Unfinished Adirondack Chairs: How to Stain in 6 Steps {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Without regular staining, an unfinished Adirondack chair (and indeed all outdoor wood furniture) will soon turn gray and suffer wood rot. While some people prefer the coastal style of an unfinished Adirondack chair, most homeowners would much rather transform and protect their unfinished Adirondack chairs with a rich, weather-resistant stain. By following our staining tips below, you defend any unfinished Adirondack chair against the natural elements.

Step 1: Sand Your Way to Smoothness.

Older unfinished Adirondack chairs almost always have a few splinters. Even a totally new unfinished Adirondack chair might have a rough spot or two. Sandpaper is the solution for both situations. Begin with 150-grit sandpaper, and then switch to 220-grit sandpaper to create a velvety-smooth surface. Remove excess sawdust with a damp rag.

Step 2: Get Your Safety Equipment Ready.

Wear gloves and protective goggles. Be sure to stain in a location with excellent airflow, to protect your lungs. Lastly, because staining can be a messy job, you may want to protect the floor of your workspace with a tarp.

Step 3: Condition Wood.

Applying wood conditioner is a great way to avoid discoloration later on. Simply put down a thin layer of conditioner, and allow 15 minutes of drying time before brushing on stain.

Step 4: Select a Stain.

There are two main categories of wood stain: oil-based and water-based. (A few manufacturers do create oil/water hybrids.) Dyes, pigments, and mineral spirits combine to create oil-based stains. In general, oil-based stains need more drying time, since oil penetrates deeper into wood pulp than does water. This trait also results in a more even finish. If you plan on leaving your previously unfinished Adirondack chairs out in harsh weather, oil-based stains are the superior choice, since they are more durable than water-based stains. Those who live in moisture-prone locations should be sure to select oil-based stains with mildew inhibitors.

One advantage of water-based stains is that they exist in more colors than their oil-based cousins. Those with lung conditions should also choose water-based stains, since they don’t release noxious fumes. For the same reason, water-based stains are the more eco-friendly choice. Water-based stains dry faster, resist flames better, and are easier to clean up with soap and water. Don’t worry about looking for a mildew inhibitor; water-based stains resist mildew naturally.

Once you’ve selected a stain base, decide on a tone that will flatter your home’s exterior, as well as an opacity level. Opaque stains offer more protection, but more translucent stains better showcase wood’s natural beauty.

Step 5: Stain like a Pro.

Distribute color in the can with a thorough stirring. You can apply stain with a brush or a rag. Some people prefer disposable foam brushes when staining unfinished chairs. Saturate every inch of the unfinished Adirondack chair with stain. Leave the stain on to encourage a darker tone, or wipe away excess stain to achieve a lighter color. Promote penetration by wiping in the same direction as the wood grain.

Give the stain a day or so to dry. Apply another layer of stain if the color doesn’t strike you as quite bright enough.

Step 6: Apply a Protective Finish.

To make sure unfinished Adirondack chairs last a long time, it’s important to apply a protective finish. Oil-based finishes are best for patio furniture. Some time saving products contain both stain and finish.

Source by Ashley Burke

Questionnaire Context, Order, and Meaning

When designing questionnaires, the order of items on the questionnaire creates a context, or meaning, for the entire questionnaire. Items placed early on in the questionnaire effect the way in which people respond to later questions.

“Each item will be interpreted by respondents within the context of the questionnaire, previous questions and the wording of each item,” notes Gregory G. Holyk, University of Illinois at Chicago, in the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods.

To ensure positive use of context in questionnaires, it is important that you clearly define the purpose of the questionnaire. Start writing drafts of items to be included on the questionnaire – items that directly relate to the purpose of the questionnaire. The next step is to put items into a meaningful format (e.g. open-ended, multiple choice, etc.) and order. The order in which items appear can bias people’s thinking and, thus, their responses to your questions.

After introducing the survey’s general purpose and content, the first question should be easy and nonthreatening; it sets the tone. Difficult or sensitive questions are best asked later, once rapport is established.

Items should flow in a logical order, with similar content grouped together. Providing brief directions or a transition statement between sections of the questionnaire helps prepare respondents for a change of pace and lets them know that a different mindset is necessary. It also helps retain interest and attention.

In what order should general/specific questions asked? Some researchers contend that if specific questions are asked first, the attention given to them will influence the responses to general questions. Starting with more specific questions about various aspects of the issues can give respondents some background on which to base their replies to subsequent, general question(s).

Research suggests that context effects are most noticeable in attitudinal surveys. A between-question context effect occurs when the questionnaire contains items about a particular subject, like health care, and then suddenly changes to a totally different subject, like the outcome of a presidential election. A within-question context effect occurs when words frame an issue from an unusual perspective. Example: Holyk proposes that the use of anti-abortion instead of pro-choice affects attitudes toward abortion. The way in which questionnaire items are worded affects responses and ultimately survey findings.

Response alternatives are the ‘multiple choice answers’ from which respondents make their selection. In crafting the questionnaire, you must decide whether or not it’s important that respondents search their memory and recall a response or simply be able to recognize a response from a list. If you provide a list of these choices, or response alternatives, know that you are making assumptions about the range of opinions or behaviors held by the population being researched or introducing your own bias.

The technique of using skip directions (i.e., if yes, go to question 6; if no, go to question 7) can become confusing and time consuming, so should be used sparingly, but when necessary. Enough white space must be left to record answers to open-ended questions, usually about three lines worth of space. The page must not be cluttered, since clutter can lead to errors in responding.

Having taken context effects into account in designing the questionnaire, the questionnaire must be pre-tested. Item wording, format, and order must be revised, as necessary before pre-testing the questionnaire again. A successful questionnaire is one that flows smoothly without leading questions or bias.

Source by Dr. Terrie Nolinske, Ph.D.

Now Custom Woodwork Can Be In Your Home {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

Everyone loves to see custom woodwork, and many wish they could have customized pieces in their home. This is why so many become involved with woodworking and begin with the very elementary principles of woodwork, to learn as they go along. This is a great skill that develops with experience as well as knowledge, and it all begins with the very simple basics of the craft.

When you look into hiring a professional to come and install custom woodwork in your home, you will quickly see the prohibitive costs involved. It will be very affordable and enriching to learn how to do your own woodwork instead. This will help you to add character to your home as you learn the various aspects of working in wood.

Once you do learn how you can perform your own custom woodwork, you are going to be able to add your own personality to your crafts. Those who do this for the purpose of having a hobby or for making a profit will see that there is much to be said about customized wood crafts. Learn this skill in order to have a genuine sense of pride as well as a practical skill that can help in real ways.

You might need to consider the type of custom woodwork that you want so you can make sure to get all your materials together, including your tools. This is so that you do not have to stop in the middle of what you are doing to get more materials and equipment, which is very stressful. It is far better to be prepared and to plan in advance so that you can keep making progress on your projects. Being organized will help complete more projects.

When you begin to do custom woodwork, you will probably want to have a few family members or friends that can help you out at times when you get stuck. It will help to have someone who has the skills needed to help you out in those situations, so you will want to find people who do come equipped with the knowledge and resources that you require.

Having the ability to do custom woodwork is a very handy skill to have, and your confidence will increase over time. Every project that you complete will help you gain in your self confidence and will make you more comfortable. This in turn will help you to complete more difficult projects and will help you to impress others while you make your home more beautiful.

Source by Isabella Brown

Plan A Coffee Klatch For Fellowship and Fun!

Recently a friend of mine threw an impromptu coffee klatch that was the best time I have had in a very long time! A coffee klatch is simply a casual social gathering for coffee and conversation. It has been a reason for friends and family to get together for years, while drinking delicious coffee and have great conversations! I am planning on throwing a coffee klatch next month and have thought a few fun ideas.

First, I am planning on having a variety of coffees to choose from – of course! I am going to utilize my espresso maker, my Keurig one cup coffee pot, and my favorite coffee vessel – the French press. I plan to have different regions of coffee as well as different roasting levels. My idea of the perfect party will include some light, medium and dark roasted coffees so everyone can have something they find delicious to the palate. I also plan to have very expensive roasts, such as Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain, in limited quantities for all the guests to sample.

To be served with all that delicious java, I’m planning quite a menu. I have decided to make a blueberry crumble cake, a variety of muffins, a couple different quiche, fruits, cheeses and an assortment of brunch type fare. I’m also going to serve candied bacon and other savory items for depth to the palate. This should be the perfect companion to the different roasts of rich coffee and serve to fill the belly with something other than just caffeine!

Another key factor to a great coffee klatch is making sure everyone has something to talk about! Some great ideas would be to set out a variety of hot topic books and magazines. Many people also enjoy to play a variety of games so I intend to have a couple chess and check boards out for those who wish to jump into a game with friends. Also, having a variety of music makes for a great time.

The key to a great party is making sure everyone has something to do, to eat and of course to drink! In addition to the coffee, I also plan to have pitchers of iced tea and lemon water. Sometimes when sampling different foods and fare, it is a good idea to serve other beverages in addition to the coffee. That way everyone has something to sip and nibble while enjoying good company, conversation and games!

Source by Christine Rankin