A short column today since I was too busy to write it earlier in the week. Which runs head-on into the 6:30 AM Lawnmower Gran Prix which goes flag-down Sunday mornings…
I did want to chat with you about getting control of workspaces because as an older dolt, organizing too many projects is a continuous problem.
So I’m sitting at the electronics bench and am bugged once again because my high intensity magnifier light keeps bumping into the screen of my bench computer/USB Magnifier system, like so:
This just aggravates me no end. A light arm slamming into an LED display doesn’t have a “happy ending.” So I study the problem a bit:
(AOC monitor? How’d I screw that up?)
“Aha! Simple answer: Get a piece of 1 1/2 inch diameter on eBay (*$13-bucks), cuck it up on the lathe. Thus extending the original mount up by? Ideally, 22-inches…”
Unfortunately, the 24-inch piece of 1.5-inch bar stock is too long to chuck up in a 19-inch lathe.
Which meant chuckling it up and cutting it into two sections:
This is the first joyful moment of the project. Standing there with the trusty Fat Maxx tape: It’s time to cut a piece of bar stock, but which tool?
This is where tool selection and fun occurs. Right here. It’s when we open the Big Toy Box (all the tools) and select the absolutely perfect one from several choices to make the desired cut. A few of the choices included the big band saw, the metal-cutting band saw, the battery zip saw, the Sawz-All, or what I ended up going with – the Black and Decker power hand saw.
Interesting inflation story; When they first came out, they were $39 with assorted blades. I bought this a couple of years ago and today they are $60. (BLACK+DECKER Electric Hand Saw with Storage Bag) Buy the best tools you can when you’re young and your lifetime “making” efforts will be enriched!
The Metalwork Begins
OK, things were moving along just swell, now. A few minutes with the metal-cutting blade (be sure to rock it back and forth a bit) results in two “close-enough” pieces of stock for the lathe:
Next step was chucking them up in the lathe and truing up the ends:
Right about here, Elaine popped her head into the shop. “Come here, I want to show you something…” The shop was up to 85 F now, because I didn’t start right away after lunch.
So that’s where the project sits now. In the lathe and waiting for more fun.
The way this will work is there will be a coupling in the middle – a drilled hole on one side and an inch or more of thin rod on the other.
I’ll do a manual tap (or the hole) and die (on the rod part) and screw the finished piece tightly together with some 3,500 pound epoxy “insurance.”
On the finished 23″ LOA piece there will be a 2″ rod down into the original light mount. A similar 2″ deep hole at the top end will accommodate the light.
This may seems like an amazing amount of screwing around just to move the light at the bench. But having a light “just so” is a critical variable in all kinds of fine work. Jewelry making, instrument and electronics repair, precision model making just to name a few.
Besides, when the market is being jiggered higher on absolute helium lately, this is what passes for “fun.”
ADA Hose Bibs
My little sister did something really smart when she bought her most recent digs: Went through and changed out door handles and faucets so they were all (roughly) ADA-compliant.
That’s the American’s with Disabilities Act, for able people who don’t track such things. If you spend a lifetime driving a keyboard, though, simple “grasp and turn” things can be a total nightmare. Carpel injuries.
The answer (outside) is to update with modern quarter-turn ball-type hose bibs. The handle on these run right around 4 inches, so much easier to use.
Putting them in?
I made the classic error: Thought I could just unscrew the old and screw-in the new.
Nope. Leaked a fine mist all over the place on both updated hose connections.
Here’s the Young Maker lesson: When you make a male-female connection, use the food safe Teflon tape if you’re working on a potable water line. (E.g. water line that eventually goes to something people can drink out of…)
If not potable, the absolutely BEST alternative is a $11 bottle of what in Pappy’s fire house was called “pipe dope.” Today, the latter generation refers to Oatey 31231 Pipe Joint Compound.
But pipe dope is magic stuff for non-potable plumbing. Whether you’re pushing air around in the shop or laying in other fittings that you want to make sure they don’t leak? Pipe Dope is the answer, almost regardless of what the question is.
Shop Weather Outlook
We still have a good month to go before the weather in East Texas returns to anything approaching “working weather.”
I don’t like to do hands and knees outdoor work when its 85F and the humidity is up around 80+ percent. Elaine wandered by as I was smearing pipe dope (and giving Zeus the cat) swearing lessons.
Indeed I was. Shirt was thoroughly soaked and the water was just pouring off me.
I can hardly wait for a day when the high is a blessed 75 and the humidity under 40 percent. Maybe end of September to mid October if we get a cold snap.
For now, a lot of penciling and ordering plans.
Direct Wire LEDs
Several weeks ago, we had an electronic ballast go out in one of the kitchen lights.
Went with ballast-free LED update. Simple, quick. Highly recommended.
Over the past 17-years already in Texas? We’ve gone through one set of conventional ballasts and halfway through a pair of electronic. Ballast is like politicians: Only useful about a hundredth of their useful life. Rest of the time they don’t do much.
Next Week: The rock polishing should be done, so time to order a jewelry hardware assortment and a chain. Only one rock out of 50-80 of ’em really justifies the tumbling time. But the one looked like a keeper.
We’ll inspect next week when the polishing cycle is done…
On that note, a final half cup and the 90-minute speed mowing festival begins.
Write when you get rich,