Non Toxic Adhesive Spray

I ordered glitter halters for my horses but the glitter falls off. Is there a safe product I can use on the halters to keep the glitter on without any danger to my horses either toxic smell or indigestion? 

Question by Horselove   |  last reply

Silicone thinners; what is a suitable compound to thin silicone caulk? Thank you. Answered

Preferably non-toxic and inert, to make the silicone caulk/gel more viscous, to allow it to flow into a mould more readily.

Question by brendanmccloskey   |  last reply

How non-toxic is CA glue? Answered

Hi gang, I know CA glue (Krazy glue, Cyanoacrylate) is solvent based, and inhaling the solvent is bad for you, but how safe is it after the glue cures? As I understand it, after curing the glue is basically a plastic.  Can I use it in a baby's crib (Assuming it's allowed to cure)? Thanks!

Question by Morgantao   |  last reply

Less-toxic enamel paint sealer/primer?

I have some old furniture, etc, that I would like to repaint, but it's al covered with old nasty enamel-does someone have a suggestion re covering/sealing the pieces so I can use water-based paints to redo them? I know about sanding first, just don't know if a non-toxic version of the right sealer exists or could be 'created.'

Question by lidzy 

Chinchilla-safe material for food-bowl

My chinchilla is, for the most part, a jerk. She is adorable, though, so I'll keep her. I can keep up with all of the ways she tries to antagonize me (I've come to the realization that she really is out to get me :P ), except for one. She often pushes her food bowl off of the ledge. I would move it to a lower area in her cage, but, as I came to realize the first time, she poops into the bowl when it's below her. So, I must keep it on this ledge. I therefore need a way to attach and un-attach the bowl to the cage (so I can fill it with food afterwords). I could just go and buy one of these food-bowls,  but I'm too cheap and like to make my own stuff, anyways. So I have two questions - what material would be best for attaching it to the cage, and would hot glue work as an adhesive? I am worried about her gnawing on the stuff, because I know certain things can kill her if she eats them (eg: Paint). Thanks! :)

Topic by freethetech 

Is it possible from a chlorophyl extract to use its photo-sensitive possibilities, and How?

I·d like to found how to make photo-sensitizer out of chlorophyl extract, or from micro-weeds, or other any organic like plancton, to replace the very toxic technics used in every photo-reproduction work

Question by FeteLeToiMeme   |  last reply

What is a safe finish/sealer to use to make a set of decoupaged baby blocks drool-proof? Answered

I have decided to make a set of wooden blocks for my son.  I'm using Mod-Podge to decoupage pictures and designs, along with acrylic paint on the blocks. I know that Mod-Podge is water soluble, so it could make for a pretty gummy block after a 6 month old attacks it.  I'll need to make it water proof somehow.  On reading a particular Instructable on these blocks, the author said to use a non-toxic acrylic sealer.  I could not find such a sealer (or none stated "non-toxic") at the craft-store.  What is a safe brand or alternative to use?  OR. . . Mod-Podge aside,  what kind of method would YOU use to make these said set of baby-safe blocks? I thank you, kindly!

Question by tobywankenobi   |  last reply

Where can I get food grade epoxy/glue? Answered

Does anyone know where I could get some non-toxic food safe epoxy/glue? I need it for a project that deals with sealing things that comes in contact with food. Any replies are much appreciated! ,Thanks

Question by gogglecrab   |  last reply

Can you help me make a waterproof, non toxic glue? Answered

Hello, I'm working on a project and I really need to make a glue for gluing powdered seashells (CaCo3 basically), this glue has to be non-toxic, waterproof and moldable. Please help me!!!!!!

Question by OnatA2   |  last reply

A non-toxic sealing material that can resist moderate temperatures?

What should I use to seal two glass plates which will make up the sides of a shallow tank of a solar water heater? It should be able to resist temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsuis.

Topic by mahela007   |  last reply

What are some safe non-toxic liquid/solid fules for a diy campstove? Answered

I have used alcholal already, but I am looking for something more efficient. It will need a high flame (e.x. wood won't work).

Question by jamngary   |  last reply

Non-toxic, natural, cheap and WATER-PROOF adhesive or glue, is this impossible?

I'm a quality engineer working for a company in Turkey, the company collects the coaldust ( powder form of the coal )  from all the cities of Turkey and makes them briquettes by pressing with very powerful machines. Of course we use some adhesives for mechanical strength of the briquettes. We use CMC (a kind of cellulose) and this material is soluable in water. So our briquettes are not very durable under rain or moisture. Now I have to change the binder or adhesive materials in order to produce waterproof briquettes. I dont know how it's possible. I have to use nontoxic natural materials, and cheap as well. Last week I tried to do something but we were unlucky maybe. I tried to use Technical Gelatin and Alum (Al. Sulphate ) together, the briquettes seemed very good after production but they were not durable when I left them in a cup of water. So I have to find a solution now. Can you help me about that? I'd be very pleased. Thanks.

Question by enisdogru   |  last reply

I need a non-toxic, preferably natural adhesive that is water soluble to stick something onto the skin

Hi all,  I really need your help. My son has a dress up party and is determined to stick this prop to his body. It is not heavy but I need an adhesive to stick it to him that ideally would be water soluble and not irritate his skin.  Is there anything anyone can think of? Thank you so much Eliza 

Question by devilgirl84   |  last reply

Change power options for certain programs running?

I was wondering if it was possible to have specific power options for programs such as anti virus or media player. I'm using a windows 7 Home Premium. Both software is by microsoft incase that matters. I wish to have the computer recognize those programs and let the computer still run while the lid is closed. I don't want  to waste power with the screen on uselessly, and screensavers aren't suitable for me because i do browse youtube quite often and they start to bug me.

Question by Chowmix12   |  last reply

How to clean a concrete hearth?

We're moving into a place with a non-functional fireplace and a stained hearth. I haven't touched it yet and have no idea what the stains are.  A guess for the circular ones is wine or some other dark drink.  Any ideas for a relatively non-toxic clean up? It turns out a lot of it is wax.

Question by mole1   |  last reply

Why isn't plastic used in the construction of houses? Answered

If plastic can be customize to our needs, why can't plastic be customized to be non flammable, UV resistant, non toxic and thermally insulated to be used in house and bulding constructions? Petroleum based plastics are non biodegradable and would last for hundreds of years. Any reason why we do not see more houses built with this versatile product?

Question by blkhawk   |  last reply

I am looking for good Sunday School crafts that can be completed in less than an hour. Any help?

Inexpensive, non-toxic, fun, educational. Thank you.

Question by BossOdds   |  last reply

how to choose a good casting compound? An unbreakable, washable and flexible material that is non-toxic would be best.

Plaster-of-paris would be ok as a cast material, but a softer material (like the washable material that expensive prosthetics are made of) would be better.

Question by Kenneth G   |  last reply

Aphid and / or spider-miter removal outdoors

Does anyone know know a way to rid my garden (and porch) of aphids/ spider-mites ...kid friendly- non-toxic please. thank you

Question by loiecat   |  last reply

Halloween Makeup Contest

Hey, fellow DIYers, I'm running a Halloween makeup contest using my recipe for non-toxic homemade substitute for latex. The theme is "non-gory" (which I think is much harder than gory), and the prize is a $150-value professional makeup kit by Ben Nye. Check out the contest rules here.

Topic by flyingpuppy   |  last reply

Paint and decorate a bill miller plastic drinking mug?

I want to paint my bill miller bbq mug and decorate it and still be able to use it daily for drinking my tea. Is there a safe non-toxic method?

Question by marlenemdp   |  last reply

Hi - making avocado easter eggs (minus the egg). Answered

The traditional use of food colouring will probably not work with an avocado's dark skin. Any suggestions other than non-toxic paints? Cheers.

Question by wbridges   |  last reply

how can you non-toxically and permanently remove an active wasp nest, which is located inside an air conditioner?

The air conditioner is in second-floor window. Every few days one or two wasps (? paper wasps; lower New York) find their way into the room; these I kill. All other active wasps go in and out of the air conditioner on the outdoors side. Two years ago this same scenario happened ... I left them alone and read that they rarely inhabit the same nest the following year, which was true in my case, and therefore I vacuumed out the nest in the air conditioner and used it last year. This year they are back! How can I permanently get rid of them?

Question by    |  last reply

Tutorial/ible on making soybean crayons?

Looking to make soybean crayons or other eco friendly non toxic crayons. Can't seem to find anything here or on google. Any links/tutorials/etc. would be greatly appreciated. I am not looking to make the crayon rocks, as one of my children is young enough that they would be a choking hazard.

Question by fragile.ecstasy   |  last reply

airsoft stuff

Anyone have any good airsoft ideas, devices, bombs, claymores, or other things to help you get the upper hand in an airsoft war, because I'm getting owned by higher fps guns with a faster rate of fire. Any sort or non toxic smoke bomb would be nice. Just post anything related to airsoft here...

Topic by serith   |  last reply

What is a clear gel-type thing that can be used (kind of like jello) to suspend objects?

I want to make a counter display for a Halloween kitchen, using quart and gallon jars to 'store' ears, fingers, rats, etc.  It needs to be relatively cheap, and easy to find ingredients.  Non-toxic would be fantastic!  Thanks for any help.

Question by evil66   |  last reply

What natural substance can I use that has a tacky feel to put on my dogs paws that is non toxic to dogs?

My dog had a spinal op,and was recovering nicely. I have polished floorboards that are an absolute nightmare for him to walk around on. The list of remedies I have tried are endless. Dog socks,boots,shoes,mats,balloons etc.I have spent a small fortune with no luck. We have non slip mats around but I can't cover the whole house in rubber mats. I've trimmed his nails short,and the fur between his toes,but I've noticed his paw pads are really dry. I'm trying to formulate something that I can put on his paws that has a tacky feel. I'm no scientist but I've wracked my brain to come up with a solution that is easy to make and not toxic. It has to be something that doesn't taste fantastic because he'll lick it off. As a sample I tried some tacky hair wax..which just gave him a little grip,but it's not what I'm looking for. I know beeswax is sticky,but i think it needs to be mixed with something.I had a feel of surfboard wax,but it didn't have enough tackiness for what I want.I know honey is sticky but don't think I want that all over my floor.Also pine sap is sticky too. I guess i'm looking for something that feels like those silicone non slip dots you can buy that is safe for animals? Any suggestions?

Question by Lemonpoppyseed   |  last reply

Any suggestions on non slip natural material to put on my dogs paws

I'm looking for some suggestions to help my dog who is recovering from disc surgery. I've tried all the usual boots,socks,balloons etc. It is short of a nightmare watching him tread so carefully on slippery floorboards.I'm convinced he's lost muscle mass from not being able to walk normally anymore. Short of covering all my floors in rubber mats, I know there has to be a solution. I'm after something that is non toxic that I can rub on his paws. It has to have a tacky know like those silicone dots you can buy to stop slipping. Materials like those used in surfboard wax ..I've checked out the feel of surfboard wax and it feels ok but it feels like it's lacking the tacky element. The other thought I had was to buy a mould kit and get an imprint of his paws and make a slip on foot cover in a silicone. I'm not too sure what type of silicone to use for this..would it be like a latex that would be good to grip the floorboards? Any suggestions on what materials to use? Thanks

Topic by Lemonpoppyseed   |  last reply

Converting a 55 gallons (200 liters) drum into an oven and grill

On the Chilean TV show Hagalo Usted Mismo (Do it yourself) it is showed how to make a combination of an oven and a grill using a 55 gallon (200 liters) steel drum. Although it is in Spanish, the video shows how to make it step by step. An important note mentioned in the video is that the drum must previously stored non toxic products.

Topic by blkhawk   |  last reply

Using plastic bags for gardening?

A friend is asking what he can do to protect the fruit on his trees without spraying pesticide. I told him my aunt uses little plastic bags like these to cover them up so insects don't eat them but he's concerned if it's safe/non-toxic. Can anyone help me answer this or come up with something else?

Question by finklfairy   |  last reply

waterproof nontoxic adhesive?

I'm looking for an adhesive that will bond plastic to plastic, is waterproof, and is also non-toxic. I am attending an "anything but cups" party and am planning to use a Magic 8 Ball. I know that there is a canister inside which holds the die and blue liquid. I believe in order to take that out, I need to open the entire ball. I don't think that it will snap back together in a way that won't leak. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Question by sk8rgrrl   |  last reply

How do I make fabric superhydrophobic/waterproof?

I am looking for a solution to make a fabric waterproof. (including cotton and polycotton blends/synthetics) I am looking to do something cheaper than buying a store-bought solution, such as making it from scratch. I have looked into purchasing octadecyltrichlorosilane, but it is both expensive and hazardous to ship ($25 hazmat fee) If possible I am also looking into finding a solution that is non-toxic and is safe for use on people.

Question by thriftymouse72   |  last reply

Seal Glue Glitter on Plastic?

I bought some fancy reusable clear plastic cups and I applied some glue glitter on them.  Unfortunately, the dry glitter glue scrapes off, so I'm wondering Is there a sealant that can: 1) keep the glue from being scraped off, 2) dries clear (the glossier the better), and 3) is non toxic?  Tried Mod Podge spray sealer, Glossy Accents, even finger nail polish.  Any suggestions?

Question by drc536   |  last reply

photovoltaic CIGS solar cells DIY ..

Hello, I have been reading this document lately: CIS(CIGS) thin films prepared for solar cells by one-step electrodeposition in alcohol solution and I have been wondering ever since if such procedure might be handled by a DIYer ,without any lab machine (as Graetzel cells are made) . Non toxic materials handled and high efficiency levels would be plus.

Topic by gabdab   |  last reply

solar powered cooler

Using these ideas as a starting point:"Another variant uses air, water, and a salt solution. Warm air is passed through a sprayed solution of salt water. The spray absorbs humidity from the air. The air is then passed through an evaporative cooler. Humidity is removed from the cooled air with another spray of salt solution. The salt solution is regenerated by heating it under low pressure, causing water to evaporate. The water evaporated from the salt solution is recondensed, and rerouted back to the evaporative cooler."Directions on how to make an icy ball. URL works occasionally. a non-flammable, non-toxic, and low pressure version possible?

Topic by beforethought   |  last reply

How to make a large cage for big SNAKES?

Hi, any of you clever guys has a bit of an advanced DIY knowledge of large vivarium building? I am looking for a but of inspiration/tech tips but if anybody loves a challenge, this is what I will be building. Its for my anacondas and it will need to have these specifications: - to hold humidity in/ have waterproof surface on the inside - definitely for the floor - to hold heat in (any ideas of non-toxic heat insulating/reflecting material that is not too thick?) - be fairly light for the purpose of ocassional moving - it needs to be designed with possibility of dismantling for moving in mind, using screws and similar rather than glue etc - to use as much of environmentally friendly materials as possible (ie solvent free etc) - glass doors at the front, all the other sides dont need to be see-through - economical to build - required dimensions: 31 cm tall x 47 cm wide x 204 cm long (front side with the 2 glass doors on hinges, with a partition in the middle 10 or more cm wide) I would be open to innovative materials/ approaches, the main criteria are re-assembly, reasonably low cost and non-toxicity Thanks to everybody for your ideas! In the photo you can see the right half of their present vivarium made of marine plywood. The cage dimensions are (in cm) 61 x 63 x 216.

Question by Khanga   |  last reply

Paper Batteries

Has anyone read anything about the up and coming Paper (thin) batteries ? Paper Batteries: A paper battery is a flexible, ultra-thin energy storage and production device formed by combining carbon nanotubes with a conventional sheet of cellulose-based paper.A paper battery acts as both a high-energy battery and supercapacitor, combining two components that are separate in traditional electronics. This combination allows the battery to provide both long-term, steady power production and bursts of energy. Non-toxic, flexible paper batteries have the potential to power the next generation of electronics, medical devices and hybrid vehicles, allowing for radical new designs and medical technologies.What do you think? Will it replace these monsters one day?

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply

How can I float a small ring magnet? Answered

I am creating a fluid level indicator for my automated drink mixer and need either an alternate solution or an item that can float a small ring magnet. Currently, my idea is to sink a reed switch into a straw, with a ring magnet around the straw.  Once the magnet floats down to the reed switch, it lights up the indicator that the alcohol is (almost) gone. Unfortunately, I cannot find a durable non-toxic way to make the magnet float.  I've done several searches and the closest matches I've found are fishing tackle, which I'm not sure would work all that well.  I've found manufactured devices, but $30 per bottle is a bit much to spend.  I'd like to keep it to under $5 per bottle.

Question by kidmosey   |  last reply

Is Alumisol Soft Plastic food safe?

I'm looking to cast a fake monster tongue out of Alumisol Soft Plastic (Plastisol) for a costume. Obviously it will end up going in my mouth. I can't find any information anywhere about the food-safety of the solid compound. What I gather from the msds sheet is that it's non-toxic, but it's a little ambiguous. The retailer I asked couldn't find any information either. From what I can tell it's usually used to create soft rubber fishing lures, so I'd assume it's environmentally friendly with respect to not releasing toxins into the water, and its listed uses include special effects as well as medical reproductions (Of tissue). Has anyone used this type of plastisol in contact with food or the surface of your mouth before? All help is appreciated.

Topic by SixFootBlue   |  last reply

Fire Extinguisher Case as a Water Bottle?

I went to test an old 2lb fire extinguisher we had by pressing the green test button and, it didn't work. The fire extinguisher was a BC type dry chemical fire extinguisher. The label reads (CONTENTS OF BC DRY CHEMICAL POWDER: SODIUM BICARBONATE, MICA, CALCIUM STEARATE, NUISANCE DUST, IRRITANT; HMIS 0-0-0.) I took the chemical out to use as crude sodium bicarbonate, and now I want to use the bottle. My plan is to keep the labels on, find a cap like they use on most aluminum water bottles, and clean the inside out really well. The question I have is, is it safe? It says the contents are non-toxic, but I would still want to clean it really well. What would I clean it with? Would I have to coat the inside of the bottle because of the metal, (powder coating type place) and if so, what type of coating? Thanks! 

Topic by tinstructable   |  last reply


I've been thinking about rigging a device to automatically defrost my car windscreen about half an hour or so before I get in the car. Since it's got to be able to turn itself on while I'm still asleep, it's got to work off batteries. I think that pretty much rules out my first idea of a heating element / fan setup. My next idea was to use some kind of exothermic reaction and either directly transfer that heat to the glass by conduction, or with a similar convection / fan setup as previous. My questions are: 1) Does this sound at all feasible? If not, any better ideas to achieve the same aim? 2) What reactants would be good to use? The spec is: It has to produce a decent amount of heat over a decent enough period to give (at least a decent chunk of) the windscreen a chance to warm up and defrost without cracking the glass in the process. Also the products of the reaction should preferably be non toxic and easy to deal with (no masses of liquid, poison gas etc!) 3) Has anyone heard of anything like this being attempted before that I could sneakily steal?Ta very much.Adam?

Question by adamnewt 

Where can I get large ( diamter larger than 3 ft.) plastic tubing for a child's diy inside gym/playground.?

I want to make a Super Mario Bros themed inside playground for my kids.  I'm basically wanting to construct some type of tubing to make a "warp pipe" tunnel large enough for them to crawl in and out and create a little wooden fort that's painted to look like a castle from the video game that would connect to these hypothetical warp pipes I want to create. I need whatever I am working with to be safe and smooth, non toxic, strong enough to support two kids btwn the ages of 2 and 4 years old & 25 to 35 lbs, and durable yet not so heavy & dense that it would cause injury to my kids if they bumped their heads. I've briefly looked at PVC piping and concrete forms and am a little unsure; would either or both of theses products be suitable for my idea (and do they even come that large)?  Or does anyone else have some suggestions?   Thank you for your time and any responses. 

Question by bellezza11   |  last reply

Updated information on woodblock printmaking

Just read through the woodblock printmaking advice. The article does not give the artist's name but there are a few bits that I would like to add. First: there is an oil based ink made from soy that is non-toxic and easy to work and clean up. T.N. Lawrence and a London based printmaking supply company both sell Akua inks. This is wonderful ink with terrific colours in addition to the blacks. Second: buy the best carving tools that you can afford and keep them sharp. A dull blade will cause all kinds of carving problems. Third, instead of buying great hunks of wood at enormous costs, think about buying a decent plywood (1/2" at least to minimize warping). I like to use poplar but ask your local lumber supplier for advice. Soft wood is easier to carve but harder wood gives a finer line. Fourth: use the thin Japanese papers for the best results. Ask for sumi-e (ink painting) paper. One can buy it in rolls or sheets. Fifth: instead of covering a book with a towel and risking the wood moving, use a bench hook. Cheap to buy and cheaper to make you own. Essentially it is three pieces of wood screwed together.  Google the word or just ask at your local art store. Check the image. Sixth: have fun but be aware that this art form can be habit forming.

Topic by samurai18   |  last reply

Where to find a small form factor 12v Battery?

I am looking to build an LED light that can be powered directly by a 12v source or use an internal battery. I expect that the fixture form factor will be about 4" in length by 2" to 2.5" in width and no more than 3/4" in depth. Internally, it needs to fit two LED units (each draws 0.1-0.2amps and only one would be on at a time) that are 1"x1"x5/8" each, the inside component of a single pole double throw waterproof switch and the remaining space for batteries. I would like to fit the maximum amount of available capacity as possible in as small a space as possible. I am looking for battery suggestions - small form factor, 12v, preferably available via a regular source (i.e. don't have to be special ordered from China), low self-discharge rate, ability to withstand temperature extremes (specifically 120F-140F degree heat). I'll consider wiring up batteries in parallel and serial to get the charge depth and the proper voltage. Any thoughts? I looked at A23 12v batteries and 2CR-1/3N 6v batteries (wire in serial) but I'd like to find something with more available capacity. Also, I'd prefer a non-toxic battery, but will consider lithium, and the ability to be recharged would be a big bonus. I'm guessing there's nothing out there that would give me enough life to be happy, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks!

Question by kcls   |  last reply

Cool gel mats for pets

Hi, all! I foster dogs and cats in Baton Rouge for several non-profit agencies.  Lately, I've had more than a few feral cats needing a temporary home.  I had an idea (inspired by something I saw online) to use the trunk from the crepe myrtle tree my boyfriend chopped down to "catify" the carport where they like to seek shelter at night.  Considering that I've never owned a power tool until now, I think it's coming together nicely so far (pics attached).  Please keep in mind that I'm no carpenter....   This is south Louisiana where the Summer temps are high and the humidity is even higher.  I can only imagine how awful that must be when you are sporting a full fur coat outside!  Here's where I need your help:  I want to make cool gel mats to fit the odd shaped green shelves you see attached to the walls.  I have been sewing for many decades, so making these "cool" cushions to fit is not a problem.  The problem is how to make the GEL that goes inside the mats that keeps the pet cool.  I'd rather not use any toxic chemicals, just in case one of them punctures the gel mat causing it to leak and then decides to drink the gel.  So, maybe there's a chemist out there, or just some intelligent individuals that  might have the answer to my problem?  Any and all suggestions are very much appreciated! Thank you, Linda

