Posted In:DIY (Do It Yourself) Archives - Pligg

standard

5 Pro Tips to Keep Your Bike Working

July 5, 2017 - By 
bike maintenance

Regular bike maintenance is critical to enjoying hassle-free rides and prolonging the life of the bike. Who wants to go out and buy a new bike every few years? Not many!

When a bike’s squeaks, rattles, clicks, and clangs are ignored, performance suffers and it can become a safety hazard.

You don’t always have to take your bike down to the local bike shop, however, when some work needs to be done. Many maintenance techniques can be done right in your garage with an iced tea in hand.

Here are 5 at-home pro tips to help keep your bike in perfect working order for years to come.

1. Keep an Eye on Those Brake Pads

With regular use, brake pads begin to glaze due to the friction and heat between the pads and rims. Failing brake pads can turn an enjoyable ride into a scary one!

Just like in a car, glazed brake pads fail to stop a bike’s momentum at critical times. Simply put, they are not safe.

A cyclist’s first reaction is to buy new brake pads. This isn’t always needed.

Before spending unnecessary money, use some sandpaper and gently scrub the surface of each smoothed-out pad. Most of the time you’ll end up with like-new pads using this inexpensive, easy procedure.

2. Simple Frame Protection

Keeping the bike frame in good shape is key to a bike’s longevity.

Oftentimes the brake and gear cables that run along the frame begin to rub against it, causing damage. When this happens, find the points of contact and put small pieces of electrical tape between the frame and cables.

This helps protect the frame from long-term damage.

To cover existing nicks and dings, use an appropriate shade of nail polish (find that 50-shades-of-everything basket in the house) — but do so sparingly.

3. Keep Lubrication Levels in Check

More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to lubricating a bike chain.

If too much oil is applied to the chain, it can begin to accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. It can also cause excessive chain slipping and shorten the life of the bike’s drive train.

When too much oil has been applied, you’ll see areas of it beading up and gathering on components. Take a clean cloth and run it over the chain to rid it of the excess lubrication.

4. Properly Fit the Front Wheel

Tire punctures are frustrating, but they happen to the best of us.

Many times, after replacing the front tire, a rider will put the wheel back on the wrong way. This is common after experiencing the frustration of lost ride time.

We’re always in such a hurry, aren’t we?

The problem with attaching it backward is that the tire is now essentially rolling the wrong way. This results in less overall grip and performance.

How can you tell if the front wheel is fitted properly?

Simply match the quick release side with the quick release of the rear wheel.

Then be on your way to a high-performance ride.

5. Maintain the Seat Post

A seat post left in the same position for long periods of time can get permanently stuck in position. This turns the bike into a one-user-only proposition.

To avoid this, every month or so take a few minutes to remove and re-insert the seat post into the slot.

If you have a metal post and frame, use a bit of grease to keep it lubricated. If the bike has a carbon post and frame, dab on some friction paste.

Conclusion

These 5 tips will get you well on your way to keeping up with regular bike maintenance.

If your bike needs more work, a bike repair manual can save you loads of money. Plus, websites like the Inflation Zone can give you the lowdown on the best bikes out there, if you’re in the market for a new one.

Happy riding!


standard

8 Easy Steps to Make an Amazing Recycled Hummingbird Feeder

June 13, 2017 - By 

Summer is time for making memories with those you love.

It can also be a time for life lessons that your child will carry with him or her into adulthood. Among them:

  • The importance of sustainable living
  • Appreciating nature
  • Using his/her hands to build things
  • Valuing time with family
  • Working together (for siblings or friends)

Those hummingbirds move fast, so let’s not delay learning how to make a recycled hummingbird feeder.

What You’ll Need

An Empty Bottle

You can use glass or plastic. If your kids are younger, plastic is likely your best option to avoid dangerous breaks.

Look for a bottle with interesting features your child can decorate. And, to keep in line with the purpose of recycling, don’t buy a bottle just make your feeder. Reuse something.

Here are some to consider from the ordinary to the unique:

  • Sports drink bottle
  • Olive oil or alcoholic beverage bottle
  • Wine bottle
  • Water bottle
  • Hot sauce bottle
  • Test tube
  • Spice jar

Plus you’ll need:

  • A cap – Look for a cap similar to a cap off of cooking spray, spray paint or something of the like.
  • A screw on cap, a little smaller that fits your bottle snugly
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Very sharp scalpel or craft knife (for your use only)
  • Glue gun
  • Tweezers or needle nose pliers
  • Beads or other decorations (optional)
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • String or rope for hanging
  • Eye protection – Rarely drills can throw plastic shrapnel into the air. Sunglasses or prescriptions glasses should suffice.

Making Your Recycled Bird Feeder

Step 1

Choose appropriate attire. You and your child will be working with paint and glue so choose kids clothes that are comfortable and okay to get messy.

Step 2

Cut out the middle of smaller cap. The safest way to do this is to poke holes in it with the drill or screwdriver. And then punch the middle out. It doesn’t have to look pretty. This piece goes on the inside.

Step 3

Very carefully cut around the larger cap to shorten it to about 1.5 -2 inches tall.

Step 4

Warm up the hot glue gun. For those of you, who are new to crafting, hot glue guns work best because the hot glue bonds better to the materials and dries very fast creating a strong bond.

Borrow one from one of your crafting friends if you don’t own one.

For very small children, please note that glue guns and the glue that comes out can burn skin.

Use tweezers or needle nose pliers to place the smaller cap inside the large one without allowing the cap to touch on either side or underneath.

With glue dots from your gun, create little bridges between the little cap and the big cap. The goal is to hold the little cap in place without completely blocking the flow of liquid from one cap to the next. Let the glue dry, which takes less than a minute before you can let go. But wait another 10 before screwing the cap on to be sure it’s dry.

Careful not to get glue inside the little cap or the cap won’t fit the bottle.

Step 5

Remove any labels from the bottle and clean thoroughly.

Step 6 (optional)

If the bottle is plastic, rub sandpaper around it before you paint so that that paint will stick.

Paint the bottle. Let it dry.

Step 7

Decorate the bottle. Use the hot glue again to attach foam flowers, string or beads as desired. Get creative and whimsical. Hummingbirds are drawn to red, so use as much red as possible. Let everything dry.

Step 8

Add humming bird solution, which can be made with sugar and water. Avoid food coloring, which can be harmful.

Screw on the cap and hang the feeder upside down in a tree.

Enjoy!


standard

5 Incredibly Easy DIY Pest Control Solutions

December 19, 2016 - By 
Got pests? No problem. These DIY pest control tricks are your ticket to getting those bugs off your back. Before you call the calvary, give these a shot.

It’s Friday night. You’ve got a hot date coming over. You’ve cleaned the house. Shoved your dirty laundry under the bed (hope he doesn’t look under there). And you’ve lit a few romantic candles while you fixed him dinner.

It’s going to be a fantastically romantic evening. And then you see them. Your biggest nightmares. A cockroach, a horde of ants, and a mouse trooping across your kitchen like satan’s army.

It’s too late to call the pest control services. What do you do? Your hunk of a date is going to be here anytime.

Don’t scream. It’s going to be ok. There are some easy things you can do to take down the pests in your home.

1. Garlic Mint Spray

This could also work as vampire repellent. But it’s really for bugs. Blend some mint leaves and garlic cloves. You were just cooking, right? So you should have these. Add some cayenne pepper and some dish soap. Boil the stuff.

Now, if you need it this instant, you could probably just pour some on the sucker right away. But it will make a mess. But for future use, chill it overnight in the fridge and then strain it into a spray bottle.

2. Coffee Grounds

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Until they encounter coffee grounds. Then they run away. Really. They do.

All you need to do is put on a pot of coffee then sprinkle the used grounds around the house. Find out where the ants are coming from. Your date won’t think it’s cool to step on coffee grounds all night.

3. Hot Pepper Spray

Even the mice will run away from this one. But it’s really just for bugs.

Take one gallon of water. Mix it with three tablespoons of hot pepper flakes. Heat it in a pan on simmer for about fifteen minutes. This brings out the hellfire in the spray i.e. pepper oils.

This is another one you will have to let sit for about 24 hours to let the flakes release all of their torment into the spray.

Once you’ve let it sit, strain it. Drop some dish soap in. Put it in a spray bottle. And now you have the cruelest insect repellent on the planet.

Spray it on plants or in cracks where ants and cockroaches might come in.

This is also a great way to keep squirrels from getting into bird seed. You see, birds don’t have salivary glands and thus they can’t feel the heat of the peppers. But squirrels sure do. Spray down that bird seed with a dish soap-less version and watch the squirrels freak.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

Really, any kind of alcohol will work for this one.

But fruit flies are the worst infestation. They are gross. Just nasty. And you will always have a hard time getting rid of them.

First, put all fruit in the fridge. Don’t leave any out.

Then, get a salt shaker, fill the bottom with apple cider or rum. Drop in some dish soap to break the water tension. And then set it out. Watch them flock to it. They’ll crawl into their sweet and drunken death.

5. Borax And Sugar.

Certainly not sugar and spice. But ants sure think it is. Until they die!

Take 1/2 cup of sugar. 1 Cup of warm water. Mix the two with 2 tablespoons of borax.

Put it in a shallow lid of some sort and place it where the ants march. They’ll even take some of it to their next and kill more over time.

Conclusion:

So, now you can enjoy your Friday night. Just don’t let the bed bugs bite!