author
340Instructables14,893,440Views4,912CommentsKnoxville, TennesseeJoined July 17th, 2008
I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first tools. I enjoy studying the Bible and retired after 40 years as a Lutheran pastor. I like to dabble with some electronics projects. I have a wood lathe and a metal lathe, a radial arm saw, a router, and both a 220 volt stick welder and a gas shielded wire feed welder. I appreciate In... Read More »

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Fix & Repair Contest
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Metal Contest 2016
Contest Winner First Prize in the Metal Contest 2016
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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Guest Welding Hood8 hours ago
    Guest Welding Hood

    Thank you for the report. They look good.

    View Instructable »
  • Did you remove the drive rollers from the shaft when you worked on them? If so, did you put them back so they slip on the forward stroke, but grab on the backstroke? And, did you dry the bearings inside the rollers before putting the rollers back on the shaft? Either fluid still in the bearings or putting the rollers on backwards would cause slippage (little or no resistance).

    View Topic »
  • Adjustable Height Sit/Stand Walnut Desk

    It is very attractive and nicely done. Can the long pieces on the top expand and contract across their width with changes in humidity without restriction from the pieces across the ends of the long pieces or the pieces screw to the underside?

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems1 week ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    The engine is not getting enough air when the air filter is in place. Removing the filte increases the air flow. I am assuming you have a filter that uses a pleated paper element. (Some engines in the past used an oil bath filter in which the air had to pass through a reservoir of oil, which trapped the dirt.) Try replacing the filter with a new one. Conceivably you might have too much fuel getting into the engine because of a rich mixture or a heavy float in the carburetor (unless your carburetor uses a pulsed diaphragm rather than a float). In that case removing the air filter also manages to restore the proper air to fuel ratio. If it has been quit a while since you replaced the filter, try that. (Some air filters are a piece of foam soaked in oil. Those also need to be cleaned in so...

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    The engine is not getting enough air when the air filter is in place. Removing the filte increases the air flow. I am assuming you have a filter that uses a pleated paper element. (Some engines in the past used an oil bath filter in which the air had to pass through a reservoir of oil, which trapped the dirt.) Try replacing the filter with a new one. Conceivably you might have too much fuel getting into the engine because of a rich mixture or a heavy float in the carburetor (unless your carburetor uses a pulsed diaphragm rather than a float). In that case removing the air filter also manages to restore the proper air to fuel ratio. If it has been quit a while since you replaced the filter, try that. (Some air filters are a piece of foam soaked in oil. Those also need to be cleaned in soapy water or a solvent and oiled. Drip some oil onto the foam and squeeze it in your hand a couple of times to spread the oil out through the filter.)

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems2 weeks ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    I am guessing there may be an internal short in the transformer that causes it to be less efficient. If that is the situation, extra heat in the battery charger could be expected. You could check two things. One would be the input current on the lines or mains. It would be higher than what the label says. Look at the label to see how many Amps. or Watts the unit is supposed to consume and check what it actually consumes. The other check would be for any leakage between between any of the leads and the frame of the transformer. Or, a connection on the secondary side may be presenting a high resistance that is dropping the output voltage. The resistance could be corrosion or oxidation that you cannot see without taking a connection apart, especially if it uses a bolt or a screw. Thank you...

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    I am guessing there may be an internal short in the transformer that causes it to be less efficient. If that is the situation, extra heat in the battery charger could be expected. You could check two things. One would be the input current on the lines or mains. It would be higher than what the label says. Look at the label to see how many Amps. or Watts the unit is supposed to consume and check what it actually consumes. The other check would be for any leakage between between any of the leads and the frame of the transformer. Or, a connection on the secondary side may be presenting a high resistance that is dropping the output voltage. The resistance could be corrosion or oxidation that you cannot see without taking a connection apart, especially if it uses a bolt or a screw. Thank you for looking. As I said I am only guessing at possibilities.

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  • Three-Way and Four-Way Switches--How They Work

    Below a man from New Zealand commented that 3-way switches are wired differently there. Yet, after I found an example of a circuit used there, basic key features are the same. And, my father did electrical work. He sometimes spoke about a "hot 3-way." You can search and find diagrams of how they were done, but, they are now illegal because current feeds back through another circuit and can give shocks when you think everything has been turned off, but is not really off.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Circular Saw Rip Guide--My Version4 weeks ago
    Circular Saw Rip Guide--My Version

    That is a good idea. My shop has also usually been a garage with two cars parked in it, too. Any wall space has many things of various lengths standing against it or it has pegboard with hooks on it.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done1 month ago
    Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done

    Thank you very much for the link to your video. I learned a couple of very useful things from you.