Topic by Lbcaswell   |  last reply

Little girl's bedroom with Hacked-Ikea bed

My two year old outgrew her "Princess Toddler bed" and it was time to move her to a regular bed. She has gone from Cradle, to interim playpen, to crib, to fire truck toddler bed (because it was the one with the highest sides we could find when she started jumping out of her crib at 10 months), then to princess bed.. Even though the rest of our house is decorated using modern decor, I really wanted to keep the "French" theme I did when I originally setup her nursery... Because this was her 6th bed, the thought of spending $899 and up for a bed in this category (and not even made out of wood) I got discouraged and decided to buy an inexpensive IKEA bed. When I arrived at IKEA and started looking through the options, again I decided to hold off and not buy anything. As I was leaving the store, I found various items on sale. One of the items was an unfinished bed, for $30!!!! The bed was low to the ground like we needed it. The unfinished wood was not something I wanted, but for $30 I could live with it. At home depot, I purchased decorative wood applique's for the headboard and the foot board ($12 for both). On my way to the cash register I discovered that home depot sells pre-fab unfinished table legs. These legs would make perfect posts for a bed!!! I glued the appliques, screwed and glued the legs in. Then I went online and ordered Milk Paint (non-toxic, no smell, natural paint) in cream and also in white... A few days later it arrived, and I was able to paint the entire bed in about 2 hours (with re-coats). I am very happy with the results. Her room is "a work in progress, her bed is done.

Topic by SniperEve   |  last reply

What profile of pole would be torsionally rigid? Answered

Calling all mechanical engineers and physicists. I want to make a pole that can resist twisting forces. The application is a down tube on a bicycle frame. And I want to use bamboo because it's light, very strong, very cheap, and biodegradable. The problem with bamboo is it lacks torsional rigidity because its fibers only run lengthwise. I was thinking of wrapping a bamboo pole with a composite fiber (hemp and glue) at a 45 degree angle like they do with carbon fiber poles but maybe a different shape would be better. Can anyone think of a specific geometry of pole that is tortionally stiff? I noticed some bicycles have a triangular down tube. Maybe if I cut bamboo into three strips and glued them together into a tube with a triangular cross section, this might be less twisty. Am I thinking along the right lines here? My first bamboo bike has a lot of twist and this might be one way to make it stronger. Please let me know what you think. UPDATE: The issue was many fold. The short answer is Tonkin Bamboo is the species to use for bikes. This is what most people seem to use. Also Boo Bikes use dendrocalamus strictus (aka Iron Bamboo). My frame had some cracks possibly due to harvesting at the wrong season. I've recently gained more cracks and the bike flexes even more. It flexes like a noodle but I can still do an endo no problem. Go figure. Also hemp sounds like it gets more stretchy after being flexed about 1000 times whereas carbon fiber stays stiff. And squishy wood glue is probably not as stiff as epoxy. All this adds up to a flexy frame. My next one will be tonkin bamboo but I will try hemp and non-toxic wood glue again. UPDATE #2: I'm making a three wheeler and my engineering design teacher gave me some advice involving spaceframes and triangles. The plan thus far looks like this upright tadpole trike: UPDATE #3: I think I've got it! Instructables sent me a box of K'nex and I built up a model of a standard bike's frame. The thing is, when a bike frame twists, the opposing corners of the trapezoidal shape come closer or further apart. So a deep X brace from corner to corner seems to fix most of the problem. I'll try to post a youtube vid of what I mean soon.

Question by snotty   |  last reply

Make SF Meeting

This past Sunday I went to the Make SF meeting graciously hosted by Tech Shop in Menlo Park. I unfortunately do not have names and/or links to work relevant to the presenters, but I will try to give an overview of what I saw as best I can.The first presenter showed a musical interface he made with a laser pointer and a photocell that altered a track of music to correspond with the disturbance of the surface of the water. He told of how he embedded many such bowls in a table and had the laser pointers shining straight down into them from the ceiling so that it seemed as though the water itself was changing the music. He used it a party the previous weekend (side note: I never get invited to parties nearly as cool).Followed him was a man that created a device to interface with a computer as a USB HID. In short, it pretended to be a keyboard, mouse or joystick and then you could send it commands from a micro controller. He had his device installed in a model plane and based on accelerometer readings used it to control a flight simulator. Next there was a man from Google who showed the low-cost Arduino based glowing orb that he was working on based on the Arduino Orb Build Warden. This was presented as one possible solution to have widespread visual indication for monitoring the status of their ongoing projects. Presenter #4 promised not to have anything quite as high tech and passed around a copper bracelet made using copper wiring and traditional cold forge methods. He then spent the rest of the time talking about how he welded the ends of the bracelet with a tig welder made from a microwave much like this one. And even though he promised not to have anything technical to show, he went into the finer points of building your own microwave welder in regards to transformer modification and the importance of finding a reliable metal foot pedal to control the weld. Lastly, someone came from Shape Lock and demonstrated his "Ultra-High Molecular Weight Low Temperature Thermoplastic." Or in other words, you stick it in a pot of water heated to 160 degrees for a few minutes, take it out and bend it into any shape you want, let it harden for a few more minutes and you're good to go. You can use it to quickly and easily make all kinds of high-strength custom shapes and fasteners. It is actually very cool. However, remember, don't stick it in your mouth (or anywhere else!) because albeit non-toxic it will lock your jaw shut and good luck getting that back to 160 degrees. Oh... I should also mention that the meeting was organized and hosted by the legendary Andrew Milmoe.And that summarizes what I saw and heard.The next meeting will most likely be the first Sunday in March and you can get more info on the official Make SF site. Also, there will be a Make SF social gathering next Thursday at Mars Bar in San Francisco (7th and Brannan).It starts around 7 PM and there is rumored to be a special robotic guest attending. (if anyone has more info on any of the presenters please let me know)

