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  • RandyPerson commented on schnurrbart's instructable Reclaimed Librarian's Table2 days ago
    Reclaimed Librarian's Table

    Very nice re-work, with great ties to your past. I especially liked the legs. Two simple operations created a really dramatic design, which complements the unique character of the catalog desk really well.

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  • RandyPerson commented on Paige Russell's instructable 3D Printed STEM Racers2 weeks ago
    3D Printed STEM Racers

    Great concept for gravity experiments. If you're more interested in the experiment than 3-D printing, consider working with the ever popular Pinewood Derby racer platforms. Sets of wheels are readily available, and the chassis could be easily modified or made from scratch. A huge benefit is that there are multi-lane race tracks stored in schools and garages all over, so it shouldn't be hard to get those veggies rolling!

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  • RandyPerson commented on tomatoskins's instructable Make a Wood Tap From a Bolt2 weeks ago
    Make a Wood Tap From a Bolt

    In step 4, you're running a nut, not a bolt, along the new tap.No grinder? Cut the grooves with a triangular file.This tool gives you a threaded hole you can re-use at least a few times. If you just want to sink a machine bolt into wood, you don't really need to tap it. Just drill the hole undersize, like a 3/16" hole for a 1/4" bolt. Maybe flare the start of the hole if needed, then just thread the bolt in. The steel threads will compress the wood fibers and you'll get a good bite. I've done this mostly with softwoods, like hemlock and Douglas fir. Do a test before trying on very hard woods.

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  • How to Bend PVC & Make Incredible Shapes

    I recently wired a full 2-car garage with plastic conduit, and needed to make dozens of custom bends. In the past, I've used a heat gun, but my old one died, and new ones are not as powerful. Must be some rule about protecting us from ourselves. The old one would hit 2,000 F, and the new one stops about 1,250. That said, it works if you are simply patient enough to keep it moving and wait for the heat to penetrate the full thickness of the pipe wall. A fully warm pipe will sag under its own weight.What I needed was a heat source that was easily controlled and put out a large volume of heat. I used a small propane-powered infrared heater, as sold in sporting goods departments for providing portable heat. Installed on a standard 20 pound (5 gallon) tank, it's very stable. I found ...

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    I recently wired a full 2-car garage with plastic conduit, and needed to make dozens of custom bends. In the past, I've used a heat gun, but my old one died, and new ones are not as powerful. Must be some rule about protecting us from ourselves. The old one would hit 2,000 F, and the new one stops about 1,250. That said, it works if you are simply patient enough to keep it moving and wait for the heat to penetrate the full thickness of the pipe wall. A fully warm pipe will sag under its own weight.What I needed was a heat source that was easily controlled and put out a large volume of heat. I used a small propane-powered infrared heater, as sold in sporting goods departments for providing portable heat. Installed on a standard 20 pound (5 gallon) tank, it's very stable. I found the best heat actually in a rising column just above and in front of the glowing element. Move the pipe back and forth through the heat, turning constantly. I was able to completely soften up to 3 feet of pipe in pretty cold weather. Let it get nice and limp, then form. I easily made complete U shapes, coiled it around 4x4 columns, and stuffed it into odd spaces. I worked with both 1/2" and 3/4" schedule 40 PVC.If you want to add a connector to your formed pipe, and are heating near the end, here's a tip. Slip a connector onto the end just before bending. The cool plastic fitting will keep the end of the pipe from becoming oval, and you'll have no trouble when it's time to glue up.

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  • Chain Tension Adjustment on Vintage Honda Motorcycles

    When you re-tighten the axle nut, be sure to push down and forward with the wrench (which you did in the video). You'll be working with the adjuster bolt, and the adjustment won't change. If you start with the wrench up and pull back, you can move the axle and tighten the tension even more, and also tilt the wheel as you pull the adjuster on that side away from it's seat. And when the friction isn't enough, you'll be really startled when the axle snaps back to re-seat the adjuster bolt.In my experience, the stamped marks are usually pretty good, but it won't hurt to back up and squint along the wheels. Your eye can pick up a very slight misalignment that you might not catch from the marks. Some detail-oriented folks even like to stretch a string from front to back to make sure the ...

