House of Hacks

Friday, July 12, 2019

Kaleidoscope Photography - an easy abstract photography project


Description

Wondering about how to do Kaleidoscope Photography? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows how to make a kaleidoscope add-on for your camera to make unusual abstract photos.

Originally invented by Sir David Brewster when experimenting with light, kaleidoscope comes from three Greek words. "Kalos" meaning beautiful, "eidos" meaning shape and "skopion" meaning to observe. So literally, "to observe beautiful shapes.” There’s a great video talking about some philosophical ideas related to the kaleidoscope: Veronica Soare: We are kaleidoscopes

Here's another video featuring abstract photography: burning bulb filament.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to Kaleidoscope Photography - an easy abstract photography project

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "Welcome to the Show" and "Riptide"

Transcript

Interested in abstract images? Both stills and moving?

Today we're going to be doing this at the House of Hacks.

In today's project, I'm going to show you how to make this. It's a DIY kaleidoscope attachment for your camera.

It's basically a mounting plate that your camera bolts to and a triangular mirror assembly that can be rotated around if you want.

You just shoot through it and take a picture of whatever you want and whatever you're making becomes a kaleidoscope image.

This is easily made from inexpensive materials, most of this was actually just scrap that I had lying around from previous projects.

The only thing I really had to buy was a couple unions at the hardware store.

I think that was it.

Everything else I had on hand.

For this build, we only need a few materials.

I've got a base that's 3/8" thick plywood, 3 inches wide and 18 inches long. The dimensions aren't super critical.

I've got a 2x4 that I'll be using to make some brackets out of.

Two unions, ABS, 3 inches in diameter.

And a piece of 12 inch square mirror.

A couple tools that we need:

Some hot glue.

Some tape.

Glass cutter.

And a little bit of hardware.

I've got a t-nut, that's 1/4-20 and a bolt that's 1/4-20 that's long enough to go through the plywood and into the camera and a couple washers to make it so it snugs down tight.

I think that's everything we need. Let's start making this.

Welcome! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where I make stuff, usually out of wood and metal.

Today it happens to also include mirrors, tape and a little bit of hot glue.

This is the base that, off camera, I drilled two holes in. One is a little bit larger than a 1/4" where the bolt will go through from the bottom and hold the camera in place.

The other is up here closer to about a third of the way up that has a 1/4-20 t-nut in it and this'll be for tripod mounting.

The dimensions of this piece are 3/8" thick plywood. It's 3" wide and 18" long.

The dimensions aren't super critical just as long as you have a good base to mount the camera to and it's long enough for the mirrors that we're going to be cutting.

OK. I've got the gloves on because I want to be safe.

We want three strips of mirror out of here that are 1 and 3/4" wide each and so I'm going to make a mark on where I want that cut.

And I'll lay a straight edge down on those marks. I've got the glass cutter.

We need to give ourselves a little bit of extra room to compensate for the thickness of the glass cutter.

We just press down firmly and we want to just do a single pass.

And then we'll see if this breaks. And I do have my safety glasses on.

And that didn't work too well. I don't think I was pressing down quite hard enough.

Generally, you don't want to try to do two cuts. You want to score it in the first pass. I'll give this another try.

That looks better. I should be able to just... snap it like so.

And we didn't get as good a cut as I would have liked.

If you notice, this edge didn't get cut very well. We'll try again.

And you should hear a creaking sound.

That's much better!

OK. So now we have our three pieces of glass.

And now I'm going to take a piece of tape and tape this into a triangle.

That's just a temporary thing to hold it while we glue it.

Now that we have the mirror in a triangle formation, temporarily held in place by the tape, I'm going to just use the glue gun and run a bead along each of the seams.

And this will be what really holds it in place for good.

We just want to take out time and run a very generous bead along each of the edges.

Hot glue is one of those things that I don't think is really given enough credit in the workshop.

It is a really handy material to work with when holding things together either temporarily or even permanently on projects.

It would be nice if it set up a little bit faster.

One of the cool things about this project is it doesn't have to be perfect. There's a lot of leeway for kind of imperfections that really won't show up in the final product.

This is definitely one of those cases where we're looking for utility over beauty.

OK. I'm going to let that sit for a couple minutes and let that really setup well.

The hot glue has setup and I took the temporary tape off and finished up the seams with some more hot glue there in the middle where the tape was.

And so now we don't really have any sharp edges on this glass. The corners are a little bit sharp but we don't have any cut edges exposed like we did before so we don't really need the gloves.

The next step is to wrap this whole thing in tape. That will do a couple things.

It will make it light tight along the edges so we don't have any light leakage.

It will also, if anything should happen to this and it should break, then it'll help contain the mess and won't get glass all over the place.

I've got some duct tape, so let's start wrapping this up.

Now I'll take the utility knife and just cut the edges here.

I think we have everything now ready to assemble.

The unions I have have a little tab on them from the manufacturing process and I want to put those on the outside of this assembly so I want to make sure I know where those are relative to the mounting brackets.

So, those just slide inside the mounting brackets like so, so now that'll help hold everything together so this part doesn't slide in and out as much.

And now, if everything is setup right, this should just kind of have a pretty snug fit inside these unions. And it's looking really good.

The tape gives it a good snug fit and if it's a little loose, you can just wrap a little tape around this and it'll hold it nice and tight.

So we've got one side in and now the other side should just kind of go in the same way.

And now we're ready to glue this down.

Now when I cut this, I did put one of these edges thinner. So I want to make sure that's on the bottom.

And then when this gets glued in, it'll be just like that.

We're ready to mount this.

I've got the camera bolted to the base plate so that I know exactly where I want to mount this.

So this will mount in front of the lens and I want to make sure that I have enough room for the lens to move in and out but I don't want it so much that I have a lot of light leakage around it.

I made sure I have the thin part of my wood down here and so I think that's pretty much where I want to put it is right about there.

I'll just turn this over and run a bead of hot glue along this edge.

Now I'll turn it over and I have a little bit of set time where I can get things lined up just right.

I want to try to get it as centered as I can and get it going as straight as I can with the camera going along the axis of the mirrors.

It's just a matter of letting the glue set now.

Assembly is complete. Let's go make some images.

I'll see you in this video where I show you how to make some other abstract images using light bulbs.

But in the mean time, let's go make some images.

Remember, perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Silverado Tailgate Won't Open - How to fix broken tailgate latch without tools


Description

Have a situation where a Silverado tailgate won't open? In today's House of Hacks episode, Harley shows how easy it is to fix a Chevrolet pickup tailgate latch that won't unlock. This is a simple job that can be done in minutes, without tools.

Silverado Tailgate Handle Rod Retainer Clips (Affiliate link)

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to Silverado Tailgate Won't Open - How to fix broken tailgate latch without tools

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Uh, oh! This isn't good.

I had this happen the other day... I went to open the tailgate and it wouldn't open.

So, let's tear into this and see what's going on.

The bezel doesn't have any screws on it at all and there's nothing on the back that would control the bezel, so I think it's just a press fit.

And... yep... sure enough... it just kind of snaps into place.

So, I pulled on the top and the bottom just lifted out.

And... yep... there's a rod in here that's not unlatching properly and has a little plastic piece on it. So, I think that's probably what's broken.

Welcome to the House of Hacks.

If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and I make stuff, usually out of wood or metal.

But today, I'm fixing stuff. Specifically the tailgate for a 2005 Silverado.

OK. So we can see this is floating free and it's broken off from this hole where it's supposed to be going in.

To take this off, all I'm going to do is rotate this down and then it just slides off the back of the rod.

And here's a good one. And you can see that piece that's broken off.

Now to put this back in, this needs to spring. It won't work if we put the rod on first.

We need to put this in the hole and clip it in first... like that.

And then slide the rod into it.

And then the clip comes up like so.

And we should be done.

That works well.

Now we just need to put the bezel back on. The bottom slides into place in a couple holes and the top snaps into place.

Cool! That works.

That's all in all, about five minutes worth of work once I knew what I needed to get done.

I was able to pick up a lifetime supply of these clips. There were five red ones which go on the left and five green ones which go on the right and these were less than $7.

So now, if this ever fails again in the future, I have plenty on hand. I'll leave a link to those down below in the description.

Over here on this side, YouTube has some videos that it thinks you'd enjoy. You can go check those out.

And until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Workshop Safety Gear - Don't lose your faculties


Description

Do you want to live life without sound or sight or 10 fingers? Protect them! In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley presents basic workshop safety gear and some rules that everyone should follow to stay safe while making things. Topics include safety glasses and other eye protection, hearing protection and other lesser thought about items.

16 quick safety tips

Shop Hacks on dust collection and air filtration

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to Workshop Safety Gear - Don't lose your faculties

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

[Norm Abram's voice] But before we use any power tools, let's talk about shop safety.

Be sure read, understand and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools.

Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury.

And remember this, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these, safety glasses.

I'm sure many of us remember Norm's sound advice from back in the day.

While an important start, workshop safety gear goes far beyond just safety glasses and we're starting right now.

Welcome to the House of Hacks.

If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and I make stuff out of wood, metal and sometimes other materials.

And sometimes I talk about other issues, such as today, for National Safety Month, I want to talk a little bit about shop safety.

