Hot Tempered Rainbows: Real Objects (Not Ska Bands) And How To Make Them

Hot tempered rainbows are real things. They may sound like angry rainbows in the sky or like a Ska band, but in actuality they are something quite different. For more information, and how to make hot tempered rainbows of your own, the following should help.

What Hot Tempered Rainbows Are

Hot tempered rainbows are a fascinating effect created on a piece of steel. In fact, you can even get this effect on sword blades, which makes the swords even more interesting and fun to wield. The “rainbows” themselves start out straw- or wheat-colored, then slowly graduate into golden yellow, orange, magenta/purple, indigo blue, and bright electric blue before fading into an iconic steel blue-gray. The effect is achieved through heating the steel at numerous temperatures between 399 degrees Fahrenheit and 639 degrees Fahrenheit.

How You Can Create Your Own Hot Tempered Rainbows

Obviously, you will need an oven, forge, or furnace that can heat to the temperatures required to create these bands of color. Having some skill in black-smithing, thermal processing, or metallurgy helps too, but as long as you understand the risks, the precautionary measures, and the process, you can do this. Once you have all of the necessary equipment (both protective and process), you can begin.

The first thing you need to do is select your piece of steel. As a beginner, steel rods or long, narrow sheets of steel will work just fine until you get the hang of this.

  1. Heat your fire source to just under 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and insert the metal.
  2. Leave it sit there for a few minutes, then begin to pull it out of the fire a few inches at a time.
  3. In between these “emergings,” stoke the fire to make the temperature rise higher. If your heat source is electric, turn the heat knob up another 100 degrees.
  4. Continue this process until the end of the rod or sheet has sat in temps around the 639-degree blue/blue gray mark.
  5. Now, pull your steel from the heat source all the way. 
  6. Flash-cool it in cold water. Some of the tempering you did at the very beginning will already be cool and showing its colors, but flash-cooling the steel piece will make it all one easy-to-handle temperature.

Lay the steel flat in a safe place until it is definitely cool enough to pick up with bare hands. Examine your work and your hot tempered rainbow. If you like what you see, repeat the process. If you do not, tweak what you did to get a different appearance. For more information, contact local professionals like Pacific Metallurgical Inc.

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Driveway Looking Worse-For-Wear? 4 Problems You Could Be Facing

Look at your driveway. If it’s covered in a network of cracks, potholes, and crumbling edges, there might be some underlying issues that are causing the problems. Unfortunately, your driveway can’t tell you what those issues are. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to identify the cause of your driveway problems. Here are four problems that could be causing your driveway to deteriorate faster than it should.

Winter Weather

If you live in a region that experiences severe winter weather, your driveway could be paying the price. This is particularly true if your driveway isn’t properly sealed. This damage is caused by the seasonal freeze and thaw cycles that occur during the winter. First, the snow falls, which creates a sheet of ice on your driveway. As the snow melts, the water seeps into the concrete. Once the freezing temperatures return, the water that’s seeped into your concrete will freeze, which will expand the cracks that are already there. You can prevent damage by applying a waterproof sealant before the winter weather arrives.

Foundation Problems

If the foundation to your home wasn’t laid properly, those cracks could be an indication that you’ve got some structural damage going on under your home. Locate the largest crack in your driveway and follow it as far as it will go. If the crack lines up with cracks in your garage, or under the flooring in your home, you have foundation problems that will need to be addressed.

Root Expansion 

If you have mature trees growing in your yard, the cracks in your pavement could be a sign that the roots have begun to spread out under your driveway. Unfortunately, significant root growth can destroy your driveway. To prevent further damage, you may need to destroy the expanding root system and replace the damaged portion of your driveway.

Improper Drainage

If you have rain gutters installed on your home, they’re designed to prevent flooding. To do that, the water needs to be drained away from the foundation of your home. However, if you have the downspouts pointing towards your driveway, you could be inadvertently causing concrete damage. As the water flows along the edges of your driveway, it washes the soil out from under the concrete. When enough of the soil is removed, the edges of your driveway will begin to crumble. You can prevent this type of driveway damage by adjusting your downspouts so that they empty away from your driveway – and your home.

If your driveway is showing signs of damage, talk to a paving contractor like Branche Industries about repairs. Use the information provided here to avoid future damage to your driveway.

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Is Your Boiler Operating Too Loudly? Lime Scaling May Be To Blame

Commercial boilers are necessary for a wide variety of businesses, but they are susceptible to problems that can make them run too loudly or poorly. If your commercial boiler is running too loudly (a condition known as kettling), there’s a chance that lime scaling is to blame.

What Is Lime Scaling?

Lime scaling is the buildup of lime deposits in your boiler. This happens because of contaminants in your water feed and isn’t necessarily limited to lime. However, as lime builds up in your boiler, it will begin to interfere with how your boiler operates. This will cause the sound known as “kettling” that makes your boiler so loud.

Scaling will also cause your boiler to become less efficient and make it require more heat to operate properly. Even worse, it can cause a variety of dangers that can actually put the lives of your workers and even your clients at risk.

Dangers Of Lime Scaling

Beyond decreasing the efficiency of your boiler, lime scaling can put it under danger of breaking down. As water boils in your boiler, the steam expands and puts it under strain. With lime scaling, this expansion will be worsened as the heat will have less room to expand. It will also cause problems with your heat exchanger and may cause it to break down.

Even worse, it could cause a chain reaction of problems that could cause your boiler to explode. This is most likely if your heat exchanger breaks down, when scaling gets worse, and if you are using your boiler heavily. As a result, it is important to power clean your commercial boiler when you notice kettling, as this can keep it from exploding.

Cleaning Deposits From Your Boiler

There are a variety of different ways you can clean the lime scaling from your tank. The following are among the most popular and effective methods for cleaning lime scaling from commercial boilers:

  • Acoustic cleaning – uses acoustic horns to break apart buildup and allow it to be flushed away
  • Water lances – uses high-pressure water jets to blast away lime scaling and remove it with remote-controlled robotics
  • Soot blowers – uses compressed air and steam to break away lime scaling and to prevent it from recurring
  • Explosives – very light explosives can be used to literally blow up the lime scaling deposits from the interior of the tank

Whichever method you decide to use, make sure to contact a professional commercial boiler cleaning expert in order to avoid making a mistake that might seriously impact your boiler. For more information, contact a business such as Boiler Services, Inc.

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Thinking About New Siding? What To Look Into

If your home has a lot of damage and wear on the outside, and it’s making the home look older than it is, new siding could be the answer. You’ll want to talk with the siding professionals in your area to see what siding is the best for the climate where you live, and vinyl siding is a great choice for many professionals.

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular choices that both new construction builders, and home owners looking for an update, choose to use today. Here are a few of the things you’ll want to include in the estimate.

New Insulation

Have new insulation blown in, if you want to use polyurethane foam, or placed around the house before you have the new siding put on. This is the easiest time to do it because the house is exposed, and it’s one of the easiest ways to detect where there are insulation problems. You may also want to get insulated siding to put on the home.

House Wrap

Have the new insulation and the house wrapped before the siding is installed. The wrap will act as a barrier against the following things:

  • Wind and drafts
  • Moisture and condensation
  • Pests

Ask if the house wrap comes standard with the siding installation, or if it’s going to be an additional cost for the project.

Service and Product Warranty

The siding company that does the work should offer both a product and service warranty. The product warranty may come from the manufacturer of the siding, but this will protect you against product defects and products concerns that may happen after the insulation is installed.

The service warranty guarantees that the company will stand behind the work that they’ve done for you, and that they are going to be accountable for installation errors for a certain amount of time.

New siding will help your home be more energy efficient to lower energy costs, it will help improve the look of your home, and it’s also going to increase the value of your property. Talk with the siding companies in your area to get different quotes and estimates, to find out what additional services you can get at a fair price, and so you can start to set a budget for the project. Replacing the siding is a great way to invest money in your home, and you’ll see the investment every time you go outside. Contact a company like Allstate Gutter & Siding to learn more.

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Fixing Up A Dining Room? Hire An Electrician To Add A Chandelier

Some homes have an open floor plan in which the dining zone, living space, and kitchen are all in one area. This allows features from the living room or kitchen to bleed into the dining space in a good way. But if you have a dedicated dining room, the room itself needs desirable features to look impressive. If you want to invite family and friends over for dinner more often, you may be thinking about how you can fix up the dining room to turn it into a highly attractive and functional space. Hiring an electrician to install a chandelier is something that you should consider as a top project.

Inexpensive Path to Luxury

Buying luxurious furniture is one way to make the space look appealing. But what happens when you take the furniture away? Adding something like a chandelier will help to maintain the look of luxury. The great thing about such a feature is that you will only have to spend about $200 to $500. Chandeliers come in so many shapes, styles, and designs, so you can easily shop around until you find the perfect fit.

Ample Overhead Lighting

While it is best for a dining room to have a balance of natural and artificial lighting, you cannot go wrong with a chandelier that can provide ample overhead lighting. Once it gets dark, not being able to use the sunlight can prevent some homeowners from being able to properly illuminate their dining room. But even if you do not have any other lights, a chandelier can provide all the light that you need. Making sure the lights can be dimmed will give you the ability to adjust as needed and create an intimate setting.

Draw the Room’s Focus

If you have a small budget, you might not be able to do everything that you want to. Regardless, you will benefit from a chandelier because it can act as the focal point of the room. It will remove focus from other parts of the room, which may be just what you want to do when other features are not that impressive. Aside from the chandelier itself, you also have control in the height that you have it mounted.

Adding a chandelier to almost any room will be an upgrade, but you should not pass up the opportunity to drastically change your dining room for the better by adding this new feature. Contact a company like All American Air & Electric, Inc. for more info.

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3 Fresh Ideas for Xeriscaping Your Yard

At the heart of things, xeriscaping is about creating a sustainable landscape. While some homeowners take that to mean doing no landscaping at all, this isn’t always the most beneficial method for managing you yard. Wind and water can create erosion if you don’t lock down your topsoil. Instead, create a beautiful landscape that doesn’t require much supplemental water.

Scatter Wildflower Seeds

Perhaps the easiest method for creating a pretty xeriscape yard is to scatter wildflower seeds. Packets of wildflower seeds often contain both annuals and perennials in various colors. For example, they might include daisies, baby’s breath, blue flax, and poppies. The big benefit is that wildflowers are typically hardy plants that easily grow in the wild, meaning they don’t require much, if any, watering. Consider creating a rustic path out of flat stones in the middle of your wildflower meadow so you can enjoy their lifecycle up close.

Plant an Ornamental Grass Garden

Prairie grass is another hardy plant that originally grew wild. Ornamental grasses come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and textures. What’s more, these grasses help capture water before it runs off even better than lawn grass. You can use ornamental grasses in a strip as a sidewalk or foundation garden. You can also plant them on a slope to help stop erosion. Either way, look for different heights and colors to make your landscaping more visually interesting. Alternatively, consider mixing them with your wildflowers. For example, use tall ornamental grasses as a frame for your field of wildflowers or plant lower grasses as a subtle border for your path.

Install a Dry Streambed

Speaking of runoff, this can be a problem if you don’t landscape your yard. Depending on the weather patterns in your area, even planting wildflowers and ornamental grasses might not be enough—you’ll know because of all that precious water escaping to the street. Better Homes and Gardens suggests installing a dry streambed. This involves relatively simple construction. Space some large river rocks along the length of the riverbed and fill the gaps with small river rocks. Border the streambed with large rocks that keep the water in place. A dry streambed allows excess water enough time to sink back into the soil. For added beauty, consider planting lush plants around the streambed—they’ll take the benefit of the extra water seeping into the soil.

Essentially, xeriscaping allows native plants to thrive mostly just with the water nature provides. Create a xeriscape yard that’s as pretty as it is sustainable. For more help, visit sites such as to find professionals near you.

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What Does It Mean If There Are Black Spots On Your Siding?

Black spots on your siding can negatively impact the appearance of your home, thus detracting from your property value. Knowing what causes black spots to appear on your siding and how you can get rid of them can help you take care of your house.

What does it mean if there are black spots growing on your siding?

The black spots you’re seeing on your vinyl siding is very likely mold or mildew. Both may grow on vinyl siding in the right environment.

What causes mold to grow on siding?

Mold and mildew frequently grows in conditions that are warm, humid, and protected from sunlight. Parts of the house that are blocked from the sun or are repeatedly exposed to moisture can easily develop a mold or mildew problem.

What can you do to remove mold growing on your siding?

The best way to remove mold is to use a solution of bleach mixed with water. While chlorine bleach is especially good for removing mold and mildew, chlorine bleach is toxic for plants and can damage your landscaping. To avoid problems, try using oxygenated bleach. Oxygenated bleach is strong enough to kill mold and mildew but will not harm plants. Use a bucket of warm water mixed with bleach, then dip a scrub brush into the solution and scrub down your siding.

When the black spots have been removed, rinse the siding with a strong jet of water from a hose. If you must use chlorine bleach for this project, soak your landscaping in water, then cover your landscaping with a tarp while working in the area.

What can you do to prevent the return of mold in the future?

You can prevent mold from growing on your siding by exposing the vinyl siding to sunlight and fresh, dry air. Below are a few tips that can help you with this:

  • Move landscaping. Landscaping that grows against the side of your house can trap in moisture and prevent sunlight from reaching your siding, creating the conditions that are good for mold growth.
  • Prune overhanging trees. Overhanging branches can block the sun and drip rain water on the house.
  • Fix clogged gutters. Clogged gutters can cause rain water to run down the side of your house, also leading to mold growth.

Fixing these problems can help you prevent mold or mildew from growing on your home in the future. For more information about how you can protect your siding from mold, contact a skilled and reputable siding contractor in your area.

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