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  • Phil B's instructable Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done's weekly stats: 1 month ago
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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems1 month ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    I am no expert, but what you propose sounds like it should work.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done1 month ago
    Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done

    Thank you for looking. It is really not difficult to make these, and you do not need fancy or expensive tools. The unique look happens when you unfold the steel while it is hot, first the arms and then the top. Because of how the steel has been slit the diamond opening appears as does the twisting in the connecting sections around the diamond opening.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done1 month ago
    Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done

    Thank you for looking and for your comment. I thought the same the first time I saw one. The good news is that anyone with a little patience and a few basic tools can make one, too. A forge and blacksmithing experience are nice, but not really necessary.If I were making one for a lady, I would make it a little smaller. The size of my final copy is about right for a man. If I were making one for a pastor to wear while leading worship, I would make it just a little larger, maybe 3 1/2 inches high.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Welder Ground Clamp1 month ago
    Improving a Welder Ground Clamp

    Thank you for your comment. Aluminum is an excellent conductor. As you know, there was a period of time when aluminum wire was used in place of copper for household wiring, until it was realized screws at terminal points with aluminum wire tended to work loose, generate extra heat, and cause fires. Cables from a distribution transformer to a meter mast are still often aluminum tri-plex cable, and have been for more than 50 years.While a pointy surface may dig in better than a flat surface, a pointy surface also has less contact area than a flat surface. I used this ground clamp modification almost seven years and never sensed reduced conductivity. I did have a factory issue steel stamped battery charger clamp on a 230 volt AC stick welder. The welder's performance increased in a noticea...

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    Thank you for your comment. Aluminum is an excellent conductor. As you know, there was a period of time when aluminum wire was used in place of copper for household wiring, until it was realized screws at terminal points with aluminum wire tended to work loose, generate extra heat, and cause fires. Cables from a distribution transformer to a meter mast are still often aluminum tri-plex cable, and have been for more than 50 years.While a pointy surface may dig in better than a flat surface, a pointy surface also has less contact area than a flat surface. I used this ground clamp modification almost seven years and never sensed reduced conductivity. I did have a factory issue steel stamped battery charger clamp on a 230 volt AC stick welder. The welder's performance increased in a noticeable way when I replaced that clamp with a commercial cast bronze clamp. That experience led me to this modification. I would say part of the equation is also a surface on the piece to be welded that is clean and free of contaminants, although there have been times when I did not clean the surface on the work piece before applying the ground clamp for a weld. I have also tightly applied a Vise-Grip pliers to an irregular work piece and attached the ground clamp to the Vise-Grips. That works very well, especially where there is a painted surface on the work piece and I do not want to burn it any more than necessary. In place of aluminum bar, a person could also flatten some copper tubing used in plumbing. But, the aluminum has worked very well.

    I have read about joining car batteries in series for an improvised welder, but usually for a quick emergency repair to an off-road vehicle.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck1 month ago
    Improving a Hand Truck

    I also used this to hold some pieces of furniture to the handcart. Joining the hooks as you suggest means they do not lie flat against the surface of the furniture, but present something that can make a dent.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems1 month ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    Thank you for your comment. I wish I could say the information about nib to feeder clearance was my own, but it was borrowed as I indicated. I am glad it was useful to you. It is such a great feeling when something did not work, but you are able to make it work better than ever at little or no expense.

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  • Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck's weekly stats: 1 month ago
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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck2 months ago
    Improving a Hand Truck

    Thank you. As I mentioned, we will load our rental truck very soon. Anything I could use to make a nice hook and the tools to make it are already packed and inaccessible. A nice hook will need to wait until later. This is the very best I can do for now.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Whittled Hooey Stick2 months ago
    Whittled Hooey Stick

    if you look at the last step, I linked a video that shows what it does.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck2 months ago
    Improving a Hand Truck

    Thank you for your comment. Almost everything moved with the cart is boxed. I had thought about carpet for a cushion, but we have already boxed most of our normal raw materials. It is like living in a hotel room. We are signed up for our own rental truck. My barber talked about the Pod her boyfriend used. He did not like waiting for a truck to load the Pod and go on the road after the Pod got to their yard.

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  • Phil B's instructable Whittled Hooey Stick's weekly stats: 2 months ago
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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems2 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    I am not trained and have not been employed as a mechanic. I did once run a 2-cycle engine with properly mixed fuel that had become too old. In your case, there was not enough oil in the fuel mixture for the engine's requirements. The two situations are roughly the same. My engine seized up after a few minutes. I did some searching on the Internet. The solution was to squirt a teaspoon of thin oil into the spark plug hole and turn the engine slowly in one direction only with a long wrench on the flywheel nut until it broke free. It is not a guaranteed cure. In my case, it did work. It depends on how much damage was done. My engine seemed to work normally after it broke free.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Whittled Hooey Stick2 months ago
    Whittled Hooey Stick

    I downloaded and read about half of the German PDF linked in the Harvard link. "Hui" would be a good German way of phonetically spelling "hooey." I do not know if you read German, but the article spent most of its time on theoretical explanations of why strumming vibrations create rotational movement and possible explanations from physics.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Whittled Hooey Stick2 months ago
    Whittled Hooey Stick

    The Wikipedia article uses Gee Haw Whammy Diddle, but gives several other names, too. Thank you for the Harvard link. Over the weekend I took it for show and tell with a woodworking group. None of them seemed familiar with one. Thank you, again.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Whittled Hooey Stick2 months ago
    Whittled Hooey Stick

    The video linked in the last step tells about a "trick" I did not know. Even at that, I have found ways to hold it so that I can usually make the spinner turn in one direction. Sometimes I can make it reverse direction by changing the angle at which I hold it and at which I hold the rubbing stick (probably not authentic terminology).