To start, I want to acknowledge that if you watch some of my videos, I wouldn't be surprised if you found violations of some of what I talk about today.

In the home shop, ultimately, you're the only one responsible for your own safety and you have to make the judgement call about what to do and how to do it.

In my opinion, the two most important pieces of safety gear are eye protection and ear protection.

Anytime a power tool is used, or a hand tool with high forces, such as a hammer or a press, eye protection is critical.

Since I wear both glasses and contacts, I have solutions for both.

But even if you don't wear corrective lenses, it's a good idea to have both on hand in case you have visitors that stop by and need some.

And, while they're better than nothing, prescription glasses are not safety glasses.

In addition to safety glasses, for some operations, particularly if flying particles are involved, like using the lathe or a grinder, I like to have a face shield.

This provides additional protection for the eyes as well as some level of protection for the rest of the face.

After the eyes are covered, the next most important thing is ear protection.

This is something that for some reason doesn't seem to get as much attention, but in my opinion should.

This is something that I kind of got upset at Norm for, for not mentioning it more often in his show.

Our eyes are super sensitive and we know immediately when we get something in them, but hearing damage is much more insidious.

It tends to happen without us being aware of it and it's cumulative over time.

Many small instances of too much noise add up until it's significant.

Since we adapt as it worsens, we don't notice it until it causes problems in our interactions with other people, and by then it's too late.

So in addition to safety glasses, another must is either ear muffs that go over the ear or ear plugs that go in the ear.

I have and use both.

Ear muffs I use for shorter operations where I only need them for a limited time.

They're easier to put on and take off but they are more bulky and hot.

If I need hearing protection for an extended period of time, I personally prefer ear plugs.

They're a little harder to put in but they're more comfortable, they're not as bulky and they're not as hot.

I get a box of 200 disposable pair for about $20 a box and I use them not only in the workshop but also in the yard for yard work and when riding the motorcycle.

Another piece of safety gear that's not talked about as much as the first two is breathing protection.

Primarily involving wood working, like hearing damage, dust is one of those insidious things that causes damage over time.

I've heard reports of people that have gone without breathing protection for years and have no visible problems until one day they develop an allergy to either wood or wood dust that makes doing their hobby or profession either undoable or very uncomfortable.

One way of protecting your breathing is with filters and masks.

This can be anything as simple as a dust mask to a respirator or even something battery powered that provides positive pressure ventilation.

Examples of the last one, while expensive, also sometimes have built in eye protection and hearing protection.

In addition to dust, respirators should also be used with chemicals, but be sure that the filter you're using is appropriate for the chemical that you need to filter.

And also, dust respirators may not filter out chemicals and vice versa.

Another form of breathing protection is with really good dust collection.

Tony over at Shop Hacks has this down to a science and a really optimized system.

His shop air while he's running his table saw has a lower particulate count than the outside air.

Another unrecognized hazard, and something I'm become more aware of, is jewelry.

Anything loose can get caught in equipment, particularly things that rotate, and something that would have been a simple brush with the equipment becomes a serious injury.

Since I wear my wedding band all the time, I rarely think about taking it off when I come into the shop.

And this is something I've been thinking about: I need to do more proactively.

I've also thought about the option of getting a silicone ring and wearing it most of the time and only wear the gold band for dressy occasions.

Shop dress code is another item that's not talked about too much but is a safety gear concern too.

Briefly, a couple items...

Wear cotton. It's less flammable than synthetic material and not as prone to melt into your skin if something hot hits it.

Wear close-toed shoes or boots. Again, hot flying metal or falling off-cuts aren't going to penetrate leather. Never wear sandals or flip-flops.

Nothing loose. Always short sleeves. Make sure everything fits well and no ties.

I'd love to hear in the comments what you consider essential safety gear. Did I miss anything critical?

I'll see you in this video where I talk about 16 safety tips in two minutes.

And after watching that video, when making things remember...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Universal Mobile Base For Table Saw and other tools - Portamate PM-1100


Description

Imagine, what would shop life be like if you could easily move any tool around? In this episode of the House of Hacks, Harley opens, assembles and installs a universal mobile base for table saw. Used in this video is a Bora Portamate PM-1100 kit that is a DIY mobile base for power tools.

Portamate PM-1100 (Amazon affiliate link)

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to Universal Mobile Base For Table Saw and other tools - Portamate PM-1100

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "Riptide"

Transcript

Imagine, what would it be like if you could move your larger tools around the workshop?

How would a universal mobile base for your table saw or other tools change your workflow?

Would you have more flexibility for storage?

Would your shop be more space efficient?

Would your tools be easier to use for different sizes of materials?

Today at the House of Hacks we’re going to be looking at how to do this.

