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  • Backyard Treehouse With Zip Line, Trap Door, and Sliding Door

    Great job on that! Looks great and should last a while.

    While not technically a "treehouse",which he admitted to right off. It all depends on ones needs. I'dbet first and foremost he wanted something safe for his kids to play in. And secondly something he didn’t need to make constant repairs on to keep itsafe. Trees move, ALOT, and that movement is bad for a structure, especiallya structure this large. This movementtears apart the structural joints, making it less safe and requiring morerepairs. Such repairs can be quiteextensive as the wood near the joints becomes fractured, or cracked, requiringripping out entire beams, and that’s a lot of work. Not to mention that treehouses can cause irreparabledamage to the tree.

    I see a lot of projects these days setting thetimber directly into the cement. People claim the pressure treated lumberis ok to put directly into cement. BUT the reality is its only betterthat non treated lumber, but still not a good idea if you want it to last aslong as possible. And it may depend onyour local codes. Having recently totally demolished and builtnew, an elevated deck off our second floor dining room. Because the support beams literally rottedout right at the cement joint, which was just below ground level (many codeviolations there by whoever built it). Building codes in my city required (at the timeof my rebuild), cement piers extending below the frost line (laughable as I’min Phoenix AZ, we don’t have a frost line) and extending above ground level toat least the fou…

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    I see a lot of projects these days setting thetimber directly into the cement. People claim the pressure treated lumberis ok to put directly into cement. BUT the reality is its only betterthat non treated lumber, but still not a good idea if you want it to last aslong as possible. And it may depend onyour local codes. Having recently totally demolished and builtnew, an elevated deck off our second floor dining room. Because the support beams literally rottedout right at the cement joint, which was just below ground level (many codeviolations there by whoever built it). Building codes in my city required (at the timeof my rebuild), cement piers extending below the frost line (laughable as I’min Phoenix AZ, we don’t have a frost line) and extending above ground level toat least the foundation line and the supporting beam to be attached to that usingproper brackets and ties. The second benefitwith this method is, you can if necessary more easily replace this support beam. Which I might have done with the previous supportslong before, except that the time and effort added to the desire to have a bitlarger deck had me waiting until I had a sabbatical to demolish and rebuild thewhole thing.

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  • Satellite Tracker W/ Green Laser Pointer

    Sure thing bro! You da master of all things it seems. ;)

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  • Satellite Tracker W/ Green Laser Pointer

    I believe redrok's intention in mentioning this is that one MUST be aware of the issues. Even though YOUR intentions are not illicit, keep in mind that these lasers CAN eaisly be seen by others in your neighborhood. It only takes one complaint from a neighbor to cause one a lot of troubles. When the police show up to investigate the complaint they are not there to evaluate your intentions nor do they have the skills to evaluate your set up to determine if the laser does or does not pose a safty risk per local/federal regulations. Their only job is to enforce the laws, therefore the operator of such a set up may likely find himself in court trying to explain their intentions. And the courts also only determine - was the law violated or not, and again have nothing to do with ones "…

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    I believe redrok's intention in mentioning this is that one MUST be aware of the issues. Even though YOUR intentions are not illicit, keep in mind that these lasers CAN eaisly be seen by others in your neighborhood. It only takes one complaint from a neighbor to cause one a lot of troubles. When the police show up to investigate the complaint they are not there to evaluate your intentions nor do they have the skills to evaluate your set up to determine if the laser does or does not pose a safty risk per local/federal regulations. Their only job is to enforce the laws, therefore the operator of such a set up may likely find himself in court trying to explain their intentions. And the courts also only determine - was the law violated or not, and again have nothing to do with ones "good intentions" or scientific curiosity.Just sayin...

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  • Backyard Quartzite Flagstone Patio

    Excellent job! Great planning and explanationof the steps necessary!Lots or people like to shortcut on theprocess. Especially the compacting ofthe location, this is vital to a long lasting deck.My only suggestion would be a retention edge. With time, traffic and weather, the edgeswill begin to move. I put a cement curbing,same height as deck, with rebar inside,to keep mine all in place over the years.

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  • Marblevator, Pick and Place, Version 2.

    Cool and fun toy! But I'd do an adult version, with a frown on the guy and a sign on top with just the word "Capitalism" and put it on my desk at work! Just another reason for me to buy a 3D printer.

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  • Ultimate Mosquito Swatter Mod for Gamer: Add Kill Counter, Sound, Rechargeable Battery.

    Yes! Electronic sensors, like thoes used in recording devices, are quite sensative to ultrasonic as well as IR.

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  • Ultimate Mosquito Swatter Mod for Gamer: Add Kill Counter, Sound, Rechargeable Battery.

    Great idea to make a game out of it! Make a few of these and set the youngsters loose in the yard for an afternoon of exhausting play!

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  • mwitherspoon commented on rschoenm's instructable Toy Circular Saw
    Toy Circular Saw

    Very Cool! I'd put a plastic leaf inside to provide a nice clicking sound as it rotates!

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  • Centripetal Force Experiment With Micro:bit and Microsoft Excel

    Always love these great science demonstrations! Great idea using that salad spinner! Of course I’d have gotten waylaid tryna balancethat thing for some good RPM’s

    Or "Oot-le-ay" as my Canadian friend says it!

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  • Salvage Parts From Old Printers

    Oh No! Almost NOTHING goes to waste. I’ve evenkept some of the sheet metal enclosures, flatten out for future use.When I'm done about all that goes in therecycle bin is the plastic enclosure and the bare chassis.I also find the power cords of junked vacuums tobe great things to keep. Nice and long, very flexible, great for the box fans I’vemounted into folding “A” frames for use around the shop and home (Importantthings living in Arizona).

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  • Salvage Parts From Old Printers

    Another very important resource not to overlookhere. FASTENERS. These things are chock full of small screws,bolts, nuts, washers, shoulder bolts, snap rings. All kinds of things Ifind useful not only for the occasional missing fastener in other stillfunctional things but for other projects as well. Even replaced a specialsmall pin in the hinge of the cleanout door on the dust bin of my Shark vacuum. It was a small metric size pin that was press fit (which of course loosensafter hundreds of openings), I dug through my coffee can of thousands ofthese bits and found the perfect replacement.

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  • mwitherspoon commented on zolv's instructable Concrete Ramp Block
    Concrete Ramp Block

    Nice solution. You can also get dies to add to the cement, make it blend in with the environment, if you're into that kinda thing.

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  • mwitherspoon commented on Spektyr's instructable Trunk Lid Organizer
    Trunk Lid Organizer

    Just keep balance in mind when adding weight to the lid. The gas struts will have less force in the cold winter. What worked great in the summer might give you a wack on the back of the head in the winter. Experience is a great teacher!

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  • Marblevator, Caterpillars

    I hope you didn’t think I was questioning the"legitimacy" of your project here. It was a joke on me. I tend to bea tight wad and don’t crack open the wallet easily. Of course my wife is encouraging me to buy a3d printer/ I think it’s a trap.Keep upthe great work!

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  • Marblevator, Caterpillars

    Now thats a clever twist on the marble toys. Great thinking!I really gotta find a "legitamate" project that requires me to buy a 3-D printer!

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  • mwitherspoon commented on Deepaksh123's instructable Mini Tree
    Mini Tree

    Not if you find them at a yard sale! ;)I've gota a 2lb box of florist wire and several roles of florist tape for like 2 bucks one weekend.And several bobbins of thread for a quarter each at another time.And NOW I know what to do with them!!Ya never know what you're gonna do with this junk when ya see it. But ya know you need it for somthing. And NO its not hording! Not when you gift it to someone else (then its their problem)

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  • Make a Mechanical Bug From a Vacuum Tube

    Very cute and clever! We all love gluin and welding old scraps together and creating larger conglomerations of more interesting scraps! Only one question. How on earth did you glue that jack-grommit thimajig on with that superglue without gluing your finger to it as well?(loved seeing that I'm not the only old guy that can barely hold a soldering iron steady).

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  • Remote Control Light Switch

    LOL Same here! Although my bedroom automation involved only kite string and lots of eye screws! Dad wasn't happy about his missing eye screws. But he was impressed enough he let me keep them.

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  • Create High Quality PCB's at Home With Cheap Laser Module

    Yes a very good alternative. No morenasty chemicals to store, use and dispose of. Probably faster, without theextra steps for developer and exposure times times.

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  • The Steampunk Welding Torch Desk Lamp

    Excellent idea repurposing that hand drill!The only part bringing down the look is that electric cord. Check Amazon for "braided wire sleeve" There are a few color options. A few feet of this to hide the cord, glued into the hose fitting nuts to simulate the two gas lines would complete the aesthetics.Otherwise Its really cool desk lamp!

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  • P-CNC Plotter Disguised As a Quadruped Robot

    Using PVC for the structure is awesome!Great work!

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  • A 3D Printed Seven Segment Electro-Mechanical Single Motor Driven Display.

    Excellent design. I've been kicking around several ideas for electro-mechanical displays to create a unique clock myself. Good work!

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  • Automating an Acrylic Line Bender With Arduino

    Excellent Instructable! And so timely, as I've been Jonesin to build a plastic sheet bender! I have several projects in mind. My current design is very... very similar with all the same details - except for the magnetic catches and only one bending arm! Terrific idea for us multi taskers (aka impatient people). I've also added "Tee" slots for a squaring fence and end stops for part repitition.Only one question. Do you find it necessary to "over bend" to allow for spring back or is that only a problem of pre-mature bending?

    Thanks for this very detailed response!

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  • Making a Tiny Mac From a Raspberry Pi Zero

    Sent chills down my spine!! Very cool though!

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  • Simple and Easy Tinfoil Rockets

    WOW! I remember making these as a kid (long time ago). We weren't as detailed as this. We used paper matches, the whole match without tearing the head off. We just laid a straight pin along the match stem, being sure to touch against the head. Wrap the bit of foil around the head - squeeze it tightly around the match stem and pin. Then pull the pin out, making a small exhaust port. Then prop it up on a bit of stiff paper like a tiny bottle rocket and ignite! Legend has it that I burned up a large section of the yard one summer.

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  • Wood Mallet With Copper Inlays

    I believe these particular ones are for decorative purposes.Or for quickly imparting Tic-Tac-Toe grids onto other objects.Other than that the process is good for building a mallet for other purposes as well.

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  • An Enclosure for a Prusa 3D Printer

    Nice set up!I'd add a dryer vent flapper to that exhaust vent to prevent back drafts bringing in dust when not in use, and keep tiny critters out.And as another person mentioned, there is an optimal cabinet temperature to getting the best print quality. Or at least there was back when I ran an FDM unit at work. The unit wouldn't even start the print until the interior cabinet temp was reached.

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  • Overhead Mobile Gantry Crane Build (A Tool for Lifting Heavy Things)

    A solid piece of advice on projects like this. Understand the weakest part of the device and NEVER approach that limit.

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  • mwitherspoon commented on MikeTheMaker's instructable Slinky Machine
    Slinky Machine

    Great! Maybe you can finally answer that question that has haunted us all! What is the lifespan of a Slinky?

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  • mwitherspoon commented on Honus's instructable Handmade Jeweler's Saw
    Handmade Jeweler's Saw

    Search amazon for abrasive wirehttps://www.amazon.com/s?k=abrasive+wire+saw&crid=38MTF2VUOYRD5&sprefix=abrasive+wire%2Caps%2C232&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_5_13

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  • mwitherspoon commented on RobBest's instructable Cat Repellent
    Cat Repellent

    Front yard is not fenced in!

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  • mwitherspoon commented on RobBest's instructable Cat Repellent
    Cat Repellent

    Just what I've been looking for! The neighborhood hoodlums, by that I mean stray and feral cats love to lounge in my front yard under a massive shade tree and taunt my dog, who has a full floor to ceiling window view of his tormentors. No amount of his barking seems to encourage their departure.None of the commercial devices I've tried seem to do anything. Plus, being a collector of perfectly good parts salvaged from just about EVERYTHING over the decades. I greatly prefer to make the perfect device of my own.So I put together a small air compressor and a 4 gallon tank with a line to the front yard. A small solenoid valve a remote switch and a few short lengths of rubber tubing. When energized the hissing and flailing tubes has a tremendous effect on the lounging felines. The only…

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    Just what I've been looking for! The neighborhood hoodlums, by that I mean stray and feral cats love to lounge in my front yard under a massive shade tree and taunt my dog, who has a full floor to ceiling window view of his tormentors. No amount of his barking seems to encourage their departure.None of the commercial devices I've tried seem to do anything. Plus, being a collector of perfectly good parts salvaged from just about EVERYTHING over the decades. I greatly prefer to make the perfect device of my own.So I put together a small air compressor and a 4 gallon tank with a line to the front yard. A small solenoid valve a remote switch and a few short lengths of rubber tubing. When energized the hissing and flailing tubes has a tremendous effect on the lounging felines. The only problem is - I have to be present to push the switch. I tried teaching the dog to push it, but in the excitement of the moment, he always forgets.

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  • Ray Gun With Sound Effects V2

    Cool build! I'd replace that threaded rod with the threaded tube from a salvaged table lamp to get power into the muzzle for more lighting effects.

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  • Simple Sheet Metal Brake: No Welding

    Just trying to promote safety! Power tools can make a bloody mess of your body parts far faster than you can react!

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  • Flip Top Planer Stand

    Great project utilizing space for a small shop! Hint - Get yourself a small whisk broom. Wiping material with bare hands is a guaranteed way to get splinters. I have an favorite old drafting brush that is perfect, slips easily into your back pocket.

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  • Arduino Star-Finder for Telescopes

    Awesome project! I've been getting into (amateur) astro-photography and have been noodling with ideas for a polar tracker. So this project really caught my eye!The deal with encoders is, they give incremental changes in position, not absolute position from a known position. So this brings the necessity of a homing method, each time the unit is powered up. Thus adding complication to the mechanics of the design and to the the operation of the device. At each power up move each axis of the the scope mount to a "zero" position, then make calculation for desired position for the object selected.So I think the potentiometer is a good choice in this application. But pots have a temperature dependence. Luckily these are usually given in the performance data sheet. So as an upgra…

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    Awesome project! I've been getting into (amateur) astro-photography and have been noodling with ideas for a polar tracker. So this project really caught my eye!The deal with encoders is, they give incremental changes in position, not absolute position from a known position. So this brings the necessity of a homing method, each time the unit is powered up. Thus adding complication to the mechanics of the design and to the the operation of the device. At each power up move each axis of the the scope mount to a "zero" position, then make calculation for desired position for the object selected.So I think the potentiometer is a good choice in this application. But pots have a temperature dependence. Luckily these are usually given in the performance data sheet. So as an upgrade to this device one could also add a temp sensor and have the software compensate for the temperature effect on the pot.

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  • Wow so many safety concerns. A guy I know has only an index finger and thumb on his right hand. 3 fingers amputated from an infection gone bad, from guess what? Wiping away dirty, oily drill shavings! I'll bet you were not wearing eye protection either! And that knee vise - classic.. But hey your young right?! Plenty of time to heal. Except you cannot grow back fingers or eyes.Your next project should be a proper work bench. It'll make things so much easier.Giving all that criticism - its just because I hate to see you or anyone's effort and enthusiasm cut short by an unfortunate event. I'm a retired manufacturing engineer, and a died-in-the-wool DIYer - trust me they happen. And it's usually from something you know better than to do.

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  • Here is another good resource for linear rail systems https://openbuildspartstore.com/linear-rail/

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  • Great looking machine!! That is one darn rigid looking gantry! Great work indeed.I've designed several industrial machines of similar nature. We had an X-Axis of 9 feet and a Y-Axis of 6 feet - Vertical!. We used rack and pinion as well. As I said these were industrial use so they ran +100k cycles a month. The rack and pinion will wear in to the sweet spot quick at these rates, and then, wear out as fast, resulting in slop - backlash. We actually had to vacuum out the trap of ground metal beneath the rack weekly. This required constant adjustment. We eventually transitioned to a timing belt drive.Our biggest reliability problem though was cabling failures. These were intermittent and buggy at first but eventually total failure. We used purchased track carriers like your made and…

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    Great looking machine!! That is one darn rigid looking gantry! Great work indeed.I've designed several industrial machines of similar nature. We had an X-Axis of 9 feet and a Y-Axis of 6 feet - Vertical!. We used rack and pinion as well. As I said these were industrial use so they ran +100k cycles a month. The rack and pinion will wear in to the sweet spot quick at these rates, and then, wear out as fast, resulting in slop - backlash. We actually had to vacuum out the trap of ground metal beneath the rack weekly. This required constant adjustment. We eventually transitioned to a timing belt drive.Our biggest reliability problem though was cabling failures. These were intermittent and buggy at first but eventually total failure. We used purchased track carriers like your made and off the shelf cables. Again its the cycle rates that are the big culprit here. What was happening was migration of the individual wires and even the conductors within the wires, they would kink up inside the jacket. The solution (or at least prolonged the life 10x or so was larger bend radius in the track and loose bundles, no twists all cables laying flat and parallel. This of course took much more space.Not knocking down your work, its awesome! Just sharing some experience that may come in handy down the road.

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  • Apple sauce cups. Ya know the ones you put in your kids lunch. I have a stack of about 20 in my shop. Usefull for all kinds of things. Small parts, mixing epoxy, a bit of touch up paint. Cheap so you can toss them after messy jobs.

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  • Good work. For 3d Printing and laser this would work great. Though I believe you'll find this mechanisms performance for machining and drilling poor. Depending on your expectations of course. The lateral loads, kickback, torsion things like that will flex the gantry tubes.

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  • NO but you can silence it!

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  • So I get the whole "made it myself" idea, heck I do it myself all the time.But often I'm left thinking "Wow! that's a damn expensive solution to the problem". This being one of those. Considering I (and most every old timer I know) literally have many jars, and cans even several small boxes of miscellaneous hardware stacked in rows tucked away in the shop.Other than that - Yes its a well done job! And great instructable!(Honestly I mean no insult. I too have many overpriced solutions in my home as well! And many more simmering in my brain.)

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  • Preach it brother! I'm convinced my garage has an inter dimensional portal in it. I can set a tool down, reach for it a minute later and its GONE!I have discovered there is only two ways to get tools back from the other side.One is to leave the shop for several hours up to several days sometimes.The second is to go buy a new tool.Either way, upon your return the missing tool will be right back where you left it.

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  • mwitherspoon commented on Pricklysauce's instructable Vehicle Key Safe

    Or a DIY version of thishttps://www.walmart.com/ip/HitchSafe-HS700-Key-Vau...orhttps://www.centralrestaurant.com/Mesa-Safe-MHK1-0...

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  • mwitherspoon commented on rmomberg's instructable Lab ATX Powersupply

    Great instructable! I too have several of the power supplies boxed up waiting this much attention. Sadly I usually just grab one and hotwire it up for the project. As for the writing - dude your way above most American students entering college these days.

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  • Had your nozzle become obstructed this could have quickly gone from rocket test to pipe bomb. And this is experience talking.When I was a youngster, I did similar "experiment" with an empty CO2 cartridge gunpowder and a fuse pulled from a fire cracker.Lit the fuse. Fizzle, Then a quick flame about 6'', A loud shriek. It moved about 2 inches, then BOOM!! Since that day I have a constant ringing in my ears. Its nerve damage. I'm 54 now - obviously that's not going away.I found the CO2 cartridge several days later over 70 yards away.As some said "it's a learning experience". Yeah - but only if you survive!

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  • As a life long desert rat here's a bit more advice. One you realize your sunburned flush with cool water IMMEDIATELY. Do not waste time with preparations as above, your goal is to remove the heat ASAP to prevent further burning. As previously stated nothing will "get rid" of a sunburn. Of course there is the obvious advice "prevention" is best thing.For post treatment Aloe is a decent salve to relieve the after effects, and anecdotally seems to speed the healing. Many of us Zonies have an Aloe plant or two growing arround our property

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  • Funny how the ladies are exempt from certain household chores. I swear I'm going to start painting my fingernails so that I can claim "I can't do that - it'll ruin my nails"

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  • mwitherspoon commented on makjosher's instructable The Anywhere Outlet

    I've made several like this for my garage. Two with 4 120 outlets and one with 2 120 outlets and a switch to power it on and off. Making these are not necessarily cheaper than buying an average outlet strip. But their toughness for garage use is far superior! Plus if you did break an outlet (which I have) its cheaper to fix than replacing an entire outlet strip. You can also get longer 3-gang boxes for up to 6 outlets. Be sure to always wire the ground properly and the neutral and hot wires to the correct sides of the receptacle, this will help prevent shock hazards and possible damage to equipment.

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  • Great looking tools and great work you put into them. Definitely something to be proud of. While I do enjoy the whole DIY and Maker movement, materials and time can add up quickly - I myself have been guilty of this many times over. Sometimes its hard to beat a commercial product. I realize you are in Australia, I'm just curious what a product like this would cost to get shipped to you there. https://www.amazon.com/52-2-Inch-Clamp-Fixture-Black/dp/B0000224CA/ref=sr_1_5?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1479735117&sr=1-5&keywords=pipe+clamp

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  • Thats great work there! I so want to build a CNC router, problem is I really don't have that much need for one - or space to put it!.A note about the problem you mentioned - running onto the limit switch and having trouble manually moving the machine off of it. The limit should only inhibit drive to the one axis and only in the direction the limit is protecting against - so you should be able to jog that axis back off the limit using the CNC software. With that said. Some drive boards may not have this ability due to trying to keep the cost/complexity down. Also some will have the limit switch activation also kick the E-Stop in so ALL drive power it cut.

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  • An easy way is one of these https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-125-2-Pole-2-Wire-A...

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  • Very cool idea. You could add a plug to keep out the bugs and serve as a water level gauge.One tapered cork fit to plug the hole in the Ollahs.One smaller cork to pass through the hole in the Ollahs.One drinking straw.One bamboo skewer.Drill a hole in the larger cork sized to the drinking straw. Slide the straw through, trim flush. Add a spot of glue if its loose. This acts as a bearing surface for the bamboo rod.Slide the bamboo rod through the straw and poke it well into the smaller cork.Insert this assembly into the hole in the empty Ollahs. Allow the inside cork to rest on the bottom of the Ollahs. Mark or trim the bamboo rod as desired to indicate the empty state. You could add even more marks to indicate various levels if your so inclined.Fill the Ollahs with water. Insert this s…

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    Very cool idea. You could add a plug to keep out the bugs and serve as a water level gauge.One tapered cork fit to plug the hole in the Ollahs.One smaller cork to pass through the hole in the Ollahs.One drinking straw.One bamboo skewer.Drill a hole in the larger cork sized to the drinking straw. Slide the straw through, trim flush. Add a spot of glue if its loose. This acts as a bearing surface for the bamboo rod.Slide the bamboo rod through the straw and poke it well into the smaller cork.Insert this assembly into the hole in the empty Ollahs. Allow the inside cork to rest on the bottom of the Ollahs. Mark or trim the bamboo rod as desired to indicate the empty state. You could add even more marks to indicate various levels if your so inclined.Fill the Ollahs with water. Insert this stopper/level gauge. The inner cork should float and shove the bamboo rod up indicating the level of the water.

    Very cool. To keep out insects and also monitor water level.Two corks,one piece drinking straw and a bit of a bamboo skewer.One normal tapered cork to plou the hole, drill a hole through sized for drinking straw. slide straw through the cork cut to flush on both sides.Second cork sized to pass through the hole in the Ollahs.Bamboo skewer, slide through the straw in large cork, stick into the smaller cork. Insert this assembly into the empty Ollahs, allow small cork and bamboo rod to rest on the bottom of Ollahs. Cut bamboo rod to desired length.You now have a water level gauge you can check at a glance, and a plug to keep out the nasties.

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