Slowly but very very surely going nuts from workshop withdrawal.

I had surgery on my right shoulder two weeks ago & am looking at least another month before I can even lift a saw let alone pound away at anything with a hammer. I have a ton of those springtime jobs around that any other time would take me an afternoon at most to do. There is a nice big pile of timber salvaged from a lovely neighbor up the road who has finally finished her two year building project I could be building all sorts of things for the garden with. I at last got some of my book collection back from my ex but I can't so much as make a bookend let alone the shelves they deserve so Dickens & Homer are stacked on the bedroom floor with Wordsworth & Chaucer. I picked up a new vice for my workbench a day before the surgery & it is sitting on the bench taunting me, I can almost hear it whispering "come on fit me to the bench I dare you" "just let your better half catch you with a spanner in your hand then you will catch it won't you?" This is too much for an active mind to bear & I am going nuts!!!!!!!! But on the upside................. In a few weeks I will have plenty of jobs to do that will take me an afternoon at most so they won't overstrain my healing shoulder. I will have a nice big pile of salvaged timber with which I can build lots of new things for our garden; I may well start with a new hammock frame after all I could do with a good rest :-) Bear in mind that this is England so I will have a good amount of rainy summer days I will have at least one job I can get done in the house as I have some book shelves to design & build after all Dickens & Homer & their friends Wordsworth & Chaucer may well be re-united with their old pals Verne, Twain & Hugo if they eventually get here so they will need plenty of space. And of course I will be able to silence the voice in my head from that vice sitting idle on the bench & put it to work; LOTS of work. I do love summer so very much OH HAPPY HAPPY DAYS!!!

Posted by Nostalgic Guy 7 years ago


Surgery

I've been under a great deal of stress lately. First off, there's the new school schedule. It cut lunch in half (By the time you get out of line with your food, lunch is over), doubled the amount of homework, and cut the time you have to do that work in half. (It basically scr*wed everyone) This schedule was supposedly based on a school vote (I guarantee at least 90% of the student body voted NO), but those "votes" went strait to the shredder. I've been doing 5-6 hours of homework every night. To add to this stress, I had my driving test, which I thankfully passed. That isn't the worst of it though. A few days ago we found a bloody lump on Mazee's neck, and we are worried sick that it is cancer. She went into surgery yesterday to get it removed, and we are anxiously waiting for the test results. Mazee has been crying and moaning all day, and I feel really bad about it. IT'S NOT CANCER! :DIt was Benign Hemangioma, a non-cancerous tumor.

Posted by Spl1nt3rC3ll 9 years ago


Pleo Surgery

A 23-minute Pleo-surgery epic. Totally creepy. (via Gizmodo)

Posted by canida 10 years ago


Lidocaine!!! you get high and fall asleep for surgery!

I recently had surgery for mole removal, and i'm under 16, so they had to put me out.first they injected me with lidocaine, and i got all high then fell asleep, then they put on the gas to keep me asleep.it's crazy!!!!!!!!!what about your surgeries?

Posted by AnarchistAsian 9 years ago


Will pseudo-surgery hurt if I'm asleep? Will I wake up in the process? *UPDATE* The surgery was a success! I added pics, come take a look!

So, tonight my parents are gonna remove a piece of glass that's been lodged in my foot for four years. How I got that piece of glass stuck in there was because I kicked open a glass bookshelf four years ago, when I'm still at the age of ten. I managed to live with it, but just now the piece of glass suddenly emerged from my skin. I tried removing it, but dang that was painful. So my parents decided to remove it when I'm asleep. Now, the question is, will it hurt at all? Will I wake up from the shock? Thanks in advance for answering.*UPDATE* The operation was a success! I added pics, come take a look! Thanks again for those who have helped me out by commenting and giving me advice!

Posted by Camisado 9 years ago


Lumbar Laminectomy Spinal Surgery. (final update)

It looks like, after my visit today with the Surgeon, that the Lumbar Laminectomy is probably the best route for me to go at this point. Tomorrow, if I can get my wife to agree with me, I will be making the appointment, hopefully for next week (Tues, or Thurs). I don't believe in luck, so; here's hoping the surgeon is awake, skillful, and hasn't had so many coffees that his hands shake the morning of that surgery :-) UPDATE #1: I am having doubts about the process. I may go for now with only therapy, and if matters become worse rather then better, then have the surgery. But things have already taken a turn for the better.....I have felt the best today, then I have felt in the last 3 weeks. . . we shall see when I start. UPDATE #2: Until tomorrow, I will not know for sure, but at this point, my back is feeling a bit better. I have been able to go a little longer without pain meds then before, so I do think therapy will work.    I still have to get that second opinion however.   UPDATE #2.19375 supplemental: I have my appointment @2:00 PM today for the second opinion. I hope we can come to an agreeable conclusion as to how to proceed with the treatment.   I will update again, when I know more.   UPDATE #3: The Second opinion appt has been attended to, and we came to an agreement that 3 weeks of therapy should proceed any consideration of surgery.   So, if this works, I will be off work for only 3 more weeks.  If not, I will have to have surgery done, and will be off for at least 3-4 more.    UPDATE #3.21978 supplemental: I start therapy on Thursday, and will be finished November 5th if all goes as planned. UPDATE #3.714155 supplemental: Tuesday starts my official treatments as Thursday was just the initiation and measurement phase.  I will report on how well the first day of stretching, exercise, and time on the RACK went.     UPDATE #4: Newest estimate for my return to work is currently Nov. 5th or 6th (possibly the 9th, if they don't want me to start until Monday....we will see.   Things are slowly improving.  I am sitting up for a bit longer now, although I am not able to stay put (sitting, standing, walking) for overly long periods yet; there is improvement. UPDATE #5: Finished with today's therapy session,  and started Traction for the first time.  I am feeling much better now.  Thursday, they will use the machine for an even longer period of time, and I should start to get further relief. UPDATE #5.6297 supplemental: Just got off the Traction machine an hour ago.  I am starting to feel even better then before. I hope this lasts, with the strengthening of my core muscles....below is exactly what RACK looks like :-)  UPDATE #6: Friday's work went well, and I feel pretty good this morning about going back to work this evening.   Thanks again for all your support ! You all have been great, bearing with me in all this.....          

Posted by Goodhart 8 years ago


How to shrink Surgical Tubing?

Does anyone know how to shrink surgical tubing? 

Posted by MaxCrave 7 years ago


Abnormal Cyst Within The Jaw Anyone?

Well this is just too interesting not to post. Turns out after going to the dentist for a routine cleaning, that I have a spot in the right side of my jaw he wanted looked at. After going to a dental surgeon he concluded that it is a type of cyst in the bone of the jaw that forms when a wisdom tooth doesn't come in but instead forms a growth of tissue in that cavity. So thinking this was what was going on he went ahead with the normal procedure. To numb me up till I'm almost knocked out, cut the gum line cut the jaw bone to the area and then grind (yes grind with a drill...) the cavity out. After the cyst was removed they would then continue to grind the walls of the cavity to fill in the "hole". From there it would fill in and regrow the bone tissue and heal everything back up with time. But of course that wasn't the case with me. While he was working everything was fine until he came to a hollow area. Hollow. No cyst, no tissue, nothing but a string of a nerve running right through the robin egg sized pocket of air in the middle. He was very confused but after looking at it proceeded to just grind the edges to fill it in and took some for studying. In his 30+ years of doing this he has never heard of or seen anything like it. But he says there's not really anything wrong and that it should be fine. Still....now where's that gauze I had...

Posted by Rockerx 9 years ago


Surgical Laser

Hi all!So, I have been volunteering at an animal hospital in my home town, and I have been allowed to observe 11 surgeries so far, 4 of which have been performed with this 30 Watt CO2 Surgical Laser. I would like it if someone could explain to me how a CO2 laser works, and I would be willing to answer any questions. the surgeries I have watched are: (1) a spay on a dalmatian (2) an entropion correction on a bullmastiff (3)a cauterization of a bleeding tail tip (without anesthetic & with me holding the dog down!) and (4)a front declawing of a cat.

Posted by bardon08 10 years ago


Elvis has left his domicile

My wife and I had one of the cavies featured in my Cavy / Guinea Pig ible, i.e. Elvis, in for surgery. Although he made it through surgery (a cancerous kidney removal), the other kidney failed, and he perished during the night. Here he is, one more time, when he was much younger, being held by my wife....

Posted by Goodhart 9 years ago


: (

Well, tomorrow at ten I'm getting all four wisdom teeth pulled out, plus two others. They were supposed to be out the day after Christmas, but I was so stressed I actually got too sick for the surgery to be done safely.

Posted by Spl1nt3rC3ll 10 years ago


Laser burn to the eyes

On Saturday morning my eyelids will be pulled back by retractors and held open, ethanol will be poured into my eyes, a flap of epithelial (outer layer of the eye) will be peeled back to reveal the cornea, then an Eximer laser will burn the surface of the cornea. Apparently, the burning smell can be quite unpleasant :-/ Has anyone else had laser eye surgery? Cheers, Pat. Pending

Posted by Patrick Pending 10 years ago


(newsletter) Gummi Bear Surgery, 5-Minute Ice Cream, Sleeping Bag Suit...

Sign-up for this newsletter: Welcome back! Mother's Day Contest - Sew something for Mom and win a sewing machine from Singer! Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest - Closes for entries on Sunday! You could win a MacBook Pro so enter now! The winners of the Klutz Rubber Band-Powered Contest have been announced. See who won! Become a fan of Instructables on Facebook. See contest updates, talk to other fans, and find out how the robot is feeling. Sleeping Bag Suit 5-Minute Ice Cream Hammered Leaf and Flower Prints Gummi Bear Surgery   Closes for entries this Sunday! Convert a Baby Swing from Batteries to AC Sourdough Bread Create Laser Art with a Digital Camera DIY Mineral Makeup Featured questions from our new Answers section: How do I monitor battery voltage and adjust engine idle with a servo? How do you get old t-shirts whiter?   Checkpoint Charlie Hat Green Solar Powered Water Barrel Carry Your Baby African Style Insulate Your Loft and Save the Planet     Sew something great for Mom and win a sewing machine!   Make Sunday special Drawdio! Homemade Solar Cell Broken Arm Lego Accessories Contactless Dynamo Powered Bike Lights Sign-up for this newsletter:

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago


DIY autoclave? Ideas?

Does anyone know of a way to build an autoclave? I know that they are essentially pressure cookers on steroids, but would a standard pressure cooker truly sterilize something? No, I'm not trying to give myself tattoos or attempt surgery on the cat. It would be mostly for biology experiments, such as swabbing cultures. I could get one on eBay for about $150 minimum, but I don't really feel like spending $150 to grow bacteria. Any ideas?

Posted by CameronSS 11 years ago


My dog died...

(sob) (cry) (sob) My dog died. My mom ran him over. He survived the accident but the surgery and other stuff would of been $4000. And there was a chance he wouldn't make it through. So me my mom and sister and dad (my dads away in California for my uncles wedding) decided to put him down. So it was a hard good by to my dog Sandy.Sorry no pictures.

Posted by Easy Button 10 years ago


Laptop Surgery!!!

I want to write my first instructable but I need to do a little research first.  Here is my problem: The sound on my laptop has gone (HP DV2845se).   The audio card is on-board, so my only solution is a USB card and speakers.   This is a huge hassle, and really defeats the purpose of having a portable computer.  In a perfect world I could hide the USB inside the computer and solder the existing mic and speakers onto the card.  Here are the hurdles that I think I would have to jump to achieve this.  1) Find a way to attach the card to the USB port internally (no clue here) 2) hide the card with in the laptop (should be able to find some space, doesn't really need air circulation) 3) de-solder the current jacks on the USB card and solder the speaker wires and mic I'm sure there is going to be plenty more.  For instance I don't know how the speakers are powered.  The USB card only provides the sound part, not any power or amplification.  I don't know if the speakers in the computer will need that.  Any help here is appreciated!  Thanks

Posted by knightop 8 years ago


One-handed keyboard mod

I saw this on the MAKE Magazine blog.  A programmer (who actually knows how to bend metal :-) ) did a homebrew keyboard modification to allow himself to touchtype single-handedly after some left arm surgery.  Using his left thumb, he can hot-swap all of the keys on the left side over to the right and touch type with only his right hand. Read the whole story, including some guidance on construction, on Daughtrey.

Posted by kelseymh 8 years ago


I need serious critique and advice.....

Guys n Gals, I would like to have those of you interested in helping me clean up a published instructable ( my Latest, in a long while ) as I seem to be at a bit of a loss as to how to make it look less "disorganized". Maybe it is that I am still not fully recovered from the surgery, or whatever, but it does not look like it is quite "right" yet, to me. Thanks for any help given...

Posted by Goodhart 10 years ago


Instructable not showing also

I used the new editor and i say i like it allot better . i have  been out for awhile for shoulder surgery so i may have missed something  but any way it will not show up even in the search all  https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Cell-Voltage-Testing-Station/ is there a list of words that might cause it to get caught up in the filters for some reason ? or is it just that i did something wrong  thank you fro your response

Posted by batteriesnotincluded 4 years ago


incomplete work

My science teacher was telling us one day about how he came to hate incomplete work. he had surgery on his appendix one day (for unknown reasons) and when he woke up his appendix was finished but the doctor didnt close him up. he called the doctor in but he said "oh i just forgot." he fired that quack and got a new doctor to close him up. tell me what you think of this story and also think of incomplete work...