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    When you re-tighten the axle nut, be sure to push down and forward with the wrench (which you did in the video). You'll be working with the adjuster bolt, and the adjustment won't change. If you start with the wrench up and pull back, you can move the axle and tighten the tension even more, and also tilt the wheel as you pull the adjuster on that side away from it's seat. And when the friction isn't enough, you'll be really startled when the axle snaps back to re-seat the adjuster bolt.In my experience, the stamped marks are usually pretty good, but it won't hurt to back up and squint along the wheels. Your eye can pick up a very slight misalignment that you might not catch from the marks. Some detail-oriented folks even like to stretch a string from front to back to make sure the wheels are perfectly aligned.As to replacement, here are two quick checks. Once adjusted, you should not be able to pull the chain off the rear sprocket much at all. If you can grab it at the back, near the adjuster bolt, and pull it away from the sprocket, the chain needs replacing. New sprockets have symmetrical teeth. When your teeth start looking more like a circular saw blade, the sprocket is shot. You'll typically go through 2 or 3 chains before you need new sprockets. Regular lube and adjustment will prolong the life of both.

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  • Restoring and Assembling an Old Drill Press

    You mentioned heating the shaft to try to remove a press fit pulley. Heating metal expands it. Heating the shaft would only make the fit tighter. Had you heated the PULLEY, the hole would have expanded, and you might have succeeded without using the puller. Same trick can be used for reassembly. Heat the "hole" part, keeping the shaft cool. You may be able to slip things together, and they will bind tightly as the temperature stabilizes.

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  • Clear Sink Clog - FAST, NO BUCKETS, NO CHEMICALS

    Just had a bath sink that needed maintenance, so thought I'd try it. Pushed the stuff down, and plugged up the pipe completely. Pulled the P-trap (easy with today's plastic fittings) and began pulling the hair rope. About 12" long, after it broke. Cleaned out more with a stiff wire hook, and it may go down the pipe, too. Just shows that you should be prepared to go further when you try this technique. If you don't have a bucket and some large pliers to break the trap, you may trade a slow sink for one that's totally stopped. Or force a big wad down the line to meet up with it's buddies at a really inconvenient place. What's your crawl space like?

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  • RandyPerson commented on Matt2 Silver's instructable Paracord and Pulley Hanging Table8 months ago
    Paracord and Pulley Hanging Table

    Here's a suggestion for the leveling issue. Check out sites discussing Kite Aerial Photography (KAP). In the days before cheap drones, that was the way to get views from above. Anyway, they need to sling cameras on a platform that stays level as the kite, and the line it's attached to, moves through a range of angles. They long ago came up with a clever system of lines and eyes or pulleys that achieves this. Your answer may be waiting for you from an unexpected source!

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  • RandyPerson commented on gravityisweak's instructable Coat Hanger Drill Bit9 months ago
    Coat Hanger Drill Bit

    Been doing this for years. A few tips - just steadying the center of a long piece with a gloved hand will take care of vibrations. The spinning action self-centers the single bevel cut, but a couple quick strokes with a file will put a more centered point on it, if you like. Keep a couple moderate length pieces with your drill, both from fat and skinny wire hangers. Use them for lead holes for your screws, and you will no longer have bit sets missing the small, delicate ones that always get broken. Bonus when running wood or sheet metal screws into wood - since the wire "drills" by compressing the wood fibers rather than removing them, you get a more solid bite from the screw threads. This is especially helpful when screwing into end grain. That's also why clipping the ...

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    Been doing this for years. A few tips - just steadying the center of a long piece with a gloved hand will take care of vibrations. The spinning action self-centers the single bevel cut, but a couple quick strokes with a file will put a more centered point on it, if you like. Keep a couple moderate length pieces with your drill, both from fat and skinny wire hangers. Use them for lead holes for your screws, and you will no longer have bit sets missing the small, delicate ones that always get broken. Bonus when running wood or sheet metal screws into wood - since the wire "drills" by compressing the wood fibers rather than removing them, you get a more solid bite from the screw threads. This is especially helpful when screwing into end grain. That's also why clipping the head of a finish nail and using it as a bit works so well. When the nail "bit" is pulled from the hole, the hole closes up just a bit. This assures a nice, snug fit for the driven nail, while still preventing splitting. Lastly, if you want a slightly larger hole, just flatten the tip a little bit on the anvil of your bench vise. At the sizes we're dealing with, these small "spade" bits do a nice job. And the price is certainly right!

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  • RandyPerson commented on MotherDaughterProjects's instructable PVC Pipe Tunnel of Light11 months ago
    PVC Pipe Tunnel of Light

    If black isn't imperative, check out the electrical section of your box store for plastic conduit. It's gray, a little more UV resistant than white (although your painting helps with that), and the same material, so your glue will work with it as well.Also, you have a hidden good idea in there. One photo shows joints drilled and zip-tied to keep them from coming apart. Could also use screws and wing nuts. Great technique!

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  • RandyPerson commented on JamesSlater's instructable Dominoes11 months ago
    Dominoes

    A domino is a mathematical shape consisting of two squares together. To achieve this shape, simply trim the 2x4 to 3 inches wide. Then your 1 1/2" x 3" pieces will be true dominos, and look better when you play those 90 degree turns.Experience making routed wood signs shows that paint can wick through the wood fibers, making your holes look fuzzy. To prevent this, treat the wood with an oil finish first. Plain linseed oil works fine. Then, use the big end of a flat toothpick or similar to place a drop of good oil base paint in the hole. It will shrink as it dries, providing a nice solid color. Go through your old odds and ends of paint, make up some test blocks, and see what colors really pop with your choice of wood.

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  • RandyPerson commented on makjosher's instructable Baseboard Heat Shield / Chimney1 year ago
    Baseboard Heat Shield / Chimney

    Very workmanlike solution - nicely done. However, there may be an easier cure for others with similar problems. You mentioned another baseboard heater in the room. Do you really need both operating? Often, having fewer feet of heat source just means taking a few minutes longer to get up to heat. If you could do without, just turn off the breaker, take off the access plate at one end, typically just one or two screws, and unfasten the supply wires. Securely tape or wire nut them, replace the cover plate, reset the breaker, and your hot electronics problem goes away. When you eventually move, just hook the wires back up, and your landlord will never know.

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  • RandyPerson commented on wold630's instructable Swedish Fire Torch1 year ago
    Swedish Fire Torch

    Try laying the log on its side and cutting so the chain saw bar is parallel to the wood grain. If your chain is sharp, it will pull out long shavings and cut faster than trying to rip sideways. Bonus: the shavings make great tinder, or mulch for your plants.

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  • RandyPerson commented on schouw's instructable Make raisins in the oven1 year ago
    Make raisins in the oven

    Yes! I have been doing this for years in my home-built dehydrator, based on plans on a great 1970's book, DRY IT, YOU'LL LIKE IT. Here are a few additional tips based on my experience:1. Should be obvious, but use seedless grapes. Seeded ones are for juice for jelly and syrup.2. Moving air dries best. Consider making a simple wood frame with window screening, so the warm air can move by the grapes better. I use fiberglass screen, but metal should also work.3. I wash the grapes while still in a bunch. Then (the tedious part), as you pluck them, give them a little squeeze so they separate from the stem completely, and pop open a little at the attachment point. This allows the moisture to leave. A tight grape takes forever to dry.4. With your air moving better, you can use lower...

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    Yes! I have been doing this for years in my home-built dehydrator, based on plans on a great 1970's book, DRY IT, YOU'LL LIKE IT. Here are a few additional tips based on my experience:1. Should be obvious, but use seedless grapes. Seeded ones are for juice for jelly and syrup.2. Moving air dries best. Consider making a simple wood frame with window screening, so the warm air can move by the grapes better. I use fiberglass screen, but metal should also work.3. I wash the grapes while still in a bunch. Then (the tedious part), as you pluck them, give them a little squeeze so they separate from the stem completely, and pop open a little at the attachment point. This allows the moisture to leave. A tight grape takes forever to dry.4. With your air moving better, you can use lower temperatures. My unit runs at 95-105 F (35-40 C). The book says lower temps retain more of the fruit's vitamins and other good things.5. One of the best things about this is your choice of grapes. Typical "golden" raisins are from simple green grapes. When you use purple or red, you get nice bold flavors that are great in trail mix, and will have folks wondering why your baked goods taste so good.6. Don't sweat if they aren't all exactly the same. Some will be really dry, others will be a little soft. When stored airtight, like a sealed plastic bag, they will equalize over time. Check in a few weeks to make sure they are dry enough to keep without spoiling.7. Finally, when your screen has that sticky syrup left on it, just take it in the shower with you. By the time you're clean, it will be, too!

