Thursday, October 30, 2014

Magic Lantern

I have about 30, or so, reels of old home movies that my parents shot when we were kids and also of my kids when they were babies. I checked with Wally World, Costco and a few online sources and the cost to transfer them to DVD is way beyond my pay scale. So I went online and searched out a DIY solution. There were many sites and videos that showed how to modify an old projector to function as a telecine machine. That is what the pros use for digital transfer. They are all very complicated and require an electrical engineering degree, as well as mad computer skills. This exceeds the ken of the Boy Genius™, unbelievable as it may seem. I found this on a video posted on YouTube. It is, simply, a box with a mirror, set at a 45 degree angle. There is a hole that the projector shines through, onto the mirror. The image bounces and exits through the front. The screen in the front is just a piece of paper. The mirror reverses the image, but since it shows through the paper screen and you are looking at the back, you see it as it was shot. It is the a simple matter to place a camcorder in front of the screen and record it to the memory card. The mirror is a piece of stainless steel that I got from my old job. One of the guys there owes me a favor, so the total cost of this magnificent device was zero. Plus, he took me to lunch at the local Japanese restaurant. Sashimi salad, yeah! The reason for the stainless is a regular glass mirror give a double reflection. One off of the silvered backing and another off of the surface of the glass. It makes a big difference in the clarity of the video. All I have is an old digital camera, but it seems to work pretty well. I have to see if I can borrow a newer camcorder and see if it is any better than my old, coal fired, antique

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stash Box

I was in the shop yesterday and was feeling artistic. At first glance, this might appear to be a buffalo chip. It is a piece of burl, species unknown, that I got from my uncle's estate. A few minutes with the band saw and we have a nifty little box.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fatty, Fatty, Two By Four.......

This morning, at my daily weigh in, I hit the 35 pound mark. 201 pounds of semi lean, mean, opinionated geezer. I really feel good. Maybe it's partly psychological, I dunno. I do know that my feet and ankles don't swell up anymore, I don't get acid reflux, my sleep apnea is, nearly, gone and I can do things, that used to wind me, much more easily now. I also have more energy. What's not to like? I'll admit, the food sorta sucks. I really want a pizza and a pitcher of beer or a nice cheeseburger and some onion rings but I have to stay the course. 180 looks easy now

Cover Those Skinny Legs

Today's project was this cover for the leg. I suppose I could have just made a wooden leg to support the counter, but I wanted precise adjustability so I could align the edges where it meets the adjacent slab. It is made from four, tapered sides, mitered and glued together at the edges. One side was left loose so it could be installed around the pipe leg. The loose side is held on with wood screws.

Undercover Work

I made up this cover for the steel supports for the dining slab. It finishes the underside nicely. I ran the power from the wall to the end of the cover. I made this end piece to accept the duplex plug. It looks difficult, but it was just a matter of screwing a metal faceplate to a piece of oak, drilling holes through the openings for the individual plugs with a Forstner bit then cleaning them up with a flush trim bit, using the metal faceplate as a guide for the bearing. I also made up a leg to support the end of the counter. I took a piece of black pipe, a coupling nut that you use to connect two pieces of threaded rod together, an a long bolt. I machined half of the nut to the inside diameter of the pipe and pressed it into the pipe. I then machined the head of the bolt so it had a short, 3/8 diameter pin on the end. I cut the pipe to length and stuck it under the counter. Once it was plumb, I drilled a shallow dimple in the floor. The little pin that I made on the bolt sits in the dimple. The it was just a matter of adjusting the bolt until the counter was level. In spite of the massive, steel support, it did saga tiny bit. Enough to mess up the grout, so adding the leg, which is what I wanted to avoid from the start, was a good idea.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lighten Up

Well, as I suspected, the extra lamps that I installed, while they did make a significant difference, still did not give us the light that we wanted. So, off came the diffuser and down to the shop. I made a jig to cut the holes in the side with a router and thirty minutes later, I had opened three sides of the box. I left the end, near the refrigerator, closed. There is plenty of light there. I reinstalled it and waited for night to fall. Once it got dark, it made all the difference. There is plenty of light now. So, back down it comes to finish the openings and make some clips to hold the plastic in place. In the meantime, I patched the wall where the last piece of counter went. I had it done a while back, but I cut it open again to run power to a plug that will go under the table. It's, probably, redundant and unnecessary but I figured it can't hurt and might come in handy for plugging in the vacuum or tabletop appliances.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dim Bulb

After the installation of the pendant lamps, the dining area is lit pretty well. However, the remainder of the kitchen is still underlit. The main lamp is a six tube T-8 fixture. I went to Home Depot today and picked up two, two tube fixtures and tek screwed them to the sides of the existing lamp. So, we now have a total of ten, four foot, T-8 tubes to illuminate the area. The main culprit in this problem is the latticed diffuser that I built a while back. It blocks quite a bit of the light coming from the lamps. As I type this, it is still daytime. Later, this evening, I will be able to tell if the additional tubes had enough of an effect. The other thing that I may do is to open up the sides of the diffuser so the light can escape. I can just cut some windows in with a router and cover them with pieces of plastic diffuser panels. We'll see

How's It Hangin'?

We have found that there is not enough light in the kitchen. To partially address the problem, I installed two of these pendant lamps yesterday. It was pretty simple. I opened the ceiling, at the points where I wanted the lamps, and screwed in two boxes with a length of flex connecting them. I then cut out the holes, in the pieces that had removed when I opened the ceiling, for the mud rings and taped and compounded them back into place. The hard part, for me, was crawling back into the attic to connect the two boxes to the feed for the main ceiling fixture. I'm 30 pounds lighter than I was last time I was up there, but it still was painful. Still, the entire job only took, maybe, three hours of actual work. They look nice and light up the dining area nicely. Just a bit of work to do on the drywall finish around the fixtures, but I'll do that when I tackle the rest of the drywall.