Sunday, February 17, 2019

Puttering in the Shop - Putting the Junkyard Entertainment Unit Together

Entertainment Unit Assembled

The last time we visited the junkyard entertainment unit, I had just finished building a cabinet to house the LCD screen.

Now that we have the 2 major pieces of the unit safely housed in their custom made cabinets, the final step is to now merge the two into one.

Due to the amount of work that were done in my previous posts, this will be actually a very straight forward process. At it's core, we just need to plug in the wiring harness from the screen into the DVD player, apply a bit of wood glue to the bottom of the screen cabinet and attach it to the top of the DVD player.

When attaching the screen cabinet I made sure to have the screen cabinet attached in the center of the DVD player while covering up the wiring harness going into the DVD player

Sunday, February 10, 2019

In Memory of a Friend - A Simple Clock Repair

A simple, but priceless clock

A few months ago a very good friend of mine passed away from brain cancer. It was a very aggressive form of the disease and he passed away only a few weeks after his diagnosis. 

It was a very tragic time for all of us that knew him, and it struck very close to home for me personally. 

Shortly after the funeral, my friend's wife mentioned that she had "something" that she would like for me have to tinker with. When I finally came over to see what she had for me, I was presented with a fairly simple clock made from a slab of wood, minus its movement and its hands. 

To the casual observer, it wouldn't have seem like much, but it is the story attached to this clock that makes it valuable. 

The clock was made by my friend's grandfather as a present to him. I distinctly remember the stories my friend had told me about his grandfather and how proud he was of him.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Project - Flickering Solar Garden Light



This particular project got a mention on the Show and Tell page in the Volume 66 issue of Make Magazine.  So of course, I'm thrilled that these little experiments that I build in my shop are actually considered worthy by people that I consider much more talented in the art of making stuff. 

The main spark for this project was a chance discovery at a local ham-fest. One of the vendors there had a very large assortment of LED's for sale. Looking a bit closer, I immediately noticed that he had some LED's on display that mimic the flickering of a candle.

Seeing the possibility, I bought a pack of 10 of the LED's and went back home to the shop,

After some tinkering, I came up with a very neat solar garden light that I build from some scrap wood and a very simple solar charging circuit in order to keep the LED glowing.

All the details on how you can build one can be found here.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Puttering in the Shop - Junkyard Entertainment System - Building the Screen Cabinet

Cabinet for the screen of our DVD player

The last time we visited the Junkyard Entertainment Unit, we focused on building a wooden cabinet for the DVD player for the the unit.

Now that we have our cabinet built, the next step is to do something for the LCD screen for the entertainment unit.

My plan is to have the entertainment unit as an "all in one" affair. More specifically, I want to have the LCD screen and DVD player to be joined together as one piece. My design vision for the screen is to give it a look of a framed picture that would "sit" on top of the DVD player. If you recall my Digital Picture Frame post from a while back, that is roughly the look I am going for.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Quick Tip - Disposable Paint Funnel

A simple one time use funnel for those painting jobs


This week I'm going to go a bit low key, in that what I am building doesn't require batteries or the creation of sawdust, it's just a simple little solution for a little pet peeve of mine. Rest assured, the soldering iron and miter saw will be back in action again soon!

Recently we gave the family room in the house a long overdue face lift. As with any remodeling job, that also entailed applying many, many coats of paint on the walls.

While I try to make sure I have the right amount of paint on hand, invariably I always seem to have a little bit left over in the paint can once the job is done.

Now I always consider having a little bit a paint left over to be a bit of a good thing, since I can always use some paint to touch any scuffs that may happen in the future. What isn't a good thing is having a little bit of paint left over in the bottom of a large paint can, since that will guarantee that the paint will eventually turn into a hard mass at the bottom of the can even if you do securely put the lid back on.

So the best way to preserve your left over paint is to put it in a smaller container, but that does present its own challenges.

The biggest challenge is that without fail, pouring paint straight from a large can into a smaller one can create a bit of a mess (especially if you tend to be clumsy like me!)

To combat the mess potential, I use a "throwaway" funnel from a 2 liter soda bottle to transfer paint from one can to another.