Friday, April 24, 2009

The simplest charcoal powered furnace for casting

simple casting furnace that uses charcoalsimple casting furnace that uses charcoal

This may be the most simple furnace for melting zinc there is. That is other then just a big pile of coal. I melted the zinc using a charcoal chimney that is normally used for starting a grill. I have always loved this product for starting my grill beacuse I always have newspaper around and don't need to buy fluid but now I am even happier. I just used a small can for the crucible and a larger can for a lid.

I pinched the can a little to make a nice pouring spout.

Zinc ingots are available at

I don't belive this is hot enough for aluminum but i did not have any on hand today.

Bamboo trellis for hops

Bamboo trellis for hopsBamboo trellis for hops

This turned out to be a fun project all I used was twine and 15c bamboo from construction junction. It is about 10' tall and tied to the gutter.

Bamboo trellis for hops

Now hopefully this little guy will but up to the task.
the source of all info hop related

Updated photos.

Got lots of these flowers. I hope they actually turn into cones.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How to cut a wine bottle with acetone and a string

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Written instructions below

(there is an obvious burn risk with this project. You could also loose an eye. )wine bottle that was cut with acetone and a string
  • put on some safety goggles and gloves THESE ARE THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS I USE BUT MAY NOT BE SUFFICIENT.
  • wrap a string around a wine bottle two or three times and then tie it. I used kitchen string that you use wrapping meat.
  • fill a pot with cold water.
  • soak the string in Acetone , nail polish remover, and put it around the bottle. (presumably other flammables could work for this but I have not tried them. White gas, gasoline, rubbing alcohol..... I make no claims to the safety of this)
  • light the string and rotate is as shown in the video.
  • quickly put the bottle in the water when the acetone is about to go out.
  • you may need to try a few times.
  • this is not a good technique for making drinking glasses because the cut is not that clean. for a cleaner cut check out: How to cut wine bottles with a dremel tool, How to cut beer bottles with a dremel tool

This is the technique I used to make the hydroponic zucchini planter from a wine bottle in this post:wine bottle planter

Wine bottle hydroponic zucchini

Wine bottle hydroponic mint and basil

Consider adding a design. Check out my post on how to Etch Glass without using stencils.

Other things people make out of bottles include: Drinking glasses, lamps, wine bottle planter.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

AdSense video units to be retired

sad day. I loved these ad's. I guess we have till the end of the month to enjoy them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

IKEA LACK record player stand.

Here it is the Official Mike-is-bored IKEA record stand. this is made of three Lack coffee tables stacked with 3M Scotch Mounting Squares. The top table was found by the trash with a missing leg and the others were from a friend who was moving. Should be pretty easy to score some of these ugly tables if you want to make your own. This LACK stuff pretty much belongs in the trash anyways as the one or two screw ins and you will strip them. The turntable is easily accessible from the missing leg. If the stickers are well attached the area above can support a fair amount of weight.

IKEA lack record player stand.IKEA lack record player turntable stand close

Of interest:
Hacking IKEA
Talking IKEA

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not really brass? A future of sun powered Fresnel lense casting?

Official Google Blog: Will it lens?

As cool as this is I challenge the statement that the this middle penny is brass. To heat enough to get that alloy you would first need to melt the zinc and then the penny would be much more deformed. Heated pennies go thorough a lot of color changing phases. The middle penny is the suspect one.

Friends if you are reading this please buy me one of these giant ones. I would love to try to do zinc casting powered by the sun.
I will make you a nice ring or belt buckle or something.

diy fish belt buckleCasting a zinc belt buckle

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wine Bottle Hydroponic Zucchini

making hydroponics out of a wine bottlemaking hydroponics out of a wine bottle

This idea I straight up stole from aarn's wine bottle hydroponics.

I will re-post if there is any noticeable difference between the hydroponic zucchini and its brothers who are in good old fashion dirt.

How I cut the bottle is in this post: Cutting a wine bottle with a string and acetone.

It is a lot trickier to cut a wine bottle with string then a beer bottle and I did not get a very clean cut. Nothing that could not be fixed with some pliers and sandpaper.

Sadly the zucchini got too big and committed suicide but cutting itself on the bottle edge. However the outdoor zucchini did great. Check out the recipes for this big guy. What to do with a giant zucchini.

Or check out the other plants that did much better. hydroponic mint and hydroponic basil from wine bottles.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Making Coldpress coffee in a nalgene (Its Spring!)

I start with a course grid of coffee (really course). In this case Starbucks Caffe Verona, from amazon.
Cold Press coffee grind
I whatever container I am planing on using half way with grounds and then fill up with water. I use a nalgene bottle. The important thing is that it is air tight.
cold press coffee
I cap it and leave it in the fridge for 2 days. Then strain with a very fine pasta strainer like the one shown below and drink on ice with sugar and cream.
really fine pasta strainer

Growing my own beer

centennial hops from northern brewer sprouting
While this is maybe not that feasible of an idea but the wheat is growing outside and doing fine despite the fact that it has been snowed on. Still have yet to get barley seed. The most important thing is the Hops have finally sprouted. I got them from northern brewer and planted them about two weeks ago. Willamette and Cascade are also up but not quite as big yet. The will likely be in the pots for another month then out to the yard.

As this process is likely to be very low yield, especially in the grains, I will be using my very small batch all grain extraction processs.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My dog singing werewolves of london.

It is amazing that it took me so long to think of this but my dog has always howled when you play piano. Anyway forgive the awful piano playing but here is my dog performing the Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon.

For anyone interested here is shep dressed up as a skunk. skunk costume for a dog.