Shoulder PT Pulley: Last 10% Manufacturing

Mary’s PT requires a Shoulder Pulley, so I got one that seemed better constructed than the cheapest Amazon crap. In particular, this view suggested the pulley ran on a bearing:

Slim Panda Shoulder Pulley - detail view
Slim Panda Shoulder Pulley – detail view

Which turned out to be the case, but, also as expected, the whole thing required a bit of finishing before being put in service.

It’s intended to hang from a strap trapped between an interior door and its frame. The strap was intended to attach to the block (a.k.a. “Thickened base”) through a breathtakingly awkward pair of low-end carabiners:

Slim Panda Shoulder Pulley - carabiners
Slim Panda Shoulder Pulley – carabiners

Which I immediately replaced with a simple, silent, sufficiently strong black nylon cable tie:

Shoulder PT Pulley - block hardware
Shoulder PT Pulley – block hardware

Rather than let the metal block clunk against the door, it now sports a pair of cork-surfaced bumper plates:

Shoulder PT Pulley - side plates installed
Shoulder PT Pulley – side plates installed

A doodle of the block dimensions:

Shoulder Pulley - dimension doodle
Shoulder Pulley – dimension doodle

Which turned into a simple LightBurn layout:

Shoulder PT Pulley Side Plates - LB layout
Shoulder PT Pulley Side Plates – LB layout

The blue construction lines represent the actual block & pulley, with the red cut lines offset 2 mm to the outside to ensure the metal stays within the bumpers. It’s possible to pick the block up and whack the pulley against the door, so don’t do that.

Cut out two pieces of 3 mm MDF, two pieces from a cork coaster (covered with blue tape and cut with the paper backing up), peel-n-stick the cork to the MDF, put double-sided foam tape on the block, peel-n-stick the bumpers, then hang on the attic door.

Now it works the way it should!

The LightBurn SVG layout as a GitHub Gist:

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Linux Where You Least Expect It

A price / coupon scanner in a nearby CVS evidently woke up dead:

CVS Price Scanner - Linux boot screen
CVS Price Scanner – Linux boot screen

Yup, it’s a Linux console boot log, with the last line suggesting something horrible happened inside the device mapper:

A start job is running for dev-mapper-cryptswap1.device

The systemd timing status shows it’s been stuck for a while and has no hope of rescue:

(2d 1h 41min 10s / no limit)

I’d reboot that sucker if it had a keyboard …

Car vs. Mailbox

Things remained rather quiet at the end of the driveway for a few months, then this happened just before breakfast:

Mailbox killer - driveway view
Mailbox killer – driveway view

Rt 376 had accumulated some sleet overnight and freezing rain was still falling. The driver apparently lost control around the curve, missed the fire hydrant behind me, and went up the embankment sideways at a pretty good clip.

As far as I can make out, the left front door took out the mailbox post, which was the stump of a utility pole installed long before we bought the property:

Mailbox killer - snapped post
Mailbox killer – snapped post

Admittedly, the post was rotten around its base, but remained a substantial chunk of wood. The black plastic curl is the air deflector formerly sealing the front of the car’s undercarriage.

Seen from the far end of the debris field, the car smashed dead center into the mighty honeysuckle bush, shed a variety of small parts, recoiled backwards, and tagged the tree as it rolled down the embankment:

Mailbox killer - yard view
Mailbox killer – yard view

The mailboxes sit on the shoulder to the right of the car.

No serious injuries to the driver or passengers, although they got an ambulance ride to the ER to make sure.

Those dents just ain’t gonna buff out:

Mailbox killer - flatbed
Mailbox killer – flatbed

I did get three years out of the repaired mailbox hinges and perhaps I should preemptively transfer the hardware to the new mailbox.

There’s never a dull moment around here.

Sears / Kenmore Vacuum: Design Tweakage

Despite cogent reasons for not buying another Sears vacuum cleaner, the brand currently represents a local maximum of the desirability curve: cheap, readily available, works well enough, and, surprisingly, bags for the defunct Progressive (whatever that meant) vacuum seem to fit just fine.

But the new one does come with some annoyances, starting with trendy dark gray engraved / molded control markings:

Sears Vacuum - power and cord controls
Sears Vacuum – power and cord controls

Quick: from the other end of the vacuum hose, which one must you stomp to turn it off?

Well, I can fix that:

Sears Vacuum - marked power switch
Sears Vacuum – marked power switch

After the Progressive’s bizarre and overly complex tool fittings, the new unit has tools that slip-fit onto a classic steel tube, which means I can throw all those adapters into a box of 3D printing examples for use in the unlikely event I ever do another show-n-tell presentation.

It also has a simple rotating suction control ring at the handle:

Sears Vacuum - marked suction vent control
Sears Vacuum – marked suction vent control

Which, as you can tell from the fluorescent tape, featured the same embossed and unreadably small dark gray markings.

Because that ring and its glaring tape is invisible from the user’s end of the handle, I eventually duct-taped the ring in position to prevent another inadvertent loss-of-suction accident.

If we ever need reduced suction on a regular basis, I’ll conjure a better ring from the vasty digital deep:

Sears Vacuum - suction vent doodle
Sears Vacuum – suction vent doodle

I obviously no longer form deep emotional attachments to these things …