Campfire lighting tricks?

I find myself with the task of lighting a camp fire, either dramatically, magically or mysteriously.  I know a couple of methods, but the campfire audience have seen them before. Anybody got any novel ideas for lighting a campfire at the sneaky pull of a cord, or throw of a hidden switch? (Yes, I know about wire wool and batteries...)

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

how are magic tricks secrets revealed ? Answered


Question by minootodiwala   |  last reply

Landing jumps

Does anyone have some useful tips on landing a jump on a dirtbike? How about landing onto a rough, washboard track, any different? I've become very good at landing... on my face...

Topic by Rishnai   |  last reply

Tips and tricks for UV curing glue, resin and coatings

Only a few years ago your only option to repair certain plastics, glass or even a broken crystal was epoxy based resin or the good old superglue.You might have already tried one of the 5-seconds-repair pens or tried your own UV curing nail polish art at home.For the later you might be lucky as the resins used here are optimised for the purpose and lights you get with them.Sadly even the best nail polish is no substitude for a glue as the material properties need to be different.One of the most common complaints when it comes to using some UV glue, like Kafuter or similar is that it never comes with instructions.Sould be straight forward but it is not free of problems.For example almost all commercail UV curing glues that you can buy require quite stirct procedures and for the light the right wavelenth(s).Resins and coatings can be even more painful here as they might also require you to stick to the correct temperature.Let's start with one thing you might have encountered already...The glue is definately cured and rock hard but the surface tacky and smeary.Quite annoying if you want to fix a piece of jewellery and can't prevent it from collecting dirt and dust...The next thing you might have encountered is that despite having transparent materials it seems to be impossible to cure the clue.Both problems come down to wavelenght and exposure.UV curing glue is prevented from curing in the presence of oxygen - a factor utilised for example in resin based 3D printers.Uncovered glue is exposed to the oxygen in the air and won't cure easy.The glue or resin below this layer however with fully cure with ease in the absence of oxygen.For the second problem consider that not all materials that you can see through will let UVC light pass through ;)Bonding strenght is another complaint I hear a lot...Be aware that certain things just are no good for UV curing glues or resins.Take the molds you get for that purpose: on the material the glue won't bond!Teflon is another prime candidate here.But in a lot of cases it comes down to surface preparation.Don't be afriad to sand the surface!Not only will the surface area increase but the scratch marks will be invisible once filled anyways.Use sandpaper on your fingernails, then go over with clear nail polish -mirror finish ;)With curing often a problem consider to fully cover the glue.A bit of clear sticky tape, food wrapping foil....If that is not an option then eliminate the oxygen.You can use a container filled with inert (for the glue) gas like CO2 or just place a burning candle in it until it goes out....Either way the amount of oxygen should then be low enough to cure the surface of your glue.Not always is any of the above an option.Then you can still try more power and a lover wavelength.Mercury based lamps for example provide a very broad and powerful light that in most cases will cure within seconds.For a proper surface cure you need a wavelength of 265nm or lower.LED's offering this exist but at prices well out of range for the hobby user.A mercury lamp under high pressure is nothing for short term use and the limited lifespan does not always justify the costs of buying them.Like with most things in life certain inventions can have a dual purpose.Quality germicidal lamp systems for examples often state to go as low or even lower than 265nm.And they come at a fraction of the cost you have with a broadband mercury lamp.Even cheaper is the fre weather forecast.If the sun is siad to be strong enough so you need protection than even the worst glue will fully cure in seconds outside in the sun - tackfree!Don't be fooled and protect yourself!!These tiny LED lamps for your glue stick, the curing thingies for your nailpolish and everything else using UV light comes with warnings.For very good reasons!It might be hidden in the fineprint but you can not really see UV light.The blueish-purple glow you see is on the high end of what comes out and by that in the visible range of your eye.Just because a LED only gives a faint glow you see does not mean the UV light wouldn blind you if you could see it!Even worse for fluoroscent lamps or open cruning systems like those for your nailpolish.Reflected UV light is still UV light and you can still NOT see it!Stories of people getting sunburnt from germicidal lamps in a butcher shop or other people going blind from checking money as their living have a true base...In most cases lamps used well past their lifespan or simply the wrong type of lamp but still: the damage came from UVC light...If you just love creating your own artwork or jewellery with UV curing resins and glues than protect yourself.Proper sunglasses with a stated UV protection for example or just black nitrile gloves for your hands...

Topic by Downunder35m 

mad is science

awesome science trick ever .

Topic by Waren-Neutron   |  last reply

science is mad

it is the most awesome science trick ever that you see.

Topic by Waren-Neutron   |  last reply

Preparing paper for calligraphy?

I noticed that the calligraphers in Turkey do some tricks for paper they use for their final calligraphy work.  I am not sure what they do to the paper to make it smooth and better.  Does any one know how or what to apply to normal paper to make a great paper for calligaphy?

Question by PeereMoghan   |  last reply

Homemade un-breakable glass???

Ok, so there's a hurricane coming, and my friend said he's taping his windows. so i'm like: wtf is taping your windows? and he says covering your windows in tape makes them more durable to shattering, if you use masking tape. Masking tape? he said it was some trick that was very well known... he called me an idiot... i got all confused why he expected me to know... i argued why i should know, then he hung up, and got all pissed at me for some wierd i just need to know: what's the deal with this trick i've never heard of?

Topic by AnarchistAsian   |  last reply

How can I find cheap electric motors?

For an upcoming project(lathe) I need a 1/4 or 1/3 hp motor around 2000 rpm. Are there any tricks to getting them for cheap. The cheapest one Ive seen is 84 bucks.. 

Question by imthatguy1125   |  last reply

Two-Wheel Tuesday

Bikes have been on my mind lately. Here's some video inspiration.The insanely good Ryan Leech displays grace and precision in Prague. Julien Dupont uses a motor to explore the city, but impresses nonetheless. Fixies strut their stuff in SF. And for some old-old-old school stuff, here are tricks from over 100 years ago.

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

Acrylic Lichtenberg figure? Answered

I have only see a how to do it on wood. So is it possible to create a lichtenberg figure in plastic? Ofc I have done my research on the topic but I'm not sure if a microwave transformer can do the trick. Or if a plain piece of acrylic is conductive enough to let the electron flow through. Thank you for your reply

Question by Shizen   |  last reply

4x4 Issues Nissan Pathfinder, '93

4WD acts like it isn't 4WD, but only rear wheel drive.  Not good on snow and ice. Sometimes 2WD on dry pavement feels like 4WD when taking sharp turns. I've tried the trick of reversing for a few feet when switching back n forth.  Sometimes seems to work, sometimes not. Suggestions?  Appraisals?  Guesses?

Topic by Toga_Dan   |  last reply

How to make a watertight seal between oil paint coated marine plywood and polypropylene

I need to make a watertight seal between a sheet of marine plywood coated with oil paint, and a 5mm sheet of polypropylene, both at right angles to each other. Both are well supported structurally independently of each other. Will silicone do the trick or are there other alternatives?

Question by demorphica   |  last reply

Any of you more seasoned build-o-philes have tips, mods, or tricks for an 8"(or any size) drill press? Answered

I was recently given a very well taken care of 8" Craftsman 1/3hp 5 speed drill press. It works fine, but it's a little grimy. So I'm currently cleaning it. Actually I wanted to ask someone if it's okay to clean that gunky layer of grease off of it because the grime has mixed in and it's essentially "sanding" the post. If it IS okay to clean off, do I replace it with different or newer grease once it's been cleaned? Also, ever since I was a kid, I was captivated by the swirling grinder or polisher pattern on the drill press table. Mine has a thin layer of rust on the table. Is there any way to remove the rust without ruining my beloved swirly pattern? So to wrap up here is the list of questions... 1. What are some modifications, tips, tricks, jigs, etc. for an 8" Benchtop Drill Press? 2. Is it okay to clean the grease off of the entire machine? If so, do I regrease it afterwards? What's the best product to use? 3. Is there a way to remove small layer of rust off the table without compromising the original swirl pattern? ANY and ALL help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you Instructables community!!(That made me think of a town whose entire population was comprised of Instructables members. Ha! Got a question about robots? Go to Ted's three doors down. Building a welder from car batteries? Oh Tom two streets over would be more than happy to help! I know...ridiculous.)

Question by Mister Wolf   |  last reply

ive got a 98 chevy 3500dualie pick up ive put a 1972 4brl. 454

It has the stock 4l80e trans in it  and i need to trick it into thinking the old 350 votec fuel inject engine is still in it with out spending the money for a painless wiring harness dose anyone have the pin voltages to dothis or know a way around this problem ? thank you for your time

Question by dizzydog598r 

Kite design for aerial photography?

After getting a little KAP rig together, it weighs in at just under 300g. In fairly low winds (5mph say) What sort of kite is able to lift that mass? Will my current delta do the trick? (100cm span). I know that this is a very broad topic for discussion and it is full of complexities, requiring me to use my initiative - I am up for the challenge!

Question by DELETED_zoltzerino   |  last reply

Lacquer/Enamel for Brass? Answered

Hey I'm looking for a clear, tough coating for polished brass, to stop it from tarnishing. Initially I thought clear nail polish would do the trick, but it turns out it's not as tough as I thought... it'll rub off in places within about a month, from what I'm planning to do with it. Could anyone else give me a few suggestions/links as to what I can buy/use along these lines? Thanks

Question by .Unknown.   |  last reply

anyone got any tips on making tuned flutes out of bamboo?

I have made flutes before out of bamboo and thet turned out ok but i had the hole size and position draw on the bamboo by a professanil flute maker so i was wondering if anyone had any tips on making a bamboo flute i understand scales and tunig and such i play alot of instruments its just making a good one thats the trick

Question by bamboolover   |  last reply

Cant find ALDL on '84 Buick Park Ave.

Car starts easy and runs great till I stop and try to re-start car. Then I get a "check engine" light and it will barely start and barely get me home. Have replaced everything it needed such as: Fuel pump-Re-built distributor-battery-catalytic convertor and it still does it. Want to do the paper-clip trick on the ALDL but I can't find it under the dash. Can anyone help???

Question by oakridge1956 

So I came across this futon frame, the center always sags/folds no matter how hard I cinch the bolts; any suggestions?

The sag occurs where the futon pivots into a sofa. Underside bracing in the form of wood blocks underneath(something like a shim) were tried but any lateral movement of the bed knocked them out.  I reinforced the bolts with 1.5 inch washers but it still isn't doing the trick.  If anyone has a suggestion I would be much obliged, as I am considering just turning it into a coffee table and sleeping on the floor.

Question by StillLifeWblur   |  last reply

what battery pack would be needed to run these LED light strip for 6 hours?

Hi all, I am looking at building a wearable battery pack to power these light strips, As I am looking at this the wattage seems high 12 watts, I figure 8 AA 1.5 VDC batteries run in seriers would do the trick but any idea on run time? Thanks!

Question by skobo   |  last reply

WANTED: Instructable on Acrylic

I've only seen the end result of a project.  My college woodworking teaher had an acrylic cube that had curved holes drilled in it.  I know how it's done but would like to see an instructable on it.  I've searched and searched.  I only found a very broad article on the steps to do this but not detailed enough for me to attempt it. If someone knows how this is done OR has experience with acrylic, please let me know if you write an instructable on this process.  If you have worked with acrylic before but do not know the process, I can explain it. THANKS!

Topic by Squash   |  last reply

Electric motor to turn large, non-centered load?

I would like to get a solar-powered motor to turn a compost tumbler at very low speed, and would like some advice at what the cheapest motor I can get that would do the trick. My idea is to have a ratchet system so it only needs to turn one click at a time every hour (having the compost bin make a full rotation every 1-7 days; I'll experiment with what works best). I've never done a project like this, so the more basic the advice, the better. Thanks!

Question by sangretoro   |  last reply

best way to cut PET plastic bottles? #1 recycle triangle Answered

I want to improve the usb,wall warts,,technical cord storage trick that i think i saw here.they were using a toilet paper  tube.  i noticed that a lot of smaller Gatorade type PET bottles would work nice, since they are clear, and stronger.  i used scissors to cut some and get ragged edges, which i could fix, but i was wondering if a hot wire,like a styro? foam shaper would work better ? with the plus of smooth edges 

Question by escapefromyonkers   |  last reply

how do I build a chemical car?

Hello, my name is Taylor Love. Right now my school is having us do a science project where we need to use chemicals to propel a toy car across the room. sounds easy right? oh wait there's a catch. no combustion reactions, or explosions. :( got any ideas besides the usual baking soda and vinegar trick? any help would be great. if anyone knows how we could make a battery powered car go across the room, that'd be pretty cool too. but we have to make the battery from scratch.

Topic by mexx.admin   |  last reply

Creating a handheld Emp device

Has anyone been able to create medium sized nonexplosive EMP generator? i recently purchased 4 oil capacitors each rated around 5.5KVDC and 32uF, from what i have learned, in order to create an EMP generator, you would need a to feed it a large amount of power in to  a heavy gauge magnetic coil. I believe my caps could do the trick. I will be charging them with a  ZVS driver coupled to a self wound ferrite transformer, then rectified. As for discharging i' will probably use a mechanical spark gap. I am hoping to create something like the shock pulse generators in, does my setup look feasible ?

Topic by tazerboy 

Ever Saved a Motorcycle from the Scrap Heap?

I come across old unloved bikes alot. Somebody got all excited and bought a real beauty. After a couple of years, the newness wore off, and the old bike spent 20 years in the barn rusting away. Lots of times these old 2wheelers can be had for the asking, or at least for scrapyard prices. I love to save these old bikes from certain destruction at the hands of weather/recyclers/inexperienced tinkerers. I'm working on an ible about salvaging these old machines. Anybody else out there ever saved a classic/junker from the elements (or even worse, the crusher)? Any tricks you know for bringing one of these would-be stallions back to life?

Topic by skunkbait   |  last reply

How to attach a small motor to a piece of wood?

I am not so sure this is possible, but I have a small 8rpm motor that I would like to attach to a piece of wood. The trick is I want to attach is so the wood is hanging under the motor, so I need a way to permanently attach it so that it will still spin, but not drop a 3lb-ish load. I don't know much about all this, so if you need anymore information from me about the parts just ask. Thanks! EDIT: The motor is a small dc motor. It's about an inch and a half long cylinder. The spinning part is on the end of the cylinder, a bit off center, and is shaped like a partial cylinder. I hope this explaination makes sense.

Question by Seeshi_suin   |  last reply

How do I join 2 lightweight steel tubes at the joint where they can rotate and lock? Answered

I'm trying to build a "on body" harness rig and I need to find some sort of joint connector that allows the steel tube to rotate up and down. It should rotate like a beach chair or the lid on a laptop, but I need it to lock in place where ever I stop rotating it. The circumference of the steel tubing is about the circumference of a finger.  The steel is also lightweight and almost feels like aluminum. Does anyone know where would I find a steel tube joint connector that would do the trick?

Question by steelofreeka   |  last reply

How do I wire an electronic flashgun?

I'd like to build an electronic flashgun, like those used in magic tricks. Basically you put flash cotton in the base of the barrel, then some flash paper on top of that, and when the glo plug ( cigarette lighter thing ) at the base heats up it lights the cotton which shoots the now lit paper from the barrel causing a flame thrower type effect. So I'm after some advice and instructions from anyone out there who knows more about DIY electrical wiring and whatnot than I do ( which is basically everyone ) so that I don't hurt myself from lack of know how XD In return I'll make an Instructable of my efforts so other people can make their own

Topic by grantdevine   |  last reply

Fiberglassing inside a studio apartment?

First off, I want to preface I know the dangers of fiberglass fumes, and will not do anything too stupid: I'll only use it if it works and is safe. Anyways, I live in a studio apartment downtown, so outdoor space to do stuff like this is non-existent. On top of that, I don't have very many good friends in town, as most have moved away, so borrowing a hunk of lawn elsewhere is a bit of a pain. My question is: is there any sort of fume hood I could make/buy (that won't break bank) that would be big enough to work on a helmet in, and would be able to extract the working fumes, along with the drying fumes. Noise isn't a major issue, but the quieter, the better.  Alternatively, is anyone knows of any sort of trick place to work (like a back room in a hardware shop) I'm open to suggestions! Thanks in advance.

Question by DoctorWoo   |  last reply

Building a motorcycle seat from scratch

Being an insatiable tinkerer, I an planning an exensive remodel on a '92 Honda 100. It's one of those all-plastic dirtbikes, and frankly, I'm too big for it in its current configuration. Not a problem I have often, but man is it annoying! The price was right, and I needed a functional sled, so here we are. I'm in the midst of designing/modifying and buiding a tank for it that is bigger and metal. As such, the current seat has to go. I don't want to hack up the seat because I'd like to have the option to return to stock. I would like to put a seat on it that is reminiscent of 70s Hondas, just new and on the cheap. Does anyone have any experience/ideas with building a seat like this? I've got a lot of foam (but probably not the "right" sort), and a masters degree in duct tape upholstery. I've made all-metal seatpans before, but these were aways solo saddles. Any tips/tricks/technquies that might make my life easier in this endeavor?

Topic by Rishnai   |  last reply

How to harden a 'rubber bone'? Answered

A few weeks ago I was digging a new garden and I uncovered an old beef rib bone buried next to a rusty tin can. I presume one of my dogs put them there several years ago. The bone had developed a nice patina, infused with a reddish-brown color, most likely from the rusty can. It would work perfectly as scales (handles) for an old hunting knife of mine if I could flatten it out somewhat.  Remembering an old trick from my youth, I have been soaking it in white vinegar and it has softened nicely without losing the patina. From my past experience I know it will re-harden if I allow it to dry out, but it will be more porous and brittle. My thought was to dry it then coat it liberally with super glue or to soak it in a clear acrylic paint for several days to fill the pores. I am looking for any ideas or suggestions that will help me in this project, whether they be ways to make my ideas better or something entirely different. Thanks.

Question by Burf   |  last reply

How to design and build a belt driven generator for a small tractor?

The storm that swept through Ohio last Friday (seems like an eternity ago) took out our power. It may not be restored until sometime next week (ah, life in the country). We are used to this sort of thing in the winter and are prepared for it. However, we are not prepared to deal with it when it is this hot. I have a small generator that can run a fan and a few lights and am prepared to sacrifice the contents of the fridge. My generator doesn't put out enough power to run a window AC unit much less our central AC unit. My neighbor has a gas powered generator that is big enough to do the trick but he is pouring so much money into the tank that he might as well stay at a hotel. So anyhow I looked into getting a PTO driven generator to run off my Kubota BX1500 (think diesel engined, 4wd lawn mower on steroids rather than tractor-it's a tiny little thing). It really doesn't burn all that much fuel and it offers the option of using home brewed biodiesel (damn the Tax Man-full speed ahead!). Here's the rub though: you need about 2 hp/kw to run a generator off the PTO. My Kubota has about 12.5 hp. The smallest PTO driven generator I can find (Norther Tool) is a 10 KW unit. That won't work out very well. However, they also have a 2900 watt belt driven generator head that would be large enough to do the job. I suppose I could mig together an angle iron frame that will hook to the three point hitch and mount the generator head and the driven jack shaft but I don't have any experience in building belt drive units. Soooo, anybody out there have any experience in cobbling together belt drive units from scratch? The tractor's PTO shaft turns at 540 rpm but the generator really won't work right unless it turns at least 3600 rpm (interestingly the ratio works out to be 6.66 to 1, possibly not a good omen). Grainger has a large (if over priced) selection of pulleys that will get me in the ballpark. This still leaves a lot of questions though, probably more that I can think of since I have no experience in belt drive systems. I am specifically worried about how to set up the necessary bearings to support the jack shaft that connects the PTO shaft to the drive pulley. For that matter I don't know where to get a shaft that has PTO splines on one end and a keyway on the other. In any case, one of you guys have probably already done this or something pretty close to it. So how about letting the rest of us in on all the necessary tricks? Thanks!

Question by Ogg1   |  last reply

Free Energy - Am I insane or is it time to wake up?

Some might have noticed that I started a few, lets say, unconventional topics here.I added one just as a response to some very nasty feedback I got in other places.If you wonder what I am talking about check my topics about all things related to magnetism, "free energy" and such nonsense.The feedback I got was directed personal enough and verbal enough that I decided to increase my speed of seeding bread crumbs that might allow other people to "see" things slightly differently.Being called insane and mental case is the only things I use here as most of the rest would qualify as insults of the worst kind.The goal that was claimed I totally missed is to make people open up.Science or knowledge is as fluent as life itself.It eveloves with us, around us and through us.But we learned to use technology mostly to replace humans and to make our life easier.With that laziness also a reduced "desire" for knowledge and understand evolved.It is now far easier to "Google it" and forget it right after than to acutally learn and really understand something.A prime example is the disappearing artform of creating Japanese swords.No industrial process can produce a steel as pure and with such properties as used to be "offered" to the master swordsmith.Both are highly specialsed and rely on each other to create the perfect sword that outlasts generations.Once tradition gives way to modern life even this art will become a lost artform.We lost so much already, be it species, health, enviroment or just a "clean planet".Instead of accepting nature back into our scientific thinking and understanding we will continue to fail and get even more reluctant to learn new things.The blockbusters of science are no longer finding new laws of phsics or trying to understand things.We try to go further and further and use more and more dangerous ways to "create" the energy we continue to use more and more with no regrets.Well, other than complaining about the bills for it, which we wouldn't have otherwise...Why do we need more forms of colliding atoms to create energy?No because we need so much, only because we want more and more and at "centralised" locations.Distribution, control, money...Allowing us to use solar panels to reduce our electricity bill is nice, but try to overdo it and make good money by creating you own solar panel park and you get into trouble already.You can't see it anywhere other then back to your provider.And you only get whatever he thinks is a fair price for it, usually far less than what you pay to get it.Once you reach zero some even won't pay you money at all.And since there is always winter and night times it is only good that there will be always a need for electricity from the grid.Just try to get rid of your elecricity, water and gas connection in a township or city in case you found other sources you get for free.....Even if you build new most won't even allow you to without these "required" connections.If you need waste waster you also need tap water you pay for.And since a waste water treatment is no longer hyginic enough (despite proving the opposite) you can't get out.Gas you might be able to avoid but if there is electricity in the stree than it is already a building requirement to provie to the builder...What if all this nonsense and fakery actually has a true background somewhere?Humans are not meant to fly but we developed planes anyways.What once was a dream for a select few is now the prefered travel mode ofr most going on a far away holiday.But it is only so popular because there is a big demand.And where is demand profit can be made.Like a farmer:If you have ton of corn like twenty farmers around you then your local price will be low.Sell them a bit further away and you might get a lot more.In return our demand is closly related to the demands of those that provide the source of your demands.We all need energy and we evolve into a society that will need more of with every new generation.I try to give you hint in the form of a comparison:If you have a nice man cave and love to tinker than you might have a framed hand drill on the wall to remind you of how it all started for your grandfather.Or in most case you just liked it and got it for 2 bucks from a garage sale LOLEither, imagine all electricity would be gone and lost forever.Suddenly this crappy drill becomes a status symbol because only you can do things other people really struggle with - you drill holes with ease...Imagine the rpice you could ask to sell it..."Free energy" is the same but sadly in reverse.If a company sees a profit than it will be utilised some way.And if it happens that energy is your main income and keeps you rich and in control than you don't mind paying two or three fortunes to someone so he can forget and is happy give you his machine.Or would you really say no to life of no limits and with nothing to worry for your future generations of kids and grandkids?A few tried anyway to make a furtune themself by keeping a circle of trusted persons and finding enough willing investors to get their project going.Even if you can find some flaws there are still doubts about what someone would go through the lenght of providing online updates, sales numbers, testimonials and so on for years.Funny enough actually finding someone who is sceptic and make him check and report about it does not work either.No big university orders one or asks to really check it and provide a real world testimonial.No government or legal agency steps in to stop the "fraud" either.What is real, what is fake, what is disguise - you can figure it out if you want to.Ok, I could, but why bother if litereally everyone one already did and showed nothing works when it comes to the great unknown?Exactly for that reason alone it is worth it!People might make money now from ads or through clickbait but the topic is older than the internet already.And the proof even older than electricity...So many people would not try unless someone convinced them to try it ;)Might be just a bad joke but gets the point:If you ask 20 people if you can swim through the river to get to the other side then you might get confusing answers.1. No problem it is safe.Fully true but the guy might be from far up the river where it has no crocodiles in it...2. You could try it but a boat is safer as there might be corcodiles here.Still leaves you the option to swim as you can't be sure about the reptiles...You could go on and create a near endless list with bridges up ahead and so on.What it comes to is that depending on HOW you ask and WHO you ask the answers can be as different as day and night.In terms of science and making someone understand it take the most basic approach possible.Remember that time in school when your math teacher confronted you the existence of negative numbers?The confusion with the zero and how to add, subtract or multiply...Your teacher might have been great or you a quick learner but imagine the worst possible way to teach you an understanding of negative numbers!You know that 5 - 8 equals -3.You learned that this is true and why it is so.Imagine your teacher would have explained this extra simple like back with the apples when learning to add numbers."If there are 5 people in a room and 8 people leave the room, then 3 people must go back in so that room is empty!"Makes total sense if you expand the number game from above to 5 - 8 + 3 = 0 !!No sense at all however if you do it with people ;)People are not numbers, pressures or volumes, they are "real" to us.We associate certain things automatically, other we learn to associate and interpret through learning.Learning however is no longer actually doing all that would be involved in less technological world.We like magic tricks because we fail to understand how it is done or sometimes even how it is possible.Today it is for entertainment only.A true magician would never use his skills to scam people.But spend enough and research and you can do the same trick you saw on stage.Some not as good or not all though - thats life...Ask a good magician how how long it took him to get his new trick ready for the stage and quite often you get to hear it was years in the making.Think about that fact when you judge what is possible by dedication ;)

Question by Downunder35m 

Sharpening a concave blades like Kukri or similar

Every now and then you have someone approaching with the odd job.This time it was in the form of an old Kukri / Gurkha knife.Wasn't expecting this when I was asked a few days ago if I could sharpen some old knife so it can be used for camping.The knife had a few marks from hitting hard stuff or maybe the occasional nail.But the worst was that for as long as guy had that knife it was only "sharpened" using a belt sander.You know, these tiny machines advertised to give your (kitchen-) knife the perfect edge.We could now argue about the pros and cons of having a knife edge that is literally rounded.But once it was done so many times that the edge really looks rounded it becomes obvious why this method only works for thinner blades.Adding to the problem was the fact that the belt used was just over 1.5cm wide.Appereantly so it is easier to do the concave part of the blade.Lets just say lengthwise it looked like someone created a wave pattern LOLThere was nothing "straight" on this nice blade anymore.Now, if you look up how to properly sharpen thise Kukri knifes then you can find all sorts of really useful tips.One I really likes was to use some eraser and toglue sandpaper on it.Small and flexible enough to cause minimal damages to the curve towards the handle.Another nice one is to use half round diamond file, preferable of a finer grit in the 600 region.Should work fine - if you plan to invest an awful lot of money on such a file.I however like things quite often done the old fashioned way.The oldest trick in the book....Whether you are using chisels and work on wood, just love to keep your knifes sharp or go on long camping or hiking trips - sharp knifes and tools just become your thing.The main thing everyone tells you is a super flat surface for whatever is supposed to sharpen your blade.For the normal stuff that is fine and good and you only need to flatten out your stones every now and then.But what about these odd jobs?Imagine you would need to sharpen a long paper cutting blade on some machine.Might be over a meter long and it has to stay with a perfectly straight edge.Back in the day this task was not done with some very expensive stone of large size....Instead sandpaper of various grit was used on a flat steel surface.I actually prefer a small pane of glass and tape my sandpaper on it.Hard to find anything finer than 1000 or 2000 grit but you might be surprised how well this stuff polishes onces clogged up a bit.Its all about the right level of wetness...Anyways, for our Kukri in question I decided it is time to do the same but in a way that does not harm the blade, constantly cut into the eraser and still is solid and "flat".If you still work with a sickle then you already know where I am going here ;)I used a small diameter spray can as my surface to hold the sandpaper.Of course a piece of PVC pipe, round wood or similar would warok the same way....Sticky tape does not work well with sandpaper unless you use double sided stuff.But it is enough to wrap one round on the top and one on the bottom of the sandpaper on the can to hold in place.So much for the basics....If you know how to sharpen a knife then you also know that there is a prefered way of doing it.Depending on the blade and stone in question you literally try to cut a thin slice out of the stone with every stroke.Either stright or with a cutting motion.This works fine with sandpaper on a flat surface, not so much however on a round surface.Try it and you see how you cut off the sand from the paper and constantly ruin your edge.The only way to do it is to move with the edge.You start from the heel and stroke to the tip.The can is used likea sharpening rod and shall always stay at a 90° to the curve of the blade.Takes a bit of practice to find the right grip to hold the blade while moving and twisting the can but well worth it.The rounded surface only allows for a very thin area of the sandpaper to work on the edge.I started with 120 grit!!!It left a trail of destruction on the edge, at least in the rounded up section....Once I only had a very thin bit left on the edge from the old sharpening I switched to 240 grit until a flat edge formed.As the Kukri was a disaster this process still tok over 4 hours to complete.That blade was properly hardened too...The start of the finnishing was done by jump right to 600 grit paper.The first can was just slightly smaller in diameter than the concave bend in the blade - perfect to smooth out those nasty bumps.But with a burr forming now on the edge and minor mishap with angle of the can towards the curve of the blade would mean cutting into the can while sharpening the concave bit.Meant I used my emergency insect repellant can as I did not like the idea of hoping my pepper shaker would start leaking while sharpening ;)If you blade is not too damaged you can of course start right away with a smaller diameter.The process is the same as before.Move along the blade and keep the can at the 90° angle towards the curve.Once you feel a burr forming on the side turn over until you have a bur on the previous side again.Repeat until all the marks from the coarser grit are gone and the edge has a uniform shine.Switch to a finer grit and go as high as you can here.I had to stop at 1000 grit as my supply of 2000 and 4000 grit is out.Hints and tricks along the way....It really helps to do this sandpaper sharpening under running water.The paper won't clog up, you won't risk a losse grain making really deep marks...But on a bad blade this can take several hours and would do it with a small aquarium pump or so and some gloves.A fine but stiff brush and soapy water however do wonders to clean up used sandpaper!I prefer to use these re-used pieces before switching to a finer grit.In most cases they are already finer than the next grit and create a nice polish that makes the visual confirmation of your right angle and angle of attack easy.A kukri is a working blade!It is mot meant to make fish filet or shave you legs.It is somewhere between axe, big bowie knife and hatchet.That mean if you would dare to give a 8° angle either side of the edge you would have a pretty damn wide edge...Stick to the original in width but keep it nice and flat.It is good compromise between cutting sharpness and durability when for example chopping wood for your camp fire.DO NOT USE A BELT SANDER!!I said it before but have to repeat it again as there is people using a big belt sander with enough free space to add a set of wheel that creat the curve I got from my spray can.The guys in India that make these knife do this blind folded....It takes years of practise to get the steady hand required not to cut through the belt.The beginners start in reverse, meaning the belt runs towards the edge.These guys only to the basic forming of the edge with really coarse grit.Basically to remove the marks from the forging.After that the pro takes over the blades and he has the belt running towards the edge!If you are silly enough to try it at home be prepared to have the belt flying in your face very violently!!The reverse sanding can't be used to finnish a blade as you never get a proper sharpness and flatness right on the edge.So just stick to manual and take an hour or so longer but then be able to enjoy a cold drink when done.You need surprisingly little sandpaper in terms of clogging up and getting useless until you get to the finer grits.If you use a wooden dowel or similar then make it a bit longer and add strips about 6cm wide of sandpaper.This way you have all the grits you need in one place and can take them with you to keep your blade sharp ;)If you glue it onto the stick it is also quite easy to give it quick brush clean when done.The really tricky part starts from about 800 grit onwards.Every mishap on the concave part can mean damage to your paper or to your edge.When using stone most beginner think that using a lot of pressure is a good way to remove the material quickly.In reality however it is just a sure way to wobble the blade over the stone, especially if the blade is not fully straight.Sandpaper can be more aggressive than your stones as in our case you only work with a little area and every time you turn the can only a little bit you have a fresh piece of paper working instead of a slurry building up.This mean you really do't need much pressure at all.It is the repetition, not the pressure that gives you the edge if you don't mind the pun here. ;)For a real working knife stopping at 1000 grit once you do single strokes either side of the blade is sufficient.The tiny burr left will disappear quickly during use and the Chakmak can be used for a quick refurbishing after every longer use.Should mean you only need to get the sandpaper out once you edge actually started to get blunt again.The final stroke....There are those people that don't have a kukri to go camping...Some people like to collect them.Restoring an old kukri can be done like with any other knife.That is until you want a razo sharp edge that is also highly polished.This is quite possible with the original edge width on the kukri.But of course you can only go so far with sandpaper....Modern technolgy provides us with the solution in several options.Firstly we have the ceramic sharpening rods.Unless you can do with kitchen variety thickness you need to pay a lot of money.A short 8cm diameter rod can set you back over 100 bucks with ease.Especially if you want something that provides a mirror like finnish.And alternative that is often available relatively cheap is a ruby rod.They can often be found with slight damages that make them useless for laser applications.Even burnt out rods are still fine as long as they are not cracked.It is quite hard (literally) to give them a satin finnish but I found that good quality sandpaper is sometimes capable of doing it.I like one side smooth and the other half of the rod with a satin finnish to prepare the edge.On the budget there is quality wet and dry sandpaper as commonly used in paintshops.If used dry the finer grits tend to clog up on such a wide edge.Once you have a piece of 1000 or finer grit that is fully clogged up you can use to give the edge a final polish.With this you won't even need a leather strop anymore but as said it takes a lot of practise so you won't cut the paper in the concave area.The steel rod....If you happen to have a hardened steel rod, like from a motion rail, small drive shaft or a big drill then give it a try.When using a drill:Of course use the end of the drill, not the working part ;)Also make sure it really is motth as any burr from the chuck or such will cause deep scratches on your blade.If it starts to feel sticky after a few good stroke you know the drill method is working.If it continues to feel very smooth and you don't see any polishing effect at all if tried on a small area only then you blade is of really good quality.But then again you would have confirmed that already by the ongoing swearing during the endless hours trying to remove some material from the edge...A word of advise for the first time user of a kukri:Although a good kukri is hard to damage without hitting a stone or metal, you can make blunt very quickly.It is top heavy blade and requires a steady hand when working on other things than meat.Chopping into some wood and letting the blade slip can deform your edge.A little mishap can be fixed with chakmak but not if hit hardwood badly a couple of times.And tempting as might be to use it as a small hatchet or axe to split your kindling:Never hold a piece of wood and then hack into it from the top with your kukri!Not only can you miss the wood and hit your hand, the wood can also split far easier or in unexpected directions!If the kurki is sharp you then have a good chance to loose a finger or two!

