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HomeGrown Handmade Blog

Why You need a Sander & How to Select the Correct One

12/02/2021 - By Maya Zadow

The Why’s and How’s of a Good Sander

If you have The Best Orbital Sander Review - Updated for 2021The Best Orbital Sander Review - Updated for 2021 that’s part of your woodworking arsenal, then consider yourself a winner. However, if you’re still in the process of taking a pick from the sanders that many claims are the best, we’re here to help you out. We’ll run you through the basics of a sander, what the different types are, so you can pick the best one to suit you.

Sheet Sanders

This type of sander is commonly known to be finishers. It is used for the finishing touches to ensure that the surface is smooth and free from bumps, splinters, and the like. It is also called quarter-sheet pad sanders or palm sanders. After using a sheet pad, lacquer and stains may then be applied to the surface.

Belt Sanders

Also known as a strip sander, this motorized equipment uses a loop of sandpaper for shaping wood, or removing old paints. This is a good choice if you a surface or a piece is in need of rough sanding, trimming, chamfering, and beveling. Generally, these are preparatory tools used early during a woodworking project.

Random Orbital Sanders

This type is quite similar to a disc sander, but the Random Orbital Sander mainly boasts its versatility and effectiveness in any period of the project. Unlike most sanders that operate in a uniform fashion, these produce an oscillating random movement that removes any scratches and chips from the surface. These are also easier to use and can be maneuvered with one hand, unlike the tougher belt sander that requires the use of two.

Features to Consider

While every sander is classified into a type, you should also consider the hardware and the components that constitute the tool. These parts can help you determine how easy it is to work with, how fast you can accomplish your tasks with it, and how safe it is to use.

Grip Security

It is vital for the handgrips to have an ergonomic shape, and has to be made with a non-slip material to ensure efficiency and safety. Sanders can produce vibrations and pressure, so you need control, especially in creating finer details.

Positioning and locking

It is also beneficial if your sander of choice allows you to lock it in a stationary position, so you have the option to control the wood instead. This is particularly essential in detail work. It also helps if you can free your hands from time to time.

Working Speed

You don’t need a sander that works at top speed, per se. However, a sander with standardized speed control variables can be effective, especially when different areas of work don’t require a uniform approach. It is also important that you are able to adjust the speeds while you are working to avoid delays and inconsistencies on the surface.

Another key thing to consider is the retention of your sandpaper. Eventually, it will wear down over time, so be keen on checking and regularly replacing it.

With that, we hope this helps.

We bid you good luck on all of your projects!

Beginner Friendly Vinyl Crafts You Need to Try

08/01/2021 - By Maya Zadow

If you love crafting, then there are so many things you must be curious to try out including the best rated vinyl cutting machines. From cutting stencils, papers, sketching, trying heat transfers, and looking to acquire the latest vinyl cutting machines.

Unfortunately, not all of us are born artists. Therefore, we can’t easily create freehand fonts. Luckily, there are vinyl cutting machines that are easy to work with and enable you to cut crafts. Here are some beginner-friendly crafts that you must try;

  • Mugs

Making custom tumblers and mugs is a recommendable starting point for beginners. Though it might take practice to apply a vinyl to a mug or tumbler, the styling involved will make it easy.

Mugs give you the liberty of trying your own design. Besides, they are beautiful gifts for almost every occasion.

  • Storage labels

How about having fun and functional storage labels? There is no reason not to use vinyl on your storage labels. Not only will your storage unit look better with an image and font, but also, it will appear more organized. There are numerous free circuit designs to guide you.

  • Wood Signs

Buying pre-designed artwork for your house is costly. Besides, there is a low chance you will get exactly what you are looking for. If you are interested in vinyl crafts, then you should consider making a wood sign.

You can use a vinyl cutting machine to cut out your own inspiring words, graphics, slogan, or saying and apply it to the wood. You can then add texture and there you have your home décor.

  • Decorative plates

If you have a liking for kitchenware, then you can make vinyl your best friend. You can use it to customize serving ware and make decorative plates.

To do this, you will need to layer the vinyl on a serving tray. Then, stick it to a charge plate or apply it on a cutting board which you can later give as a housewarming gift.

The main advantage of using vinyl is that it is quite easy to customize. Thus, making it suitable for beginners to craft and not go wrong.

  • Pantry labels

Don’t you think everything appears better and prettier with a label? Pantry labels are cute, and they could be motivating you to cook or even bake. With simply crafting skills, you can use vinyl to create pantry labels.

  • Shadow boxes or frames

If you love gallery walls, then you know how hard it is to put one together. To get one, it needs to be the right frame size, design, color, quote, and so many other considerations.

However, you can come up with a vinyl project, which a beginner can also handle to come up with shadow boxes. You can create one from scratch, or use an ill-fitting one and turn it into the piece you have always admired for your gallery.

Crafting is all about learning how to get it right and do better. You will probably make mistakes along the way, but then you will learn and try it differently the next time. We have recommended some crafts to start your vinyl crafting journey with. Luckily, there are tools such as vinyl cutting machines that will make it easy for you.

Art, Agriculture, and Food

25/12/2020 - By Maya Zadow

There is an astounding beauty and a remarkable serenity in the painting self portraits of  custom paint by numbers canvas of man, nature, and natural scenery in harmony. There is as much to behold in artworks depicting farming, from the animals to the natural landscape to the farmers, as there is in painting self-portraits. The artworks reflect the agricultural practices of the past, which are not necessarily practiced now.

Farming and communion with nature is not an uncommon image to be depicted in art. As such, go way back to even when paintings were made on caves, to the artistic mystique of old Egypt and the Middle Ages, as well as to that of earlier but more recent centuries.

Although the progression of time has likewise led to many developments in agriculture, the paintings of old agricultural sceneries remain relevant. Even though they do not necessarily reflect the present, they do show what can be done in the future to go back to a time when man, animals, and nature were more connected with each other. Animal life was more respected and liberated. They show what can be done to bring modernized and more isolated practices back to simplicity, back to communion with nature, and back to healthier produce.

Looking Back Through Their Eyes

Notable artists like English painter John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch, and William Henry Howe have made incredible artworks depicting artworks from days past.

Images like cows grazing on an estate by a beautiful lake, pigs feasting on chicken scraps, birds, and cattle reflect the simplicity of agriculture in times past. These artworks can provide inspiration to return to older agricultural practices that had much more respect for human and animal life. They also symbolically convey other messages relating to caring for the natural environment.

The Green and The Gray

Many farm animals currently do not exactly enjoy the same liberation and exposure as depicted in the artworks due to technological and systematic advancements in the field of agriculture. Many of them are kept in facilities without proper exposure to natural elements. That’s modern-day farming. Industrial Agriculture. As industrial agriculture continues to progress, past agricultural practice's green earthiness continues to recede farther to the periphery to make way for the gray and modern dullness.

It’s interesting and concerning to see how cattle have changed from feeding off a wider natural space to more systematized feedlots. It is a good example of human genius attempting to systematize things that are much more beautiful and serene in their liberties.

Mishka Henne, a British artist, was able to capture the dull gray of industrial agriculture and the use of feedlots. Of course, some visual elements had to be enhanced with the lackluster imagery for color variety’s sake. To compare such a depiction of industrial agriculture with the greener and simpler agriculture of days past will be an alarming revelation and a relevant call for a revisit of simpler methods.

Final Words

Should there be an abandonment of industrial agriculture? Perhaps with the hasty pace of the developing world, such a move may prove impossible. However, there can be ways to have somehow the two versions of agriculture meet in the middle or maybe even become greener than it currently is.

Indeed, with technologies providing impressive leaps forward, there has to be a way to a healthy mix of both agricultural practices. Development and progress will keep humanity alive, and change is the only constant thing.

However, it is impossible to imitate when animals could freely enjoy natural environments, and produce was healthier. It can be done, and if such is achieved in the future, what a green and serene thing it will be to behold. What a beautiful sight it will be to paint for future generations to see.


15/11/2020 - By Maya Zadow

Agriculture forms the backbone of our society. Without farmers toiling away at fertile soil, tending to their crops, none of us would have fresh produce to eat in our homes. The experts recommend It is an occupation. Despite its unsurpassed significance in the modern world, remains woefully unrecognized.

Whether you’re a student aiming for an agricultural degree or just someone who wants to know more about the profession that brings fresh food to our table, here are a couple of basics that you should come to know about agriculture.

Terms to Remember

Here are three simple terms with similarly simple definitions to give you a quick rundown of words you’ll often hear when discussing the profession of agriculture.

Farmer – a farmer is a person in charge of operating the farm, taking care of its livestock and crops for use in producing food.

Farm – a farm is an area of land devoted specifically to agricultural processes like producing food.

Produce – unlike the verb, “produce” refers to crops and goods produced by a farm, which may include fruits, vegetables, and meat from livestock.

Orchard vs. Vineyard vs. Field Crop


These are three farming practices specific to the goods that they produce, and although they may often be swapped around, there are distinct differences between them.

Orchards would focus on planting and growing trees and shrubs as a way of producing fruits or nuts. This is where most fruits, primarily grown on trees and shrubs, are acquired.

In contrast, vineyards would focus on growing vines meant to produce a variety of different grapes. Vineyards are the source of wine, raisins, table grapes, and grape juice.

Both differ but more or less require the same fundamental principles as field crops, which cultivate crops such as wheat, cotton, hay, corn, rice, and so on—produce apart from fruits and vegetables.

Farm Building

At the immense scale and high demand that modern agricultural practices are set towards, farms will employ buildings and other infrastructure that many of us are already quite familiar with.


The needs of a farmer’s family don’t differ all that much from the basic living requirements of any other household.

You will see a couple of key differences, though, such as the need for a washroom in the rear entrance of the house, for the farmer to easily come in and out of the home without soiling the floor with dirt, gravel, and livestock waste.

As times change, there is an increasing need to modernize farmhouses to fit modern standards of living. In such cases, it would be much more cost-effective to simply renovate an old property.

Stud finders come in handy in this regard, especially for the farmer who’d much prefer renovating their home with their own hands.

 Barns and Shelters

Apart from providing a home for the humans in charge of the farm, there should also be sufficient shelter for the livestock.

Many farms will employ multipurpose barns that can house a variety of different animals, while the more sophisticated farms with more budget on their hands will use specific type shelters for each kind of animal.

 Storage for Crops

Similarly, farms with plant-based produce will also require sufficient storage for these crops.

Maintaining the appropriate moisture levels and ventilation is a must for crop storage, in order to keep the crop fresh for sale.

Silos are the most common examples of this, which you’ll even find in most pop-culture caricatures of farmland. These watertight structures are perfect for storing vast amounts of grain.

 Storage for Machinery and Supplies

To maintain the longevity of machinery and tools, farmers will also often have structures within their property solely dedicated to storing tools.

A sturdy shelter is all the more important here, especially in keeping metal tools and equipment from rusting over.

Similarly, the same structure can be used in storing fertilizers and pesticides.

A Farmers Guide to Utilizing Solar Power

12/08/2020 - By Maya Zadow

More agricultural enterprises and best backpacking solar charger companies are utilizing solar power to run their operations. Thanks to companies that invest their time in solar technology innovations, prices have become more affordable. With that, more and more are grabbing the opportunity to install

solar power technologies to their businesses. 

If you are a farmer, here are some answers to questions you may have in mind about Solar Charging on the Go.

What benefits do you get from co-locating solar and crop production?

Co-locating solar and crop production offers several benefits to farmers and solar energy developers.

Benefits of Co-Locating Solar for solar developers:

  • Lesser costs for installation- Utilizing tilled agricultural lands instead of costly grading to even out land can reduce a farmer’s expenses.
  • Reduced risk- Testing- Geotechnical engineering risks may increase expenses for installing solar due to testing. For that reason, tilled agricultural fields are known to be one of the less risky options. 
  • Lesser legal risk- Utilizing used lands can save solar installers the risk of litigations, especially during review processes done for the environment.
  • Increased photovoltaic performance- Vegetation below modules offers increased solar production. Also, it lowers the soil’s temperature.

Benefits for land developers:

Here are some benefits that land developers can get from solar energy:

  • Lesser costs for electricity
  • Revenue diversification
  • Installation of crops that are shade resistant and of high value
  • More opportunities for marketing
  • Power to maintaining production of crop with solar changing on the go
  • Reuse of used and degraded lands.
  • Lesser water usage
  • Great potential for crops to go over their fixed seasons

Will solar installations pollute the soil it utilizes?

The most common technology used in solar installations are Silicon-based Photovoltaic cells. Typically, solar panels use glasses and aluminum frames on the front to protect PV cells. According to research, leaking of metals from solar modules will not present much risk because of its sealed nature.

Other solar modules utilize cadmium telluride (CdTe), which is harmful and toxic. However, research shows that CdTe cannot be produced from modules on normal days or even warm seasons. Temperatures that industrial incineration produces, which is extremely high, can release such compounds.

Will solar installations dry out crops?

Solar modules will cool the vegetation below it because of shading. Also, it keeps crops warm during the night. However, studies show that differences in temperature do not matter because usual crop temperatures beneath solar modules are similar compared to crops under full sun. Most importantly, there were no significant changes in crop growth.

Solar modules allow farmers to produce shade-resistant vegetation while it goes over their fixed season and lessens water usage as well. One study shows that solar module shades produce heavier lettuces compared to lettuces grown under full sun.

Can solar modules affect birds and other wildlife creatures?

Some solar modules make avian interactions possible. PV installations are typically less reflective compared to windows. Also, they have been checked for avian influence at different airports.

However, avian injuries may still happen due to fencing, power lines, vehicles, etc. Some are concerned that birds may misjudge solar modules for water and aim to come down on them, however, there are no studies to prove this.


These are just some of the questions that interested audiences ask about solar modules. There are more, but those answers may answer most of your questions regarding which is the best solar to run the daily operations in your farm.



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