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  • PhilS43 commented on rootfamilyreview's instructable How to Regrow Green Onions6 days ago
    How to Regrow Green Onions

    Best way to keep themWithin a few days get some nice, clean, fresh tops and much better bulbs - spring onions just love growingChange the water every couple of days, better than the fridgeInteresting to try other veg that doesn't last long like cut sweet peppers with the stem left on

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  • PhilS43 commented on fs woodworking's instructable DIY Concealed Hinge Jig1 month ago
    DIY Concealed Hinge Jig

    Not strictly a concealed hinge.What you have there is a cabinet hinge for lay-on doors widely used in kitchen units. It's concealed only as far as you can't see it with the door closed. Their cleverness is the mechanism that lifts the door clear of the carcass, then hinges.A concealed hinge or at least what I know as, is a cylindrical hinge about 14-mm in diameter with a series of plates to make up the hinge joint. You bore a hole into the edge of the door, could be a cabinet door, and the other identical part of the hinge goes into the edge of the cabinet carcass.The big difference is that concealed hinges are horribly expensive but lay-on hinges are cheap.For what it's worth, the best lay-on hinges are made by Blum of Germany. The clip-on types are the easiest to useDid you know that ...see more »Not strictly a concealed hinge.What you have there is a cabinet hinge for lay-on doors widely used in kitchen units. It's concealed only as far as you can't see it with the door closed. Their cleverness is the mechanism that lifts the door clear of the carcass, then hinges.A concealed hinge or at least what I know as, is a cylindrical hinge about 14-mm in diameter with a series of plates to make up the hinge joint. You bore a hole into the edge of the door, could be a cabinet door, and the other identical part of the hinge goes into the edge of the cabinet carcass.The big difference is that concealed hinges are horribly expensive but lay-on hinges are cheap.For what it's worth, the best lay-on hinges are made by Blum of Germany. The clip-on types are the easiest to useDid you know that the lay-on door hinges and any other cabinet fittings adhere to a standardised set of dimensions, so any make of hinge will generally fit any cabinet door?

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  • PhilS43 commented on kludge77's instructable Mosquito in Amber Prop Replica1 month ago
    Mosquito in Amber Prop Replica

    Best place for them. Evil littles sods. Make sure they are still alive when you cast them.

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  • PhilS43 commented on mikeasaurus's instructable Fix a Hole in Drywall1 month ago
    Fix a Hole in Drywall

    Totally agree tir_scottThis topic has been on here before.Absolutely essential to get some support on the backside of the hole - if it's not foil-backed plasterboard, just stick a couple of strips of ply on the backside with Gripfill - use some screws in the ply to get them positioned, allow 24-hrs to cure. Fix your patching piece to the ply with plasterboard adhesive or Gripfill, then skim over. If you want to, put some permanent screws into the "good" plasterboard and the patch.Done loads of these to pull cables through etc.

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  • Digital Wall Calendar and Home Information Center

    What's a Dakboard?Impressive project.

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  • Minimal Arduino UNO (a.k.a. Arduino Pro)

    Clones might be cheap, but doing your own board is more rewarding and forces you to to get to know the 328P's etc. a lot better. It's also an opportunity to get away from the wretched non-standard pin spacing on the Unos etc.Nick Gammon.au has a very good guide to bare board Atmels and a very good programming and bootloading sketch.It also got me interested in the ATTiny which can be even more rewardingThe only other significant cost is the FDTI board, but this is an essential bit of kit anyhow

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  • How to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

    I use the same principal when using a hand tap (screw-threading)A hole through a block of wood or PVC over the hole to be threaded and the block stops the tap wobbling

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  • PhilS43 commented on thediylife's instructable DIY Cordless Cold Heat Soldering Iron2 months ago
    DIY Cordless Cold Heat Soldering Iron

    It's along the same lines as electrofusion.This is a technique for welding polyethylene water or gas pipes together.The joints and elbows etc have a heating wire embedded in the plastic. The pipe and joint are made up into whatever, then a transformer is connected and low voltage current applied for a few minutes to terminals that are part of the elbow etc.Job done - for large diameter pipes, 150-mm diameter and larger, it's the only technique. Obviously, you can't solvent weld polythene like you can ABS or PVC.

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  • PhilS43 commented on seasider1960's instructable Laundry Room Monitor2 months ago
    Laundry Room Monitor

    As you probably know, many of the Atmel chips from the Tiny's upward can be programmed through the Arduino IDE. I particularly like the ATtiny85 for many dedicated jobs, little timers, data-loggers etc. Nick Gammon has a lot of information on his site, Gammon.au, I think.As Jacob says, not are they very cheap (I always recommend using the "pukka" chips) and even the hairy SMD types can be used with a bit of ingenuity.

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  • PhilS43 commented on seasider1960's instructable Laundry Room Monitor2 months ago
    Laundry Room Monitor

    Hi thereI could not believe the smoke damage I saw in a kitchen after a dishwasher caught fire.Their design is fatally flawed - with a drop down door, and lots of the electrics in the door, the cables are flexed everytime the door is opened or closed.There has to be a way of picking up when they are running. I use some little light sensors (TSL 260 series or similar part number) to monitor the gas boiler, ignition etc.They are three wire devices, power (5-V, GND, and voltage out). I put the output into an XBee radio as part of a monitoring network.Incidentally, the boiler is another candidate. I monitor the flow and return temperatures, the power indicator which is also the fault indicator, ignition on and flood - a lot of boilers now get put into out of the way places and left to chanc...see more »Hi thereI could not believe the smoke damage I saw in a kitchen after a dishwasher caught fire.Their design is fatally flawed - with a drop down door, and lots of the electrics in the door, the cables are flexed everytime the door is opened or closed.There has to be a way of picking up when they are running. I use some little light sensors (TSL 260 series or similar part number) to monitor the gas boiler, ignition etc.They are three wire devices, power (5-V, GND, and voltage out). I put the output into an XBee radio as part of a monitoring network.Incidentally, the boiler is another candidate. I monitor the flow and return temperatures, the power indicator which is also the fault indicator, ignition on and flood - a lot of boilers now get put into out of the way places and left to chance.I'm all for monitoring these appliances.I also saw the considerable damage caused by a fridge where the "frost-free" water drains - blocked. The water ended up under the fridge, got under the vinyl flooring and turned the chipboard sub-floor into sawdust.I would never run a dishwasher unattended, and definitely fit a smoke detector in the room.Good luck

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  • PhilS43 commented on seasider1960's instructable Laundry Room Monitor2 months ago
    Laundry Room Monitor

    NeatI've seen more damage caused (fire, floods etc.) caused by unattended appliances - dishwashers for fires, washing machines for floods etc., than any other cause.All this stuff should be monitored for proper operation, never leave unattended unless you have a system like this.Well done _ I will read throroughly at leisure.

