Author Archive: Homer Henderson

The Joy of Collecting Vintage Porcelain Gas Pump Signs and Oil Signs

Enamel Sign Origins

Porcelain signs also called enamel signs were used at the beginning of the century up until the 1970s for advertising because they were durable and weather resistant. Plastic signage replaced the enamel petrol signs and porcelain oil signs as a less expensive form of advertising. Put your company on a sticker and let your business be noticed that what our Absolutesignsolutions.com.au stickers Sydney have been working it out in the past years.

In about the 1890’s, enamel gas station and porcelain petrol and oil signs were imported from Germany where they were manufactured. In order to make an enamel advertising sign, heavy iron was rolled into sheets and cut into various shapes. Thin layers of powdered, colored glass were fused on to the iron sheets. Layer by layer the glass was fused to make the signs durable and highly colored.

The brightly colored signs often had artistic and bold graphics to attract customers. The signs could be hung on walls, outside or inside, they could be placed on hinged stands so that both sides could be read by passers by. These signs, including petrol signs, were attractive and eyecatching. Advertisements would include soda pop, candy bars, cigars, gas, oil, automobiles, tires, railroad stations and telephone booths. Street signs and road signs were also made this way and vintage street signs and road markers are another fun collectible and hobby. Collectors of enamel petrol signs also collect “petroliana”. Petroliana is a term for the glass gas pump signage, oil cans, gas station thermometers (often called “lollipops”) and other gas station memorabilia that is highly sought after.

Workers from Germany came to the United States in the twentieth century and production of these signs took place in the states. Bold graphics and bright hues made these signs recognizably American. Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable logos that was often displayed on porcelain advertising signs. Steel soon replaced the iron in the United states sign manufacturing process.

Why Gas Signs and Oil Signs are Popular

The bold graphics make these signs highly collectible and a joy to collectors. It was World War II that made these signs hard to come by. The signs were melted down and used for their base metal in an effort to support the war.

While gas station signs, gas logos and oil signs are the most sought after when it comes to collecting enamel gas station signs, it is important to remember that bigger is not always best. A large porcelain sign may be the same price as a small sign from a long extinct gas station. Large porcelain signs are hard to hang and may often be in worse condition due to the fact that they were hung outdoors.

Petrol signs, or gas signs and anything to do with automobiles, car parts gas and oil is the most collected porcelain signage. Country store enamel signs like food advertisement signs run next but petrol collectors are seriously competitive. Petrol gas sign collectors will spend the big bucks for a mint gas or oil sign and this is why the prices in this collectible arena run so high.

Signs like enamel vintage petrol signs are widely collected because they are American history, a symbol of our past, they represent business and products that we have fond memories of but may no longer be made. They display nicely and easily and they just plain look fantastic because of their colorful and bold nature.

Often collectors of petrol signage collect because of a memory associated with the signage or they may work in the car industry. A mechanic, salesman or repairman may have a deep association with the gas and auto signs, like a Ford dealership sign if the collector sells cars, and this association spurs on the collection.

What to Look For When Collecting Enamel Petrol Signs

When it comes to porcelain signs, often it is wise to use your best judgement. Does the sign appeal to you? Is it in good condition? Are you familiar with the logo or brand? Is the logo or brand extinct or out of business? A yes to any of these questions may lead you to the purchase of an excellent enamel gas or oil sign.

You can also look for two things; crazing and a flange. Crazing is when the sign has small cracks or fissures in the glazing. Crazing can dull a finish and make colors look less bright. Small amount of crazing and wear is to be expected but large amounts should be shied away from. Flanged signage is when the sign is bent at a side and may have holes in the bend. This allow for the porcelain gas pump sign to be hung up on a wall or a bracket. A flange does not necessarily add value but it is something to look for. Also, look for rust and condition when you come across an enamel advertising sign that you are thinking about adding to your collection

Logos that are popular are Mobil, Texaco and Gulf. Mobil was founded in 1920. The Mobil brand is highly collectible because of its flying red Pegasus logo. Look for Mobil signage, oil cans, gas globes, containers and paper advertisements. Texaco is memorable for its red star logo and has brands produced under its name like Fire Chief, Indian,and Havoline. Gulf, the familiar round orange logo with blue lettering, is popular for items like gas glass globes, gas pumps, oil bottles and cans, tin and porcelain signs.

For more information about collecting quality vintage get in touch with our guys.

How to Protect Against Corrosion – Powder Coatings

The Short History of Powder Coatings

The essential feature of powder coatings is that the paint is applied in a dry state onto the object. The paint powder is then melted onto the product by putting the product into an oven. Protect your new car’s critical areas against scratches due to road debris, rock chips, bugs and sale with invisible durable urethane paint protection film.

Powder coatings are a postwar invention, when plastics became more sophisti-cated. The powder coating process was patented in 1953 by Dr. Erwin Gemmer.

Until 1965 powder coatings have been only used for functional applications (not aesthetical), where it was applied a layer thickness of 150 to 500 microns. The used powders then were mainly Nylon 11, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB), Polyethylene, (chlorinated) polyester and thermo curing Epoxies.

Powder coatings process at that time were mostly used for coating boat accessories, metal furniture, dishwasher and washing machine baskets. The process technique to apply powder coatings at that time is called the fluidized bed technology.

The very high layer thicknesses that were the result of the fluidized bed process, were not desirable for many applications. In general counts that the higher the layer thickness, the less smooth the surface texture becomes.

In the US some companies started in the early 70’s to experiment with applying powder coatings by using the now commonly used electrostatic powder gun.

Development of Powder Coatings

Powder coatings give better protection against corrosion than wetpaints. Wetpaints are mainly used when slickness (smoothness) of the surface structure is more important than corrosion and scratch resistance, like for example in cars. Powder coatings are technically superior to wetpaints except in surface smoothness.

Since the slickness of car bodies is one of the most important properties to be regarded as desirable, they are still wetpainted. Otherwise they also they would have been started to powder coat bodies long time ago.

In the late 60’s and early 70’s there were four basic types of thermal curing resins developed that are still used today. These are: Epoxy, Epoxy-Polyester hybrids, Polyurethane and Polyester (TGIC) resins. Since a few years also TGIC-free Polyester coatings are available.

The number of powder coating plants in the world grew fast since the early 70’s. The electrostatic powder coating process took over the environmentally harmful and labor-intensive wetpaintings.

Only in the early 80’s more commercial applications of powder coatings started to emerge, because the equipment began to drop in price and the initial limited choice of color and shine started to expand rapidly. Thereafter, the growth rate went explosively, and the technique began to displace the traditional spraying on most applications.

Applications of Powder Coatings

  • Steel structures,
  • Aluminum frames, windows and doors,
  • Office furniture,
  • Steel fencing,
  • Light fictures,
  • Car bodies and parts,
  • Agricultural machinery,
  • Radiators,
  • Bicycles,
  • Etcetera.

Different Types of Powder Coatings

  • Epoxies
  • Polyesters
  • Epoxy-polyesters
  • Acrylics
  • Polyurethane
  • Epoxy coatings are often used in two-layer system to protect heavy duty steel beams like on the adjacent photograph.

As replacement of the environment unfriendly dip galvanizing, there are nowadays highly advanced Sink-Epoxy powder coatings available. When processed properly in a duplex system, these systems can give up at least 20 to 30 years protection against corrosion.

The Principle of Electrostatic Powder Coating

The essence of powder coating is that tiny solid paint parts are charged in a magnetic field.

By charging the solid powder particles, via the gun, and grounding the metal object, arises a magnetic field between the powder and the object. As soon as the powder particles have left the gun, they start moving towards the grounded product.

The powder particles follow during their travel between the gun and the object the so called (magnetic) field lines. After passing through the magnetic field, the powder particles end up on the product, and adhere at the place where the field lines end, like a magnet on a steel object.

At locations where field lines are weak, there will group also less powder particles.

Composition of Powder Coatings

  • Binder
  • Pigment
  • Filler
  • Hardener
  • Additives

By varying the type of raw material and the proportions, the properties of the coating can be influenced.

  • Main Properties of Powder Coatings
  • Structure Powders
  • Degassing powders
  • Metallics
  • Thin layer Powders
  • Low bake powders (low temperature)

The Faraday Cage Effect

One of the most occurring problems during the application of powder coatings with Corona guns is caused by the Faraday cage effect, because this technique uses an active electrical technique. A problem that the so called Tribo guns don’t have.

In the Corona technique not all the field lines are everywhere equal on the grounded product. Most field lines pinpoint on the outer corners of the product. On the flat surfaces are fewer field lines, and in cavities are the least field lines.

As a result most of the powder will gather on the corners and on sharp edges, and is it often difficult to inject the powder in small cavities.

Corona Versus Tribo

The adjacent picture shows the different results between the Corona and Tribo techniques. The left sample shows the result with the most commonly used Corona gun. And the right shows the result with the Tribo gun.

The Tribo technique has less problems with the Faraday cage effect, because the powder particles are statically charged in the gun itself, and doesn’t use the active charge that the Corona technique uses. But due to a few major disadvantages of the Tribo guns, like lower spray capacity and longer cleaning time during color change, the Corona guns are most used.

By means of the correct settings of equipment, the Faraday cage effect can be reduced, but cannot be avoided completely. Hence, the operator must often squirt manually to fill cavities of objects. Because of this, the production process becomes more labor intensive, and thus more expensive. Therefore, it is now an often well practiced part during the design process, to avoid unnecessary cavities in products, in order to avoid insufficient coverage.

Recovery

An important advantage of powder coating in contrast to liquid coatings, is that the recovered powder can be reused.

The powder particles leaving the cyclone (at the middle on the picture above) at the bottom side are returned to the storage tank. It is often assumed that all of the powder that ends up in the suction is fully recovered. In reality, it is only 80%, sometimes even less. This depends on the type of cyclone, and the condition of the filters in the extraction system.

If the filters are clogged, the air velocity in the cyclone will drop, and this diminishes the recovery power of the cyclone. As a result, larger amount of powder particles are also separated off as waste.

Color Change

The cleaning of the cabin is a very significant efficacy. The quality of the cleaning has much influence on the quality of the final product. In modern installations, the color change procedure can be performed in less than 10 minutes, whereas with older systems sometimes takes up to an hour.

Insufficient cleaning of the booth, the suction tubes or the cyclone leads to color contaminations. Any color contamination leads to rejection at the quality control. Get in touch for keeping your car paint protected from any dents.

Auto Body Repair: How Paintless Dent Removal Works and Benefits

Did you know that the average driver will get into 3 or 4 accidents in their entire lifetime? Most auto collisions will result in dents that may affect not only the structural integrity of the vehicle, but also the overall appearance. While there are many body fillers that can be applied to these dents, most auto shops are recommending a new type of technology: car paint protection. Familiarizing with the process involved with paintless dent removal and the benefits that it can offer can help you better determine whether you should give this new method or a try or resort to traditional body fillers.

How Does Paintless Dent Removal Work?

Paintless dent removal does not rely on paint nor body fillers. The process is simple. The mechanics will take the car apart, and gently massage the dents back into place using specialized tool and equipment. The exterior shell will be pushed back to its original position, so that the dent will no longer be noticeable.

Professionals who are skilled at paintless dent removal will be able to massage the shell back into position so well that the original dent is almost impossible to notice. Paintless dent removal is suitable for both aluminum and steel surfaces.

In order to implement paintless dent removal, the dent must be located on the exterior shell of the automobile, and must be accessible. There are several situations when paintless dent removal is not recommended. These situations include:

when the dents are less than 1 inch away from the edges of the doors, hoods, and parts.

when the dented region also has scratched or chipped paint.

when the dents are not accessible from the backside of the vehicle. For example, even if you were to take the car apart, you would not be able to access the protruding side of the dent.

when the dent is located on fuel doors.

when the dent is located on either metal or chrome bumpers.

What Are Some Advantages That Paintless Dent Removal Over Body Fillers?

Using body fillers to fill in the dent can be rather difficult. Mechanics will first need to prepare the area that has been dented before applying the fillers and polishing them until they are able to get the right shape. In comparison, paintless dent removal appears to be a lot simpler and easier. Paintless dent removal can offer several benefits over using body fillers. These advantages include:

not having to use any paint at all. If you have to repaint the vehicle, then you run the risk of not having the paint colors match up. This will no longer be a problem with paintless dent removal.

cost efficiency. In comparison to body fillers, paintless dent removal is a lot cheaper. The process is simpler, and the auto shops spend a considerable less amount of money purchasing materials.

being able to retain the original parts of the vehicle. This helps maintain overall structural integrity.

maintaining the market value of the vehicle. A vehicle with its original paint will retain a higher value than a repainted vehicle.

time efficiency. Paintless dent removal typically takes less time to complete than applying body fillers. Body fillers need to be cured, and this can take a long time, especially when auto shops will need to sand, polish and repaint the affected area.

Conclusion

Paintless dent removal has been highly recommended by many auto shops. Some auto shops specialize particularly in this procedure. Paintless dent removal also does not add any other materials or parts onto your car, and the dents and dings can be repaired without even a noticeable trace. In fact, ask a used car dealer to show you a vehicle that has been repaired in this way. You won’t even notice the repairs. Still not contented with the car paint protection of your car, why not get in touch with us.

What is an Electronic Billboard?

An electronic billboard is basically a large (or even giant!) screen made up of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs whose lights are arranged and timed to create static, changing or full motion text and images. Bring your business into another level by trusting a signs Sydney who can design a better advertisement billboard for you. It can also go by these names:

Digital billboard
Digital, electronic or video display
Electronic message sign or board

It can be thought of as being similar to a digital photo which is made up of pixels. However, on an electronic billboard, pixels are LED bulbs. Unlike a digital photo, the resolution is not determined by how many pixels the board uses, but how close together the pixels are. The closer together they are, the more realistic the image that can be produced.

The simplest and least expensive are monochrome boards that use one color (usually red or amber) LED bulbs to create text messages or even simple pictures. More complex boards can produce multiple color, television-like images since each pixel has three color LEDs (red, green and blue, also referred to as RGB) just like a television or computer screen. Images created for the billboards, whether simple or complex, are controlled by a combination of hardware, computers, software and Internet connections, usually remotely.

Though typically used outdoors for advertising, some electronic billboard equipment can also be used indoors for retail, restaurants, trade shows, entertainment and sporting events. Other uses both indoors and out can include traffic alerts, directional signs and safety information (such as in construction zones).

Dynamic Digital Signage and Flexible Advertising Advantage

Unlike standard billboard signs made of paper or vinyl materials which remain in place for weeks or months at a time, electronic billboard images can be quickly and easily changed, even within minutes and sometimes remotely. This allows an advertiser to start, stop or change promotions to take advantage of short-term opportunities and frequently changing data.

The ability to change digital signs quickly, frequently and/or remotely is referred to as dynamic digital signage. Some applications of this technology could include:

Restaurant menu boards that change according to time of day.
Directional signs that may change from day to day, such as for events, conferences and trade shows.
Advertising tailored for specific marketing demographics and locations.

This can help reduce costs for physical signs and provide more effective communications.
How Electronic Billboard Advertising is Sold

Electronic billboard equipment can be sold direct to businesses to use on their own properties.

Ads can also be purchased on existing electronic billboards. These types of ads more resemble radio advertising in that advertisers purchase time on the billboard based on dayparts such as morning drive, daytime, afternoon drive, nighttime and overnight. Usually this time on the board is sold through local, national or even international media networks.

Images on electronic boards can be set to change every 4 to 10 seconds, depending on the equipment used and/or the advertising time package purchased.

Advanced electronic billboard technology can even offer interactive features to engage audiences.

Challenges

With the flexibility and high impact that electronic billboards can offer, one might think that they are a natural advertising choice. However, there are some significant issues that have plagued all billboard advertising for decades which are getting even more challenging with the advent of digital.

Driving Safety. Drivers have a myriad of distractions while on the road. An eyecatching billboard can divert drivers’ attention so much that it could cause accidents. This is especially the case with digital boards that may have animated effects.
Local Regulations. While some communities welcome the addition of electronic billboards to the landscape, others are adamantly against them because they feel these boards visually pollute the environment. Some communities have very restrictive rules regarding placement and specifications for either safety or zoning issues. Sometimes getting approval can be a long process, delaying the marketing benefits that could be realized. These regulations are of most concern to businesses that are purchasing their own billboards. For those who are only purchasing time on an existing billboard, this is less of a concern since the board’s owner has likely resolved any regulatory issues prior to installing the equipment.

Prior to any purchasing any electronic billboard equipment or ad time, advertisers should thoroughly investigate any local regulations that may apply. Consult with outdoor advertising networks and manufacturers who have experience in dealing with these issues.
Are Electronic Billboards Green?

Since electronic billboards typically use LEDs, the light produced is more energy efficient than standard light bulbs. But they are likely to become even more efficient as LED technologies continue to evolve and are integrated into the boards. They also eliminate the use of paper or vinyl products that would be used for traditional poster-type billboards.

Depending on the definition of “green,” some communities may consider the use of illuminated signs as incompatible with the surrounding natural environment. As mentioned earlier, similar complaints have been an issue for all billboards over the years, prompting the development of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 in the United States.
Best Practices

As with standard billboard advertising, these best practices apply to digital as well:

High Contrast. There must be high degree of contrast between the message and the background. Light and muted colors can wash out on digital boards. So stick with bright and bold contrasted with darks.
Simplified Message. Viewers have only a few seconds to see your digital message. So only limit your message to 10 words or less and one main idea.
Go Large. Make both text and images large for quick reading at distances of hundreds of feet and while speeding past at up to 55 miles an hour. Even if being used for pedestrian traffic, it still applies since it may be competing in a visually noisy environment.
Location, Location, Location. Make sure you place your digital ad message where your most likely customer prospects will frequent.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Because of the swiftly shifting messages on electronic billboards, you do need to keep repeating your message over time to make sure it has the best chance to be viewed by your target audience.

In today’s mobile, cable television and Internet marketplace in which ads can easily be turned off, electronic billboards can provide an always-on advertising channel for your message. Get in touch with makers of signage for your business.

How to Remove Paint From Window Glass (Without Scratching)

Window Paint Is Serious Business

I look at windows all day (it’s my job) and my favorites are the stores that paint hearts for Valentine’s day, Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, Basketballs for March Madness and Firecrackers for the 4th of July. We are able to provide signwriters Sydney to all businesses in Australia and our aim is to provide you cost effective signage solutions to help your business.

These seasonal graphics put me in a fun mood to celebrate and often reminds me that I haven’t bought flowers for my wife yet! (Thank you!)

Seasonal topics can be fun. For stores, these painted windows are serious business.

Reminding me to get flowers puts me into a psychological “need mode“, and the advertised deal 20% off on a dozen roses entices me to enter the store and buy them (“action mode“). We all do this every day – no big deal – but what if it’s mid-March and a store still has Valentine’s Day decorations?

Am I supposed to get flowers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? No. Get flowers for my wife so I can watch college basketball? It helps, but probably not necessary.

Now I’m confused.

And I begin to question if this store cares about me. It’s sending the wrong message, and I might be less likely to visit their store because of it.

Serious Business. Subtle, but serious.

Removing Paint is Messy

In response to one of my blog posts “First Impressions Matter…What Does Yours Say? (Nov, 2011)“, I received the following question:

Charles W. from Redondo Beach writes: “My store’s image is very important and we paint our windows to keep up with each holiday and event. We change our windows graphics about 10 – 12 times per year and when we remove the paint it sure is messy. Any tips on how to remove it properly and efficiently – my son Matt really wants to know. Thanks! “

Well Charles, the least messy way to remove paint is to have someone else do it! If you are (or most likely Matt is) going to remove the paint, here are some pointers to remove paint from your windows without scratching the glass and without a big messy clean up job.

The following techniques address commercial storefront windows with standard metal frames.

In future articles I’ll provide information on removing paint, stickers, over spray, etc. from residential windows.

The removal techniques for commercial and residential windows are generally the same. The differences reflect the size and scale of the jobs, plus residential windows requires a lot more detail work since you live with those windows every day.

A Quick Word About Razors

For small paint removal jobs like drips, small lettering and over spray, start by using #0000 fine-grade steel wool.

Fine steel wool is safe, works great and it gets the job done fast.

You can also use a Mini Glass Scraper. They are safe and handy for small clean up jobs and you can get them just about anywhere.

For large jobs, you are going to need a professional grade window scraper / razor or you’ll be there all day and your arm is really going to hurt from overuse.

Using a Razor to Remove Paint From Windows

Warning! Using razors can be dangerous. Do not use a razor without reading the instructions and receiving proper training.

As with any project, it’s important to always start with the right equipment.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bucket of Soapy Water – Dish washing soap works great. Use about as much soap as you would use when doing the dishes in a sink.
  • Professional Grade Window Scraper – Your local hardware store carries many brands, we like the 6-inch Triumph Angled Scraper.
  • Painters Tarp & A Broom – This tarp catches the paint “sheets” and shavings. The broom, well it’s a broom. What do you think it’s for?
  • Window Cleaning Equipment – We recommend using a squeegee, mop and some clean dry towels. Have some #0000 fine steel wool handy too.

Got everything? Ok, let’s get started.

Step #1: Spread the Tarp & Apply Lot’s of Soapy Water

Start by laying down the tarp along the glass. Next, drench the paint and glass with soapy water. Wait about 2-4 minutes and then re-apply more soapy water before proceeding.

Always make sure the window’s surface is slippery or you can scratch the glass. Using lots of soapy water causes the paint to stick together as you scrape instead of flaking off in small pieces.

Step #2: Scrape in a Small, Inconspicuous Area First

Remove a little paint with your scraper to make sure the glass isn’t scratching. If you hear a coarse, gritty sound stop immediately and check your blade – it may be dull or broken. If so, replace it with a new one.

Also, if you see scratches, there may be imperfections in the glass and you should either stop the job or apply even more soapy water and proceed with extreme caution.

Important Note: As you stroke, always push your blade forward and lift it from the glass as you finish and reload for the next one. Scratching may occur if you drag the blade across glass during an unnecessary back stroke.

Step #3: Scrape Around the Window’s Perimeter

Angle your razor 30° – 45° away from window’s frame and remove the paint along the frames. The angle prevents the blade from catching and scratching the frame and caulking.

If the window has been drenched, you’ll notice the paint comes off in big pieces, or “sheets”, as you move across the glass.

Try to keep the “sheet” intact as you finish your stroke and gently put it on the tarp. It’s efficient and much cleaner.

Step #4: Scrape the Rest of the Window

Once the frames are clear, keep your razor’s 30° – 45° angle and use overlapping horizontal or vertical strokes to remove the remaining paint. If the glass/paint is getting dry, use more soapy water – you want big sections of paint to come off as described above.

Some newbies use their blade at a 90° or “right” angle to the paint as they try to “chip” the paint off. Do this and you’ll create flakes and probably break your blades frequently. Using a 30° – 45° angle efficiently “slices” the paint off the glass and reduces flaking.

Tip: If the paint is flaking, apply more soapy water and make sure you are keep the razor’s proper angle as you stroke.

Step #5: Clean the Glass and Clean Your Work Area

You’ve removed most of the paint off but small pieces remain. Re-apply soapy water and use a combination of the Razor and the #0000 fine steel wool to remove what’s left.

Once complete, remove & fold your tarp with the paint “sheets” and flakes, you should have caught about 80% – 90%. Discard the paint appropriately.

Use your mop and squeegee to clean the windows and remove any remaining flakes from the glass.

The remaining 10% – 20% of the paint flakes need to dry on the ground. Attempting to sweep them while wet only rubs them into the ground. It should dry in about 30 minutes.

Do you remember the broom? Good, let’s use it!

Follow these 5 efficient steps and you’ll have paint-free windows with less hassles!

Now Let’s Get Ready for the Memorial Day Sales!

Razor Safety Tips

As noted above, razors can be dangerous if not used correctly.

Because we use razors during our normal business day, we constantly train our cleaners on how to use a razor properly.