Topic by Downunder35m 

Washing machine door won't open - possible solutions!

If you have a front loader and found this then most likely you are currently unable to get your washing out of the machine.Welcome to the club!Here is what happened to me, skip this bit if you like:The washing finnished, I try to open the door but nothing.Ok, maybe some electrical bugger somewhere, so knock it a few times but still no go.Mind you that I am in AU now but a long time ago I took my European machine with me - not knowing there won't be any service down here.A quick search on my model and the problem informed me that either the electrical safety lock is faulty or the handle part is broken.The solution to open the door as suggested by the official support:Take the damn thing apart until you get the front off.Unscrew the lock from the inde and then investigate the actual problem.Well, lets just say I was not in the mood to dismantle the entire thing just to open the door, so here is how I did it:Part two: Options to open the door if the handle won't do the trick:Most front loaders are designed to make thing complicated when it comes to the door mechanism.It is considered a safety thing, so tempering from the outside shall be prevented.A faulty electrical lock is rare but I will try this a bit further down.Almost all front loaders use a hook like pin in the door.And once the power was off for a few minutes the safty lock will disengage - if not look further down this text ;)But since the cover is screwed on from the inside of the door you can't get easy access to this locking pin.In some cases you can be lucky and if you look from the side you can see it - if so then try something flat enough (but sturdy) to press it towards the center of the door.For me the problem was the cover really covered it all :(I used some strong, braided fishing line instead to pull on the hook pin.Take a lenght to go all around the door, push the line in where the handle is and guide it around the door.Take both ends together and pull - the door pops open.Be aware though that fishing line can cut into your fingers, so make a loop and a wooden handle or so instead of your fingers ;)Part three: The door is open - what now??Well, if you managed to open the door during part two already then your handle part is clearly broken somewhere.At the hinge should be two (or four) screws with heads that are different to the rest - if in doubt aim for those closest to the hinge.Remove them while supporting the door!Once the screw are out you should be able to get the door off with a bit of wiggling and different opening angles.If not put the screws back in and remove all others first to take the front cover off while you attempt to get the door off.The handle part isusually fixed with screws that hold the cover, so it should come out once all is seperated.With some luck you find a part number on it somewhere on the back, if not check your prefered supplier for a spare.Part four: To repair or to not repair?You might notice that with just the actual locking pin and its frame that screws into the door all would work fine.If really just the handle part is broken while the stronger part for the screws and actual pin is fine:Consider leaving the handle off until you get a spare.The door can be mounted without the actual handle but you need to take the framework apart.Once done you should only have a basic frame to screw into the door with the hook in it but the actual handle is gone.And without the handle you have easy access to the pin - you can even push it with your finger to open the door...But as said, in my case the frame for the door cover blocked this bit too much.For the first wash I used a popstickle stick as it was thin enough...If no spares are available anymore and repairing the broken plasic is not an option either:Part five: For the desperate - modified locking pin.I have seen people placing a bolt into the front of the machine and then literally screwing the door close.The safety was then just bridged of course...This however is not recommended and a bad idea anyway.Much better is to be creative and to use some spare metal or strong plastic like Delrin.Fibreglass re-inforced plastic like from an old sewer box is great too but a pain in terms of protective gear while cutting, drilling and sanding.Either way you should now see the resulting parts of your accident scene.And this of course only works if at least the frame for the pin itself is still intact.The mechnism in the original is a double lever - you pull the handle away from the door and the pin is "rotated" over its pin to move away from the lock.Take the actual locking pin out, trace its shape and on the drawing add a suitable "extension that you can press down (on the outside of the door).In the most basic form a simple straight lever going away from the machine at a 30° angle will do.Cut a cardboard sample to check if you really have enough free movement.If all is good create a copy in the right thickness and put it all back togehter without the broken handle.To open the machine you then just press the lever towards the machine and the door pops open.

