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On this page you can find links to some of our most frequently asked questions. What is this site? Instructables is a place that lets you explore, document, and share your creations. How do I post an Instructable? We offer a free and easy online class to coach you through posting your first Instructable or you can just wing it and start a new one today. How do I get help improving my Instructable?Ask the community for help in The Clinic. How does my Instructable get featured? The best way to get your projects featured is by following the Featuring Guidelines. Where can I learn more about contests? Our Contest FAQ has all of the information that you need to know about contests. What contests are launching soon? Check out our list of upcoming contests. Are you on social media? Yes! Follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. How do I contact Instructables directly? The best way to contact us is through our Contact Page.

Topic by randofo   |  last reply


Author Spotlight Interviews: Nominate an author!

We recently began a new round of author spotlight interviews. For the first interview, we chose to reach out and chat with Nikus, who recently won the grand prize in this year's Epilog Contest. You can check out our interview here: Author Spotlight: NikusThese interviews are a great way to learn a little more about individual contributing authors here on Instructables, and see what makes them tick! Is there someone who is an active author that you'd be interested in learning more about? Now's your chance to nominate a fellow author. There are no set requirements to be eligible to be nominated. But generally, we're looking for authors who've shared a good handful of high-quality projects, which made a notable splash within the Instructables community.And yes, if you're feeling bold, you may certainly nominate yourself! : )

Topic by seamster   |  last reply


Herbst Appliance

-update-cant believe the attention this has got. either way i got my braces off...in august of 2008. Wednesday before school started. Finally.straight teeth finally, and i can eat! so great.either way it still took like 5 or 6 years, too long.Im just wearing an invisible retainer(behind my teeth, its glued in, its just a wire). Cant even feel it.Just think- if you have braces- how good it will feel when you get them off...OK, I have braces, meant to correct the spaces that were in between my teeth, and also, to move my lower jaw forward. I've had them for...5 YEARS! Needless to say, they JUST finished closing most of the gaps(again, after 5 years), and are working on moving my jaw forward. So, like almost every person I see with braces (well, some), I got rubber bands. I actually had a choice between them and the Herbst appliance. I picked the herbst-y thing, but they didn't have a part...so, blah blah blah, long story short, I got rubberbands until the part came in. So the part came in today, and I went for them to put it on, and after about an extremely boring hour, they were on. Anyway, It wasn't until then that I realized what (Insert bad word(s) here) things these were. I can't eat ( more specifically- chew), talk (clearly), or EVEN FULLY CLOSE MY MOUTH!.i hate them...................SO... ...on a lighter note, does anyone here have/had that herbst thing before?Update- I got them off, and I'm wearing rubber-bands now.

Topic by John Smith   |  last reply


How to insulate a cooler box

I have just bought a plastic cooler box. It is two boxes in one: an inside lining, an air cavity, the outside case and  of course a lid and handle.. I would like to improve the insulation. I have a 750ml can of expanding polyurethane foam which I thought of spraying into the cavity. It will dry in an hour. I can work out the exact volume  to be filled with  the foam by prefilling it with water and measuring the amount of water that pours out of the cavity , but I do not know the best way to apply the foam. Any ideas, please. For example should I wrap the inner box in anything before pushing it into the wet foam that I  spray against the inside of the outer case? Robin

Topic by R89163   |  last reply


xbox 360 gamertags.

Hi instructables. I just wanted this to be a forum so we can get to know each other's xbox 360 gamertags. Pls. post yours. P.s. mines is Y3ahWhat3v3r P.P.S. I'll send you all friend requests if you want.

Topic by SeMi_AuToMaTic   |  last reply


Help with wooden bathroom sink cabinet top surface

Hi, I have just relocated to Switzerland and live in a rented accommodation. The master bathroom has double sink wooden cabinets. Unfortunately, the top surface of the cabinets is not covered by glass, marble, or quartz. The sinks sit on the surface (solid wood). No matter how careful someone might be while hand washing etc., you can't get away without splashing. Major stress if you think that you might need to pay for replacement of the cabinets at the end of tenancy.How could I protect the area? Many thanks PS. (link) Master Bathroom sink top pictures

Topic by ADoZ   |  last reply


Some of the current Ebay and Paypal scams to be aware of

Recently the spam activities increased for my inbox and with that the amount of phishing Emails and direct scams.Today I will only focus on the big two: Paypal and Ebay.1. General Paypal scams and phishing mails....Most of these are really easy to spot.Genuine Emails coming from Paypal always address you with your full name!Scam or other bad Paypal Emails will use your Email address or just your first name.There is a problem with some users here, but I will go into these details a bit further down.In most cases the scammer will spoof areal looking Paypal Email or server address.This means in your Email client the sender appears as "Paypal" and not some cryptic server address you can find in the source code of the offending mail.The simple scams use links to malware or phishing sites - often trying to look like the original so be aware of this.2. The latest and for some hard to spot Paypal scam.You are more likely to become a target if the Email looks genuine enough to fool you to click on some link in it.A lot of users do a quick check with the mouse on some links offered and check in the bottom left corner for the link that appears.Sadly in the latest scam mails the scammer uses genuine graphics and links.In some case directly from the Paypal servers, like logos and backgrounds.Only one link is in there that will fool you.If the scam informs you about a payment you supposedly made than it will be the link directing you to your account to cancel the payment for a refund.If the scam mail is about a refund you got then it is the same link - the one making it easy for you to get to your account settings.In one scam mail I landed on a really good looking copy of Paypal's login portal.The address bar however did not contain the usual secure HTTPS and neither a genuine address going to paypal.Problems with these new scam mails happen if you follow the suggestions or free will for naming your Email account.If your Email is for example tommy19726@mymail.com then you will spot this quite easy in the scam mail when you are addressed as tommy19726 instead of Tommy Hilfinger.It seems to be a favour now to have a real looking Email, so Tommy might have used Tommy.Hilfinger@mymail.com.And then in the scam mail he would be addressed as "Tommy.Hilfinger" - only the DOT is then different to a real Paypal mail!!!If you have one of these Email addresses with no numbers and just your first and last name then pay specail attention when checking Paypal mails!!!3. The latest Ebay scam from China :(Lately I had to order quite a few things that I could only get through Ebay for a reasanable price.Shipping costs were the major problem with other sources as I don't see the point in paying much more for postage than for what I bought.Anyways, the scam goes like this:You order something with a value above about $50.You get the usual payment confirmation and a few days later a tracking number.Problem is that this tracking number won't get any updates at all.It usually only states "Shipping information received".This means someone in China requested a shippment but never actually lodge an item or had one picked up.You can't do anything through Ebay until the max delivery time is over.Trying to get a working tracking number from those seller only gives you excuses but nothing of use.In many cases the answer you get has no relation to your request!Once the last date to get the shippment is over the seller keeps stalling and asks you to wait a few days more.No attempt to explain that the tracking shows that nothing at all was sent on the way gets any useful answer.It is like talking to your digital assistent set to a language you don't speak.Once you start a claim through Ebay the case and refund is handled quite quickly.Does not mean you are left alone by the seller, especially if you did the right thing and left negative feedback.And no surprise, suddenly the seller is then even able to uderstand your language LOLBiggest thing is that these dodgy seller are adjusting quickly.Once you state in your responses that you will open a calim they usually "offer" a refund.Even if you clearly state you want the item and not the refund you will get a nice thank note back and then a refund that makes a claim impossible.You are left with no item and can wait another 3 or 4 weeks if you find trustworthy seller that is.Only chance is to open a "Item not received" claim right after the last due date.But even if Ebay agrees and provides you with a refund, as they have no interest to do more, you need be quick!The item in question will end in the hidden section of your purchase history.Only if enable to show your hidden items you can then select it to rate at least the transaction for a negative feedback.If you act quick enough you can even leave negative feedback in the usual way, but only through activating your hidden items.What can you do to stay secure?The easiest way for Paypal is to simply ignore all content in any Email you get that seems to be from Paypal!Whatever you do or feel you need to check: Go directly into your Paypal account through the app or with your browser but DO NOT use any links provided in any Email.If you think an Email is suspicious then just forward the Email to "spoof@paypal.com" - or .com.au for Australia, .de for Germany and so on.In case the Email is genuine you will get a corresponding response.If the Email is indeed fishy then Paypal will notify you to delete the Email in question.For Ebay the problem is not s easy - at least if you don't buy locally.From my end I can only state it is the Chinese sellers, Hong Kong and mainland.And a few years back the recommendation was not to buy from a seller with less than 95% of positive feedback.You can try it yourself and mess up one sale if you are private and see how badly your feedback goes down - just kidding, please don't try!!!With the introduction of "power Sellers" and Ebay stores however this guide was rendered totally useless.A power seller with 99.7% positive feedback can still literally have hundrets of negative feedback comments for the past few months.Quite often you see it spiked a month or 6 ago - a clear indicator the seller is going to new account and tries to make as much quick money as possible before Ebay closes him down for good.If in doubt you really need to check the negative feedback in detail before buying.Some really dodgy sellers make all sales "private".This not only removes the item from the feedback but also the sale price.Intended only for special uses, Ebay sees no need to stop this misuse.If you can't see detailed feedback for a seller then just don't trust the seller!If you see way too many negative feedback comments during the past 6 months then stay away!Click on other listing showing identical listing images and you can be almost certain that even if the seller name is different it will be the same scammer.You can usually confirm this by seeing a similar pile up of negative feedback with that seller.Why do I stress so much about Ebay scammers if you get a refund anyways?Interest...No really, I mean interest in getting it for the money in your account.Firstly, if you wasted about 100 bucks and waited a few weeks for finally getting a refund, then you were out of pocket twice.Once by paying for something you never got and then again for the money you lost in interest.Sure on your end only a few cents worth...But see it from the other side:Have just hundred transactions of $50 going into your Paypal account where you never actually bother to send anything.Add a longer than usual shipping time and make it free.Means you have $5000 in your account collecting interest rates for 4 to 6 weeks.Do it on an even bigger scale and you can invest 10.000 or more on a regular base.With up to 10% of interest on foreign currency Chinese banks are only too happy to take it.Or did you never wonder why an item sold in Greece needs to be paid for in US Dollar, UK Pound or Canadian Dollar? ;)A good Ebay scammer can make over $25.000US in interest rate payouts this way before Ebay even decides to limit or monitor his sales.And once Ebay or the feedback rating goes to negative on him it continues on another account with the same items and availbilities.Quite often you can find a seller has let's say 5 items sold and 12 still available.Isn't it then funny and of course pure coincidence that another seller has the same, hard to find item, with the exact same 5 items sold and 12 available?Ebay has no interest to actually stopping this in any way, Paypal also prefers to look away if the same account is used for multiple Ebay accounts.Not even the need to provide the Paypal details of the seller in plain english is a requirement anymore.You need to use a translator to figure out what "company" is behind the Paypal account and it never matches the Ebay account in any way....I did some checks on the few suspicious sellers that still had at least item prices listed with their negative feedback.There are some out there having a vlue of well over $12.000US in "not received" claims over the last 12 months.About a year ago I tried to start a little (ad sponsored) reporting service online.Scammed Ebay users were asked to provide the details about the item, Paypal address of the seller and the amount/time until refunded.Within 3 days of going online and with only having two users that reported a scammer my provider gave me a shut down notice - effective immediately.A few days later I got an Email stating my website was shut after both Ebay and Paypal stated I would violate their privacy terms and break US law.Needless to say this notice also included a note informing me that if I attempt to conitnue to provide such service I will be taken to court for legal action.So what was the fuzz all about you might wonder?It was planned that users can provide the required data, without this data actually showing up anywhere.Once the databse was full enough a user could enter a seller or shop name or even a Paypal account to have it checked for negative things.You either get "unknown" or a list that states when and how many users reported this seller.With no deatils about any transactions, item numbers or user names linked.Did I mention how supportive Ebay and Paypal were when I contacted them about the take down notice? ROFLRules and regulations...I pointed these flaws out to Ebay and Paypal more times than I can count over the past 3 or four years.But as always, money is all that matters and those scammers won't be stopped.If you get a refund then the seller will be punished by more than your feedback, only if the Paypal account he used was unable to provide the required funds.In the rare case the Paypal account disappears with the seller you will notice the refund comes from Ebay or Paypal but not from the seller's account.This is the only real buyer protection Ebay has on offer.The rest is just following the pressure of local laws, especially in terms of refund and warranties.Does not mean though a warranty for an Ebay item will be honored by a company....If you start selling on Ebay then one big requirement is to have a validated Paypal account.Also a real physical address - although this is only too often just taken as granted once you had a delivery to your nominated address.Either way you Paypal account's address and name must match what you used for Ebay.Means if things go really south both Ebay and Payl will have enough details to surrender you to the local law.In China however things are different, starting with space.An export business is highly subsidised as it brings in foreign currency.So you can just hire a dummy letter box in some office building for company purposes.All mail however will be directed to whatever real address you specified for your "company".Same for actual company grounds.A n awful lot of producing factories/companies over there get additional support by the government for supporting small export businesses.That means you, as a little Chinese Ebay power seller forward your orders to whatever factory produces or stores these thing in huge amounts.This company then does all the shipping for you.Becomes really clear once you try to figure out from where you Ebay shippment really came.There won't be any Ebay seller name on the address, same for whatever you found in the Paypal invoice.The guy can just sit in his lounge room and never actually touches any shippment at all.In mayn cases those sellers have good discounts and since small items ship for free out of China, no one complains about the extra work.Both Ebay and Paypal are well aware of those loop holes in China!But as with multiple accounts they look away and prefer not to act as long as the money keeps flowing.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Recent Feed Page