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems2 months ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    If you want to use this as a DC power supply, a 1000 micro-farad capacitor is needed to smooth the ripples. But, I read that a battery charger works better when the current is not completely smooth.

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  • Phil B's instructable Secure Padlock's weekly stats: 2 months ago
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  • Phil B's instructable Simple Toy Tractor's weekly stats: 2 months ago
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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Secure Padlock2 months ago
    Secure Padlock

    Someone said every bicycle weights 50 pounds, or about 23 kg. A clunker no one will steal weighs 50 pounds. A carbon fiber super bike weighs 15 pounds, but you need a 35 pound lock to protect it. So, every bike weighs 50 pounds.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems2 months ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    I believe you can. The inverter should have enough wattage to power the current draw of whatever you are using. So, a 3 Ampere current draw at 150 volts would require an inverter capable of handling 450 Watts or more. (Volts x Amperes = Watts)

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Secure Padlock2 months ago
    Secure Padlock

    Thank you for looking and for your comment. I have been able to examine a truck like the one we will have. The area on the door handle a padlock must fit is 1" thick, which means the padlock needs a shackle with 1" of clearance when closed. A shorter shackle than this one has is too short to fit. One video I linked shows a man with a 42" bolt cutter trying to cut the shackle on this lock. He needed a concrete floor to brace against, as well as using both hands and both feet--not possible on the end of a truck. Even then he was barely able to do it after several minutes of very hard effort. A 42" bolt cutter is difficult to conceal without notice from someone. Anything shorter is unlikely to work.

    No security measure will always keep everyone out. Again, most break-ins are crimes of opportunity for which there was no advance planning, and most people do not carry a battery powered angle grinder with them. An angle grinder also makes a lot of noise that draws unwanted attention. The object is to provide enough security that a would-be thief moves on to an easier target. It is a little like the joke about the man who put on running shoes in case he and his companion were attacked by s lion, the companion said he would not be able to outrun a lion, even with running shoes. The man replied he did not need to outrun the lion, only outrun the companion whom the lion would catch while the man with the running shoes would escape.

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  • Phil B posted an instructable Secure Padlock2 months ago
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems2 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    Thank you for your comment. Welcome to Instructables. You are the first to claim I saved your university career. You sound smart and resourceful enough to have made it without me. I wish I had thought of the things you found helpful, but I borrowed them from someone else and assembled them in one place.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems3 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    First, I have never been trained or employed as a mechanic. A wet plug indicates too much fuel is reaching the combustion chamber. Could your carburetor have a sticking or a heavy float? ("Heavy" is relative. I had a carburetor with a plastic block float. After 7 years it had absorbed enough gasoline to be "heavy," even though it still felt very light in my hand.)

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable What Bible Should I Buy?3 months ago
    What Bible Should I Buy?

    Ken,Thank you for looking at this and for your comment. I am old enough to remember when versions other than the King James were almost non-existent or at least unknown. I remember my mother's excitement when the RSV appeared, then the New English Bible a few years later. There have always been those who try to stamp out God's Word. That seems to cause people to commit it to memory and to copy it by hand for their own use or for distribution to others who will do the same. I got a complete audio Bible free of copyright at audiotreasure (dot) com and give copies to people as my own personal mission project. It is the World English Bible, an update of the 1901 Authorized Version. The files are MP3. I also did an Instructable on adding an audio book to an iPhone so the chapters and books s...

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    Ken,Thank you for looking at this and for your comment. I am old enough to remember when versions other than the King James were almost non-existent or at least unknown. I remember my mother's excitement when the RSV appeared, then the New English Bible a few years later. There have always been those who try to stamp out God's Word. That seems to cause people to commit it to memory and to copy it by hand for their own use or for distribution to others who will do the same. I got a complete audio Bible free of copyright at audiotreasure (dot) com and give copies to people as my own personal mission project. It is the World English Bible, an update of the 1901 Authorized Version. The files are MP3. I also did an Instructable on adding an audio book to an iPhone so the chapters and books stay in their proper order. I reworked it because new versions of iTunes seemed to change things. In the end, I used the free version of CopyTrans to load the files more easily than through iTunes and to use SmarterPlayer for playing the files in order without losing my place. I did have to experiment with the sort feature in the player before the books were in the proper order. Giving an audio Bible (2 CDs) means recipients can copy and give it in endless cycles. Sometimes someone on the Internet tells me he has turned away from fables to follow science only. I tell him I have collected a number of stories of people who felt just as he does, but they set out to prove the Bible false and came to be believers in Jesus in the end. I get no response after that.God's peace to you.Phil

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  • Make a Carbon Arc Torch for Your 220 Volt Stick Welder

    Thanks. I think you could use brass or copper. The carbon rods are supposed to extend a couple of inches below their holders. That keeps the heat lower on the holder area.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems3 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    I am not a mechanic, nor have I ever been. I tried to list some things in this Instructable that are not usually mentioned in the available troubleshooting guides, but I encountered them by experience. Those may be the solution to your problem, or not. For an engine to run it needs the correct mixture of air with clean fuel, compression, and spark. All sorts of things can interfere, like a blocked vent in the gas tank cap, a dirty fuel filter or air filter, gasket leaks that allow too much air into the mixture. In response to some of the comments below I did list a link to a troubleshooting guide. If your engine is old, there is a strong chance the crankcase gaskets are not sealing and are allowing too much air into the fuel mixture.

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  • Make a Carbon Arc Torch for Your 220 Volt Stick Welder

    Thank you. I wish you much success. 3/32" rods may burn away quite quickly. You may want a thicker rod for more heat.

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  • How to Turn Your Old Kindle Fire Tablet to a Wooden Digital Photo Frame

    it may. It is like a person. It is getting older, but it still does some things well, although it is having more trouble doing some other things. If it were a person, it would be getting close to 65 years old as regards its performance. I checked and there is a word clock app. for the Fire.

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  • How to Turn Your Old Kindle Fire Tablet to a Wooden Digital Photo Frame

    Thank you for your Instructsble. I have an aging iPad and wondered what to do with it when it no longer works for me. Someone suggested installing a word clock app. People are fond of word clocks lately, and making one can be expensive, but a tablet with an app. for a word clock could be very simple and attractive.

    I have a black and white Kindle Touch, but not a Fire. I have considered a very inexpensive offer on a Fire to replace my iPad one day, and I have been pleasantly surprised to find some of the apps. I use a great deal are not only available for Android, but also for Kindle Fire. The word clock app. I got for my iPad is a free version. The paid app. would give me the time to the minute. The free app. will say, "About three twenty-five" when the time is actually "three twenty-three." But, it will give the time in any one of several languages you can choose in the Settings. It would not be hard to hang the iPad on a wall and use the charging cord to power it.

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  • Radial Arm Saw Table Alignment -- an Easier Way

    A very small amount of sawdust between the work and the fence will introduce an inaccuracy. I missed that more than a few times when I started using a radial arm saw.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Three-Way and Four-Way Switches--How They Work4 months ago
    Three-Way and Four-Way Switches--How They Work

    I am not fully qualified to say. It seems like it might be possible. In days of old people sometimes got creative with 3-way switch circuits and improvised variations that are now illegal because they are dangerous. You can read about the so-called "hot theee-way." I would want to be certain I know what each wire in your walls does and where it goes. Be sure to cap off any unused wires.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Car Battery Goes Dead After a Few Days4 months ago
    Car Battery Goes Dead After a Few Days

    As for what could cause your problem, vibration while driving could wear the insulation on a wire thin so it leaks current. One Sonata model had a design flaw in the radio that caused a battery drain after the car gained some miles on the odometer.

    I am not a mechanic. Chances are someone else has had your problem. I pieced together bits and pieces from posts by other people who had the problem. Check with your dealer to see if there is a technical service bulletin (TSB) on your problem.

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  • Radial Arm Saw Table Alignment -- an Easier Way

    I have never serviced the blade brake on my saw, although I know it is less effective than when it was new. I always expected I would order new parts from a Sear's parts depot. It may be possible to improvise with available materials. I do not know of a good solution to the dust problem. Your table looks really good.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Uses for Spent K-Cups4 months ago
    Uses for Spent K-Cups

    I saw some mention of concerns and looked for more information. A micro-biologist warned microbes might breed in the water lines with no way to drain the system completely or disinfect it, even with a vinegar rinse. She was also concerned about unknown chemicals leeching from the plastic into the coffee. We have been using K-cup coffee for about four years, but have never noticed any problems.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems4 months ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    My bridge rectifier is rated at 4 amps and 50 volts.

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  • Phil B commented on Timothee Gillier's instructable Straw Whistle 4 months ago
    Straw Whistle

    I did a similar Instructable in October 2011. Instead of plugs from hot glue, I resized wooden dowels. I used the shank of drills to find one that fit the straw nicely and drilled a hole through a piece of steel. Then I drove short pieces of dowel through the hole. I found the distance between the plugs was critical to getting sound from the whistle and varied with the diameter of the straw.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable A More Complete Slide Rule Tutorial4 months ago
    A More Complete Slide Rule Tutorial

    Thank you. I am making a toy replica of a WW I aircraft as a birthday gift for my grandson. I found proportioned drawings of that airplane on the Internet. The entire scale will be according to what I found at the local hardware store for the tires. I am enjoying my slide rule to convert spaces on the downloaded drawings to scaled measurements for the toy replica. Thank you for the information about the reprise of sextants.

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  • Radial Arm Saw Table Alignment -- an Easier Way

    I can only guess. I suppose that is possible, but even then, the arm should have a little play in it right to left and vice-versa when the knob is loose. If not, remove the cap over the column as in steps 1 and 2. There may be rust between the column and the arm. Let some penetrating oil soak in and give it enough time and enough oil. Some tapping with a hammer may help.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems4 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    How many days elapsed between changing the ink and failure to unscrew? Does your pen use a cartridge or does it draw ink into a bladder of some type? One possibility is ink leaked, got into the threads, dried there, and acts like a glue holding the threads. Another possibility is the section was simply screwed into the barrel to tightly.

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  • if it were my machine, I would remove the sealed ball bearings mounted in the sideboards and spinning them slowly by hand to see if the are smooth or rough and maybe even siezed. A bearing shop can sell you replacement bearings, althouythey are not cheap. I had to replace one on a used machine and it cost me $30 for just one. You can try using the machine to see if the problem goes away. If a bearing is bad, it gets worse in time.

    I can only guess. I expect anything you would use on furniture, if you are talking about the finish. The outside edge of the skis is supposed to be ru bed with a block of parafin to lubricate against the nylon rubbing pads on the inside of the sideboards.

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  • Dropping a few pounds never seems to be as easy in practice as described in theory. Years ago I could ride 100 miles a week and lose 2 pounds a week. In more recent years that amount of riding might cause me to lose 2 pounds in a month, if I was careful about what I ate.In the second last paragraph above I linked an Instructable about converting a bicycle speedometer to function as a monitor for a ski machine. Included in that Instructable is some information about exercise values for a ski machine. Some it is based on studies at the University of Cologne, although a ski machine was not mentioned in those studies. An article in a German fitness magazine talked about exercise for weight loss. People spent sixteen weeks building fitness so they could do cardiovascular exercise for 45 minu...

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    Dropping a few pounds never seems to be as easy in practice as described in theory. Years ago I could ride 100 miles a week and lose 2 pounds a week. In more recent years that amount of riding might cause me to lose 2 pounds in a month, if I was careful about what I ate.In the second last paragraph above I linked an Instructable about converting a bicycle speedometer to function as a monitor for a ski machine. Included in that Instructable is some information about exercise values for a ski machine. Some it is based on studies at the University of Cologne, although a ski machine was not mentioned in those studies. An article in a German fitness magazine talked about exercise for weight loss. People spent sixteen weeks building fitness so they could do cardiovascular exercise for 45 minutes three or so times a week at about 75% of their theoretical maximum heart rate. The first 30 minutes are needed to use sugar stored in the body so fat is burned in the last 15 minutes. A session of about 90 to 120 minutes was done on the weekend in one session. Proper eating was also emphasized. Adequate rest is also very important. Too many push too hard. The subjects in the article rode bicycles and showed some significant weight loss. A ski machine would also be effective.

    To clarify, I lost 2 pounds a week riding 100 miles a week on a bicycle. And, the studies at the University of Cologne were the basis for the article in the German fitness magazine. The studies were commissioned by Selle Royale, a maker of bicycle saddles.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Circular Saw Rip Guide--My Version4 months ago
    Circular Saw Rip Guide--My Version

    Thank you for sharing what you made. A 4' version is very handy for many cuts. The 8' version becomes necessary if and when you must deal with a full sheet.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems4 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    You said it is old. My string trimmer shown in the photos behaved similarly. New gaskets all around solved it for me.

    Jack,I have never been employed as a mechanic. I simply worked on my own machines. Once someone brought a chainsaw to me that one or two others had not been able to start. I discovered carburetor mounting screws were loose a quarter of a turn from vibration, and it started after tightening them. Our string trimmer began to stall and need continual carburetor adjustments at ten years old. I theorized the crankcase gaskets were no longer supple enough to seal and the problems went away when I installed all new gaskets. A mower lost lots of power when I discovered exhaust ports were partially blocked with carbon deposits. Troubleshooting guides I had did not discuss these things, yet they seem more than likely to become problems. So, I posted a simple Instructable about these three things....

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    Jack,I have never been employed as a mechanic. I simply worked on my own machines. Once someone brought a chainsaw to me that one or two others had not been able to start. I discovered carburetor mounting screws were loose a quarter of a turn from vibration, and it started after tightening them. Our string trimmer began to stall and need continual carburetor adjustments at ten years old. I theorized the crankcase gaskets were no longer supple enough to seal and the problems went away when I installed all new gaskets. A mower lost lots of power when I discovered exhaust ports were partially blocked with carbon deposits. Troubleshooting guides I had did not discuss these things, yet they seem more than likely to become problems. So, I posted a simple Instructable about these three things. Now all sorts of people want me to diagnose their engine problems without seeing the engines. Sometimes I can make a suggestion and it works. But, I am much better on problems I have had than one I may never have experienced. And, I no longer own anything with a small engine.

    Is the spark plug wet or dry after it has fired and quit? How many years old is the machine? Have you tightened all carburetor and crankcase screws? Are the mixture screws properly set? Is the air filter clean?

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems4 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    Does it pull apart rather than unscrew? I am unsure if you are trying to unsere the cap from the barrel, or the barrel from the section, or the nib and feed from the section.

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  • The hurky jerky phenomenon may go away with continued use. When things stop working after a period of non-use, usually something has gotten gummy. If it were mine, I would remove the rollers and flush them out as I described. WD-40 will work. Take a photo or two of the parts laid out as they were so you have less trouble remembering how they gö back in. You might oil the doughnut shaped roller bearing under the drum knob. That is supposed to be done regularly, anyway. Those bearings are available if yours is worn or hopelessly stuck. You might also go to a hardware store to see about a small bottle of oil a little heavier than WD-40. Even a quart of 20 or 30 weight engine oil would be a good investment. A small pump oil can would be ideal for applying it in a controlled manner.

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  • My experience is limited, but I have never seen what you describe. There are some things to check. The leather pad under the drum should be parallel to the front arm on the NordicTrack and the two holes in the pad should be on the raised locking circles, not any other alignment. On top of the drum should be a roller bearing in the shape of a doughnut and the rollers in it should move freely. A flat washer is on top of the roller bearing. Then comes the tension spring and the knob. I am thinking something is out of place or missing. Also, put a few drops of 3-in-1 oil on top of the leather pad and lubricants the roller bearing about once per month.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems5 months ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    A transformer with two output leads will work fine for a single output voltage. Mine had a center tap and that allowed me to make a dual voltage battery charger.

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  • When the one-way bearings ar not working properly, the ski does not grab on the rearward push with the feet. It is enough to make your body lurch and you can easily lose your balance. I would take both rollers off of the shaft and clean the bearings. Only a little very fine metallic dust is needed to interfere with their intended action. You know you are accomplishing something helpful when sopping the Liqud Wrench or WD-40 with a tissue produces a gray stain on the tissue.

    If you body weight is pressing down on the ski it is difficult to imagine the ski would slip on the rubber surface of the roller. My first suspicion would be the one-way bearing. 12" of slippage seems like quit a lot. I would take the time to remove the drive roller and flush it out with something like Liquid Wrench or WD-40, dry it, and lubricate with a drop or two of ATF fluid. You could remove that ski and work the drive roller to see if it is generally free one direction, but locks in the reverse direction while keeping in mind the roller may behave a little differently under a load.

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  • How to Make a Homemade Table Saw With Circular Saw

    I wondered how you manage crosscuts, but see you made a sled for that in another Instructsble. It is generally a good idea to keep the blade as low as possible. If you hand slips onto the blade during cutting, you have a flesh wound. You have not lost a finger.

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  • Phil B's instructable Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier's weekly stats: 5 months ago
    • Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier
      314 views
      2 favorites
      2 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems5 months ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    I am glad it worked for you. I am sorry you had to go to the expense of another transformer. Thank you for the update.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems5 months ago
    Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    My first thought is the switch for selecting 6 volts or 12 volts is wired incorrectly and creates a direct short across the secondary of the transformer. I observed a great trick when I saw a furnace repairman replace a transformer on the ignition system. He placed a fuse in line with the transformer. If anything went wrong, the fuse blew and protected the transformer.

    Sorry. When you said yours was exactly like mine, I assumed you had a center tap transformer and a voltage selector switch. I suppose I would disconnect the transformer from the rest of the circuit and then connect an ohmmeter to the rest of the circuit to see if it presents a dead short to the transformer. If you have a diode check function on your multimeter, you can check to see if the diodes in the bridge rectifier are funtioning as they should and not presenting a shortcut that allows too much current to flow where it should not. All of this assumes there was no problem with the transformer before you began.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Toy Steam Shovel5 months ago
    Toy Steam Shovel

    Thank you. It is nice of you to say that. I assure you, there are mistakes.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Bench Saw Table for a Wood Lathe5 months ago
    Bench Saw Table for a Wood Lathe

    The brief manual that came with the lathe back when it was new suggested that very thing. I tried it, but did not use it much that way.

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  • Terry,I am happy you found a fix and all is good now. I learned about "Bob's your uncle" reading a little paragraph on the menu of a restaurant by that name. I also never would have suspected the collar was loose or out of place. Thank you for the report.Phil

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  • Phil B commented on Sailor Bob's instructable Very Easy Cadence Meter for Your Bike <$125 months ago
    Very Easy Cadence Meter for Your Bike <$12

    I remembered your cadence meter Instructsble and adapted it for use as a monitor on a NordicTrack ski machine. I found a wheel diameter setting of 0470 on the Schwinn cyclometer works very well and gives readings very close to what I get for the same effort on an actual NordicTrack monitor. One advantage of using the Schwinn cyclometer is that I can see the duration of my exercise session in minutes simultaneously with the ground speed in miles per hour. On my NordicTrack monitor I must punch a button to switch between the two. The NordicTrack monitor I have is twenty or more years old. Electrolytic capacitors on the circuit board and contacts on the touch buttons are aging considerably, although they still work. The bicycle cyclometer gives me new parts, even though they now cost in ex...

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    I remembered your cadence meter Instructsble and adapted it for use as a monitor on a NordicTrack ski machine. I found a wheel diameter setting of 0470 on the Schwinn cyclometer works very well and gives readings very close to what I get for the same effort on an actual NordicTrack monitor. One advantage of using the Schwinn cyclometer is that I can see the duration of my exercise session in minutes simultaneously with the ground speed in miles per hour. On my NordicTrack monitor I must punch a button to switch between the two. The NordicTrack monitor I have is twenty or more years old. Electrolytic capacitors on the circuit board and contacts on the touch buttons are aging considerably, although they still work. The bicycle cyclometer gives me new parts, even though they now cost in excess of $20 for what was $12 in 2008.I do not know if you are still active on Instructables or not. You can see an Instructsble on my adaptation at https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Monitor-for-...

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier5 months ago
    Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier

    It is fun to think about why something works. Then you can think about other ways to use it, even if those ways seem at first to be unrelated. Thank you for looking and for commenting. (I do not have a treadmill, but I am wondering if this Instructsble could be used to provide a monitor for those, too, as well as maybe some other exercise machines.)

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  • Phil B commented on john pedersen's instructable Home Made Powered Hacksaw5 months ago
    Home Made Powered Hacksaw

    I like the way the blade teeth lift off of the work on the backward stroke. Nice job.

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  • Spanner Wrench for Whirlpool or Kenmore Washer Tub Nut

    Very nicely done! The nut from the pipe union is a good idea. Something like this sure beats paying lots of money for a wrench you will use once or twice. Thank you for the photo and for reporting.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Re-Magnetize a Tool5 months ago
    Re-Magnetize a Tool

    I have not tried holding a magnet near to my smart phone to see how the built in compass responds. Years ago we visited the USAF Museum in Kettering, Ohio. The museum has a section about life as a POW during different wars. In WW II captured fliers made their own compasses for use in a possible escape. They magnetized a sewing needle by stroking it with a magnet. They attached it to a disc of cardboard like you see on the back of a legal pad. The cardboard disc floated in water when needed. They made a little cup for the water using a phonograph record. They softened it with the flame of a candle and pressing a broomstick into the record with a slightly larger hole in a piece of wood on the other side of the record. This made an impromptu press for making a small cup from the phonograph...

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    I have not tried holding a magnet near to my smart phone to see how the built in compass responds. Years ago we visited the USAF Museum in Kettering, Ohio. The museum has a section about life as a POW during different wars. In WW II captured fliers made their own compasses for use in a possible escape. They magnetized a sewing needle by stroking it with a magnet. They attached it to a disc of cardboard like you see on the back of a legal pad. The cardboard disc floated in water when needed. They made a little cup for the water using a phonograph record. They softened it with the flame of a candle and pressing a broomstick into the record with a slightly larger hole in a piece of wood on the other side of the record. This made an impromptu press for making a small cup from the phonograph record. Water could be added just before use. Someone who did not have a compass could do something like this. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  • Terry,When you mentioned replacing rollers and bearings, are those the the bearings inside the drive rollers or the ball bearings on the flywheel shaft resting inside the recesses in the sideboards? (I had to replace one of those ball bearings because it had seized with rust internally and the shaft was turning on the inner race without the inner race turning with the shaft.) There are washers on the flywheel shaft that keep the shaft from moving laterally, unless someone had one of the sideboards off (as would be necessary to replace a drive roller) and forgot to reinstall the washers between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard. Otherwise tolerances are fairly close and it would be difficult for the axle to move lateerally. I believe the axle shaft is 5/8" in diamete...

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    Terry,When you mentioned replacing rollers and bearings, are those the the bearings inside the drive rollers or the ball bearings on the flywheel shaft resting inside the recesses in the sideboards? (I had to replace one of those ball bearings because it had seized with rust internally and the shaft was turning on the inner race without the inner race turning with the shaft.) There are washers on the flywheel shaft that keep the shaft from moving laterally, unless someone had one of the sideboards off (as would be necessary to replace a drive roller) and forgot to reinstall the washers between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard. Otherwise tolerances are fairly close and it would be difficult for the axle to move lateerally. I believe the axle shaft is 5/8" in diameter. If I remember correctly, there is a thin plastic washer, two the steel washers, and another thin plastic washer. These are on the shaft between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make a Ladder Easier to Move5 months ago
    Make a Ladder Easier to Move

    Thank you. I hope it worked out. I try to respond to comments in a timely way, but somehow miss notice on some of them.

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  • Phil B's instructable Uses for Spent K-Cups's weekly stats: 5 months ago
    • Uses for Spent K-Cups
      4,137 views
      13 favorites
      6 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Cut Off Saw From an Angle Head Grinder5 months ago
    Cut Off Saw From an Angle Head Grinder

    Thank you for posting this. I am glad it works for you.

    Thank you and well done. I hope it does well for you.

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  • Phil B made the instructable Make Whistles From Scrap Metal5 months ago
    Make Whistles From Scrap Metal

    I made your whistle. I used a piece of tubing, some sheet metal, and a little bit of rod. I welded it and then ground it smooth. It makes a good whistle sound. Thank you.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Spanner Wrench for a Watch Case5 months ago
    Spanner Wrench for a Watch Case

    Excellent. Thank you for your report. You were clever to use an available piece of steel. One problem I had was I found I need to be very careful about the "O" ring that seals moisture out. If I overtighten I can damage the "O" ring and then perspiration gets into the watch.

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  • Make a carbon arc torch for your 220 volt stick welder

    Thank you for your story. It sounds similar to my experience heating metal with carbon rods and an arc. But, I do not have a crowd angry at me if I lose the arc.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Foam Headphone Pads5 months ago
    Foam Headphone Pads

    Thank you. If Radio Shack stores were not closing so many places, I would likely just buy another set of pricey replacement pads.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Uses for Spent K-Cups5 months ago
    Uses for Spent K-Cups

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. I tried to think of some uses a little different from the lists already available to those who look for them, and to include some things men might find useful, not just things that appeal to women.

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. K-Cups are so ubiquitous that several people you know would gladly save them for you. My wife cautions that because the little cups have wide top and narrow bottom tipping can be a problem. But, that can be countered by securing them in a cluster on some cardboard or keeping them crowded into one corner with other things. I wondered if anyone would notice the slide rule and if anyone would know what it is. This particular one is much nicer than the one I actually used in high school. A widow learned I like slide rules and gave me the very nice one her husband had used. (If there were any question about my age, the last photo gives it away.

    Thank you for your comment. I also have seen or heard about the cup inventor's regrets because he inadvertently added to the landfills. Many K & E slide rules fell victim to KERC disease. It means Keuffel and Esser Rotting Cursor disease. The white blocks between the glass windows rotted away. The rule in the photo is a vintage K & E slider rule, but it was made after K & E changed to a different material that does not suffer from KERCs. I did not use a slide rule in my work. I did enjoy doing calculations on the Pickett 120 plastic trainer I used in high school. Since I have also acquired the K & E rule in the photo and a very similar Dietzgen rule. I did three Instructsbles related to slide rules. They are fairly easy to find. Werner Von Braun headed our space program....

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    Thank you for your comment. I also have seen or heard about the cup inventor's regrets because he inadvertently added to the landfills. Many K & E slide rules fell victim to KERC disease. It means Keuffel and Esser Rotting Cursor disease. The white blocks between the glass windows rotted away. The rule in the photo is a vintage K & E slider rule, but it was made after K & E changed to a different material that does not suffer from KERCs. I did not use a slide rule in my work. I did enjoy doing calculations on the Pickett 120 plastic trainer I used in high school. Since I have also acquired the K & E rule in the photo and a very similar Dietzgen rule. I did three Instructsbles related to slide rules. They are fairly easy to find. Werner Von Braun headed our space program. Both he and his counterpart in the Soviet Union used a Nestler 23 wooden slide rule. It had only the same basic scales found on my Pickett 120 trainer (K, A, B, CI, S, T, C, D, and L).

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  • Phil B commented on Captain Greg's instructable Replace a Worn Out Bathroom Ceiling Fan6 months ago
    Replace a Worn Out Bathroom Ceiling Fan

    These fans are a fire hazard when they are old and filled with debris. They should be changed about every dozen years in any circumstance. Perhaps you mentioned that. I changed a couple for a friend of our family. I could not get new fans with housings like the old fans. For some reason I could not just switch motors. Maybe the fan blades would not come off. I do not remember. I bought two new fans with housings a bit smaller than the originals. I cut the mounting plates on the old fans to remove the motors. Then I fitted the mounting plates from the new fans over the plates for the old motors and secured them with screws in holes I drilled. Time was limited because we had to travel in a few hours. This solution worked well.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Locating Floor Joists under Carpet6 months ago
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