Monday, August 1, 2011

Home made temporary level

Times come when you need to level a pool table, a stove or anything that needs to be leveled.  They seem to look awkward when tilted to one side.  It is irritating to see it is obvious for liquid to flow to just one side or higher on one side in a glass or container.

To make surfaces or things sit squarely flat horizontally, a carpenter's leveling tool is used for that.  It is not common household tool so chances are you would not have one at home.  How to make a home made temporary one is really easy. Take a glass or plastic jar with a cap.  Draw a line about an inch high from the bottom around the jar.  Put water in the jar up to the line you have drawn. 

By setting the jar in the middle what you want to level, you will see what side needs to be elevated.  The lower side will show water in the jar to be higher than the line.  That should solve your problem on a surface that needs to be leveled.  

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Small Frying pan handle remedy

Our smaller stainless steel frying pan is used daily - the reason why its handle gave in earlier.  There was no heat-resistant stub that remained as it all crumbled to tiny bits.  Anyway it is not being used for prolonged cooking and mostly for heating food or frying eggs.

When I made or fixed the handle, I still had an oxy-acetylene torch set.  Instead of doing a full metal weld, I did a bronze weld to preserve the properties of stainless steel.  The extended  handle was fashioned from a piece of flat stainless steel "folded" to wrap around the original handle stub.  This resulted to a handle that does not get heated too much for normal handling.

Do this only if you are familiar with the process as bronze welding require the use of flux for proper adherence of the bronze to the surfaces involved.

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Large Frying Pan broken handle

Cook wares outlast their handles most of the time.  Like our good large stainless steel frying pan, it would have been outright dumb to dispose of it just because of a broken handle.  Fortunately, the stub handle was long enough to do some remedy to attach something to it.

So even with an aluminum square tube, that fits exactly to the heat resistant handle stub, it was just a matter of how to fix it to the stub.  As the stub has also lost its stainless steel rivet, I replaced it with aluminum rivets to size.  Then I drilled a hole on through the aluminum tube and stub then bonding them with a single rivet.  It's been more than 10 years now and the frying pan still is in good use for us at home.

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How to use Box Wrench as extension

Open-wrenches are often shorter than Box or Closed-Wrenches.  The reason is to prevent over forcing the open-wrench in either tightening or loosening bolts and nuts.  Doing so could make corners of bolts and nuts rounded and more difficult to work on.

On some occasions, it is impossible to use a box-wrench in tight spots where only open-wrench can only be inserted but does not have enough length for leverage.  A suitable box-wrench of the same size can be used as extension for the open-wrench for more leverage.  This can be used to either loosen stubborn bolts and nuts or tighten them.  Make sure to use insert the box-wrench properly as shown on the photo.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Headlight Turn Switch fix

Cars that have their headlight switch on the same lever as the turn signal switch become loose as they become old.  In this situation, you could accidentally switch off your headlights at night when signalling left or right turn.  Replacing the entire headlight turn signal switch assembly could cost anywhere from $50.00 and above, depending on the car make.

To avoid those costs, I fixed a thin strip of stainless steel at the non-rotating part of the lever extending about half an inch above the rotating switch.  On the rotating switch, I formed a flattened sheet that holds umbrella wire frames into a ribbed aluminum band and used superglue to bond it.  With that, the headlight switch fix now turns accordingly as it used to switch on the headlights.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Home Repair Tips : How to Use a Rivet Gun

Please refer to my first post here on what you can do with aluminum rivets and the wire cut from it.  View the YouTube video on how to properly use a Rivet gun.  There are sizes and lengths of rivets that are appropriate rivets for the thickness of what you have to bind or fasten together.

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Plastic bottle replaces Hose

When filling plastic or steel drums from a faucet, we normally use a water hose to do the job.  It is mostly troublesome to use the entire length of a rubber or plastic garden hose because of its bulk.  Cutting from it a short length to reach the drum could just be a waste because the faucet connector will need to be replaced at the main hose.  If the tap water faucet has no threads to screw it on makes another problem.

Instead of that, I looked for alternatives on how to get the water from the faucet reach the drum.  We had different sizes of plastic bottles and I chose the right size to make it as a conduit in place of the hose.  I put a hole the size of the faucet almost at the bottom of the plastic bottle.  With that inserted, it is convenient to fill the drum and I could hear water flowing in.  Once the deep sound becomes lighter, you know the drum is almost full.  Compared to a hose, it is mostly submerged in the drum and you do not hear the water flowing.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grill charcoal tray hole remedy

The charcoal tray of our griller rusted out with use and had a big hole in the middle.  I never considered taking it to a welding shop to have the tray fixed as it will again cost me something I might not be willing to pay.  Laying a metal sheet on top of the tray bottom will also work, but the thought of ashes going under it will make things messy, was not a good option.

Instead I thought of forming a galvanized flat sheet with the same dimensions as the inside of the charcoal tray will be better.  With my experience in metal sheet working and moulding, it was done in half a day.  Trimming sharp corners made it safe from injury when grilling or cleaning the charcoal tray.  Excess on the edges were folded out for more convenience in lifting it out for cleaning.  It only cost me $1.00 for the piece of galvanized sheet I bought from a welding shop.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tips on screwing & tightening bolts

Problems with loose or worn out threads with screws, bolts and nuts come at a time when you're about done with a job.  It often happens when using metal or aluminum screws on plastic and wood because of over tightening.  To avoid this, stop tightening when twisting the screwdriver or wrench finally resists from turning any further.   Forcing it will either damage the wood or plastic thread pattern.  It also happens when tightening metal-to-metal or aluminum-to-aluminum screws, bolts and nuts.

Never force tighten screws, bolts and nuts beyond reasonable strength.  Always bear in mind that only heavy duty equipment and machines would require extra effort in tightening bolts and nuts with the use of a torque wrench.  Hexagonal bolts with a cross slot for a Philipps screwdriver do not require extra torque. For this, it is still best to tighten with a screwdriver than a wrench.  Avoid using tools like pliers, vise-grip or forcing wrong size wrench for loosening them up unless utterly necessary.

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Toilet Shelf from scrap plywood

Our toilet did not have any shelf where we could put stocks of tissue paper and other things.  Fortunately a neighbor had lots of large scrap plywood that I was able to salvage.  For the base of the shelf, I cut the largest board to 9-3/4" x 22", for the top 5" x 23" and two boards of 11" x 8" for the sides.

The base was cut shorter by 1 inch so I could nail and fasten the two side boards to its side while the top board nailed onto the top of both side boards.  The bottom of the shelf was fastened that way so that nails hold it horizontally thus more holding strength.  If it were nailed vertically to the bottom sides of the side boards, time will come when the load of the base would slowly undo the nails and board down because of weight.

Fastening the toilet shelf to the wall, I fashioned three cuts of 1/8" x 1" x 3" aluminum flat bars into 2" x 1" 90 degree angle bars.  Two for bottom and one for the top.  I drilled 1/8" holes to screw them on the shelf then to the wall.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Computer table assorted parts

After buying a new desktop, I had a dilemma on how to fit it next to our other desktop that is on a ready-made computer table.  So I had to "trim" down extended parts of the ready-made table.  The space next to it now had the same dimensions as where old table is positioned.  I have a small table 13.5"wide x 24"length and 26.5" high where tool boxes were on, and in it.  Then there is also a 20" x 26" table top covered with formica that I fixed on the small table top.  That's a temporary table for the new desktop.

I was considering to buy a computer table or maybe have a custom one made.  It took me about  two weeks trying to find one with the dimensions needed at the same asking around for the cost of a custom made table.  The prices I canvassed were at least Php 2,000.00 ($50.00) and above.  Also I did not like the materials they used for ready-made ones, and, custom made with the materials I like will cost at least twice!

Relying on what I know I can do, I found a steel frame of an old CPU, stripped it off until I had only a sturdy 3-sided frame.  Installing it upright, it was enough to clear the 20" LCD monitor.  The  3 pieces of wood I trimmed off the other table was good to be cut into size to serve as table top of the steel frame where the new CPU is to be put.  I joined the 3 pieces of cut wood first with contact cement and screwed on small galvanized plates on the joints.  I also supported the top frame with the use of aluminum square tube to fully support the weight of the CPU.

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Tool Rack for Screwdrivers & Pliers

The frequent tools I use at home are a set screwdrivers both cross and flat tip, pliers and metal files.  I have several tool boxes and bags where I used to keep them, but always had trouble finding them.  Among the scrap I had was a 1-inch x 2-inch x 10-inch softwood.  After smoothing out the wood, I drilled 1/4 inch diameter holes at 1 inch intervals in the middle of the 2 inch surface of the wood on its on its length .  The holes in the middle were enlarged to accommodate one handle of mechanical pliers and a metal file.  To set the rack on the wall, I formed an aluminum flatbar to make two pieces of 1/8-inch x 1-inch x  3-inch aluminum angle bars bent 90 degrees on the one-inch mark.  I drilled 1/8 inch holes through the wide side and used wood screw to affix them on the softwood and wall.  Presto!  I now have a tool rack very convenient to find the tools I use often.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Telephone/Fax Stand

The telephone stand as shown on the photo was first made for just a plain telephone with the use of scrap wood, extra metal brackets and aluminum bar for support.  It is now mounted with plywood anchored by plastic "L" angle bar, cut from thick plastic casings, to the original stand.  Wood screws and metal screws were used where applicable and depending on the need.

The stand is sturdy enough to hold a quite heavy old fax machine and even when a telephone user rests  an arm or elbow around it.  It is easy to disassemble in case it needs to be moved to another location.

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Scrap to Cellfone stand

From various scrap plastics from old computer components, scrap shoe in-sole pad and plastic business card box, I was able to create this cell phone stand.  It was just a matter of sifting through the different plastic casings that I have saved and stashed away.  The container was a little bit wider and had some protruding teeth that was simple to break cleanly with a pair of pliers.

The in-sole pad was cut to size so the cell phone would fit snugly at same time as protection for the phone's casing.  For the back support I cut an "L" from another piece of hard plastic and half-inch from one end of the business card plastic cover.  To hold the three pieces together I drilled a small hole through all of them and bound them with a small bolt and nut.

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Repairing some plastics

Partially damaged plastics can be repaired in many ways.  Some attempt to repair or patch plastic with Adhesive Epoxy.  It does not stick well to many types of plastic.   For thick and hard plastics it is possible to use scrap galvanized sheets as backplate where the damage is located.  Cut out the galavanized sheet a little larger than damage.  Mould or shape it close to the contours of the inside part of the damage.  Drill holes strategically  for rivets to bind both plastic and galvanized sheet.  You can fill in gaps or imperfections by covering it with glue gun plastic. 

Backrest of computer chair has a plastic swivel.  The inside was backed with galvanized steel shaped to its contours.  Blind rivets were applied in four strategic points so the galvanized sheet holds firm the torn portion with the rest of the swivel.

The plastic stool chipped off and cracked.  Galvanized sheet was placed underneath and riveted.  To even out the gap, glue-gun plastic was used to fill and cover the chipped out part.

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Blind rivet uses

Other than the regular use of blind rivets for binding or fastening, they can be used for other purposes.  Some remove the wire from the aluminum rivet and use it as emergency finishing nail.  The same is true for the left over cut wire after fastening the rivet.  The whole rivet with the aluminum can also be used to be nailed on wooden walls to temporarily hang something.

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