We have heard your feedback loud and clear, and we will be bringing back an easy way to see all recently published instructables. This requires some dev time because we changed things under the hood and need to do a little work to re-create this page. We hope to have it back shortly.We appreciate your patience as we continue refining the site after this release.Update:The recent feed has been released and can be found at this link:https://www.instructables.com/feed/recent/You can also find a link to it on your feed page.

Topic by randofo   |  last reply


Don't keep rats as pet !

When my brother decided to travel around the country, he has been forced to leave the white rat he kept as pet ... and I've been forced to adopt this little animal.Rats as pets quickly become cute, funny, and show a personality that make them even more endearing ... In other words, "la souris" (the mouse), as I renamed it because I was unable to remember the name my bro gave her formerly, quickly found her place in my home and my life.So, happy end ??No !No, because rats pets quickly develop lot of weird diseases :- dermatitis - mange- bumble feet- cysts- tumors- etc- and various infections and self-injuries because the rat scratches or bites itself because of one or several of the above diseases.The health and the life of your rat will quickly become a nightmare, and, if like me, you tend to consider your pets like full members of your family, your rat pet will become a great source of worries ... and if you're not cruel, you'll be forced to give an end to its agony. Because that's a real slow and cruel agony.Most people who adopt a rat as pet seems not to be aware of all the problems this little animal will have, neither how expensive it will be to look after it.The internet is full of sites dedicated to the diseases of rats pet. My advice : If you love pets, don't adopt or give a rat as pet !20080225 update :Despite what I said, if you still want to adopt a rat, then, you should better document yourself a lot before commitment.Member Please wrote a tiny instructable about How to take care of a rat the right way. She is a breeder, so you could ask her as much questions as you need.20080226 update :She also wrote two other very useful articles :avoid bad diseases for your pet ratfun games for your pet rat

Topic by chooseausername   |  last reply


Help! -I need a timed cigarette dispenser - seriously

Have tried everything to give up smoking and failed, so a neighbor offered to give me 1 cigarette every 4 hours so I can cut back. Now she is going out of town and I really need a machine to do this job. Can anyone come up with a relatively inexpensive machine that can be built by an amateur like me? I would be grateful for any help.

Topic by diane4m   |  last reply


Buyer beware of Ebay "gifts" !!

There is a quite concerning trend happening with mostly Chinese sellers on Ebay.Before you panik: Ebay is happy to help in these cases and will refund you if the seller does not cooperate.Here is how the "scam" works:You buy an item that is of least some value.For my cases it was always items above the $50US mark.In the listing you will spot a hint that for some festivities, specail day in the calendar or just for good luck you will receive an additional and free gift with your purchase.Usually these gifts are of little to no use and included in the actual item delivery as they are tiny.Now some dodgy seller realised that with the free shipping options available in China it is quite easy to provide tracking information for free as well.As a result you GIFT is used to provide the Ebay tracking for the item you bought.Some days after ordering yu wil then find a small evelop in your letterbox...No obvious connections to ANY order you made ANYWHERE on the envelop so you open it.Then you find the meaningless gift and a crappy note informing you that your actual item was sent using a different service.A non-working tracking number for services like track17 is provided as well.Only hint you find it is Ebay related is the seller name at the bottom of the note.Checking your purchase history in Ebay will then show your item has been delivered and that you shall leave feedback now.The seller won't respond to any messages with your concerns.Here is how the solution works:Contact the seller and clearly state that Ebay selling rules have been violated by providing false tracking information for the item you bought.Demand a full refund based on that breach.If no response within 24 hours contact Ebay.This contacting however is now quite complicated due to the fact that the seller fooled Ebay into thinking you already have your item.There are two ways that still work.a) Call them or click the button to be called.State the breach, seller name and item number in question.b) Use the resolution center.For this you need to click a bit through the options to see all you transactions and from there select the item in question.A) will be the fastest way, B) works fine too if you prefer all in writing instead of a call.The whole issue can be as meaningless as your item arriving a day or two later.But if the trend catches on then it is no problem for a seller to close business and do so with one big win before closing doors.It is never just a single "mistake" of this kind, it is either a test to see how trusting people are to be fooled later or a direct attempt to scam you.Being a clear violation of Ebay's selling policies for once the buyer is actually secure here, just out of pocket from the day paid till the refund arrives.The refund usually is issued within 3 days after the seller did not respond the correct way to EBAY.Once you informed Ebay the whole case will also be added to your resolution center where you can see updates and have the option to react to what the seller answers.You can also leave negative feedback for such transactions and the seller won't be allowed to give you a negative feedback for it.Just be careful not to click on any of the stars!You CAN leave feedback without any star rating in any category listed!

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Discussion Pge Doesn't Work

WHen clicking on "Discussions" tab it opens my prophile page instead of discussions. Tied on Oper and Chrome - the same.

Topic by Waldemar Sha   |  last reply


Call of Duty 4 magic spray

I was playing Call of Duty 4, and there was a part in the game where a S.A.S agent used some kind of aerosol spray that made the part of the fence that he sprayed brittle and was easily removed. I have never heard of anything in my comings and goings in chemistry that matches this, but according to the game developers they say every weapon is real. Has anyone heard of a spray or anything like this?

Topic by Sedgewick17   |  last reply


Be aware of the new LED light-door knocking scam!

It might just be a local thing for now here in AU but history shows a good scam often is picked up globally...The topic of the scam is a FREE upgrade of your old incandescent lights to modern and cost efficient LED lights.Down here we have these government sponsored and energy related initiatives for home owners and landlords on a more or less regular base.Sometimes it is solar cells, then solar hot water systems or better insulation, now we again have LED lights as last time not everyone took the offer.The offical way to benefit is to apply for it, usually a quick online process.After that a certified guy or girl makes an appointment and replaces the number of lights you specified.But to address more people and get around landlords door knockers are also used.These offcial guys provide you with some flyers highlighting the program, details about the process and so on.And if you are interested sign you up on a list for your replacement.It means you don't sign anything, you just confirm your ID and end on a list.A a week or two later you see a bunch of students running with little ladders and boxes of lightbulbs knocking on doors.So far so good and sometimes you even get older people replacing the bulbs for free.You can quite easy identify the official guys down here as the display ID tags with picture and those tags not just look professional but also contain all vital info and signs that correspond to the official government initiative.The scammers jumping on the money train however show a slightly different approach.Usually students with good language and promotional skills come in a nice dress and knock on your door.They come with a more less well made copy of the government flyer, usually not in the right format and not on nice, glossy paper.They also usually only show you a badge after you ask then to but won't follow the official code and have it displayed on the dress.Said badge, in my case, was of bad quality and was just an ink jet print laminated in bulk and cut straight, not even with the standard rounded edges...I played along anyway and showed interest, so I was asked if it is ok to have a quick look to check how many lights are required.Keep in mind here that the official guys won't need that info - they take this info by the actual amount of lights the students replace later on!I told the guy I only need 6 lights as the rest was already replaced by myself.Needless to say he insisted stating that he needs to confrim the amount as a requirement for the free replacment because the installer needs to know how many light are required...You would expect now to see someone walking through your house with the head tilted to the ceiling....2 minutes, maybe three...It took almost 10 minutes, for each light he filled a bit out on his form.Like lvining room, 3 lights, ladder required, toilet, one light, cover needs to be removed.....This time was used to get an impression of what is visibly available in the rooms...Once done the nice guy wanted me to sign his now filled out form and asked for my name so he can put it in the form.Don't know why I felt this urgent need but I asked nicely if I could actually have a quick read of the form before I sign.Reluctantly he agreed and handed my the form.What I spotted right away was that it was two pages that were not connected in any way, like with a stapler, not numbered either.The first page had all the details of my lights and requirements plus some not really clear looking government inignias.Like what you would end up with if you embed in a word document from a web page.Low quality instead of coming from a proper and official print shop.Page two then only needed my name, address and signature under the long list of fineprints.I did not even have to read it all to know it indeed is a bdly made scam.The FREE LED lights are still free, but each one comes with an installation fee of $35.This fee covers checking the fittings and light switches and if required their replacement at the costs of the occupant plus of course the disposal of the old lights.The offcial cooling off period for this type of contract is honored though.Well, that is until you read it all and double check the first page.14 days are granted for this officially and in the contract I was supposed to sign.With the exception that I automatically agree to have the replacement done at the convinience of the installer.Also added was a clause that states the contract is binding and the payment is required within 7 days once the lights are replaced.Page 1 though already had next Friday listed for the replacements of my lights....Means my cooling off period is reduced to 7 days....To cancel the contract I would have to send it in writing and with confirmation.And the arrival needs to be confirmed at least 48 hours prior to the installation date so the installer can shedule accordingly.Basically means I have to send this cancellation letter the same day I sign the contract to have any chance at all to avoid paying at least $35 per LED light.Needless to say I refused to provide my name and did not sign despite all well meant attempts to convince me otherwise.And although I can neither deny nor confirm to have made a specific phone call, some cop car picked the guy up shortly after when he was knocking on another door further down the street...Be aware if some really nice guy or girl offers you a FREE service after you opened your door!Be suspicious if they "require" entry to confirm or check certain things!It is quite possible this requirement is only to check for valuables!Do the smart thing and take what they offer in paperwork and ask them to come back a few days later so you can have a good read.Don't let them pressure you in any way!!!If it is a free service then you don't need to rush things and any official door knocker will be happy to give you the parperwork and tell you if you want to have it done you can simple use the details on the info material and register yourself online.And if you go that route you will see an official government portal for it.Even if a scammer goes as far as creating a website for the scam it won't provide you any of the standards you expect from your government.If you really decide to sign something on the spot or to provide personal details then at least read all the fineprints and everything else on all the documents!That means unless you know legal talk that you should have someone check it for you!

Topic by Downunder35m 


Feeding baby praying mantis (newly hatched)

FYI to anyone who has or wants to know what you can feed praying mantis babies right after they hatch. The egg sack i have been "protecting" (i thought) til spring has just hatched a day ago and its only december, my plan was to let them go after they hatched in the spring, but since i didnt keep the sack cold, it hatched now. After i freaked out for abit seeing i have about 50 or more TINY mantis all over the container i put the sack in, i called and called ALL over but no one would take them, and i cant let them just die. Everything i read about them says they only eat LIVE bugs..and they have to be small...really really small..like pinhead crickets or fruit flies...well...YUCK..i dont want that in the house...but if thats what they need then so be it..UNTIL...i called a bait store and the guy (i wanted to KISS him for this info) told me to put RAW MEAT on a string so it sticks in small peices and hang it in the container..IT WORKS!! they went right for it!! SOOOO.........if you dont want or cant get tiny live food for them...FEED THEM RAW HAMBURER MEAT on a string!! this picture is the mom, isnt she beautiful! haha..i mean it!

Topic by Chiana   |  last reply


Finding a very special screw

This cross stood on our wedding cake 50 years ago. The cross has three parts: the cross itself, the domed base, and the anchor rod that goes down into the cake. A threaded end on the anchor rod passes through the domed base and into the bottom of the cross. My wife gave me the task of finding a screw to attach the base without the anchor rod so she can stand it on a tabletop.I suspected that the threads are metric because the cross and its parts were made in Germany. Screws at hardware and fastener stores in our good-sized municipality are as small as 4mm, but this is smaller, probably a 3mm screw. I could order half of a dozen on eBay, but they would arrive only days before our guests come for our celebration. If anything did not work, I would be stuck. From photos by eBay vendors I guessed the screw I need is size M3 x 0.5. I poked around on the Internet and learned that M3 x 0.5 screws are frequently used in laptop computers. My laptop has some of those for holding the case together. I borrowed one of them for a couple of weeks until after our guests have gone home. My laptop will not miss the screw for a short time. Keep this in mind if you ever need a screw not available locally. Something you already have may be a suitable short term donor.

Topic by Phil B   |  last reply


Home page

I am at a complete loss as to why the most recent projects are not on the home page. Some of the projects shown date back to 2014!!! There seems to be no logic as to what is being shown.I hate to say that the previous version of the site was better when some of the improvements are great and it looks a lot better; HOWEVER, being able to see all the most recent project (whether featured or not) from the home page was great and it gave us makers something to aim at. It now seems that posts will be basically hidden unless someone is following you or the group that you post you.PLEASE bring back a simple way to see all submissions to instructables so that all authors get their moment of glory! Hiding recent and new featured posts within individual feeds does not provide that wide and varied community feel that the website use to have as soon as you opened it. Aaarrgghhh!!! now I can't figure out how to post this without putting it into some unrelated category!!!!

Topic by RCEM   |  last reply


Cinderblock - To paint or not to paint

I always had this question in my mind.  Was the cinderblock designed to breathe?  In other words do we want the moisture to go from one side to the other in case of cinderblock walls (say in the basement walls?)  Logically, I would think that the answer is that we want to prevent the moisture to go from one side to the other.  If that is the case, why the cinderblock makers do not make waterproof cinderblocks by adding water proofing chemicals during the manufacturing process? I would greatly appreciate your insights on this subject.

Topic by kabira   |  last reply


MAGIC BOX pyrotechnics !! ?? lol

I would love to invite you guys to my brainstorm! I need help hahahah. I want to make a box that opens and has sparklers go off, maybe some fog via a smoke bomb? Lights... hahahah. I want this box to perform. I am going to give this to my friend with the gift inside, so I can imagine having little pointers like "light here" etc. I've tried to google this, but I am not finding any crazy magic boxes that do things kinda dangerous like this lol. Have you seen one, have you seen similar installations? My goal is to figure out the best way, and do an instructable on it, how I manage to orchestrate it. Any tips, pointers, experience would be amazing! This box will end up shoe-box size or smaller, and I may line it with aluminum to deflect the sparklers and reflect the light LOL. :D Thanks in advance! <3

Topic by kristylynn84   |  last reply


"I dont know but iv been told":Calling Cadence

My soccer team dose lots of running and we'v been trying to find some of the: I dono what iv been told lines, the ones the armed forces sing when they run in a group (at least i think they do but i have no exspirance). the lead runner says "I dont but iv been told" a response from the rest of the group would be "the sun shines bright but im still cold" so if you know one or two lines please just comment and ill put them up for me and any one elce that needs verses. or if you find a websight that has lists of lines please post a link (yes i have googled it and no didnt find any)

Topic by i make shooting things   |  last reply


How different is the tenor sax and the bari sax from an Alto saxaphone?

So, school starts soon obviously, and I am taking band. I currently am playing alto sax, and I am wondering if I should try to play tenor, bari and alto sax. However, I want to know what some main differences are, so if you play bari or tenor sax, I would appreciate any information. Thank you.

Topic by Rock Soldier   |  last reply


Rebuilding NordicTrack ski machine drive rollers

Many people still buy and use a NordicTrack Ski Machine, although these machines are not as popular as they once were. I have talked to people who say they just plain wore out a ski machine. The part that wears is the one-way clutch inside the drive rollers. NordicTrack makes the one-way clutch sound very mysterious. In reality it is a one-way needle bearing and is available from Amazon or locally from a good bearing shop. The internal diameter of the one-way needle bearing used in my machine (Challenger, similar to a 303) is 5/8 inch. The outer diameter is 7/8 inch. The width of the one-way needle bearing from end to end is 5/8 inch. I originally had hopes of being able to install new one-way needle bearings, myself; but, they together with the bronze sleeve bearings on either side of the one-way needle bearing inside each drive roller are pressed into place. Pressing bearings is not a job for the average home tinkerer but requires a bearing press capable of exerting tons of pressure in a very precise manner. You can often have a local machine shop press the bearings in your machine's drive rollers. Or, you can send them away to Nordic Track Guy and have them rebuilt for about $33 with a one week turnaround. The core of the rollers really does not wear out, but new rollers are available on the Internet from $65 to $95, depending on the vendor. From what I can find, some models used an alternate size. Check to be certain you order the correct rollers, if you choose to replace. One of my drive rollers suddenly began to hiccup. It seemed that the clutch did not always release immediately when I pulled my foot forward. Then I noticed a little mush in the response when I began to bring my foot back on the push stroke. Before you rebuild or replace your rollers, try this: Remove one side of your Ski Machine. See the second photo and check the exploded diagram in your manual. Four nuts and two screws, all plainly visible, need to be removed. Slide the washers and the roller off of the top side. The shaft and flywheel can be wiggled out of the other side without removing anything from that side. Remove the washers and the roller from that side, too. Flush the one-way needle bearing by squirting some penetrating oil, like Liquid Wrench, into the bearing. Work it both ways with your smallest finger. Push a facial tissue into the shaft hole in the roller and sop away the penetrating oil and any metallic dust it lifts. Do this several times. Let the rollers air dry. A little lubrication is good. People who comment on lubrication for one-way needle bearings use Tri-Flo (I am not familiar with it.) or they use a little ATF transmission fluid. You want enough to lubricate, but not so much that the bearings slip. (But, see the comments below where the oil impregnated bronze sleeve bearings are supposed to supply enough lubrication for the needle bearings.) Put the rollers back in place on the shaft. Check to be certain they grab on the rearward stroke and release on the forward stroke. Reassemble the machine. Do not forget the washers between the roller and the side board. My machine works again as it should. The day will likely come when this simple fix does not help, and I will need to rebuild or replace the rollers then. But, for now, my rollers have a new lease on life. What follows is for your information. The first photo is of a portion of the back cover of the manual that came with my machine. It shows a cutaway image of the drive roller. The black printing is mine. Notice the three cylinders inside the drive roller. The outer two are bronze sleeve bearings. The center one looks like a roller bearing, but is a one-way needle bearing. A one-way needle bearing is essentially a roller bearing, but the rollers are able to move forward and backward a little in their cage. There is a wedge shape for the axle of each roller that causes the rollers to bind between the bearing cage and the shaft when the rotation is in one direction, but they are free in the other direction. Here is a description of how they work with graphics. This link is for an Instructable about a number of modifications I made to our NordicTrack ski machine, including how it can be stored vertically in a closet. If you do not have a digital monitor for your skier, or need to replace one, here is an Instructable on how to make your own from a digital bicycle speedometer.  Check NordicParts for any parts you need, also Nordic Fitness Ski Machines. Danny at Nordic Fitness Ski Machines has some very nice new rollers for sale.

Topic by Phil B   |  last reply


lifes unanswered questions...

Great questions to ponder over (great conversation starters!)Can you cry under water?why does a round pizza come in a square box?What's the difference between a novel and a book?How old are you before it can be said you died of old age?If nobody buys a ticket to a movie do they still show it?if a person owns a piece of land, do they own it to the center of the earth?if you have a cold hot pocket, is it just a pocket?Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?Do penguins have knees?Why is it said that an alarm clock is going off when really its coming on?How come people tell you not to stand in front of an emergency exit when if there was an emergency surely you would run through it?Why did Sally sell seashells on the seashore when you can just pick them up anyway?Why are both of Spongebob's parents round like sea sponges while he is square like a kitchen sponge?(isn't this one great?)Does a two-humped camel store more fat than a one-humped camel?If you pamper a cow, do you get spoiled milk?Why is it that if someone yells "duck" they are helping you, but if they yell "chicken" they are insulting you?why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?If the FBI breaks your door down do they have to pay for it?If they have angel food cake on earth, do they have people food cake in heaven?(don't start a war over that, its just a joke!)If you fart and burp at the same time, would it make a vacuum in your tummy?Why do you put two cents in when its only a penny for your thoughts?You know the signs on restaurant doors? No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service? what if someone goes in with No Pants? Would the restaurant still have to serve them?If a doctor suddenly died while doing surgery, would the other doctors work on the doctor or the patient?Why do we sing "Rock a bye baby" to lull our little ones to sleep when the song is about putting your baby in a tree and letting the wind crash the cradle to the ground?Why do we say we're head over heels when we're happy? Isn't that the way we normally are?If the Wicked Witch of the West melts in water... how did she ever bathe?If bald people work as chefs in a restaurant,do they have to wear hairnets?Why do sleeping pills have warning labels that state :'Caution: May Cause Drowsiness?How can Darth Vader breathe and talk at the same time?If there's a wheelchair-bound comedian, is it still called "stand-up"?When the French swear do they say pardon my English?Do people who use sign language see little hands in their head when they think about what somebody said, or do they hear the words in their head?How did Walt Disney figure out how to make people pay to stand in lines all day?Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?Why do they call someone "late" if they died early?If the serving size on a can of soda is one can, then why is the serving size on the little can one can, too? Wouldn't the little cans be 2 cans?If a king is gay and marries another guy what is that guy to the royal family?Why are red buttons always the most important?How is chess considered a sport?Why is it when your sleeping it`s called drool but when your awake its called spit?If a teacher were to teach a younger grade than they were teaching before, would they be "degraded"?Why does every Abraham Lincoln impersonator sound the same, even though there are no known audio recordings of the man?How's come people tell you to stay a kid for as long as you can. Yet the moment you do anything childish or immature they tell you to grow up.Why does the Easter bunny carry eggs? Rabbits don't lay eggs.If marbles are not made of marble, why are they called marbles?If you dig a hole through the center of the earth, come out on the other side, and then let go, would you be falling down or floating up?Could you be a closet claustrophobic?Could someone be addicted to counseling? If so, how would you treat them?If ketchup is good on french fries, how come it isn't good on mashed potatoes?Where do all the daylight savings hours go?Why doesn't the hair on your arms grow as fast as the hair on your head?What happens if a black cat walks under a ladder and breaks a mirror?Why when people ask you "what three things would you bring with you on a desert island?" no one ever replies, "A BOAT"Why are elderly people often called "old people" but children are never called "new people"?Why doesn't broccoli come in a can?Can you slam a revolving door?What would happen if you found a four-leaf-clover under a ladder?Can a cross-eyed teacher control his pupils?If Winnie the pooh was civilized enough to keep his honey in jars, why did he eat it off his hands? Surely he had spoons?What happens if you get a paper cut from a Get Well card?Can you read a picture book?Why does it say "shake well" on ketchup bottles, but not ketchup packets?Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?Is eating a mermaid considered cannibalism?If mirrors need light to work, what happens if you put night vision goggles on in the dark and look at a mirror?if you're on an American airline, and you land in Canada and stay on the plane, is the drinking age still 21 or does it change to 19?What happens if every team in the NFL goes 8-8?What shape is the sky?If a Jewish person goes to court and is asked to put their right hand on the Bible, do they use a Torah instead? (again, don't start a war over that)Why is it written "May contain traces of peanuts or other kind of nuts" on peanut butter jars. Are people stupid enough not to realize it themselves?If you only have one eye...are you blinking or winking?If you have a gun and you ask, "can I ask you a question?" and they say "fire away" should you shoot them?What is a chickpea if it is neither a chick nor a pea?Why is it called the People's Republic Of China when China's not a republic?Why are dandelions considered weeds when daisies are considered flowers?Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?Whenever an adult is kidnapped why isn't it called adultnapped?Why do black lights look purple?Did Yankee Doodle name the feather, hat, town, or his pony Macaroni?Why is it that people duck in the rain, do they really think the rain won't hit them?Why isn't the caps lock capitalized?If someone with a nostril ring takes it out, then blows their nose, do they have to cover that hole as well as their nostril holes so that snot doesn't blow out everywhere?Isn't it weird that if you rearrange the word "teacher" you get "cheater"?How come whenever you start to sing, you automatically sing in a higher voice than you talk?How come people say they ate the last piece of gum, when they really just chew it?You know the saying "throw ya hands in the air like ya don't care"? why bother doing that if you don't care?Why is there no pine or apple in pineapple?Why do water bottles have a "best if used by" date?\If you called the police station to talk to an officer and he was not there, would that be considered a cop out?Why do they put holes in crackers?How come on TV the bell always rings and then the kids go to class, but in real life you need to be in class before the bell rings?Why can the saying "it's all downhill from here." mean both that it will be easy and that it is going to get worse?If all of ACME's products backfire, why does Wile E. Coyote keep buying them?Why do "cool" and "hot" mean the same thing?If you sneeze and fart at the same time, does a vacuum form in your stomach?Why does triangularly cut bread taste better than square bread?Does a baby feel the umbilical cord being cut off?Is it legal to name your kid "Anonymous"?If you have a pet with 2 heads do you have to name both heads?Why can't liquor freeze?If you dig a hole in the south pole are you digging up or down?How come they don't add the time that we are in our mom's to our age?Why do people squint their eyes when they can't see? Wouldn't that just make it less space to see out of?What is a hacky, and why is it in a sack?Who was in the kitchen with Dina?Why do we have to pay a toll on "freeways"?Why do they call them pepperoni if there is no pepper in it?How old does something have to be to become an antique?Can a school teacher give a homeless child homework?Do babies produce more spit than adults?How come French fries are not considered a vegetable, they are just deep fried potatoes?Do cows have calf muscles?Why is shampoo clear but conditioner not?If conjoined twins participate in sports, do they count as one or two players?If a singer sings their own song during a karaoke party, is it considered karaoke?Why do mattresses have designs on them when they're always covered with sheets?If you died with braces on would they take them off?If a person suffered from amnesia and then was cured would they remember that they forgot?Can someone have their head in the clouds and be down-to-earth at the same time?Why is Joey short for Joe, when Joey has more letters?If you were a pastor, and you were getting married, would you hire a pastor, or would you do the wedding yourself?Is there a certain temperature at which it stops being qualified as cold? At what temperature does it qualify as hot?if someone tells you not to be your self, who should you be?Why is most lunchmeat bigger than the bread?Why is it that whenever you sing to the radio, your voice is higher? Even when you have a low voice?How come toy hippos are always blue, or purple, when real hippos are brown?Have ex-mathematicians become dysfunctional?Have ex-locomotive engineers been derailed?Have ex-civil lawyers been distorted?Have ex-bankers become disinterested?Are there seeing eye humans for blind dogs?You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?After eating, do amphibians have to wait an hour before getting out of the water?Can fat people go skinny-dipping?You know how most packages say "Open here". What is the protocol if the package says, "Open somewhere else"?Would a fly without wings be called a walk?Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?Why is there an expiration date on SOUR cream?Why is the word "abbreviate" so long?do the ABC's and twinkle twinkle little star have the same tune?Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?Why is Mickey Mouse bigger than his dog Pluto?why does Goofy live in a house and Pluto in and dog house if there both dogs?Why is it, whether you sit up or sit down, the result is the same?Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a "near miss"?Why is it called 'after dark', when it is really after light?Why is it called a TV "set" when you only get one?why is a pair of underwear one item?Why is it called a "building" when it is already built?Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?Why do women wear evening gowns to go out at night? Shouldn't they be wearing night gowns?Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4's"?olive oil is made out of olives, and peanut oil is made out of peanuts. What is baby oil made out of?!If drinking and driving is illegal, why do bars have parking lots?If someone leads but no one follows... are they just out for a walk?After they make styrofoam, what do they ship it in?Are part-time band leaders semi-conductors?Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?.............the list goes on and on, maybe i will make a sequel.i can not take credit for all of these, most of them were from this website

Topic by dsman195276   |  last reply


My condo apartment smells of chemicals like paint.

I am living in a condo (apartment Building, 2nd Floor). For the last 5 days my house smells of chemicals like paint or something very close to the paint . In the living room we have small office area with computer and printer where smells very strong. Also this smell is in the kitchen, in the bedroom, all over the apartment. I am the only one that can smell it. It is not paint. The refrigerator works ok, the stove is electric and the furnace is turned off.  The Consumers checked for gas, but there was non. Who should I call in order to come and detect where  this smell is coming from? 

Topic by Aladana   |  last reply


What are your Favorite Video Games?

I have played a lot of games in my 14 year old life, i have become fans of so many series of games, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, etc, etc. I have many favorite games, most of them from the games i just mentioned, Ratchet and Clank (all of them), Jak 1 and 3, Final Fantasy 7 and 13, Crisis Core (fav PSP game), KingdomHearts 1 and 2, Legend of Zelda 1, Ocarina of Time, and so many more games that i will always love. Mos of my favorite games are for the PLAYSTATION 2, if someone asked me wat my favorite game system was, id say "PS2 OF COURSE!" So, what are your favorite games and game systems?

Topic by FFVIIBOY   |  last reply


Aircon or fridge compressor to solar?

Sometimes I get weird ideas that I can't shake off :)When I was looking into options for a 12 compressor fridge freezer combo I was stunned.You a get a fullsized frrezer for far less!A further check revealed that it is mainly the linear compressor that makes the price plus the usual mark ups.Efficiency and especially start up is far better with thes compressors than out standard rotary and piston drive models.But why would it be so impossible to replace the motor from a standard compressor with a brushless DC one?I focussed on three things for the start:Lubrication, cooling and sealing.There is no such thing like a simple compressor with a piston system that does have some leaking.So apart from the noise the enclosure really needs to be welded and sealed again.Everything moving inside is lubricated by the drive shaft - it acts like a little pump.Same for the cooling of these vital parts.The oil flow exchanges heat through the big metal housing.A replacement motor would need to be suited to run in such a messy enviroment.Of course something to provide a proper oil flow needs to be created too if the drive shaft is replaced.With some basic enineering this might be possible, same for the motor mount and wiring to the outside.But what to do about the full load starting conditions that can happen?Even with no load from the cooling system the motor needs massive torque to get the piston moving.A bypass valve that closes once the motor is at proper speeds might work but hard to implement in a tight space.Any ideas?Did you ever try something that stupid?Could you make it work?What about a rotary compressor with external drive?We use ice blenders that have a magnetic base and the actual connection is made through the magnetic forces alone.A scroll compressor has lots of space without the original motor inside.Plus, a round pipe is easier to work with when it comes to adding or removing things.Small scroll compressors from an airconditioner or small industrial freezer wouldn't have to do much work in a small setup.Best thing is that with a variable speed the cooling power can be adjusted.How feasable would it be to use some polycarbonate end plate and a magnetically coupled drive ?Modern BLDC motors offer great performance and suitable gear systems are readily available.N52 neodymium magnets of the block type provide several kg of force if close enough to each other - should be enough to make a compressor spin...In return it could mean to have a nice freezer or even airconditioner that runs directly on solar power.No massive losses from inverters, no need for huge battery banks either.As long as the sun is out you have free power, once down you can still switch to a power supply for the motor or use battery power.Just imagine you come home after long day of work and the house is already cool.And you did not have to pay a cent to get it cool or wait for hours for it to reach this temperature!We love to add solar panels to our houses in the hope to get a few cents back from our energy providers.The sad reality often is that you might be able to power all your needs during the day but the excess that goes back to the grid often pays next to nothing.But if you could power a lot more things like a compressor directly with the electricity from your panels....Then these kWh would not appear on your usage bill either.Means you neither use what the power provider compensates you for nor is it "wasted" thorugh this bogus compensation.The normal solar setup can then provide you with this little extra money while an additional set powers the motors for your big freezer or little airconditioner - little being relative to what you make of the idea ;)If you really dare than you could even use your bike and legs to power your fridge directly ;)Use your imagination :)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Making ear buds fit super cheaply

Hi, I'm dealing with dollar store ear buds that (surprise) fall out easily. I would like to modify this but I can't spend much. I don't have access to a workshop, most tools, or sugru.

Topic by Robert1234567   |  last reply


Need Help with Minimalist Table Design

Hello again dear friends. Today I'm looking for help among the carpenters and metalworkers of the community. I need to build a new computer desk because I need a lower, wider, and longer work surface. I opted for a minimalist and modern design that I've included in the pictures below. I'm going to have local craftspeople make the wood board and steel frame, but I don't trust their expertise very much - so I would like to ask for your help regarding a few issues. Regarding woodwork: - I've understood that I should not put a beam across the boards for strength - I read online that this will induce splitting due to shrinkage. Is this correct? - Is 4cm (1" 9/16) board thickness enough to support weight (heavy monitors) considering the large span between the table legs? (see picture of underside) - The 4 boards used would be teak wood or Ecuador laurel (Cordia alliodora), full length x 7 inches wide Regarding metal work:  - I'd like for the table to look as minimalist as possible, but I still feel I need a way to strengthen or stiffen the frame so it doesn't wobble side to side. Is there a way to do this without visually changing the table? I'm planning on using 1" x 2" square galvanized tube.  - I've implemented a crossbeam to help prevent sagging of the board. Is one enough? It's offset so as not to reduce leg space. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated! André

Topic by colorex   |  last reply


Just for fun!

I noticed we neither have a section, nor a thread for fun stuff, so I just made one ;)Let me give you something fun to think about, then you can add more funny stuff so we all have a good laugh :)The invisible man - a really old story!There is a man, thausands and thausands of year old, some even say he is as old as time itself.One day the old guy got really bored and decided to do something new.A few days of hard work and within a week he created the universe and all we know.To make it less boring he also decided to add some humans to it.After all, why would you need a TV if you can have it all life.Not long and those humans figured it all out and were really greatful for all the hard work done.So in return they accepted some ground rules, ten of them to be precise.Big buildings were built and everyone also needed some tokens to show how much he loves his god.Many years later some guy came along and got interested in this almighty guy everyone now called "god"."What does he do?""Oh! He loves you and watches you every minute of your life!""Nice! And what does he expect from me?""Just follow the rules and read his book if you feel troubled.""There is a book too?""Certainly is and you can have one for just 10 bucks.""And who is he and what would happen if I break the rules?""God is all powerful, wise, loving and forgiving but if you break the rules you will end in a pit of fire and pain for eternity!""Oh, that much trouble if I break the rules... Can I fix it if I did?""God always loves you and will forgive you!""Hmm, just to make sure that I got it right, let me sum it all up:There is an invisible guy living in the sky, he watches every single one down here every minute of the day.He is all powerful, almighty, all loving and the most forgiving guy you can find.But he needs money.Why do you collect moneyfor him if he never eats, sleeps, drinks or has any fun and also states there is no need for riches?"

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Anyone notice?

A lot of links not showing up. Click on a link just takes you back to the top of the page.

Topic by Tripmine56   |  last reply


How to get an old and filthy toilet back to glory

I moved into a new rental and it was a bit neglected to say it nice.My longest nouisance however was the old toilet.Calcium and urine stains turned the bottom, where the water sits, into a black, crusty mass.Toilet cleaners of all sorts provide a nice smaell, but even bleach or things like jiffy did not do a thing.Hours were wasted trying to scrape, brush or just swear the filth off but no luck.All I managed was to turn the black into a slightly grey crust, still ugly.One day I had the honor to clean my water kettle and to remove the calcium deposits in it.Of course I was lazy and just some delimer, citric acid, as instructed.Let it sit a few hours, wipe it out, nice.Hmmmm.....Hold on a second, what would happen if I use that stuff in the toilet?!?So I flushed some hot water through to warm up the bowl, then about 1 liter of boiling hot water with two packs of coffee machine cleaner dissolved in it.Let it sit over night only to be very disappointed the next morning.It looked like nothing changed.Unlike pots and kettles my toilet appeared to still have al crusts stuck in it.When I flushed however most of it just flushed away!A little brushing and the rest was gone too - a clean and white toilet again!No more calcium and other hard deposits :)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Unusual uses for coffee machine cleaner or delimer/descaler

Some people can't be without coffee, and some love to keep thei machines as clean as possible.Teste is all and if is not right the day already starts bad...But what is that stuff really?It needs to be food safe, shall not damage or corrode and part of the machine and of course can't be harful or even toxic.The main ingredient is an acid.Some acids are considered to be very corrosive on almost anything, others can set set organic material on fire and some even etch glass.Limestone, coffee staind and build up as well as most minerals that might build up in your machine magically disappear with just some added water and time.Our candidate is named Citric Acid!Very weak on things we thing about when comes to strong acids but quite powerful on the offending stuff in our kettles and coffee machines.Knowing that means we could abandone quite a lot of expensive and specialised cleaning produduct for a fully natural and harmless alternative.Calcium deposits in the bath clean up really nice and quick with it - but read the warnings and dangers below!Same for long abused toilets as mentioned in my topic about it.Stainless steel cooking pots or pans are still a favourite for some people, the pain of cleaning them once something really burnt on badly not so much.Vinegar is a prefered choice here, if you stand the smell when heating it up.Citric acid can not only provide the same cleaning strength but also deal with the things vinegar can't.In some cases stainless steel can develop rusty pits or discoloration from overheating (not trying to make it glow!).And where vinegar just cleans off the burnt in food, citric acid also clean the steel itself.Up to a degree even badly discolored things come back to a silvery look if you give it some time to work.Ever had some rusty parts and tried vinegar to get them back to bare steel?Coke can add some slight protection by passivating the steel, but like on stainless steel citric acid can do more.Unless highly concentrated and hot it won't really affect and good steel quickly.On the other hand it is really aggressive on impurities, rust and certain hard to clean off residues.Words of warning, wisdom and advise!A little bit of hydrochloic acid in your stomach is not only required but also harmless.You wouldn't want in a concentrated form anywhere on your in you though....The same logic is true with citric acid - you can make some nice artificial lemonade with it to enjoy on a hot summers day.But highly conecentrate or even heated up the story is quite different!Proper protection should be as obvious as proper handling.And mishaps should be dealt with lots of water or baking soda right away.I stress this out as my last example will highlight the dangers of citric acid that are not reall known to the public.And if it is that dangerous for some things or even just one that you should not take the risk with living tissue when dealing with higher concentrations or temperatures.Side effect that could possibly be lethal!Shiny things are nice and even nicer if clean and sparkling.Chrome plating or using chrome even is plastic coatings is still common.A lot of tap and bathware is chrome plated, same for a lot of things we have in our households or tool boxes.As tempting as it might be to use citric acid to clean something that just might contain chrome you should not try it!Chrome is almost all of its salt forms is highly toxic, same for most if not all byproducts of chemical reactions involving chrome.Cirtic acid is extremely aggressive on chrome!The tell tale sign is a discoloration of your solution into a greenish-yellow tint!Another a distinct and really unpleasant smell!Some steels include chrome too, so if you notice a bad smell when cleaning then rinse all properly and using other ways of cleaning the item!Corroded chrome plated parts might benefit from a treatment though despite the risk.Unlike sanding the chrome down and contaminating everything with fine and toxic dust you only need to deal with liquids and breathing protection - doing it outside or in really well ventilated areas is a must do anyways here.Dsiposal of anything that caused a bad smell or yellow-greenish discolartion should be done in a sealed container at your local waste disposal center.Please lable it and and also mention it contains chrome dissolved in citric acid!If you placed chrome plated parts into a solution of citric acid by accident and only realise once the smell interrupted your movie session then first go outside!!!This means preferably every living being in the house!If you have use brething protection in the form of carbon filters but either way try to vent the house first by trying to open what you can from the outside.The removal of the metal and taking the container outside should be done as quickly and safely as possible.Unless you are prepared and know what you so stay outside, call the fire brigade and state what happend!A severe reaction with chrome is nothing you should risk your health for!Never, ever dispose of anything that cause a bad smell or discoloration through drain!Bring to a disposal center and keep possible poisons of of the enviroment!

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Removing hair dryer heating element

Request for help:  Does anyone know how to remove the heating element from a hair dryer to have it only blow cold/cool air?  I've opened it up and there are a lot more wires than I expected.  I have just enough electrical knowledge to be a little bit above dangerous, so I thought it would be best to ask for help.  Thanks!

Topic by WaffleM   |  last reply


Help Replace Discontinued Range Hood Vent Fan Switch

The variable speed fan control on my Thermador HT48HQS hood vent does not work and the replacement switch is no longer available.  I'm looking for some help in making a new switch.  The Thermador VTR1000Q motor is mounted on the roof and controlled at the hood with a variable speed control knob. The motor is rated at 115V 60Mz 7.8 Amps. Photos of the switch assembly are attached. From what I understand, the speed control knob is a potentiometer that regulates the speed by proving a range of amps from 2.5 to 8? If I could make a variable speed control that would be great.  But I'd be more than happy to have create an on/off toggle switch or a toggle for low on/off high.  Can anyone help me?

Topic by Cjmacyogiboo   |  last reply


Collaboration opportunity: A request for writing assistance

Hi Everybody!The site admins were recently approached by an individual who wishes to share a project on the site, but is unable to write out the steps due to specific health issues. If you have authored a handful of Instructables yourself and would be interested in collaborating with this person, the task would essentially be to organize photos into steps and type out some details of the project in written form.This is a neat opportunity and something a little different, and we will try to help coordinate as best we can. If you're interested in helping, please indicate in the comments below. Thanks in advance! : )

Topic by seamster   |  last reply


My Chemical Romance Update =D

My Chemical Romance will go on a temporary break while they seek inspiration to write a new album."We can't make any more music unless we live. When we get a chance, we're going to get together and do some demos and start rolling. But we're going to take it slow,” frontman Gerard Way said.The band took two years to tour in support of their last album, 2006’s The Black Parade. {Posted from The Star}Things have been a little quiet since My Chemical Romance killed off their alter egos, The Black Parade, back in may at New York's legendary Madison Square Garden venue. However frontman Gerard Way has posted a massssiiiivvvveeee update answering all your questions about the new album, how drummer Bob Bryer is after recent wrist surgery, how guitarist Ray Toro's wedding went, what Frank Iero's been up to with his side-band, Leathermouth, as well as quashing internet rumours that he recently died in a car crash.It reads as follows:"Hey guys, Gerard here... I'm hanging out with Mikey in New Jersey, relaxing, drinking coffee, talking comics, and getting ready to take a drive down south tomorrow. I don't know what states I'm passing through but I know where I'm heading. Don't worry, I've got a the Clockwork Orange audiobook, a Dr. Pepper air-freshener, and a GPS so I don't get lost. We figured by now everyone that's a fan of the band might be wondering what we're up to, what we're planning, so I thought I'd write this letter and fill you all in."We're living, decompressing - The Black Parade took over two years to tour and six months to make so that's a lot of existing in a fictional world, and we're just extremely happy to live in a real one for a while. One thing I can let you know is that we're excited. Genuinely more excited than we have ever been to be in this band, make some new music. And we have ALL been writing new material in our own separate worlds... I started a week after I got home, buying a good rig, an old Jag, and a bunch of pedals- just searching for the next sound."Bob is recovering well from his recent wrist surgery - exceedingly well considering how risky the procedure can be. We're all really happy that when he picks up the sticks again he won't be in the intense pain he was in during the last year of touring. It's going to take him a while to rehabilitate but knowing him, he will most likely be playing the drums before the doctor says it's a good idea. He just loves playing, we all do. Franks on the road with Leathermouth and Reggie and The Full Effect so you should go see them and get spit on. I know Leathermouth doesn't have a record out yet, but Frank gave it to me in Mexico and I can easily say it's my favourite post-hardcore record of the year, so I know you will at least enjoy the songs if you don't know the words."One of the best parts of the last five months was getting to see Ray get married and all of us be a part of the wedding. It was beautiful. I'm not sure where the happy couple is right now but I am sure wherever they are, they are really enjoying it. I have never seen him happier in my life. So we made plans to get together soon and make some demos, see where our heads are at, take it slow. If explosions happen in our heads right away who knows how soon we could have a record out, we aren't in any rush but we get just as anxious as you to find out what the next 'thing' is going to be."So that about wraps it up... I'm glad I could stop by for a chat, I think I will do it more often. I'm writing more comics, writing more music, and missing my wife right now. Oh, and I heard a rumour that I died in a car accident. I didn't."[{Posted from Kerrang!}]

Topic by xX_Scissors_Xx   |  last reply


Is K’nex Gunning Dead?

I know there are some people still doing it (myself included). Much like potato cannons, k’nex guns have lost popularity over time. It’s really a shame that it’s lost so much popularity. Maybe someone could make a website dedicated to K’nex’ing as a kind of KI mark 2. I really hope that it starts up again (without all the block triggers!) sometime but it seems unlikely.

Topic by PotatoDemon   |  last reply


Extra clean water tank for carpet shampooer

I would like to know how to put an extra water tank on this Hoover Powerdash Pet carpet shampooer. The one it's got is too small and has to be emptied constantly. Is there a way to do this without damaging the machine?

Topic by Robert1234567   |  last reply


Tips or products you recommend for clearing or preventing ice in winter?

My partner and I just bought a house and we're doing some repairs and upgrades. One of the major things I want to focus on is making our front entrance less icy. Most of the time we're covered in snow, but whenever it warms up briefly we end up with an icy disaster on the front porch the next morning. :P Currently, the roof melt runs right off onto our front steps and it's a mess! (see picture for the icicle death trap)I have been using a "pet-safe" ice melt (we have two dogs who are in and out all day) but it doesn't do enough for how much I go through. I still break up the ice in the morning when using the ice melt because the ice builds up really quickly.Are there gutters strong enough to handle heavy snowfall? Some sort of heating element I could install? For reference, I'm in northern CO in the mountains and we tend to get feet of snowfall every winter! I've never lived somewhere with this much snow, but I'm hoping some of you do and can offer some suggestions :D

Topic by jessyratfink   |  last reply


Knex AK 47

Hello, this is my Knex AK47. It worked very well and shot very hard. It fed off a large type magazine that was actually very sturdy. It was provided with internal pictures.

Topic by Blue Mullet   |  last reply


Cultivating blackberries - works for roses too!

Although in many regions (wild) blackberries are considered to be a pest, in our gardens they can be delicious.I don't mean the wild variety here but the cultivated ones with big fruits and no thorns on them.And if you ever tried to successfully save money by just buying one and using cuttings from it for the new season you know the troubles....Creating cuttings from blackberries is quite easy if done the right way.But there is an ever easier and simpler way if you don't mind doing your pruning a bit later than usual.Once the harvest season is over and all berries are gone you see that the blackberries still keep growing before they finally start dropping their leaves.And if all went well then your blackberries have grown in long "snakes" supported on a vertical structure - like long bows.During a good season this bows get so long that they almost reach the ground at the end of the season.All you have to do it to free your snkes so you can places their ends into the ground, preferably out to the side so you can start a new row of blackberries with enough space between them.Use some soft cord and weights to keep the ends in the ground and fill the hole.Only water once when done otherwise let nature take care of things.In a very dry climate or season you might want to water a bit once a week though.When leaves start to drop in big numbers cut the above ground bits off with about 10 to 15cm left standing.Prune the big ones as you always do to get them ready for the next season.And when the next season starts you will see that most of your little "cuttings" take off like mad.They had the mother plant until it was time to go dormant, so no extra energy was required to stop a dying cutting from going dry.The end of the plant realised it is under ground and for that reason it is time to grow roots.Then suddenly it is time to hibernate and all energy is left in the remains, ready for use in the next spring.It is no problem to get over 15 new plants from a single one this way for the next season.It also works quite well fo roses.Although here you might need to create a podest or similar to place pot on.And the season for it is different too ;)It all starts with your pruning at thend of the season.All parts that did not produce flowers, those "wild" stems need to be fully removed.Those who produced good are cut back so you are left with 3 to 5 "eyes" - these tiny pimple where the new shoots come out.Pay attention to their location as it determines the direction of the new shoots ;)Don't have too many facing inwards.When the rose starts growing again in spring you should prepare your stand for the pot.The new shoots are quite flexible and can be directed to grow where you need them for the pot by using bonsai tape or wire - just be gently with them!Once long enough that the end can be placed about 5cm deep into your pot with good potting mix or the good soil from your garden:Place the pot so that the end shoot is held in the soilwithout force - if in doubt let the shoot grow a bit longer and form it donwards with wire.You want to bury it only when there is new growth going out if it but not of the end currently only has the leaf(s) showing.These fresh end shoots should point downwards into the soil.Cover it all and keep the soild moist at all times but not soaking wet.It really helps to have the pot shaded.You can use small seedling pots and check for roots a few weeks later or just wait till the end of the season.Either way a root should form in the pot and once strong enough you only have to wait and look out for eyes forming on the stem.If the do you can cut the stem so you have enough eyes on the potted stem.Be aware though that this will only result in a strong and healthy rose if the mother plant is not a hybridised clone.For the later it is best to transplant and eye onto a donor bush or wild rose.

Topic by Downunder35m 


Problem with too much window condensation

I have double pane, insulating glass house windows that collect condensation during the winter heating months. The condensation is not between the panes, it is inside the home. The water builds up and runs down onto the wood frame causing rot. It occurs only on the bottom inch or two of the window. The home is in Northern Wisconsin where it is commonly 20 deg F outside and 70 deg F inside. The interior humidity is controlled and not excessive. Aside from setting the interior humidity to desert-like conditions, how can I remove the moisture and prevent further damage to the frame? Desiccant bags? Solar powered fans? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Topic by kwschofi   |  last reply


Any ideas on how to create solid roof for steel framed gazebo?

Have one of those $180 steel framed, 10 x 10, two tier roof, gazebos that every retailer seems to sell now a days. (kind of like the one in the picture) Its perm attached over our hot tub. Problem is, the nylon top keeps deteriorating and then shreds and has to be replaced. Any ideas on a good, cheap or maybe recycled material, roof that would be permanent? (WI=Snow in winter, has to be strong enough for an occassional storm) And how to attach it maybe? Looking for a few brainstormed ideas because all I can think of is boring PLYWOOD! *GRIN*

Topic by kellyndiy   |  last reply


What projects are you working on during break?

For those of you who have time off over the holidays, what will you be working on?I have 3D printing and laser cut jewelry ideas I want to work on both for Instructables and Etsy while I (hopefully) have some time and I was curious if people had plans for projects they wanted to try to get done.

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick   |  last reply


Unofficial K'nex Anything Contest

This is the unofficial knex contest! There are a few other knex contests with a certain theme, but in this contest, you can enter anything! Let's get on to the rules: How to Enter: Make a instructable that uses knex. Make a comment with a link to the instructable, than I might accept it. Your instructable has to be made in 2017 or up. You can have three entries entered at a time, but only one of them can win. What to Enter: Enter an instructable that is mostly knex and has instructions. If it uses to much non-knex, than I won't accept it. It has to have good instructions, or it won't get accepted. If it is something small, I will make it to see if it works and to see how good it is. A big ball machine will be accepted if you have instructions of some of the elements. When Will It Be: It will start now and go to November 1. If I get 20 entries before the ending date, I will quit the contest regardless of the date.    Prizes: There will be a grand, first, second, third, and runner up. Grand Prize: Follow from me, votes on all your ibles that you have in contests, and a 3 month pro, and your winning ible in a knex contest winners collection. First  Prize: Follow from me, vote on all your ibles that you have in contests, and your winning ible in a knex contest winners collection. Second Prize: Follow from me and your winning ible in a knex contest winners collection. Third Prize: Vote one of your ible, and your winning ible in a knex contest winners collection. Runner Up: Your winning ible in a knex winners contest collection. If you have any questions, please ask! That's all! Have fun! Current Entries:   Element Force's Shotgun Turret for the TR8 The Knex Inventor's Toothebrush Holder KneXFAN200's Fidget Spinner KneXFAN200's Annoying Clicker Box

Topic by random_builder   |  last reply


What are some good long distance friend pranks?

So my friends got me with a prank, so now I need to prank them back. Two of my friends, I either don't have access to their house, or I am not able to see very often. One friend, I created an ad to have people call him with their best Chewbacca impressions. But I am stumped on what to do for my other long distanced friend.

Topic by KaylaR44   |  last reply


The little guide to buying on Ebay

Like or not Ebay is now the number one online market place.Since they do their best to keep it that way a few tips might be of use to someone.Unlike some other guides this one is not about how to find the best bargain.It is about showing some things you should be aware of, especially if you are new Ebay.1. New, unused, refurbished....These three can literally mean anything if you find them in a listing title.Unless you read the full description you simply don't know.Assuming the listing goes along with the title.New should mean exacty that: Same condition as you would find in any retail store.Unused can be the same but could also mean it was opened, like to check it or take the pictures.Refurbished is something to take with caution.Unless it clearly states Manufacturer refurbished you just don't know if the refurbishing is done to specs.For a phone it could mean a badly glued screen, a no name battery, non matching serial numbers...Unless an item is factory sealed you should expect detailed pictures.In a lot of categories you will only find generic pictures though - buyer beware!2. Warranties....Ebay does have a buyer protection but Ebay does not deal with Manufacturer warranties in any way!In some countries a seller is legally required to provide a warranty and return statement.Sadly that is not the case in all countries Ebay serves.When it comes to brand new devices you might experience problems with your warranty.As more and more companies go against online selling platforms they do not support they simply exclude them from a warranty.Let me give you an example for this one:You see your favourite smartphone at your local retailer for the bargain of just under $1600, while on Ebay you find the exact same model for $1200.Easy choice? Depends...If the manufacturer does not support this then only the seller can provide you with some sort or warranty.The good one claim to do so but don't expcet this from someone only selling a handful of items per year.In the worst case it could mean your new gadget develops a fault over time that would be fully covered by a manufacturer warranty but you would totally miss out.The money is gone and you have to fix it at your own cost.If the item in question is also of value then please check the warraty and return conditions the manufacturer allows before buying.4. Pricing....Especially when it comes to things that somehow could be bundled or used with something else you can get screwed.The culprit i question is the multi-item-listing.You might look for a battery pack to keep your phone charged when on long hiking trips.But the first 50 or so listings are all in the lowest imaginable price range.The listing title shows what you are looking for, the image does too....Then you dare to check and it is a listing where you can select multipl items.The price shown in the search result is only for the lowest crap listed there, like a "waterproof usb plug"....The actual thing you need is usually overpriced.You are forced to either ignore suspiciously low priced listings or check them all to compare prices.5. Postage costs....A lot of things these days come with free shipping, all good.If they don't then again: Buyer beware!Sometimes there are exclusions, like certain post code areas.Or the free shipping is not for international customers.If it is clear you have to pay shipping and you buy only a single item then again the case is quite obvious.Combined shipping however does not always mean single costs!Check the psotage options for multi items carefully!Often additionalitems are free if they are small.But if a seller already charges you a high postage fee than chance are you pay the exact same price again for the second - even if the arrive in a single $2 prepaid envelope.6. Faked locations....It seems to be common with Chinese sellers to avoid import taxes by faking a local item a selling address.In some cases (often after Ebay got too many buyer complaints) they list the real shipping time of 2-3 weeks.More often however they don't.Once you have the problem the best option is to open a "item not received" claim 3 days after it was due.On the due date contact the seller and ask when to expect it.There is a way to spot these fakes and tax frauds:If a local seller, with a locally listed item gives you a Chinese Paypal account with an address in China than you got a fraudster.Problem is that once you committed to buying and can see the sellers account details it is already too late.To cancel such a transaction you need to do it the official way and if the seller won't agree then don't expect Ebay to accept that you don't want to suppport tax evasion and fraud.Either way, I report each and every single one seller showing a local item with a local selling addrees but using a Chinese Paypal account.7. Fraudulent listings and sellers....Let me give you a slightly overstated example on what I mean:Seller has only sold a very few items, usually of low value.Suddenly you spot y nice and this years model laptop at a bargain price.You check the listing closer and find just 2 or 3 pics.Further down you read something along the lines "Unwanted gift, comes with car charger only."If it is this years model then it is still under warranty and no one would lose all the additional hardware like the wall charger. ;)Again it is up to the buyer to decide....Ebay does not check where an item comes from or if the seller is the legitimate owner of it.8. Exclusions to make...Be it price, auction only, distance and so on.You can make certain limitation and selections to narrow your search results.Some make sense and work, like just showing items to auction.Distance no longer really works as sellers are no longer required to state a town or post(zip) code anymore.Price is relative too.If you know the ting you need definately costs between $100 and $130 then the search still won't filer anything out that is a multi item listing and within the price range.And in some cases it just totally fails.A very vital exclusion was removed around 2014: by country.Now all that is left is to limit to all within your home country.You can't select for example Japan only if you are located in Europe and would like to avoid the rediculous postage costs from the US.And you could not exclude China either...All or local is what you can play with.For the rest that is available: use it whenever it make sense and is possible.9. You buy it - your problem!No I don't mean faulty items or wrong ones.I mean simple things that can happen to anyone distracted, unconcentrated or too full of exitement.You buy something and think you are the happiest guy in the world until you double check the listing to confirm your luck.Missed the over $300 in postage ocsts?Did not see further down that it states "replica" or "scale model"?Or hints that the massive sized Opal in fact is just a resin with a thin and cheap layer of Opal flakes on a black background?As said, your problem alone.I know a lot of people who started having fun on Ebay until they got their gib bargain surprice - one way or the other.Don't become one of them and read and check listing you might want to buy with great care!10. Feedback...You might have noticed that it is next to impossible to find a seller with a feedback rating below 90%.The reason is quite simple: The lower your ratings as a seller the further down the search results you appear.And of course you don't make any business anymore once so low...But feedback you leave is as important as feedback you get!So if you spot a deal where the seller has a rating below the magic 99.5% positive rating you should check his feedback.Quite often it is clear that some angry customer left it.Most obvious if the seller left a reply stating otherwise.But in some case you more than one buyer left a negative feedback for the same reason as other buyers - this is where you should be careful.The reason to actually check the feedback is quite simple: It is heavily manipulated by Ebay.A seller won't get and negative feedback if he agreed to replace the item in question or if he offers a refund.Same for simply stating that a negative feedback was not justified.The later can be anything from the words used to just wanting a clean sleeve.And if a seller is highly active than business rules and the feedback is corrected by Ebay.You might have noticed that for some sellers now now new negative feedback show up that would be of any real concern for a potential buyer...11. Retractions :(Be it a seller not wanting to sell something that auctioned off below his expectations or a buyer who simply failed to pay attention to the price and all details : A retraction is possible.If you try a lot of auctions you might have had the "second chance offer".After you lost an auction you might get notified that the winning bid was retracted and that you are next in line.In almost all cases your last bid will be accepted but some sellers offer you the item for what the rectracted bid was - so pay attention to details!Now you might think that if happens so often you could make good use of it.Like for example participating in several autions to try to win the device one way or the other.Set some sutomatic bids and go to bed.If lucky you got one, if too lucky you won all auctions.Retracting your bid on those you now no longer need is possible but I strongly advise against it!Firstly you can negative feedback from the seller for it and secondly Ebay will keep you under watch if it happens too often.An honest mistake and all is fine but ask for a retraction a few times a month and you will have a hard time on Ebay.In the worst case Ebay can even suspend your account or exclude you from auctions.So, is it still worth signing up and trying to find a bargain?IMHO it all depends on WHAT you are looking for.Someone in a remote area of Brazil will certainly value it differently than someone living downtown L.A. with access to all sorts of shops, retailers and outlets onevery corner.Same for spare parts, electronic parts or stuff that is made in China anyways.But times have changed for sure.What started free for everyone became a paid platform for those who sell.Later those buying also had to pay extra as still all transactions come with fees on the side of Paypal.Not much to be fair but still...And from a platform with a few scammers and frudsters that always got and kept your money we came to something flooded by sellers that should not even be allowed to have a Paypal account.The buyer protection helps in some way but it can take weeks to get your money back and if it something expensive than this money makes interest for someone else while you don't have to buy what you wanted to buy.While, in a real shop you just go back and return your item to get your money back - plus you get a real warranty.Do your homework and be aware of what could go wrong.If it looks like it could go wrong somewhere than you might want to consider a deffierent option for this item.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


"dry box" for drying clothes in humid weather

Hi all,I'm thinking of building something helping me to dry my laundry in the amazingly wet weather that I'm getting in the place I live now.I searched instructables for a while, but did not find anything that really applies. This might be due to the fact that I'm both new to instructables, and not a native English speaker. I might be using the wrong keywords.So I live in a very humid and foggy place, and it's winter now. When I hang my clothes out to dry, the process takes ages. Sometimes I think it might be working backwards: the clothes become wetter. Also, an unpleasant byproduct is that my clothes become smelly, despite they are clean. Sometimes, as a last resort, I hang my clothes inside the house. But my house is very small, and I do not really have a place for the clothes hanger. Plus, the house gets very humid and I am afraid I'm going to get mold. On the other hand, I have a rather large balcony, with a lot of place for the clothes hanger.Of course I could buy a clothes dryer. I actually use a coin-operated one for large items, such as bed sheets and large towels. But I'd rather not use a tumble dryer for my clothes.However I recently learned about heat recovery ventilation for houses, and I started wondering whether the same concept could be used to build a small-ish enclosure (a box) where air is kept warmer and dyer than outside, possibily in a controlled manner. Also, it would be very nice to get energy from the sun. Surely the walls of this box could be transparent, or black, to create some kind of greenhouse effect. Then I need a fan, to have the air circulating. The air could go through a heat recovery unit. This could probably solar-powered. On the other hand, I am not sure that solar panels would be helpful for heating the inside of the box by night (energy should be of course stored, but I do not think that would be enough).I see that something similar to what I'm thinking about is already on sale e.g. on amazon. These are called "portable clothes dryers", but they do not seem really optimized. They look like a combination of a hair dryer, a clothes rack and a tent. I do not think there is a real heat exchanger, or humidity control...Plus, they do not seem really safe, especially if operated outdoors.Can someone give me some advice, e.g. pointing me to projects that use similar ideas possibly for different purposes?Thanks a lotFrancesco

Topic by pieffebi   |  last reply


Electric knife sharpeners.....

Back in the day we already had these tiny grinding wheel like tools in the kitchen.Plug it in, press a button and slide the knife through.The blade was supposed to come out razor sharp if you trusted the ads....For obvious reasons a grinding wheel moving along the edge is not a good thing, especially not if both te up and the down movement work on the edge.As soon as they appeared they disappeared only to emerge years later in a "modern" form.The latest incarnation now comes with ceramic wheels to give an even sharper finnish LOLThe problem however is still the same, first the action of the whells then the fact that it is next to impossible to get different angles.They are really only good for some knifes you use in the shed if nothing else is available.A now much hyped electric sharpener is basically just a tiny belt sander with guides attached to it.And don't get me wrong, they come in handy for certain works.But if you ever used a belt sander on a flat piece of steel you realise that it is quite impossible to get a flat surface finnish.The belt curves around the edge and this results in a curved or beveled edge.Obviously the claim to sell these is that a beveled edge has superior strength and sharpness compared to a straight angled edge.And then there is the ability to adjust not just the sharpening angle but als the grid of the sandpaper.The finer you go, the better the result and sharpness...Now if we trust those who create swords from raw iron ore then something is wrong with the belt approch.These guys would tell you that you should always use a flat stone and to slice a piece of the stone.But also that a beveled edge is a sign of wear, something a good butcher will confirm.The angle of the edge party affects how sharp and durable the edge will be.Usually there is a compromise between blade thickness, meterial and edge angle.Just go from razor blade to an axe and include severel types of knifes between them.So a beveled edge in my opinion is only good for brute force tools but not that good for fine slicing and dicing.I tried to sharpen a wood chisel on one of the belt sander toys...It turned out to be far less precise and the edge was not fully straight.Could be down to lack of experience but if you ever try it let me know your results.The produced edge was also quite unusal and often bad when used as intendet.Far more chipping than cutting.Difference between straight angle and beveled angle when using a knife.You might want to do some lonely woodworks while fishing.A good knife now just eats into the wood and lets you cut and slice pieces of at almost any angle of the blade.With a beveled edge however you face the problem that your working angle is drastically reduced.Tilt the knife a bit too much and you suddenly just slide off the wood and into your flesh.If you grind and hone a knife to a 20° angle on a flat stone than from all angles above 20° you can cut.If you belt sand a knife to a 20° angle you end up with a bow over this angle.The actual usable working angle can be as low as 40° on a thicker blade.In theory it is possible to overcome this bevel problem.Sanders with a backing plate for example or by using just enough pressure to take material off.The first will destroy your belts quickly, the second takes forever.Some people just sand the knife at an angle to the belt, so instead of having the belt running at 90° to the edge it runs at 60 or 40°.Reduces the buckle but also the sharpness as the actual edge is now rounded.The only real way to sharpen a knife would be with a cutting or slicing motion, something that usually cuts your belts once the edge becomes sharp enough.So should you use them after all?As with all tools it comes down to quality and how you use the tool.If you know what you do and what the limitations are an electric sharpener can save you a lot of time.Someone with a desire for razor sharp knifes and tools might only use them on the lawn mower...You can however very well use sandpaper for sharpening a knife, which I will explain in another post....

Topic by Downunder35m 


Microwave stopped heating and I fixed it.

Our microwave is about two years old and it stopped heating. The fan ran and the carousel went around, but food did not warm. I took it out of the upper cabinet mount and opened the case. I know about the big capacitor and discharged it with a screwdriver after disconnecting the power. For extra safety I clipped a jumper wire on both terminals. I watched numerous videos at YouTube on troubleshooting a microwave and on testing the various major components at home, but no component showed any signs of failure. Then it began to work again as suddenly as it had stopped working. About ten days later, it stopped heating again. After more testing, still no components showed signs of failure. But, I did squeeze the female spade crimp connectors a little with a pair of pliers before connecting them again so they fit more tightly when reconnected. The microwave has continued to work as it should. My wife remembers a time a few months ago when she ran it and ran it to get something to cook as she wanted it and the microwave stopped because it was overheated. I suspect a connection was weak and heated the metal in the connector enough that it became weak. Later it failed intermittently. We could have called warranty service, but we did not want to wait. Knowing what I know now, I doubt a serviceman would have patiently checked for weak connections, but would probably have simply replaced some parts. When those did not really solve the problem, the microwave would have been condemned and replaced. A replacement oven may not have matched our other appliances as well as our present microwave does. Test procedures for components in a microwave are different than they are for similar components used in (for example) a sound amplifier. This applies especially to the high voltsge diode. Do not connect a voltmeter to the high voltage side of the transformer. When running the microwave, be certain to have a dummy load in the cavity, like a cup of water. A very useful test that checks for power to the transormer primary is to disconnect the primary side transformer connectors and attach aligator clips from a voltmeter to the transformer leads. Then run the microwave for a few seconds and check for a full line voltage reading each time. A clamping ammeter to measure line current helps because the sound with the magnetron working is not too much differnt from the fan and carousel running without the magnetron working, but, it is easy to see the extra needle deflection when the magnetron is also drawing current.What seemed to be an expensive problem had an easy inexpensive solution.

Topic by Phil B   |  last reply