Posts Tagged Improvements
Well, a spider with half the proper leg count:
One could argue the LED spider has an unusually large abdomen, but I’m not going there.
The solid model looks the same way:
And, yes, those are eye protection caps over the four wire struts, most useful during construction while maneuvering the radome into position.
For reasons unknown to me, they’re called “Pirhana” LEDs:
I trimmed off half of each pin, soldered on 28 AWG color-coded silicone wires, threaded wires through openings, then rammed the LED package into the recess so it sits just below the radome’s curve. The dent matching the ball comes from the chord equation, as always, and looks pretty good.
The radome is, of course, a one-star ping pong ball from the usual big box retailer’s sporting goods section. The stamped logo sits at a random position with respect to the ball’s interior structure (visible when lit, as in the top picture), so I erased it with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Hollow plastic golf balls might work just as well, with an even more interesting surface texture.
The source code includes a cutaway look at the printed parts to verify their innards:
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:
The original doodles give useful dimensions, plus some details not withstanding the test of time:
The actual center-to-center distances for the wire posts come from the battery dimensions, rounded up or down as appropriate, to the nearest multiple of 5 mm, so those are just serving suggestions.
A new pair of shoes arrived with extravagantly long laces requiring shortening. Years ago, I found heatshrink tubing completely unequal to the task, so I deployed Real Metal:
The ferrules come from a kit of such things, minus their plastic strain relief:
That’s a fancy hexagonal crimper for round-ish results. If you have a square terminal block, you should use the square crimper that comes with the kit.
Worked perfectly and produced immediate customer satisfaction.
This seemed appropriate for a day involving toys of all descriptions…
A cast iron stove (most likely a mid-last-century reproduction rather than a Genuine Antique™) emerged from a living room recess:
The line across the lid lifter handle shows where it broke, long ago, likely while being played with. Back then, I’d done a static-display-grade fix with a dab of clear epoxy, but a better repair seemed called for; my repair-fu has grown stronger.
I expected the handle to be pot metal, so drilling a hole in both ends for a music-wire stiffener seemed reasonable:
Much to my surprise, the carbide bit skittered off the surface, leaving fine swarf standing on the end. Turns out the lid lifter is cast iron, just like the rest of the stove!
Given that much of a clue, I aligned the pieces in a pair of machinist’s vises:
Slide apart (the vises stand on a smooth glass sheet; the nubbly side is down), dab silver solder flux on the ends, capture a snippet of 40% silver solder in the gap:
Hit it ever so gently with a propane torch and slide together:
The solder flows at 1200 °F = 650 °C, roughly corresponding to the blue-gray color near the joint. The nice purple (540 °C) on the left shows where I held the flame to start, with yellows (400 °C) on both sides. Good enough, sez I, it’s going to be a static-display exhibit.
Most of the solder went to the back side, so I filed it smooth and buffed off most of the heat coloration with a stainless-steel wire wheel in the Dremel:
A little more wire-brush action left the front side looking good:
As with most of the repairs around here, it simply makes me feel better …
Now, go play with your toys!
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:
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:
Piling up all the staples from the other chair looked even more impressive:
I fired maybe a third as many staples into the new fabric, which seems secure enough.
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:
They’re a bit bulky:
It’s surely not worth buying bags just to cut ’em up, but, with a stock on the shelf, why not?
We spotted a pile of room safes in one of the motel stairwells:
Judging from what we found in the room, it’s out with the old and in with the new:
Too bad about the mounting pedestal, though: same size, different orientation.
Something unexpected always lurks in the datasheet …