Jonas Peeler: Reshaping and Origin Mystery

This past summer we replaced a worn-out vegetable peeler with what was allegedly a high-quality Linden Jonas peeler. It worked quite well, which it should have, given that it cost nigh onto seven bucks, until I recently backed over it with my wheelchair (about which, more later) and smashed it flat.

World+dog having recently discovered the virtues of home-cooked meals, the replacement cost nigh onto ten bucks and, through the wonders of Amazon, came from a different seller, albeit with a letter-for-letter identical description:

Linden Jonas peeler orders
Linden Jonas peeler orders

With a spare in the kitchen, I applied some shop-fu to unbend the first peeler:

Jonas peeler - reshaping tools
Jonas peeler – reshaping tools

Tapping the handle against the bandsawed dowel sufficed to remove the sharpest bends. The final trick involved clamping one edge of the handle to the section cut from a thread spool, resting the Vise-Grip on the bench vise, and whacking the other edge with the rubber mallet to restore the smooth curve around the main axis, repeating the process along the other side, then hand-forming the gentle curve closer to the blade. It ain’t perfect and never will be, but it’s once again comfortable in the hand.

During that process I had plenty of time to admire the identification stamped into the handle:

Jonas peeler - weak emboss
Jonas peeler – weak emboss

Which, frankly, looks rather gritty on an allegedly high-quality product from a Swedish factory.

Compare it with the new peeler:

Jonas peeler - good emboss
Jonas peeler – good emboss

Now, that’s more like it.

The genuine Linden website doesn’t provide much detail, so I can’t be absolutely sure which peeler is a counterfeit, but it sure looks like at least one fails the sniff test. Linden’s site redirects to Amazon through a Google search link (!) that, given the way Amazon works, could result in anything appearing as a valid result:

As one should expect by now, Amazon’s commingled inventory produces a fair percentage of reviews complaining about craptastic peelers stamped “Made in China” from any of the sellers unearthed by that search.

Aerosol Can Corrosion

An odd smell in the Basement Laboratory Chemical Warehouse led to this discovery:

Leaking aerosol can
Leaking aerosol can

It’s a can of spray-on topical anesthetic That Came With The House™, so it’s almost certainly four decades old and, other than being moved to that shelf, hasn’t been touched in the last quarter century.

Surprisingly, the orange-brown goo wiped off the shelf almost completely. The similarly old box of stain remover on the left was a dead loss.

Suet Feeder Extension

Shortly after this season’s suet feeder deployment, the neighborhood raccoons emptied it. A few years ago, putting a 3D printed feeder at the end of a repurposed ski pole protected it for a few weeks, so I scrounged another pole from the pile, cut off the flattened top and battered tip, and put it into service:

Suet Feeder Extension - deployed
Suet Feeder Extension – deployed

The near end has a loop made from a pair of stainless steel key cables, because a single cable was just slightly too short:

Suet Feeder Extension - anchor loop
Suet Feeder Extension – anchor loop

The far end has what was once a hook, beaten straight to fit through the hole, then beaten around the curve of the pole:

Suet Feeder Extension - chain anchor
Suet Feeder Extension – chain anchor

Raccoons lacking opposable thumbs, this should suffice until the black bear(s) spotted around here take up residence in the yard.

Craftsman Garage Door Opener: Rogue Remote

Just before midnight, the garage door opened, but, being early-to-bed folks, it wasn’t either of us. I pulled my fingernails out of the ceiling, padded out to the garage, verified there was nobody (not even a critter more substantial than a spider) inside, closed the door with the hardwired control button on the wall, and went back to bed. An hour later, the door opened again, then tried to take a bite out of me when I walked under it.

I pulled the opener’s plug, yanked its emergency release latch, lowered the door, and returned to bed; it was not a restful night.

The key to the diagnosis came from the little yellow LED on the back of the opener, just above the purple LEARN button:

Craftsman Garage Opener - indicator LED
Craftsman Garage Opener – indicator LED

In addition to indicating various programming states, it also lights when the opener’s radio receives a transmission from one of the remote controls. The LED was flickering continuously, showing that something was hosing the receiver with RF.

We have three remotes: one in the car, one on my bike, and one in the back room overlooking the garage. None of them worked reliably, suggesting the RF interference was clobbering their transmissions.

Disabling the remotes by removing their batteries (which were all good) also stopped the interference. Reinstalling the batteries one-by-one identified the rogue opener:

Craftsman Garage Opener - remote innards
Craftsman Garage Opener – remote innards

The slip of paper let me isolate the battery terminal and stick a milliammeter in the circuit, which showed the remote was drawing about 1.5 mA continuously. I thought one of the pushbutton switches had gone flaky, but swapping an unused one for the main door switch had no effect.

I lost track of which remote it was, but it lived in the car or the back room for all its life, so it hasn’t suffered extreme environmental stress. I have no idea why it would fail late one night, although I admit to not monitoring the LED on a regular basis. For whatever it’s worth, in the weeks leading up to the failure, activating the opener sometimes required two pokes at the remote, but nothing bad enough to prompt any further investigation.

A new cheap knockoff remote arrived in few days and it’s all good.

Protip: different openers, even from the same company, use different RF frequencies. For Craftsman openers, the color of the LEARN button is the key to the frequency; purple = 139.53753 MHz.

Eyeglass Case Padding

Zenni ships their glasses in a snap-close case with a fuzzy insert on the bottom, but after you unpack the cleaning cloth and suchlike, the glasses rattle against the hard plastic top.

Make trial fit prototype from thin cardboard and trace it onto a sheet of craft foam:

Eyeglass case foam padding - outline
Eyeglass case foam padding – outline

The pen, much favored by quiltists, has a white ceramic lead that washes out of dark fabrics. You can find a corresponding dark-lead pen, but I can use an ordinary pencil.

Use different colors for different glasses:

Eyeglass case foam padding - installed
Eyeglass case foam padding – installed

Then walk ninja-style again.

Protip: slip an address label atop the foam so a nice person can reunite you with your glasses, should they slip out of your pocket in the unlikely event you sit down anywhere other than in your house.

Eyeglass Nose Pad Adjustment

A new set of glasses arrived from Zenni with one of the nose pads totally misaligned:

Zenni glasses nosepad - as received
Zenni glasses nosepad – as received

Definitely a QC escape.

Start by removing the tiny screw and the nose pad:

Zenni glasses nosepad - socket
Zenni glasses nosepad – socket

Apply a metal bending pliers (with the concave jaw around bottom of the socket), twist until it lines up properly, then reinstall the pad:

Zenni glasses nosepad - aligned
Zenni glasses nosepad – aligned

No big deal if you happen to have the pliers. Bonus: apply Parafilm to prevent scratching the lenses, OK?

For what it’s worth, the latest set of four spectacles with high-index (not polycarbonate) progressive lenses in metal frames cost a bit over $200 delivered. The last time around, two specs cost a bit more than half that.

I’m satisfied with Zenni and EyeBuyDirect (although Luxottica borged EBD and they now push spendy “brand name” frames), but you must be ready / willing / able to apply final tweakage to whatever arrives.

On the other paw, I’ve been repairing Mary’s collection of full-frontal retail glasses for quite a while, because she’s frustrated with making multiple trips to have The Nice Man repeatedly apply final tweakage.