Posted by ich bin ein pyro 10 years ago


Get well soon sistergldnhair!

After reading a very touching series of forum posts from sistergldnhair's friends and family, we were sorry to hear that this young author had to undergo some brain surgery. The procedure was successful, and we here at the Instructables HQ wanted to send our well wishes with a few gifts and a signed card.  Please take a minute to read through these posts, and leave your get-well-soon's in the comments below. PLEASE send sistergldnhair a get well message A Thank You to One Very Thoughtful Little Girl

Posted by kazmataz 6 years ago


Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

Implantable Cardioverter DefibrillatorsI just saw an advertisement for this thing..... It's different than a pacemaker and to be honest, I had no idea such things existed.... It's interesting (for me at least) because my family history has this problem among a few other heart problems. My grandfather had bypass surgery when it was new (late 60's/early 70's).... three of them over his lifetime - the third heat attack (I think it was #3) is what got him.Just exciting medical stuff that for some reason they felt it necessary to advertise as if it was a new drug o.0

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago


Have a heart and help Abigail heal.

Long-time Instructables member supersoftdrink and her family have been through a lot the past six years: her daughter has had four open heart surgeries and her husband suffers from anxiety & depression. A GiveForward campaign has been set up to help them get back on track and we hope that you consider donating.  If you'd like to learn more about congenital heart defects and how they are treated, visit her Instructable on how doctors treat a hypoplastic heart. 

Posted by tinaciousz 3 years ago


8 - Bit Christmas Music !

8-Bit Jesus is an 18 track album featuring everyone's favorite Christmas jingles, but made with the music and sound effects from classic NES games. It was all amazingly well made by Doctor Octoroc. You can listen to and download the whole album for free HEREHovever Octoroc's 6-month-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy called Ein, has had to have bladder stone surgery recently. So if you donate $15 the doctor will send you a physical copy of the CD, and you'll help a dog in the process !(The dog is in the 2nd pic)

Posted by =SMART= 9 years ago


Wisdom Teath and any other Sugery

So I have to get all four of my wisdom teeth removed this Friday at 7am (tomorrow), and to make it worse we have Friday off of school. But I wanted to get it done before the holidays (TURKEY!!). So any horror story's (of any surgery doesn't have to be wisdom teeth)? How old were you when you got yours out (I'm 14)? Did you even have them removed? BTW: There putting me under (anesthesia) if you were wondering.

Posted by TheCheese9921 10 years ago


water inline low pressure gauge at output

I don't know if they sell them , water Inline  pressure Gauge  made for 5 lbs and under, or is there an easy way t to make one, doesn't have to be inliine, it just needs to  measure the psi at 5 gallons and at 1 gallon.. Even A balloon that burst at 3psi would be good/. it is for a medical device. i spent the last year going crazy cause it was defective brand new.  it was putting out the correct  pressure at the start, 5 gallons, at the half way point it was putting out about half the pressure, didn't know it, almost had  surgery because of the poor results thanks for any ideas

Posted by escapefromyonkers 6 years ago


Doctor drills into boy's head to save his life

The regular household drill is a wonderful thing. It can be used for drilling holes in wood, scrambling eggs, and even drilling into a boy's skull to drain it of blood clots. Yikes!Dr Rob Carson performed the procedure on Nicholas Rossi, 13, after the boy fell off his bike and hit his head.The doctor had never attempted the surgery before, and had to be talked through the operation by a Melbourne neurosurgeon.The boy's father said the doctor's improvisation had saved his son's life.But Dr Carson told reporters: "It's not a personal achievement, it is just a part of the job." Link

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago


My apologies all.....

 Hey, just wanted to apologize for my not being around much of late.   My Mom has had to have 2 glaucoma and and 2 cataract surgeries and all the prep and followup appointments etc.  all have taken a bit of a toll on me, and definitely on my free time. I WILL be getting back to the forums as soon as things are more "level" and less hectic....meanwhile, I have a few ideas for some projects if I can get some hardware cheap at a few garage sales before the season closes.  I am still gathering a few parts for my "vintage" radio projects I have planned for later too.  

Posted by Goodhart 7 years ago


Kiteman Recommends: This is True!

If you like Little Brother, you like this;I have been receiving This is True! every Friday for quite some time now. The author, Randy Cassingham, collates current stories from across the world that make you sit back and go WHAT? , laugh out loud and get outraged, sometimes all in the same article.This week's issue includes a child interviewed by the police after being snitched on by a librarian (a lot of comment on this one); an age restriction on teaspoons; a teenage thief caught after a trouser accident and a drug-smuggler refusing life-saving surgery.Have a look, enjoy, subscribe.Note: I am in no way affiliated to This is True! - I'm just trying to help one of the Good Guys get through the credit crunch.

Posted by Kiteman 9 years ago


Instructables Show and Tell in the UK!

I'm going to do it.I'm going to organise a Show and Tell event in the UK.Eric, the grand chap, has given me permission to use the Instructables' name to promote the event.It will be in the East of England, probably in Beccles, Suffolk.Google MapHowever, I cannot yet give an exact date, as we have just discovered that #2 son needs kidney surgery, and we will not find out the date of the op until late in April. The main reason I'm posting this thread is to cut down on the excuses I can make for not doing organising it.So, the good news is, it will happen, the bad news is, I don't know when.If you want to be involved, then join the group or email ideas / offers of help to the address in the second image.

Posted by Kiteman 10 years ago


HELP!!!! I need to rescue my mural!!!

My husband and I donated time to a friend's business to paint a huge mural on the interior of their restaurant. It looks like the business might have to shut down, and we are trying to figure out if there's any way to rescue pieces of the mural. It was painted with acrylic paint, over plaster, which is over brick. There are some portions painted on plywood -- those will be easy to save. It's the stuff painted on the plaster that I am concerned about. I have considered transfer medium as an option but I don't know what kind would work best, and I've also considered wall surgery, but it seems like the plaster would just crumble. HELP!!!! Link to pics of the mural below. It took FOREVER to do. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thetomatopizza/sets/72157629193389337/

Posted by KedaDibandion 5 years ago


gentle touch activated sound?

I have a little toy that makes noise when you squeeze it that I want to give as a Christmas present, but tiny little hands have trouble doing the squeezing properly, so I want to do a little surgery on it so that the sound activates with just a gentle touch instead.  Such as if you flick it, pet it, pick it up... that sort of thing.  I know when I was little, we had a doll that was supposed to make noises when played with, but it was so sensitive that it would go off from just the blow of our AC.  My problem is, I've no idea what parts I need to do this.  Can anybody help point me in the right direction?  And I only have about a three inches to work in, so it needs to be fairly small. Thanks.

