM (2004)
*Torque:
500 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM (2001)
520 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM(2004)
Maximum Engine Speed:
3,250 RPM

Difference Between LB7 and other Comparable Diesel engines.

One thing that caught many interested customers eyes right off the bat was the use of aluminum cylinder heads. Most other diesel engines use cast iron cylinder heads, which proves to be stronger and more durable over time. However, utilizing aluminum cylinder heads seems to have its advantages as well. With the combustion of a diesel engine being so hot in temperature, the aluminum head displace heat greater than cast iron heads therefore making the overall working temperature of the engine less. In most cases, the main reasons engines suffer damage is from excessive overheating. The aluminum cylinder heads of the Duramax will prove to be efficient over the course of time by maintaining a lower engine temperature.
The only time a problem could occur with the aluminum heads of the Duramax is when aftermarket changes are being made and more horsepower is being added. In this case cast iron would be the desired material for the cylinder heads since it can withstand greater pressure amounts.

Difference that makes the 2001-2003 Duramax more desirable than other years:

The main difference that makes the 01-03 duramax more desirable than other year duramaxes is the absence of the exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR). This system uses a catalytic converter and filters to reduce the emissions and soot build up released by the motor. This system was introduced on the 2004 models. While reducing emissions of the vehicle, the EGR system also reduced the fuel economy tremendously by restricting the exhaust of the vehicle. Electronics are sold to bypass this system and restore the fuel economy of your vehicle but they are costly.

Issues with the LB7 Engine.

While the LB7 is often praised for its strength, horsepower and fueled economy, the engine does have issues just like every other. The main problem with the engine is the fueled injectors. Customers started noticing that injectors were fowling at an alarming rate. Finally, after many customer complaints, GM placed a recall on all LB7 fuel ejectors. This seems like such a minor issue for such a great engine, but at $3,500 to replace the injectors, one can see how it would be a concern.

Overall, the Chevy Duramax is an up and coming star in the diesel engine world and the 2001-2003 LB7 engine was the one to set the standards for all Duramaxes to come.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized