Knife Steel – Hold an Edge Verses No Rust – Have Both!

Knife steel is a critical component of the custom knife. Making a fine homemade knife is a work of patience, and a dedication to precision craftsmanship. A custom knife maker must understand the science of metallurgy when choosing an appropriate knife steel.

To rust or not to rust, that is the question. Actually, that is only one of the questions. To maintain a great edge, or not to maintain a great edge is another important question! Many custom knife makers are finding middle ground for those two questions.

High carbon and stainless steels are both acceptable if properly alloyed. The high carbon steels are typically the steels that are forged. They can be differentially tempered. This property gives the knife maker more options. He can better control the hardness of the cutting edge, and still have a tough knife with a springy back.

Let’s consider first, some of the more common carbon knife steel available.

10xx Series

1095 is the most popular steel for knives. It is a simple steel consisting of.95% carbon, and.4% manganese. Other 10 series steels are used for knife making such as 1084, 1070, 1060, and 1050 etc. Each of these steels are decreasing in carbon content, and thus are also decreasing in wear resistance. At the same time, as the carbon content goes down the toughness goes up. As such, some of the lower carbon content designations are more commonly used for swords.


O-1 steel is another high carbon steel which gives razor sharp edges but dulls quicker than A2 Steel. O-1, like A2 has a 1% carbon content It has 1.35% manganese,.5% chromium,.35% silicon, and.5% tungsten. O-1 steel is more forgiving to those who are not as accomplished in getting a decent edge. In summary, it is easier/faster to hone to a razor sharp edge than some of the other choices, but does not stand up to abuse as well. 0-1 is very popular with forgers and bladesmiths. It is tough, although not as tough as 5160.


L-6 is very similar to O-1. It is basically band saw steel. It is possibly the very best steel for a knife if maintenance is not an issue. It rusts very easily, but holds an edge very well. It is also very tough. It is a favorite of forgers.


W-2 is reasonably tough and holds an edge well because of its.25% vanadium. It also has.25% manganese, and silicon. It is not as common or popular.


A2 steel is almost a stainless steel. At (5%) it does not have quite enough chromium. It has 1% carbon,.6% Manganese, 1% molybdenum, and.2% Vanadium. It is not prone to rust. A2 steel is popular for combat knives because of its toughness. The toughness of the edge of the A2 steel is improved by cryogenically treating the blades at -320 degrees Fahrenheit. A2 steel is much harder than 0-1 carbon steel and although more difficult to sharpen, it keeps an edge longer. It performs best somewhere between 30 and 35 degrees. The problem with A2 steel is that it tends to fracture more easily when the bevel is ground less than 30 degrees. A2 is tougher than D2 and M2, but has less wear resistance.


M2 Steel is a fine-grained molybdenum/tungsten high-speed tool steel. It has.85% carbon,.25% manganese, 4.2% chromium,.30% silicon, 5% molybdenum, 6.35% tungsten, and 1.9% vanadium. It is an excellent choice for high temperature applications. For example, the annealing temperature of M2 steel is approximately 1000° F. It is slightly tougher and more wear resistant than D2, however, M2 rusts more easily.


“D” series steels are classed as cold work tool steels. D2 steel is a premium tool steel. With 1.5% carbon content It is better at holding an edge than less exotic stainless steels. D2 has a fairly high chromium content (11.5%) and is sometimes referred to as a “semi-stainless”. It is a well respected, air hardened, high carbon, high chromium tool steel. It has 1% molybdenum, and.9% vanadium. It possesses extremely high wear resistance properties. D2 steel is one of the toughest knife blades you can get, and is a favorite of the best custom knife makers. Anyone who has ever used a good D2 steel blade in the field, raves about the steels cutting ability, durability, and edge holding properties. Simply put, D2 steel can produce one of the best blade stocks available for a working knife.


5160 steel is a common spring steel. It is basically 1060 with 1% of chromium added to make it deep hardening. It is used in swords, axes or other high-impact tools. 5160 Steel is popular now for a variety of knife styles, but is usually used for bigger blades that need more toughness. It is quick and easy to sharpen, and, when resistance to lateral forces comes into play, 5160 is a champion.


50100-B is the AISI designation of the same steel as 0170-6. The B designates vanadium has been added. This steel is a good chrome-vanadium alloy that is similar in properties to 0-1, but it is much less expensive. It is essentially 52100 with 1/3 less chromium.


52100 is often compared to 5160. It has a little more carbon content than 5160, and thus holds an edge better. It isn’t as tough though. The tradeoff is in wear resistance. Many hunting knives are now being made from this steel.

Now, let’s consider the alloys of stainless for knife steel.

Stainless steel is designated as such if it has greater than 13% chromium. However, the ASM Metals Handbook says that it only must be greater than 10%. There are also different numbers thrown around. This difference though, is probably due to the amount of free chromium available. There are many stainless alloys with varying corrosion-resistant properties that make it a good material for knife blades.

420 and 420HC

420 is an extremely soft steel because of the less than.5% carbon content. It will not hold an edge well, but it is very stain resistant, and is often used for less expensive knives. It is also often used to make diving knives. 420 HC is tailored to be more like 440A by including more carbon.

440A, 440B, and 440C

This series of steels increases in carbon content from A -.75%, to B -.9%, to C – 1.2%. 440C steel, if hardened appropriately, is an excellent knife steel. It is very tough, and has good edge holding qualities. It does not hold an edge as good as ATS-34, but is more stain resistant. This complete series is very rust resistant. 440A is most rust resistant, and 440C the least.

AUS-6, AUS-8, and AUS-10

This is a Japanese series of steels that roughly compare with the above 440 Series. The carbon content increasing from AUS-6 -.65%, to AUS-8 -.75%, to AUS-10 – 1.1%. AUS-6 would more closely compare to the cheaper low-end 420. AUS-8 is a middle level steel like GIN-1 or ATS-55. AUS-10 competes with higher end steels, and generally compares well with 440C. It has slightly less chromium than 440C, but all three steels of this series have vanadium added. Vanadium improves the wear resistance and the grain, which gives these steels the ability to be sharpened to a very fine edge. Vanadium also improves wear resistance. These steels are often referred to as 6A, 8A, and 10A.


GIN-1, also referred to as G-2 compares generally to AUS-8, and ATS-55. It has less carbon, and much less molybdenum than ATS-34. It is a little higher in chromium, and typically is used for the less expensive knives.


ATS-34 steel is universally recognized for its edge holding and taking capabilities. It is a Japanese steel that favorably compares to the U.S version, 154 CM, which is not nearly as popular. ATS-34 is definitely stronger than 440 steel so breaking the tip on this steel will be less likely, but it is not as rust resistant. ATS-34, is typically, either hot or cold rolled depending on its thickness, but both are likely annealed (heat treated).


ATS-55 is a level behind ATS-34, because it does not have molybdenum. Without the molybdenum, it does not hold an edge as well, and is not as resistant to rust, and has less wear resistance. It compares favorably with GIN-1, and AUS-8


BG-42 is becoming more popular. It is also more expensive than ATS-34, which may limit its popularity. Because of the addition of vanadium, and twice as much manganese as ATS-34, it will hold a significantly better edge, and will also have better toughness than ATS-34. It is a little harder to work.

S30V, S60V and S90V

This series of steels is packed with a greater amount of alloys because of the particle metallurgy process that is very different from conventional steel manufacturing methods. These are high vanadium knives, and compare favorably with BG-42. They are probably more wear resistant than any other stainless steel. However, they are even more expensive than BG-42, and even more difficult to work. This relegates them mostly to the experienced custom knife maker sphere. S60V is often referred to as CPM T440V, and S90V as CPM T420V.

Whether looking for an easily cared for knife, or a knife that holds a great edge, knowing the options available may give you the best of both worlds.

How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Naturally?

As you know, having a cold sore is an embarrassing thing. Not only it looks horrible and there is a lot of shame that when people look on you, but you also can’t go out with your girlfriend (or boyfriend) because cold sores can be easily spread to others…

Before I tell you how to get rid of cold sores you should know what causes it. Cold sores are recurrent blistering spots that appear around the mouth and nose but most commonly appear on your lips. Sometimes they even appear inside the mouth and it can be very problematic, interfering with talking and eating.

Cold sores may occur during feverish illnesses such as colds, coughs, and ‘flu. They may indicate a deficiency in calcium but usually they are caused by the herpes simplex virus which is also known as HSV. Cold sores may begin with an initial tingling, burning, or numb sensation, followed by clusters of small, painful, fluid-filled blisters around the lips and surrounding skin. Then the cold sore appears.

Cold sores are best treated as early as possible. Believe it or not, there is a lot of talk about gelatin free yoghurt being one of the best home remedies. Many people also advice to use Vaseline to cut down on the cracking and the painful dryness that comes along with having a cold sore. Lemon balm is also very efficient as it can dramatically speed up the healing time.

However these methods won’t heal your cold sore overnight. If you don’t want to wait more than 10 days until it clear up, if you want to get rid of your cold sores naturally and as fast as possible, you should take a look at this proven guide which exposes the best cold sores treatment methods and secrets.

5 Sneaky Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, also known as Juvenile diabetes, has many symptoms that, unfortunately, mimic many common childhood milestones. Learn how to discern the difference between diabetes symptoms and run of the mill healthy childhood behaviors.

1. Increased thirst. As active as children are, it isn’t unreasonable for your child to be demanding more drinks one day from the next. But if your child is thirsty all hours of the day and night and seems to crave ice cold water with the frequency of an addict, their kidneys may be trying to flush glucose from the body. Without insulin to move the glucose along through the blood stream to process it, the sugar builds up triggering a natural desire for more liquids. This is one of the most well-known and recognizable of the Type 1 diabetes symptoms.

2. Increased urination. The body tries to flush out the build-up of glucose through the urine. This need to flush the system can even lead to a sudden onset of night time bed wetting. Unfortunately, because your child is urinating so frequently, they become dehydrated because everything they drink is almost immediately lost. It would be easy to assume that they are merely suffering from a urinary tract infection or that they have bladders the size of chick peas and to attempt to limit their liquid intake.

3. Breath that smells sweet and like fruit. This symptom is also sneaky in that it could be explained away by the fruity flavored toothpastes that children use these days or by the healthy fruit snacks that they are fed. The sweet smell of their breath is a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is the body’s attempt to get rid of acetone through the respiratory system. Sweet smelling breath is a signal that poisonous ketones (acid by-products of fats being broken down for energy) are building up in the body. This symptom is a sign that they urgently require diabetes medication.

4. Constant hunger. Children are always growing and always hungry. However, a child with undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes will be ravenous. The food they are eating isn’t being transformed into energy, because the body requires insulin to do that. The sugars that the body breaks the food down into begin to build up in the system causing the cycle of extreme thirst, urination and hunger.

5. Sizable sudden weight loss. Children seem to grow over night and a child that was on the stocky pudgy side last month may appear taller and skinny this month. The difference is that a natural growth spurt will look like a weight loss, but is actually growth and does not usually involve a true loss of weight. However, the weight loss of a child with undiagnosed diabetes will be extreme and sudden. It will occur when they seem to be eating all the time and will seem very different from their usual behavior.

Individually, each of the symptoms listed above, could be seen as natural phases in your child’s development, however, when they occur at the same time, you should see an enormous red flag and book a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. Type 1 diabetes is an entirely manageable disease, but early detection and treatment are essential for your child’s health and their ability to avoid long term diabetes complications.

Exercise for Teenagers – 5 Free Exercises You Can Do at Home

The key to staying healthy as a teenager is to engage in a combination of eating right and forming the right exercise habits. This is particularly important since so many teens today are overweight.

For example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently published a report containing teen obesity statistics. The report said that 14% of teens in the United States are obese. Translation: 14% of our teens are at elevated risk for high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Apart from these health-related risks to being overweight, these teens tend to have more problems making friends, getting dates, and finding jobs than do their thinner friends. On average, they also suffer from self-image problems and other psychological issues, which can have an effect on the quality of their schoolwork and overall sense of well-being.

The bottom line is: unless an overweight teen gets their weight under control, they are very likely to carry these problems associated with being too heavy well into adulthood – and possibly for the rest of their lives.

If you are looking for good exercises for teenagers, here are 5 free exercises that you can do at home:

1. Work your heart at least 30-60 minutes per day:

Working your heart muscle is known as cardiovascular exercise. While you don’t need to do it all at once, all together you should be getting at least 30-60 minutes of cardio per day. Some free ways to do this include: running, walking, biking, swimming, in-line skating, jumping rope, handball, trampoline, soccer, rowing, Tae Bo, aerobic dancing, and kick-boxing.

2. Improve your balance and flexibility with yoga:

The importance of flexibility and a good sense of balance are an important aspect of a healthy body. Buy a yoga DVD (you can find them used for a few dollars each online) or watch/record/TIVO free yoga shows on TV and watch them frequently. You can do many types of yoga directly on regular carpet. Eventually, you may want to invest in an inexpensive yoga mat. Bonus: many people who do yoga also report feeling more emotionally balanced and centered, as well.

3. Build core strength with butterfly breath:

Here is a specific exercise for building your core strength (i.e., your torso, stomach and back muscles) that you can do anywhere. It’s called “butterfly breath.” Here’s how:

a. Stand up straight with your legs spread hip-width apart, arms lifted straight out at your sides.

b. While breathing out, lift your right knee and touch it to your left elbow.

c. Then, while inhaling, return to position “a”. Switch sides and repeat 12-15 times on each side.

4. Flatten your tummy by doing the bicycle:

A flat, strong tummy is an important mark of the physically-fit. Try the “bicycle” exercise (note: no bicycle required!).

a. Lie out flat on the floor, laying your hands beside your head.

b. Bring up your knees to a forty-five degree angle and slowly act as if you are pedaling a bicycle in mid-air.

c. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then do the opposite side. Keep an even pace throughout. Do about 1-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions.

5. Work your legs with squats:

Now, it is time to work your legs with squats! This is one of the best lower body exercises you can do because it is a multi-joint exercise that works multiple muscle groups, including your hips, butt, and thighs. This type of squats does not require any weights. Here’s how:

a. Place a chair behind you and stand in front of it, with feet slightly spread apart.

b. Contract your stomach muscles, keeping them tight as you bend your knees and squat down towards the chair.

c. Keep your knees behind or just above (in-line with) your toes as you briefly sit down.

d. Now, slowly stand up out of the chair by tightening your hamstrings and glutes (butt). Fully extend your legs straight again.

e. Do 1-3 sets for 10-15 repetitions.

Try these 5 free exercises you can do at home as you get into the best shape of your life.

How Acupuncture Can Help Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that produces scaly skin that is rather unsightly. Surprisingly, many people with psoriasis are able to find relief with acupuncture.

Because of its unsightliness – even to close family members, when psoriasis flares up it creates a problem. It can affect rather small patches or large areas on the body. Here is why acupuncture may be able to help psoriasis.

Causes of Psoriasis

The cause of psoriasis has not yet been determined. However it is known to be genetic, sometimes skipping a generation. The problem stems from a rapid growth of cell production. Cells are produced faster than they are lost so there is a build of cells that results in a scale effect.

Scientists are not certain what causes this scaling of the skin cells, but there is a general belief it is related to the immune system. It is considered to be a severe case of psoriasis when it covers 30% or more of the body. Those that have psoriasis are also candidates to get a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis.

Things That Can Trigger Psoriasis

Psoriasis has a number of known things that can trigger a flare-up of the disease. It can remain relatively inactive, at times, but when these triggers occur, it will often produce a recurrence. These flare-ups are:

· Stress
· Food allergies
· Alcohol – in men only
· Smoking

What Is Acupuncture

Acupuncture comes from China and has been used there for over 2,000 years. It is based on the Chinese religious beliefs that the universe, and our bodies should have a balance of the oscillating forces of yin and yang.

Problems in the body come when this balance is lost. Chi, or the life force, normally flows through the body in a balance, along certain pathways called meridians.

When the chi is stopped along some lines, problems develop. The acupuncture specialist inserts hait-thin needles of silver, gold, or copper, to help unblock the flow of life-energy. This will permit the body to bring about a healing of itself.

Use of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been known to bring about some excellent help for psoriasis. In fact, there have been cases where traditional medicine could not do much, but the acupuncture treatments were found to be quickly helpful.

Although more research is needed using acupuncture to treat psoriasis, results do look very good. Many studies have been performed in China showing significant improvement.

One of the best reasons that acupuncture can help with psoriasis, is because it is known to be able to relieve anxiety. Anxiety is one of the major triggers of psoriasis.

The exact reason why acupuncture works is unknown to medical science. It is known that acupuncture releases endorphins, the body’s own pain-killing chemicals. This may block some inflammatory mechanisms involved in psoriasis, or possibly prevents some nerve action from taking place.

An acupuncture treatment will usually last from around a couple of minutes to about an hour, at most. Treatments may also include other forms of acupuncture, such as electro-acupuncture, or laser acupuncture. Laser acupuncture uses mild lasers, instead of acupuncture needles.

What Women Need To Know About Pre-Pregnancy Vitamins

The medical world has for decades seen the importance of good nutrition during the various stages of pregnancy that a woman goes through. It has found that pregnancy places huge demands on the body as the unborn baby goes through huge spurts of growth in the first nine months of its development in the womb. Studies have shown that the pregnant mother needs more than adequate amounts of nutrients during this stage and even if the amounts of vitamins and trace elements were missing in lesser dosages it would seriously impact on the baby’s development. Studies have shown that small deficiencies of one nutrient such as omega 3, iron or vitamin B6 may affect the baby’s brain development seriously.

Pregnancy and Vitamin Supplements:

The major growth burst start in the second and sixth week of conception where we see huge development of the baby’s new organ system and the heart starts to beat at around the 4th week. For this to take place we see a huge growth in the cellular system of the new baby’s body and there is a massive demand for the proper nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and trace elements to be at hand to help with the building blocks needed for proper development.

For the cellular growth to take place, the baby’ s cells need adequate amounts of nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals in the right ratios and balances for optimum growth to take place. During pregnancy and the lactating months following the pregnancy the young mother has huge demands placed on her body by the baby she is caring and her body is depleted of vital nutrients by this so called loving “parasite that has invaded her body.” It is prudent that the young mother to be looks after her nutrition as she is not only responsible for her health but that of the child she is carrying. Most prenatal vitamins for pregnant mothers seem to be inadequate with the amounts of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids they seem to have.

Young mothers-to-be must consult their physicians about what vitamins are safe for them. Unfortunately most physicians do not have a good in-depth knowledge of what is adequate and safe to take on the market. This is not their fault as nutrition does not play a huge part in the medical world. And this is unfortunate as studies are coming out that proves that nutrition is vital for cellular growth of the human body and we just cannot get the right amounts needed from our foods.

The Importance of Pre-Pregnancy Vitamins:

Women who are considering getting pregnant should start taking omega 3 fatty acids way before pregnancy to help the future development of the child they will carry to have proper brain development during pregnancy. This is important as the nervous system starts to develop immediately after conception and way before the woman even knows if she is pregnant.

Important vitamins such as omega 3 and folic acid has a positive effect on your health and that of the baby during pregnancy. By taking proper nutrition way before pregnancy you can almost guarantee that your pregnancy will have the proper nutrition for your baby’s growth. It is like you are taking an insurance policy out for your future family. Keep in mind that the brain development takes place well past birth and so you should be taking omega 3 fatty acids during the lactating months to ensure your baby is properly nutrient.

Supplementing with folic acid during pregnancy helps to reduce neural tube defects by 50%. In order to protect the baby from such defects you should consider daily supplementation with folic acid way before the pregnancy.

Too much vitamin A acetate may lead to birth defects. Take a multivitamins that is free from vitamin A but rather has beat-carotene which the body can break down to vitamin A as and when it needs it. It is the safer alternative. Optimal nutrition helps to give you and your baby years of good health and happiness.

What’s Good For Asthma?

Asthma is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the bronchial airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swell. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by, and may be accompanied by tightness in the chest, coughing, or wheezing. Asthma attacks can last from minutes to days. An attack can become dangerous if the airflow becomes too severely restricted.

Most asthma attacks are triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances such as: pet dander, dust mites, cockroach allergens, molds, or pollens. Asthma symptoms can also be triggered by respiratory infections, exercise, cold air, tobacco smoke and other pollutants, stress, and food or drug allergies.

Some vitamins and herbs are thought to be helpful in preventing or improving asthma. Herbs, and other healing food, considered useful, include: angelica, anise, apple, blackberry, borage, caraway, carrot, cayenne, cocoa, coffee, dandelion, echinacea, eucalyptus, fenugreek, fish, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, grapefruit, green tea, horseradish, hyssop, juniper, lovage, marjoram, mustard, mullein, nuts, olive, onions, rosemary, slippery elm, stinging nettle, sunflower, tea, thyme, turmeric, walnut, watercress, and yogurt.

Vitamins (or foods rich in the vitamins) that may be useful, include: B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyrodoxine), B complex, beta-carotene, C, calcium and magnesium, E, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and zinc.

Avoid the common triggers for asthma, such as: aspirin, sugar, soy, tobacco smoke, and all food additives, coloring, and preservatives. Also, limit dairy foods and salt in the diet. Fear and stress also seem to worsen asthma.

Consume lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Maintain a healthy weight. Try to drink at least 8-12 cups water daily. Caffeine appears to lessen asthma attacks. It is also said that tabasco sauce, after a meal, will lessen asthma attacks.

Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.

Causes of Ringworm, Home Remedies to Treat Ringworm

Ringworm is a contagious fungus infection that can affect the scalp, the body (particularly the groin), the feet, and the nails. It’s name is a bit of a confusion as it has nothing to do with worms. The name comes from the red ring that can appear on an infected person’s skin. Ringworm is also called Tinea.

Causes of Ringworm

Ringworm can be passed from one person to the other by direct skin-to-skin contact or by contact with contaminated articles such as unwashed clothing, and shower or pool surfaces. Pets like dogs and cats that carry fungus can cause ringworm. The other causes of ringworm are prolonged wetness of the skin and the minor injuries of the skin and nails.

Depending on what part of your body is infected with ringworm will determine the length of time it takes to fully cure yourself. Scalp ringworm can take up to ten weeks to cure with a conventional treatment that is prescribed by your doctor. A scalp ringworm cure from your doctor is a shampoo and an oral anti fungal drug. The oral anti fungal is needed because the shampoo in ineffective on its own for the reason it cannot penetrate your scalp to fully cure the infection.

Ringworms bleach solution is quite effective for killing fungi but bleach should not be used directly on the skin because:

•    It is carcinogenic.
•    If absorbed, it can cause lung damage.
•    It can burn the skin or cause allergic reactions.

Apply the juice of raw turmeric externally to the parts of the skin affected by ringworm. Simultaneously, one teaspoon of turmeric juice mixed with an equal quantity of honey should be taken orally.

Mix 5-7 teaspoons of dried Licorice herb per 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, then let it cool. Apply it directly to the affected area using a cotton ball or clean cloth.

Papaya: Rub papaya slices on infected patches or apply paste made from dried papaya seeds.

Mustard: Make a paste from mustard seeds. Apply on patches and rinse well with hot water.

Cut a lime and dip the inside part in salt and scrub the infected area (tingles a little) after that rince the infected area with water and apply Blue Cream can be purchased at your local drug store. Ive had ringworm twice and this helped. you can also use hydrocortisone cream. the key thing you want to do is to dry that pesky worm away.
One way to treat ringworm is to follow these steps twice a day:

1.    Wash the infected area
2.    Dry thoroughly, using a hairdryer.
3.    Rub tea tree oil onto the infection.
4.    Continue for 2-3 weeks.

You can also find tea tree oil supplements, gels, oitments, and soaps to help get rid of ringworm.

What Material Is Best for A Bathroom Sink?

Sink materials

Most pedestal and wall-hung sinks are made from vitreous china, and the same qualities that make this material a good choice for toilets work well for sinks too: a durable, abrasion-resistant, easy-to-clean surface that maintains its luster year after year.Choose vitreous-china sinks-particularly pedestal sinks-with care, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, because any ceramic manufacturing process produces a high number of seconds that may have defects ranging from minor blemishes or depressions in the surface to hairline cracking and out-of-plumb or warped mating surfaces. This can mean drop-in self-rimming sinks that don’t sit flat (particularly larger ones) and two-piece pedestals that just don’t quite go together correctly.

Enameled cast iron has most of vitreous china’s good qualities, and it is much less prone to cracking. Cast iron is strong, rigid, and quiet when water is running into it, although it can chip if mishandled during shipping or if a hammer gets dropped on it during installation. Cast-iron sinks are very heavy, which may not make that much of a difference with smaller vanity bowls, but can make handling larger sinks hard on the back.

Enameled steel is similar to enameled cast iron but considerably lighter and less expensive. It is much more likely to chip than enameled cast iron because its porcelain coating is thinner and the steel is more flexible. Water running into it makes more noise, too, and cools down more rapidly because the thin steel walls tend to dissipate heat pretty quickly. Formerly a low-budget alternative to porcelain and cast iron, enameled steel seems to be rapidly losing ground to synthetic materials that are competitively priced and that perform just as well, if not better. I’ve removed a few of these sinks in remodels, but I haven’t put any new ones back in lately.

Cultured marble is one of those synthetic materials, and it’s been around for a long time. Cultured marble, like cultured onyx and cultured granite, is technically a cast polymer, created by mixing crushed minerals like marble, onyx, or limestone with a polyester resin. This mixture is then poured into a mold and cured at room temperature. Like fiberglass, the surface is usually then gel-coated with the actual sink color and pattern, so some cast-polymer sinks are prone to scratching and damage. One problem often associated with cast-polymer sinks is “crazing,” or cracks and blisters in the gel coat. This typically occurs around the drain opening and is caused by the thermal shock of alternating hot and cold water, by abrasion from cleaning, and/or by a gel coat that is too thin or thick. Much of the do-it-yourself and lower-end sink market has been dominated by these sinks, in part because they’re relatively inexpensive and look good on the shelf. Some of the newer and more expensive cast polymers have a higher percentage of materials like quartz, which is very hard, and aren’t gel-coated. These cast polymers are much more heat and impact resistant and are sandable, making damage easier to repair.

Solid-surface materials like Corian and Surell are similar to cultured marble in that they too can be cast into easily cleaned one-piece sink / counter-tops. They have the advantage of having colors and patterns that are an integral part of the material, so repairs can be made simply by sanding away dents and scratches, and the nonporous synthetics are stain resistant (though not stain proof). Individual sink bowls are also available, though they are generally laminated into larger counter-tops of the same material. Expect to pay a lot more for solid-surface sinks than for cultured marble.

Ceramic earthenware bowls offer a colorful and organic alternative to mass-produced sinks. Because they are handmade, these sinks have irregularities that sometimes make getting them to fit correctly a real challenge, particularly those made outside the United States. Often these sinks don’t have an overflow-a secondary outlet to the drain to keep a stoppered sink from flooding-which is sometimes required by local building codes. And because they are somewhat fragile, they require careful installation to make everything fit together well-tight enough not to leak but not so tight as to fracture the bowl.

But they add a custom touch to a bathroom, particularly when matched with tile work from the same pottery.

Stainless-steel sinks have long been popular in the kitchen, and their somewhat industrial look sometimes lends itself well to bathrooms, too.They are certainly durable and easy to clean. There is a wide range of quality in stainless-steel sinks, with a corresponding range of prices. The best ones have a higher percentage of chromium and nickel, making them more stain and corrosion resistant, and are typically made of 18-gauge stainless steel, making them stronger and giving them a higher luster. Less expensive sinks feel flimsier because they are made of lighter 22-gauge (or less) steel; they have a duller finish, tend to be noisy, and tend to warp.

Metal sinks are also available in brass, copper, aluminum, and bronze. Sometimes these sinks are mass-produced, but more often than not the more esoteric ones are handmade, and the same reservations that apply to ceramic sinks apply here. Like handmade ceramic sinks, metal sinks can be fussy to install and sometimes require some modification to adapt them to plumbing and fittings. Tempered-glass sinks are also available in a number of distinctive styles, including a sink basin mounted above the counter-top.

Diabetes – Buckwheat to the Rescue

As I was surfing the web researching information relevant to my web site where I sell buckwheat pillows, I stumbled upon some information that grabbed my attention. Two things I am greatly interested in. One is buckwheat, and the other is diabetes. The first interest would be obvious, because of my inter net business, but the second is a more recent interest, or should I say, concern?

I have just been diagnosed as being borderline diabetic, so when I came across this information, I was all ears, or should I say all eyes? What are the chances of finding one article which combines both subjects which are the most important to me? “University of Manitoba researchers find links between buckwheat consumption and absence of diabetes in remote geographical area,” or something to that effect.

Researchers had become aware of this area that had virtually no diabetics. They sent researchers to the area to see if they could isolate the factors that might be the cause of this. They had already ascertained that when people moved away from this area, they soon became subject to diabetes in about the same numbers as the prior local residents, so they knew it had to be some factor peculiar to that particular area.

After spending some time there they found one fairly obvious difference. The only flour that was consumed in the area was milled from buckwheat. Every conceivable food that would contain flour, was made from it. They simply did not use any other form of flour. Whether they were making bread, noodles, pancakes, pastries, biscuits, or gravy, it was made with buckwheat flour.

The university then conducted a test using diabetic mice. Apparently, mice react to things pertaining to diabetes, sugar, and insulin, in much the same way that humans do. Giving buckwheat to half of the diabetic mice, and not to the other half, resulted in the half given the buckwheat recovering very quickly from their diabetes. They then ran a small experiment with human diabetics, which resulted in a dramatic lowering of blood sugar levels in those given fairly small amounts of buckwheat every other day.

Being greatly encouraged by these results, they are proceeding with setting up full scale scientifically controlled studies on humans, indicating that based on the experiments with both the mice and the diabetic people, they are quite expectant of achieving possibly dramatic results from these studies.

Having just been diagnosed as being borderline diabetic, I thought I would start eating some buckwheat for breakfast, and see what results I might get.. I went to the local health food store (couldn’t find anything except buckwheat pancake mix at the local grocery store) and bought some buckwheat groats (raw buckwheat).

I concocted a couple of recipes. For one I cooked about a third of a cup of groats in a bowl of apple cider. I knew that making oatmeal in apple cider was really good. Then I threw in a handful of raisins. I boiled that about ten minutes, tossed in some frozen berries, which helped cool it down so I could eat it. Sometimes I pour a little low fat milk on it. Pretty good. Next I made some with a third of a teaspoon of beef bullion powder, added some dried chives, some parsley, a little garlic powder, a little lemon pepper, two teaspoons of ground flax seed, a third cup of the groats, a shake or two of sea salt,and boiled that ten minutes in a bowl of water. As soon as this was cooked I dropped in an egg, and quickly stirred it up in the “soup”. The heat of the soup cooks the egg, and I really like that recipe.

My results were very encouraging, but of course, anecdotal. I had had a blood test a couple of months before I started eating my buckwheat breakfast. I had weighed 261 lbs., and my hemoglobin A1c (measures your average blood sugar over the last 2 – 3 months) was6.9. After about 3 weeks of eating my buckwheat concoctions, my A1c was 6.1, and my weight was 243. I had not been aware that eating buckwheat also can cause weight loss because it is very high in fiber, and causes you to feel fuller, so you eat less.

Now I’m not saying that other people will get results like I have, and I’m not advocating this as what anyone should do, but I am saying that this research being conducted by the University of Manitoba bears watching. As for me, though, I’m going to keep on eating buckwheat for breakfast. They have found out, in the process of their research, that buckwheat has a whole lot of other very nutritious advantages, One article I read declared that buckwheat was likely destined to become the next super food. I’m sure it’s better for me than scrapple with syrup on it, or a bowl of frosted flakes and a doughnut.

Treating Tattoo Allergies – Tips To Deal With Them

Tattoos are becoming a popular trend these days. Anyone can have a tattoo, even the most unlikely of people. However, with the onset of the tattoo craze, a problem has emerged — tattoo allergies.

The ink in the artwork contains ingredients that cause the tattoo allergies. The most common allergen is found in red and yellow ink. The problem with tattoo ink is that it is unregulated. Almost anything can be used to create the pigments that make up the ink. Some of the more common ingredients include nickel, mercury (although less and less), cobalt and cadmium.

Signs of the allergy include itchiness around and on the tattoo, raised bumps, redness, irritation or hives. Worse case scenarios include pussing and oozing around the tattoo and sores. When this occurs, the person has to see a doctor immediately. Usually, a steroid will be given at the site of the problem that will eliminate the allergy.

Just because you get a tattoo and do not have a reaction a week later does not mean you are in the clear. Tattoo allergies sometimes do not show up right away. There have been cases where the allergy did not show up until years later. Usually, there is something that triggered the reaction to take place such as another tattoo (creating more exposure), change in weather or even a sickness. The treatment at this point is the same.

If the allergy is severe, the ink can be removed by a doctor using a laser. If the allergy is not that bad where you just suffer from occasional itching or swelling, over the counter anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine creams should do the trick. If you ever noticed that during the summer months, your tattoo gets itchy or a little red, this could be due to a tattoo allergy. Most people who do have this moderate reaction tend to just deal with the problem.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing you are going to have tattoo allergies. There are no tests that can be done beforehand. You can’t have a small piece of skin that is out of the way tested because of the length of time some tattoo allergies take to appear. The only time people find out they have a tattoo allergy is after the tattoo is already on their body.

Take careful consideration on what the tattoo artist tells you about cleaning your tattoo. This prevents any immediate reactions your body may have and also an easier way to watch for signs of an allergic reaction. Keep in mind tattoo allergies are rare, so don’t shy away from them if you really want to get one.

Different Types of Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is a physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and total health. This activity is performed for various reasons. These include toning up the muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or body maintenance and for a healthy and fit body. With regular exercise, it increases the body’s immune system and helps prevent certain diseases. These diseases are heart ailments, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

There are different types of exercise, it depend on the purpose of the exercise and on the overall effect on the human body. If you want to build and tone your muscles, flexibility and weights are the proper choice. These types of exercises are:

Aerobic exercise is a physical exercise that tends to improve the efficiency of the cardiovascular system in absorbing and transporting oxygen. Aerobic exercise program involves frequent physical activity that is repetitive, it and stimulates the circulatory system and uses large muscles. It includes cycling, swimming, running, walking, hiking, rowing, cross training, and aerobic dance. This type of exercise focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance.

Flexibility exercises include stretching which improve the range of motion of muscles and joints. Flexibility is defined as a joint’s ability to move freely through a normal range of motion. Flexibility is a vital component of a well-rounded fitness program. Stretching is extremely important for general health and to prevent injuries during daily life and exercise. When a person ages their muscles tend to become tight and stiff, that is why it is important to maintain normal flexibility for good posture and prevent osteoporosis.

Anaerobic exercise or also called strength training is an exercise to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is usually used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. This includes weight training, functional training or sprinting. The benefits you can get from this type of exercise are: increases in muscle size and tone; increased muscle, tendon, bone, and ligament strength; increased physical performance and appearance; improved metabolic efficiency and decreased risk of injury.

Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and can impart positively on maintaining a healthy weight, building and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint mobility, promoting physiological well-being, reducing surgical risks and strengthening the body’s immune system. Physical exercise may also help decrease the effects of childhood obesity.

Benzoyl Peroxide – Side Effects and Contraindications

Progressive medicine knows some formulas which have been applied for some time already during the past century, and MD’s still suppose them to be efficient. They go on recommending them. Moreover, these formulas might be found in a number of relatively new products, and some of them are famous brands. But really these medical products cannot deliver the desirable result for in fact they are the passed day of medicine. The example of this kind is benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl peroxide is considered to be one of the basic acne treatment medications. People who use it achieve perfect results, which means that it is very efficient. What patients using it especially mention about the drug is the fact that it is simple and safe to use. It is also considered to be the safe and sound choice among the modern treatments for its ease of use and the foregone conclusion of its usage.

Benzoyl peroxide side effects

But don’t be deceived by all this. It should be pointed out that the safety of benzoyl peroxide is only relative. Well, if compared to highly aggressive formulas as isotretinoin and the like, it is harmless but in reality this medication cannot be called a natural acne treatment product, and it can cause rather strong side effects. Taking the product one should be sure that there are no contraindications against its application.

Xeroderma (excessive or irregular skin dryness) is the major side effect caused by benzoyl peroxide. On the average it adversely affects about every 30th user, inducing different skin allergic reactions. All these reactions are negative, of course. It is recommended to use a moisture cream to restore the skin moisture.

Benzoyl peroxide has also one specific feature – it has a whitening effect. Therefore one should be careful using it. It can soil clothes you put on. Wait a little to have it dried. Hair decolorization could be be caused by the contact with this medical product. However, sometimes it is hard to avoid the contact during forehead acne treatment, upper part of neck treatment or treatment just under hair.

Moreover, benzoyl peroxide refers to harsh stuff, that is why it can lead to severe inflammation and irritation of the mucosa in case it gets on it. If it manages to penetrate your eyes or mouth, thoroughly rinse them with a big amount of water.

Benzoyl peroxide contraindications

Benzoyl peroxide is thought to be one of the mildest and most reliable “unnatural” acne treatment medications. Still, it is a prescription drug. In addition to side effects, a few contraindications are typical for this medication.

For example, this product is not recommended for pregnant and breast feeding women, as well as for babies and teenagers under 12. These groups of people have higher risk of allergy when applying benzoyl peroxide. Allergy is exerting in high dryness of skin, its soreness and dermatitis.

Benzoyl peroxide is not suggested for usage in case a person applies anything else which also causes skin dryness and irritation (for instance, perfume with alcohol). Skin wounds are also the reason to avoid the treatment with this cure.

So, it is advised to consider all advantages and disadvantages. We suggest you should pay attention to natural cures which are safer and healthier. However, benzoyl peroxide is one of the best alternatives to choose from.

Natural acne treatment

Experts in medicine who choose progressive techniques apply more often at present to natural acne treatment remedies. This is surely right. And it is of course a right road: among different advantages, natural acne treatment products are awesome because they normally have less side effects in comparison with old chemical products like benzoyl peroxid. Of course, you will feel better while using natural acne products, you might also find them more effective and will not have to worry about negative side effects which may lead to quicker and better acne curing.

What to Expect from a Male Hormone Replacement Therapy Program

Before you begin a male hormone replacement therapy program, most men ask themselves if they have male menopause symptoms. Symptoms of male menopause, also known as andropause, include decreased mental quickness, decreased energy and strength, less desire for activity, decreased muscle, increased body fat, night sweats or trouble sleeping, mild to moderate depression and irritability and decreased sex drive.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, hormone replacement therapy can make you feel like yourself again.

What does a Comprehensive Male Hormone Replacement Program Include?
The basic male hormone replacement program includes testosterone and thyroid supplements. HGH (human growth hormone) may also be used as an optional component to treatment. Please keep in mind that HGH can be expensive, but will provide a noticeable boost to supplement the testosterone treatment program.

How long does will it take for me to feel better?
Most men notice a change in their energy levels and feel better within the first three weeks of treatment.

Week 1:
– You will notice a change in your mental quickness and clarity.

Week 2:
– You can expect your energy levels and endurance to increase. One book on the subject referred to the change in energy as, “getting your MoJo back.” If you have been experiencing mood swings and night sweats prior to treatment, you can expect these symptoms to go away within the first week.

Week 3:
– Your sex drive should increase.  You should experience an increase in morning erections and possibly night dreams and day time fantasies. Exercise will start to become easier and result will begin to show.

The Following Months:
Over the next couple of months, you should start to feel like yourself again. You will be energized and see improvements in your mood and sense of well-being. You will have an improved quality of sleep as well as improved libido and sexual performance. With proper diet and exercise, you will see an increase in lean body mass and an increase in muscle strength.

Other benefits of hormone replacement include increased bone density and an improved cardiovascular system. Osteoporosis is an increasing problem in men and testosterone therapy has been shown to increase bone mineral density.

Are You Ready to Start a Male Hormone Replacement Therapy Program?
If male hormone replacement therapy sounds like it could benefit you, you can search online for a male hormone replacement therapy program. An andropause treatment specialist will be able to answer your questions and help you identify a physician near you. Lab testing will be arranged near where you live.   Once those results are available an appointment will be made with a male hormone treatment doctor.

If you are a candidate for male hormone replacement therapy, your doctor will discuss your treatment options, which include oral tablets or capsules, injections or topical creams. Your doctor will follow-up with you on a regular basis to monitor hormone levels and further optimize treatment.

Hormone replacement treatment has benefited the overall-being of many men. It has been demonstrated to have positive effects on mood, energy levels, sex drive and it is safe. Testosterone treatment has been linked to positive effects on fatigue, mood and sexual function and overall feelings of wellness while reducing depression and irritability. With their testosterone levels back to a normal, healthy level, men have reported an increase in lean body mass as well as increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis and muscular strength. Under a male hormone replacement therapy program, you can expect to see an improvement in your physical and emotional well being within the first month of treatment.

Causes of Back Pain For Cashiers

Work-related back pain is a major cause of missed work days and disability. While strenuous jobs like construction work are most known for causing back pain, jobs that require being mostly stationary throughout the day can do just as much damage. Many cashiers find themselves suffering from back pain.

A cashier’s job generally requires long periods of standing, moving items, lifting and twisting. Each of these activities can cause strain to the muscles, ligaments, spinal discs and joints of the back, particularly the lower back.

There are two components to preventing and recovering from back pain caused by a cashier’s duties: 1) workplace ergonomics and 2) proper body mechanics.

Cash Register Ergonomics

An ergonomic workstation is designed with the needs of the human body in mind, limiting opportunities for strenuous actions like reaching and twisting. While extending your arm out to reach an item or twisting to view the display screen may not seem like strenuous activities, performing them over and over again throughout your shift causes cumulative stress that can lead to repetitive use injuries of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, neck or back. That is why the ergonomics of your workstation are so important.

The Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) has a number of guidelines for cashier workstations. Some are designed to limit the amount of twisting you do; OSHA recommends using power conveyor belts that push items to the scanner and carry them away on the other side, placing display screens within view of the cashier from neutral posture and keeping the scanner and conveyor belts level to allow for sweeping motions across the scanner field. The guidelines also recommend ways to inhibit harmful reaching and bending practices, such as allowing toe space at the bottom of the register so that the cashier can stand closer to the workstation and making bagger stand height adjustable.

If your work as a cashier is causing back pain, review OSHA’s guidelines at If any of them are not met at your workplace, notify your manager or supervisor. A healthy business relies on a healthy workforce.

Cashier Body Mechanics

Body mechanics involve how you move and use your body. Many people develop poor movement and posture habits due to simple lack of awareness. An important part of back pain prevention, at work and everywhere else, is taking note of these harmful behavior patterns and reversing them.

The main culprits of back pain are twisting, bending and reaching. Adjusting the way you perform certain tasks will limit the strain caused by these movements.

There are a couple of easy ways to limit the amount of twisting you put your back through. One is to notice how you scan items. Make sure to use two hands, passing the object from the right to the left rather than using one arm. If you have to lift an item from the belt to the scanner, use two hands. Even lightweight items can cause strain over time. Another way to limit twisting is to turn your whole body to look to one side rather than twisting at the neck or back.

When you bend over, always bend from the hips and keep your spine straight. These guidelines are particularly important when lifting heavy objects, but should not be overlooked when bending for any other reason.

One of the main reasons cashiers reach for items to scan is to maximize speed. Many grocery and retail stores pressure cashiers to get customers through the checkout as quickly as possible. The speed at which you work should never compromise your health. Using high-powered conveyor belts and sweepers that move items into the cashier’s reach are ways your employer can increase the speed of checkout without risking injury to cashiers.

Preventing back pain in cashiers requires an ergonomic workstation and an understanding of proper body mechanics. Review OSHA’s workplace safety guidelines and talk with your manager about ways to prevent back pain at your store.