Posted by aliasjanedoe 8 years ago


A Thank You to One Very Thoughtful Little Girl

This last Wednesday, while sitting in my daughter's hospital room,  I picked up my computer and checked my e-mail.  There was a message from Cattrampoline wishing for my daughter to get well soon.  It took me a moment to put it all together.  My little girl, known here as sistergldnhair, has a best friend, known here as themoose64.  Moose posted to let the Instructables community know about SGH's upcoming surgery. Here is the truth.  I am 45 years old and I did not see what one 11 year old little girl saw.  I should have know, but I missed how important this site is to SGH and just how much she would love to receive well wishes from the people here.  On a trip to California last year, all SGH wanted to do was see Instructables.  I heard for months about how she got to meet Fungus Amongus and Angelabchua and how she got to play with Angie's dog.  She was practically bouncing when one of her Instructables was Featured and squealed when Scoochmaroo and Penelopy sent her a comment.  She also did a Forensic speech on Instructables.  Wrote Eric an e-mail.  He responded with some links and she worked and worked on her project.  And a few months ago, we had planned to attend the Instructables event in Chicago.  Unfortunately the same day as that event, SGH had to have an MRI/MRA of her brain.  The dye made her quite sick and we were not able to go.  One very heartbroken little girl. She was scared to have the surgery, which was to her forehead above her right eye.  Afraid of the anesthesia and afraid of how she would look when it was all done. Moose wrote a post and received some criticism for spelling you as U and a few other mistakes in language usage.  I absolutely, 100 percent understand that criticism.  I edit and proofread for a living and I really do get it.  I am not at all fond of this texting lingo, but putting that part of the post aside, the meaning behind it was significant.  Two little girls that have been best buddies since Kindergarten and one of them did an amazing thing for the other in an effort to make this difficult time a little easier. So, I thank themoose64 and I am so thankful that I will have the opportunity to see her grow into an amazing young lady. As for my SGH, the surgery was a little more complicated than they thought.  She was very sick and the first smile she was able to give me was when I read her cattrampoline's message. She is very swollen and can't move her face yet.  This is all very traumatic, but we know it is only temporary.   Today is better, as I expect each day will be.  And she is working on her next Instructable, a hospital gown for children that keeps your backside covered =)

Posted by cdawisconsin 6 years ago


3 inches of pain

Does anyone remember Gattaca? Well that movie explored the possibility of limb extensions in a fantastic manner. Apparently there's a vanity medical procedure to do this called Limb Lengthening. I'm not sure if anyone in the US does it, but for 100,000+ dollars you can add a few painful inches to your legs in Cairo.This procedure seems reasonable for midgets, or other deformities but for people 5'6" you'd think that this surgery is pure vanity. But that may not be true, a survey of CEO's of fortune 500 companies shows that they are on average ~6' tall. Another research study that followed thousands of people from birth to adulthood shows that an inch of height above the average of 5' 9" is approximately equal to a salary increase of $789 a year.What do you think? Is this vain, or a good way to get around prejudice against average/short people._BGvia:boingboing.net and http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_6838

Posted by lamedust 10 years ago


Please help my dog rescue - Labradors and Friends, win $10,000

Hello, The dog Rescue I volunteer with is involved in a contest sponsored by the Petco Foundation.  Basically, you "Like" the Petco Foundation's Facebook page, then Vote for our rescue.  The top 10 rescues of the 100 in the contest will receive a $10,000 grant from the Petco FOundation www.lfdrg.org/petco100 <--- Just click this link I know this is a bit off topic for Instructables, but it would be a great help. Labradors and Friends is an all volunteer based, 501(c)3 non-profit group dedicated to rescuing Labrador Retriever and Lab mix dogs in Southern California.  Many of our dogs require surgeries or other medical care the far exceeds our adoption fee.  We rely heavily on donations and grants to cover our operating expense and care for these dogs. Robert Maudsley Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue Web: www.labradorsandfriends.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/labradorsandfriends Blog: www.lfdrg.net

Posted by rsmaudsley 5 years ago


DIY Dialysis - an Ultimate Make?

There are makers, and there are Makers.Two years ago, Dr Malcolm Coulthard, of Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, had a patient too small for dialysis. The baby girl had suffered kidney problems following bowel surgery, but, at only 6 lbs in weight, she was too small even for the "child sized" dialysis machines.Rather than let the girl die, Dr Coulthard, with the help of senior children's kidney nurse Jean Crosier, designed and built her a dialysis machine from scratch in his garage.Every so often, the idea of Instructables Awards pops up, but only for people on the site. Kitewife said now they are people who deserve a Robot patch, and agree, but more so. We need to recognise the achievements of people like this, so I propose we set up an award - the Ultimate Maker award.Nothing dramatic, just a simple certificate they can frame, a Robot patch, and maybe a logo they can display on their website if they have one.What say you, Makers?BBC Story

Posted by Kiteman 10 years ago


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

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

Posted by Lemonpoppyseed 2 years ago


Help! I know that someone knows how to do this!!

Hi all,  I am a home brewer and I have attempted several times, time with no success, to do what I'm trying to do. I have a turkey fryer(A.) that I boil my brew in. In the large stock pot I have a perforated basket(B.) that fits inside and essentially I am trying to create a rigid wire mesh screen(C.) the same size as the basket. Kida like this(D.) so that after I boil my wort, I can pull out the basket and let the grains drain and avoid all of the grain in  the finish product. Does that make sense? The problem is forming the screen and stitching it together.I know that there is a specific way to form and fold the wire mesh and stitch it together so that there will be no gaps and have a strong bond but I haven't figured it out. This isn't brain surgery but I'm not doing something right. Any help would be greatly appreciated. A.  http://www.steaktenderizer.com/images/turkey_fryer_big_tom.jpg B.  https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRdbSoaqGr1j0sBmk9KzT3s-h8ATVsxS2vHw1HlJEt1A7h-yXJ4 C.  https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRa1Aokb-kz-jk3g-Hyligq9Npv9it4Nf66FdpCCoW7AAiO6dyg D.  http://xtradedirect.com/bilde_resize.php?multiimages=3&ratio;=144&produkt;_id=249477

Posted by SAWWAS72 6 years ago


I had one of the most amazing experiences today on my way to work.......

I decided to walk to work (it is about 7 - 8 city blocks {sorry I know that doesn't help those that live outside the USA, um, about a 1/4 mile?} long walk). This was the first time I had walked to work since my surgery on June 9th (for those that do not know, it was a double bypass). Before the operation, I would sometimes get a late start and would push it a wee bit to get there on time, and end up huffing and puffing (many times having to slow down because of it and some pain) before I got to work. Today, I started out feeling so good, I pressed it pretty hard to get there in record time. I was barely breathing any heavier then I had when I started, by the time I got to work. I can not say enough good about the therapy I received and and the exercise I continue to do to keep this wonderful state of being going. I was literally amazed ! I was also glad that, on Oct. 4th, I was able to give back a little to the therapy and research facility by going on their 4 mile walk. Not to brag, but I was able to raise about $355 dollars for the cause. My spirits are peaked right about now :-) AHA site

Posted by Goodhart 9 years ago


A week of weeks, these last 4 days have been.....

I hope I am not coming off lately as just complaining about life in general, but just letting those who know me well enough to want to know, how things are going. This has just been ONE OF THOSE WEEKS (and it isn't over yet ! ).  Monday and Tues, I had to help my wife prep for cataract surgery (two days off, but not really much of a "vacation"), Wed.  she still needed assistance in picking things up off the floor when she'd drop them....and today, I had to go in and meet my Mom at the Ear doctor (she's been around 60% deaf since early childhood, but never wanted to learn ASL).  They cleaned out her ears, checked the hearing aid, and put fresh batteries in it.....then since none of that helped, they checked her hearing. A 120 db beep was inaudible to her.   And, being quite advanced in age, and slowly slipping into senility, she is unable to accept this "new" condition.  It is very disheartening to not be able to help or do anything at all to help. I know this is not really a "social" arena, and is more geared towards DIY then just airing greivences,  but I thought I would share this one thing and hope I didn't irritate too many of you all out there. Thanks for reading....

Posted by Goodhart 7 years ago


Wetsuit for 5 year old With fins/paddles

My nephew was born with severely clubbed feet, and lobster hands. After several surgeries he has ended up with with above the knee amputations, and tri-fingers with a very strong grasp. He receives intensive therapy and support, so he gets all the recreation he needs, plus occupational therapy. Well, he was recently introduced to a swimming pool and loves it. unfortunately, because of his amputations, he buoyancy is all screwed up. I would like to take a wet suit, and modify it to include a hard silicone leg prosthesis, and swim fins, and gloves that fit his fingers, with webbing, similar to what long distance endurance swimmers and navy seals use. I figure I can use off the shelf neoprene for the wet suit, and take very good measurements for the gloves. I have made patterns for outfits before, so I can layout the pieces, and have my wife or mother stitch them together. (they are great with sewing machines) For Bouyancy, I was toying with the idea of air bags made from cordura nylon and fillable from the outside with air attachment nozzles, and stitched inside the legs. They would be surrounded by hard plastic similar to the shape of his prosthetic legs he is getting used to. The torso of the wet suit would be stitched to the legs, so when his torso grew, I would cut along the seam, replace the torso as needed. Anything you guys think I am missing? I will start posting sketches and renderings as I get started on this project...

Posted by Lightcutter 11 years ago


Brain Doctor Uses Cordless Drill to Remove Tumors

A British doctor is in the news for using a cordless drill, a Bosch model, to drill into patients' heads and remove tumors in a Ukrainian hospital. While cordless drills are fantastic things it's surprising to see brain surgery as one of their uses. Now if only Bosch would put that on the package.Minutes later the team of doctors, including one of Britain's most eminent brain surgeons, begins to break into the skull of their fully conscious patientœ with a £30 Bosch PSR960 handy-man's cordless drill. Amazingly, and despite the low-voltage tool running out of power halfway through the process, Dolishny's operation is a success, with his tumour skilfully excavated at the hands of Henry Marsh.The procedure, captured as part of a documentary to be screened on BBC2 later this month, was a routine triumph for Marsh, who regularly takes time off as a consultant at St George's hospital in south London to travel to Ukraine and save lives despite having access only to primitive tools. Also great is this list of makeshift ideas at the bottom of the article:- In 1995 two doctors on a flight from Hong Kong to Britain operated on a woman with a collapsed lung using a scalpel, a knife and fork and a coathanger to push in a catheter.- In Iraq in 2004, an American medical journalist removed a bullet from a marine's head with a drill used to put up a tent.- In 2003 Aron Ralston, an American climber, cut off his arm with a penknife after it became trapped under a boulder in Utah.- The following year Ines Ramirez Perez, a Mexican, delivered her son by caesarean section with the help of three stiff drinks and a kitchen knife. Linkvia Neatorama

Posted by fungus amungus 10 years ago


(newsletter) Cheap Screenprinting, Bike Boombox, Pi Day...

Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } We're now running THREE awesome contests, so get to work on your Instructables! Burning Questions is back with a vengeance. Answer our questions and win the love of thousands, or at least a spiffy new t-shirt! ThinkGeek Hacks Contest is now open for those of you who enjoy modifying the things you buy. Hack or modify anything from ThinkGeek and win a $250 gift certificate!Epilog Challenge is still open for entries. Enter your project with a green twist for a chance to win an Epilog Zing laser cutter or a gift certificate from Ponoko!Klutz Rubber Band-Powered Contest is almost open for your rubber band-powered contraptions! Win cool books from Klutz! Pi Day Guide Screenprint for Less Than $10 Make a Soil Blocker Build a Music Studio in an Apartment Win a laser cutter! Stretch, twist, and power something cool! (almost open) Build a Bike Boom Box Steampunk Clockwork Piston Turn a 300 Watt Lamp into a 20 Watt CFL Reconstructive Surgery for a Suitcase Get a free Expo Pass or save 35% on Conference registrations for Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco! Featured questions from our new Answers section: How do I build an audio amplifier circuit?Is there an affordable way to wireless stream audio from my laptop to my speakers? Oobleck: Gooey Science Experiment Build an Inexpensive Ikea NAS Make an Automatic Plant Light Spraygun 101 Let your geekiness shine! Get your green ready! Master a Perfect Inline Wire Splice Greenhouse From Old Windows Optical Illusion - Mysterious Black Dots Three Part Clock Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago


Top 5 new Instructables for this week

Check out the new Instructables that have gotten the most pageviews in the last week. All of these Instructables have been published on May 1 or later.Last week we saw a lot of metal and circuits, but this time around it's all about food and solar and make-up. Oh, and three of these Instructables were made by Instructables staff, two by scoochmaroo and one from me. Glad to see that so many other people are as excited about tearing apart Gummi Bears as I am. 5-minute Ice CreamWARNING: The Following Instructable Is Extremely Addictive. Not for the Faint of Heart.You are now always only 5 minutes away from Ice Cream. Are you prepared? also works... posted by scoochmaroo on May 5, 2009 Gummi Bear SurgeryGummi Bears live short lives, but that doesn't mean that they don't have health problems and will occasionally need some care. There are times when these delicate bears will e... posted by fungus amungus on May 4, 2009 How to make a solar iPod/iPhone charger -aka MightyMintyBoostI wanted a charger for my iPodTouch and the MintyBoost was definitely my first choice. I wanted to take it a bit further and make it not only rechargeable but also solar power... posted by Honus on May 2, 2009 My home made solar cell step by stepHere is a low power low efficiency photovoltaic cell that you can make you own in the kitchen with materials from the hardware store.This cell is made from cuprous oxide ins... posted by alessiof76 on May 3, 2009 DIY Mineral MakeupMineral makeup is more than just a new beauty trend - it offers health benefits for skin as well. And now you can make it at home!It's made of all natural, finely ground min... posted by scoochmaroo on May 4, 2009

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago


Movie Question / discussion: the new Sherlock Holmes (2009) (possible spoiler alert if you intend on seeing it)

Mostly I am wondering what  you all thought of the movie (those that have had the pleasure of seeing it, of course). Some things I found interesting/disturbing/unsettling/perplexing: The movie is either set in a time period where Holmes is much younger then is portrayed in the original series, or he has been "remade" into a younger character. I noticed that NO mention, nor even hint of Holmes'  "opium" use  (his greatest vice) was in the movie.  However,  there is a reference to cocaine (even if not "by name" early in the movie - i.e. "liquid that Holmes was "drinking", Watson refers to its use in eye surgery). As true to the books,  Holmes refers to his form of reasoning (incorrectly) as "deductive", and does so when speaking to Dr. Watson also.  The correct "label" for this type of reasoning is "inductive". My life partner and wife found it difficult to follow a story line that kept recursing on itself:  In several  scenes, Holmes describes how he was going to accomplish something (taking down an opponent, for instance) and they would show what he was describing;  then they would show it actually happening.   A few scenes recursed from different perspectives (one example:  when Irene leaves Holmes' residence for the first time after making her first "proposal" to Holmes, is shown getting into a carriage and a beggar stumbling into the scene;  moments later, the scene is shown again, this time from HOLMES' perspective, what happened (when He disguises himself as a beggar) . I do not remember reading in the books and short stories much about Watson's wife, although, brief mentions here and there are made (in the books and short stories) they are almost all contradictory in nature. I thought his "inability to always remain focused" and able to sort out the "information overload" quite intriguing .

Posted by Goodhart 8 years ago


My Chemical Romance Update =D

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

Posted by xX_Scissors_Xx 9 years ago


Comment Rating and User Reputation System

I use the website Paleohacks.com pretty much every day, and they have a pretty cool rating system that I think would work well here on Instructables. On Paleohacks.com, every new topic and new comment has an up an down arrow next to it. If you think its a good/cool/helpful topic  you click the up arrow. I don't know how useful this option would be in relation to the instructable itself other than to provide a user based ranking system in addition to editor selected featured Instructables, but it would be extremely useful for comments. Instructables should consider adding this option to comments. The more "up votes" the comment has, the more useful, on point or humurous (typically). Original comment threads are organized on the page by their number of upvotes. (of course, responses to those comments logically, go beneath them) This would be helpful if someone WAY at the bottom posts a comment that is extremely helpful and might otherwise get lost. On Paleohacks, in order to up-vote you just click the up arrow next to the person's comment.  To down-vote, on the other hand, you MUST comment on why you down-voted, and your name appears with your comment, so everyone knows you down-voted. The only reason people get down-voted is if they post mean or rude comments so its a great way to keep things friendly. No one wants to get down-voted.  The number of up votes you receive appears next to your name. For every up-vote on a topic or comment you post, you get 10 reputation points. There are people on Paleohacks who are super active and very knowledgeable whose reputation points are in the thousands.  I think this would take care of the problem user eNGame spoke of here: https://www.instructables.com/community/Pro-Instructables-Accounts/ when he/she said: "Is a PRO account available without the PRO badge being attached to the subscribers avatar? I feel in my case that having a PRO badge would be something akin to buying a $5 Phd in brain surgery from a backstreet vendor in Bangkok. Thanks." The reputation points serve us better because people who are really helpful or knowledgeable have really high reputation numbers. PRO just means you paid for a membership and that you support and value Instructables.  Go look at paleohacks.com and check out their rating system. I think it would do well here. Sometimes I find myself reading a comment here and going to click to upvote it and then remembering instructables doesn't have that feature. 

Posted by WayfinderAli 7 years ago


Instructables in the New York Times - In a Highly Complex World, Innovation From the Top Down

Instructables, and my Purple Shoes got a nice mention in the New York Times here.In a Highly Complex World, Innovation From the Top Downby G. PASCAL ZACHARYUSER-GENERATED content - from Wikipedia to YouTube to open-source software - is generating waves of excitement. But the opening of innovation to wider numbers of people obscures another trend: many of the most popular new products, like the iPod, are dominated by a top-down, elite innovation model that doesn't allow for customization."New technologies are becoming so complex that many are beyond the possibility of democracy playing a role in their development," said Thomas P. Hughes, a science and technology professor at the University of Pennsylvania.Consider: Electronic implants into human bodies; gene-splicing as common as cosmetic surgery; computer networks mining vast databases to discern consumer preferences. All of these innovations are the result of corporate or government initiatives overseen by elites."The process of innovation leaves out a huge proportion of the population," said Daniel Sarewitz, director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University.To be sure, experts like Eric von Hippel, a management professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that the proliferation of "user-generated" designs signals the "democratizing" of innovation. Armed with inexpensive digital tools and networks, ordinary people, he says, can band together to push their own innovations. They also can hijack existing technologies, taking them in directions only dimly envisioned by the original creators.One example is an electronic community called Instructables whose participants share methods for customizing standard products in unpredictable ways. The chief of Instructables, Eric J. Wilhelm, who earned his doctorate at M.I.T., where he was inspired by Mr. von Hippel, has posted a clever means of turning a white Asics Gel-Foundation 7 running shoe into a purple model. (The $90 official version comes only in a white-black-and-blue combination.)Today's Web-savvy consumers "expect innovations to meet their needs," Mr. Wilhelm says. "If innovation isn't tailored to them, they expect to be able to tailor it to themselves. That is a big change."But does this really mean that elites no longer sit at the top of the innovation food chain?"Elites have a lot of leverage but less than they used to," says Peter Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute in San Francisco. "More people are getting their voices heard." Mr. Leyden sees an emergent American "republic of innovation," where growing numbers of people influence what innovations are made and when.Skeptics, however, say that the rosy scenario is exaggerated and that user-generated innovation is merely a kind of "democracy lite," emphasizing high-end consumer products and services rather than innovations that broadly benefit society."Difficult questions are going unasked about who is participating in innovation and on what terms," says James Wilsdon, director of the innovation program at Demos, a think tank in London.In that scenario, needed innovations can be overlooked. For example, huge amounts of money are spent on improving Web search engines or MP3 players, while scant attention is given to alternative energy sources. Battling diseases like AIDS or Alzheimer's - efforts that lobbying groups in wealthy countries help highlight - attract legions of well-financed innovators, while big global killers, like childhood diarrhea and sleeping sickness, are ignored.Popular pressure to pursue certain innovations sometimes gets results, of course. In 2004, voters in California passed a law lavishly funding a stem-cell research institute - in a rebuke to the Bush administration, which has banned federal funding for such research. "This was a great example of a democratic adjudication of an innovation issue," Mr. Sarewitz of Arizona State said. Even so, bureaucratic and legal delays have meant a slow start for the San Francisco lab, which has not yet received approval to spend any of the $3 billion in promised taxpayer funds.The California example suggests that the balance between expert leadership and mass influence is hard to achieve. The underlying complexity of many innovations demands an ever-rising technological literacy from the public, and yet such an outcome "is a dream that will not likely come to pass," insists Mr. Hughes, a visiting professor at M.I.T.For all the hoopla over the power and promise of user-generated content, consumer-directed design and other hallmarks of our new golden era of democratized innovation, one of the iconic products of our times - the iPod - can't be customized (no, I'm not counting putting on different-colored protective jackets). There is an unbroken line between Henry Ford (with his Model T) and Steve Jobs. The new iPhone similarly reflects the elite, corporate innovator's drive to find one size that fits many.The cliche that committees can't create great ideas, or art, still seems to be true - though whether or not that is the best way to innovate remains an open question. Who knows how much longer?