Topic by Downunder35m 

PVC pipes and winding Tesla coils....

There are still people out there playing with high voltage.And one big problem when it comes to Tesla coils is winding the secondary coil.Now, I won't go into the details and options of the actual winding part, instead I would like to share some tricks that might make things easier for your project.Whether you wind fully by hand or make use of some mechanical winder, magnet wire is a very slippery thing on PVC.For that reason and some others we usually wind as tight and close as possible.Any leftover spaces that you find after the winding is finnished will severly compromise the overall tension of the wire in this region if fixed.Next problem is what many call aging.No matter how good you coat your coil with varnish or paint it will start to degrade over time.I found a simple fix for these problems :)Well, not really that simple but I am too lazy today to make a full Instructable for just an addition that everyone can make in a few minutes....Let me start with idea behind it all:I noticed that no matter how thick the pipe or wire is that there is little to no chance at all to get any of the coating material through the wire and all the way down to the PVC.One coil failed after I abused it so I did some cuts and had a close look with a magnifying glass.The coil itself was really good covered but it was like a sleeve that sits on the PVC with nothing on the underside of the wire except for a few single spots.Some people will now say to just a much thinner mix for the coating to allow the stuff to sweep through but that does not always work.One big issue I noticed is that not all paints or varnishes actually stick to PVC.Especially those non smelling eco friendly ones most places now sell.This means when the coil expands due to the vibrations and heat the wire can simply rattle off the varnish or the coating itself can crack under the stress.So I thought there must be a way to fix this right at the winding stage....PVC is a good insulator too!So why not use PVC instead of messing with other things?My first attempt here works quite well with thin wire and goes like this:Go outside with your winding rig and have a bottle of PVC primer and a little brush or sponge ready as well as some gloves.If you have use a friend, if you have none make a small rig to hold the sponge right in front of your winding area.The key is to keep the sponge wet with the primer so it will wet the pipe properly.Best is to have the speed and distance set so the surface just starts to dry off under the wire.The primer will cause the PVC to soften, so the wire slightly sinks into the surface.An automatic winding rig is best here as it allows for consistency.There is no too much or too little here is nothing drips terribly and your wire sticks without fully sinking in.Once done you can cover the winding with your prefered coating.For thicker wire, lets say 0.3mm or thicker, I now use a similar way but with more preperations:Using some very rough sandpaper on a belt or vibrating sander I create a small pile of PVC dust.If you prefer some fancy color you can use ABS plasic here too and it dissolves in a similar way.The resulting mix should be free of lumps and of even color, if in doubt use more primer.Consistency should be a bit thinner than honey, if yours is too thin you can add more ABS/PVC or let the primer evaporate off while stirring it every now and then.To get a good start I do a few turns dry first with quite a big spacing.When approaching the actual start of the winding area I use some stick tape to make the last alignment and start to apply the mix onto the first bit of the winding area.Some lint free cloth with a bit of primer is used to wipe off any excess towards the still uncovered part of the pipe.Every time the mix on the pipe dries out too fast a brush with some primer is use to wet it.Every time the excess runs out a bit more mix is applied onto the wound area.The key is to only have a small area in front of the winding covered with mix with the most is on the winding and "cleaned" off towards the empty area.This way the entire wire is covered by PVC all around.To finnish off you simply use a brush and paint the mix onto the rotating coil until you have an even finnish.What are the downsides?The primer stinks and is certainly not healthy to breathe in. So good ventilation is a must have and it works better in colder temeratures as it gives you more time.It might require some test runs with braided fishing line or similar to get a feeling for how much mix or primer you need to apply and how much max tesion you can use to preven the wire from sinking in.Any benefits?IMHO using this method makes it possible to get a proper bond between the PVC pipe and the wire.And by using PVC or ABS as the coating there is little to no change material properties.This in return gives far less chances for vibrations or wire expansions that result in failing insulations.The whole thing just is one piece of PVC with the wire embedded in it instead of having a wire on top of the PVC with some coating above. ;)Are there alternatives to the PVC primer?If Acetone is much cheaper than you can use it but the same safety measures apply and the mix might dry a bit quicker.What if I need a break or stop the winding for one reason or another?Simply wipe off all access and stop with just enough tension on the wire so you can star again with no problems.Then start by wetting and applying the mix and continue winding as before.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply