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Proper Maintenance on your CO2 Laser

January 31, 2023
Bescutter Versa Force 150

Proper maintenance of a CO2 laser is essential for ensuring that it operates at peak performance and has a long service life. Regular maintenance tasks include cleaning the optics, aligning the laser beam, and replacing consumable parts.

One of the most important maintenance tasks for a CO2 laser is cleaning the optics. The laser beam passes through several optical components, including mirrors and lenses, which can become dirty or coated with debris over time. This can cause the laser beam to become distorted, reducing the laser’s power and accuracy. To clean the optics, use a soft, lint-free cloth and a cleaning solution specifically designed for laser optics. Never use abrasive materials, as they can scratch the surfaces of the optics and cause permanent damage.

Another important task is aligning the laser beam. The laser beam should be focused and aligned to the correct position on the workpiece in order to achieve the desired cutting or engraving results. Misalignment can result in poor quality cuts or engravings, or even damage to the optics or other components of the laser. The alignment of the laser beam should be checked and adjusted on a regular basis.

Consumable parts, such as laser tubes and mirrors, also need to be replaced as they wear out. The lifespan of these parts can vary depending on the usage of the laser, so it is important to check them regularly and replace them as necessary. Failure to replace worn parts can result in decreased performance and even damage to the laser.

Regular maintenance of a CO2 laser is not only important for ensuring optimal performance, but also for preventing costly repairs or replacements. By following these simple steps, you can keep your laser running smoothly and ensure that it has a long service life.

It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for maintenance, as each laser may have specific requirements. Always make sure to have a qualified technician perform any maintenance tasks that you are not comfortable doing yourself.

Garden Home

Bananas, taste the tropics!

January 31, 2023


Banana trees are a tropical plant that are known for their large, lush leaves and delicious fruit. They are often grown as ornamental plants, but can also be used for their fruit in warmer climates. Here’s a guide on how to care for banana trees, including information on propagation, fertilization, optimal soil and sun conditions.

Caring for Banana Trees Banana trees need warm temperatures and lots of sunlight to thrive. They prefer temperatures between 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit and should be placed in an area with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They also require high humidity and regular watering. The soil should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. It is also important to protect banana trees from frost and freezing temperatures.

Propagation Banana trees are propagated by rhizomes, also known as “suckers” or “pups” that grow from the base of the mother plant. These pups can be removed when they are about 6 inches tall and planted separately. It’s important to use a well-draining potting mix for banana trees, such as one made up of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand, and perlite.

Fertilization Banana trees are heavy feeders and require regular fertilization to promote growth and fruit production. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer should be applied to the soil every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. It is important to use a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content to encourage leaf growth and a high potassium content to promote fruit development.

Optimal Soil Conditions Banana trees prefer a well-draining, rich soil with a pH between 5.5-7.5. They also require a high level of organic matter in the soil. A mixture of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand, and perlite is a good option for banana trees.

Sun Conditions Banana trees need full sun to thrive, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day is optimal. They can be grown in partial shade, but it may reduce fruit production. If you live in a colder climate, it is best to grow banana trees in a greenhouse or indoors where they can receive the necessary sunlight and warmth. Banana trees are a beautiful and unique tropical plant that can be a great addition to any garden. They require warm temperatures, high humidity, regular watering, and lots of sunlight to thrive. They should be fertilized regularly and propagated by rhizomes. With proper care, these plants can bring a touch of tropical beauty to your home and delicious fruit to your table.

Garden Home

Bromeliads – Growing more!

January 28, 2023

Bromeliads are a diverse group of tropical plants that are popular among indoor gardeners. These plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and are known for their unique rosette of leaves that can hold water. Here’s a guide on how to care for bromeliads, including information on propagation, fertilization, and optimal soil conditions.

Caring for Bromeliads Bromeliads are relatively low-maintenance plants that can thrive indoors with proper care. They prefer bright, indirect light and high humidity. They can be placed near a window that receives filtered sunlight, but should be protected from direct sun rays. They can also be placed under grow lights or fluorescent lights. Bromeliads do not need frequent watering, and should be watered only when the central cup or rosette is dry. Watering should be done by filling the central cup or rosette, or by misting the leaves. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is important to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.

Propagation Bromeliads can be propagated by offsets, or “pups,” that form at the base of the mother plant. When the offsets are about one-third the size of the mother plant, they can be carefully removed and potted up separately. It’s important to use a well-draining potting mix, such as one made up of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand, and perlite.

Fertilization Bromeliads do not require frequent fertilization but can benefit from occasional feeding. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can be applied to the central cup or rosette every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. It is important to use a fertilizer with low nitrogen and high phosphorus to encourage blooming.

Optimal Soil Conditions Bromeliads prefer a well-draining potting mix with a slightly acidic pH of about 5.5-6.5. The mix should be made up of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand, and perlite. The potting mix should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged.

In conclusion, Bromeliads are a beautiful and unique group of plants that can be a great addition to any indoor garden. They require bright, indirect light, high humidity and well-draining soil. They should be fertilized occasionally and propagated by offsets. With proper care, these plants can bring a touch of tropical beauty to your home for many years to come.

Garden Home

Mulch in your garden

January 26, 2023

Mulch is a great addition to any vegetable garden, as it provides a variety of benefits that help to improve the health and productivity of the plants.

One of the main benefits of mulch is that it helps to conserve moisture in the soil. When mulch is applied to the surface of the soil, it helps to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool, which can be especially beneficial during hot summer months. This can help to reduce the amount of water that is needed to keep the garden hydrated, which can save time and resources for the gardener.

Another benefit of mulch is that it helps to suppress weeds. When mulch is applied to the surface of the soil, it creates a barrier that makes it difficult for weed seeds to germinate and grow. This can help to reduce the amount of time and effort that is needed to keep the garden free of weeds and can also help to improve the overall appearance of the garden.

Mulching your garden

Mulch can also help to improve the soil structure and fertility. Many types of mulch, such as leaves, grass clippings, and straw, are high in organic matter, which can help to improve the structure of the soil and make it more fertile. This can help to improve the health of the plants and increase their productivity.

Mulch can also help to protect plants from extreme temperature fluctuations. Mulch can help to moderate the temperature of the soil, keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This can help to protect the roots of the plants from damage caused by extreme temperatures, which can improve their overall health and productivity.

Finally, mulch can also help to improve the overall aesthetic of the vegetable garden. Mulch can be used to create a neat and tidy appearance, and can also be used to create attractive borders around garden beds.

In conclusion, mulch is a versatile and valuable addition to any vegetable garden. Its ability to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, improve soil structure and fertility, protect plants from extreme temperature fluctuations, and improve the overall aesthetic of the garden, make it an essential tool for any gardener looking to maximize the health and productivity of their vegetable garden.

Automation Home Homekit

Top 6 Home Automation Devices

May 2, 2022

More and more products are going to market improving our daily quality of life. With that being said, some of us, are not privy to modern automation advancements. We will continue to advance , we will continue to automate, we will continue to wait until its our turn to board The Axiom.

Garage Door

The myQ Smart Garage Controller will interface your garage door with its interactive services. This universal interface works on essentially any garage door unit built after 1996. Although there are some exceptions to the rule almost all of them


Nobody wants to come to a hot home. The Ecobee 3 is a smart thermostat that works on both the google and apple platform. Easily control, adjust, and know the temperature of your home. You can also add SmartSensors to your home in order to cool or heat certain areas of the home.

Lighting Control

Lutron Caseta is hands down my favorite lighting control module. I’ve been able to test lighting control with Zigbee, Z-wave, and Wifi. Lutron takes the cake with its ease of use, reliability, and quickness. Quickly set up a scene, schedule, or turn on / off a light with a push of a button.

Smart Locks

When it comes to smart locks it really depends on your personal preference. I’ve been lucky and fortunate enough to have been able to afford different locking brands. I think each has its place and will make your home secure.

August Wi-Fi – This lock is the one we use on our front door. We used it as it would not change the esthetic of the door looking from the outside in. However please be advised you will have a large cylindrical lock on the inside of your door. Lock functions good and I only have to replace the batteries once every couple of months.

Kwikset 99190-004 – My office door is protected by a kwikset lock. It’s pretty straight forward, battery life is exceptional, comes in different color styles, and is an all around solid unit. I particularly like that 1 key (if i so need it ) can control all of their locks using their lock reprogramming technology.

Ceiling Fan

Moxie 52in Ceiling Fan – Personally, I buy ceiling fans for the air that they push. Their primary task in my house is to cool me off and also provide light. The lighting is however secondary in my mind. This fan, provides an amazing amount of air but, its downfall is the LED lighting. While I personally have no issues with it I can see someone having an issue. If staying cool is your objective, look no further.


This ONVIS Smart Motion Sensor seems to be the jack of all trades. It will check humidity, motion, and temperature. You could run a series of automations based on humidity, if it detects motion, or whatever your hearts content.

Home automation used to be considered only for the elite. Their unfortunate high price point put out everyday home owners. The DIY path gives us the ability to use our imaginations and implement a better quality of life for those mundane tasks.

Extreme Laziness – Automation using the NFC reader off your iPhone –

Apple Homekit

Extreme Laziness – Automation using the NFC reader off your iPhone

March 29, 2022

Apple HomeKit brings automation to the masses with their “Works with Apple HomeKit” compatible devices. Their standardized system brings high quality, security, and ease of use. Making compatible products simple and easy to integrate. If you’re under the apple ecosystem this makes life exponentially easier. Right in the palm of your hands you have a massive tool to help aid you in your automation adventure. You just have to think a little outside the box.

Ever since the iPhone 6 our devices have been equipped with an NFC chip. While this chips intended use has always been contactless payments via Apple Pay… The addition of Shortcuts (app) has granted us the ability to use the Near Field Communication chip ( NFC) and create shortcuts. The shortcut I’m about to show you will hopefully help you solve a problem that has been plaguing my household for years. The dreaded…. I forgot to turn off X Y Z light (when in bed and ready to go to sleep). Unfortunately, this isnt a one and done application. There are equipment requirements that are needed in order for this particular shortcut to work. This tutorial will provide a list of items needed to make said short cut work, but not go in depth as to how they work together. Leave a comment below if you have questions.

Pre Warm-up:

Incoming Amazon affiliate links

Lets get to work!

This is not a tutorial on how to set up your lights, how to get the system to work, how to figure things out. This is just a tutorial on how to get your NFC to run a series of commands. This post will be vague in some aspects of the installation processes.

Creating a scene in apple home

– Locate and open your Apple Home App.
– Click the + icon on the top left.
–Add Scene
—Custom ( bottom)
—- Scene Name ( mine is good night )
—–Add Accessories


Add all devices you wish to control in this particular scene. In my case, I want to lock the door, turn off all kitchen lighting, turn off hall way lights, and any other device that might be carelessly left on.

Once this is done click DONE. After clicking done, you will be promoted with a new screen that lets you change the state of those selected devices.  In my case, I want to set all these devices to turn off. Make sure your devices are in the off state.

Recap:  This is where we’re at so far. You found a problem that you want to automate. Sometimes your significant other leaves the lights off and you want to be able to turn off the lights without having to do any actions other than putting your phone on your night stand to charge. Once you put your phone on your night stand your phone automatically reads the NFC tag on your night stand and runs a series of shortcuts. The short cut will run the scene named Good Night and will automatically turn off all the lighting you selected. If the lights are on… They turn off. If the lights are off…. They stay that way.

Shortcuts – climbing the ladder of success

– Open your Shortcuts app
– Click the + on the top right
-Create Personal Automation
– Scroll down to where you see NFC
–  NFC Tag   Scan – you will then be prompted to scan the NFC tag. Place your phone on your tag of choice as if you were going to do a contactless payment.
– Name your NFC Tag ( Good Night ) and click NEXT


Recap: You go to bed, place the phone on your night stand to charge, the phone picks up the NFC tag, and does nothing. But not for long.

– Click the “Search for apps and actions”
– Type ” Control My Home”
– Click Set Scenes and Accessories
– Select Good Night and click NEXT





Explanation: When the NFC tag named “Good Night” is detected run the scene “Good Night”.

I like to turn off the Ask Before Running tab so the automation runs without me having to confirm it ( use at your discretion ).



Protected: trials and tribulations

February 24, 2022

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How to install a rotary tool on your laser machine

March 18, 2021
Bescutter Versa Force 150

Recently I purchased a Versa Force 150 Watt laser. Being one of the first versions, I got a discount for being one of the first few purchasers of the machine. Usually, when you purchase version 1 products, one finds things that eventually get updated. Sometimes things are forgotten. After speaking with the manufacturer they have rectified the situation and with their help I was able to add the rotary connection to my machine. Although not a difficult installation, it was one that had me learn a lot about the machine. For that I am great full. Below I will show you how to add a rotary attachment to your machine if the factory did not add it, or if your machine did not come with it.

What is a rotary attachment and why do I need one?

4 Wheel Rotary Attachment
The rotary attachment ( tool, accessory, whatever) is an add-on, usually, to your laser. For the most part when purchasing your laser through your manufacturer they will offer this as an upgrade or an additional item for purchase. The rotary tool is critical / essential if you plan on engraving on cylindrical items. If you plan on offering engraving on Wine Glasses, Coffee Mugs, Wine Bottles, Bats ( depending on design ), Rolling Pins, then this is the attachment for you. Pretty much, for a low entry point, you can add an entire different world of possibilities and items to offer your customers.



Installing a rotary tool to your laser is quite simple and not a hard task at all. This tutorial will show you the steps taken to diagnose your machine and properly install the connector. Lets Begin.

  • Step ONE: Locate your laser panels control area. When looking at the  machine itself you’re going to want to go to the right bottom panel. Keep in mind this panel is usually locked and can easily be opened by looking at the tool kit provided with the machine. You should have a set of keys in there (don’t lose them!)
  • Step TWO: Locate the X and Y axis controller for your panel.  With the help of tech support we were able to narrow down the culprit to the green square below. The manufacturer of my laser cutter has each one of these cables properly labeled.  The top controller ( orange square ), is labeled X and the bottom controller ( green ) is labeled Y.
  • Step THREE: Locate and focus on the terminal block below. You will see each cable is individually labeled and will differentiate itself from one another. No 2 cables will be labeled the same. The cables on my block will be labeled as M V U V+ GRND.
  • Step Four: Locate your  factory supplied cable and match the cables color with color. In my situation, this was not possible as the colors on the switch did not co-ordinate with the colors on the controller ( yellow, green, red – VS – brown, blue, black ).
    .After consulting with the manufacturer we were able to finalize the wiring as such.Wire your U cable ( RED ) to the available terminal that matches the BROWN cables
    Wire your V cable ( GREEN ) to the available terminal  that matches the BLUE cables
    Wire your W cable ( YELLOW ) to the available terminal that matches the BLACK cablesPRO TIP: Instead of stripping your wires you can buy  RING TERMINALS ( size 16 – 14awg ) and slide the cable plug into the ring terminal to screw on the post. Links to purchase all additional items used at the end of this post.
  • Step FIVE (Optional): Cable Management

Tools Used:

  1. Cable tie downs and Zipties – Used in cable management
  2. Ring Terminals 16 – 14 AWG – Used to connect cable to switch post
  3. Split Joint Pliers –  Used to crimp cable to Ring Terminals
  4. Flush Cut Pliers –  Used to cut zip ties flush

Setting my business goals for the year

February 15, 2021

Be successful be be successful

Alright? OK! 2021 has finally arrived and we’re already a month and 14 days into this shindig. Usually, more successful business(wo)men have already set their goals, budgets, and plan of attack for the year. In true procrastination fashion; I’m 3 hours late to the event and not ready to party! Within the confines of this blog post, I will detail some of my goals for 2021. I hope , that by writing down my goals, I can hold myself to some level of accountability.  I am hereby setting a reminder for 3 months down the road.  We’re going to make “it”!

Endgame, the final boss –

Without stretching myself too thin… I realistically want to be a little more consistent.  Be that with blog posting, adding items to the store, brainstorming, whatever…  However, setting a schedule, and actually following it is easier said than done. I’ve always found myself to be most productive under sporadic spurts of motivation. Those tend to come very few and far between. On the other hand, I can sit in front of a computer, stare into the inter-webs for hours, and go to bed having done nothing but browse reddit. I know, I know… This is unfortunately not going to help me out in my quest for total domination.

  • Effective immediately – I will actively start “working” on a schedule (as if it were my 8-5). In hopes of not setting the bar too high and burning myself out.. I will actively start working and dedicating MORE time on Tuesdays.

Social Media, so easy a caveman can do it –

I find that the most successful people on social media tend to be extroverts. Substantially harder for an introvert like myself. For them it’s easy posting pictures of their kids, pets, and their Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I have a hard time finding the desire to just log in and even less to post something for someone else. I could just be overthinking it but its extremely taxing and difficult.  WHY DON’T YOU LIKE MY OUT OF FOCUS PICTURES?

  • Effective immediately – I will focus on one social media platform in hopes of becoming better. My plan of attack will start off with Pinterest and finally end up somewhere on Farmers Only.

CTRL + C and CTRL + V

Copying and pasting a successful store / business is probably the easiest and quickest way to achieve some level of success. Something I am vehemently against doing. My pride wont allow me to out-write copy someones hard work and take the easy route to success. Chivalry aside, I don’t see anything wrong with asking someone for help. Worse thing they can say is no.  Luckily for me, my childhood , (and the teenage girls of yesteryear ) prepared me for an onslaught of no’s.

  • Effective immediately – I will actively seek help. I will extend an olive branch in hopes of trading tips with fellow shop owners.

Dress for the position you want, not the one you have.

This year I’ve already started doing things some of the bigger companies are doing. We now have a mail box at the UPS store in order to receive mail separate from our home (13860 Wellington Trade #283 – Wellington, Fl. 33414). In order to improve our customer service and reaction time I have also added another line to our phone plan strictly for the business (561-891-1249).  Finally, I’ve invested a ton of time in migrating our store over to it’s own domain separate from the clutches of amazon and etsy. Hopefully, with the addition of these 3 things, our customer will feel more comfortable purchasing through our store and see us as a legitimate option. Mark this as a goal already finished!

Lamborghini’s for all

Back in 2017 we started our endeavor in hopes of saving enough money to purchase our first home. We wanted the American dream of a family, a white picket fence, and a Lamborghini in the driveway. In 2019, 2 years after we started, we managed to save enough money for a down payment on the house. In 2021 I wish to rekindle the fire that once burned as hot as the sun. This time, my goal isn’t just to save enough to get in through the door.  My goal is to work towards paying off my house, paying off the student loans my wife has acquired, and finally putting that damn white fence around my property.

Alarm Home

Home Automation – PowerG Mailbox Sensor for your Alarm Panel with

December 16, 2020

When I think home automation …. I picture a futuristic scene in some space movie. I walk to a door, it unlocks automatically, it picks up some sensor on my body,  adjusts temperatures in the room, and then sends the sex robots. Although we’re quite not there, we can  stand to have some additional comforts in our life. Welcome in the Mailbox sensor.

Items you will need:

For this to work (in the way I am showing you) you will need the following.

Amazon affiliate links to the items used –


Installation is pretty easy and essentially takes no tools. Make sure you have your contact in place where it will allow the door to close and still make contact. I applied a little 4475 glue to each and pressed them against their surfaces for a couple of minutes. Once dried its not going anywhere. In this situation I used an indoor contact ( what was available to me ). Ideally you will want an outdoor version or add some sealant to the contact itself. I’m not too worried about it.


NOTE: Adding a sensor to a panel will vary from panel to panel. The instructions here are only for the IQ2 Panel from Qolsys.

Step the first: Locate your panel and swipe down the middle drop down.

Step 2: Go into your advanced settings option and add your installers code

Step 3: Auto Learn Sensor ( Installation > Devices > Security Sensors > Auto Learn Sensor ) – Once you’re here you’re going to want to tamper the contact  ( open the contact and hit the tamper button, or just press the magnet to the contact and remove it )

Step 4 : Selecting Settings  – Things to note – Sensor Group 25, Sensor Name – Named it Mailbox, Voice Prompt is off, Chime type I have it set to High Wire but you could opt out if you choose. – Push notification

Essentially you’ve added the door/window contact, or in this case the mail box contact, to the alarm panel. If someone opens the mailbox it will chime inside. If you set the voice prompts it will say MAILBOX. If you want to take it a step further you can really step up the “automation” with



Login to your account. Head over to Notifications. Once in Notifications click +New Notification.

Click on Sensor Activity

Finalize your sensor Details: Make sure you select the name of your mailbox sensor ( in my example its Mailbox ) – During this time I selected at all times ( I want to know when someone opens my mailbox ), Notification Filtering I set to 5 minute ( I dont want to receive 200 messages about my mail box. So if it happens within 5 minutes don’t send me another notification. Either way I’m going to check the instant it pops ). Finally, if you add yourself as a push notification it will send you a message to your phone alerting you that someone has opened your mailbox.


Why did I use these items?

I used the qolsys panel as it was already available to me as well as the PG9303(Brown).  I purchased a tube of 4475 Glue years ago and it’s still going strong.

Why should YOU use these items?

Qolsys is a great way to incorporate home automation, security, and lighting control into one unit. Their PowerG frequency allows up to 1 mile (line of sight) for their wireless range. The ability to put something at the very front of my house ( as a mail box ),  have it communicate wireless and secure was extremely appealing to me.