Here are some razor safety rules:

  • All razors are to be inspected prior to each use and at the end of each day.
  • All scrapers are to be carried in a safe manner or put in a safe place.
  • All protective covers must be in place at all times when the razor is not in use.
  • Two cleaners should never work side by side when scraping glass. A safe distance (approximately 5 feet) should be maintained.
  • Razors should be discarded appropriately so no one can come in direct contact with the blade.
  • If at any time a razor is broken it should be discarded in a safe manner immediately.
  • If the protective cover is broken a new properly functioning cover must be provided prior to continued use of the razor.
  • Razors should never be placed in buckets that have water in them or pockets without the protected cover.
  • Razors must be kept away from children at all times.
  • Always place the cover on the razor when not in use.
  • If at any point your razor falls let it drop. Never attempt to catch a falling razor.

For affordable vehicle signs click here and we will customized it for you.

Learn how to detail a car so you don’t end up with a dumpster

When you were a kid, washing the family car required soap, a sponge, and some water. It was approximate at best, a way to kill time on a warm summer evening while earning allowance money. As an adult, you undoubtedly realized keeping a car squeaky-clean demands considerably more effort than your 8-year-old self put in. Car detailing Port Melbourne made it as easy as possible for you to arrange for us to come and work our magic on your vehicle, so that you can once again drive it with pride around the streets of Port Melbourne.

It’s well worth it, though. A clean car is like a clean house: You feel better when you’re in it. Clearing out months (or years) of garbage and dust also makes it easier to sell your ride to a private buyer, or helps you get more for your trade-in at the local dealership. If you’re not sure where to start, read on to learn how to detail a car.

Use the right products

Using the right products will save you time, prevent costly damage to your car, and ultimately yield a much better result. Car cleaning products are available from a wide variety of places. You can buy them at auto parts stores like Auto Zone, at nearly every major grocery store, or online from an endless list of vendors. We recommend picking up a dedicated car-wash product (sorry, but Head and Shoulders won’t cut it), wheel cleaner, rubber cleaner, and wax. Bug and tar remover will come in handy if your car is particularly dirty.

That is just for the exterior. To detail the interior, plan on buying carpet cleaner, glass cleaner, wipes, plus leather or vinyl care products, if applicable. Broadly speaking, there is no need to spend a fortune on high-end products to get a good result. Meguiar’s is a trusted name in the car cleaning business, and it sells a complete car care kit for a little under $60.

You also need basic equipment including a soft sponge (or a lamb’s wool mitt), a chamois, at least one microfiber towel, a sponge to clean the wheels, a bucket, a vacuum cleaner, cotton swabs, and a plastic bag. Finally, set aside a cooler with cold beverages, a playlist with your favorite tunes, and a free afternoon.

Start with the interior

It’s good practice to start with the interior, especially if your car hasn’t been cleaned in a while. The foot wells are likely full of dirt, dust, and other debris that will inevitably settle on the car’s body if they become airborne. Remove the floor mats, and fill your trash bag with the miscellaneous wrappers, empty coffee cups, and receipts that call your center console home.

Vacuum the seats, the floors, and every nook and cranny donut flakes can fit snugly into. If the carpets are clean, great; if they’re not, it’s time to bust out the carpet cleaner. Cleaner wipes work wonders on the dashboard, while cotton swabs coax dust out of small crevasses like the air vents and the space between the buttons on the center console. Slide the front seats all the way back to reveal bonus trash treasures hidden by your car’s first owner. Who knows, you might even find the MP3 player you lost last winter.

It’s a good idea to wash the floor mats, but don’t drop them in the washing machine. The best way to clean floor mats is to pressure wash them, though scrubbing them sometimes does the trick, too. Ensure they’re 100 percent dry before you even think of putting them back in the car. Wet or damp mats could cause mold to grow on the carpet, reducing your car’s resale value to below zero.

The perfect finish

With the interior taken care of, and all of the windows closed, you are ready to turn your attention to the body. Start by washing the dirtiest parts of the car first: The door jambs, the rocker panels, and the wheels. Always use a separate sponge for the wheels. They are covered in brake dust and other residues which you want to keep off the rest of the car. Don’t forget to clean your tires, too.

Hose the car down and wash it from top to bottom, going around it and rinsing the sponge often. Repeat if necessary, especially if you’re dealing with a car covered in mud, dust, or road salt, and rinse it thoroughly. Letting the body air dry will leave nasty watermarks, even if it’s parked in the shade, so use a chamois instead. It’s certainly more time-consuming, but it’s a crucial part of getting the jewel-like finish you’re after. Apply a thin, even coat of wax when the body is completely dry, and use a microfiber towel to remove the wax residue. Now you can put your equipment down, stand back, and admire your new-again car.

Other quick DIY projects

While you’re giving your car a little TLC, consider fixing some of the most common (and easy-to-remedy) maintenance issues. If you haven’t encountered the aggravation of squeaky brakes, you will one day — that’s a promise. Fortunately, there are a few solutions, most of which can be applied in an hour or two. Ever tried changing your oil? If not, you’ll be amazed by how easy the process is; you may even wonder why you’d ever pay someone else to do the job. Speaking of maintenance you probably pay for by default, rotating car tires is an easy, important task that requires minimal tools and time. In the same vein of easy, low-cost fixes, changing spark plugs is a no-hassle solution to rough idling and even cylinder misfiring. Click here for removing the dent of your car.

How to Remove Old Vinyl RV Graphics and Ghost Letters

I do have some helpful tips to share about how to remove old vinyl lettering off an RV, but first I have to mention why we might take the graphics off our mobile headquarters that have been advertising Team Agreda everywhere we’ve been over the past seven plus years… Vehicle signage Sydney are good in small advertising business.

The cat is out of the bag.

The first time those words appeared in this blog, we had just sold our sticks and bricks business and not yet even picked up the brand new 2007 Arctic Fox 245N fifth wheel trailer we purchased with plans to travel the country for a year with Jerry. That rig served us well, very well. But as Rene eluded to in her recent rant about the evolution of our lifestyle, the time had indeed come for another major life upgrade.

So upgrade we did. But more about that to come, much more.

We don’t mean to be so secretive, it’s just that we’ve been pretty busy during this transition—preparing the old rig for trade-in and buying the new one, not to mention certain roadblocks, unexpected upgrades and bit of remodeling I’ll be writing about soon! Suffice it to say, we are pretty damn happy with our new (to us) 2010 Arctic Fox 275B.