Posted by ewilhelm 11 years ago


Safety of your garage door or car remote...

No time and no pics for a proper Instructable, so I just put out some word of warning ;) Around here bad people take advantage of the fact that a lot of new houses have the garage right next to the house. With these you usually also get a door so when you park your car you don't have to get out of the garage again. All controlled by the press of a button on the remote... Some fancy guys got a device working similar to the IM-ME Open Sesame hack a few years back. But unlike the original author the new guys found ways to make money by providing working "universal garage door openers" on dubious websites. Problem with the new model is that it not only fakes a remote with dip switches but also the newer models with so called "rolling code", "intellicode", "changing code" and so on. The old remotes with dip switches should actually by phased out years ago by any owner who values his stuff... But the new models are still deemed secure and next to impossible to hack - well if you trust the advertisement... How does the code hacking work? The old dip switch models allow for a maximum of just over 4000 different codes and come in just 3 or 4 frequency bands. No real problem for anyone with basic electronic and coding skills to hack these - as shown with Open Sesame. The new models all use a so called rolling code, here the remote and opener are paired through 32 bit of ID code and an encrypted part that changes every time. Both remote and opener calculate the next code once a button was pressed or a code received. To overcome reception problems the base usually calculates the next 256 codes in advance - and that is the entry point for bad boys. The illegal device scrambles the frequency detected while storing the code received by the orignal remote. As the door did not open the owner will try to press the button again. Still scrambled to opener does nothing - until the device sends out the first recorded code! Now the owner can drive in and is happy. Of course he still needs to close the garage - again all is scrambled and the code stored as before. You see where this is going.... It is even possible to set the amount of required tries to capture, so in theory a bad guy could get the next 10 or codes in advance for use once the owner is gone out... Worst thing however is that these illegal devices not only open garage doors but also cars as a lot of them use similar systems for their remotes - up to the point of starting the car with it. Took me only 2 hours with Google translate to find a website outside the usual search results that offers these "gadgets", along with WiFi and cell phone jammers, credit card copy devices and more things I don't want know about... What can you do to protect yourself? First check what type of remote your system uses - if there are DIP Switches than replace the remote system or the entire device in favour for something more secure. If you already have a rolling code model that you are far better off but sadly no longer totally safe here. A lost remote should not only be replaced but the old one removed from the system as well - you never know if you just lost it or someone took your remote ;) Alternatives exist, especially if you are not afraid of doing some open heart surgery on the electronics of a garage door opener. You can add a WiFi module and use your mobile phone to open the garage - search Google if you like the idea ;) Another very neat way is using a second transmitter that keeps the relay for activating the opener from working. This can be anything from a BT module paired with your phone or cars BT system over a keycard to numberplate recognition cams. A good system also allows for a "holiday mode" or similar. Here you can set this mode with one remote until you deactivate it with the same remote the system will not react to anything. Great if you leave the house for more than a day or two... As a last resort you can always get a big and angry dog to sleep in your garage.... What if you are renting or a bit limited with the electronics and soldering skills? Not all is lost if you can accept a second remote for added safety. These days you can get plug in converters for your mains voltage outlets that work with a remote control. Unless they use Infra Red for this they are great to disable your opener. Simply plug it in where the power cord for the opener is and then plug the cord into it as well ;) Now you can fully shut off the opener with the press of a button and only if the power outlet is switched on the opener will work. If in doubt you can use a double outlet adapter an extension cord and a night light to indicate wether or not the opener has power. Ok, and what about the door lading from the garage into the house? Well, of course keep it locked and if you are home also keep it locked. At least this way you have some extra time in case someone tries to enter through your garage while you are sleeping ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago


Options to improve cooling and reduce consumption for portable coolers

I recently had to start learning how to service airconditioners on the fast and that learning got me thinking about my portable coolers.... Some of us like to go camping or on longer fishing trips, so there might be one of those 3-way fridges in use or a better cmpressor model. The one thing they all have in common is that they can only cool down to a difference in ambient temperatures. No matter which way we turn it the cooling produces heat and that needs to get away somehow. The other big thing is the cooling cycling - or the lack of it on a warm day. After some reading and thinking I came up with some ideas that might be applicable to your existing cooler if you are willing to mess around a bit. Let's start with the produced heat, shall we? Down here in Australia most people either have the fridge in their4WD or camper. In a car or small camper trailer there is often the problem of airflow, so the cooler might be doing overtime for no other reason than a lack of airflow. If you check online sites like Amozon and Ebay you quickly find fan systems meant to be installed inside the cooler to get lower temperatures and a quicker cooling of fresh goods. The thing is that the box is quite well insulated and the benefit of the airflow goes only as far as it can reach. And even if the box is quite empty and you would have a benefit of the cold air moving around it won't change the fact that "improved" cooling always comes with more heat in this case. But if we use one of these fan systems to actually improve the airflow on the hot side we not only get better cooling but also a reduce power consumption - something worth considering if you have no backup power generator.... This of course brings us to placement. As I have done the mistake myself you might be tempted to put a 3way cooler onto your seat. Opening it with the back free means the lid always gets stuck on the seat, do it the other way around and you block the airflow. If you do put it on the seat then make sure two things match: 1. The thing is secured properly. 2. The airflow from your aircon is able to reach the hot side of the cooler. Even permanent installations in a camper benefit from a good airflow. Often the fridge or freezer is built into some sort of bench and the airflow behind might be very limited. A simple solution here is to add a vent on top of the bench to allow the hot air to escape. A better one is to use a fan that is powered together with the heating element or compressor and drives the hot air to the outside. How to improve the cold side of the box or fridge? Well, to be honest there is not much that can be done unless you are prepared for some serious work. Depending on compartment size, contents and how full it is a little fan can help to keep the temperatures even but it won't help to get it cooler or reduce the cycling periods for the cooling. The only really working way that I found is to use a "battery" for the storage of the cold. The cooling works by checking the inside temp of the box and if above the set temp the cooling won't stop. This is all well and good while we have a constant supply of power but once we are on batteries it would be great to keep the active time to a minimum. A working solution is to build a container that fits around the cooling element. Smaller types often use an aluminium heatsink, bigger types might come with a compressor and an evaporator. In either case proper sealing is important! Most good models are fully waterproof, meaning even if you would fill them with water they would not leak in other areas than the door. But double check and if in doubt use a bit of silicone to make sure. Ok, but how do we "store" the cold coming from the device? Cold packs ;) These things contain a ready to use mix that holds cold temperatures quite well. Another really good alternative is alcohol or radiator coolant, although the last has limited capabilites in terms of holding capaity for the cold as it is desinged to exchange heat fast rather than to keep it. With a suitable sized and sealed box around the active cooling element we will need longer to actually see any cooling happen (with a warm "battery") but that can be compensated for by good planning or a frozen water bottle. If the cooling element is covered with a box of cooling gel then it has to cool this first before anything happens inside the box. But once it does the pack is already far below the normal temp it would have during normal operation. Remember the inside of the cold pack cools down first before the outside will get cold ;) So once the set temperature is reached the device will shut off. But since the cold pack is far below the set temp it will continue to cool our box until the core is warmer than the set temp. Quick thinkers will now say the benefit is lost as the time required to cool the "battery" down again is much longer than the normal cycle time - and they would be correct. But as we get much colder temps inside the gel box the overall running will still be less compared to normal operation. And since from the second cycle on the gel is only warming up to operating temp of the box it will be much faster than with a warm box. Another benefit might be the ease of cleaning and ice removal. Some peltier driven coolers have big cooling fins or a quite bad design for the heatsink allowing mould to grow where you can't remove it easy. If the box is made from stainless steel and flush with the back wall of the box we won't have that problem anymore. Ok, but how much is good or too much for the size and gel content? You got me there as it is bit tricky. You don't want to loose much usable space for starters and you don't want to wait hours for the gel to cool down if the box was not used. IMHO the size should fit the cooling element with about 20% to spare all around. If stainless steel is not an option than aluminium is the next best choice. Thin sheets can either be be cold formed with a hammer or "brazed" with a good torch and the right rods. Ok, before that route is there anything I should consider or do first? Depends ;) 3-way systems usually use a flame or heating elements to heat an ammoia solution. After years of neglect corrosion can form and reduce the amount of heat transfered into the system and reducing the efficiency this way. It might help to take the heating elements out once a year or so to clean them and the contact areas from any corrosion or dirt build up. With a fixed shedule for this you won't have the problem of never noticing a badly corroded heating element either - and this is the main failure on these systems.... Modifying your camper or making a few mods to your 4WD drawer system is not for the faint of heart and should be done with consideration. The last thing you want to do is rush things to find out it was not necessary. Before cutting holes check if you can't find the room for the fan in a different spot and use ducts to control the airflow - sometimes it is easier to blow air in than to get air out ;) When it comes to creating vents or connections for air to the outside always make sure it is waterproof and insect safe! If you can let the outlet go downwards so water won't run in, for 4WD trailers consider a flap to prevent water from going during a river crossing. Flyscreens will not only prevent insects from coming in but on the inside also prevent dust to go eerywhere - allow to the removal and cleaning! The salts used in these cold packs can be corrosive, so you have to make sure there are no leaks and that there is no steel to come into contact with gel - this includes screw ends hidden in through-holes. If in doubt use a coat of paint but keep it as thin as possible. Even on peltier systems it might be impossible to remove the heatsink without massive surgery on the internals. So before you take it all apart to gain access check if it is far easier to seal around the box opening and possible screw connections using silicone. The cooling battery can be screwed on and sealed with silicone as well as an easy escape route. Although for this to work you need to check if the material of the box allows for a proper bond with the silicone! Some materials just won't allow anything to stick at all, even after sanding them. So do a test first in an area where you would be able to cut the silicone away without causing damage. If you can rip or peel it off the surface you should not try to use a cooling battery screwed to the wall, only use a box that is fully sealed with the cooling element and has a seperate back - one complete unit around the cooling element. I have a 3-way system with a freezer compartment that does the cooling for the fridge too - what can I do? These units either provide good freezing with the fridge temps too low or good fridge cooling with no freezing capabilites - depending on the thermostat used. Our problem is that is next to impossible to add a cooling battery of the normal kind to these systems. The L-shaped freezer box can really only be added with a L-shaped cooling battery from underneath. Only if you don't need any freezing at all you could add a cooling battery to fit into the freezer box shape. In either case the benefit is somehow limited by the way the thermostat is used. If there is no temp control for freezing it should be fine. Warnings... Only peltier driven coolers are free from refrigerants. Every 3-way or compressor system uses refrigerant as evident by more or less piping and heating elements. Never attempt to screw anything into a cooling element containing refrigerant! Even if you think between the channels all will be fine it won't be! The material is just pressed to form the channels and any damage caould mean refrigerant leaking out! Use silicone instead and make sure all surfaces are properly cleaned before applying it, also wait until the silicone is really fully cured before putting any stress on it. As said, these cooling gels can be corrosive, especially if DC voltage is involved. Make sure that everything that is not aluminum or plastic is properly sealed before allowing ongoing contact with cooling gels. Do not attempt any of this if you have to ask yourself what tools you might need or how make a suitable container for the gel. If in doubt check Google on how to work with aluminium or stainless steel if there are not enough Instructables for it. The gel will expand a little bit if it freezes, this no problem in a metal container if you allow for a bit of flex or on the side added strength  - whatever suits you better. Another option is to get a few different cold packs (by the active ingredient) and to do a check in a little container. Freeze it and note whe level cold and warm. Little to no difference means nothing to worry in terms of expansion during freezing.

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago