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  • Irrigation Valve Riser Saver

    Since I posted this Instructable I have had occasion to repair valves in my own garden and for other people. Before cutting a valve apart or cutting a riser off, one should determine if it is feasible to repair the valve in place. Solenoids are readily replaceable and are usually stocked at hardware stores and home improvement centers. If a jar-top valve such as those shown in this Instructable is leaking, one can usually fix it by unscrewing the valve top and replacing the valve diaphragm. If the valve body has accumulated bacterial growth or algae sludge, clean it out while the valve top is off. The only case where the entire valve absolutely must be replaced is if the body has cracked due to excess water supply pressure or ice expansion. Drain your irrigation system before freezi…

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    Since I posted this Instructable I have had occasion to repair valves in my own garden and for other people. Before cutting a valve apart or cutting a riser off, one should determine if it is feasible to repair the valve in place. Solenoids are readily replaceable and are usually stocked at hardware stores and home improvement centers. If a jar-top valve such as those shown in this Instructable is leaking, one can usually fix it by unscrewing the valve top and replacing the valve diaphragm. If the valve body has accumulated bacterial growth or algae sludge, clean it out while the valve top is off. The only case where the entire valve absolutely must be replaced is if the body has cracked due to excess water supply pressure or ice expansion. Drain your irrigation system before freezing winter weather sets in. It's also a good idea to check the water supply pressure once or twice a year and be sure to keep it at or below 60 psi (414 kPa); water mains in town can run upwards of 100-120 psi, and that's enough to damage plastic irrigation valves, as well as plastic valves in dishwashers, clothes washers, etc. When an electric water valve closes suddenly, it can cause a pressure spike throughout the house and garden upwards of five (5) times the supply pressure. Ouch!!

    I haven't done much work with inline devices in recent years. This might be a place to spend extra money on a pair of PVC unions. Another device to consider is a PVC telescopic repair coupling, which typically costs around $6 to $8. They're usually permanently cemented in place, but you could instead cement one end to the supply pipe and cement some threaded fittings and a short sacrificial piece of PVC pipe between the fittings, much has I did in my risers.

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  • How to Make Carbonated Fruit

    I'd be inclined to try this in a small pressure cooker. The fruit could be placed in a glass, ceramic or plastic bowl to avoid contact with the metal, if desired. Most pressure cookers regulate at about 15 psi, or one atmosphere gauge pressure, but one could add weight to the regulator to increase the pressure. The advantage of a pressure cooker is that they're equipped with a safety valve that will pop off well before there's a danger of the vessel exploding.

    In a word, no. The foods you suggest don't contain enough water. The fizziness comes from carbon dioxide gas dissolving into water.

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  • Front-end damage could be prevented by a parking bumper that would positively stop the front wheels of the car as it is driven into a garage. The bumper would need to be secured with bolts or steel rods driven into holes in the garage floor and would only work for a particular make and model of car. The bumper height would need to be chosen such that it is low enough that any air dam at the front of the car doesn't strike it, and most likely it would not be useful if mom or dad decided to back the car into the garage for a fast Batman-style getaway.I have installed fluorescent-colored tennis ball targets for people, but they can be tricky to use. One would want to creep forward until the ball touches the windshield glass, but many newer passenger cars have a severe rake angle to the gl…

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    Front-end damage could be prevented by a parking bumper that would positively stop the front wheels of the car as it is driven into a garage. The bumper would need to be secured with bolts or steel rods driven into holes in the garage floor and would only work for a particular make and model of car. The bumper height would need to be chosen such that it is low enough that any air dam at the front of the car doesn't strike it, and most likely it would not be useful if mom or dad decided to back the car into the garage for a fast Batman-style getaway.I have installed fluorescent-colored tennis ball targets for people, but they can be tricky to use. One would want to creep forward until the ball touches the windshield glass, but many newer passenger cars have a severe rake angle to the glass, so it is difficult to judge when the ball has been contacted, which can translate to a considerable range in horizontal travel of the car, perhaps enough for the front bumper to hit the wall in a small garage. This is problematic for older drivers whose eyesight and reaction time may not be as good as it once was.

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  • How to Re-ink a Typewriter Ribbon.

    I would use stamp pad ink, not India ink or any water-based ink.

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  • There's a reason such people work in bureaucratic government jobs where critical thinking is not needed, nor even permitted.

    Since we're (presumably) storing something valuable, I'd go the extra step of discarding the stock zinc-plated hardware that comes with the test plug and replacing it with stainless steel parts. At current prices, it would add about $3 to $4 to the cost of the project.

    "... consider permanently gluing the ends shut ..."That was my thought, exactly. If a moisture absorber is placed inside an hermetically sealed tube, the air inside will be as dry as in the Sahara Desert and will stay that way forever. If storing metal objects, another precaution might be to put an oxygen absorber in, too, or put a chunk of dry ice in the bottom end and wait for it to completely sublimate before sealing the upper end. Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it will displace the oxygen and the excess will spill over the top. If one has access to compressed carbon dioxide or nitrogen gas, purging oxygen and moisture could be done even quicker.

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  • Using GPS or some method other than the vehicle speedometer to calibrate the anemometer is crucial, as speedometers often display 3% to 5% higher than actual speed, and are dependent on wheel diameter, which can vary with temperature, tire inflation pressure, and whether the vehicle is equipped with the correct tires.

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  • pcooper2 commented on Barzok's instructable Weather Station Shelter

    What type of glue did you use to assemble the instrument shelter? Several years ago I repaired a street-side mail box for a friend. The mail box has a real cedar shingle roof and to form the peak of the roof I glued two thin redwood laths together with urethane glue. It required clamping the parts for 24 hours while the glue cured, but after several years of exposure to sun and rain there is no sign of the glue joint failing. It is truly remarkable stuff.

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  • It happens sometimes, especially with old cylinders where water may have entered the valve and corroded the valve seat. The chilling effect of bleeding gas can also make the valve seal hard, so it won't reseal properly. Sometimes I wait a minute for the valve to warm up, then briefly pull the relief valve stem with the pliers and let it snap back. That usually gets the valve to seal properly.

    Your comment is not helpful.I have been refilling disposable cylinders for over 30 years for personal use without so much as an incident, much less an accident. The worst that has ever happened is that on rare occasions, after many refills, the Schrader valve core gets leaky, so I either have to put the cylinder to use right away with a grill or stove, or set it outside for a day or two where it can leak away safely, forfeiting a pound of propane.

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  • If you could replace the battery without the use of a safety pin and scissors, only then could you claim that it was done "without tools".

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  • It appears that nothing in this project uses more than 24 volts, and if a safety agency approved step-down transformer is used to produce 24 VAC for the solenoid valves, the user will never be exposed to more than 24 V RMS. As such, the "high voltage" disclaimer could be removed. In North America, 24 volts or less is classed as "Safety Extra Low Voltage".

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  • Thanks for the tip, but it would help if you'd spell the name of the product correctly to give us a fighting chance of finding it with a search engine. Search for "T Sac Tea Filter Bags". These single-use natural paper filter bags are made in Germany and distributed in the U.S. by Harold Import Company, Inc. According to the description at http://www.hickitchen.com, they're made in four sizes, although only the #1 and #2 size are shown on their site.

    Although I commend you for your ingenuity, Melitta makes a Pour-Over 1-Cup Brew Cone, designed to be set on top of a mug or cup. They use Melitta #1 disposable paper filters, into which one would put a tablespoon or two of ground coffee and then slowly pour boiling water over it. These gadgets have been around for decades, but the improved version has a cut-away section near the bottom, so one can see into the mug to prevent over-filling. If I were working in an office, I'd keep one of these in my desk drawer.Not being much of a coffee connoisseur, in the absence of proper paper coffee filters, I would risk using a piece of paper towel. One can also buy "permanent" filters in various sizes, although I'm not sure if anyone makes one equivalent to the Melitta #1 paper filter.…

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    Although I commend you for your ingenuity, Melitta makes a Pour-Over 1-Cup Brew Cone, designed to be set on top of a mug or cup. They use Melitta #1 disposable paper filters, into which one would put a tablespoon or two of ground coffee and then slowly pour boiling water over it. These gadgets have been around for decades, but the improved version has a cut-away section near the bottom, so one can see into the mug to prevent over-filling. If I were working in an office, I'd keep one of these in my desk drawer.Not being much of a coffee connoisseur, in the absence of proper paper coffee filters, I would risk using a piece of paper towel. One can also buy "permanent" filters in various sizes, although I'm not sure if anyone makes one equivalent to the Melitta #1 paper filter. Cleaning permanent coffee filters can be a messy undertaking, so for convenience at work disposable paper filters that contain the wet grounds is the best way to go.

    Although I commend you for your ingenuity, Melitta makes a Pour-Over 1-Cup Brew Cone, designed to be set on top of a mug or cup. They use Melitta #1 disposable paper filters, into which one would put a tablespoon or two of ground coffee and then slowly pour boiling water over it. These gadgets have been around for decades, but the improved version has a cut-away section near the bottom, so one can see into the mug to prevent over-filling. If I were working in an office, I'd keep one of these in my desk drawer.Not being much of a coffee connoisseur, in the absence of proper paper coffee filters, I would risk using a piece of paper towel. One can also buy "permanent" filters in various sizes, although I'm not sure if anyone makes one equivalent to the Melitta #1 paper filter. C…

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    Although I commend you for your ingenuity, Melitta makes a Pour-Over 1-Cup Brew Cone, designed to be set on top of a mug or cup. They use Melitta #1 disposable paper filters, into which one would put a tablespoon or two of ground coffee and then slowly pour boiling water over it. These gadgets have been around for decades, but the improved version has a cut-away section near the bottom, so one can see into the mug to prevent over-filling. If I were working in an office, I'd keep one of these in my desk drawer.Not being much of a coffee connoisseur, in the absence of proper paper coffee filters, I would risk using a piece of paper towel. One can also buy "permanent" filters in various sizes, although I'm not sure if anyone makes one equivalent to the Melitta #1 paper filter. Cleaning permanent coffee filters can be a messy undertaking, so, for convenience at work, disposable paper filters that contain the wet grounds is the best way to go.

    Thanks for the tip, but it would help if you'd spell the name of the product correctly to give us a fighting chance of finding it with a search engine. Search for "T Sac Tea Filter Bags". These single-use natural paper filter bags are made in Germany and distributed in the U.S. by Harold Import Company, Inc. According to the description at http://www.hickitchen.com, they're made in four sizes, although only the #1 and #2 size are shown on their site.

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  • If you're going to feed your temperature readings to a weather service, a home-built weather station would need to be carefully vetted and tested against one built in the traditional way. The original Stevenson screens were made of wood, painted white and were in use for more than a century. Some stations have recently been set up with vinyl Stevenson screens, and it is not clear if their performance is identical to the original wood screens. There is a suspicion that part of the "global warming" phenomenon may not be real and may be due to differences in materials used in thermometer housings. If you're building this screen for your own use, though, it will most likely to the trick for gathering consistent local relative readings.

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  • Most commercial baits use a chemical called metaldehyde to kill the slugs and snails. It breaks down into harmless components and does not poison the soil and environment. Although the baits are rather overpriced for what they do, if you can procure a supply of metaldehyde, a white powder in pure form, a small amount will go a long way and is quite economical, even compared to cheap beer.

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  • Why mess around with a phone? Just install the SDHC card in a card reader on a Linux desktop or laptop machine. The card reader can be built-in or connected via USB. You can then do anything on the card — create, delete, move files and directories and change file permissions.

    Why mess around with a phone? Just install the SDHC card in a card reader on a Linux desktop or laptop machine. The card reader can be built-in or connected via USB. You can then do anything on the card — create, delete, move files and directories and change file permissions.

    Why mess around with a phone? Just install the SDHC card in a card reader on a Linux desktop or laptop machine. The card reader can be built-in or connected via USB. You can then do <i>anything</i> on the card — create, delete, move files and directories and change file permissions.

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  • While it is true that curb numbers wouldn't be visible when the streets and curbs are covered with snow, they are still useful the rest of the year.

    I think the original stencil font, which you called "boring", is more legible than the version you picked. If these numbers are for the benefit of emergency vehicles, delivery services, etc., a font should be chosen for maximum legibility, at distances up to 30 meters/100 feet.

    Whether one lives in an area with snow or not shouldn't make any difference. The concrete needs to be dry and relatively warm to be painted, so this kind of a project wouldn't be feasible during rainy, snowy or freezing periods.

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  • Use a high-quality industrial hose that is in good condition and make sure the water pressure is 60 psi, or less, and it should be fine during a summer absence of a month or two.

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  • Avoid using mothballs in any occupied space where you can smell them. Mothballs are usually made of paradichlorobenzene (1,4 dichlorobenzene), a substance that damages heart muscle.

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