A Smoking Lawn Mower, What Does it Mean?

Why your lawnmower emits smoke when operating? Learn more about this common lawn mower problem and its remedy.

Different Types of Lawn Mower Smoke and their Meaning

The color of the smoke is a huge indicator of what is happening on the machine. For instance, some lawn mowers produce black smoke, whereas others emit white smoke. Thus, the first thing you need to do is familiarize the type of smoke and its meaning.

#1 Black Smoke 

Black exhaust smoke coming from the lawnmower indicates a problem in the machine’s carburetor and fuel system. These parts regulate the mower’s ratio of gasoline and air mixture. If these parts do not function well, it results in a higher percentage of gasoline over the air, causing black smoke.

If the lawnmower is creating black smoke, check first the air filter. Chances are the air filters are clogged preventing the air to reach the carburetor. Generally, cleaning is the best solution for clogged air filters. But for worse cases, it is best to remove the old set and replace it with new air filters.

#2 Blue Smoke 

If your lawnmower creates blue smoke, worry not! The truth is, it is not that serious.

Blue smoke indicates overfilling crankcase or spilling oil. It can also mean you used the wrong oil grade for the machine or tilted the mower causing the oil to spill.

If you used the wrong oil grade, replace it with the right one. You can consult the equipment’s manual to find out the correct oil grade. If the case is due to spilled oil, let the mower run for roughly 15 minutes. The runtime will burn the excess or spilled oil.

#3 White Smoke

White smoke on lawnmowers could mean either good or bad. Commonly, an overfilled oil reservoir causes the machine to create heavy white smoke. Like blue smoke, allowing the engine to run for 15 minutes can help burn the extra oil. The white smoke will eventually fade.

However, there are instances that white smoke could mean an air leak in the crankcase or the cylinder and rings. Also, a broken head gasket causes the mower to produce white smoke. For such cases, it is best to ask for professional help if you do not know about repairing serious lawn mower problems.

How to Prevent Lawn Mower from Smoking

Proper maintenance prevents smoking lawnmower. Make sure to clean the air filters annually and replace if it is too old. Also, drain the gasoline seasonally or before keeping the machine in storage. Following these simple maintenance steps helps preserve the machine’s lifespan and performance. Likewise, it allows you to save trips from mechanics and avoid expensive repairs and replacements.

Wine Capping: What are Pumpovers and Punchdowns?

Different capping methods and type of cap used as sealant has an impact on wine’s aging process. It could enhance wine aroma, color, and taste, or ruin everything entirely. Find out how wine capping methods affect wine fermentation. 

Wine capping is one of the methods in wine storage that is sometimes overlooked by rookies. Some beginners view cap management as a stylistic preference, but it is more than that. Different wine capping methods have unique influences on the wine’s taste, color, and aroma. Likewise, the cap used to seal the wine has a huge impact on its overall quality.

To start with, this article will help you to understand more about one of the basic wine storage and fermentation process.

All about Pumpovers

Pumping over (also known as remontage in French) is the process of drawing off the young wine coming from the bottom of the fermentation vessel. The process involves pumping the must over the cap, soaking, and extracting its flavor, tannin, color, and oxygenation.

Experts label ‘pumping-over’ as the harshest method of fermenting wine. This method introduces more oxygen to the wine to support the fermentation process, which makes it more intense than other wine capping management.

However, over the years, experts developed a gentler process of pump over. The intensity of pump over required depends on the fermentation vessel, grape variety, ripeness of the fruit, stem inclusion, duration of fermentation, and temperature.

Introducing Punchdown

Punchdown (referred to as pigeage in French) involves the process of breaking up the cap and submerging it in the must for approximately once to thrice times per day.

The punch-down process is done either manually or mechanical. The former is more labor-intensive and consumes more time. On the other hand, the latter is easier and requires less time for work. Moreover, mechanical punch-down is the best option for managing a large-scale collection.

In a punch-down process, the result depends on the technique and performance. It could enhance the wine’s quality or not.

Due to the unpredictability of punch-down, many prefer modern pumpovers. Experts even recommend this method to beginners since it is gentler and easier to manage. In modern pumpovers, no plate comes in contact with the grape skins. The grape juice is the only one moved, which results in good fermentation.

On Wine Bottle Sealant

Natural cork is perhaps the most common wine bottle stopper. Some prefer this option because of its elasticity and ability to keep the oxygen out. Moreover, the pores of natural corks allow minuscule air to interact with the wine, which immensely helps in enhancing its aroma and flavor. Lastly, natural corks are a renewable source, and of course, there’s nothing more satisfying than the sound of a popping cork when opening a wine bottle.

Unfortunately, natural corks are susceptible to taint, which could also affect the wine’s taste. It also easily dries out and crumbles over time. For this reason, experts suggest using alternatives such as screw caps and synthetic corks.

Screw caps support less oxygen interaction with wines, which results in a longer wine lifespan. Likewise, it is affordable and easier to open compared to natural corks. However, screw caps have a questionable aging ability that causes different levels of oxygen transmission rates.

Meanwhile, synthetic corks possess the qualities of natural corks minus the fragility. It is also the most used wine bottle stopper today.

Photo Editing for Beginners: Tips on How to Retouch Photos

Red eyes, darkened faces, overexposures, underexposures, and shadows that are coming from nowhere, are a few imperfections or flaws in photos that need edits. And if you are new to photo editing, you should learn how to do retouching.

Digital photo imperfections are common in photography, where you’ll find your eyes in color red or white or your face looks sallow and dark. Fortunately, you can fix these flaws by using a reliable Photo editor like photoshop and doing the right retouch.

Here are some tips on how to retouch photos:

#1: Always create a duplicate layer

In any type of photo editing, do not forget to create a duplicate layer because this will keep your original photo from destructive and irreversible photo editing. To create a duplicate layer, you have to click the ‘Layer’ option found in the taskbar.

#2: Zoom in the image

  1. If you are to retouch one subject, you need to zoom it in to make all the photo blemishes visible. The zoom icon is often found at the toolbar; try looking for a magnifying glass icon. Or you may also use its shortcut key, which is press ‘Z’.

#3: Use the Healing Brush for Blemish

To patch or cover the flaws in the photo, you need to use the Healing Brush. The tool allows you to fix imperfections including, scratches, spots, blemishes, etc. To use the tool you need to spot the icon that looks like a patch. Or you may use the following shortcut keys:

Spot Healing Brush Tool – Hold Shift and press J

Healing Brush Tool – Hold Shift and press J twice

#4: Use Red Eye Tool to remove red-eye

Reddened photos are caused by bright light or the camera flash, reflecting from the retina. To fix this type of flaw in a photo, you need to use the Red Eye Tool found in the toolbox or you may use its shortcut key of Hold Shift and press J 5x.

Click the red in the eye. And then, change the size of the pupil. Next, darken the levels as needed. Lastly, click the eye again to see the result. Keep fixing the problem until you get the desired result.

Note: The shortcut keys may vary depending on the photo editor that you are using.

#5: Use Patch Tool

The ‘Patch’ tool is used to remove the unwanted elements found in the photo. It is a part of a set of ‘Healing Brush Tool’. Compared to the ‘Healing Brush Tool’ used to cover small-medium flaws in a photo, the Patch tool is used to repair larger areas with flaws.

The Patch Tool is found within the ‘Healing Brush Tool’ toolbox. And for several photo editing websites with Photoshop, you may use the shortcut key of Hold Shift and press J 3x.

Final Thoughts

Editing photos is challenging, but when you learn a lot of editing techniques, retouching photos of both old and new becomes easier over time with practice. Also, try reading other photo editing tips like this.

Five Essential Equipment for Violin Beginners

Learning violin covers all the essential items you’ll need to get started. Learn about the five essential music equipment that you will need to learn how to play the instrument.

Learning to play an instrument does not always begin with reading notes. While learning to read music notes is important, the real journey starts in acquiring all the essential equipment. You can start learning an instrument without having the necessary items. If you are planning to learn how to play the violin, below are the essential items you need to get.

#1 Buy a Violin

Looking for a violin to buy is trickier than you imagine. Take note that there are a wide variety of violins in the market. They differ in material, size, design, and type. Also, you need to consider the price of the item.

If you prefer the best violin, a Stradivarius is the only option. This violin has become synonymous with excellence and supreme quality. It is a creation of an Italian luthier in the early 18th century, named Antonio Stradivari. He was a master craftsman who hand-builds every instrument, making sure it has the highest quality.

A Stradivarius is by far the most expensive violin model. If you find a violin with this brand name, it does not always mean the violin is a genuine one. There are only 500 surviving strad to date. Authentic Stradivarius comes with a certification.

If a Strad is too much for your budget, you can find several violins at more affordable prices with great quality. You can find examples of it here at Ted’s List. But always ask for an authentication certificate to guarantee its authenticity.

#2 Buy a Bow

A violin and bow always come together. But if you need to get a new one, you can buy this equipment separately.

Bring your violin with you when purchasing a bow. Try it on your instrument to decide which one is best for your instrument and playing style. If you have no idea how to pick a bow, ask for assistance from the seller. You can also look for pointers at reliable online sources before going to a violin store.

#3 Get a Shoulder Rest

A violin shoulder rest makes it easier and comfortable to play the instrument, especially at long durations. Likewise, this equipment enables proper posture when playing and reduces the risk of injury.

#4 Violin Rosin

Rosin is a solid form of resin from conifers, such as pines. This sticky substance helps in creating friction between the bow hair and violin strings. It supports the bow grip the strings correctly to create sounds. Playing violin without applying rosin on the bow is tough. It is impossible to produce the right sound you want to create.

#5 Violin Case

Your violin needs proper care and attention to last long. And one way to protect your instrument is by keeping it in a violin case. It ensures the violin is protected from dust and dirt, thereby preserving its furnishing. Additionally, helps maintain its parts in the best condition. Also, it is easier to carry around the instrument in the case rather than none.