Woodworking Tips – Furniture Fittings

The usefulness of veneered and melamine-faced chipboard has been revolutionised by the wide range of fittings available for joining it together and for making furniture, such as fitted cupboards and wardrobes.

All the fittings described on this article are sold separately in do-it-yourself shops and by mail order, but the fittings supplied with bought furniture (particularly kitchen units) are identical. Many of the fittings are known as KD (knockdown) because they have the characteristic (unlike conventional woodworking joints) that the furniture can be taken apart once it has been assembled.

Chipboard screws and plugs

Ordinary woodscrews do not take well in chipboard, and special chipboard screws have been developed. Looking more like self-tapping screws than woodscrews. chipboard screws are usually threaded all the way to the head and often have a double thread, which means the screw goes in faster. The screw bites into the chipboard as it is put in to give a good grip. Some larger chipboard screws come with a special drilling jig to make sure the holes to receive them are drilled in the correct place. To cover the normal chipboard screws, special plastic covering plugs are available in white, magnolia or brown, depending on the type of chipboard being used. These cither push into the Pozidriv head of the screw or into a counterbored hole in which the screw is recessed.

To get a stronger connection, a chipboard plug can be used. Some of these work on the same principle as solid-wall fixing (expanding as the screw is driven in) while others are glued into the chipboard; both allow ordinary woodscrews to be used. A hole (typically 8mm in diameter) is drilled in the edge of the chipboard which will receive the screw and the screw is driven into the plug to give a secure fixing. Again, a dowelling or other jig will keep the hole square.

Where the countersunk head of a screw could damage a thin surface, surface or recessed screw cups can be used.

Block joints

These plastic blocks are used for joining two pieces of chipboard at right-angles.

The simplest type the mini-block – has a dowel to locate in one piece and a single screw to secure to the other. This makes for an unobtrusive joint, but not a very strong one.

A better connection is given by the one-piece block joint which is fitted into an internal corner and is simply screwed to the two pieces of chipboard. A neater result is given by a rigid triangular corner joint.

Better still is the two-part (or ‘knockdown’) block joint where one part is screwed to each piece of chipboard and the two joined together by a slotted-head machine screw. This joint has the advantage that it can easily be taken apart but, like the one-piece joint, takes up room inside the cupboard. Block joints generally come in a choice of white or brown colours.

Cam joints

A cam joint is more complicated than a block joint, but is completely unobtrusive once fitted. A nylon dowel is inserted in the edge of one board and is locked by driving a steel pin into it. A large plug is fitted in the other board in a hole drilled by an end mill. The dowel fits into the plug and a cam screw is then turned to lock it in place. Although neat, this type of joint is more difficult to make than other types and is not always very rigid.

Panel connectors

There are two special connectors you can use for joining panels end to end or back to back.

For joining panels end to end (two adjacent lengths of worktop, for example), a panel butt joint connector is used. This fits into a pair of holes drilled in the surface of the two boards to be joined (again using an end mill) and a slot is cut to join the two holes. The connector is positioned and tightened with a spanner, drawing the two boards together.

For joining panels back to back (connecting together two adjacent kitchen cupboards, for example), a cabinet connecting screw is used. This simply fits into a hole drilled through the walls of both cupboards and tightening it will bring them together.

Hinges

There is a wide selection of other types of hinge available for making your own furniture.

For kitchen cupboards, the most useful type of hinge is probably the adjustable concealed hinge which is fitted into two large holes drilled in the back face of the door and the side of the cupboard. This hole (typically 35mm) has to be made with a special drill bit called an end mill, which drills a flat-bottomed hole. For control on the depth to which it is drilled (which is crucial), the end mill is best used in an electric drill fitted to a vertical drill stand equipped with a depth stop.

Cupboard fixings

When it comes to fitting cupboards in place, there are several different types of fittings which can help.

First there is a variety of catches, including magnetic catches, magnetic touch catches (push to open; push again to close), roller catches and ball catches. If certain types of hinge have been used (and the door is hung properly), no catch is needed at all the hinge will hold il closed.

Hanging wall cupboards can often be a problem if the securing holes (for wall plugs) in the wall have not been made in exactly the correct place. Cabinet suspension fittings and cabinet hanging brackets both allow a degree of adjustment once lilted; the hanging bracket provides the more secure fixing.

An angle plate can also be used for holding cupboards to the wall, but is more commonly used for securing worktops to the sides of base unit kitchen cupboards.

For lightweight cupboards (or wall shelving units), glass plates can be used: these are simply screwed to the back of the cupboard and the surface of the wall, which means the cupboard stands out from the surface of the wall by the thickness of the plate.

