Monday, October 5, 2009

I've been making things

It's been a little while since I posted last. That's been somewhat to do with changing jobs a couple times, working between 40 and 75 hours a week, and now going to school while dealing with other stuff that life's been tossing at me like barrels down an 8-bit ramp. Fortunately for my questionably existent viewers here, I've been making things other than ends meeting as of late as well. Here's they am.

Sock Monkey:
There were far too many socks that were worn to paper thin or full of holes and they were piling up, so I decided to make a sock monkey from them. A proper and classic sock monkey calls for some basic sewing and cloth working skills and either a lot of free time or a sewing machine. Being as I don't have a sewing machine, but I do have a hot glue gun I made use of the latter to fashion and attach his various body parts. He's stuffed with socks. Daniel's more or less claimed him now so I guess sock monkey's a success!

Pit Bike Bodgery and Robbery:
A couple months ago I'd done some horse-trading with someone for a 110cc Chinese dirt bike and a lot of extra parts. It ran fantastically, but was pretty wimpy in the slowing down department. The old owner had plenty of brake gear to be cobbled together, but hadn't gotten around to putting it all together, so I did. I ground the caliper mount off of the stock small swing arm and welded it an a piece of angle iron into place on the nicer swing arm. I also had to put the brake rotor on, requiring some fastener scavenging from the extra parts bin as well, which also required me to put a bottle jack in the swing arm to stretch it wide enough to fit the rear wheel back in after prying it out. Unfortunately, after a quick spray of paint and a few days of work, someone stole the bike right out of my back yard along with a Honda XR70 I was rebuilding the motor for from the extra two motors I was given for my brother and nephew, so I never got to properly bleed and test the lines. I had big plans for franken-bikng a scooter front end and the pit bike's back end together for a pretty funky little ride. Whoever stole it better hope I don't catch them.

The old rabbit pen has seen better days, and was probably more a danger to the rabbits than their escaping it's confines, so I decided it was time to rebuild it with some nicer materials. I went to [home improvement gigantorium] and found that they'd left me some slightly warped porch railing for 51c per ~4ft piece. Add to that a bucket of oops isle grey and a couple boxes of nails and I was all set. The pen is almost the same dimensions as the old one, about 6'x6'.

The old cage material was reused, as were a few of the 2x2s and the chain link bottom of the cage. The frame went together pretty easily, and with some scabbed together pieces the ~4' rails spanned the 6' width of the cage nicely. for the roof beam I bolted tow pieces together with a red oak scab and shingled the whole thing with corrugated plastic signs that were in a neighbor's recycle bin. I accidently made the design capable of still watering the grass in the pen (as well as any rabbits that may be within it) by laying the shingles down from the top working my way down rather than from bottom to top. Ohh well, the rabbit's don't go out when it's rainy anyway.

The door is made of the frame of my homemade rabbit pen's bottom since the pen has been replaced lately, and a couple of small eye bolts, a 2" bolt, and a nut make a latch on the inside to let you go in without fear of the door swinging open. This would undoubtedly leave the neighborhood flooding in 3' of rabbits.

Music-upon-opening Ammo Can:
I've been wanting to plant a Geocache somewhere for some time, but not wanting to just plant any boring ammo can in an out of the way place, I decided to make it so when it's opened it'll play some music. I had just such a birthday card laying around from last year, so I gutted the card of it's speaker and circuit board, soldered the contact points for the card's switch to the points on an old telco relay which had a nice leaf switch to it. This was all then glued into the side of a normal ammo can with a large plastic nub to hold the relay switch open when the can't closed. The small speaker vibrating with the whole side of the can as it's speaker "cone" really lets it get loud.

Super Spotlight:
My new (and hopefully permanent for some time to come) job is working retail and tech work for Batteries Plus here in town. This has already afforded me a couple good opportunities to snag some still functional batteries which would otherwise have been discarded. One such set was 6 lead acid batteries around the size of D cells. I decided that together they would make a great flood light power source, so I put them together and shrink wrapped the whole thing for a nice 12v, 2.5AH battery. To give it something to power I got a $10 12v, 20W garden spot light from [the large construction supply house which shall remain nameless to protect the accused] and proceeded to cut the spiked bottom off of it. The two together will run for around an hour before the light is noticably more dim and the working voltage starts to get kinda puny. Cool thing is it's as bright as a car's headlight, so I might mount it to my bike some how or maybe I'll just come up with a nice casing for it all that won't melt from the lamp's heat.

I did manage to find myself at a toga party for my roommate's friend, but finding ourselves short on ancient grec0-roman attire, we went to the store and each got 6 yards of cloth. I got a nice dark orange. It's pretty easy to do, just sling it around your waist, throw it over your shoulder, and tie off any extra like a belt to keep the whole thing in place. Feel free to play where's Waldo with me in that photo.


With all that's been going on I've been needing somewhere to relax. The evenings are getting just about bearable, and with a few days of nice cold snap I decided to repurpose my toga as a hammock. Two pieces of rope with loops on the end knots tied in the ends of the orange cloth and I was all set. I've since replaced the orange cloth with some nice flannel since it's stretchier, softer, and stronger. I just slip the knots out of the ends and carry the cloth inside when I'm done so I don't have to worry about a wet butt when I go out to read or chill out.

No comments: