Sunday, January 11, 2009

WTF is that??

I just KNOW you're going to see this and think that.

OK,I'm going to be making some small turnings on the lathe in the coming weeks (details later) and need to store them. Things that come off the lathe are round-ish, and if you put them on a flat table they could roll away. I decided to hang them instead. Each one will have a ribbon tied at the top, so I needed a sort of "tree."

Just happened to have 4 wooden coat hangers...the kind for a jacket. Notice the notch at the ends. I think those are suppose to hold straps for womens's blouses so they don't slip off the hanger. They will be used to keep my "things" from sliding off the arcs as well.

I removed the wires, leaving holes. Then stacked these. Note at this point some of them didn't have notches, and I wanted a total of 16 notches. Later on, I marked and cut the notches on the bandsaw.

Then a test. Sat one hanger on top of a wine bottle (which makes the trunk). The height from the notch to the table is sufficient for the items I will make (and hang), and this is the lowest arm, so when displayed there will be a sort of "spiralling upward" effect.

Then a test of 2 arms sitting on top. I couldn't test all because I didn't have the bolt yet, and they are so narrow that I couldn't keep them stacked for a picture.

Finally I cut all the needed notches and bolted these "arms" or "branches" together. To hold them in the wine bottle I drilled a hole in a cork and put the bolt through that as well. Snugged up nuts and splayed the branches again. Poured sand in an empty wine bottle and shoved the cork in. Voila, a display "tree."

Cost: nothing!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Lord of the Geeks

Look at the picture.

Now, you ask "What the HECK is that?"

I often find that my cell phone has around a half charge when I go to bed, then the next day it is almost run out of charge. I sit in the office all day where it could be charging, but the charger is plugged into my home office at home. Knowing that a second charger costs some money, I wondered if one could charge a cell phone using a trickle charge from a PCs USB port. Did a quick Google check and found instructions on how to "hack" one.

The picture shows the end result. I used a car charger (you can see the cut off cigarette lighter plug) that I got from the Dollar store months ago. I already HAD a charger for the car and this one came in a package for a belt holster for the cell phone. So this cord was extra. I also used a USB mouse that was not tracking well (the cord was good but the innards of the mouse were can see the cut off mouse). I stripped the insulation and wires, and using a multimeter I determined that the red and black wires on the USB cable were what I needed. Just so happens that the wires in the car adapter were also red and black. Soldered up the wires, and sealed with heat shrink tubing. Plugged it in and VOILA!!! It actually works and I didn't have to go out and buy anything.

Now I have a home charger, a car charger, and an office charger. I can charge up the phone in any of the 3 places where I spend the most time.

If any of you family members want one, send me your parts and I will make it for you.

Anyone want a mouse or cigarette lighter paperweight?