At the bottom of kitchen base unit cupĀ¬boards, some kind of foot is necessary to keep the chipboard sides off the floor -particularly important if the chipboard is left unsealed when any water on the floor could damage it. Feet may also be needed to deal with uneven floors, though many kitchen fitters will simply pack the cupĀ¬boards out with slips of hardboard. The simplest type is the metal foot, which is banged into the bottom of the cupboard sides. More sophisticated are the cabinet leveller, the base levelling screw and the adjustable foot, all of which allow for adjustments to be made to allow for discrepancies in the floor surface. As well as feet, there is a range of castors which can be used if the cupboard is to be movable.

Drawers

Making drawers in the traditional way can be very satisfying, but is hard work and, for a kitchen cupboard, may not be the best solution as all-timber drawers can be difficult to keep clean.

There are various drawer-making kits on the market, which use plastic slotted sections for the two sides and back of the drawer: you add your own front (sometimes attached to a fourth plastic section) and base (typically melamine-faced hard-board, positioned melamine face up).

Making your own drawer like this is fairly simple and involves only cutting the profiles to length, screwing pieces on to the back of the drawer front and slotting the whole thing together. You must double-check that everything is correct before you assemble the drawers (for example, the base is the right way up), because, once assembled, these drawers cannot readily be taken apart.

Road Warriors – Staying Fit and Healthy On The Go

Do you travel for your job? Don’t think you can keep up your exercise routine while you are on the road? Not true…

Just because you are traveling for work doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to stay fit and keep in shape. Excuses do not help your heart or body nor do they allow you to able to keep up with the demands of your life. If you use a bit of imagination or the resources readily available to you, you can maintain your fitness routine no matter where you go.

Health Club Members

If you are a member of a health club, getting in a workout could be very simple. Many clubs allow you to use their facilities in other cities as a part of your membership or for a small fee. You could also ask your club if it participates in any programs that offer privileges at other facilities. Guest passes to certain spa and athletic clubs are sometimes free for one day — check with the front desk. Often these clubs will give guest passes to the hotel for the hotel’s guests to use.

Hotel Gyms

If your health club does not have arrangements with a club near your hotel, check out the facilities in your hotel itself. Ask at the front desk alert about the hotel gym. Lots of hotels at least have treadmills or similar machines, which are much better than simply laying in bed and watching TV during your stay. Then there is the pool — which almost every hotel has. You could always take a swim. Swimming is definitely a workout that will work every muscle in your body.

The Y-M-C-A

Also remember that almost every town has a YMCA or YWCA. Find the contact information in the yellow pages in your hotel room or ask the front desk and give them a call. You should be able to go to the “Y” for a small daily fee or perhaps be able to obtain a weekly pass.

Using Your Imagination

If necessary you may need to get a little creative, by using your hotel room as the gym of the day. Exercising in your hotel room is an easy and very convenient way to make certain that you get in your workout. Before you leave for your trip, pack some collapsible hand weights or elastic exercise bands or other equipment that is made for travel, and turn your hotel room into an indoor gym. Elastic bands are great for getting resistance without lugging around big dumbbells everywhere. You can also use chairs and other pieces of furniture to your advantage for exercise. Body weight exercises are enough for a great workout. Combine crunches, pushups, and legups. You won’t exercise a large variety of muscles using only body weight, but you will at least be able to work on your heart and your endurance.

If Time is Tight…

Working out on the road is not as easily done when you are in route to your next destination or if your trip is only an overnight trip. If your time is extremely tight and you don’t have time for a complete work out, there are other alternatives to not working out at all. Stretch in your room, take a long walk. You can jog in the park or take a few trips up and down the hotel stairwells to increase your heart rate and get a bit of a workout in.

With all of these ideas for a good work out — even if not the best work out that you’ve ever had — you should no longer have any excuse for not continuing your fitness routine while traveling. Just remember that it doesn’t really matter where you are when you do your work out but that you do your work out where you are. And if you can’t do the exact routine that you are used to, just take solace in the fact that you are getting a workout.

What Fitness (and Health) Really Looks Like

We all know what fitness looks like right? I don’t think I have to tell you what healthy looks like either. As a fitness professional, I don’t have to tell you because the media takes care of that for me. You’ve seen the commercials so you know that to be fit means to get up at 5am and strap yourself to the latest Fit-Zapper 3000 and run through the trails as the morning dew glistens off the blades of grass. Don’t forget to run those last few yards to your house in slow motion (like they do on TV) finally collapsing in a pool of sweat on the front stairs… I think if you have the theme from Rocky playing in the background it burns more calories too! Or how about going to the gym in your new $200 Under Armour workout gear and “pump iron” in front of the mirror as you and the boys try out for the biceps team… that’s GOT to be what fitness is all about no? Well, if not, then surely walking on the treadmill in your Lulu lemons while posting selfies on social media is what fitness looks like?

If you’re new to the whole “I wanna get fit and lose weight” thing then it can all get overwhelming on where to start, and what to believe and not believe. Ok… it’s time to talk some truth about what fitness really is-and isn’t and how to achieve it for 2016:

1. Fitness isn’t what you see on TV. Forget the ads, forget the commercials. They want to sell you something and they use fitness models or professional athletes to do it. Don’t compare yourselves to these people because you-and myself included-are not fitness models or athletes. Fitness models and athletes have a team of coaches, nutritionists and trainers (not to mention Photoshop) to help them 24/7. You and I do not have all that so stop comparing yourself because it’s not healthy and not realistic.

You are you and all the good times you’ve had in life, you’ve had in YOUR body. All the bad times you’ve had, you’ve gotten through it in YOUR body. YOUR body is capable of some amazing things so no matter the size or shape, how many warts, freckles or pimples… love the body you have. I’m willing to bet someone already loves you just the way you are so why can’t you?

2. Fitness isn’t found in the latest gadgets. Stop worrying about keeping up with the latest trends, equipment and sportswear; it’s a chase that will never end! You need two things to get healthier, stronger and fitter–your body and gravity-and both are FREE. I know that if I’m tired in the morning then I didn’t get enough sleep. I know that if I am breathing heavy during exercise then I’m exercising at the right intensity (I don’t need the latest gizmo or app to tell me that) and that I’m as likely to see health gains in my $5 Walmart t-shirt as I am wearing Nike when I exercise.. Hey, if having the latest and greatest motivates you to keep moving then great, a lot of people really benefit from that and I’m not knocking it at all, but my point is, if you are just starting out then you don’t NEED it.

3. Your diet has a name… Really?? Paleo diet, Atkins diet, The Abs diet, The Zone diet… the list could go on. Keep it simple and don’t give your diet a name. Eat more fruit and vegetables and a little less chocolate cake and chips. If you want to lose weight then you have to eat a little less than what you are eating now. The formula hasn’t changed and that formula is Calories In must be less than Calories Out to lose weight.

There are no foods that are off limits (actually there are—don’t eat furniture, staples or carpeting-everything else is fine… in moderation) and please… don’t get your nutritional information from 1-sentence headlines. You know the ones; “Latest study finds bacon will cause cancer” Let me quote an article from Precision Nutrition and Dr. James Heathers. He said “… when you realize that your chance of dying from that horrible cancer-type thing without bacon (or broccoli) is only 1 in 100,000 (or 0.00001 percent). And that a 10 percent increase from eating bacon (or broccoli) means your chance rises to 1.1 in 100,000 (or 0.000011 percent).

Meh.

Since we’re all going to die anyway, medical scare tactics simply don’t come off as scary (especially when you know what the data really mean). Nor do they motivate change”.

Trust me, stay away from the 3 items on my Never Eat list, stick to healthy portion sizes and try to fit in more fruits and veggies and you’ll be fine. You are more apt to scare yourself to death from reading the headlines than you are from any ill effects from eating the things the headlines are trying to steer you away from.

4. “No Pain No Gain”. LOL… or how about this one from Jillian Michaels “Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going” No wonder people have a misconception of what getting fit is really all about, and wonder how they could ever achieve it. Really Jillian? How about using this quote instead “Listen to your body to avoid injury” Do you want to live longer so you can be around to play with the grandkids? Then just start moving.

To see great improvements in health, you only need a minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day… and they don’t even have to be consecutive minutes. Sure, it’s better if you can block off 30 minutes for yourself but if you only have 10-15 minutes in the morning and another 10-15 at night, you are good to go. Don’t have time or money for a gym? Then don’t go! Go for a walk, throw the ball around with the kids, play fetch with the dog. How about dancing in your living room when your favourite song comes on the radio or TV? Just move for 30 minutes a day and you’ll be doing the right things if you want to lower your cholesterol, improve your blood pressure, maintain your range of motion, ensure your joints and bones are healthy and so many more benefits.

5. Variety. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder even sang about it when they recorded “Variety and Ivory live together in perfect harmony” or something along those lines. There’s more to maintaining your health than jogging or lifting weights. Did you know you’ll do like 1000x more for your body if you just did some stretching in front of the TV for 30 minutes than if you just sat on the couch? And it hardly takes any energy at all. Or how about spending 30 minutes doing some hobby you enjoy—there’s more stress relief in that activity than spending an hour at the gym. Health isn’t always about sweat and blood (well, it should never be about blood) but you do need a little Yin to your Yang.

Look, I’m really talking to the folks that just want to start to do some good for their bodies. All the boot camps and HIIT training… that can all come later… and only if you want it to! But if you’ve made a resolution to improve your health and fitness this year you can have great success by just keeping things simple. Want to see how far you can go by this time next year? Then here is the simple truth formula… just move a bit more than you are now, eat a little less than you are now, exchange the cake and cookies for fruits and veggies a few extra times and set some quiet time aside for yourself now and again to relive stress. Everything else is just gravy-low-fat, grain-fed, pesticide free chicken gravy of course!

You know, it’s hard to cut through all the silliness sometimes. I have a hard time sorting fact from fiction now and again and I’m the professional. I can only imagine poor Jane Doe who is just starting out trying to decide the good from the bad.

Furniture Assembly and Moving Companies

One of the most important components of any room in the house is furniture. It makes things a lot more convenient and adds design to the room it is placed in. But when moving out of your old home to a new one, transporting the furniture can be quite a task. This is why most people are now going in for Ready to Assemble (RTA) furniture which is a lot easier to transport as well as setup. RTA furniture is stylish, affordable and is a lot easier to deal with, but it’s not useful until assembled. If you are planning to move or renovate your house with new furniture and fittings you should consider ready to use furniture.

Furniture not only supports certain human activities such as eating, sleeping, reading, to hold objects at a height which is convenient for work, or to store things, but now it has become a form of decorative art. Furniture is used in houses all over to create a warm and comfortable feeling to the room it is placed in. But at times furniture can be a big problem if you have to move or want to redesign your house interiors. This is why it is better to go in for ready to assemble furniture and hire the services of an assembly company that will help you get your furniture assembled and in place.

Whether you are planning to move your house furniture or your office furniture, you will most probably want to get it done as quick as possible and without much trouble. This is why it is better to hire the services of a furniture assembly and moving company. Arranging everything neatly by yourself will take up a lot of your time and will require you to put in a lot of effort. An assembly and moving company can save your time and effort and they will get the job done a lot faster and assemble the furniture in a more organized manner since they are the ones who are experienced in all this.

If you are moving to a new house, hire a furniture moving company to move your furniture instead of a regular moving company. Since they know all about furniture moving and assembly, they will be the best at disassembling the furniture to move it out and they will transport it safer than a regular moving company. Another advantage of hiring a furniture moving and assembling company over a regular moving company is that the assembling company will not just drop off the furniture to the new house, but will also assemble it for you. This will save you a lot of time and effort.

Modern Office Furniture – Fitting For the New Millennium

In today’s world, work offices are as modern looking as they are technologically advanced. The “new age” office is reflective of our ever changing, rapid paced times. Not only are the computer systems sophisticated, but the furniture has been refined as well. Manufacturers have realized the changing needs of offices and the way that people conduct their business today. To keep up with the current trends, these manufacturers have adapted their modern office furniture to meet these new trends.

In today’s offices, the work is no longer limited to the solitary desk as years past, but it is centered around computer workstations. More conferencing is done throughout the day, so rooms with large spacious tables are necessary. People are also spending more time at the office these days, so office seating must be comfortable and durable.

Furthermore, people today, in general are more aware of their health and are looking for modern office furniture and equipment that is more “body friendly” or ergonomic. As a result, manufacturers are trying to come up with commercial quality office furniture, seating and other items as well, that cannot only withstand prolonged daily use, but is conducive to helping people to do their work more comfortably and safely, while paying attention to body posture and good health. In order to accomplish this, manufacturers of modern office furniture have actually studied the human form and the constant work-related movements of people working in offices over prolonged periods and are designing chairs, tables, and desks accordingly.

Another fact of businesses today is that they are constantly in flux. They may be expanding, moving locations, or simply reconfiguring. With this in mind, modern office furniture must be adaptable. Many manufacturers are designing their furniture and equipment with this in mind and are making their products more modular. This means that pieces of furniture and cabinetry can be intermingled and reconfigured along with any changes that may be made within the office. Furthermore, many companies that specialize in modern office furniture have lines, with add-ons that will expand and grow along with your company.

Since the needs of offices differ depending on the type of business, there are extensive offerings available as far as office furniture. For modern computer furniture, there are large selections of workstations, stands, and carts to cater to any type of businesses from the largest corporation, to the smallest company, to the home office. As for storage, there is sleek space saving cabinetry, as well as bookcases available in any size you could possibly need with the maximum roominess. For the conference rooms or training rooms, there is an extensive selection out there of large conference tables ranging from fine woods to sleek metal and glass. For reception areas, you can find an array of modern looking functional reception desks as well as comfortable stylish couches and chairs for the lobby area.

Whether you are looking to design a private executive suite or a large-scale office area, if you do your research, you can easily find reasonably priced, comfortable, and stylish modern office furniture that will meet all your office requirements.