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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Lamp made from a collection of translucent 45 records on: July 29, 2009 09:55:03 PM
I salvaged a few thousand 45 records from the landfill a few months back. The radio station had tried giving them away but it seems that nobody really wanted a huge pile of mostly country 45s. I went through the pile of them with my friend Earl (who tipped me off to the pile of records) and we pulled out all of the music we were interested in listening to. We also pulled out a stack of different color translucent records. What to do with a bunch of blue, green red and yellow 45s? Well, they reminded me of the lamps i have seen made out of compact discs so that's what i went for.

A few things...

Please, if you are going to mention this project in print or other sites please give a nod and link to www.zieak.com as well as instructables.

Also, these records served a very long life at a public radio station. I understand that they did everything they could to find them a good home. I salvaged them from the baling facility where they would have been compacted into a bale and shipped to a landfill. Don't hate me for doing this to a record. I have a large collection of LPs but these artists and songs have no interest to me. But if they ever do - i didn't drill through the audio part - just the label - so they can still be played!

I have a full tutorial up on Instructables here.

2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / CD wallet made from old 5 inch floppy discs on: June 28, 2007 04:49:35 PM
I used a few old 5 1/4 inch floppy discs, cut out the disc inside, punched a few holes and put binder rings through to hold them together.  Now i have a retro CD or DVD holder (wallet).  A tutorial isn't really necessary but i have instructions up for the retro CD wallet.  I have added tiny binder clips to each one to keep them from slipping out.

3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Wallet made from a computer keyboard on: April 04, 2007 10:41:28 PM
I used a flexible circuit sheet found in most computer keyboards to make a wallet.


I wrote the complete tutorial for my geek wallet on Instructables.
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Children's xylophone windchime on: February 15, 2006 05:49:28 PM
You need:

    * $9.11 (more if you are less resourceful, less if you have non-monopolistic hardware stores)
    * Vice grip pliers or something similar
    * A drill and drill bits

Here is the meat of the project. The child's xylophone cost me a dollar at a Value Village. I broke off the metal pieces by hand and bought enough of the beaded keychains to hang them all. They were 50 cents each.

I found this clock in the free pile outside of Salvation Army. The aluminum piece is what finally inspired me to finish this project up. The price was originally marked at $5 and had dropped gradually to 12 cents. I'll be using most of it for other projects. Kind of like the plains indian tribes used most of the buffalo.

You can see that i have drilled holes in the piece of aluminum from the clock and hung the chimes. I played around with the order of them but having them in the same order as the xylophone makes the nicest sounds.

I didn't know what i wanted to use to hang the windchime up until i saw the beaded chain available in the hardware store. It was $.99 a foot and i bought 3 feet. I also bought two cable compression thingys and used my vice grips to tighten them down onto the beaded chain.

5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / My candleshade (perhaps someday a lampshade) on: August 23, 2005 02:57:27 AM
I turned some pages from a "stained glass" coloring book into a candle shade.



I have an idea for a top that will let the light and heat through but i kind of like it the way it is now.  
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Nintendo controller into a computer mouse on: August 08, 2005 03:06:43 AM
I know that this is more of a "case mod" than a craft but i feel pretty crafty with the dremel, hot glue, and soldering iron out.  I turned a classic Nintendo game controller into a mouse for my computer.



(edit 8/28/2005) Since this made the featured project list i thought i'd add some better pictures and more of a write up.

If you go to this page in flickr i put some notes on the image about the modifications i had to make.

You need the following:
  • A Nintendo controller
  • An optical mouse (note: they are not called lasers)
  • Small screwdrivers
  • Superglue
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • A soldering iron (or a wood burning tool)
  • Solder intended for electronics
  • A few inches of telephone cord or other small wire.
  • Wire cutters and strippers
  • Replacement buttons.  Tiny ones.
  • A Dremel tool or other rotary tool.  You could do it with pliers, knives, and other tools - but invest in a Dremel - you'll be glad you did.

This is how it is used.  Not very intuitive to drop your finger down o right click.

I wrote up a bit of the story on my personal site - here.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Toy block table on: July 24, 2005 11:47:43 PM
A few months ago i bought a few boxes of wooden blocks at a garage sale.

No, they didn't come sorted by warm and cool colors.  I did that.  My girlfriend let me run them through her dishwasher - a move i felt prudent since i had no idea where these things had been.  You really should sterilize things you buy at garage sales - especially children's toys.  Putting $6 worth of wooden blocks in a dishwasher is comewhat of a challenge by itself.  Fortunately we had some mesh bags that we just packed the blocks into and then ran the whole lot through.  Then i had to inventory.  There were many different styles of blocks.  I had in mind creating a tabletop from blocks and then legs out of a seemingly haphazard pile of other blocks.  It was difficult to find enough blocks of a suitable shape to make the tabletop.  This setup is just about 13 inches square.

So i set about wood gluing the tabletop.  I put the side of the pieces i wanted showing on the bottom as i glued them since their thicknesses were not uniform.  That gave the top the closest chance of being fairly level.  The edges were far from straight though so i had to run the table through my tablesaw to create a square shape.  I then mixed and poured polyurethane onto the surface.  The two-part mixture cost $8 at the hardware store. ($8 was rounded up - it probably was just $7.99 but that doesn't fool me.  In fact, i pretty much just about always round up anyway.  I guess if i go into a shop that had things priced at $4.01 i'd end up really pleased walking away from the checkout.  "Yes!  I thought that was going to be $5!)  Anyway - you have to make sure your working surface is pretty darn level when using this stuff. 

It also would be best to do it in a room that is free of cathair and dust from sanding the edges of your wooden block tabletop.  Oh well.  Hindsight.  72 hours later i continued.  (Having read the instructions on the polyurethane.) We had some decent looking wood trim kicking around that i used my handsaw and wooden mitre box to cut to frame up the edges.  If course, i'm not a finish carpenter.  I'd rather use a chainsaw to cut just about anything than a handsaw.  But my cuts turned out to be fairly close to where they needed to be.  A few finishing nails scrounged from the bottom of vessels full of mixed bolts, nails, and screws and a bit more wood glue and the tabletop was almost done.  I had spent quite a bit of time designing and then gluing the table legs from the assorted blocks.  I made one each of green, blue, red, and orange legs.  They were each quite different than the others but putting the tabletop on them i decided that they detracted from the project - it just became too busy.  Later we went to the landfill and paid $5 each to salvage.  It is a cheap date.  We spent a good half hour poking around and took 70 pounds of stuff according to the scales at the baler. Included in that mass was a table base that works out pretty well.  Perhaps i will paint it some day - but for now the wooden block table is complete.  It cost $19 fairly directly.  Plus the salvaged trim and nails.  The tools included wood glue, saws, sanders, bungee cords and a screwdriver and drill to attach the base to the tabletop.  Time invested was pretty extensive.  I'd say i put  about 8 hours into this project including the construction of the legs that were not used.

(I wrote this for my blog a while ago - i just discovered craftster.  Today i began working on an idea for the base that does incorporate the blocks i have kicking around... I'll update when the glue has dried...)
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Lounge chair on: July 24, 2005 11:04:30 PM
I have a line of projects that have formed in my head.  I have a pile of them in closets and on the porch, in the yard, in the carport, and the boiler room.  But despite that i want to the dump and salvaged for more stuff.  You see, last week i was up there and noticed a pile of aluminum tent poles.  Not just a few - a lot of them.  Some were broken and there was a lot of shock cord showing - pointing out that they were probably pretty beat.   Gears started turning.  I didn't decide what to make out of them until after i was piling them into the car.  I planned on turning this...

into a lounge chair.  (Cue music.)  So by about 1:00 i was going through that mess of poles and cutting out elastic and sorting by color and dimensions.  I had to do a little rooting in my supply of never discarded "could come in handy sometime" lumber to find a few pieces of yellow cedar that would accommodate the curves that i had in mind.

If you look at the above picture you see the chair was going to take after the Adirondack style furniture.  I think the low angle for the back legs greatly increases the stability over what my amateur carpentry skills can create.

Of course, i decided to add some attractive accents to the frame before completing anything actually functional.  I notched the base piece for the back supports and have pieces of metal attached until i figure out exactly what i'll put on the sides of the finished piece. (You didn't think i actually finished a project in one day did you?) 

If you look closely at the picture above you'll see that i marked the route for the curve of the back to give me a guide for the drilling.  I fired up my trusty Makita 9.6 volt cordless drill and rifled through my dwindling set of drill bits.  I selected a decent match, drilled one hole, looked at the number of holes that were going to be done and said "i have to go to the hardware store".  I bought a corded drill (finally!) for $55 and a bit set for $65.  Do you think those costs should count against the project?  My new drill handled the job like a champ.  It was perhaps a little too aggressive.  The smell of cedar filled the air.

I then tapped in 84 of the longest gold colored pieces into one half.  I then tried to get the other board to line up with the staves.  No way.  I would have needed 42 people to make that work.  So i pulled all of them back out and just put four in - in key locations  i could handle getting that lined up.  I then started to pound a piece through about every other spot.

I figured that going with every other would let me flip it over to catch the open ones - this is most important because not all of the segments are the same length.  some stuck out an inch and most didn't span the entire width.  By having half started from one side and the other half start on the other i was able to make the chair very stable.  So stable that i actually don't need to add the bracing that i had planned on in the first place.  Of course, we needed to test it out...

And here is the semi-final product.  I want to conceal the holes and eliminate the metal plates eventually.

I have plenty of the tent pole pieces to do another chair.  I'm thinking of doing a more upright seat though.  And my girlfriend challenged me to make a purse out of them too so i have that task ahead of me too.  Wheels turning...  A reader of my personal site suggested making a lampshade also.  I have quite a few left and i think i might be able to do all of those projects.  Eventually.

This project took nine hours of thought and work.  I spent the $5 for the salvage permit, and besides the tools mentioned above i had everything else on hand - a couple of galvanized metal strips and some screws to connect the cedar planks.  With the meal breaks and everything else excluded i spent about 4-5 straight hours working on this.
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Framed maps on: July 24, 2005 10:56:20 PM
I'm sure this isn't new...

Last fall i came up with the idea of wrapping gifts with maps instead of buying wrapping paper.  I bought some lots of maps from ebay and scored quite a few piles of maps.  Some were just too nice to tape to boxes though.

We picked out four great maps from my winnings.  We chose one of Alaska (that's where i live) from the 50's, one of the US before Alaska and Hawaii were states, one of the world from during WWII, and one of the sky to save.  All of them were about the same size except for the Alaska one.  My girlfriend bought frames from framesbymail.com and we assembled them almost like the instructions indicated. 

One obvious problem was that the maps were all folded.  We didn't really want fold showing in out maps though.  What takes out creases?  An iron!

I bought acrylic locally and we cut them to fit the size of the frame and foam boards that came with the frames.  A little more assembly and they were ready to hang.

Not a cheap project.  But well worth it in the end.
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