Sep 26, 2016

Gotta Love New Toys - The AR390SS

I've been wanting a pressure washer for several years.  I didn't want to have to deal with a gasoline powered one so I started looking at electric ones.  I looked at several brands at big box stores and then went online to read reviews about them.  My oh my were they bad! 

I came across the AR BLUE Clean AR390SS on Amazon.  I'd never heard of the company before... but then I wasn't a pressure washer aficionado either.  After reading all the positive reviews and questions posted (over 400!), I decided to purchase the AR390SS.

I'm happy to report so far I am not disappointed. The AR390SS was delivered packed inside another box.

Features include: 2000psi, 1.4gpm, 30ft hose, 35ft cord with a GFCI plug, detergent tank, and 4 quick connect nozzles (soap, degree, 25 degree, and turbo). 

It took me less than 10 minutes to assemble -- which involved attaching the spray gun holster (just slid down over a slot), the nozzle tray with one phillips-head screw, the stabilizer foot (another screw), and the garden hose adapter (which required a 5/16" or 8mm hex wrench).  I had to borrow the hex wrench from a guy at work and now owe the fab shop a pan of brownies.

Doesn't it remind you of a little guy wearing a tuxedo?  A very attractive machine, if I do say so myself!

At the back, there are little "arms" to hold three nozzles. The turbo nozzle has it's own holder.

The machine is compact and while it's a little hefty weight wise (about 35 lbs, I think), it's not difficult to move around on it's wheels.
Once the pressure hose was attached to the wand, and the garden hose attached to the front, it was time to see what the AR390SS could do!  From the ground, I used the 0 degree attachment to clean the outside of my gutters. What a difference!


Then I used the soap nozzle to soap up the carpeting on my front and back steps/landings. Since I've never used a pressure washer with a soap dispenser, I wasn't sure what setting to use. At the medium setting, it seemed to use up the soap relatively quickly.

While letting the soap do it's "magic", I used the 25-degree nozzle to clean the windows. It did a fairly good job considering I only used water. Once the soap had soaked in, I switched to the turbo nozzle. Switching from one nozzle to another was fast and easy. The turbo nozzle did a great job of removing years of grime and crusted algae build up on the outdoor carpeting that covers my steps. Both areas look amazing!!

Before - You can see the walk path.

After using the turbo nozzle
The front porch covered in crusty algae... Yuck!
After - Fantastic!
I LOVE my new toy!  When I get time, I will try it on the car.  :)

Until next time....

Sep 23, 2016

Painting Up A Storm!

In my last post, I mentioned taking a watercolor class.  Our first homework assignment was to draw a thumbnail sketch of what we wanted to paint for our masterpiece and then draw a "cartoon" of what it would look like full size.  The instructor really liked my cartoon -- which surprised me because I think it's rather rudimentary.  He thinks it would be fun if I did an impressionist painting.  Me, I'm not sure.

The day I was to take my cartoon to class, it was raining.  Look what I came up with to protect my cartoon!  My classmates thought it was ingenius. LOL

During the second week of class, we learned about and practiced watercolor painting techniques: Wet on Wet, Wet on Damp, Wet on Dry, Washes, Hard Edge/Soft Edge, and Drybrushing.

The instructor walked us through doing our first class painting project using the techniques we learned and practiced.

I thought my painting was going along swimmingly well until the instructor had us "lift" fog into our paintings.  He said my paint lifted a little too well.  I think my fog bank is too wide.  Not bad though, for a first time using some of these techniques.  We also got to use frisket which is really useful to maintain white highlights.

Week three, we learned how to paint florals.  Mine is still a work in progress.

Another student and I have been meeting once a week outside of class to do our homework and practice painting.  I'm trying to get this floral done so I can move on to my "masterpiece" which is supposed to be mostly done by next week. I haven't even started painting it yet. Yikes!

Week four, we learned about painting skies and water.  While my clouds look okay, I think they're way too dark for the water below.

Rocks and trees will be taught in the next classes.  The white areas in the previous painting are where the rocks and trees will go.

In a different class offered by the park district, I learned how to paint trees.  The instructor remembered me from when I took the floral class back in June.  He asked if I'd been doing some painting because I was using techniques I learned elsewhere.  I finished painting one tree and started on a second.

Until next time...