Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Best Way to Cut Hedges

Cutting hedges can seem like a very straight forward task that can be achieved with nothing more than a can do attitude and some form of hedge trimmer I guess. And this sit true but to cut a hedge correctly to achieve a neat finish you also need a little bit of know how as described below.



Hedges should be trimmed 2 - 3 times a year unless you have a few types that grow quicker than the average hedge in which case 4 times would be more suitable. You have to be careful with how much you do trim your hedge as you are basically amputating which the hedge can most certainly have a bad reaction to.


Use taut lines attached to canes in order to know exactly where you are cutting. Once you get some experience you will be able to do this by eye but if you are a starter it always good to have these lines to ease you into hedge trimming.


Cutting the side of the hedges with a vertical sweeping motion as you walk along the hedge is the standard technique that most gardeners employ. Cut the top of the hedges with a horizontal sweeping motion.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Installing a Fence

Installing a Timber Fence

Installing a fence seems like a daunting, difficult job for those inexperienced with the process, I know it seemed that way for me! I didn't know the first thing to do or even how to start installing my fence but with some help from my more knowledgeable friends I had my fence setup in no time. Now it's time to pass on this knowledge in these easy to follow steps:


Digging the Fence Post Holes

Before we work out the spacing involved in the holes lets talk about the hole dimensions (for the purpose of a 6ft fence with 4x4 inch posts). The hole should be 2ft deep & 12 inches square to make for a sturdy fence that won't fall down at the slightest breeze or even all these storms we have been having.

Measure and double measure and then triple measure a length of string. Once you have ensured that this string is the exact distance you need you can use this to space out your fence posts. Make a mark on the ground where you need the fence to go in.

Installing the Fence

Place the post in the hole and make sure its the correct depth and then we move onto the fence panel. Some fences come with fixing brackets and these are very self explanatory to setup (and if not open the manual guys!) other fences you may need to use nails or woodscrews.

Concreting the Fence Posts

Concreting the fence posts is a whole other kettle of fish, especially if you want to mix your own concrete. There is a fantastic blog that has done a wonderful post on this and can explain it much better than I can here.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Axe Types

Before you choose an axe it is important you know what it is you are looking for to fit your desired purpose of this axe. Cutting, shaping or splitting.

Cutting axe

Cutting axes are very thin as they are used to penetrate across grain. This thinness means that it presents max force on small area similar to a razor blade in this respect. This causes it to sever instead of wedge which makes it less useful for splitting but great at cutting.

Splitting axes

A splitting axe has a wide angle blade and when slammed onto a log it has a wedge like action and forces the log apart. It expends all its energy in this way and therefore causes a deep split that forces the grain apart. Because of this it cannot be used to cut across grain as it will not penetrate nearly deep enough and will lead to a shallow cut.

Curved or Straight bit

A curved bit means only a small point of the wood will be in contact with the axe at a time and this aids in wood penetration either with or across the grain. A flat bit gives an even cut rather than a deep cut and there are varieties on this theme. The broad axe has a flat bit and a ramp on one side. This allows it to cut out a very flat section of wood but for general purposes a rounded bit is much more versatile.

Single or double bit

The single bit axe is more common and has certain advantages such as its design is optimised to put all the torque behind the one bit it has.  A double bit axe offers different advantages and is generally symmetrical around the center line. This does offer a certain amount of balance that isn't found in other single bit axes. The two blades are often ground differently to offer both splitting and cutting prowesses and therefore grants a large amount of versatility however these axes cannot be bludgeoned.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

When or When Not to Buy a Top Handle Chainsaw

The decision to buy a top handle chainsaw or not depends entirely on your situation. Lots of factors come into play like will you need to use the chainsaw one handed, will you be using the chainsaw in a place where balance is key or even your current experience with chainsaws. All these factors we need to look at when asking the question, "Should I or should I not buy a top handle chainsaw?"

Benefits of a Top Handle Chainsaw

A top handle chainsaw key feature is that it does not have a rear guard. This makes the chainsaw more compact and easier to sue in tight situations. It also allows the chainsaw to be used with one hand which can come in very useful when in a tree, cutting a branch or at the side of your house if space is tight. The final key benefit of using a top handle chainsaw is that they usually have a smaller engine than a regular chainsaw which makes it the ideal starter chainsaw for beginners

Negatives of a Top Handle Chainsaw

A top handle chainsaws key drawback is that it has a smaller engine. Now while this can be a benefit for a beginner chainsawer, for a seasoned professional looking to cut down a redwood maybe a 26cc engine just doesn't cut it? Now a redwood is an extreme example but even large trees in the garden can be a lot more difficult to cut without that bigger engine that the top handle chainsaw simply does not have.

Conclusion on "When or When Not to Buy a Top Handle Chainsaw"

You should buy a top handle chainsaw when you have a smallish garden where you may need to cut branches of trees and space is tight. Also if you are new to chainsaws a top handle chainsaw is a fantastic way to start.
You should not buy a top handle chainsaw when the amount of work that is required is substantial and large objects need cutting.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Disposing of Garden Waste

There are a large number of ways to dispose of garden waste. The cost has a large variety and some methods are better for certain jobs so here are 5 for you to choose from.


Calling the Council

These include calling the council some of which but not all will provide home collection of garden waste for which green waste may charge a small fee but it isn't too expensive.


There is the option of a skip which can cost quite a bit and take some time to get to you so there's also the alternative of hippobags. This method tends to be the best for larger jobs and having a skip is one of the easiest methods.

Hippo Bags

They don't have the same capacity so a skip would be the better option nut they are a lot faster getting to you. They come flat packed ordered on-line or they can be bought in most DIY stores. This is cheaper than a skip or calling a guy.

Call a Guy

Go through your yellow pages and find anyone doing garden waste in your area. Call them and leave the waste for them. This is the most convenient method but also the most expensive.


You could also take your waste to a recycle bank. This is the greener option but it does carry the issue of transporting waste. If there isn't too much this is easily done if you have hippobags.

This blog is provided by Timberpro

Monday, 31 August 2015

Digging Holes in Frozen Ground

Digging a hole n any season is a difficult job that requires a lot of effort and exertion. Digging a hole in winter however is a whole other kettle of fish that will leave you frustrated. cold and, after the first 3 hours, maybe a little dead on the inside. To help avoid all that unnecessary pain and anguish here is 3 methods for digging a hole in Winter.

The Kettle Method

This method is a little risky but an be the fastest way to unfreeze a patch of dirt. The idea is to constantly have boiling hot water being poured over the ground in order to heat it up. This is best done using two kettles though one will suffice. The risk with this method is if the ground and general atmosphere is really cold, the water may just freeze and make the ground even harder to dig up.

The Fire Method

This method dates back a very long time when people used to dig graves in Winter using their hands or very rudimentary tools. You basically build and light a fire (charcoal fire would be ideal) over the area of ground you wish to dig and tend to it for a few hours. This warms up the ground and makes your digging a lot easier.

Buy/Hire High Powered Equipment

There is special equipment available on the market for digging holes and for digging holes in Winter. This equipment may set you back but remember you can use it all year for the rest of time (provided they last that long) . If money is an issue you can always hire the equipment out or a company who specialises in the industry. This is the most expensive option but will definitely make your life a lot easier.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

How to Perform Pressure Washer Maintenance

Not many people know of easy ways to prolong the life of their washers so here are a few maintenance tips to get the most out of your equipment.

Check the Oil

You can check the engine and fuel level and if need be top up either the fuel or oil. You may also change the oil if the is a manufacturer recommended oil in the operator's manual. You can also check the tires pressure but keep it at the value marked on the tires or if there isn't one keep it between 15 and 25 PSI.

Check Screens

Check the water inlet screen or the in line screen and flush them with water if they are dirty. If the inlet screen is damaged replace the screen and rubber washer. If the in line screen is damaged replace the screen and O-ring.

Inspect the Hoses

Inspect the high pressure hose and replace if you see any leaks, cuts, abrasions or bulging of cover or if the couplings are damaged or move. New hoses will have to exceed the maximum pressure of your washer. Also examine the cleaning detergent tube and filter. You will need to clean these if they are dirty or clogged. Examine the tube for leaks or tears and make sure it fits lightly on barbed fitting. Replace the tube or siphon/filter if either are damaged. Replace the o-rings if any connectors leak and clean nozzle orifices if clogged. Also rinse out the garden hose.

Make sure to flush the cleaning detergent from the tube and relieve the pressure in the system after each use.

Monday, 10 August 2015

How to Maintain Garden Hoses

 A skilled gardener knows that a hose is essentially a gardening tool and that they must be maintained and stored properly for it to its job. No gardener wants the frustration of a tangled or cracked hose or the wastefulness of a leaking hose.


Properly maintained a hose can last for a good many years and part of this maintenance includes putting the hose away after every use. Putting the hose away is obviously a simple task but it prevents the hose from being stood on, rotting from soil moisture or get run over by a lawn mower. The best way to put a hose away is to keep it on a crank and simply turn to reel it in. Make sure whatever you hang your hose on properly spreads out the weight to avoid any kinks developing and regardless of how you store it make sure it is not in the sun. Make sure to empty all the water and remove any attachments to the hose before putting it away for the winter. The open ends do allow for the expansion and contraction of the freezing of water the repeated freezing and thawing will weaken the fabric of the hose.

Coiling a Hose

This can be done properly with a crank but it is useful to also have the knowledge to do it yourself and it can be done in a few simple steps. Turn off the water to the hose. Hold the hose a few feet from the spigot. Bend an about 3 foot loop in the hose. Keeping hold of the hose, reach a foot or 2 further from the spigot in the same direction as the previous loop and stack these loops onto each other until the whole hose is coiled.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How to Sharpen Hedge Shears with a File

Sharpening hedge shears is not a difficult task but necessary to perform when you have had them a for a while and they feel as if they are declining. It is a fairly simple task when you have the knowledge on how to do it so here is a brief overview.

Tighten the Pivot Nut

Before sharpening make sure to take a look at the pivot nut to make sure its tight before you begin. If this nut is not tight it could cause the blades to separate slightly and tear twigs instead of cleanly cutting them. After tightening the nut check the tool again to make sure it still needs sharpened. If it cuts cleanly now then the nut was the issue. If it still cuts uncleanly check that the blades aren't bent. If they are bent unloosen the bolt and tighten the blades in a vice until they are straight.

Clamp the Blade

After the blade is firmly in a vice hold the file with both hands and mimic the direction of of the bevel and make sure to move the file in one direction, away from you. As you work you should be able to see the clean metal that the file will leave and do this until the entire edge is clean and sharp. Lightly sand the back of the blade while keeping it flat and moving it in a circular motion. When the burrs left by the fil are gone repeat the entire process on the other blade. After finishing you should try the blades to see how well they cut and remember that thick branches and dry wood can bend the blades so they should only be used for small diameter green wood.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How to repair a Deck Stair

Deck stairs carry a lot more traffic than any other part of the deck and are therefore the first to need repaired or replaced. Deck stairs are also not very difficult to replace because you have the old, broken part to use as a template.

Check the broken part

Before making the replacement you need to check the broken part in case the break was caused by the design of the stair such as the tread being too thin.

Create the new part

Measuring the gap and using the broken part as a guide you will need to make a replacement part the exact same size.

Fit the new part

Fit the new part and make sure the deck stairs are fully serviceable by just going up and down the stairs a few times making sure the stair structure and deck are working perfectly.

The stringers

The stringers may also be the part that breaks first but replacing these can be just as simple.

Check Damage

Look at the damage to see what you can do about it. Because it supports the stairs its not so easy to remove while you make the new one. However the stringer can be measured accurately enough while still in the stairs.

Replace it

Make sure the new stringer is addas the old one is removed to continuously support the stairs.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

How to Drain a Chainsaw Gas Tank

Before putting your chainsaw away for the winter/too cold to garden months draining the fuel tank is vitally important. Oil can freeze and cause damage to the chainsaw not to mention if a leak where to develop in the coming weeks there could be potential for a serious accident to occur. With this is mind here are some easy step by steps to drain that fuel tank:

  1. Wipe any dirt/dust away from the gas tank lid and the top of the gas tank with a clean rag. This will prevent any debris from falling into the gas and possibly forming a blockage in the fuel lines or carburetor.
  2. Move to a well-ventilated area and unscrew the lid of the gas tank on the chainsaw. Situate your plastic gas can within reach and remove its lid as well.
  3. Place the straight portion of your hand siphon into the chainsaw’s gas tank. Insert the drainage hose of the siphon into the gas can.
  4. Compress the bulb on the siphon to begin suctioning the gas from the tank into the can. Continue until you have removed all the gas from the chainsaw’s gas tank. If your siphon has a hand pump instead of a bulb, simply work the pump to begin siphoning the gas from the tank.
  5. Unhook the fuel line that connects to the gas tank. The exact location of the line will depend on your specific chainsaw. You may need to remove a plastic guard and small clamp to access and disconnect the line. You’ll also likely need a wrench and screwdriver. A small amount of gas may remain in the fuel line. After you unhook the line, try to hold the line and pour any remaining gas into your gas can.
  6. Pour a small pack of BBs into the gas tank and add a small amount of commercial gas tank cleaner/solvent. This cleaner is at most hardware or auto supply stores. Make certain the cleaner you purchase is acceptable for use in 2-stroke engines.
  7. Replace the lid of the gas tank and shake the chainsaw vigorously. The BBs will act as a mild abrasive and knock any debris loose from inside of the gas tank. Pour the BBs out and flush the gas tank with cleaner. You must ensure all the BBs are out of the tank.
  8. Reconnect the fuel line. Pour the gas back into the tank if you plan on using the chainsaw immediately.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

How to Maintain a Water Pump

Lots of people rely on their water pump and are possibly not near anybody who can repair it for them so here are some quick tips on how to maintain your water pump.


Make sure you turn of the power to your pump and locate the pressure switch. It will probably have some kind of plastic or metal cover on it that you will need to remove. Make sure you put the switch cover somewhere it won't get damaged. If your pump isn't operating as it should be pry back the switch relays and inspect it for damage such as pitting or burning. Clean the contacts and perform any pressure adjustments you feel is necessary.

Cleaning the Contacts

To clean the pressure switch contacts, slide a length of cloth between them and pull the cloth along them several times. Repeat this on the other side until shiny. You can also unscrew the aerator in order to clean the smaller parts or replace it if damaged.

Adjusting the switch

If you need to adjust the switch then you should know that pressure switches are in conjunction with pressure gauges and these are set to turn on at low pressure and off at high pressure. Adjustment instructions are normally on the inside of the switch cover and you will probably need a wrench to turn the adjustment screws but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Performing these steps every so often can help extend the life of your water pump and save you money in costly repairs.

Monday, 6 July 2015

How to Sharpen a Chainsaw

There are a lot of people who do not know how to sharpen and regularly maintain a chainsaw and the lack of this knowledge can cost a lot of money to get done for you. So here I am going to show you a few tips on how to sharpen and simple maintenance for your chainsaw.

Learn the size of the saws chain

You will need either a rotary grindstone or chainsaw file that matches your chain tooth. Since there are several sizes of chainsaw teeth the grindstone or file must be the correct diameter for the saw.

Clean the chain thoroughly

You may use spirits or a degreasing detergent to remove oil and dirt from the chain. Do not flood or get excessive cleaner on the engine or other components, since some of these products can damage the plastic housing or other parts.

Inspect the Chain

Individual teeth may be broken or bent and if they get worn down too much they could break while in motion.

Clamp the saw

The saw will need to be stable and the blade must be firmly supported. You will get better results if the chain is allowed to rotate freely.

Locate the leading cutter

This is the shortest cutter on the chain and would be the best starting point. If all the cutters are nearly the same length then the starting point you choose will not matter. 

Use a twisting motion

File each cutter using a twisting motion to discharge metal chips. There is varying opinions as to the best direction to use the file but it really doesnt matter.

Reverse the saw

Reverse the sides of the saw to do the un filed teeth angled in the other direction using the exact same method.

Oil the chain

After oiling the chain, check the tension and you will be ready to cut again.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Different Kinds of Axes

There are a few different kinds of axes each with important differences that not everyone is aware of or what makes these axes suitable for their particular jobs.

Felling Axes

This is normally axe number one used to cut down trees and have an extremely sharp thin blade and slowly tapered head so it can cut across the wood grain as deep as possible. To suit this felling axes have 2.5 to 3.5 pound head and a 2 to 3 feet handle. This gives them a good swing length and the force to go through trees. There are a lot of variations to the basic design depending on where it comes from but most will share these characteristics.

Splitting Mauls

Rather than a deep across the grain cut a splitting maul uses a heavy wedge shaped head normally 6 to 8 pounds which deliver a more forceful strike without sticking in the wood and a nearly straight handle used to lever the maul deeper after the initial strike. Mauls also come with a broad butt that can be used to hammer a second splitter through the log.

Broad Axes

Named for the large bits and long beards they are traditionally used for hewing logs into beams. These axes allow the user to cut away the rounded edges of a log while creating a relatively flat face. The issue is these axes are dedicated left or right handed tools as dictated by the side of the bevel.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

How to Repair a Chain Link Fence

A damaged chain link fence is an easy DIY repair job for around 60 dollars whereas some professionals would charge you about 150 dollars for the same job.

What you need

To repair a fence you will need a section of top rail with one open end and one crippled end. You will also need a hacksaw, file and pliers and a helper.

Fixing The Fence

Start by removing the wire ties that hold the fence fabric to the top rail, then rest the new rail on top of the damaged rail and have your helper hold it in place while you mark a cutting line on the old rail. Mark a cut on the other end of the new rail where it meets a joint. Cut the damaged rail at the cutting line then slide it off the joint and toss it. The ncut the excess of the top rail to mate with the existing joint. Create some maneuvering room by unbolting the top rail and sliding it away from the damaged area. Install the new rail onto the old rail and reconnect the corner post.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Making Compost with Garden Waste

Turning garden waste into something other than waste to be supposed is one of the easiest things you can do and it will probably end up saving up time and effort in the fact that otherwise you would have to dispose of it. Lets take a look at just how easy it is.


Compost Bins

Finding the right site for a compost bin is vitally important in breaking down the garden waste into useable food for your garden. The bin should be set somewhere sunny, which will help the chemical processes, on compost or soil. This will allow the worms to colonise and not die out or move on to ensure your compost heap is a success.
As well as adding garden waste to the compost bin remember that there are a whole lot of household items than can also go in there such as vegetable peelings, fruit, teabags, cardboard and a whole bunch more. Just remember to keep out all cooked food leftovers!
Keep adding to the compost bin for 9 - 12 monthes and once it turns into a dark crumbly material representing moist soil with an earthy, fresh aroma you know your good to go to add that stuff to the garden.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Most common Lawn Mower Problems

Lots of people have issues with their lawn mowers and it happens to the best of us and even regularly maintenanced lawn mowers are not immune to the effects of wear and tear. In light of these facts here are some tips to get your lawn mower working again fast.

Stuck Starter Rope

A pretty common cause for this particular issue the engine flywheel brake is engaged. This is the bar you hold on the handle that stops the engine when released so just make sure you are pulling it down the whole way before attempting to start the mower. Another probable cause is the blade is clogged or is dragging in the grass. To sort this out disengage the spark plug and move the mower to a hard surface so you can clean the blades to try again.

Mower Will Not Start

Lots of people experience this particular issue and the extremely common and most obvious reason is that you have no fuel. As well as making sure its all filled up also remember that old gas can also cause problems so if its been a while since using the mower it may be better to empty then refill the tank. Other possible causes are dirty, broke or disconnected spark plug, dirty fuel filter or fuel isnt reaching the engine.

Losing power while Mowing

There is a few reason this can happen and they are normally pretty easy to fix. Try cleaning or replacing the air filter or raising the cutting height on your lawnmower. You could also try cleaning or replacing the spark plug or clean the underside of the mower.

The Mower is Cutting Unevenly

If you are seeing this happen there is a chance you also feel some motor vibration. This can be caused by build up of debris or clippings and just needs to be cleaned. Otherwise you should try sharpening or replacing the blade.

Monday, 11 May 2015

How to use Loppers

Not many people are sure how to properly use loppers in their garden so I am going to go through a few guidelines and tips for them here.

Two Types

There are two types of loppers with a very subtle difference. Bypass loppers have a single edged blade that slices past the base. Anvil loppers have a blade that slices to the center of the base so they are less clean and less precise but sometimes you will just need the extra force they are capable of.

General technique

You will probably need some sturdy work gloves for this and maybe safety googles dependiing on how dense the vegetation is. Now you will want to choose an exact spot that you can get a good cutting angle on. It works best to place the blade right next to your cutting site but be aware for bypass loppers they may shift about a uarter of an inch. It also helps to properly get in there. Cutting branches like paper with snips will tire you out faster and dull the blade faster so its always best to try and get the whole branch in there. When making the cut try and do it in a single fluid motion.


Work comfortably to avoid tiring yourself out too fast. Dont fully extend your arms unless absolutely necessary. If you feel the lopper twisting its probably a good idea to switch to a pruning saw as this is an indicator the branch may be too big for loppers.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

How to Plan your Flower Garden

Lots of people are unsure of how to properly plan their flowers to make a beautiful garden so here are some tips on that.

Good Placement

You want to plant your flowers in the right soil for them to grow strong and healthy. Regardless of in a pot or in a garden good soil is a requirement so avoid soil heavy with clay, sand or rocks. You also want the soil to have a ph of 7. You should test the soils ph level beforehand and rectify any issues using sulfur or ground limestone both of which are available at garden centers. Flowers also need at least 6 inches of loose soil to start growing in so make sure your top layer is this deep.

Select a location

Although flowers are typically easy to grow they need an area with a good mix of sun and shade throughout the day. If your growing a specific plant it is also a good idea to check how much sun and shade that plant needs to grow well and if you intend to plant more than one flower make sure they all have similar light requirements.

Decide on your flowers

Visit a local gardening center to find the best flowers for your garden. Growing from bulbs seeds or cuttings require the same technique so just focus on plants you like that will look nice in your yard. Make sure you check the tags to make sure it can be planted at the same time with same light as the others.

Planting Times

If you don't plant at the right time your garden will be ruined. Flowers don't do to well in weather too cold or too hot so make sure you plant in spring time. You should plant about two weeks after the most recent frost and when night time temperatures don't go below freezing.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

5 Ways to Prolong your Chainsaws Life

A few weeks ago we did a post on "5 ways to prolong your lawnmowers life" and we got alot of good feedback and reviews so we decided why stop a good thing? So today we are going to look at 5 ways to prolong your chainsaws life...

High Quality Oil

Using high quality oil in a chainsaw is an excellent way of prolonging the life. Buying from reputable brands ensures that there will be no problems with oil consistency or mixture and you are not running the risk of harming your machine.

Sharpen the Blade

Many people may be a little confused as buying a new blade is relatively inexpensive but its the problems that can occur when using even a slightly dull blade. Dull blades catch and can cause serious malfunctions within the machine and this can all be avoided by regularly sharpening the chainsaw blade.


Nuts & Bolts

When working chainsaws they constantly exuberate a lot of power and vibrations. This can cause nuts and bolts to come loose and therefore lead to problems with the machine. It is best to give the machine a quick once over to tighten these nuts and bolts every few weeks.

Mixing Oil & Gas

Short and sweet this one. Check the ratio for oil and gas. Use that ratio to the decimal point.

Drain the Chainsaw Fuel

During the down months chainsaw fuel can actually freeze within the chainsaw. This means it is very important to ensure your chainsaw is stored in a dry place and the remaining fuel has been drained from the chainsaw to ensure no problems.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

How to Sharpen an Axe

Using a dull axe is ineffective and can create large amount of splinters when splitting hardwood or it can make cutting down a tree take an extremely long time so here are some tips to maintain your axe for the best splitting.

Clean and polish the head

You can use steel wool or a rust eraser to remove all the rust if any then sand the entire axe head with rough-grit aluminium oxide or silicon carbide sandpaper. Then go over it with a finer sandpaper and a third time with even finer sandpaper. Next polish it with polishing paste applied to a felt pad or rag getting the whole head with an even coat.

File the blade

Either clamp the axe on to a worktable on its side or into a vice. Then get a bastard file with a finger guard to file the blade with some form of protective glove recommended. File toward the blade only, do not make contact on the return stroke, and use a file card or brush to remove metal build-up on the file. Continue filing evenly along one side until a burr of metal appears on the other side. Then swap sides and repeat.

Hone the blade

You should do this every time you are going to use your axe. Apply honing oil to the blade using an oil stone then water using a water stone. This helps remove the metal particles. Then work into the edge of the blade using the rough side of a two side whetstone in a circular motion. Do this until a burr appears then switch sides and repeat. After this process do the exact same thing with the fine side of the whetstone.


When finished rub a beeswax and oil mix into the steel when warm to protect against future rust.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Hiring a Gardener

Its getting to that time of year again. When you look at your kitchen windows and the garden has developed into some kind no mans land undergrowth. You know something had to be done but sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to get it sorted. This is where hiring a gardener comes into play and here are some tips for getting the best in the business.


This is without doubt the best way of finding a gardener who knows his stuff. A family or friend who currently uses a gardener can tell you his rates, hours, personality and a live preview of work completed.

Online Reviews

If you don't have friends or family with crazy, good gardeners then the next best place to look is online on credible review websites like These provide reliable accounts of gardeners, good and bad, and is an excellent parameter to use.


Experience is key. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that all new gardeners are totally rubbish at their jobs and that they are going to make mistake after mistake but this is a lot less likely to happen with experienced gardeners.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Importance of Safety Equipment in Forestry

There's a large amount of safety equipment in forestry is to stop you injuring yourself or others from the various possible dangers involved in forestry. I'm going to highlight some of the most necessary safety equipment involved in forestry.


Working outdoors for long periods of time with power tools that can create a large amount of noise which over time could damage your ears and possibly though unlikely cause deafness in later life. This can be prevented by wearing earmuffs. There is some danger with earmuffs however as you may not be able to hear people around you or most things happening around you which could have dire consequences while working with power tools so you need to put the extra effort in to be aware of your surroundings.


When working with chainsaws or especially axes there is a danger of splintering which most of the time would not be to dangerous could get into your eyes. This could potentially cause quite a lot of damage so its always a good idea to have goggles on in forestry.

Safety gloves

Unless your hands are extremely callused when using a chainsaw or an axe you could get a lot of blisters on your hands and the easiest way to avoid this kind of injury is to wear safety gloves. This means you'll be able to work longer in a day than without them.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How to split hardwood

Using a splitting maul

When it comes to splitting hardwood a splitting maul is essentially a mix of splitting axe and sledgehammer. They are normally heavier than normal splitting axes but the added few pounds makes the job easier on you. The axe side is used for chopping wood not splitting it. Do not use this side. Essentially what you want to do is use the maul side to drive a splitting wedge into your wood. This means you can get it to go with the grain of the wood so its a much easier job for you and repeat until the wood splits.

Length of wood

Most stoves only take wood of about 20 to 50 cm. to save time make sure you cut your wood to size before trying to split it. The added benefit of this is the shorter the log is the easier it will split.

