Safe and Secure with Union

Security is a major concern for most people. However, it may seem that a determined thief will be able to walk away with whatever he or she wants. What’s important to remember is that most burglaries are crimes of opportunity and speed.

Chris E. McGoey, a security consultant in Los Angeles, says that burglars generally go for what they can grab in one run through a house. “Once they get their arms full,” he adds, “they’re out of there.”

From Consumer Reports: A 1.2 or 1.3 cubic-foot safe probably weighs about 100 pounds empty, making it a less attractive target than jewelry, cameras, small electronics, and other more portable items a burglar might spot. Many safes also come with bolt-down kits, a further deterrent to thieves in a hurry. Other safes can be concealed in a wall or anchored in a concrete floor.

In addition to protecting valuables, another consideration is storing important documents which should be protected but still readily accessible such as birth certificates, passports, estate-planning documents, life-insurance policies, savings bonds, stock certificates and tax returns.

While you can’t put a price on peace of mind, you don’t have to spend a fortune to secure important items. Check out the Union Safe Company brand of safes. There are several different types of safes in the Union line from which to choose depending on your security needs.


0.19 Cubic Ft. Electronic Digital Safe
Keep valuables and important documents safe without taking up a lot of space. Featuring heavy-gauge steel construction and digital as well as keyed access, this electronic digital safe can be mounted to the wall or floor with included hardware. The 8-digit programmable keypad has wrong-code lockout and uses four AA batteries sold separately.

 

0.37 cu. ft. Electronic Safe
Compact but tough, this solid steel safe has 2 x ¾ in. dia. locking bolts and includes hardware to mount it to the wall or floor. The programmable access code features wrong-code lockout and has back up keyed entry. The electronic keypad with 8-digit code capacity uses four AA batteries sold separately.

 

0.53 cu. ft. Electronic Wall Safe
This large-capacity wall-mounted safe features solid steel construction, pry-resistant concealed hinges and a recessed handle for easier concealment as well. The dual security system allows keyless access with a programmable 9-digit security code and hidden key override. The keypad uses four AA batteries sold separately.

 

1.51 cu. ft. Solid Steel Digital Floor Safe
This electronic floor safe is built with heavy-gauge steel plate and features tamper-proof hinges. The dual-entry lock enables you to enter the safe using the programmable digital key pad or keyed entry so you never have to worry about lock-out. The digital floor safe has removable casters and can be mounted to the floor or wall with included hardware. Though compact, it weighs in at 76 pounds. The keypad uses four AA batteries sold separately.

 

0.17 cu. ft. Electronic Handgun Safe
There are several reasons why having a gun safe is a good idea, ranging from keeping your firearms out of reach of children to accessibility. This dual-entry electronic gun safe features a no-look keypad with a programmable 5-digit code for quick access, even in the dark. Plus, the computer will block access after repeated invalid keypad entries. Other features include sturdy steel construction, high strength locking mechanism and precise fittings that make prying into it with hand tools virtually impossible. This gun safe meets California DOJ requirements. The keypad uses four AA batteries sold separately.

 

Digital Drawer Safe
Add security to your desk or dresser drawer with this digital drawer safe. The safe is constructed with heavy-gauge steel and features pry-resistant concealed hinges and dual entry system—keyed and digital keypad with programmable 8-digit security code. The keypad uses 4 AA batteries sold separately.

 

10 cu. ft. 59 in. Electronic Executive Safe
Weighing in at over 250 lbs., this heavy-gauge steel safe provides solid security! Features include pry-resistant concealed hinges, 5 x ¾ in. dia. steel bolts, keyed and keyless entry with an 8-digit programmable code and three adjustable shelves to secure a variety of items and documents. The electronic keypad uses four C batteries sold separately.

 

The Union Safe Company brand of safes is available at your local Harbor Freight Tools store. Harbor Freight also carries the Large Steel Book Safe which is a safe disguised as a book, and the Fire Safe with Combination and Key Lock which is guaranteed to protect valuables in a fire up to 1700° F for one hour.

 

 

 

 

Source Material:
Consumer Reports
Home Defense Gun

Paint Like a Pro!

Exterior Painting Tips and Tricks

Your house has endured the elements for several years and it’s time to repaint the exterior. You call painting contractors to get estimates and discover that you may need to take out a second mortgage to get the job done! Painting your home’s exterior by yourself can help you save a bundle of money, but you don’t want the end result to look schlocky!

With these tips and tricks, and a little help from Harbor Freight Tools, you can do the painting yourself and get professional results!

Plan Ahead When Painting

Sounds obvious but weather definitely needs to be taken into consideration. The last thing you want to face is a downpour in the middle of the job. Choose a dry time of the year with little to no rain and lower humidity. The quicker the paint dries, the better off you’ll be. Avoid high winds as well. Not only will it make it difficult to work and could pose a hazard (e.g. working from a ladder), but the wind can blow dirt and debris on your freshly painted surface.

Determine Method

Should you use a sprayer, rollers or brushes to apply paint to your house? Here are a few considerations to determine which method is best. Use a sprayer if you’re painting gutters with the trim, areas with all siding and no brick, or when staining fences and decks. You should go with a roller or brush when the wind is above ten miles per hour, painting above a roof (overspray is an eyesore), when there is simply too much to mask, or when there is only one coat to apply (prep time to spray would be less efficient). Painting trim will most often require brush work exclusively.

Use a High Quality Paint

High quality paint provides better coverage compared to cheaper paint and will also last longer thanks to advances in painting technology. You don’t want to go through all the effort of painting your house only to watch the color quickly fade. High quality paint will retain the color longer.

Another consideration is whether or not to use a primer … Prep, prime, sand and apply your color coats was the tried-and-true method for years. But with new paint technology, manufacturers are combining primer and paint into one product, which means less coats to apply. While there’s no standardized method to evaluate or rate how well a combination primer/paint will work, you can get a good idea by reading product reviews about certain brands of paint online, paying particular attention to people who have used a given product in your area.

Prep Work

The lion’s share of painting work is really in the prep—and the better you prep the surfaces being painted, the better the results will be. Taking a pressure washer to the exterior is a great first step to get rid of surface dirt. Once dried, scrape and sand surfaces as needed—and then scrape and sand a little more. Be sure to prep every square inch, including the trim. New paint will not adhere well to peeling paint or dirty surfaces.

Don’t Paint Rotted Materials

The old saying “put lipstick on a pig” probably came from a painting contractor. It’s futile to paint rotten wood or siding material because it will continue to deteriorate—and take your new paint with it! For small areas, you can use a wood hardener with a filler product. For large areas, consider replacing the components. Once replaced, prep as recommended above and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Combine Cans of Paint

Take individual gallons of the same color paint and mix them together in a larger container, like a five-gallon bucket, until the paint is uniform in color. Pros call this method “boxing the paint” and it helps to produce color consistency when applied.

Work from Top to Bottom

Working with gravity will help control streaks. When drips happen, and they will happen, working from top to bottom enables you to feather out in the direction you’re going, resulting in a more uniform look.

Seal Paint Properly

When you’re done for the day, seal your paint well to keep it from drying out. Lightly hammer lids shut with a rubber mallet. You can also apply plastic wrap over the opening to secure a tight seal.

Protect Your Landscaping

New paint will look great on your house—not on your hedges, lawn or flowers … Use drop cloths and either weigh them down, wrap or tie down the corners securely around the planted area, shrubs, etc.

 

Harbor Freight Tools is your “one-stop shop” for painting supplies and accessories, including these items:

 

Airless Paint Sprayer Kit
The airless paint sprayer does it all and will greatly reduce the time spent painting exteriors, decks, ceilings, doors and frames, etc. No need for a compressor, just plug it in and start painting! You can paint straight from 1 or 5 gallon buckets which makes cleanup easier. Features include a 1000–3000 PSI piston pump for high pressure and better coverage, easy pressure control twist knob, built-in filter for simple flushing and cleaning, and a No. 517 nozzle for a 12–16 inch fan width.

 

Heavy Duty Portable Scaffold
This scaffold is an essential tool for outdoor painting as well as interior painting, drywall work, etc. With a weight capacity up to 900 lbs., this portable scaffolding goes where you need it on smooth-rolling 5 in. dia. casters that won’t mar floors. Once positioned, the casters lock in place for stability. Additional features include heavy-duty welded steel construction, adjustable platform from 28 in. to 71-1/8 in., 30 height adjustment positions, built-in fittings for optional toe-boards and safety rails, and a 28-1/2 in. x 67 in. wooden plank.

 

2 Amp 5 in. Random Orbital Heavy Duty Palm Sander
Greatly reduce prep time with this orbital palm sander. The industrial fan-cooled motor delivers up to 12,500 OPM to smooth wood and get surfaces ready for painting. The sander features a comfortable rubber palm grip to reduce fatigue. The 3/32 in. orbit delivers swirl-free results. The hook-and-loop pad attachment makes sandpaper changes quick and easy.

 

And that’s just the beginning. Harbor Freight carries painter’s tape, scrapers, roller sets, mixers, brushes—and much more! Before you start painting, be sure to visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

 

 

 

Source material:
The Spruce
Grant’s Painting

 

How To Use a Magnesium Fire Starter to Make a Campfire

When camping or backpacking, fire is crucial for providing warmth, cooking food, sterilizing water, etc. You need a reliable source for making fire that’s also compact and lightweight. The magnesium fire starter is a tried-and-true tool—and the favorite choice among many outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists.

 

Harbor Freight offers a Magnesium Fire Starter at a fraction of the price compared to the competition. The starter features an integrated full-length flint and striker knife along with an ample block of magnesium. The shavings burn at 5400° so they can ignite combustible materials even when they’re damp.

While the magnesium fire starter is easy to use, it’s definitely a good idea to practice with it so it will be that much easier to get a fire going when you need it.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use your magnesium fire starter …

Find an area where you can have a fire, hopefully a spot protected from elements like high wind or rain. Clear the area of dry grass, twigs, etc.

 


Gather up tinder. The best “domestic” tinder would be petroleum jelly-saturated cotton balls stored in a Ziploc bag, newspaper or even a paper napkin. If collecting natural materials, dry moss, pine cones, dry pine needles, tiny twigs, dry grass and thin shreds of wood all make great tinder. Make sure your tinder is as dry as possible. Leaves can work too if they’re really dry.

 


Build your structure. The three go-to designs for a campfire are teepee (far left), log cabin (middle) and lean-to (far right). For this article, we’re using the teepee. Construct a teepee from twigs and small branches, evenly distributing so it can bear additional wood after the fire takes.

 


Once your structure is built, make a bundle out of your tinder that will catch the sparks from the fire starter—positioning the bundle in the “doorway” is best. On top of the tinder bundle, place a dry leaf, an old receipt or something else to contain the magnesium shavings. Keep water nearby in case you need to put the fire out.

Hold the magnesium block down, pointed at the tinder bundle. With the other hand, hold the serrated metal blade that comes with the magnesium fire starter at a 45-degree angle against the block and shave tiny flakes downward onto the bundle. Small shavings work best. Keep going until you have a pile of magnesium shavings on your tinder bundle about the size of a quarter.

 


Using your serrated blade or the backside of a knife, strike a spark to ignite the magnesium on the tinder bundle. Note: instead of sliding the blade down the flint toward the tinder, hold the blade stationary and slide the flint up toward you. This keeps the spark close to the tinder. Keep scraping until a spark lands on the magnesium shavings and ignites them.

When a spark catches the magnesium, the shavings will burn bright, hot and fast. The generated heat will then spread to the tinder, catching it on fire as well. This is a crucial moment. You may have to urge the young flame on by very gently blowing on it to give it additional oxygen. You may also need to adjust the bundle a little here and there it to allow the young fire to spread.

 


As the tinder fire grows, you’ll need to carefully slide the intact bundle into the teepee structure. Use a couple of sticks to push the bundle further in if it’s too hot to handle. You may also need to feed it some more tinder material to keep it stoked.

 


Another crucial moment. Fire needs a proper blend of oxygen, fuel and heat. As the fire grows, blow on it and feed it by gradually adding slightly larger and larger twigs and sticks. Don’t get carried away—give it time. If you drop a big piece of wood onto it too soon, you’ll be back at square one, rummaging for tinder materials. Don’t be that guy or gal …

When you need fire, you really NEED it, so as recommended, practice using your Magnesium Fire Starter prior to your outdoor adventure. For other camping and survival items, be sure to visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store.