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  • Industrial looking lamp from washing machine parts and palettes

    Some lamp!I use my old drum as a planter for potatoes.I was going to use it as an incinerator, but it looked too good.Might make a decent water filter for big debris - I always look at stuff and think "what can I use that for?", before chucking. Tin cans for storing nails etc.

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  • PhilS43 commented on fs woodworking's instructable How to Hide a Screw2 months ago
    How to Hide a Screw

    Plug cutters do the same job, but have the disadvantage of being 1) expensive and 2) never completely invisible - but loads better than wood-filler or stopping.However, they can be a feature like fine dovetails and are often seen in joinery like staircases. The beauty of plug cutters is that you cut the plug from the same piece of timber - you can also buy pre-cut plugs.My father, a real tradesman and craftsmen, used the "secret" nailing technique, mainy for repairs.

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  • PhilS43 completed the lesson Fastening in the class Metalworking Class2 months ago
  • PhilS43 commented on tlp801's instructable Garage Shelves3 months ago
    Garage Shelves

    Audience? Now the "engineers with background" are involved. Function over form? What the hell. Stick to bridges.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Lillyvilleky's instructable Aluminum Can Solar Heater3 months ago
    Aluminum Can Solar Heater

    "tin cans" like baked bean or soup cans, are wonders of engineering. Hugely strong, I never throw them in the bin.From nail storage containers to cheap ducting, endless uses, including 0.22 targets at end of life.Tin-plated steel cans can be soldered, but Aluminium cans are tricker to deal with. A good duct tape - aluminium metal tape is my preferred tape, is the easiest to work with.Even in the depths of winter, the sun provides a useful amount of radiated heat. Under my roof tiles (concrete), I record temperatures 20 to 30 degrees Celsius higher than than the air temperature.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Josehf Murchison's instructable Rebuilding Keyed Drill Chucks3 months ago
    Rebuilding Keyed Drill Chucks

    Bad ideaBuggers up the chuck key holes, and a decent drill bit is going to shatter - Chinese rubbish just bends, especially from 200-piece drill sets costing $2 the set.Find a thin spanner to fit the flats on the shaft, then use the largest right angle Allen key that will fit in the chuck. Tighten, hold the spanner, then whack the Allen key anti-clockwise while holding the spanner, with a soft-faced hammer, assuming a right-hand thread.Some chucks, especially from impact drills, will never budge.

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  • PhilS43 commented on tlp801's instructable Garage Shelves3 months ago
    Garage Shelves

    Shelving is a much trickier business than most people think.There are three dimensions (axes) that shelves have to be right.If you have access to, a laser self-leveling level with horizontal and vertical cross-lines is invaluable.Supporting shelves again is underestimated. Slinging a length of chipboard across some brackets is bad engineering, like a bad bridge design.I like CLS (4 x 2 or 3 x 2 inch nominal) as an underframe, then you can use anything within reason as the surfacing - how often do you see library shelves sagging under the weight of books - the back edge might be supported by a batten, but the front edge is not.For real strength, don't use natural timber beams, but an engineered material like birch ply, if you can afford it.Structural metalwork like joist hangers are huge...see more »Shelving is a much trickier business than most people think.There are three dimensions (axes) that shelves have to be right.If you have access to, a laser self-leveling level with horizontal and vertical cross-lines is invaluable.Supporting shelves again is underestimated. Slinging a length of chipboard across some brackets is bad engineering, like a bad bridge design.I like CLS (4 x 2 or 3 x 2 inch nominal) as an underframe, then you can use anything within reason as the surfacing - how often do you see library shelves sagging under the weight of books - the back edge might be supported by a batten, but the front edge is not.For real strength, don't use natural timber beams, but an engineered material like birch ply, if you can afford it.Structural metalwork like joist hangers are hugely strong, as are herringbone trusses. I've used Simpson brackets etc. to build studwork and outbuildings.

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  • How to Make the Best Ever Pigs in Blankets With Cheesy Mustard Dipping Sauce

    YummyEven nicer the day after, like everything else.

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  • PhilS43 commented on audreyobscura's instructable Glue Sticks 1014 months ago
    Glue Sticks 101

    No good as lipstick - maybe the clue is in the name - "lip" "stick"What's the active ingredient?After years of sticking stuff together, I've come to the conclusion that very few glues are ever worth keeping once opened. Superglues go off, solvent based (Evostick) glues go off, silicones go off. Moisture kills silicones, solvents permeate through plastic. If it's an important job, best get some new stuff. Wasteful yes.

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  • PhilS43 commented on mikeasaurus's instructable How to properly mix and pour concrete4 months ago
    How to properly mix and pour concrete

    I may be wrong on this, but there's a health issue with Chromium 6 (VI or hexavalent) - it could be big C issue.Even some plated machine screws are labelled up as Cr-6 free. I think the EU has a ban on Cr-6 plating

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  • PhilS43 commented on manuelmasc's instructable DIY Center Finder Tool4 months ago
    DIY Center Finder Tool

    Perspex is a sod to work with and cracks just by looking at it - drilling is the worst. Drill slow and preferably in a drill press. Don't go for the finished hole size straight off, go up in drill sizes. Otherwise, use a reamer.The centre finder doesn't need clear plastic, so just use PVC sheet which is a doddle to work with.

