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9Instructables523,338Views247CommentsSecret desert proving ground, located somewhere in the Former United States, Southwest region.Joined May 11th, 2008
I've built some weird stuff over the years, but most of that stuff has remained unseen by the world outside of me and a few friends. But then one day, one of these friends, he says to me, "Hey Jack, you should take some pictures of that weird stuff you're building all the time, and uh, I don't know, like, put those pictures on the internet or something..."

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  • I am seriously wondering why you are interested in this particular container.Aluminum beverage containers are already more likely to be recylced, than containers made from other materials. I mean, aluminum cans have been recycled for ages. The reason for this is because making aluminum from bauxite ore, is energy intensive, particularly intensive in its use of electricity, which costs more than other forms of energy, like for example raw coal.As sort of a contrast, for making steel, raw coal can serve as both heat source (for melting the metal) and reducing agent (for reducing metal oxides to metal). But coal is not a powerful enough reducing agent to reduce aluminum from its oxides. Aluminum is one of those metals with high reduction potential, so pretty much the only economic way t...

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    I am seriously wondering why you are interested in this particular container.Aluminum beverage containers are already more likely to be recylced, than containers made from other materials. I mean, aluminum cans have been recycled for ages. The reason for this is because making aluminum from bauxite ore, is energy intensive, particularly intensive in its use of electricity, which costs more than other forms of energy, like for example raw coal.As sort of a contrast, for making steel, raw coal can serve as both heat source (for melting the metal) and reducing agent (for reducing metal oxides to metal). But coal is not a powerful enough reducing agent to reduce aluminum from its oxides. Aluminum is one of those metals with high reduction potential, so pretty much the only economic way to make it from its oxides, is some kind of electrolytic process. Raw coal is cheaper than raw electricity, like by the kilojoule, and I think this is most of the reason for the cost difference of new (or scrap) steel versus aluminum, like price per kilogram.That's kind of a long story, I guess, but my main point here is that aluminum containers have been recycled for ages, like even before recycling was fashionable. The Wikipedia article on "Aluminium recyling", I think has some numbers that back up the story I'm telling.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_recycling"Recycling scrap aluminium requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminium.[1] For this reason, approximately 31% of all aluminium produced in the United States comes from recycled scrap.[2] Used beverage containers are the largest component of processed aluminum scrap, and most of it is manufactured back into aluminium cans.[3]"Moreover, this new screw top design, is, I think, more likely to get re-used, or upcycled since it is a better container, because it is resealable. I mean the fact that it is resealable increases the number of possible ways it could be upcyled.So basically, I get that you are interested in this container, and you think it has great potential for being upcycled into something brilliant.However I think the motivation for doing something with one, or more, of these screw top cans... I think the motivation is going to have to come from the utility of the created thing itself, rather than from a desire to merely, "to keep these out of landfills."The reason why, is this can's basic design, aluminum with screw top cap, is already keeping it out of landfills.It just seems to me that your call to action, for you know: Hey, everybody, lets make something great out of a aluminum screw top cans! It would be more moving if you could explain, like, why this particular container has such great upcycle potential, instead of merely admonishing us to, keep 'em out of teh landfills.

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  • I was not the first person to notice this. Credit for that goes to this comment:https://www.instructables.com/community/Unable-to-...Anyway, I am glad I was able to help in some small way, and I thank you for fixing it.

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on gclark0812's forum topic Help with charging capacitors 1 day ago

    Well, the cheap and dirty way to do this is by using a voltage multiplier, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_multiplierlike a doubler, or a tripler.By the way, the Wiki article for "Rectifier" is, I think, kind of a prerequisite. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RectifierI mean, understanding simple rectifier circuits, like half wave and full wave, this is maybe a prerequisite for understanding the more complicated voltage multiplier circuit.Keep in mind, the peak voltage of the AC waveform is greater than its RMS value by a factor of 1.4142 (=square-root of 2). For example a sinusoidal AC voltage with 120 volts RMS, has a peak value of around 170 volts, and it is the peak value that gets rectified, and charges the capacitors in these various rectifier circuits. Thus a tri...

