Archive for category Home Ec

Sonicare Essence: Final Battery Replacement

After a bit over five years, the NiMH cells in my ancient Philips Sonicare Essence toothbrush finally gave out:

Sonicare recharge dates - 2017-2018

Sonicare recharge dates – 2017-2018

Down near the end, the poor thing barely gave one brushing after an overnight charge.

While I was dismantling the case, I charged the last two new-old-stock NiMH cells:

Sonicare Essence - charging short cells

Sonicare Essence – charging short cells

They arrived the same five years ago as the deaders in the toothbrush, but haven’t been used in the interim and charged well enough. The NiteCore D4 charger arrived after they did and isn’t really intended for 2/3 AA cells, so I used short brass tubes to make up the difference. I should have used the 300 mA low-current charging option (press-and-hold the Mode button for a second), although it didn’t overcook them at 750 mA.

The process went pretty much as before, with the new cells soldered in place atop the PCB:

Sonicare Essence - batteries on PCB

Sonicare Essence – batteries on PCB

And the PCB tucked back into the case:

Sonicare Essence - batteries installed

Sonicare Essence – batteries installed

I applied a solder bridge to the BLINKY pads, which seemed to disable the blinking and turn the LED on full with the toothbrush in the charger. Without waiting for a full charge cycle, I sucked the solder off the pads and restored the previous blinkiness.

A few strips of Kapton tape and it’s back in operation:

Sonicare Essence - retaped

Sonicare Essence – retaped

The first charge lasted for two weeks, so things are looking good again. When the stock of knockoff replacement brush heads wears out, it’ll be time to get a whole new toothbrush … even if the batteries aren’t completely dead yet.



Chair Reupholstering

We were tasked with replacing the foam cushion and seat covering on a pair of kitchen chairs. Removing the existing fabric seemed simple, until I pulled a dozen staples holding the cardboard cover to the bottom of the chair and exposed the fabric stapled to the MDF plate:

Chair reupholstering - stapled fabric

Chair reupholstering – stapled fabric

That’s just part of one corner. Obviously, whoever built the chair wanted to be very very very sure the fabric didn’t come loose!

Removing the staples from one corner produced a pile:

Chair reupholstering - one corner of staples

Chair reupholstering – one corner of staples

Piling up all the staples from the other chair looked even more impressive:

Chair reupholstering - staple pile

Chair reupholstering – staple pile

I fired maybe a third as many staples into the new fabric, which seems secure enough.



ShopVac vs. Samsung Vacuum Cleaner Bags

While cleaning the filter in the 1 gallon ShopVac for the bandsaw and lathe, I found the last few bags from the never-sufficiently-to-be-damned and long-gone Samsung vacuum cleaner that seemed about the right size for upcycling:

Shopvac vs Samsung vacuum cleaner bags - overview

Shopvac vs Samsung vacuum cleaner bags – overview

They’re a bit bulky:

Shopvac vs Samsung vacuum cleaner bags - trial fit

Shopvac vs Samsung vacuum cleaner bags – trial fit

It’s surely not worth buying bags just to cut ’em up, but, with a stock on the shelf, why not?


Monthly Image: Wall Painting

One day, long ago, this tree grew in a certain bedroom:

Outlet tree

Outlet tree

And then a flower appeared in the laundry room:

Outlet flower

Outlet flower

Much to our delight, she asked for forgiveness, not permission … which was, of course, granted immediately.


Desk Drawer Stops

The stops aligning the top two drawers of an old desk vanished, so I got the job of replacing them. They’re hammered into the wood frame:

Drawer Stops - width measurement

Drawer Stops – width measurement

And stand up just enough to engage the back of the drawer face:

Drawer Stops - height measurement

Drawer Stops – height measurement

Back in the Basement Laboratory Shop Wing, I harvested steel strips from a defunct PC case, rubber-hammered them flat, sharpened a cold chisel (un-hardened, so it always needs sharpening), and got to work:

Drawer Stops - chiseled blanks

Drawer Stops – chiseled blanks

The pointy sides should have sharp edges, which you get for free with a chisel. You also get a bench full of little steel slivers perfectly suited for embedding in human flesh. Wearing eye protection is more than just a good idea, too.

Introducing what will become the visible edges to Mr Disk Sander makes them marginally less hazardous:

Drawer Stops - in progress

Drawer Stops – in progress

A slightly fuzzy picture of a test fit shows the stops should suffice:

Drawer Stops - trial fit

Drawer Stops – trial fit

Which they did:

Drawer Stops - installed

Drawer Stops – installed

Nobody will ever notice the blob of hot melt glue behind each one:

Drawer Stops - glue blob

Drawer Stops – glue blob



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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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