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  • RandyPerson commented on seamster's instructable Easy Collapsible Worktable1 year ago
    Easy Collapsible Worktable

    If you are crafting, consider whether you need the strength of the solid core door, which is really heavy. Slab hollow core doors are usually available cheaply at re-use stores, or free on exchange sites. 30, 32, and 36 inches are common widths, and if you seek out sliding closet doors, you may find wider. Look at the ends to see the thickness of the perimeter frame. You may need to glue some reinforcing plywood on the thin skin for secure fastening points, but you'll still have a very light but stable work surface.

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  • Rustic Live Edge Log Slice Lazy Susan with LED Lighting

    I second naaberle's question. I have a number of log discs around for various future projects, and they all typically get one major radial split, which can open up from 5 to 15 degrees, depending on the species and moisture content of the log. Are yours cut from very old, incredibly seasoned logs? Or is it just characteristic of your down-under wood? What is the species? You may be the inspiration for a bunch of projects if you reveal your secret.

    Thank you, Ambitious. I'm from western Washington, in the USA Pacific Northwest. Gum species are native in the SE US, but often planted around here as ornamentals. They grow fast, and occasionally have to be removed. I'll try to keep my eyes open to see if any salvage becomes available. BTW, one of my plans is to take my stack of discs, neaten up the splits into a nice, straight wedge, and then use one to create corresponding filler wedges. Using the same source log, and adjacent slabs, if I can get a good glue line, I should wind up with a nice, solid disc that is well stabilized. At least, that's the theory. You have some very nice work posted on your Facebook page. Thanks for sharing this Instructable.

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  • RandyPerson commented on MrJonesEducation's instructable Frankenstein Light Switch1 year ago
    Frankenstein Light Switch

    This is a really cool project. For those who want to up their game, I thought you might like a couple shots of the real thing. This is the main disconnect formerly in our 1930's home, rated for 60 amps at 125 volts. The base appears to be slate (a stone product). If it's artificial, it's really heavy, like slate would be. The base is about 6 1/2" x 9", and 3/4" thick (165 x 230 x 20 mm), which makes the instructable shown quite properly to scale. Most of the metal appears to be pure copper, but the clips are springy brass, made to hold the 60 amp cartridge fuses that were the mains for the house. In the US, we have two 120 volt wires incoming that are out of phase (I think that's the correct term) to provide 240 volts. These were protected by the fuses. The cente...

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    This is a really cool project. For those who want to up their game, I thought you might like a couple shots of the real thing. This is the main disconnect formerly in our 1930's home, rated for 60 amps at 125 volts. The base appears to be slate (a stone product). If it's artificial, it's really heavy, like slate would be. The base is about 6 1/2" x 9", and 3/4" thick (165 x 230 x 20 mm), which makes the instructable shown quite properly to scale. Most of the metal appears to be pure copper, but the clips are springy brass, made to hold the 60 amp cartridge fuses that were the mains for the house. In the US, we have two 120 volt wires incoming that are out of phase (I think that's the correct term) to provide 240 volts. These were protected by the fuses. The center bar is for the neutral wire, which is not fused. I just had to keep it when the wiring was upgraded. I keep thinking it will be used in some safe, really low voltage (think flashlight battery) application. I'd love to see someone work out a linkage that would retain the metallic clips but operate a modern switch.

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  • DIY Hot Wire Cutter for Plexiglass, Cardboard and Foam

    Here in the US, baseboard electric heaters were common for many years. As their controls or internal connections wear out, they are often tossed. Depending on the design, they are filled with long coils of resistance wire, some fat, some thin. They are easy to disassemble, and one with the right wire will keep you in nichrome for a lifetime. As a bonus, they usually include ceramic spacers, which can also be useful in designing products that include heat.

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