Set up a chopping block

This is normally a large section of a former tree and this is where you will put your wood to split it. This helps with swinging your axe  and causing less strain on your back. The block shouldn't be high or low enough for ricochets to be dangerous in case of a glancing blow.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

How to mow your lawn in winter

The rate of the grass growing will drop continuously as it comes closer to winter but it never fully stops so you should be prepared to mow your lawn only a less often.

You should wait on a clearer day with not much frost or rain as these will make mowing extremely difficult to do neatly and uniformly and you will probably need to clear some leaves before you can start and the ground will probably be soft but leaving the lawn for a long time then mowing it all at once is bad practice and can look untidy so if you keep it up it will look a lot better coming back into spring for it.

You should also consider raising the setting for the lawn mower by a setting and be careful not to walk over the grass or let anyone else over the grass too much when its frosty or you could leave footprints where the tips of the grass have been snapped off.

Its a really good idea to mow your lawn a week or so before Christmas or new years to make it look substantially tidier for the holidays when family or friends visit and can really lift a winterized garden.

Definitely do not scarify your lawn unless there's a good chance of natural recovery as the lawn will go white and horrible if it goes frosty after scarifying and moss could grow in bare areas by spring time which is odd as some companies still do this into winter and they're supposed to be the experts. There are a lot of advantages to mowing and keeping a tidy lawn in the winter such as it helps keep pests away such as mice and insects and other damaging pests and it will look a lot better.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Benefits and disadvantages of an Electric Chainsaw

When it comes to chainsaws most people don't know whether an electric or petrol chainsaw would be better for them so I'm going to cover the main advantages and disadvantage of an electric chainsaw.


Less power 

An electric chainsaw may not be up to the task of anything bigger than a small sapling but they are still useful for outgrowing branches and to trim hedges.

The cord

Electric chainsaws have a dangling cord that limits range and freedom of handling. They also sometimes will sometimes need an extension for the cord to reach far outside.



More manageable

An electric chainsaw is smaller and less powerful but this make ts easier to handle and maneuver for smaller than average users and helps take the intimidating edge off.

Easy start up

Petrol chainsaws require a pull start while electric chainsaws require a switch to be flipped. Electric chainsaws also remove the issue of having cans of flammable petrol around.

Easy storage

For electric chainsaws all you need to do to store it is remover the plug and place its protective blade scabbard on it.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Wedge and String Method for Hedge Trimming

Cutting a perfectly straight hedge at the top and at the sides can be quite the task. The slightest error and your hedge will go from the perfect cube to a polygon of unknown origin. Today we're going to show you how to ensure these mistakes are kept to an absolute minimum using the wedge and string method.

Wedge and String Method 

Step 1. Position 4 wedges of equal length and width at the four corners of where you want the hedge to be. This may be inside the hedge which can be difficult but still doable.
Step 2. Get a length of string and tie it around the wedges at the height you want your hedge to be. Make sure the string is tied tight.
Step 3. Any part of the hedge that falls outside of the string you simply. This will leave you with a hedge exactly the shape you want and all you have to do is follow the lines.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

How to use a Saw Bench

There are a lot of people unsure of how to maximise effectiveness from their saw bench. This will help with some general information and some tips for using your saw bench.

General information

There is some confusion over how high a saw bench needs to be. My advice is to make it 20" and it can be cut down a bit at a time to get the best height. You should also be aware that any lower than 18" carries the risk of hitting your shop floor with your tools. The best materials off one to get is clear heavy construction grade lumber. To clarify splayed legs are not necessarily a good sign of stability.


On a regular saw bench you can shortcut at most 36" and the easiest way to use it and keep the board still is to use your legs as the clamps. Keep the leg opposite your cutting hand on top of the board e.g. (right handed left leg) while keeping your other leg firm against it. I personally prefer the ripping notch to get started and make sure your cutting arm swings over the cut line. For long cuts use the same legs as clamps idea to allow for similar cutting.