Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Your Legs and Back Will Say "Thanks!" for Some Anti-Fatigue Mats

The older you get, the more obvious it becomes that no other floor is quite so unforgiving as a bare concrete slab. Even cheap vinyl tile has a little give. Unfortunately, most workshops are found in basements or garages, with floors of - you guessed it - bare concrete. If you find yourself standing for hours on end on hard flooring at work or in your hobby space, then your back, knees and hips will probably start aching about the time you hit your mid-fifties. You owe it to your skeleton to find some sort of cushioning to put underfoot.

If your joints and back are achy after a day in your workshop, an anti-fatigue mat may be just what the doctor (or chiropractor) ordered. You can create shop-built wooden platforms for stations like your drill press or band saw or buy commercial versions. A key advantage of the commercial mats is that many have beveled edges to reduce tripping hazards and to make it easier to roll equipment across them. On the other hand, they are sometimes fairly expensive.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Equipment Essentals for Field Geology

Many geologists chose the field because they enjoy being outdoors in quiet places (like the roadcut along I-70 west of Denver?), but day after day - or week after week - spent climbing limestone cliffs and bushwhacking through forests means that your favorite geologist is going to need some gear. That's beyond the essential tools of the trade, but I'll get there, too.

What to Wear: Let's Start at the Ground

Field geologists don't spend their days sitting around: they spend most days on their feet, often nowhere near a trail. Solid hiking boots are an absolute essential: sneakers just won't cut it. Choose boots that go over the ankle for the extra support and have tough, deep-lug soles for the added traction. This is one item to splurge on if possible, because your hiking boots will be a long-term commitment and they absolutely must be comfortable.