In alt.hackers, Buzz McCool <buzz_...@yahoo.com
> ObHack: I had some ergonomic problems with the new office cube desk
> heights, so I got a piece of plywood just big enough for a wireless
> keyboard and a mouse pad, painted it roughly the color of the cube desk
> faux wood, and rest it (and the wireless keyboard & mouse) on my thighs
> to type. When I'm not using it, the board sits on the cube desk and
> doesn't out of place. I did need to take the arms off my desk chair to
> give me maneuvering room.
My wife has been writing a book, and is now up to the illustration phase
(it's a non-fiction how-to). For that she has been spending hours with a
drawing program on her ipad working through the list of 570 images she
needs. Finding a good work surface for this has been an issue. Most
recently she got a "Neetto Height Adjustable Laptop Bed Table" which she
uses from the sofa. It works great, except that it is a bit narrow for
her tastes. I've looked at the table and the complicated bit is just the
legs it was built with, that are screwed in to the table top for easy
removal. So this weekend, I'll be making a new top and moving the legs
That's a hack, but one planned, not one executed. So more.
I've been making myself small hand tools. Inspired by Patrick Sullivan's
how-to videos on youtube, eg:
Making Carbide Gouges
I got some carbide rod from Centennial Carbide, some diamond tools for
my Dremel and have been working at it. Part way through the first one I
started to feel my set-up was not working well. I had the carbide rod
fixed and was moving the Dremel and it seemed the other way around would
be much better.
I visited a local Daiso (chain of Japanese "dollar" stores) and got a
small wood box. I drilled a hole in the center of the box and put a
notch around the hole, so that the Dremel can slip in and the neck
_______ <-- diamond blade
I <-- blade holder
HHH <-- collet
===== <-- neck screw
| | <-- box (not to scale)
Then I can hold the box in a vise, turn on the Dremel and have a cutting
/ grinding surface spinning parallel to work table and with my Dremel
protected from the water I'm using to keep the blade cool. Like this,
I've just been dripping water down on the blade while using it. It
*does* spray out, but it also has worked to keep it from getting hot and
kept the Dremel dry.
Also in the spirit of making my own tools, I tried my hand at making a
drill-powered lathe, a la:
But I was not very successful. It sorta works, but it's ever so off, so
the wood wobbles and I don't get a smooth cut. I gave up on that and
bought a cheap microlathe, which I've been using to make the handles.
The first handle I cut with small art / lino block chisels I had, then
the second handle I was able to use my newly handled carbide chisel
instead. That worked great. I'll probably make a few more before I stop.
Longer term, I think I might want to make a spokeshave for fashioning
non-round handles easily. I can do it with a rasp and utility knife, but
I do have some carbide bar for making wider blades.
does most of this work in a 8' x 8' shed