Archive for category Home Ec

Kenmore Progressive Vacuum Cleaner Carpet Brush Disassembly

The beater bar found and ingested a remarkably long strip of carpet yarn, resulting in a sudden stop and an acute need for disassembly. In the unlikely event that happens again:

  • Remove hose
  • Release latch to lay hose fitting flat
  • Remove two obvious screws
  • Pry rear latches adjacent to hose fitting to release rear of top cover
  • Pry side latches to release middle of top cover
  • Pull rear of top cover away from base
  • Disengage latches along front of beater bar

Those places, neatly marked for future reference, with the top cover against the floor:

Kenmore Progressive vacuum - carpet brush - disassembly latches

Kenmore Progressive vacuum – carpet brush – disassembly latches

With the cover off, the beater bar lifts out and you can easily unwind the mess.

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Forester: TPMS FTW, Redux

Now I know the Forester’s TPMS icon blinks on 1000 feet from a cold start with 12 psi in the offending tire. I returned home and pulled this from a sipe in the left rear tire:

Road debris - blade fragment

Road debris – blade fragment

It’s atop a 0.1 inch grid.

The flat side on the right rode tangent to the tire surface, recessed slightly below the tread, and pretty much invisible inside the sipe. Of course, the point punched through the tire’s steel belt and let the wind out, ever so slowly.

I initially thought it was a utility knife blade fragment, but under the microscope it looks more like a saw blade tooth. It’s obviously been kicking around on the road for quite a while; back in the day, they occasionally swept the roads, but that was then and this is now.

Makes me glad I didn’t buy four new tires after the last flat. I suppose installing two plugs in the same tire counts as a net loss, but they’re small, widely separated injuries and that’s how it’ll roll.

For the record: with 14 k miles on the tires, tread wear = 2/32 inch of the original 6/32 inch depth.

Those tires should last another 30 k miles at our current pace, although I expect more random debris will kill one stone cold dead before that.

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X10 TM751 RF Transciever: End of Life

X10 control from the two HR12A remotes got much worse over the last few months and eventually failed completely, which meant I had to actually walk over to the lights and click the switches. Not to be tolerated, sez I, so I would walk to the bedroom and poke the appropriate buttons on the wired controller (long since obsolete) by the bed. That worked perfectly, which eventually convinced me to dismantle the TM 751 transceiver.

It’s not good when soot plates the case:

X10 TM751 - Smoked case

X10 TM751 – Smoked case

I like how they capacitively coupled RF from the antenna for complete line-voltage isolation.

The PCB looked like it got rather hot over there on the left side:

X10 TM751 - Overheated PCB

X10 TM751 – Overheated PCB

A Zener diode on the component side of the PCB looked a bit toasty, so I decided this gadget had passed its best-used-by-date and dropped it in the electronics recycling box (after harvesting the antenna, just in case).

A new-in-box TM 751 from eBay arrived a few days ago and works just fine.

Done!

 

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Pot Lid Repair

For reasons not relevant here, we (temporarily) have a set of pots with glass lids. One of lids had a remarkable amount of crud between the glass and the trim ring under the knob, which turned out to be corrosion falling off the screw. Trying to remove the screw produced the expected result:

CKC Pot Lid - broken screw in handle

CKC Pot Lid – broken screw in handle

For whatever reason, they used an ordinary, not stainless, steel screw:

CKC Pot Lid - corroded screw

CKC Pot Lid – corroded screw

I figured I could mill the stub flat, drill out the remainder, install a new insert, and be done with it. The knob has a convex surface and, even though this looked stupid, I tried clamping it atop a wood pad:

CKC Pot Lid - precarious clamping

CKC Pot Lid – precarious clamping

Two gentle cutter passes convinced me it was, in fact, a lethally stupid setup.

Soooo, I poured some ShapeLock pellets into a defunct (and very small) loaf pan, melted them in near-boiling water, and pressed the knob into the middle, atop some stretchy film to prevent gluing the knob in place:

CKC Pot Lid - ShapeLock bedding

CKC Pot Lid – ShapeLock bedding

That’s eyeballometrically level, which is good enough, and the knob sits mechanically locked into the room-temperature plastic slab. Clamping everything down again makes for a much more secure operation:

CKC Pot Lid - clamped ShapeLock fixture

CKC Pot Lid – clamped ShapeLock fixture

A few minutes of manual milling exposes the original brass insert molded into the knob, with the steel screw firmly corroded in the middle:

CKC Pot Lid - screw stub milled flat

CKC Pot Lid – screw stub milled flat

Center-drill, drill small-medium-large, and eventually the entire insert vanishes in  a maelstrom of chips and dust:

CKC Pot Lid - OEM insert removed

CKC Pot Lid – OEM insert removed

Run a 10-32 stud into an insert, grab in drill chuck, dab JB Kwik around the knurls, press in place while everything’s still aligned in the Sherline, pause for curing, re-melt the ShapeLock, and the insert looks like it grew there:

CKC Pot Lid - new insert installed

CKC Pot Lid – new insert installed

Wonder to tell, a 1 inch 10-32 screw fit perfectly through the pot lid into the knob, with a dab of low-strength Loctite securing it. Reassemble everything in reverse order, and it’s all good:

CKC Pot Lid - repaired knob

CKC Pot Lid – repaired knob

Well, apart from those cracks. I decided I will not borrow trouble from the future: we’ll let those problems surface on their own and, if I’m still in the loop, I can fix them.

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Cast Iron Pan Seasoning: Round 3

After seasoning the pan after every meal for a few weeks, then not doing that for a few more weeks, its thick glaze began looking somewhat scuffed:

Cast Iron Pan - scuffed

Cast Iron Pan – scuffed

You may recognize some of those scars from the previous picture:

Wagner skillet - two weeks of use

Wagner skillet – two weeks of use

Perhaps the multi-layer seasoning was entirely too thick and prone to chipping; this time, I’ll try a thinner coating. Because it’s cast iron, the pan under the coating remains undamaged.

A few hours in a bucket of sodium carbonate solution with a battery charger driving a few amps through it removed most of the glaze and a few minutes with a sponge sanding block cleaned off the rest. Applying flaxseed oil and heating it to 400 °F on a regular burner (under close supervision!) produced a nice coating:

Cast Iron Pan - seasoned

Cast Iron Pan – seasoned

The single layer was way slick for veggies in the evening and handled the morning omelet with aplomb, so we’ll run with it until something interesting happens.

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Respooling Stainless Steel Thread: The Knack

The comments on my previous stainless-steel thread respooling attempt suggested that I was entirely too much of a sissy, so, when another empty spool appeared, I tried again with more vigor:

Stainless steel thread - second spool

Stainless steel thread – second spool

As before, I put the larger spool on the floor under the lathe and let the thread spill straight off the top toward the smaller spool. This time, I didn’t have a twist accumulating in the loose thread between the two spools:

  • Grab longer lengths of the loose thread
  • Absolutely no slippage between the fingers!
  • Put more tension on the thread at the takeup spool

As nearly as I can tell, the thread still has a slight twist coming off the larger spool, but grabbing longer lengths captures the twist and more tension lays it on the smaller spool. After cutting the thread, what was left had maybe three turns of twist, which was no big deal and obviously hadn’t accumulated.

Seems better: thanks for all the comments!

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Under-cabinet Lamp Brackets: Close-fit Power Plug

Adding a little tab to the angled brackets prevents them from pivoting while you’re tightening the mounting screw into the brass insert:

Kitchen Light Bracket - angled lip - Slic3r preview

Kitchen Light Bracket – angled lip – Slic3r preview

The trick with those tabs is to chop ’em off halfway to the tip, because there’s no point trying to print a wedge that ends with a sharp edge:

Kitchen Light Bracket - angled - tab cutoff - solid model

Kitchen Light Bracket – angled – tab cutoff – solid model

Generating & positioning that block goes a little something like this:

translate([0,
           2*MountBlock[1] - LEDEndBlock[2]*sin(StripAngle),
           MountBlock[2]/2 + MountHeight - 0.5*LEDEndBlock[2]*cos(StripAngle)])
    cube(2*MountBlock,center=true);

As a rule of thumb, there’s no point in fussing with smaller shapes when a big one will suffice…

This LED strip fits under the cabinet over the butcher block countertop next to the stove, which turns out to be Just Barely longer than the strip itself:

Under-cabinet light - cramped power plug

Under-cabinet light – cramped power plug

The OEM straight-on coaxial plug (near the bottom of the picture) attached to the wall wart cable obviously wouldn’t fit in the available space, so I gimmicked up a right-angle adapter by the simple expedient of shortening the solder lugs of a plug from the heap (which, admittedly, doesn’t quite fully seat in the socket), bending them sideways, soldering a pair of wires, heatshrinking appropriately, then coating wires + plug with JB Kwik epoxy. The other end of the wires gets a coaxial jack that miraculously fits the OEM plug, styled up with more heatshrink tubing. Not pretty, but nobody will ever see it.

Unlike the LED strip under the other cabinet, this IR proximity sensor doesn’t mind having a wood edge next to it and, thus, didn’t need a strip of tape to keep it happy.

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