Archive for category Home Ec

Layout Pen For Black Objects

This worked surprisingly well to lay out black foam gaskets for new fairing mounting plates:

Black foam layout with ceramic fabric pen

Black foam layout with ceramic fabric pen

Mary uses the Fons & Porter Mechanical Pencil to mark quilting patterns on fabric. It has, they say, a “strong ceramic 0.9MM white lead” with “water-soluble dyes” capable of both laying down a durable mark and washing out without leaving a trace. I don’t care about the latter, of course, but it did brush off reasonably well.

The next step involved running an X-Acto knife around the perimeter of the plate and punching the holes.

You can get colored ceramic leads (for small values of color) for use on other backgrounds.


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Amazon EK3211 Scale: Re-Footing

Our long-suffering kitchen scale lost a pair of feet, most likely because those two feet do most of the skidding as we slide it onto a shelf below a cabinet. The scale has (well, had) six silicone rubber feet:

Amazon EK3211 Scale - OEM foot

Amazon EK3211 Scale – OEM foot

The vagaries of color photography turned a neutral-gray silicone disk into that weird blue.

A pair of ¼ inch disks punched from non-skid textured rubber tape fit perfectly into the recesses:

Amazon EK3211 Scale - tread foot

Amazon EK3211 Scale – tread foot

Now, we’ll see how tread adhesive withstands the same abuse.

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Drying Rack Re-Repair

Despite having sworn a mighty oath to the contrary, I found myself doing this again:

Clothes Rack - end clamp

Clothes Rack – end clamp

A strut on the other end of the dowel split across its face:

Clothes Rack - split clamp

Clothes Rack – split clamp

The white stuff is wood-filled epoxy, normally used to repair rotted wood, left over from another project. I’ll claim this tests its mechanical strength against peeling forces.

Easily determined by inspection: a sensible person would toss the rack, but …


Mailing Tube End Caps: Screw-in Version

The mailing tube arrived with contents intact, although the USPS inlet scanning didn’t work and the tube pretty much teleported across several states without leaving any tracking data behind. The recipient suggested several modifications to the caps:

Review of user experience of tube end:
The ribs on the endcap are very good at holding the cap on, so much so that I had to use a prying implement to remove it, which cracked the flange.
Would consider less depth on the cap, and possibly another layer on the flange.

Some continuous process improvement (a.k.a OpenSCAD hackage) produced a swoopy threaded cap with thumb-and-finger grips:

Mailing Tube Screw Cap - top - Slic3r

Mailing Tube Screw Cap – top – Slic3r

The finger grips are what’s left after stepping a sphere out of the cap while rotating it around the middle:

Mailing Tube Cap - finger grip construction

Mailing Tube Cap – finger grip construction

That worked out surprisingly well, with the deep end providing enough of a vertical-ish surface to push against.

The two hex holes fit a pin wrench, because the grips twist only one way: outward. The wrench eliminates the need for a flange, as you can now adjust the cap insertion before slathering packing tape over the ends. Man, I loves me some good late binding action!

A three-start thread seemed like overkill, but was quick & easy. The “thread form” consists of square rods sunk into the cap perimeter, with one edge sticking out:

Mailing Tube Cap - thread detail

Mailing Tube Cap – thread detail

They’re 1.05 times longer than the cap perimeter facets to make their ends overlap, although they’re not tapered like the ones in the broom handle dingus, because it didn’t (seem to) make any difference to the model’s manifoldhood.

Not needing any endcaps right now, I built one for show-n-tell:

Threaded mailing tube end cap - installed

Threaded mailing tube end cap – installed

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:



Handbag Strap Rivet Repair

One of the leather strap anchors on Mary’s giant haul-everything-to-a-concert(*) handbag pulled its rivet through the canvas fabric:

Handbag - pulled-through rivet

Handbag – pulled-through rivet

We knotted the strap around the zippered opening and completed the mission.

Of course, it wouldn’t have pulled through if they’d splurged on washers, but noooo too expensive:

Handbag - intact rivet - inside

Handbag – intact rivet – inside

Some rummaging produced a pan-head M3 screw of suitable length:

Handbag - repaired - outside

Handbag – repaired – outside

A slightly battered acorn nut was a special treat for the inside, with another washer to keep me happy:

Handbag - repaired - inside

Handbag – repaired – inside

That was easy!

(*) At Tanglewood, where they don’t strip-search you on the way in, tow-behind coolers seemed de rigueur, and a good time was had by all.

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Why Electricity Won

Spotted this impressive array at an apartment building:

Gas meter array

Gas meter array

That’s just for one wing; the other end of the building has a similar installation. Each apartment has an electric stove and gas heat / AC.

The plumbing!


Yellowbook Do-Not-Deliver Delivery Option

Last summer I followed the procedure that should turn off (one of) the ersatz “Yellow Pages” directories littering our driveway.

This just arrived:

YellowBook Do-Not-Deliver Delivery

YellowBook Do-Not-Deliver Delivery

Seeing as how they have the wrong town in my address, there’s still another excuse available.

My guess: they’re paid by tonnage of books delivered and have a powerful incentive to continue delivering all of them, no matter what gets in the way.

You absolutely cannot make this stuff up.