Topic by randofo   |  last reply

The more natural way of cleaning things...

At my workplace we basically have a specific cleaner or cleaning product for every task you can think of. From glass over stainless to plastics and desinfectants for lots of different surfaces. After a quick look into my cleaining cabinet at home I started to wonder if I am doing something wrong as I only have a few cleaning things for my use. Asking my friends also showed they have a big bunch of cleaning chemicals, plus the bottle of bleach that everyone down here has. So I though: Your grandma only had a few cleaning products and you learned most of things you need to clean from her. Considering I grew up healthy I guess she must have done something right.... Let's clean up with the cleaning myths, shall we? 1. What cleaning chemicals do you have? For quite a few people the list would start something like this: Dishwashing liquid, window, cleaner, bathroom cleaner, soap scum remover, floor cleaner, oven cleaner, several desinfectants.... If that is true for you too than we might be on to something already. 2. What cleaning chemicals do I really need? This is a good question as everyone is a bit different but I assume a healthy household here. Of course we need certain things to clean our various surfaces properly but it is far less than waht you have been told by the TV commercials.... These days we like to think if there is a special cleaner for something then of course we have to use it to clean properly. Unless you have trades people walking through with their wet dogs several times a day and see dust storms at least twice a week you really only need a few things. So let's get to the basics: 3. Old style cleaning and what you need for it - really the only stuff required to keep all clean and sanitised. a) Methylated spirit b) Clear ammonia - cloudy ammonia works too but be aware that the added soap can be a problem that leaves streakes c) Hydrogen peroxide - pool grade to be cheap in the long run d) Orange oil - citrus oil works great too if you prefer a different smell e) Soap - just basic soap, these stinky, slightly yellow and hard bricks - no fancy smelly soap ;) f) Several cleaning brushes but you should already have those g) Windows cleaning tools - the basic microfibre cloth and squeegee will do h) Several microfibre cloths - bigger ones for floors and walls, smaller for windows and the rest I) Yesterdays newspaper j) Baking soda With those few things we have everything to clean whatever comes up and if bought in bulk comes down to a few cents per bottle compared to a few dollars when you buy all the stuff you don't need. Lets figure out what the stuff does and how to use it: 4. Mixing and what to use it for.... The alcohol is a really good remover for everything greasy and also desinfects the surfaces. A quick spray and wipe on your bench is all that you need to remove oily residue or the mess from the kids. Mixed with a bit of soap and water (about 50-50) also removes sticky stuff like jam or syrup. If we use about 50ml of alcohol, 50ml of clear ammonia and 900ml of water we get one liter of really good window cleaner. The modern way is to use microfibre for the cleaning and a squeegee to get it dry, the old way just uses a cloth and then the window is "polished" with some old newspaper. The black ink reacts with the alcohol and form a mild abrasive while the paper soaks up the moisture, the result is a prefectly clean window in under 3 minutes. Orange oil is not only a powerful degreaser but also lifts old dirt or even glue residue. Used directly it will get rid of the remains from sticky tape, stickers and everything that other cleaners fails to get off - smoth surface and non soaking of course. 50ml of it with 50ml of ammonia and 100ml of alcohol per bucket makes a good florr cleaner and your house smells nice when done. Works best if you can use a microfibre cloth or floor wiper to dry the surface with it. In the kitchen we can find a lot of surfaces that are greasy and we already covered that bit, so lets get to the though stuff. The kitchen sink can become dull looking although it is not scratched. This is due to hard water, food residue, soap and other things. Best is of course to wipe it and dry it after use but who really does this every day? A pot scrubbing pad with some baking soda on it does the trick here. Make the pad nly moist and sprinkle the baking soda on it. Rub over the stainless and if too dry add a few drops of water. Once done rinse off and enjoy the difference. For hard to clean or badly turtured sinks you can try a ball of aluminium foil and coke - use it like a polish. The oven is often our worst nightmare. The cooktop is not far behind. But even here we can have a chance to clean without too much hard work or bad chemicals. Of course the best way is to prevent these spills and boil overs ;) For the cooktop some hot water and baking soda will soften the baked on stuff. Simply remove what you can with the hot water and then sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Cover all with the paper towels and if not wet enough add a bit more hot water so all shets are soaked. Leave ove night and wipe clean the next day. The oven is a bit of a problem once the side and back wall are filthy. If baking soda with a pot scrubber won't do the trick get some of these steel pads with soap in it. The soap in them is special in terms that you only need a little bit of water to remove almost anything with them - and they won't scrath enamelled surfaces. On the bottom we often have badly burnt in things that are next to impossible to fully remove. I suggest to cover the same way as the cooktop but also to add some orange oil. Just make a thick paste of baking soda and orange oil and wrok it into the soiled surface. Cover with wet paper towels and leave over night. Now you don't want to flood your oven, so that means you need to use a sponge or thick cloth that is big enough to wipe off the surfaces you soaked the day before. As the orange oil really is oil it pays off to use some alcohol in the cleaning water to get rid of the oil and grease a bit easier. Don't expect to see a clean and shiny surface after one treatment if the oven was badly misused, you might have to repeat the procedure a few times. If in doubt use the soapy steel pads for last clean and before soaking over night again. Three to four treatments are usually enough to clean even the worst disaster that can happen in an oven unless you baked it in for months... 5. Desinfecting and mouldy spots.... As said, the methylated spirit is basically just pure alcohol and kill almost anything that might harm you. But sometimes that just is not enough. And who really wants to spend an hour or longer to clean some mouldy spots in the shower or try to cover the smell by spraying room freshener? As a lst resort for everything I use Hydrogen Peroxide. The supermarket grade is only 3% and usually badly overpriced, so I suggest to get a small canister of pool grade peroxide. Do yourself a favour and ask them to install a tap on it - you don't want to do it yourself unless you already know how bad pool grade peroxide is! For your own safety when handling it I strongly recommend wearing long rubber gloves, nitrile is better but please no latex as it could start to burn when getting in contact with the peroxide. For high grade desinfecting or the removal of mouldy areas I recommend to dilute 1:5, one part of peroxide to 5 parts of water. Only for the mould removal on tiled, plastic, glass or metal surfaces you can use the peroxide pure from the container - but please add face protection when cleaning! Some spray bottles work with peroxide some just start leaking badly, if you want try an old bottle of chlorine based cleaner after really flushing everything out. The peroxide breaks down any organic material it comes into contact with, so not just the mould you want to remove but also your skin or eyes if you allow contact. On the skin you see white areas after contact and they won't go away until all the oxygen in the skin is gone that was left by the peroxide. If you act too late it means you might loose some skin flakes. The sure sign of overlook exposure on your skin is a burning sensation in the area - this only happens when the amount was big enough or your clothes got soaked. On your surfaces to clean you will notice bubbles forming quite quickly - this mean the peroxide is reacting with something, usually organic material. Let it bubble... Once it stops bubbling the surface is either sterile or the peroxide is used up, if it bubbles when adding fresh peroxide onto it then there is still crap left ;) It really helps to brush off the surface after each treatment as a lot of loose material will be flushed out when rinsing off. Once it looks and smells clean again it usually means it is clean :) 6. Special case: Wood... Be it wooden floorboards, furniture or just your chopping board - always try what the manufacturer recommends first! Untreated wood should never be cleaned with anything wet! Sealed wood, like floorboards or things with varnish on it to make it water proof can be cleaned the same way as mentioned above - but I would leave out the ammonia as some wood treatments simply won't tolerate it and might go dull instead of returning nice and shiny - spot testing required if you think you have to use ammonia as well! Orange oil itself makes a great furniture cleaner if the surface is smooth and sealed, but if it is not it means the oil soaks into the wood together with the stuff you want to clean off! It also takes off several paints and types of varnish if you work it hard enough and give it some time, so avoid this and be quick instead of forgetting to finnish the job ;) Always try to wet the surface as little as possible and wipe fully dry as soon as possible! Ok, good start but what is the real benefit? For me the actual benefit is that I know what I am using and exposing myself to. Just reading what is in most cleaning products we find at the supermarket makes me want to clean again after using them, just to remove their residues... I admit it might take some time to get used to mixing and just having a few ingredients for the cleaning but it does work great. Especially if you or your kids are already sensitive to certain chemicals or just of poor health in general you might see the benefit quite quickly. Some people really don't like the smell of ammonia but unless you are sensitive to it there is nothing to worry when using the household grade as we always dilute it down massively anyway. A good way to avoid the worst stink is by mixing it outside with the wind from behind. I won't say that certain commercial products are bad, harmful or not good enough for the job. Some are actually worth to have in some cases but I just say it is better to only have a hand full of chemicals that are not too bad instead of an endless list of things were we don't even know what's inside. For me the best is your surprise when it actually works better than you expected and report your findings here.

Topic by Downunder35m