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Archive for category Home Ec

Six Gallon Can Lid Adapter to Platform Bird Feeder

A House Finch suffering from Finch Eye Disease prompted me to sterilize our feeder, which meant providing a temporary feeder to keep the birds flying. Having an abundance of lids from six gallon plastic cans / buckets, this made sense:

Can Lid Feeder - installed

Can Lid Feeder – installed

Which required an adapter betwixt pole and lid:

Can Lid Feeder - assembled

Can Lid Feeder – assembled

Which requires a bit of solid modeling:

Can Lid Platform Feeder Mount - solid model - bottom

Can Lid Platform Feeder Mount – solid model – bottom

The lids have a central boss, presumably for stiffening, so the model includes a suitable recess:

Can Lid Platform Feeder Mount - solid model - support structure

Can Lid Platform Feeder Mount – solid model – support structure

As usual, automatically generated support fills the entire recess, so I designed a minimal support structure into the model and cracked it out with very little effort:

Can Lid Feeder - support structure

Can Lid Feeder – support structure

The tangle off to the right comes from a bridge layer with a hole in the middle, which never works well even with support:

Can Lid Platform Feeder Mount - Slic3r - bridge layer

Can Lid Platform Feeder Mount – Slic3r – bridge layer

Didn’t bother the birds in the least, though, so it’s all good.

I loves me my 3D printer …

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Sterling Table Knife Repair

A sterling knife followed me home after a Thanksgiving gathering:

Sterling knife repair - powdered cement

Sterling knife repair – powdered cement

The original cement, dating back to the middle of the last century, turned into friable dust around the blade tang:

Sterling knife repair - handle socket

Sterling knife repair – handle socket

I cleaned it out as best I could, buttered JB Quik epoxy around the tang and into the socket, joined the two, and let it cure in the natural position:

Sterling knife repair - curing

Sterling knife repair – curing

The rest of the knives in the set may need similar attention, but I’m not looking for trouble.

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Halogen Desk Lamp Conversion

As part of converting the halogen desk lamp to LEDs, I replaced the hulking iron transformer with a flatter counterweight:

Halogen Desk Lamp - 12 V 20 W transformer

Halogen Desk Lamp – 12 V 20 W transformer

Under normal circumstances, you’d use something like steel or lead sheets, but Tiny Bandsaw™ can’t cut any appreciable thickness of steel and I gave away my entire lead stockpile, so I sawed disks from a pile of non-stick pancake griddles and drilled suitable mounting holes:

Parallel clamps in action

Parallel clamps in action

Another disk (from a formal aluminum sheet!) goes into the lamp head, with a trio of 3W COB LEDs epoxied in place:

Ex-Halogen Desk Lamp - 3x3W COB LED assembly

Ex-Halogen Desk Lamp – 3x3W COB LED assembly

The other side of the disk sports a heatsink harvested from a PC, also epoxied in place:

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp - heatsink fitting

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp – heatsink fitting

Realizing the head required only a little filing to accommodate the heatsink sealed both their fates.

A test firing showed the heatsink needed more airflow, which didn’t come as much of a surprise, so I milled slots in the lamp head:

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp - vent slot milling

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp – vent slot milling

Deburring the holes, blackening the sides with a Sharpie, and tucking a bit of black window screen behind the opening made the vents look entirely professional.

The small dome in the base originally cleared the transformer and now holds the entire 10 W LED driver, along with all the wiring, atop the counterweight sheets:

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp - base wiring

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp – base wiring

A cork pad covers the base for a bit of non-skid action:

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp - cork pad

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp – cork pad

I couldn’t convince myself filling in those sectors would improve anything, so I didn’t.

And then It Just Worked:

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp - in use

Ex-halogen Desk Lamp – in use

All without a trace of solid modeling or G-Code …

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Ants in My Drawers

Our Compact Edition of the OED doesn’t get much use these days, but Mary needed a magnifier for a class on quilt judging and the OED has one that seemed just about right:

OED Magnifier Box in drawer

OED Magnifier Box in drawer

The magnifier comes in a removable box fitted neatly into the drawer, revealing a surprise underneath:

OED Magnifier drawer - plastic ant

OED Magnifier drawer – plastic ant

A detail view:

OED Magnifier drawer - plastic ant - detail

OED Magnifier drawer – plastic ant – detail

It’s a plastic ant from a bag in the Kiddie Surplus box my Shop Assistant grew up with and a pleasant reminder of long-ago days, carefully placed where only I’d ever see it.

Of course, it’s still there …

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Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner: Cord Protection

The ancient (Came With The House™) Electrolux canister vacuum cleaner long ago lost the plastic bushing around the opening passing its retractable cord, which I’d long sworn to replace.  A recent trip around the Basement Laboratory paused near the recently relocated Box o’ Wire Loom & Braid, whereupon I snipped off a few inches of split loom and tucked it in place:

Electrolux Vacuum - cushioned cord cutout

Electrolux Vacuum – cushioned cord cutout

Looks and works better than before, anyhow.

The blue flap dangling off the back should latch over the exhaust port, but failed long ago when the latch tab eroded. I attempted a repair, which never worked quite right, and won’t get around to attempting another for quite a while.

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Icecast and Ezstream Configuration

Plugging a 64 GB USB stick with directories full of MP3 / OGG files into an always-on Raspberry Pi running Pi-Hole, one can use Icecast to stream them for clients on the LAN, so as to avoid over-the-Intertubes streaming issues.

The only changes in the /etc/icecast2/icecast.xml file cover passwords, the number of source streams, and the hostname. It’s that simple, really.

Given a directory of files, generate a file-per-line playlist:

find /mnt/music/goodmusic/ -name \*mp3 | sort > /mnt/music/goodmusic/playlist.m3u

Then set up a corresponding Ezstream XML file, perhaps imaginatively named goodmusic.xml:

<ezstream>
    <url>http://localhost:8000/goodmusic</url>
    <sourcepassword>make-up-your-own</sourcepassword>
    <format>MP3</format>
    <filename>/mnt/music/goodmusic/playlist.m3u</filename>
    <shuffle>1</shuffle>
    <stream_once>0</stream_once>
    <svrinfoname>Good Music</svrinfoname>
    <svrinfourl>pihole.local</svrinfourl>
    <svrinfogenre>Good Music Streaming 24x7</svrinfogenre>
    <svrinfodescription>Techno Dub</svrinfodescription>
    <svrinfobitrate>128</svrinfobitrate>
    <svrinfochannels>2</svrinfochannels>
    <svrinfosamplerate>44100</svrinfosamplerate>
    <svrinfopublic>1</svrinfopublic>
</ezstream>

Fire off the source stream in /etc/rc.local:

ezstream -c /home/pi/Icecast/goodmusic.xml &

The ampersand tells Bash to fire-and-forget the process, so it runs all the time. One could, I suppose, put it in crontab to start after each boot or puzzle out the corresponding systemd incantation, but …

Add the station to your streaming media player:

         'KEY_KP5'   : ['Good Music',False,['mplayer','-playlist','http://192.168.1.2:8000/goodmusic.m3u']],

And then It Just Works™.

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Bird Feeder Unbending

At some point in its history, the left rail holding the wood perch on our industrial-strength “squirrel proof” seed feeder took a hit, most likely from being dropped:

Squirrel on bird feeder

Squirrel on bird feeder

I finally got a Round Tuit and un-bent the poor thing:

Bird feeder - rail un-bending

Bird feeder – rail un-bending

Because the bend happened at the base of the vertical strut holding the shutter, I clamped a Genuine Vise-Grip sheet metal pliers along the straight section. The Craftsman knock-off Vise-Grip then applied torque at the bend, rather than just making things worse, and some two-axis tweakage lined up the rail pretty well.

With the bend taken care of, I clamped the rail in the bench vise with some scrap wood around the strut:

Bird feeder - warped rail

Bird feeder – warped rail

A percussive adjustment jam session flattened the top flange, leaving both sections as flat as they’re gonna get.

While I was at it, I turned a pair of stepped aluminum washers for the new wood rod:

Bird feeder - parting off washer

Bird feeder – parting off washer

Which looked about like you’d expect, including a little chatter from the cut off tool:

Bird feeder - perch hardware

Bird feeder – perch hardware

Yeah, I drilled the wood rod on the lathe, too; I loves me some simple lathe action.

Reassemble in reverse order and it’s all good:

Bird feeder - perch installed

Bird feeder – perch installed

We’re supposed to bleach the feeder every week to kill off the bacteria causing House Finch Eye Disease and, while I can’t promise a weekly schedule, we’ll (try to) reduce the amount of crud on the feeder this year.

If you’ve got a feeder, sign up for Project Feederwatch and do some citizen science!

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