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    Well, the cheap and dirty way to do this is by using a voltage multiplier, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_multiplierlike a doubler, or a tripler.By the way, the Wiki article for "Rectifier" is, I think, kind of a prerequisite. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RectifierI mean, understanding simple rectifier circuits, like half wave and full wave, this is maybe a prerequisite for understanding the more complicated voltage multiplier circuit.Keep in mind, the peak voltage of the AC waveform is greater than its RMS value by a factor of 1.4142 (=square-root of 2). For example a sinusoidal AC voltage with 120 volts RMS, has a peak value of around 170 volts, and it is the peak value that gets rectified, and charges the capacitors in these various rectifier circuits. Thus a tripler fed with 120 VAC could produce a DC voltage of around 3*170 = 510 VDCThis page,http://www.kronjaeger.com/hv/hv/src/mul/is all about voltage multipliers, and the reason I want to link to it is because it has a formula for calculating the impedance offered by a Villard cascade voltage multiplier, and that number will be meaningful, if you are wondering about how big or small the capacitors in your voltage multiplier should be, based on how fast (how much time it will take) for to charge your capacitor bank.Anyway, that is the cheap and dirty way. Cheap because the component count is low. Dirty because it does not offer much in the way of isolation,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_isolation from the AC mains.Perhaps a better way might be to build an inverter, to make your 100s of volts AC, from low voltage DC. Then rectify that AC into DC to give you your 450 volts DC. There are maybe a few advantages to doing things this way. The first is because you can make the frequency faster, the capacitors in a subsequent multiplier stage, or filter stage, can be much smaller. Also if your capacitor charger is DC powered, then maybe you can run it on batteries, and make your machine portable. You know, that way your ultimate terror weapon, or whatever this thing is, does not need an extension cord. ;-PFinal note: I don't know if you knew this or not, but many recipes out there for homemade capacitor chargers, use a camera flash charger, because these are cheap, easy to find. This page,http://www.talkingelectronics.com/projects/XenonFl...does a good job of explaining how these camera flash charger circuits work, it could maybe serve as inspiration, if you want to build a battery powered capacitor charger.

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on Tman179's forum topic DC motor regulation2 days ago

    The input DC voltage to the motor is only part of the problem.The angular speed (rpms) at which the motor turns, also depends strongly on mechanical loading. By that I mean, the resistance torque being offered by whatever you have the motor connected to, it is going to slow the shaft speed, independent of whatever voltage is being placed across the motor.A better way to build a shaft that turns at constant angular speed, is to use a sensor, to measure the shaft's angular speed, and then use signal from the sensor to drive a feedback loop.I.e. if the sensor says the speed is a little bit below the target, then give the motor a little more juice (meaning voltage, or time-averaged voltage if using PWM). Conversely, if the sensor says speed is a little above the target value, then give the ...

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    The input DC voltage to the motor is only part of the problem.The angular speed (rpms) at which the motor turns, also depends strongly on mechanical loading. By that I mean, the resistance torque being offered by whatever you have the motor connected to, it is going to slow the shaft speed, independent of whatever voltage is being placed across the motor.A better way to build a shaft that turns at constant angular speed, is to use a sensor, to measure the shaft's angular speed, and then use signal from the sensor to drive a feedback loop.I.e. if the sensor says the speed is a little bit below the target, then give the motor a little more juice (meaning voltage, or time-averaged voltage if using PWM). Conversely, if the sensor says speed is a little above the target value, then give the motor a little less juice.By the way, I have actually built the thing I am describing. I never got around to writing it up as an instructable, but I upped some pictures of it, to a discussion on the Answers forum, here.https://www.instructables.com/community/Not-sure-w...That was about two years ago, I guess. Had to use a search engine to remember where I put that comment.Do a Ctrl-F, and look for the word "SG3524", the particular PWM IC I used, if you want to quickly jump to the comment I wrote.I don't dare ask if anyone wants an instructable on that topic (how to build a phonograph from an old cordless drill), but I am kind of wondering:Is there enough detail in that brief comment, for you to understand what I built there, like how it works? Does what I wrote there make sense?

    Well, it depends on what the mechanical load is. If the load offers a mostly constant resistance torque, then a motor supplied with a constant voltage (or constant time averaged voltage if using PWM) will give mostly constant speed.Including a big heavy flywheel, with lots of rotational inertia, can help smooth out small disturbances that otherwise cause the speed to change, momentary slow down, or momentary speed up, for a system with little rotational inertia.Actually, on the subject of phonograph turntables, I have not taken one apart recently, but I think the last time I did, I noticed the mechanism driving the turntable included a big heavy flywheel. So there probably something to this idea of including a flywheel.On the subject of "speed control", a lot of electric ma...

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    Well, it depends on what the mechanical load is. If the load offers a mostly constant resistance torque, then a motor supplied with a constant voltage (or constant time averaged voltage if using PWM) will give mostly constant speed.Including a big heavy flywheel, with lots of rotational inertia, can help smooth out small disturbances that otherwise cause the speed to change, momentary slow down, or momentary speed up, for a system with little rotational inertia.Actually, on the subject of phonograph turntables, I have not taken one apart recently, but I think the last time I did, I noticed the mechanism driving the turntable included a big heavy flywheel. So there probably something to this idea of including a flywheel.On the subject of "speed control", a lot of electric machines, in particular power tools, that call themselves "variable speed", are not using a closed-loop speed regulator, like I described previously. They are just using a kind of voltage regulator. Well usually it is PWM, which is essentially regulated, time-averaged, voltage. And that kind of control (open-loop control) is good enough for a cordless drill. Actually, I probably should have mentioned this first, but your topic included the word "regulation", and you asked will a constant voltage keep a motor, and a gearbox ( and I don't know what else) turning at constant speed.I think I maybe explained the most complicated way first, but the reason why I thought to explain it this way is because you were asking for a regulator. In my mind, a regulator is necessarily a closed-loop kind of control; i.e. a speed regulator will necessarily have a speed sensor, and feedback from this.Regarding this jargon of open-loop control versus closed-loop control, if you do not already grok the difference between these, the first section of the Wikipedia article titled, "Control system", explains the difference between open-loop and closed loop, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_system#Open-...using an example of a building's heating system with a boiler controlled by a timer. It's on some of the time, off some of the time. Essentially this is the same thing as PWM, and it is open-loop.The closed-loop is what you get when you introduce a temperature sensor, and use feedback from that sensor to decide when the boiler turns on, and when it turns off, also called a, "thermostat".The wiki article for "Control system" might lead you to other places too. For example there are purely mechanical speed regulators, like that "centrifugal governor" in the first picture, and I think those are as just as complicated as electronic regulators, but maybe the mechanical version will be more meaningful to someone, "not inclined on circuitry".

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on eramsell's forum topic Chips in smoke detectors3 days ago

    Um, are these from ionization type smoke detectors?Do they still have the chamber with the tiny Am-241 alpha source? I mean, that is the truly interesting part.See:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_HahnPerhaps you already know this.Regarding the IC, I think usually there is just one of them, and if you can look at the data sheet for Motorola's MC14467,http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/1125...I think this IC is a typical example. There is some kind of really high impedance comparator, like with FET inputs or something, for to sense a DC voltage on the ionization-chamber thing. Also there is an alarm sound circuit, capable of driving a piezo speaker at earsplitting volume. And that is pretty much it.So, I am guessing an old smoke detector board could be re-purposed as an...

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    Um, are these from ionization type smoke detectors?Do they still have the chamber with the tiny Am-241 alpha source? I mean, that is the truly interesting part.See:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_HahnPerhaps you already know this.Regarding the IC, I think usually there is just one of them, and if you can look at the data sheet for Motorola's MC14467,http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/1125...I think this IC is a typical example. There is some kind of really high impedance comparator, like with FET inputs or something, for to sense a DC voltage on the ionization-chamber thing. Also there is an alarm sound circuit, capable of driving a piezo speaker at earsplitting volume. And that is pretty much it.So, I am guessing an old smoke detector board could be re-purposed as an alarm, or annoying noise maker, but I am not sure what else it, a board without the ionization chamber, could be used for.Regarding the numbers you mentioned, {8506, 8605, 8502}, I do not recognise these, but that does not mean the data sheets for your ICs are not out there somewhere.Smoke detector IC is kind of niche thing anyway. I am expecting the total number of smoke detector ICs out there to be small, so maybe try just asking alldatasheet, or some other IC data site, to show you ICs with "smoke detector" in the description.http://category.alldatasheet.com/index.jsp?Searchw...This is kind of shotgun approach, but one of the ICs that shows up in that result might be similar, or the same, to the ones you have.

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  • Hey. Thanks for the reply, and thanks for pointing out the previous bug report. If I had noticed the previous report, I would have just gone there to post, "Me too."

    So that means it's safe to say(write) the words, "hot glue gun" out loud?How about "0.44 caliber glue sticks"? Can I say that? I swear, that's the size ammo my hot glue gun (HGG) takes. Well, the documentation did include the word, "caliber", but it said 0.44 inches diameter, and I think that is actually the same thing.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CaliberWell, I'm glad it, the bug, is not that we can't talk(write) about guns here.Anyway, I sent unto Super_Me, a PM including most of what I tried to write in my "answer". I also politely informed him (I'm guessing he's a him) about how his Answers topic broke the instructables web site. Ha!;-)

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  • I have also noticed my comments to this question disappear.Also I wrote a topic, in bugs, about this, here,https://www.instructables.com/community/comments-t...I am considering moving what I wrote there, over to this topic, for the sake of putting all of this particular discussion in one place.

    Yeah. Here is what I wrote for that topic:Several times over the past few days, I have tried to reply to a particular question on the Answers forum, specifically the question linked here: https://www.instructables.com/answers/Any-decent-good-hot-glue-guns-for-beginners/ I write a comment in the little editor-box-thing. Then when I click the "Make comment" button, and the text of the comment I just wrote disappears. Voop! It's gone! Then my disappeared comment does not become posted to this topic. Where did the text I just wrote go to? Did it go somewhere? Or is really and truly gone from this universe? That is assuming I did not save a copy of it to a clipboard, or text editor first. Yeah. Big mystery, right? I kind of suspect there is something wrong wit...

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    Yeah. Here is what I wrote for that topic:Several times over the past few days, I have tried to reply to a particular question on the Answers forum, specifically the question linked here: https://www.instructables.com/answers/Any-decent-good-hot-glue-guns-for-beginners/ I write a comment in the little editor-box-thing. Then when I click the "Make comment" button, and the text of the comment I just wrote disappears. Voop! It's gone! Then my disappeared comment does not become posted to this topic. Where did the text I just wrote go to? Did it go somewhere? Or is really and truly gone from this universe? That is assuming I did not save a copy of it to a clipboard, or text editor first. Yeah. Big mystery, right? I kind of suspect there is something wrong with just this particular topic: https://www.instructables.com/answers/Any-decent-good-hot-glue-guns-for-beginners/ Just ask yourself why an easy question like this, is somehow 4 days old, with zero answers (and zero comments total) so far. Is no one, besides me, trying to comment on, or answer, this easy question? Please feel free to try to post a comment there yourself, just to see what happens. Possibly the topic is activating your filters, because it has a bad word in it: Three letters. Starts with "g". I have heard rumors you all are running some crazy filters to try to protect users here from reading bad words, and perhaps from writing bad words too! Also because you always strongly suspect the problem is with my computer (and maybe it is) I must tell you the browser I am trying to do this with is: Firefox 51.0.1 (32-bit) and that is Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu. and, uh, it looks like I am running it under: Ubuntu 12.04 (precise) I thank you for your attention to this matter, and I applaud your efforts to make Instructables less buggy.

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on Not_Tasha's instructable Putting Together a FibreShare Box1 week ago
    Putting Together a FibreShare Box

    Wow! I had no idea there were so many people making handmade yarn.Well, I guess I do not truly know how many people spin handmade yard. However, this 'ible provides evidence of there being at least two: you, and the recipient of your gift, who actually asked for "raw fleece", and "locks", and stuff. Wow! That is so weird!Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baa,_Baa,_Black_Shee...;-)The existence of fibreshare.org strongly suggests there are more of these people out there. Maybe a whole subculture?It's a shame they misspelled the word "fiber" in their domain name. I truly hope they're not losing the people trying to find them via fibershare.org.Or maybe the bad spelling is intentional. Perhaps "fibre" is the old t...

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    Wow! I had no idea there were so many people making handmade yarn.Well, I guess I do not truly know how many people spin handmade yard. However, this 'ible provides evidence of there being at least two: you, and the recipient of your gift, who actually asked for "raw fleece", and "locks", and stuff. Wow! That is so weird!Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baa,_Baa,_Black_Shee...;-)The existence of fibreshare.org strongly suggests there are more of these people out there. Maybe a whole subculture?It's a shame they misspelled the word "fiber" in their domain name. I truly hope they're not losing the people trying to find them via fibershare.org.Or maybe the bad spelling is intentional. Perhaps "fibre" is the old timey spelling of "fiber", and they wanted their domain name to have a kind of old timey vibe to it.I dunno. Subtleties like that are mostly lost, totally unappreciated, by literal-minded persons like myself.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/literal...Which reminds me: the only other, like, modern human, I can think of who spun (and dyed) his own yarn or twine, from raw fibers, was Kevin Dunn, the author of a book titled, "Caveman Chemistry". There exist free versions of that book's chapters on spinning and dyeing, and I'm going to link to those here, for anyone reading this who wants to know more about that.http://cavemanchemistry.com/oldcave/projects/twine...http://cavemanchemistry.com/oldcave/projects/dye/i...Actually, wait! There was that one other guy too. This was a real, actual person I actually talked to, briefly, in real life, at an Earth Day event, a few years back. He was making twine from plant fibers, something from the Yucca genus,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YuccaMoreover, he claimed to be using the same traditional methods as the natives of this land, who did this from time immemorial.Just to be jerk, I asked him if the ancients used plastic clothespins, like he did, to keep his work from unraveling when he had to set it down for a moment.He said the ancients did not use plastic clothespins, but they did not need to, because the ancients were not frequently interrupted by ignorant people asking dumb questions.;-P

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on iceng's forum topic Dentist radiation chart1 month ago

    Occasionally I see, or hear, these stories about how human health could be improved, if only there were an inexpensive way to make potassium, with just the stable isotopes, of mass 39 and 41. I guess it could be called, "depleted potassium", meaning depleted of the mass 40 isotope.The other day, when I was trying to answer the latest water-electrolysis question in the Answers forum, I was looking at some of Cody Reeder's Youtube videos(i.e. Cody's Lab Youtube channel), and one of the videos I noticed was him making some noises about, "depleted potassium", here,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpHQ87RNQBc

    Yeah. Leap years. I guess they're a little longer than regular years.

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on iceng's forum topic Dentist radiation chart1 month ago

    You know, eating a single banana per day, for a year, exposes you to 365 times the radiation of eating a single banana.

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on Shezi007's forum topic Converting 1A to 5A1 month ago

    http://writingexplained.org/then-vs-than-differenc...

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  • That, rectifier that is switched from half-wave to full-wave, would be really easy for a mains powered tool, since mains power is AC, but I do not see how that works in a battery powered tool. Like, where does the AC come from?It seems to me, for a battery powered thing, a PWM circuit would be at least as cheap as making AC from DC, and then rectifying it.

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  • The usual way battery powered power tools implement speed control is by way of PWM (pulse width modulation), with a typical being a cordless drill.Essentially there is a circuit that can produce this PWM signal with a duty cycle (i.e. fraction of the time it is on) varies in proportion to the distance the trigger is pulled. For example, if the trigger is pulled 25% of the way in, it gives PWM on 25% of the time. If the trigger is pulled 67% it gives PWM on 67% of the time. Et cetera.Then that PWM signal drives a big fat transistor, often a MOSFET, for to switch voltage to the motor in time with the PWM signal, so the time averaged voltage seen at the motor is 25%, or 67%, or whatever percent, of the full battery voltage.So that kind of makes it clear why people replying to this thread...

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    The usual way battery powered power tools implement speed control is by way of PWM (pulse width modulation), with a typical being a cordless drill.Essentially there is a circuit that can produce this PWM signal with a duty cycle (i.e. fraction of the time it is on) varies in proportion to the distance the trigger is pulled. For example, if the trigger is pulled 25% of the way in, it gives PWM on 25% of the time. If the trigger is pulled 67% it gives PWM on 67% of the time. Et cetera.Then that PWM signal drives a big fat transistor, often a MOSFET, for to switch voltage to the motor in time with the PWM signal, so the time averaged voltage seen at the motor is 25%, or 67%, or whatever percent, of the full battery voltage.So that kind of makes it clear why people replying to this thread are suggesting you are suggesting you pull the guts out of a cordless drill, and use that.However, what I think those people are failing to consider, is the question of, "How does your leaf blower implement its existing speed control?"I know you said it was only two speeds, but is it making that happen by way of PWM plus big fat transistor? That is not an outrageous assumption. A lot of battery powered power tools use that method, but maybe for your thing, the designer decided not to make it proportional, but rather just two levels, selectable by a switch.I mean, it would be kind of a lucky break if most of the PWM stuff was already there, in your leaf blower, and all you had to add was a potentiometer.Or that might be wishful thinking, for it to be that easy. In any case, the peoples who are telling you to use PWM, or the same kind of motor control found in a cordless drill, I think those peeps are on the right track.

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  • Preparation of a Shredder for Various Tests.

    I thank you for the link. This is helpful.

    By the way, I have been sort of watching a similar project, called "Precious Plastic", and I might as well share some links into that for anyone interested in what their shredder looks like.https://preciousplastic.com/en/videos/build/shredd...https://davehakkens.nl/community/forums/topic/wher...

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  • Preparation of a Shredder for Various Tests.

    Do you have a link to the page for the shredder you bought?When I search eBay for "shredder", all I can find is, "paper shredder" and "cheese shredder".

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on Jack A Lopez's instructable How to Listen to Light6 months ago
    How to Listen to Light

    Dang! That vdownload.eu link is broken, but I found the same video posted here, at metacafe.com,http://www.metacafe.com/watch/148666/rob_zombie_s_..."...because I thought, why let a good jackalope go to waste?"

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on mikeasaurus's instructable Beer Shooter6 months ago
    Beer Shooter

    OH MY GOD! DON'T DO IT!!! oh wait... I meant to say: Cheers!;-)I am impressed by your 3D design skills, and also your use of gun language puns, in the Intro step to this 'ible.

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  • Jack A Lopez commented on makedo-able's instructable Makedo Giant Windball8 months ago
    Makedo Giant Windball

    Sometimes it is nice to discover the academic name for a thing.For example, I think it was just a few months ago when I discovered this thing,https://www.instructables.com/id/Trammel-of-Archime...has a name other than "bullsh!t grinder".

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  • How to Lubricate a Lock Using Graphite From a Pencil

    That sounds like a good method. Thanks for commenting. I am glad to hear it worked.

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