But there I go digressing again. Back to that sticky issue of those graphics…

Removing Seven Year Old Vinyl Ghosts

After doing our homework, and finding our perfect next home office on wheels, we wanted to get the best trade-in value for our old rig. The dealer gave us a quote over the phone, with the usual “subject to inspection” disclaimer. Our first thought was that we shouldn’t show up with our websites and taglines plastered all over it with vinyl letters.

But after seven years on the road, we had to remove more than just the vinyl graphics—which are much easier to put on!

Without getting to technical, exposure to the elements causes oxidation of any vehicle coating. This can create a ghosting effect behind any applied graphics. Removal of the graphics reveals the original vehicle color, creating a ghost image of any vinyl that gets removed.

So, here are those tips I promised for removing vinyl lettering, graphic adhesive and ghost images caused by oxidation…

1. Use Heat to Help Release Vinyl

Many people recommend using a rotary vinyl eraser to quickly remove vinyl letters and graphics. After spending much of my previous life in the graphics industry, however, I believe the best tool to remove smaller vinyl letters without damaging the surface below, is your fingernail. Most lettering will peel up with ease once you get under an edge.

Using a hair dryer set on Hot will make the job much easier. Warm each letter for 10-20 seconds first. Pick at an edge enough to pinch the vinyl and start peeling. Keep the heat applied while slowly pulling up and follow the contour of the letter to avoid tearing the vinyl. Maintain a distance of at least a few inches to avoid melting the vinyl or damaging fiberglass beneath, if applicable

2. Use Professional Vinyl Adhesive Remover

Getting the vinyl off is only the first step. The adhesive will still remain. As tempted as you may be to use some industrial strength solvent, do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives. Chemical based solvents are potentially dangerous to use on painted surfaces, can damage fiberglass, and have numerous health hazards.

The best vinyl adhesive remover we found is Rapid Remover by RapidTac. Rapid Remover is a water-soluble non-toxic adhesive remover that works fast! Spray it on the exposed adhesive, wait a few minutes and wipe away the residue with a sponge or plastic squeegee.

Rapid Remover works fast without causing damage to most surfaces. After removing lettering, spray any glue residue with Rapid Remover and let it penetrate for 30-60 seconds. Rub the moistened adhesive with a sponge or rag, then rinse with water and wipe surface clean.

3. Get Rid of Ghost Letters

As I mentioned, vinyl lettering or graphics left on an RV for any extended period of time will leave behind a “ghost sign” image when removed.

You cannot remove these ghosts, since they are actually caused by the oxidation discoloring the area around them. You must remove the oxidation on the vehicle’s surface to match the color beneath the vinyl that has been protecting its surface area from oxidation.

Ghost Off Oxidation Remover does the trick! This product will restore weather-exposed surfaces, eliminating ghost sign images from vehicle surfaces covered by graphics. Just spray Ghost Off onto the oxidized surface, wait about a minute and agitate the area with a soft brush. Rinse from top to bottom and watch the the oxidation flow away.

Depending on how long the lettering has been applied that you are removing, you may need to repeat the application of Ghost Off—we had to do it a few times. That’s why I recommend getting at least a gallon! You may be able to save on other RV Oxidation Removers at Amazon.

Best Tips For Removing RV Vinyl Lettering

I have two final tips for anyone preparing to remove vinyl graphics or lettering from an RV, truck, trailer or boat.

1. Use Elbow Grease.

To avoid damaging the surface, take your time and use some muscle. But don’t be tempted to use abrasive pads or harsh cleanser. You can do it, put you back into it!

2. Don’t Put Vinyl Letters On Your Rig!

Most importantly, to avoid all the costs, effort and time of removing lettering and detailing your RV, the solution is simple.

Do not apply any vinyl graphics in the first place! If we add any lettering to our new rig, believe me, it will be discreet and only be applied to the windows where it can be easily scraped off! Click here for a comfortable way in advertising your business.

How to perform interior cleaning basics

Spectators may admire a car by its style, skin and look, however the car owner — besides passengers from time to time — is the one who see the vehicle’s interior each time he or she drives it. Therefore, keeping the interior of your customers’ cars clean, tidy and aromatic will in turn keep your customers and your bottom line happy. Our guide on starting a car detailing companies covers a quality service for the clients.

To rebel against the dirt and grime wreaking havoc on the inside of their cars, your customers will want to get back that factory feel and look from the outside in.

Interior detailing can range from simple tasks, such as vacuuming the floor mats and carpets, to full detailing which typically includes vinyl cleaning, dressing, carpet shampooing and leather conditioning services.

Interior cleaning serves various purposes:

  • Makes a car more valuable for selling
  • Extends the life of car components such as its seats and dashboard
  • Makes your customers happy, improving satisfaction and profits.

For the purpose of this post, we will discuss a few basic interior cleaning tips sure to help carwashes, whether new or looking to extend their service offerings, target more customers.

Prep tip: Before starting with the actual cleaning, throw away the trash and take out other belongings from the car.

Vacuuming loose dirt

Dirt accumulates inside cars easily, whether driven frequently. The foremost step when it comes to interior cleaning is to vacuum up any loose dirt.

Materials needed: To carry out this step, you’ll need a crevice tool, a bristle-free upholstery attachment and vacuum cleaner.

Step one: If the floor mats in the car are equipped, remove them first and then carefully lift them. Dump off the dust and grit outside the car and beat the mats against a wall.

Step two: It’s now time to vacuum. Attach the bristle-free upholstery add-on to the vacuum hose and run the cleaner on the mats as well as the entire carpeted surface to completely remove the loose dirt. Moreover, run the same set up again over the carpet to agitate it in back and forth strokes with the vacuum attachment. This will loosen the dirt up and remove any debris deeper inside the carpet surface. Don’t forget to vacuum cushions and seat covers, areas around the driver’s pedal under the seats and anywhere else dust and dirt might collect.

Step three: Once all the carpet and fabrics have been swept, vacuum all the edges by placing the crevice tool over the vacuum hose.

Step four: To clean up the vinyl or rubber floors (if the car has any), use soap, water and a stiff-bristled brush. Use the vacuum cleaner to suck or dry the excess water over the rubber floor.

Cleaning plastic and vinyl

Cleaning a car’s vinyl surface is as important as cleaning the floor because it is the greatest restorative difference when it comes to detailing the car’s interior.

Materials needed: At this phase of cleaning, you’ll need a microfiber cloth and a good, but mild, vinyl cleaner.

Step one: Before you begin with the actual cleaning, wipe down all the vinyl and plastic surfaces thoroughly using a clean cloth to eliminate dust buildup.

Step two: Spray some vinyl cleaner onto the cloth, and wipe the plastic and vinyl surface for any stains or spots. Wipe down the dash panels, door panels, steering wheel cover, glove box and central console. Do this until you get a streak-free finish on all the car’s plastic and vinyl surfaces.

Warning: Do not apply vinyl cleaner directly onto the steering wheel because it can cause the wheel to become slippery, which may cause problems when the customer is driving.

Cleaning leather

Many cars are equipped with leather seats; so make sure to adequately clean this surface. Conditioning the leather every six months keeps them moisturized and supple to prevent from cracks and tears.

Materials needed: You’ll need a leather cleaner, leather conditioner and microfiber cloth.

Step one: Damp a clean cloth in some leather cleaner, and wipe all the leather seats (surfaces) thoroughly; then allow them to dry. Make sure you cover all the edges and crevices of the seats while wiping.

Step two: Take a clean cloth again, and apply a small amount of leather conditioner. In a circular motion, wipe down the full surface, and allow it to absorb and dry completely. Sponge or dab the excess conditioner off from the seating surface.

Crystal clear windows

Window/glass cleaning is the last step. This will help you clean any dust, cleaner or conditioner that settles on the windows during the cleaning process. And, for many, this may be the easiest part of the interior cleaning package.

Materials needed: To accomplish an effective window cleaning service, you’ll need a glass cleaner, microfiber cloth and an additional clean towel or cloth.

Step one: Spray a significant amount of glass cleaner onto a clean cloth/towel. However, make sure you don’t spray it directly on the window surface because this may leave spots on your clean vinyl surfaces.

Step two: Wipe the cloth over the window surface in an up-and-down motion, and then in a side-to-side motion. To clean the side windows, rub the cloth inside the surface, and then roll down the window five to six inches.

Step three: Make sure to also clean the window edge. Roll the window down to a few inches, and wipe the edges well using the cloth sprayed with the cleaner. Follow the same process for all windows.

If you feel the window surface is wet, use a separate microfiber cloth to dry them, helping to get a crystal clear window surface.

Finally, after you have finished cleaning the interior, put the floor mats, and any other belongings you put off to the side, back inside the vehicle.

The steps discussed in this blog post are some of the basic interior cleaning services carwashes and detailing centers can provide.

Congratulations! You now have a happy customer who may go tell his or her friends of the good service performed, leading to a stronger customer base and higher profit margins. Need help in detailing your ugly looking car? Click here!

Pilates – Less is More!

Anyone who knows me has heard me say this more than once: Pilates is like learning a foreign language. Just as you wouldn’t expect to know German or Chinese after just one class, you can’t expect to have mastered the Pilates method after only one or two sessions. It sometimes takes several sessions to just get the hang of it. When people ask me “What is Pilates?” I explain that it is a method of stretching and strengthening muscles at the same time, that it works the entire body and that Pilates is something anyone can do. This is true, but for most people doing Pilates for the first time it’s sometimes difficult for them to feel graceful and fluid right away. I often hear them say, “Where should I feel this?” and “I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.” As Joe Pilates said, the key is to get the mind to tell the body what to do. Easier said than done! The polestarpilates.edu.au is proud to offer pilates teacher training Sydney course.

I have been doing Pilates for 10 years and I still feel challenged by the exercises. Having not been a dancer the exercises seemed easy at first, but to do them correctly was a challenge. When I discovered Pilates, I was curious to see if it would help my back pain. A client of mine who was taking Pilates lessons told me about a studio and I scraped together enough cash to commit to a few sessions. I remember during one of my first Pilates sessions my instructor told me to use my stomach, and relax the muscles in front of my thighs to do Leg Circles, one of the beginner exercises. I thought she was crazy! “How am I supposed to hold my leg up in the air without clenching my entire thigh?” I thought. She kept moving through the exercises without stopping, which was great teaching, I now realize….because had she sat and tried to explain to me intellectually how to use certain muscles and not others, we would have wasted half the session. Thankfully, I stuck with Pilates. Why? Not because I found it easy. Not because I felt like I was good at it. Not because I felt like an acrobat in Cirque du Soliel hanging upside down off the Cadillac with my feet hooked into fuzzy straps. It was because I had fun and felt so great after each session- energized, invigorated, focused, and calm. I always looked forward to my next session. I never bought into the “it can change your body” claim. I didn’t really think my body was changeable. Plus, I didn’t really mind my body too much before Pilates, so I didn’t think much about that part. But, after a while my body really did change, clothes fit better and I felt better; pain free, more flexible, more fluid.

One of the things I truly believe is that changing your body with exercise (Pilates in particular) is absolutely within your control. But it needs to start in your mind. Not the way you might be thinking, in terms of motivation, which, of course, is important to keep you interested. By “in your mind” I mean that you need to develop awareness in your brain about your body, with real focus on what you are doing. This happens by waking up muscles that you never even knew you had (literally) and making them strong. It also happens by simply paying attention. By taking note of the subtleties of the movements you make with your body. By using imagery to place and position your body correctly so that normal movements feel effortless. By quieting your brain, listening to your own breath, noticing your habits, tendencies and weaknesses and working on them. This is what Joe Pilates had in mind when he came up with his principles, Concentration, Centering, Control, Precision, Fluidity, Breath. All of these principles are what make a Pilates exercise. Performing exercises with all of these qualities in mind is the challenge and also what separates Pilates from other types of exercises that address “core strength”. For instance, you can do the (relatively short) stomach series using all of the seven principles (no matter what your level, by the way) and still get more out of it than doing one hundred crunches without focus or control.

When you watch an experienced Pilates practitioner do a workout they make it look effortless. I can understand how many people think that Pilates is meant to be relaxing, like a massage or a soak in a Jacuzzi. After all, it’s known as a “spa”-ish exercise. The word “gentle” is often used to describe Pilates. You might even be able to get a pedicure, facial, buy organic cotton slippers and do Pilates at the same place! So it’s not a wonder I have clients who have said to me at the first session, “I actually have to do something? I thought it was something that was done to me!” One of my favorite mentors, Bob Leikens, used to joke about this all the time. He used to say, “Yes, that’s why they call it a WORK-out!”

But the reason it looks so effortless is because he or she is a) using muscle strength but not to the point of exhaustion b) doing no more than 8-10 repetitions of each exercise, c) breathing and d) probably having fun too! The truth is, you don’t need to feel a “burn” or pain every time you exercise in order to get benefit from it. That is a myth. Certain training methods, like bodybuilding, heavy weight lifting, and/or strength training, require that the muscles work until failure. This is because the goal is for the muscle to break down and rebuild itself and hypertrophy, or grow bigger in size. The people who do these types of training programs could probably benefit greatly from Pilates too. (Really!) There is really no physical activity that can’t be improved by the mind/body connection that Pilates develops. From horseback riding to swimming to simply walking, by changing the way you carry your body, Pilates makes your movements easier, more comfortable, and more efficient. I often have the opportunity to work with clients who are already clearly very fit, strong, agile and athletic. They might even have six-pack abs on the surface. That doesn’t always necessarily mean they have deep, inner strength or awareness or even control. You will find that although you might not feel pain or discomfort during your session, a Pilates workout is challenging. However, you can’t space out or talk on your cell or read a magazine while you are doing Pilates either. The exercises only REALLY begin to work when you can concentrate enough to do them as correctly as you can. So much of the “work” is just as much in your brain, and takes time, patience, learning from mistakes, and persistence. The results are well worth the effort. Just check out anyone who does Pilates regularly and watch how they move, what physical activities they enjoy, and how much time they don’t spend in pain!

There really is no end to what you can learn in Pilates….it is a practice that you can build your whole life. The deep core strength and control that you develop in Pilates are not just simply for the sake of learning more exercises and becoming a more advanced Pilates student. What you learn in Pilates should and will carry into every aspect and activity of your life. Even sitting in a chair working on a computer will feel better, easier and more efficient to you. Having more energy and feeling good and moving with ease can’t be bad for your confidence, self-esteem, even relationships. You will feel more positive about your body, and you will have more fun. All reasons why it’s worth the extra time put in, even if in the beginning you don’t know if you’re “doing it right!” So if you are one of those students who asks themselves if Pilates is really working, know that you are teaching yourself skills that you will be thankful for later! More details here regarding pilates teacher.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Danielle_O’Connell/555762

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4097623

Bathroom Renovation Ideas – Be Prepared And Inspired

Are you tired of the look of your current bathroom layout and feel that it needs a total upgrade? If so you are one of the many people who don’t particularly like the way their bathroom looks. The bathroom is probably the most overlooked room in your home because most people do not feel that the amount of time they spend there warrants the expenditure of money or energy on undertaking a renovation project. Explore our menu and see what country style bathrooms has to offer.

This is in fact quite wrong as a recent study indicates that women will, on average, spend the equivalent of 2 years and 9 months of their lives standing in front of their bathroom mirror fixing their make up and ensuring that they look ‘just right’ before venturing out of the house.

In reality the bathroom home improvement is easily the best place to start you renovation work as you can accomplish quite a transformation with a little imagination, a splash of flair and, of course, a few basic building skills. If you are interested in upgrading your bathroom, but really don’t know where to start, do some research so you can consider the options that are open to you.

The ease of undertaking a bathroom renovation is due to the fact that the average bathroom is quite small in size and therefore a fairly modest remodeling program will have some marked results. Most bathroom renovation ideas are often centered on a replacement of wall and floor tiles as well as the inclusion of new fixtures and fittings. Don’t be put off attempting the project if one of your bathroom renovation ideas includes enlarging the space. The chances are that extending the area of you bathroom will not be too difficult as it could be as simple as removing an adjacent closet or a dividing wall. You will be amazed at how even a relatively small increase of the bathroom area can have a remarkable effect on the look and feel of the room.

Summon Up The Courage And Implement Your Bathroom Renovation Ideas!

Don’t be put off by the big jobs – stripping down the entire bathroom may look like a complicated job but, in all reality, it is quite simple and requires little more than some hard labor by you (and maybe a friend or two). If you are ever going to introduce some good bathroom renovation ideas then you have to get out of your comfort zone and learn some of the skills needed to undertake the work.

If you really are a novice when it comes to renovation work, then it may be in your best interest to engage a professional builder for some aspects of the job. This way you can observe how he approaches the job and you should also be able to throw a few relevant questions his way. Take time and study how to operate the particular power tools needed on the job. Quite often you can download from the internet some quite well presented instructional guides which show you how to use various power tools.

Before you start the bathroom home improvement ensure that you put together a realistic costing for your bathroom renovation. Check some of the online specialty bathroom websites and put together a pricing list for the fixtures such as vanity, light and toilet fittings. We all dream about having gold taps and features in our bathrooms, however, the reality check is that the cost for most people would be prohibitive and well beyond their budget.

When deciding on the look of your bathroom just remember that for many people the bathroom is a private get-away where they like to relax and have a little solitude. If you want to create a sense of tranquility then you should consider going with a classic style that incorporates crisp colors with minimal clutter. By doing this you can create a soft feeling of light and space so that your bathroom becomes a welcoming retreat. If, however, you want to make a statement and don’t particularly want to have to queue to get into your bathroom then go crazy with your creativity and splash around as much color as you like.

Before your bathroom remodeling ideas get the better of you be aware that the whole project will take some time and, unless you engage a professional or take time off from work, there may be some inconvenience while you squeeze the work in at night or during the weekends.

A Word Of Caution

Try to adopt a patient approach and don’t be put off if you initially make a few small mistakes. Even the experts make mistakes at times and even the best bathroom renovation ideas have some inherent problems that will need some corrective action at a later date. Be patient and most importantly, be happy with the thought you’re your workable bathroom renovation ideas are not so difficult after all. With a little forward planning and creativity your new look private oasis can transform before your eyes.

For more details on Bathroom Renovation Ideas [http://www.easyhouseimprovement.com/home-remodeling-advice/bathroom-home-improvement-14/] and other home improvement and house remodeling tips visit DIY Home Remodeling Tips [http://www.easyhouseimprovement.com/].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Madonna_Jeffries/92196

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/861970