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  • PhilS43 commented on manuelmasc's instructable DIY Center Finder Tool4 months ago
    DIY Center Finder Tool

    Variation on quite an old technique, but nice to see none the less.Circular bar sits in the right angle, 45-degree bisects the disk - rotate the block to get several fixes on the centre point - works every time. The important bit is to get the 45-degree rule to site exactly in the 90-degree intersection.

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  • Making Dimensional Recycled HDPE Stock for Projects

    Ref labelsMost labels will come off with a bit of careful heat from a heat gun.Any others, scuff the surface up a bit first - if you know it's water based, as you say, just soak with a bit of washing up detergent to help it "wet".For all others, use a large sealable container like a food storage box, some tissues in the bottom, put your label stuff in, spray with white spirit or meths, soak the tissues ditto and let the vapour do the work overnight (same system as paint brush cleaning). If no sealable box, try a zippable plastic bag.WD40 is also very effective.HDPE is one of the class of thermoplastics. These do not an "active" enough surface to take adhesives. Loctite do or did a range of super-glues with their special activator that would reasonably bond thermoplas...see more »Ref labelsMost labels will come off with a bit of careful heat from a heat gun.Any others, scuff the surface up a bit first - if you know it's water based, as you say, just soak with a bit of washing up detergent to help it "wet".For all others, use a large sealable container like a food storage box, some tissues in the bottom, put your label stuff in, spray with white spirit or meths, soak the tissues ditto and let the vapour do the work overnight (same system as paint brush cleaning). If no sealable box, try a zippable plastic bag.WD40 is also very effective.HDPE is one of the class of thermoplastics. These do not an "active" enough surface to take adhesives. Loctite do or did a range of super-glues with their special activator that would reasonably bond thermoplastics including PTFE.The new construction adhesives like Geocel "The Works" or Sikaflex EBT stick to most things and do a decent job on PP.Welding only really works with a temperature controlled welding bit (Leister) - for a rough job, I find a length of HDPE, get it burning and drip the molten plastic onto the stock - can do a quick fix on leaking plastic tanks

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  • PhilS43 commented on MakrToolbox's instructable Dewalt Power Bank4 months ago
    Dewalt Power Bank

    Nicely doneI like the idea of keeping the DeWalt theme

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  • How to Make Arduino Based Mini CNC Plotter Using DVD Drive

    I like it - you make it look easy, but there's quite a lot to get to grips with.Like the soundtrack.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Tecwyn Twmffat's instructable Inline Digital Hydrometer5 months ago
    Inline Digital Hydrometer

    What ABV are you aiming for?I guess you can calibrate against sugar solutions for more dense liquids.Interesting solution. Is it used industrially? I'm guessing that you're brewing up some water-based cleaning fluid.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Khaleel123's instructable 3D Printed Arduino OLED Watt Meter5 months ago
    3D Printed Arduino OLED Watt Meter

    So why not say so?If there are so many versions why just "ACS 712 30amp current sensor module $1 on Ebay"?Getting the right part number matters - FWIW I have samples of all of these, so being a little more precise helps, that's all.

    Isn't it what he's using?"ACS 712 30amp current sensor module $1 on Ebay", or does the space make a difference?

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  • PhilS43 commented on Henk Rijckaert's instructable The Zipper Alarm5 months ago
    The Zipper Alarm

    Don't need any electronics - the draught tells me that all is not well in the trouser department.

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  • PhilS43 commented on thediylife's instructable Simple Arduino Home Energy Meter5 months ago
    Simple Arduino Home Energy Meter

    DIYIn UK there are cheaper night rates and the meter has a radio controlled relay that changes over at, say, 00:30 GMT until 07:30. I don't trust the utilities not to tweak the times.There are pro's and con's with XBee's - con's - expensive (£20 a pop) - pro's - easy networking and extensive Digi support - with Zigbee, the API, a full meshing network is easy to do and as they all talk to each other, the network is self-healing, the more you have, the more reliable the network.Recommended read is Faludi - Building Wireless Sensor Networks and Packt publishing have some XBee and home automation books.Also recommend looking at OpenEnergy website or DesertHome.Winding your own coils is OK, but you need to calibrate somehow - an easy way is to use a purely resistive heater element like...see more »DIYIn UK there are cheaper night rates and the meter has a radio controlled relay that changes over at, say, 00:30 GMT until 07:30. I don't trust the utilities not to tweak the times.There are pro's and con's with XBee's - con's - expensive (£20 a pop) - pro's - easy networking and extensive Digi support - with Zigbee, the API, a full meshing network is easy to do and as they all talk to each other, the network is self-healing, the more you have, the more reliable the network.Recommended read is Faludi - Building Wireless Sensor Networks and Packt publishing have some XBee and home automation books.Also recommend looking at OpenEnergy website or DesertHome.Winding your own coils is OK, but you need to calibrate somehow - an easy way is to use a purely resistive heater element like a kettle or one of the old style "bar" heater ceramic elements at 1 to 3 kW.

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  • PhilS43 commented on thediylife's instructable Simple Arduino Home Energy Meter5 months ago
    Simple Arduino Home Energy Meter

    The nice thing about doing your own metering is that you get what you want, not what the utility company wants. I have tried several commercial energy monitors and they are frankly rubbish and a waste of money.There are alternatives to CT's and Allegro do a wide range of IC's, some Hall effect, some specialised.I monitor all the utility meters, electricity by optically picking up the 1-Watt LED, and a Sparkfun sound board to pick up the relay clanking when it goes from night rate to day rate - water and gas use the built-in magnets to trip Infineon TLE4913 Hall switches.XBee Series 2 modules provide the wireless links, sleeping for 5-minutes or a pin wake-up when the sensors trip. XBees have plenty of spare IO's for temperatures, floods etc. Two "C" cells in series provide the...see more »The nice thing about doing your own metering is that you get what you want, not what the utility company wants. I have tried several commercial energy monitors and they are frankly rubbish and a waste of money.There are alternatives to CT's and Allegro do a wide range of IC's, some Hall effect, some specialised.I monitor all the utility meters, electricity by optically picking up the 1-Watt LED, and a Sparkfun sound board to pick up the relay clanking when it goes from night rate to day rate - water and gas use the built-in magnets to trip Infineon TLE4913 Hall switches.XBee Series 2 modules provide the wireless links, sleeping for 5-minutes or a pin wake-up when the sensors trip. XBees have plenty of spare IO's for temperatures, floods etc. Two "C" cells in series provide the power and the XBee monitors the voltage - estimated lifetime on battery is two to three years.If you want to go up a notch on the CT, LEM do a nice range of split core devices with all the signal conditioning on board.The tricky bit with XBee's is getting to grips with the API's and data frames, but Digi's support (XBee manufacturer) is first class and they have free software called X-CTU which makes configuring straightforward

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  • Super Simple Electrocardiogram (ECG) Circuit

    HelloNicely done and something close to my heart (no pun).As an ICD (Implanted Cardiac Device) patient , I owe a lot to ECG's not only for the diagnosis of my condition (complete heart block, so no natural pacemaker function) and to the wonderful device that keeps me ticking over.The ICD is a wonder of micro-electronics and presumably has all the circuitry you describe plus a lot more to store events, be interrogated contact-free and decipher what remains of my natural pacemaker before administering the correct electrical pulses. I am on ICD number two, the old one failing after 11-years use.I often wonder what patients did before basic electronics were invented.Much as I like the project, I don't think I will be trying it out, too risky.I measured a cheap PSU output and although it sho...see more »HelloNicely done and something close to my heart (no pun).As an ICD (Implanted Cardiac Device) patient , I owe a lot to ECG's not only for the diagnosis of my condition (complete heart block, so no natural pacemaker function) and to the wonderful device that keeps me ticking over.The ICD is a wonder of micro-electronics and presumably has all the circuitry you describe plus a lot more to store events, be interrogated contact-free and decipher what remains of my natural pacemaker before administering the correct electrical pulses. I am on ICD number two, the old one failing after 11-years use.I often wonder what patients did before basic electronics were invented.Much as I like the project, I don't think I will be trying it out, too risky.I measured a cheap PSU output and although it showed 12-V dc across the LV side, it was 120-V relative to ground, safer to stick with batteries.

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  • PhilS43 commented on icreatable's instructable How To Build A Floor For A House6 months ago
    How To Build A Floor For A House

    Have to agree.Having seen my timber-framed two storey house survive the only recent hurricane in the UK (1987), I would subscribe to the virtues of having some structural movement in the construction. Traditional, weak block and brick houses were demolished but not one of the twenty timber-framed buildings in my development sustained more than superficial damage like like lost tiles.The pictures from Haiti are devestating - where do you begin in this already poor country to put things right? The dwellings are no better than tents. Future builds wherever need to be bombproof

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  • How to make Pressed Penny Wind Chimes (+ Sound file)

    No - binned 'emAs this stuff goes to landfill - I know, I should have recycled it - someone in centuries to come will have the pleasure of finding some Edwardian and Victorian copper pennies.I had quite a few of the "old" coinage and you only need so many to look at, that the worn and pretty much valueless ones had to go.Their discovery value will be much more than the copper value so I will sleep easy.Come to think of it, the other type of chucking would have been more satisfying. There is a section of UK football fans who like to take out the opposition goalie by chucking coins and apart from crowns and half crowns, the old penny had a bit of weight behind it.The Royal Mint used to be quite sniffy about defacing coinage and tearing up notes, but I think you would have to go ...see more »No - binned 'emAs this stuff goes to landfill - I know, I should have recycled it - someone in centuries to come will have the pleasure of finding some Edwardian and Victorian copper pennies.I had quite a few of the "old" coinage and you only need so many to look at, that the worn and pretty much valueless ones had to go.Their discovery value will be much more than the copper value so I will sleep easy.Come to think of it, the other type of chucking would have been more satisfying. There is a section of UK football fans who like to take out the opposition goalie by chucking coins and apart from crowns and half crowns, the old penny had a bit of weight behind it.The Royal Mint used to be quite sniffy about defacing coinage and tearing up notes, but I think you would have to go back a few centuries to find the last hanging. Knicking (cutting) bits out of silver coins used to be popular with the riff-raff.

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  • How to make Pressed Penny Wind Chimes (+ Sound file)

    You mean like dipping old UK pennies in mercury to pass them off as half crowns?Have to do some sums here - half a crown was two shiilings and sixpence, so that's 24 + 6 = 30d, which was a lot of money back then. Instant 29d profit.I chucked a whole load of old pennies the other day, kept a few, should have waited for this instructy.

    You could do time in the Tower of London for bashing UK coins - it's called defacing the coinage of the Realm,UK coins up to 2p value used to be copper based, but the tightwads changed them to copper plated steel some years ago, as detected by magnet.Now they're worth less than washers, which is what they came in handy for.As a kid, the copper coins used to go the on railway line which was a quick but dodgy way of flattening them, just get out of the way of the train.

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  • PhilS43 commented on josemivaz's instructable Laser Printed PCB's, Perfect and Easy.6 months ago
    Laser Printed PCB's, Perfect and Easy.

    Pharmacies selling concentrated HCl?Not in the UK. Too many illicit uses and strong peroxide is also a no-no.However, apart from ebay, you can still get strong HCl for drain cleaning (hardware shops) or cleaning mortar stains (buiders merchants).Keep the HCl from stainless steel stuff or you won't be a popular boy

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  • How to Solder a Proper Plumbing Connection

    Brave to describe a "proper" plumbing connection.There are golden rules in doing end-feed as opposed to solder-ring fittings. A good end-feed joint is where craft comes into it - solder-ring fittings don't need a lot of skill, but for a neat installation, and cheaper, use end-feed.Rule one is clean, undamaged copper tube and fittings. Don't use harsh abrasives to clean them, 3M Scotchbrite (pan scourers) give the best surface. Clean the tube and fitting to allover bright finish - clean the inside of the fitting with Scotchbrite by wrapping it around a toothbrush or similar - immediately cover the surfaces with a decent lead-free flux - don't use the old lead solders or the likes of Fry's Fluid - times have moved on.Rule two is use a lead-free plumbing solder. Assemble the join...see more »Brave to describe a "proper" plumbing connection.There are golden rules in doing end-feed as opposed to solder-ring fittings. A good end-feed joint is where craft comes into it - solder-ring fittings don't need a lot of skill, but for a neat installation, and cheaper, use end-feed.Rule one is clean, undamaged copper tube and fittings. Don't use harsh abrasives to clean them, 3M Scotchbrite (pan scourers) give the best surface. Clean the tube and fitting to allover bright finish - clean the inside of the fitting with Scotchbrite by wrapping it around a toothbrush or similar - immediately cover the surfaces with a decent lead-free flux - don't use the old lead solders or the likes of Fry's Fluid - times have moved on.Rule two is use a lead-free plumbing solder. Assemble the joint making sure that the tube is fully pushed in. Keep the assembly in a vice or whatever so that you can use two hands.Rule three. Use a decent blowtorch. I will only use MAPP gas now, especially with pipes. Heat the fitting and pipe evenly all round and watch the colour of the copper - we don't want it going red. Dip the solder into the flux. Test it at the pipe-fitting junction. When it flows easily, go round the whole joint and let capillary action do the rest. A good joint will just have a ring of solder showing for about a couple of millimetres, no blobs or runs up the pipe or joint. Keep the fitting hot with a gentle flame while you do the other half or third of the joint. Let it cool naturally, but while still hot, wipe it with wet Scotchbrite to clean it up again.If it's for a hot water system, test it under pressure with hot water - an experienced plumber told me that a poor joint on cold water will look OK when tested, but sometimes the flux is keeping it together.Brazing or silver soldering are the next steps up and as said elsewhere needs a much hotter flame, oxy-propane, maybe not as hot as oxy-acetylene, but it opens up a whole range of possibilities beyond copper - don't forget, if your plumbing requires brazed joints, use fittings designed for brazing, generally much chunkier.

    Works for me. Bernzomatic torch and Bernzomatic or Rothenburger MAPP gas. Nice clean controllable flame and certainly hot enough to braze. Acetylene gives out a lot more energy than methane/butane/propane gases, so any substitute gases with a similar carbon hydrogen bond will work. Any extra heat is a bonus and I know many plumbers who won't go back to propane or butane. I don't how they get away with calling it MAPP if it's not.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Chris Torrence's instructable Built-in Shelves Between the Studs7 months ago
    Built-in Shelves Between the Studs

    Use a magnet to find the nails or screws, unless they've glued the board.Usually worth digging the nails out and screwing the board.If it's an outside wall, you are creating a cold spot though.Nice idea, similar to pocket sliding doors.

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  • PhilS43 commented on martis_ltu's instructable Homemade gunpowder7 months ago
    Homemade gunpowder

    I thought the sulphur had to be the crystalline form. The commonly available "flowers" of sulphur doesn't work, but you can convert the flowers to crystals

    It's why it's called gunpowder, I guess. You just need to confine it in something like a cardboard tube and let the gases do the rest.

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  • Arduino controlled DCF77 Synchronized Astronomical Regulator Master Clock

    HelloI've trying to do the same thing, but to synchronise RTC's (DS1307 and 3231) which despite the manufacturer's +/- 2ppm claim, don't come close. These run things like room thermostats etc., which keep even worse time in commercial form.My approach is slightly simpler and all I do is take the alarm output of a bog standard MSF clock, verify that it is the alarm and within 24-hrs +/- one minute of the last alarm then transmit a signal via 433-MHz transmitter to slave receivers that in turn reset the RTC secs/mins/hrs registers to zero at midnight.Nicely put together project - you could do the same thing with GPS.

    Hello OliverI'm a bit obsessed with time keeping.I have a collection of crummy Honeywell programmable room thermostats, boiler programmers, immersion heater timers, etc., etc., and not one keeps the right time - Honeywell are the worst, drifting by minutes in months.I am very disappointed with the DS3231 so far, but am looking into the different variations of this chip - for instance the M version is +/- 5-ppm and the TXCO version +/- 2-ppm - I totted up at first glance on the Maxim site, over 10 different versions, albeit some are different packages.I think you have to take them for what they are - they aren't Caesium clocks and are only as good as the crystal. They might be good for <= +/-1 second a day, but a regular update from a "reliable" source keeps them on track.T...see more »Hello OliverI'm a bit obsessed with time keeping.I have a collection of crummy Honeywell programmable room thermostats, boiler programmers, immersion heater timers, etc., etc., and not one keeps the right time - Honeywell are the worst, drifting by minutes in months.I am very disappointed with the DS3231 so far, but am looking into the different variations of this chip - for instance the M version is +/- 5-ppm and the TXCO version +/- 2-ppm - I totted up at first glance on the Maxim site, over 10 different versions, albeit some are different packages.I think you have to take them for what they are - they aren't Caesium clocks and are only as good as the crystal. They might be good for <= +/-1 second a day, but a regular update from a "reliable" source keeps them on track.The advantage of the RTCs is the accessability of the registers through I2C and Arduino.My aim is to replace all the timers and programmers with home-grown stuff running on the same timebase.Accurate timekeeping is crucial to all sorts of projects.I like the TFT display in particular.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Jonso's instructable Futuristic Sanding Board7 months ago
    Futuristic Sanding Board

    Yes, I did like it.Sanding done properly, is a real art.I don't go near "sandpaper" or "glasspaper", but I'm a real convert now to the open mesh abrasives and use most grades from 80 to 240 grit. Other abrasives like non-woven "pan scourers" - 3M Scotchbrite - are useful for de-nibbing paintwork, but particularly useful for preparing copper pipe for soldering.You quite often have to put the effort into making a sanding block to suit the job.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Jonso's instructable Futuristic Sanding Board7 months ago
    Futuristic Sanding Board

    For tricky shapes like scotia or even plasterboard ceiling coving, I use short lengths of plastic pipe (gutter downpipe, plumbing waste pipe etc.).Slit them down the length then wrap your abrasive of choice around the pipe and tuck the ends into the slit. You can angle the ends of the pipe to get into awkward corners etc.Ordinary plaster's sanding mesh works well as do the modern open mesh (dust-free) abrasives from the likes of Mirka.As well as the slit, you could use double-sided tape or strips of VelcroThe strips of mesh abrasives used by plumbers (Norton Abrasives) to wrap round pipes to clean them up work well and need no holder.Having said that, I have many gash blocks made up from bits of scrap timber and simply staple the papers to the block.

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  • How to Unscrew a Nut that's Stuck on a Bolt (without ruining threads)

    All this to get a nut off?If tightening and some white spirit doesn't move it, get the hacksaw, cut through until almost hitting the male threads, get large screwdriver and split the nut.The real buggers are the nuts that matter, like on posh bathroom taps. Carefully applied heat (MAPP) to the female threaded bit and a thin lubricant - DERV (diesel) fuel is ideal - eventually works. I did one recently that was the tightest ever. I snapped a tendon doing it, but it came apart. Very few nuts survive attack with some genuine Mole grips. Lock-nutting works, but on critical theads, you can stretch the stud.There are references here to "dissolving" rust. How the hell do you dissolve iron oxide? Hydrochloric acid? Another answer is not to get it in that state to start with. If gettin...see more »All this to get a nut off?If tightening and some white spirit doesn't move it, get the hacksaw, cut through until almost hitting the male threads, get large screwdriver and split the nut.The real buggers are the nuts that matter, like on posh bathroom taps. Carefully applied heat (MAPP) to the female threaded bit and a thin lubricant - DERV (diesel) fuel is ideal - eventually works. I did one recently that was the tightest ever. I snapped a tendon doing it, but it came apart. Very few nuts survive attack with some genuine Mole grips. Lock-nutting works, but on critical theads, you can stretch the stud.There are references here to "dissolving" rust. How the hell do you dissolve iron oxide? Hydrochloric acid? Another answer is not to get it in that state to start with. If getting it apart in the future matters, there are such things as anti-sieze greases etc.

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  • Fixing Holes in Dry Wall - The Perfect Patch Method

    Hello TimothyKMy own house was built 30-years ago and most of the ceiling and wall surfaces are standard 1/2" board on wooden studwork. Over the years, I have discovered just how poor the original drywalling was.Artex covers the worst of the ceiling defects, but even a ceiling lamp with shade shows up what looks like the surface of the Moon - I doubt that the joints ever saw a sander.The walls are as bad. Fixed to 38-mm studs (nominal 3" or 4" x 2" CLS), joints don't stand a chance - no feather edging, nails of all lengths so close to the edge that it is either smashed or the nails aren't holding. Joints paper taped over, no mesh. Many nailheads have popped and are easily pulled out - anyone fixing shelves etc. to the board and not the studwork are asking for trouble...see more »Hello TimothyKMy own house was built 30-years ago and most of the ceiling and wall surfaces are standard 1/2" board on wooden studwork. Over the years, I have discovered just how poor the original drywalling was.Artex covers the worst of the ceiling defects, but even a ceiling lamp with shade shows up what looks like the surface of the Moon - I doubt that the joints ever saw a sander.The walls are as bad. Fixed to 38-mm studs (nominal 3" or 4" x 2" CLS), joints don't stand a chance - no feather edging, nails of all lengths so close to the edge that it is either smashed or the nails aren't holding. Joints paper taped over, no mesh. Many nailheads have popped and are easily pulled out - anyone fixing shelves etc. to the board and not the studwork are asking for trouble. I now routinely remove all nails and rescrew the board. Now, with good adhesives around, there is no need for to bash nails in. I hate nails. Maybe your standards are better, but you shouldn't be afraid to have your work tested - making defects disappear by magic downlights is a bit like burying your head in the sand.I don't do this for a living, but I have done a fair number of walls and ceilings over the years. I still have an original copy of the British Gypsum "White Book" which goes through all the points you raise about lighting.Drywall board starts life as a pristine product, but as each trade gets their hands on it, it gets wrecked. Given the choice, I would rather have studs and board for a wall surface than solid block and plaster anytime for all the reasons of better insulation etc.By the way, in the UK, gypsum based wallboard is a dirty word now with very strict disposal regulations. This mainly because calcium suphate mixed with household waste gives off hydrogen sulphide, a toxic gas. Given that calcium sulphate (gypsum) is mined naturally from the ground, it seems odd that returning it to the ground is now so bad. I wonder if all the broken bones plaster casts have to go the same way.But don't worry mate, I won't be torching your walls in the near future, I've got enough work here.

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  • PhilS43 commented on deba168's instructable DIY Arduino Battery Capacity Tester - V1.0 7 months ago
    DIY Arduino Battery Capacity Tester - V1.0

    I like this.I have been toying with something to test the voltage on my van battery. It is a sod to start in cold weather and my idea was to do something through the cigarette lighter socket to show some what state the battery was in, i.e. holding a charge or not.You go a bit further with the load resistors which could be a bit hairy with a 12-V, 72-Amp-hr battery.I was planning to use an AtTiny 85 or similar and some go/no-go LEDs

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  • Fixing Holes in Dry Wall - The Perfect Patch Method

    I've done quite a few of these over the years, mainly for pulling cables though studwork. This seems over complicated.Step 1 - cut a hole around the break large enough to get any hidden cracks etc. - use a drywall saw.Step 2 - liberally apply PVA to all the edges to seal and consolidate.Step 3 - cut some strips of 6-mm ply or similar about 20-mm wide and long enough to span the hole. Glue the strips to the back of the plasterboard with a solvent-free grab adhesive so that the strips are visable - these provide the backing. Allow 24-hrs to dry out. Use the screw method for large repairs bigger than 12" x 12".Step 4 - cut a piece of plasterboard (6-ft by 3-ft are dirt cheap or builders merchants have broken sheets to give away) to fit the hole with a gap of at least 6-mm all rou...see more »I've done quite a few of these over the years, mainly for pulling cables though studwork. This seems over complicated.Step 1 - cut a hole around the break large enough to get any hidden cracks etc. - use a drywall saw.Step 2 - liberally apply PVA to all the edges to seal and consolidate.Step 3 - cut some strips of 6-mm ply or similar about 20-mm wide and long enough to span the hole. Glue the strips to the back of the plasterboard with a solvent-free grab adhesive so that the strips are visable - these provide the backing. Allow 24-hrs to dry out. Use the screw method for large repairs bigger than 12" x 12".Step 4 - cut a piece of plasterboard (6-ft by 3-ft are dirt cheap or builders merchants have broken sheets to give away) to fit the hole with a gap of at least 6-mm all round and chamfer all the edges (feather edge).Step 5 - mix up a creamy bowl of plasterboard joint compound - don't use Polyfilla etc. - put some "dollops" of compound onto the ply. Press the repair plasterboard in flush. Load a 6" filling knife with compound and really squeeze it into the gaps and feather it out to inches beyond the hole - you won't fill this in one go.Step 6 - Sand down with 120-grit mesh. Shine a strong light across the area to see the high and low spots. Give it a coat of emulsion to consolidate. Fill or sand as required. Repeat until it meets your standards.Glass fibre joint tape can help. Taking whole sections of board out is overkill.Don't rub down to the point where you are exposing the paper "fluff" - if you do, seal with PVA/stain sealer/top coat paint or it will bubble every time you paint over with emulsion.For cable pulling where there are noggins about halfway up, use a large (70-mm plus) to cut an access hole. Drill through the noggin. Pull the cable. Use the method above to replace the cutout disk.The strong light test is a killer for bad plasterboarding - do it night and you will see just how bad the professionals are - if you get it smooth under these conditions, it will look right under normal conditions.

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  • Control Your Home Appliances Using Arduino And Relay

    What sort of lamp is it? Filament, CFL, LED?CFL's in particular can throw out a lot of RFI/EMI when they switch, I had a lot of trouble with an Arduino being powered up on the same mains circuit as the CFL's.The interference was triggering false digitals and got through just about every anti-interference device going - running the Arduino on a battery was trouble-free.The only reasonable, but not totally effective method, was to fit snubbers (non-polarised class X2 0.1uF capacitor and 120R resistor in series) across the contacts switching the lamps - it can lead to a lot of wasted time de-bugging. Snubbers are always good practice when switching complex AC loads.Your relay board looks as though it has a diode to protect the Arduino digital outputs.

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  • 9 MORE Unusual Tool Storage Methods - Part 2

    HelloI thought this was too simple to have to explain in detail, but here it is.You drill a suitable hole through the 1" dimension of the batten. M6 will need 6.5-mm for clearance.On the back face of the batten, counter-bore a recess with enough diameter to take a penny/repair washer of 25-mm diameter plus an M6 nut - if you haven't got a drill press for the Forstener or flat bit, then do the recess first to get the centralising right.Take the roof bolt an load it with one M6 nut and a penny washer for the "show" face of the batten - push it through the hole and put a penny washer and M6 nut on the back so the the bolt thread is flush and not protruding.Tighten (10-mm A/F) the back nut so that the penny washers clamp the batten and give the roof bolt a lot of stability.Fi...see more »HelloI thought this was too simple to have to explain in detail, but here it is.You drill a suitable hole through the 1" dimension of the batten. M6 will need 6.5-mm for clearance.On the back face of the batten, counter-bore a recess with enough diameter to take a penny/repair washer of 25-mm diameter plus an M6 nut - if you haven't got a drill press for the Forstener or flat bit, then do the recess first to get the centralising right.Take the roof bolt an load it with one M6 nut and a penny washer for the "show" face of the batten - push it through the hole and put a penny washer and M6 nut on the back so the the bolt thread is flush and not protruding.Tighten (10-mm A/F) the back nut so that the penny washers clamp the batten and give the roof bolt a lot of stability.Fix the batten wherever and fill up with all the awkward tools.If you pass one end of the loop through itself, it becomes self-tightening (look up Prusik loop used in climbing).I haven't found anything in the workshop of reasonable size and weight that you can't do by this method, in fact I have one gareage wall, already battened and ply faced covered in tools and other objects.You can see where everything is and quickly give the tools a spray of WD40 now and again.Coming from an engineering/workshop background, wall spikes etc were commonly used for tools, generally as part of industrial bin systems.This was a fairly cheap, customisable way of doing it and I hadn't seen it before. You could use just threaded studding, but the bolt head keeps everything in place and the bolts don't need cutting - I use larger versions for stuff like ladders.Just as an add-on, if you have a lot of stuff like pipes etc. I hang these off the ceiling with ladder hooks and use lengths of "square" plastic gutter strung accross the hooks to stop them rolling off.Many tools are the Mother of Invention

    HelloI thought this was too simple to have to explain in detail, but here it is.You drill a suitable hole through the 1" dimension of the batten. M6 will need 6.5-mm for clearance.On the back face of the batten, counter-bore a recess with enough diameter to take a penny/repair washer of 25-mm diameter plus an M6 nut - if you haven't got a drill press for the Forstener or flat bit, then do the recess first to get the centralising right.Take the roof bolt an load it with one M6 nut and a penny washer for the "show" face of the batten - push it through the hole and put a penny washer and M6 nut on the back so the the bolt thread is flush and not protruding.Tighten (10-mm A/F) the back nut so that the penny washers clamp the batten and give the roof bolt a lot of stability.Fi...see more »HelloI thought this was too simple to have to explain in detail, but here it is.You drill a suitable hole through the 1" dimension of the batten. M6 will need 6.5-mm for clearance.On the back face of the batten, counter-bore a recess with enough diameter to take a penny/repair washer of 25-mm diameter plus an M6 nut - if you haven't got a drill press for the Forstener or flat bit, then do the recess first to get the centralising right.Take the roof bolt an load it with one M6 nut and a penny washer for the "show" face of the batten - push it through the hole and put a penny washer and M6 nut on the back so the the bolt thread is flush and not protruding.Tighten (10-mm A/F) the back nut so that the penny washers clamp the batten and give the roof bolt a lot of stability.Fix the batten wherever and fill up with all the awkward tools.If you pass one end of the loop through itself, it becomes self-tightening (look up Prusik loop used in climbing).I haven't found anything in the workshop of reasonable size and weight that you can't do by this method, in fact I have one gareage wall, already battened and ply faced covered in tools and other objects.You can see where everything is and quickly give the tools a spray of WD40 now and again.Coming from an engineering/workshop background, wall spikes etc were commonly used for tools, generally as part of industrial bin systems.This was a fairly cheap, customisable way of doing it and I hadn't seen it before. You could use just threaded studding, but the bolt head keeps everything in place and the bolts don't need cutting - I use larger versions for stuff like ladders.Just as an add-on, if you have a lot of stuff like pipes etc. I hang these off the ceiling with ladder hooks and use lengths of "square" plastic gutter strung accross the hooks to stop them rolling off.Many tools are the Mother of Invention

    Yes YonatanThis was the unedited reply to AIM47 who seems to have done a little redaction"HelloI thought this was too simple to have to explain in detail, but here it is.You drill a suitable hole through the 1" dimension of the batten. M6 will need 6.5-mm for clearance.On the back face of the batten, counter-bore a recess with enough diameter to take a penny/repair washer of 25-mm diameter plus an M6 nut - if you haven't got a drill press for the Forstener or flat bit, then do the recess first to get the centralising right.Take the roof bolt an load it with one M6 nut and a penny washer for the "show" face of the batten - push it through the hole and put a penny washer and M6 nut on the back so the the bolt thread is flush and not protruding.Tighten (10-mm A/F) the b...see more »Yes YonatanThis was the unedited reply to AIM47 who seems to have done a little redaction"HelloI thought this was too simple to have to explain in detail, but here it is.You drill a suitable hole through the 1" dimension of the batten. M6 will need 6.5-mm for clearance.On the back face of the batten, counter-bore a recess with enough diameter to take a penny/repair washer of 25-mm diameter plus an M6 nut - if you haven't got a drill press for the Forstener or flat bit, then do the recess first to get the centralising right.Take the roof bolt an load it with one M6 nut and a penny washer for the "show" face of the batten - push it through the hole and put a penny washer and M6 nut on the back so the the bolt thread is flush and not protruding.Tighten (10-mm A/F) the back nut so that the penny washers clamp the batten and give the roof bolt a lot of stability.Fix the batten wherever and fill up with all the awkward tools.If you pass one end of the loop through itself, it becomes self-tightening (look up Prusik loop used in climbing).I haven't found anything in the workshop of reasonable size and weight that you can't do by this method, in fact I have one gareage wall, already battened and ply faced covered in tools and other objects.You can see where everything is and quickly give the tools a spray of WD40 now and again.Coming from an engineering/workshop background, wall spikes etc were commonly used for tools, generally as part of industrial bin systems.This was a fairly cheap, customisable way of doing it and I hadn't seen it before. You could use just threaded studding, but the bolt head keeps everything in place and the bolts don't need cutting - I use larger versions for stuff like ladders.Just as an add-on, if you have a lot of stuff like pipes etc. I hang these off the ceiling with ladder hooks and use lengths of "square" plastic gutter strung accross the hooks to stop them rolling off.Many tools are the Mother of Invention"

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  • PhilS43 commented on Honus's instructable Bandsaw stand from scrap lumber8 months ago
    Bandsaw stand from scrap lumber

    GrahamH - I would have to agree. Being a bit of a tools enthusiast, I have never seen in all the catalogues I see in the UK, a portable bandsaw, or at least a small one.I'm wondering what advantage at that size, it offers over other methods - circular saw, jigsaw, demolition saw? The nearest I can think of are pipecutters that are basically powered hacksaws used for 2"-3" steel barrel.There are of course the "mini" tools like Proxxon or the larger on site lumber bandsaw which could be called portable.The better choice of tools in USA is part of the "can do" culture, whereas in the UK, getting the hands dirty tends to be left for someone else to do.

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  • 9 MORE Unusual Tool Storage Methods - Part 2

    Take one 2" x 1" batten to fix to the wall.Take some M6 x 100-mm roofing bolts and fix these to the batten at 2" intervals so that the mushroom head sticks out like a coat hook - you will need some penny washers and nut to make the roof bolts stable.Spend half a day making many loops from nylon or PP cord.Almost every tool will have something you can pass the loop around.Hang many tools on each roof bolt and use as many battens as you wish.I'm willing to bet that there is NO tool short of a fork lift truck that cannot be stored using a little ingenuity.If you have rafters and joists in a garage, the sky's the limit.

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  • PhilS43 commented on Darthorso's instructable Understanding Italian Gestures8 months ago
    Understanding Italian Gestures

    It's the heat. It makes the arms and hands go into involuntary spasms.Further North, the main priority is to keep hands warm, so the number of gestures are restricted to "up yours" and the French didn't cut off my longbow finger. Churchill got it right.

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  • PhilS43 commented on CedHon's instructable Collaborative PCB Intro8 months ago
    Collaborative PCB Intro

    "Boiling acid" - I hope not. Iguess you mean a bubble bath with an aerator.A bit of warmth definitely helps speed up things, but if ferric chloride or hydrocloric acid is involved, lay off the boiling otherwise you and most of the metal items around are going to suffer.Otherwise, a nice little demo of using a bare AtTiny. A socket is generally a good idea though, unless you are certain that this is the final version. Even an 8-pin device can be a pain to remove.

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  • TV LCD 48" Motorized Lift Down Ceiling System

    Only had a quick look, but I hope you have some strong fixings either in or across the ceiling joists.The scissor mechanism is similar but more complicated than one I put together to raise a greenhouse ventilating window. It might be worth looking at the hinge mechanisms they use particularly for PVC windows - they look very similar to yours and might save some time. Arduino to the rescue again.

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