The final garden harvest included several carrots minus their leafy tops:
I sliced that top from a rather rotund carrot and the broad tooth marks suggest a large rodent. Mary found and blocked a tunnel under the fence, so we think it was a groundhog, rather than a rabbit, but we’ll never know the rest of the story.
The rest of the carrot was fine, so the unknown critter had mmmm good taste. Unfortunately, it sampled far too many root crops as it toured the buffet, leaving Mary’s root-cellared stockpile unusually low for our winter meals.
I wear 30 dB over-the-ear protectors with a pair of Bluetooth earbuds tucked inside for a rhythm track. I had been carrying my Pixel 6a in a side pocket, until I noticed a remarkable amount of crud inside the glass protector over the camera lens:
How crud could get inside (what I thought should be) a sealed compartment inside the phone’s armor case became obvious after peeling the protector off:
Come to find out the protector’s adhesive layer has an opening near the edge of the camera, leaving a slot allowing the howling chaff storm onto the camera glass. Random pocket fuzz certainly contributed some particles, but the entire phone case had a surprising amount of yellow-brown dust tucked inside.
So I left the protector off, dumped the music files into my old Pixel 3a (which never had a camera protector), and will henceforth leave the 6a indoors during similar adventures.
An old brass hose nozzle emerged from my garden hydraulics toolbox when a much newer plastic nozzle failed. Unfortunately, this one leaked a bit too much to serve as a replacement, so I grabbed it in the vise while pondering how to disassemble it:
It turns out the knurled ring is threaded into the nozzle and, even at this late date, responds well to gentle persuasion with a Vise-Grip:
The washer is a lost cause, but I managed to find an O-ring that fit perfectly in the space available. Clearing some crud around the nozzle hole and buffing up the matching conical section improved its sealing ability, so I’ll call it a win.
The word ITALY stamped opposite CHAMPION suggests this thing might be as old as I am; it’s been a while since either brass or Italy was competitive in the world of cheap manufactured goods.
It seems two months of sunlight will fade laser charred MDF down to its original state:
That’s through a thick layer of indoor urethane sealant slathered over MDF without any surface prep. Obviously, not removing the char had no effect on the outcome. On the upside, the urethane did a great job of protecting the MDF from rainfall.
So. Back to the shop.
Lacking wider masking tape, two strips of tape laid along a cut-to-suit slab of fresh MDF will serve as a paint mask:
Belatedly I Learned: cut the tape close to the edge, then fold it under so the autofocus pen can’t possibly snag it en passant.
Shoot the entire surface with a couple of black enamel rattlecan coats:
Yes, the engraved areas look reddish, most likely due to another complete lack of surface prep. Perhaps brushing / vacuuming / washing would remove some of the char, but let’s see how it behaves with no further attention.
Peel the tape, weed the letters / antlers, slather on a coat of urethane, and it looks downright bold:
Of course, if those two tape strips don’t exactly abut, the paint produces a nasty line:
Should you overlap the strips a wee bit to ensure cleanliness, the engraved surface will then have a noticeable (in person, anyhow) discontinuity due to the laser losing energy in two tape layers, which wouldn’t matter in this application. We defined the few paint lines as Good Enough™ for the purpose; a strip of absurdly wide masking tape is now on hand in anticipation of future need.
Burnishing the tape might have prevented paint bleed around the engraved areas:
But, given that I was painting raw / unfinished MDF with an unsmooth surface, burnishing probably wouldn’t produce a significantly better outcome.
By popular request, the new signs sit a few grids lower on the gates: