author
357Instructables15,916,742Views5,187CommentsKnoxville, TennesseeJoined July 17th, 2008
I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first tools. I enjoy studying the Bible and retired after 40 years as a Lutheran pastor. I like to dabble with some electronics projects. I have a wood lathe and a metal lathe, a radial arm saw, a router, and both a 220 volt stick welder and a gas shielded wire feed welder. I appreciate In... Read More »

Achievements

1K+ Comments Earned a gold medal
10M+ Views Earned a gold medal
Make It Move Contest 2017
Contest Winner Runner Up in the Make It Move Contest 2017
Fix & Repair Contest
Contest Winner Runner Up in the Fix & Repair Contest
MacGyver Challenge
Contest Winner Runner Up in the MacGyver Challenge
Metal Contest 2016
Contest Winner First Prize in the Metal Contest 2016
Show 4 More »
  • Phil B commented on djpolymath's instructable Shaving Brush14 hours ago
    Shaving Brush

    The bristles are called a knot. They come pre-assembled with the bristles bundled together. Search the Internet using that term. Knots come in vsrying widths. Wider knots usually make more lather more quickly. Knots can be synthetic, boar, horse hair, and badger. Each has a different price.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Airline Travel Tips2 days ago
    Airline Travel Tips

    Thank you. Those are good observations.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Kryptonite's forum topic "Most Popular" ... ?3 days ago

    Featured status seems to be a subjective evaluation by an editor. Like you, some I thought might be featured were not and some were featured to my grest surprise. I have noticed some editors are more likely to festure an Instructable than are others. I gave up worrying sbout it and publish to please myself.

    Now and then one of my Instructsbles has been on the Popular page. Usually they were from years ago when they suddenly showed up as popular. For me the curious thIng was the number of views or favorites did not seem to rise significantly. It is all a mystery to me.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems4 days ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    Thank you, Louis, for the good news. I love it when small things make a big difference. I hope you find whatever makes it rough when it runs.

    Nick,I was not getting e-mail notificstions of comments, but Instructables has fixed the problem. So, I did not see your questions earlier. Could your air cleaner be blocked? The engine would be as if the choke is fully engaged and would flood easily. Try starting the engine with the air cleaner removed and see if that makes a difference. A couple of moves ago we gsve away the weed trimmer in the photos, but discovered we need one again and bought a Troy-bilt TB35EC a few months ago. Any problems with it have been due to a lean condition. I have not yet seen it flood. Customer reviews on it complain about hard starting after a season, maybe sooner. I have found screws loosen on it easily, including two on the back for the Quick Start power starter feature.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make an Electric Motor Run Again4 days ago
    Make an Electric Motor Run Again

    Thank you. Until recently Amazon was my default site for much of my on-line shopping, but there have been recent developments to change that, and I discovered many things have a better price elsewhere.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done5 days ago
    Forged Split Steel Cross Simply Done

    Thank you for looking and for your comment. The firebrick absorbs some heat initially, but once it has, it serves to concentrate the heat and bounce it back to the steel. There is quite a difference with the brick. Without it, the steel never would get hot enough to bend.

    View Instructable »
  • Strike an Arc Exactly Where You Want It to Begin--stick Welder

    I am sorry to be late with my response to your inquiries, especially the first nine days ago. Somehow notification of comments to my posts got shut off. It was a while before I asked the folks at Instructsbles about it, and the notifications were restored just today. If you wish, you can attach an alligator clip on a light cable to the carbon rod and another clip on the same cable to the steel being welded. If the carbon rod is not caked with welding residue and flux, touching the carbon rod with the tip of the elctrode while the tip of the carbon rod rests on the bare steel should also produce an arc when the electrode comes into contact with the carbon rod. I got a couple of dozen carbon rods in small packing box at a welding supply store. I did not check to see if you live in the US...

    see more »

    I am sorry to be late with my response to your inquiries, especially the first nine days ago. Somehow notification of comments to my posts got shut off. It was a while before I asked the folks at Instructsbles about it, and the notifications were restored just today. If you wish, you can attach an alligator clip on a light cable to the carbon rod and another clip on the same cable to the steel being welded. If the carbon rod is not caked with welding residue and flux, touching the carbon rod with the tip of the elctrode while the tip of the carbon rod rests on the bare steel should also produce an arc when the electrode comes into contact with the carbon rod. I got a couple of dozen carbon rods in small packing box at a welding supply store. I did not check to see if you live in the USA or elsewhere. If you are in the USA, try an Airgas welding supply store, or any other welding supply store. Carbon rods are more commonly used for back gouging to remove metal. They may not be used a lot by home weldors, but they are used in industry. Once carbon arc torches for 230 volt welders were fairly common. They are useful for heating steel so you can bend it easily. I have another Instructsble on how I made one.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's forum topic Microwave stopped heating9 days ago

    I took some steps not mentioned above because I wanted to stress the point the problem can be something so simple as a weak or intermittent connection, and I did not want to clutter what I wrote with lots of not quite necessary details. I did remove connections from the door microswitches and test them. One of them may have been unreliable to some degree. (In trying to free it from the snap in catches the top came off and parts fell out.) I did replace the switches as a precaution of relatively low cost. I found only one thermal cutout, and my Ohmmeter indicated it is good. I did test it out of the circuit to avoid spurious readings due to feedback through a back channel. The normal sound of the fan and the carousel made it very difficult to distinguish the presence or absence of any so...

    see more »

    I took some steps not mentioned above because I wanted to stress the point the problem can be something so simple as a weak or intermittent connection, and I did not want to clutter what I wrote with lots of not quite necessary details. I did remove connections from the door microswitches and test them. One of them may have been unreliable to some degree. (In trying to free it from the snap in catches the top came off and parts fell out.) I did replace the switches as a precaution of relatively low cost. I found only one thermal cutout, and my Ohmmeter indicated it is good. I did test it out of the circuit to avoid spurious readings due to feedback through a back channel. The normal sound of the fan and the carousel made it very difficult to distinguish the presence or absence of any sound from the transformer or the msgnetron. If there had been an abnormal growl, as with a bad capacitor, I could have noticed that. It was so much easier and more certain to use a line current ammeter normally clamped around one conductor and watch for an 13 amp. draw compared to a 5 amp. draw. I did check the bleeder resistor in the capacitor, and it was good. My digital multimeter has a capacitance function and I did confirm the value of the capacitor. I also checked it for shorts and opens. I have no scrap microwaves available. Thank you for your detailed discussion.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Low Tech Inclinometer 9 days ago
    Low Tech Inclinometer

    Thank you. He removed it because he is waiting for his nephew to sandblast and paint the railing to which it attaches. And, the end of the mowing season is near. He used it and quickly discovered he is often tilted over more than the recommended 15 degree limit.

    View Instructable »
  • How to Make a Pie Crust for the Holiday Season

    Some years ago I was working out of our house and my wife was gone during the day. Thanksgiving guests were coming in a few days. My wife asked if I couod make some pies. I had never made pie crust, but we had an old basic Betty Crocker cookbook for kids. I very precisely measured everything. I even sifted the flour by hand. Our guests arrived and everyone took a piece of pie after the meal. My wife took a bite of hers before I was ready for mine. She got a strange look on her face. I wondered if I had used baking soda instead of baking powder or salt in place of sugar. Later I learned my crust was better than any she had ever made in her years in the kitchen. It also helped a lot that Butter Flavored Crisco had just come onto the market and I used it.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make an Electric Motor Run Again9 days ago
    Make an Electric Motor Run Again

    Thank you. I was a Lutheran pastor for forty years and still fill in regularly. I always enjoyed boiling things in the Bible down to simple steps in simple terms so people grasped something they did not previously know or understand.

    I have not actually seen one, but understand it to be a small “black box” that uses an internal (to the switch) timing circuit rather than centrifugal weights to disconnect the starting windings before they can overheat and be damaged. I did an Internet search when I originally posted this and found them without any difficulty. Amazon has one. https://www.amazon.com/Samusco-ECS-125P-Electronic-Centrifugal/dp/B015QBSCVQ/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1541533986&sr=8-13&keywords=Motor+Electronic+start+switch

    Thank you.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B's instructable Razor Travel Case's weekly stats: 16 days ago
    • Razor Travel Case
      732 views
      1 favorites
      2 comments
  • Phil B entered Razor Travel Case in the Plastics Contest contest 22 days ago
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Razor Travel Case22 days ago
    Razor Travel Case

    Thank you for your comment. I thought of several other ideas before this: a metal tin with polyurethane foam cut to fit the razor, inletting a wood block, a wood box with partitions and a sliding lid. Even this changed a little. I had thought of gluing a piece of 3/4” PVC into the Tee, but making it half of an inch shorter than the handle. Then I would slide the razor head in from the side and screw the handle to the head. There would be enough handle to grasp with a finger and a thumb. Thank you gor looking.

    View Instructable »
  • Making Really Thin Metal Shims From Razor Blades

    You are making thin metal shims for any desired purpose. Many who use double edge safety razors may use old razor blades to shim between the bottom plate of a three piece razor snd the blade to increase the blade exposure. That takes a relatively mild razor and makes it more aggressive. Mild razors do not easily produce nicks and cuts when shaving, but also may not attack the whiskers aggressively enough to give a really smooth shave. And, a more aggressive razor may make it easier to nick or cut yourself while shaving. People have been shimming their razors for many decades. Because of that, adjustable razors were developed. The adjustment feature increases the distance between the bottom plate and the blade. It is difficult to know how your face will respond to a razor before buying i...

    see more »

    You are making thin metal shims for any desired purpose. Many who use double edge safety razors may use old razor blades to shim between the bottom plate of a three piece razor snd the blade to increase the blade exposure. That takes a relatively mild razor and makes it more aggressive. Mild razors do not easily produce nicks and cuts when shaving, but also may not attack the whiskers aggressively enough to give a really smooth shave. And, a more aggressive razor may make it easier to nick or cut yourself while shaving. People have been shimming their razors for many decades. Because of that, adjustable razors were developed. The adjustment feature increases the distance between the bottom plate and the blade. It is difficult to know how your face will respond to a razor before buying it and brining it home to use. Each person’s face is different. And, as a man ages, his whiskers often cut better with s more aggressive razor than he had been using up to that point. So, shimming can make a razor work better. Many use a sharp scissors to remove the cutting edges from an old blade. But, shims can be made from anything from soda cans to plastic margarine tub lids. It is necessary to experiment to find the best result for you.

    “Dollar” stores usually sell double edge razor blades.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Techgenie's instructable DIY - Magnetic Compass4 weeks ago
    DIY - Magnetic Compass

    At the USAF Museum in Fairborn, Ohio there is a World War II display on Prisoners of War. US fliers imprisoned could get phonograph records and sewing needles sent to them. They heated the records with a candle and pressed a small cup from part of it. They magnetized the sewing needles. They cut a disc of cardboard to float on water in the small lressed cup and inserted the needle into the cardboard disc. That all gav them a compass for use during escapes.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B's instructable Low Tech Inclinometer 's weekly stats: 6 weeks ago
    • Low Tech Inclinometer
      4,272 views
      20 favorites
      26 comments
  • Phil B commented on mileslucas's instructable How to Wet Shave With a Safety Razor.6 weeks ago
    How to Wet Shave With a Safety Razor.

    I know this appeared in 2016. I recently began looking for an alternative to the expensive 5-blade cartridges I have liked. I ordered a two piece screw-on shave head for $6 and made my own handle. At that price, I am not out much if I do not like it. Further, that head has an open comb on one side and a closed comb on the other so the user can determine which is best for him (or her). Blades also make a difference. I bought five blades, but have to agree with those who say that brand does not work for them, even though it works for some. I bought a pack of five Chinese blades from a dollar store, and they work quite well for me. Now I am waiting for blades from a company whose blades get very good reviews. One of the best pieces of advice I know is to shave in total quiet so you can hea...

    see more »

    I know this appeared in 2016. I recently began looking for an alternative to the expensive 5-blade cartridges I have liked. I ordered a two piece screw-on shave head for $6 and made my own handle. At that price, I am not out much if I do not like it. Further, that head has an open comb on one side and a closed comb on the other so the user can determine which is best for him (or her). Blades also make a difference. I bought five blades, but have to agree with those who say that brand does not work for them, even though it works for some. I bought a pack of five Chinese blades from a dollar store, and they work quite well for me. Now I am waiting for blades from a company whose blades get very good reviews. One of the best pieces of advice I know is to shave in total quiet so you can hear when the razor is cutting whiskers and when it is not. Although I was doubtful, I am beginning to like wet shsving. I have not yet tried shaving soap and a brush, though.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Low Tech Inclinometer 6 weeks ago
    Low Tech Inclinometer

    Thank you for your comment. I understand very well what you are saying. In the past I have seen a number of center finders made with CAD programs and laser cutters. I posted two Instructsbles for slightly different (from each other) center finders based on using simple principles of high school geometry and basic tools, and both are quire accurate.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Low Tech Inclinometer 6 weeks ago
    Low Tech Inclinometer

    I thought about using a bubble of air (like a spirit level) in a clear tube, but with colored liquid. My first thought was oil with a color in it, like transmission fluid. Then I wondered what might happen if the chemical composition of the oil and that of the plastic tube were not compatible, or if the plugs I used st the end of the tube leaked. And, I wondered if the bubble wouod be as responsive to changes in the tilt of the machine as the single steel ball in a tube.

    Thank you.

    Thank you. Personally, I was expecting that Kubota would say anything under about 30 degrees is safe, but was surprised when they recommend stayng under 15 degrees. They are also concerned sbout when wheels begin to slide, which could put you into a sharp list unexpectedly. I used rather soft plastic tubing. Something with firmer walls would have been good. I do not want to think about a spinning mower blade grinding away at me because a mower tipped over. One of the other commenters here mentioned learning to fly an airplane a bit more than 50 years ago. Pilots are drilled to rely on their instruments because intuition can be so very in error leading to vertigo.

    The angle indicator I made from a school protractor and needle indicator is an inclinometer. I decided against a pendulum style because the pendulum indicator would stick on the scale behind it whenever the mower nose is pointed downward in the least. A ball in a tube is not affected by rolling lawns that pitch the nose of the machine up and then down and up again.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Low Tech Inclinometer 6 weeks ago
    Low Tech Inclinometer

    Tapping on the orange words “another Instructsble” should take you there. If not, search Instructables for “precision angle finder.” I did not use a pendulum style device because the front of the mower pitches up and then down with the contours of the ground, and the pendulum would bind on the frame of the angle finder. The ball in a tube is not affected by the front of the mower pitching up and down.

    Thank you for asking. My friend asked for a handrail on the front of his Kubota mower so he can get on and off more safely and more easily. See what appears to me to be the 2nd photo, but it is difficult to guess until I complete the post. The tubing is 1.125 inches in diameter. I used existing slots on the front of the machine to anchor the mounting bolts. I used a hose clamp to suspend the inclinometer from the top bar. My friend gets on and off from the right side of the photo. The inclinometer is about a quartter of the way from the left side in the photo. i hope this helps.

    The owner had the opportunity to use this for the first time two days ago. I will ask him if the ball needs dampening when I next see him in a day or two. I have seen him on his mower and he does moves forward at a modest speed that should not necessitate much dampening.

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. A friend used to take me with him in his Piper Cherokee four seater. He hoped I would want to get a pilot’s license, but I never got bitten by the bug and it was not a practical pursuit for me then kr now. I am well aware this tyoe of inclinometer has been used on aircraft, especially early single engine aircraft, and I am familiar with the concept of a coordinated turn, even if I cannot describe the theory in as much detail as you do. I did want to learn enough that I could get us back down to the ground in a safe and controlled way if he should suddenly take a long nap.One of the continual struggles at Instructables is that not everyone has a metal lathe, or a welder, or a 3-D printer. I am very thankful now to have the first two of those thre...

    see more »

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. A friend used to take me with him in his Piper Cherokee four seater. He hoped I would want to get a pilot’s license, but I never got bitten by the bug and it was not a practical pursuit for me then kr now. I am well aware this tyoe of inclinometer has been used on aircraft, especially early single engine aircraft, and I am familiar with the concept of a coordinated turn, even if I cannot describe the theory in as much detail as you do. I did want to learn enough that I could get us back down to the ground in a safe and controlled way if he should suddenly take a long nap.One of the continual struggles at Instructables is that not everyone has a metal lathe, or a welder, or a 3-D printer. I am very thankful now to have the first two of those three. But, I remember very well the days when I had a fewvery basic hand tools in a box and that was all. As much as possible I try to write some Instructables for the guy or gal who has only a few basic hand tools, or at least suggest alternatives to the need for a welder or a lathe.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Low Tech Inclinometer 6 weeks ago
    Low Tech Inclinometer

    Indeed there are no batteries needed. It is good to hear from you. I trust all is well in Las Vegas. My favorite story about simplicity involves Charles Steinmetz working under Thomas Edison. Edison asked Steinmetz to calculate the volume of a very large glass envelope for a light bulb. Steinmetz noted part of it was a sphere and part was a cylinder and there was a between lart where it transitioned from one of those to the other. He brought his calculations to Edison and said his figures wer reasonably accurate. Edison asked him why he had not just filled it with water and measured the water as he poured it out.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on acoens's instructable $5 TV Fix8 weeks ago
    $5 TV Fix

    Congratulations on your successful fix. Back about 1985 I had a conversation with a clerk at a Radio Shack store. He had completed an NRI (National Radio Institute) correspondence course. I had long thought I wanted to do that. He said the problems he found with electronic devices almost always related to the oiwer supply, which is what you also found, In the early 1990s two lightning strikes followed the power company line and took out two pieces of telephone equipment in our church building. The first time a diode had failed in both. I was able to find each and replace them. The second time something else, maybe an integrated circuit, also failed in the answering machine, and I could not fix it, but I did install two MOVs to ground where the phone lines come into the building, and tha...

    see more »

    Congratulations on your successful fix. Back about 1985 I had a conversation with a clerk at a Radio Shack store. He had completed an NRI (National Radio Institute) correspondence course. I had long thought I wanted to do that. He said the problems he found with electronic devices almost always related to the oiwer supply, which is what you also found, In the early 1990s two lightning strikes followed the power company line and took out two pieces of telephone equipment in our church building. The first time a diode had failed in both. I was able to find each and replace them. The second time something else, maybe an integrated circuit, also failed in the answering machine, and I could not fix it, but I did install two MOVs to ground where the phone lines come into the building, and that protected us from further damage due to lightning, These things were before the Internet was any help. In the early 2000s a very tech. savy friend had a laptop that shut off after a few minutes of use. I suggested others surely had the same problem with that model and someone surely wrote about it on the Internet. He found a solution and fixed it himself.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Tool Holder for a DeWalt Tool8 weeks ago
    Tool Holder for a DeWalt Tool

    I look forward to your pictures.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Tool Holder for a DeWalt Tool2 months ago
    Tool Holder for a DeWalt Tool

    Here are a couple of additional thoughts. Attaching magnets is very easy with steel construction. Printed construction would require surrounding some of the magnets physically to restrain them. And, too much heat from the melted filament will demagnetize the magnets. Your proposal may still work very well, but there are a couple of additional parameters around which to work.

    Thank you for your photos. My son-in-law has a 90 degree DeWalt drill. It quit working and he wanted me to make it work sgain. (The battery was the problem.) He mentioned he never uses the belt clip, and that a snap in holder for a hex bit was available st extra cost. I thought a larger magnetic surface would be more versatile and more useful. That is what you see here on a driver/drill.

    One fun aspect of Instructsbles is to make such changes according to your needs and resources. Thank you for looking.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B entered Tool Holder for a DeWalt Tool in the Metalworking Contest contest 2 months ago
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's forum topic Rescue a defunct phone charger2 months ago

    I used a thin cutting wheel on a Dremel rotary tool to open the case. I did nick the output wires from the circuit board to the external output cable, but repaired that. The fitting to a device is micro-USB. The replacement capacitors are the same 330 micro-farad, but a higher voltage rating compared to the originals. I wanted to protect against line voltage shocks.

    The replacements are the same nominal 330 micro-farads the originals were, but physically larger because of a much higher safe maximum voltage rating.

    Our mains are half of the voltage of yours in the UK. I have been using this repaired charger for months with hot glue as the insulator. This arrangement was not my first choice, but it has worked very well with no hint of a shock. My experience with electricity is not as extensive as yours, but we are not far apart in age and I have worked safely with it throughout my whole life. My first experiences and training was to work with my father as his helper in his electrical business.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems2 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    I have never heard of such a thing. All I can say is to try some cartridges of the same style by a different maker and see if the results are the same. Also, examine everything very carefully multiple times and see if you can pinpoint the reason for the problem.

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

    Thank you for your kind words and for looking at all of those Instructsbles. I am 72 and in reasonably good health. I also hope I will be sble to post Instructsbles for a while, yet. I remember reading How-To magazines when I was much younger and wishing for access to a particular process or tool, but it just did not appear likely that would ever happen. But, over the years I somehow acquired those tools. It can even happen that someone gives you a great tool because they can no longer use it and want it to go to someone who will appreciate it and give it a good home. Videos at YouTube are great for developing a new skill. If you have a welder you will be amazed at how many thIngs need welding around your house.

    View Instructable »
  • It is called an indexing head. I believe I once saw helps for making one to add onto a wood lathe, but I do not remember where. It may even have been at Instructables. Also try YouTube.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer3 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    The first three minutes of this video is very typical of my experience with a blade for cutting light brush with a weed trimmer. Notice nothing unsafe happens during the video. I have to say I do not cut things out in front of me, only at ground level. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8N42hy1cqMk

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer3 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    I would not make or use it if I thought it not safe. Go to YouTube and there are a couple of videos using a saw blade on a trimmer very safely, even if they are more aggressive with them than I would ever care to be. Do you say my brush blade is not safe because of an actual incident of which you have firsthand knowledge, or is your judgment based on theorizing?

    Your unfortunate circular saw experience is not an analogous situation. Go to YouTube and search for “weed trimmer bush blade.” One videio is by a guy in the USA who needed to remove brush from a fence line. The other is a forest worker in Sweden. Both are using Husqvarna trimmers and both are using carbide tip blades with larger diameters than I use. (Part of my rationale is that a smaller diameter blade has less potentially dangerous torque by virtue of its shorter radius.) In both videos the operators are cutting branches up to 3 inches in diameter. They buzz through them like a hot knife in soft butter with no kickback and only fine dust from the blade. Engineering is a wonderful discipline. I once wanted to become one. I am reminded of an older gentleman I once knew. He did many ve...

    see more »

    Your unfortunate circular saw experience is not an analogous situation. Go to YouTube and search for “weed trimmer bush blade.” One videio is by a guy in the USA who needed to remove brush from a fence line. The other is a forest worker in Sweden. Both are using Husqvarna trimmers and both are using carbide tip blades with larger diameters than I use. (Part of my rationale is that a smaller diameter blade has less potentially dangerous torque by virtue of its shorter radius.) In both videos the operators are cutting branches up to 3 inches in diameter. They buzz through them like a hot knife in soft butter with no kickback and only fine dust from the blade. Engineering is a wonderful discipline. I once wanted to become one. I am reminded of an older gentleman I once knew. He did many very technical things without even a high school education. Once a group of engineers at the company where he worked had developed an idea. He happened to look over their shoulders and told them their idea wouod not work. That did not please them, but he was right.

    View Instructable »
  • Thank you for the suggestion about the copper tubing. If the saw were mine and no longer under warranty I would cut screw slots in the top of the screws. Since posting this, we have purchased a new Troy-Bilt string trimmer with another style of screw designed to foil the owner/mechanic. Its screws have a flat side. I have been sble to make a tool, but I had to use a metal lathe and a welder. For most of my life those things were not svailable to me and are not now available to most people.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Great Projects From Old How-to Magazines3 months ago
    Great Projects From Old How-to Magazines

    Thank you for looking and commenting. For a time I had an older set of encylopedia volumes from Popular Mechanics from about 1955, but passed them on later when I realized they were no longer an asset to me personally. It was through that set I first learned about the arc welder from the core of a step down transformer. (There are several Instructables on rebuilding and pairing a couple of microwave transformers to make an AC stick welder.)I remember Mechanix Illustrated as well as Science and Mechanics. I did look for similar archinves on them, but found very little. I did find an early 1960s article on building a 3/4 size 1901 Oldsmobile with a one cylinder 4-cycle gasoline engine. It appeared in Mechanix Illustrated, but what I found nowhere mentions Mechanix Illustrates, even though...

    see more »

    Thank you for looking and commenting. For a time I had an older set of encylopedia volumes from Popular Mechanics from about 1955, but passed them on later when I realized they were no longer an asset to me personally. It was through that set I first learned about the arc welder from the core of a step down transformer. (There are several Instructables on rebuilding and pairing a couple of microwave transformers to make an AC stick welder.)I remember Mechanix Illustrated as well as Science and Mechanics. I did look for similar archinves on them, but found very little. I did find an early 1960s article on building a 3/4 size 1901 Oldsmobile with a one cylinder 4-cycle gasoline engine. It appeared in Mechanix Illustrated, but what I found nowhere mentions Mechanix Illustrates, even though it is clearly the MI article. I would encourage you to check later for archives of Mechanix Illustrated and Science and Mechanis. Things change and they may become available one day. Unfortunately, I do not remember the project you want to find.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer3 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    I am glad to have been of help. I found a video today showing a guy in Sweden who put a circular carbide blade on a Husqvarna trimmer and demonstrated cutting down a tree with a diameter almost 12” using only the trimmer. He cut a wedge out of one side. He could have used the space created by removing the wedge to cut even farther into the tree trunk, but succeeded in felling it by cutting at the sides and back of the tree. He admistted he would normally have used a chainsaw. He did have a few provlems with kickback. I simoly want to cut an occasional woody stalk my trimmer string will not handle. I do not yet understand all I wish to understand, but many of these oeople are buy blades at eBay. They seem to be a kit in which thee also are washers to center the blade on the hsaft below t...

    see more »

    I am glad to have been of help. I found a video today showing a guy in Sweden who put a circular carbide blade on a Husqvarna trimmer and demonstrated cutting down a tree with a diameter almost 12” using only the trimmer. He cut a wedge out of one side. He could have used the space created by removing the wedge to cut even farther into the tree trunk, but succeeded in felling it by cutting at the sides and back of the tree. He admistted he would normally have used a chainsaw. He did have a few provlems with kickback. I simoly want to cut an occasional woody stalk my trimmer string will not handle. I do not yet understand all I wish to understand, but many of these oeople are buy blades at eBay. They seem to be a kit in which thee also are washers to center the blade on the hsaft below the bump head for the string.

    At YouTube search for CIRCULAR Saw blade on TRIMMER???TEST+ and How to turn your weed eater into a tree eater! A search for “weed trimmer brush blade” turns up some additional videos I have not yet viewed.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer3 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    I looked and found two videos at YouTube in which guys attached a circular blade to a weed trimmer. Both used larger diameter blades than mine. The users were also cutting sbove their heads. I do not like using a blade power tool above my head. A circular electric saw used in carpentry can kick back, but a weed trimmer does not seem to catch and kick. I would think the centrifugal clutcih might also slip. I would always want to pay attention to the cut I am making, lest the weight of a branch would pinch against the blade. It is better if the pieces separate from one another as the cut progresses. In the YouTube videos limbs separated and fell as if butter cut by a hot knife. A large concern for me when attempting this was to have a solid mount for the blade that remains centered withit...

    see more »

    I looked and found two videos at YouTube in which guys attached a circular blade to a weed trimmer. Both used larger diameter blades than mine. The users were also cutting sbove their heads. I do not like using a blade power tool above my head. A circular electric saw used in carpentry can kick back, but a weed trimmer does not seem to catch and kick. I would think the centrifugal clutcih might also slip. I would always want to pay attention to the cut I am making, lest the weight of a branch would pinch against the blade. It is better if the pieces separate from one another as the cut progresses. In the YouTube videos limbs separated and fell as if butter cut by a hot knife. A large concern for me when attempting this was to have a solid mount for the blade that remains centered withit wobble.

    I use a finer tooth blade because I believe it cuts less per tooth than a coarser blade and is less likely to bind or kick back. From experience cutting steel with a disc on an angle head grinder, the position on the blade where it contacts the material to be cut has a big effect of any tendency to push back. I have cut things with a very small stalk with this and found no sensation of pushback at all. As I said, I do not force the blade, but let it cut at its own speed. Since posting this I stumbled onto a video at YouTube showing a man fitting a slightly larger blade to a weed trimmer and using it to cut limbs 3 or more inches in diameter from trees. There was no sign of binding or pushing back. I do not know that I would care to cut larger things like that. I think such larger things...

    see more »

    I use a finer tooth blade because I believe it cuts less per tooth than a coarser blade and is less likely to bind or kick back. From experience cutting steel with a disc on an angle head grinder, the position on the blade where it contacts the material to be cut has a big effect of any tendency to push back. I have cut things with a very small stalk with this and found no sensation of pushback at all. As I said, I do not force the blade, but let it cut at its own speed. Since posting this I stumbled onto a video at YouTube showing a man fitting a slightly larger blade to a weed trimmer and using it to cut limbs 3 or more inches in diameter from trees. There was no sign of binding or pushing back. I do not know that I would care to cut larger things like that. I think such larger things might overload the driveshaft. Remember, too, that the factory string cutter guard is still in place, although that is not prominent in the photos. I think if you tried what I have done you would find your fears about binding and kickback are unfounded.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Sharpen Your Drill Bits3 months ago
    Sharpen Your Drill Bits

    Thank you for the offer. I think that is the same sharoening guide I have. I think I have the instructions, yet. I have also finally been able to sharpen most of the bits I use by hand acceptably well.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B's instructable Custom Quick Link's weekly stats: 3 months ago
    • Custom Quick Link
      575 views
      2 favorites
      3 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Sharpen Your Drill Bits3 months ago
    Sharpen Your Drill Bits

    My father did electrical work when I was in grade school. I was often his helper, and we used those. After I was married almost 50 years ago, I bought one of those. That was before I felt I could afford an electric drill. I would suggest you sharpen them by hand, but very lightly. Point the front end of the bit at the wheel. Swing the back end of the bit to the left between 5 and 10 degrees and lower the bsck end of the bit about the same. Grind away no more than absilutely necessary. Rotate the bit 180 degrees and repeat. Try to keep the peak of the bit centered on the flutes as much as possible. Thank you for your question and for the memory.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer3 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    The regular factory shield has not been moved or removed, although it is not prominent in any of the photos. And, Troy-Bilt makes a brush cutter attachment with a steel blade that fits my trimmer. The operator’s feet are the same 36+ inches from the cutter, whether the 0.095” trimmer string, or the circular blade I used, or the commercial brush blade from Troy-Bilt. Your apprehensions may well keep you from using any weed trimmer on the market.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Refurbish an Old Slide Rule3 months ago
    Refurbish an Old Slide Rule

    Thank you for your comment. Purists want a slide rule to be restored with original parts, or they lsbel it a “Frankenrule.” I am not a purist, but wanted a nice used rule with potential to be useful. I like the idea of printing your own oarts to cure KERCS. Very clever!

    View Instructable »
  • Aviao Experimental Feito Em Casa (home-made Experimental Plane)

    For an interesting story and photos about an airplane built from common materials, search the Internet for DOWA 81. It is a plane a man in East Germany buiot to fly have s family to freedom in the West, but the police came the day before they were to fly.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Display Case for a Military Honors Flag3 months ago
    Display Case for a Military Honors Flag

    Thank you. I have thiught many times how I would do it better next time, and have watched some videos on how others did it. But, I have never needed another. Most avoid 22.5 degree cuts because too many things can go wrong.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Custom Quick Link3 months ago
    Custom Quick Link

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. I thought about just buying a carabiner, but the challenge of making something was strong, I think they come on a card of three, and, I would have needed to take time to drive to a store and look for one.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Corroded Maglite 3 months ago
    Corroded Maglite

    Thank you. Since posting this, I have also seen a suggestion that alkaline battery corrosion should be neutralized with an acid, like vinegar.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Rebuilding a Hydraulic Floor Jack4 months ago
    Rebuilding a Hydraulic Floor Jack

    Thank you for the report. I am glad this was helpful.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B's instructable Corroded Maglite 's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • Corroded Maglite
      1,317 views
      7 favorites
      2 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer4 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    Thank you for commenting. I understand what you say. Still, Troy-Bilt offers a brush blade for my trimmer. The blade I am using has fine teeth and does not present a shock to the driveshaft like the factory blade that has four cutting protrusions which are rather blunt. I mentioned I avoid revving the blade like the driver of a muscle car at a stoplight. I also do not force the blade, but let it cut at its own pace. And, I will not use thIs blade often. Almost 30 years ago I had a very inexpensive Ryan weed trimmer with a curved shaft. A friend had a brush filled back yard. I fitted a similar blade to the trimmer head and cut a lot of small trees that day. I was careful not to stress the shaft any more than necessary. That driveshaft lived to see many more days.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on luann2425's instructable Dealing With Instructables Rejection4 months ago
    Dealing With Instructables Rejection

    There was a time when I siad I would never enter another contest. It seemed high quality entries (from others) went unnoticed, while prizes went to unremarkable efforts. Finally, I did submit an entry in a contest because the theme of the contest intrigued me and I had a fresh Instructsble that qualified. It won a decent practical prize, although not the top prize--a good battery powered drill. Later, I entered another contest and one one of the top three prizes--a MIG welder. I almost did not write and post that Instructsble because a series of similar Instructables I really think were better got almost no notice. Ten days ago I submitted an Instructsble that would save people who can use it some money. It was not featured, but it fits a contest and I entered it. Suddenly somebody is l...

    see more »

    There was a time when I siad I would never enter another contest. It seemed high quality entries (from others) went unnoticed, while prizes went to unremarkable efforts. Finally, I did submit an entry in a contest because the theme of the contest intrigued me and I had a fresh Instructsble that qualified. It won a decent practical prize, although not the top prize--a good battery powered drill. Later, I entered another contest and one one of the top three prizes--a MIG welder. I almost did not write and post that Instructsble because a series of similar Instructables I really think were better got almost no notice. Ten days ago I submitted an Instructsble that would save people who can use it some money. It was not featured, but it fits a contest and I entered it. Suddenly somebody is looking at it and marking it as a favorite more than if it had been featured.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on pjrobinson's instructable Bicycle Helmet Hat Brim4 months ago
    Bicycle Helmet Hat Brim

    A few years ago I turned up with some skin cancer. I added a brim made of corrugated cardboard and painted it with black spray paint. Reading I have done indicates some materials are pretty good for blocking UV rays and some are not. I do not ow sbout urethane foam. Cardboard, fabric, and paint are all pretty good in appropriate thicknesses. Also, I use my shadow to determine if I need to tip my head down more to be shaded by my brim. It is also helpful to use a weather app. that indicates the current UV rating for your area. Go riding when UV rays are not so strong. 0 to 2 is good. 3 is borderline. Higher is not good. Remember, too, that some UV rays will be reflected back up from surfaces on the ground.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on luann2425's instructable Dealing With Instructables Rejection4 months ago
    Dealing With Instructables Rejection

    There is no explaining why some Instructables are featured and some are not. I have found submitting an Instructable in one category may result more easily in being featured, while submitting an Instructsble in a different category may not result in a featured Instructsble, even though both were of comparable quality. I once submitted an Instructsble that was not featured until month and nomths later. I do not know why. I have submitted Instructables that would save anyone using them a fair amount of money, but that did not count for anything. Often those featured are not very practical, nor will they save anyone any money. But, they have what the editors consider "cool." I gave up concern about being featured and simply hope people who need what I offer will find mine and ben...

    see more »

    There is no explaining why some Instructables are featured and some are not. I have found submitting an Instructable in one category may result more easily in being featured, while submitting an Instructsble in a different category may not result in a featured Instructsble, even though both were of comparable quality. I once submitted an Instructsble that was not featured until month and nomths later. I do not know why. I have submitted Instructables that would save anyone using them a fair amount of money, but that did not count for anything. Often those featured are not very practical, nor will they save anyone any money. But, they have what the editors consider "cool." I gave up concern about being featured and simply hope people who need what I offer will find mine and benefit from them. In time your Instructable will turn up in a garden variety Internet search and oeople will join Instructables just so they can ask you a question or make a comment. It is really nice when someone says they had taken a car or an appliance to several shops but no one was able to find the problem. However, they finally solved the problem when they read your Instructable. That is nice.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer4 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    The regular shroud is still in place. My feet are 3 feet or more from the blade. I do not force the tool to make it cut faster, but let it cut at its own pace. It makes only a little fine sawdust directed away from me.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Corroded Maglite 4 months ago
    Corroded Maglite

    Thank you for your comment and for the benefit of your experience. We keep a AA Maglite in a vehicle glove box. It is especially easy to forget sbout that one.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer
      779 views
      4 favorites
      3 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Display Case for a Military Honors Flag4 months ago
    Display Case for a Military Honors Flag

    i believe I took dimensions of the flag as they are rather than calculate what they should be. Quite some time after I made this, I saw an episode of the PBS woodworking show, "Rough Cut" in which Tommy MacDonald was making a flag case. He calculated what the sides should be, but to insure the ends come together without a gap, he marked, trimmed, and fitted them at what was supposed to be the 90 degree corner as the end oroduct actually was. That means a 90 degree corner that may not be exactly 90 degrees, but it closes without a gap and the eye does not notice.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer4 months ago
    Brush Blade for a Weed Trimmer

    Thank you for your kind words. The blade, especially with 90 teeth, makes only a little fine sawdust. It really does not throw anything. Also, I let the blade contact the wood stalks at sbout the 3 o'clock position on the blade. The rotation is counter-clockwise. The sawdust is directed away from the operator. And, you can keep the blade speed a little lower rather than higher.

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

    I am not a small engine mechanic by training or by trade. Is the fuel tank elevated above the combustion chamber? I am wondering if the floating needle activated by the metering valve is not sealing and fuel can flow through by gravity. That might mean you need a new metering diaphragm. A plugged vent hole in the fuel tank cap usually stops the flow of fuel because air cannot get back into the tank to replace fuel leaving the tank. I recently read that more and more repair shops do not bother with diagnosing a carburetor problem, but simply replace the carburetor with a new one. If you can match up a replacement carburetor, the orice of a new one is often less than $15 or $20.

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

    It is good to hear from you, Bill. We no longer live down I-5 from you, but moved to Knoxville, Tennessee a year ago to be nearer to children and grandchildren for the day when we have fallen and cannot get up. The slide rule you see is a nice K & E given to me by the widow of a man over whose funeral I presided. No one in the family wanted it or knew how to use it. When we were getting ready to move, my wife feared our rental truck would be too small. I used another (plastic) slide rule extensively to calculate cubic footsge of the various stacks of boxes and other things in our garage. My calculations proved to be exactly correct snd the truck fit our load with room to spare, just as I calculated. I keep an old phone book in my shop. The top page is always a clean soft renewable s...

    see more »

    It is good to hear from you, Bill. We no longer live down I-5 from you, but moved to Knoxville, Tennessee a year ago to be nearer to children and grandchildren for the day when we have fallen and cannot get up. The slide rule you see is a nice K & E given to me by the widow of a man over whose funeral I presided. No one in the family wanted it or knew how to use it. When we were getting ready to move, my wife feared our rental truck would be too small. I used another (plastic) slide rule extensively to calculate cubic footsge of the various stacks of boxes and other things in our garage. My calculations proved to be exactly correct snd the truck fit our load with room to spare, just as I calculated. I keep an old phone book in my shop. The top page is always a clean soft renewable surface on which to work with things that could be marred or are dirty. I usually mix small amounts of epoxy on it. This idea was in a Popular Mechanics magazine in the 1980s, I think.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck4 months ago
    Improving a Hand Truck

    Thank you for your comment. In the very late-1990s our church needed a hand truck for moving cases of paper and other things around. I made a hand truck from scrap steel I got at a local yard, and the base was overly large. That helped very much, but, I also added rope with a knot every 4 to 6 inches and a "V" catch to grab a knot. We were not moving at the time, and I had access to a stick welder. A year ago when I needed this solution to a problem, just about all of my tools were already sealed in various cardboard boxes and I had to make do with little more than you might find in a utility room cabinet drawer.Thank you for the report on the NordicTrack skier rollers and the fountain pens. I am very happy something I posted has been useful to you. If you read comments on the...

    see more »

    Thank you for your comment. In the very late-1990s our church needed a hand truck for moving cases of paper and other things around. I made a hand truck from scrap steel I got at a local yard, and the base was overly large. That helped very much, but, I also added rope with a knot every 4 to 6 inches and a "V" catch to grab a knot. We were not moving at the time, and I had access to a stick welder. A year ago when I needed this solution to a problem, just about all of my tools were already sealed in various cardboard boxes and I had to make do with little more than you might find in a utility room cabinet drawer.Thank you for the report on the NordicTrack skier rollers and the fountain pens. I am very happy something I posted has been useful to you. If you read comments on the skier roller cleaning, some official repair guys chastised me for using an unofficial repair to get more life from the rollers. it is also good to hear from someone else about the viability and longevity you have gotten from flushing metallic powder from the one-way roller bearings. Practical and inexpensive solutions to real problems are always rewarding. Thank you for reading things I posted, often to document so I remember all of the details in case I need them later, but also to share with friends known and unknown,

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fix a Frozen Concoction Machine4 months ago
    Fix a Frozen Concoction Machine

    Thank you for the note superimposed on the image. Unfortunately, you must remove the bottom as I showed in the steps above. Congratulations on finding the part. The machine shown in the photos has had no use until about a month ago when someone borrowed it for s party. I was not at that party, but the fix shown here held up well.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems5 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle Engine Problems

    i listed a link to an on-line diagnostic help in my comment to 86suzuki directly below. It is close to s flow chart. About a month ago I worked on a chainsaw for a friend. Two repair shops told him he almost certainly needed a new metering diaphragm in his carburetor. After I got into the saw I found the diaphragm was fine. The fuel in his saw's tank was more than a year old. After mixing fresh fuel and replacing the old fuel with it, the saw ran great. I mention that because yu never know exactly what you have until you get into the machine. By the way, this chainsaw did not develop full power at first. Then I opened the High circuit mixture screw just a little and it was fine. I would check everything in a logical order, and I would make certain there are no air leaks anywhere in the ...

    see more »

    i listed a link to an on-line diagnostic help in my comment to 86suzuki directly below. It is close to s flow chart. About a month ago I worked on a chainsaw for a friend. Two repair shops told him he almost certainly needed a new metering diaphragm in his carburetor. After I got into the saw I found the diaphragm was fine. The fuel in his saw's tank was more than a year old. After mixing fresh fuel and replacing the old fuel with it, the saw ran great. I mention that because yu never know exactly what you have until you get into the machine. By the way, this chainsaw did not develop full power at first. Then I opened the High circuit mixture screw just a little and it was fine. I would check everything in a logical order, and I would make certain there are no air leaks anywhere in the crankcase.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B's instructable A Reed Switch's weekly stats: 5 months ago
    • A Reed Switch
      248 views
      2 favorites
      5 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable A Reed Switch5 months ago
    A Reed Switch

    John,It sounds like an idea worth pursuing. I needed one reed switch now, and decided to make my own. Unfortunately, another part of the project fell apart, and now I do not need any reed switches. Thank you for your comment.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable A Reed Switch5 months ago
    A Reed Switch

    If I wanted to wait for shipment I could order a batch of reed switches most of which I will never use on the Internet. The $10 reference was to the current variety of reed switch with some auxillary electronics in a package that used to be simpler in design and sell for $3 at a big box store.

    View Instructable »
  • Phil B posted an instructable A Reed Switch5 months ago
  • Phil B's instructable Copy Kindle Text's weekly stats: 5 months ago
    • Copy Kindle Text
      107 views
      0 favorites
      0 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Car Battery Goes Dead After a Few Days5 months ago
    Car Battery Goes Dead After a Few Days

    Thank you for your comment. I am not a professional mechanic and have never owned a VW of any kind. I empathize with you in the problems you are having.I did a little cursory reading sbout electrical problems on the 1998 Beetle. Melted fuses and wiring harnesses, and outright fires, are not infrequent in the complaints. It seems an early sign of problems to come involves a lack of response from the heater/AC fan control. (The fan blows at the #2 setting no matter where the knob is set.) Some had the engine die in traffic, or the horn began to blow during the night with no known stimulus. I did not find your exact problem.The melted fuses and wiring harnesses suggests a heavy unusual current draw. That could also fit with your drained battery. My first thought is something simple, like t...

    see more »

    Thank you for your comment. I am not a professional mechanic and have never owned a VW of any kind. I empathize with you in the problems you are having.I did a little cursory reading sbout electrical problems on the 1998 Beetle. Melted fuses and wiring harnesses, and outright fires, are not infrequent in the complaints. It seems an early sign of problems to come involves a lack of response from the heater/AC fan control. (The fan blows at the #2 setting no matter where the knob is set.) Some had the engine die in traffic, or the horn began to blow during the night with no known stimulus. I did not find your exact problem.The melted fuses and wiring harnesses suggests a heavy unusual current draw. That could also fit with your drained battery. My first thought is something simple, like the wiring crosses over a rough metal edge at a body seam and eventually wears through the insulation to cause an electrical short.In step #1 of this Instructable I described how to use an Ammeter to check current draw in a circuit. If you do not have a digital multimeter, Harbor Freight has one for around $5 that is often free with one of their ubiquitous coupons from the Sunday paper or an advertisement in a magazine and a small purchase. Start with the 10 Amp. range just to be safe and work back to the milliamps. ranges to avoid blowing a fuse inside the meter. (I had to go to Amazon to find replacement fuses. They are an odd size.)I would want to know the current draw when the car is parked by the curb, and then with the engine running. Is it higher than 50 to 100 milliamps when nothing is running? If so, I would pull a fuse and check the current draw. Replace the fuse and pull another. You are trying to determine which system has the excessive current draw. Then follow the wires for that system as best you can with your hand looking for any signs insulation is worn or frayed. (If you cannot follow the wire various places, try disconnecting it between the battery and where the wire becomes inaccessible to your reach. Ockam's Razor says the simplest explanation is usually the best. The problem could be a component failure, but is more likely to be something simple, like worn insulation. This is a tedious process, but it may eliminate a possible cause, which advances the inquiry.

    View Instructable »
  • More Activities