Thursday, December 14, 2023

Wheel Work


Here is spare fifth wheel from my 2008 Ford Ranger. It is full size, so technically I can use it in  rotation. But this wheel looked very different to other  wheels.  Spare wheel is definitely made from steel, while four others have shiny aluminum  look. 

I should not simultaneously put on the car   wheels made of different  materials for a long. How to find out if my other wheels are  made of steel and painted or made out of aluminum  alloy. Permanent magnet came in handy. Magnet got  attracted the same to the spare wheel or to any other wheel  on the car.  That means all wheels are made of  steel  and I can safely  use  spare  wheel for rotation. Still I would like  all wheels to have more uniform look.

In local AutoZone  shop I bought can of silver wheel paint.

Rubber part of the wheel I covered  with paper and masking tape. Then, following paint can instruction,  I painted wheel with several layers of  silver.

Here is my freshly painted wheel installed as the rear wheel  on the  driver car side.

And here is sideview of the car. As you can see rear (former spare) wheel  and  front wheel now both look the same.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Autumn Colors

 Some images from Bay Area (November 2023)

This is America!

Very unlikely these scarecrows may scary any crow.


This Thanksgiving gas is relatively cheap. Especially  if your car is that small.

Holiday Mushrooms family reunion. 

Children, don't be lost! Keep closer.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Soda Can: Bottom Part


Two years ago I published  the post   about using soda can tab in DIY projects. Now I have found one more usage  for a soda can: this time for its bottom part. I used can bottom part  as cheap LED reflector for some home lighting projects, in particular  for Halloween Decors. Above you can see  Pumpkin Glister with  multi-colored eyes.

Here is the Bat Decors  with Red eyes..

The last picture is the Bat Decor shot at the moment, when eyes were not that bright and with some whitish color, so reflectors are better visible as they are.

Making  reflectors is very simple: just cut bottom parts of cans, bend edges of these parts with pliers, drill holes for LED to fit, and attach reflectors to the Glister or plywood decor with staples or pieces of cooper wire.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Apples & Birds


We have an apple tree in our backyard. Apples from this tree are no that special, still  we like them. But there is a problem: birds like them too. Honestly speaking birds never  eat fruit as a whole: just a small part of it, but that is enough damage for apple fruit to start rotting. How to protect apples from birds? At the beginning we tried to hang scare bird ribbons, like this 

That worked somehow last year, but not this year. Either different  birds found our backyard this summer, or may be birds adjusted, but scare ribbon does not work anymore. So  we have to find some other mean of protection. 

In one hour I built net canopy: wooden frame out of old floor molding (I took that molding out during room renovation). This frame I attached to the long wooden post. Length of the post is slightly more then tree height).

We put  square bird net on top of the canopy and tied canopy post to tree trunk:


After that we attached another net to the bottom of the canopy net with small pieces of wire. 

Below you can see that "engineering  beauty" in a full view. 

And guess what? It works!  Birds do not  eat our apples  anymore. On the photo you can see scarry bird ribbon   as well, but  only because I was lazy to take it out, these are useless against our birds.  Next summer I have to  rebuild this project in more aesthetically  looking way.

Update on October 23, 2023.

Thanks to the bird  net the harvest  was saved.  Here is the photo of  collected apples  under the guard of  our  corgi.  

Saturday, July 15, 2023

For the Safety of the Office Mate


Here is our eighteen months old corgi. I share my office  space with him. If you pay enough attention you'll find that arm chair, next to which dog lays, does not have wheels.  I had to get rid of  them to provide safety for the dog . Easy to say but not so easy to do. Office arm chairs with  no wheels do not exist.  I could not find one neither in local stores, no online. At the beginning I replaced arm chair with regular home chair, but later I decided to proceed with DIY modification of my old office chair.     

Here are some steps of this project. 

First I removed wheels. That was relatively easy to do. I just needed to pull it hard enough. Then I came up with   design of stands to be put in place of wheels. Here is a design sketch. 

Body of stands I made out of wooden post  taken from  broken hat hanger.  Some additional components I bought in Home Depot: felt glides for chair legs  and  drywall anchors.

Anchors I screwed into holes where wheels previously resided. Anchors fitted perfectly apart  to be a little long. That I fixed  by cutting there  ends with the metal hacksaw.  Here is anchor in place.

Five wooden cylinders I cut from the post. Then  I drilled them through whole length  with 1/8 '' drill and after that with 11/32 drill  only half length. I put anchor screw inside and then taped plastic glide socket into hole. Below you can see wooden stand ready to be attached to the chair.

Inner opening of glide socket is wide  enough to insert screwdriver to screw stands to anchors. Final step was to thread glides into sockets.

Now my office mate my occupy any place in the office he wants. I never will harm him by accidently rolling the chair fast. But if needed I may slowly glide chair over hardwood floor.

I published  this project on to  Instructables website and  submitted it into "Unusual Uses" contest.  For such a modest project it was accepted well enough. Editor of the site featured  submission and even included it into e-mail newsletter. Some users favorited this project. Maybe I have a chance to win some prize?

Update on 07/24/23.  I just got comment on Instructables that actually chair wheel replacement available to buy. Indeed search   through Amazon for ""Office Chair Feet Glides"   reveals a lot of them. If only I  knew before I would buy it  and not "invent the wheel"  myself.


Friday, June 16, 2023

Broken Chuck


Two years ago my portable tire pump, which served me for almost twenty years died. In the local AutoZone store I have found this one Slime pump as a replacement. Honestly speaking it did  not look as reliable device, but choice was limited so I decided  to take a risk.  It worked OK, but couple days ago I could not attach it to the tire: plastic lever on the chuck got broken (take into consideration that  I  used it not more then 5-7 times ). The pump itself still looked OK, so I decided to fix it. On Amazon I have found  kit with two chucks for ~ $7. I bought it and two days later kit arrived. 

Kit  contained two brass chuck hose ends and two worm  hose clumps. Replacement was easy: 
  • I detached broken chuck from the pump hose end.
  • I put worm clump on the hose.
  • I Inserted replacement chuck into the hose end.
  • Last step was to screw  worm bolt until clump holds the hose end tightly.
Here you  can see the result.

I'll see how long this pump will serve me after the fix. (And I still have one extra chuck end for some future projects).

Monday, April 3, 2023

Corgi and Bess



 Actually name of the kitten is not Bess,  but Stormy. Still it was hard to avoid temptation to play the words with famous Gershwin opera. Corgi is true and real Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He is our one year dog. Cat is not ours.  Guest came to our house to introduce us to his brand new  kitten. That kitten was adopted  from the local shelter, so what is her breed is not clear. For what we found online she probably belongs to the local Californian breed line: Serengeti.  There is the hope our dog and that kitten  will become friends eventually, but they are not there yet.