How to Use Weed Burners

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Outdoor, Shopping, Tools    by: ITC

Most gardeners face a lot of problems when it comes to the seemingly never-ending onslaught of weeds. Many of these unnecessary plants are actually quite simple to get rid of yourself, while others do tend to be quite persistent as days go on. No matter what your garden situation is, if you manage the weeds in the wrong way, there is always the possibility of a full hard day’s labor or being exposed to harmful chemical herbicides that may cause damage to the environment or to you. This article will show you alternative methods to managing weeds so that you will no longer have to result to chemicals or manual labor: fire.

Weed burners are actually highly effective tools when it comes to getting rid of unwanted and unnecessary plant foliage. These devices come with fuel hoses, metal wands with burner heads, control valves to control gas, and fuel tanks for propane. Hand-held varieties also exist and these are quite similar when it comes to the weed burning function. The difference is that the propane tanks are disposable and can be screwed onto burner wands. Also, hand-held burners are not as powerful and they cost more to use; which is why they aren’t typically recommended.

Weed burners can often be found anywhere online or at garden hardware stores. Most weed burners come in similar functions and designs. What is important is that you are comfortable using a particular burner, as well as its controls. One big difference between weed burners is the BTU rating, which can measure the amount of heat that the burner can actually produce. If the BTU rating is high, the available heat to get rid of plant foliage will also be higher. If your particular weed burner happens to not have strikers or any kind of igniter, you will have to buy one. Before you buy your first weed burner, however, it is important to take some time to get acquainted with the local laws of your state regarding owning and using such a device.

There may be some localities that forbid the use of weed burners during particular times during the year, while some might just forbid them all together. A lot of localities insist that fire extinguishers be nearby while weed burners are in use, while some need you to have a permit to burn. It is always best to be safe and know this before you go ahead with a purchase.

Weed burners tend to be a great alternative to herbicides that are made from chemicals, but users must completely comprehend that weed burners are only meant to manage weeds; safety is always key when using burners to burn weeds.

Home Repair Tips – Outdoor Furniture

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair, Outdoor    by: ITC

Outdoor furniture is usually made of metal or wood like redwood which resists rot. Common outdoor furniture repairs include:

• Refinishing wood or metal

• Repairing breaks

• Replacing canvas or webbing

Outdoor furniture needs a good protective finish. Use exterior paints or enamels. If the , metal has begun to rust, clean it thoroughly. Then prime the surface with an anti-rust primer. Use undercoating on wood surfaces.

Often a “sawbuck” chair or table will break where the legs cross. Join the pieces again with a splint glued on and reinforced with several screws. The new joint will probably be stronger than the original piece.

A director’s chair comes apart easily. While it’s apart sand and refinish it. Use the old canvas back and seat as a pattern for the new ones.

If the wood breaks on a patio chair or table, a good way to repair is to glue the piece together with a reinforcing splint over the break. Use screws to hold the splint in place.

Aluminum frame chairs can be recovered with webbing. Save the old grommets and screws. Be sure the chair is fully unfolded when rewebbing. Fold the end of the webbing over twice and puncture the end with an awl. Insert an old grommet to protect the webbing and attach it to the chair frame with a screw. Weave the webbing through to the opposite side and attach it in the same way.

Some chairs have frames wound with plastic tubing. This plastic is very durable. Cord and canvas chairs are easy to repair.

A director’s chair comes apart easily for repair. Refinish the wood parts. Cut new canvas patterned on the old pieces.

Plastic tubing or cord wrapped around an aluminum frame makes a durable, weatherproof chair.

On a webbed chair, fold over the end of each strap twice and insert a grommet before attaching the webbing to the frame with a screw. This will reinforce the hole and keep the webbing from pulling out the first time you sit down.

With cord and canvas chairs, all you have to remember is to knot the end of the cord.

Masonry Repairs

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair, Outdoor    by: ITC

Basic masonry repairs include:

  • Filling in dings in floors and driveways
  • Replacing a block or brick
  • Repointing mortar

To patch concrete first remove all loose material from the old concrete. Use a vacuum cleaner. Then scrub away any oil or grease with hot water and trisodium phosphate (TSP). Use a stiff brush. Protect your hands with rubber gloves.

After the concrete is clean, wet it. Fill in the patch. The best mix for patching concrete is one part Portland cement to three parts fine, clean sand. Add concrete glue to help feather out the edges of your patch and secure it to the old concrete. Leave a wet rag or gunny sack over the patch for a couple days.

Replace a broken or missing concrete block with the same mix. Chisel the old mortar away. Soak the new block in water for five minutes and wet the blocks around the hole. Trowel in mortar on all sides and set in the new block. You may have to take some mortar out little by little to make the block fit. Keep nudging the block with your trowel handle or a piece of wood. Don’t use a hammer.

Once the block is in place and aligned, tool the joint to match the rest of the wall. If the other joints are tuckpointed (grooved) make the new joint match. Wipe up any mortar spilled on the face of the block before it hardens.

Use a finishing tool to finish mortar joints after the mortar begins to harden.

When you replace a brick or block, trowel in mortar around the opening. Nudge the block in place with the handle of a trowel or a piece of wood.

To patch concrete, clean and wet the area. Fill in the area and feather the edges so the patch will stick.

Replacing a fired (red) brick is the same as a concrete block. But be very careful to match the color or your replacement will stand out..

Try not to spill mortar over the face of the brick. If you do, you can remove the stain with acid and a stiff brush. BE CAREFUL WHEN WORKING WITH ACID. Always add the acid to water. Adding water to acid can cause an explosion. Protect yourself with goggles and rubber gloves. Wear old clothing. Muriatic acid will remove clothes, eyes, and skin faster than it will remove the mortar stain.

Repointing is putting new mortar into joints when the old mortar is falling out. First clean out the crumbling mortar. You can make a tool for this by nailing through a block of wood until the point of the nail extends 1/2 inch. Slide this point along the joints and you won’t dig too deep. Then wet the bricks and flush out loose mortar with a good strong hose jet.

Mix no more mortar than you can use in one hour. If you are repointing a whole wall or chimney, use any color mortar. However, if you are patching only a section, take care to match the color of the old mortar. Don’t work with mortar when the temperature is below freezing.

You can make a tool to remove old mortar by driving a nail through a block of wood until it extends about 1/2 inch.