About 18 months ago, I went to my Dad’s to pick up some tools that had been my Granddad's. When I got back, I did a video of what I brought back with me and I'll leave a link up here in the cards.

Recently, I made another trip to pick up a few more things that had been left behind. Most notably was a larger table saw that had been my Granddad's and he'd built a base for it.

It's going to be a great upgrade to my current small one but it's much larger and won't fit in the workshop the way it's currently organized.

So I looked at what I needed and what I had and changed my approach to my shop's organization.

Previously, all my large tools were set and ready to use in fixed locations. This had the advantage of being quick to setup.

But it has two disadvantages. One is it takes more floor space because you have to dedicate room around the tool in order to work.

And two, you have less flexibility in your material handling in and out of the equipment.

In addition to the tools taking up floor space, I also had two 6' snap together utility shelves that contained various supplies and small bench tools.

I decided to change to a mobile layout where most of the large tools are on movable bases.

This will allow them to be stored closer together for more compact and efficient use of floor space and it'll give more flexibility for material handling.

This more efficient use of floor space will allow me to get the larger table saw in the workshop.

It does come at a cost though of more setup time.

To accomplish this, I did two things.

First, I split the two 6' shelf units into four 3' shelf units and then hung them from the ceiling.

This allows better space utilization closer to the ceiling and it frees up a lot of floor space.

Second, I converted a number of tools with fixed bases to have mobile bases.

This conversion is the topic of today's video.

But first, welcome to the House of Hacks.

If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and I make stuff out of wood, metal and sometimes other materials. And sometimes I talk about other workshop related topics.

Today, I'm going to be showing the assembly and use of the Portamate PM-1100 universal base kit.

On my previous trip to Dad's, I picked up a large saw with a base that Granddad had made.

I didn't have a permanent location for it, so for expedience, I picked up a mobile base with metal rails.

These metal rails have holes in them in fixed locations for adjustability, but because the holes are in fixed locations, you don't have infinite adjustability.

And so it didn't exactly quite fit the base that I already had. It ended up being about an inch larger than it really needed to be on both the width and length.

I looked around and found the Portamate PM-1100.

This is a hardware kit that has wheels and all the hardware to mount them to a piece of wood.

The piece of wood doesn't come with the kit. You'd make it whatever size you want.

So this allows me to have a base that's exactly the right size for the bases that I already have.

I'll leave an Amazon affiliate link in the description below.

With this design, there's two corners that are designed for the back of the equipment that only roll in one direction.

And there's two corners that are designed for the front with castors that allow you to change direction as you're rolling it around.

The castors are also designed with levers on them so they're up when you're using the tool and it won't roll around and you can push them down, the wheels drop down, lifts the tool off the ground and you can move it.

You supply a piece of wood to connect them at the desired size.

Plywood is usually best for strength purposes.

When I originally bought them, I was planning on just attaching them to the preexisting bases without using any plywood.

However, when I actually got them and tried putting them on, I realized there were toe kicks on the bases that interfered with the hardware raising and lowering mechanism.

So in order to put them where that would work, there wasn't enough material left to attach them to so I ended up going with the plywood anyway.

I cut some plywood left over from previous projects to the desired size, added the hardware to it and attached those assemblies to the bases.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let's take a look at what's in the box and how to assemble them.

In the box are two bright orange pieces that are the levers for the cam activation and two plates to mount the castors to.

There are also four corner pieces and wheels.

Two corner pieces are designed for the rear wheels and two are for the front wheels.

There are also four flat plates that are designed to sandwich plywood between them and the corner pieces to provide extra support.

And all the needed screws, nuts and bushings are in a little baggie.

The rear wheel assembly is straightforward.

Using the appropriate bolt, put it through the axel hole from the inside of the base.

Place a bushing on it, the wheel, another bushing and then a nyloc nut on the outside.

Putting the second bushing on is a bit tricky due to the limited space but holding the wheel flat keeps gravity from working against you.

The front wheel assembly has a few more parts.

First put in the foot rest.

This is what will rest on the floor when the wheel is in the up position, keeping the tool from moving around.

It just screws into pre-threaded holes in the corner piece and is secured with a jam nut once the height is set as desired.

Then put a carriage bolt through the top square hole.

Put a bushing on the bolt followed by the orange piece, flat side up, followed by another bushing and pushed through the other side of the support.

A split lock washer goes on followed by a standard nut.

Put another carriage bolt through the other square hole and then the grey plate.

Note that the plate comes pre-lubricated with some grease.

Be sure to put the grease side towards the orange plate and don’t get it on you.

Push the screw through the assembly followed by another split lock washer and nut.

Finally, the castor can be put through the grey plate and secured with its nut.

This nut has a flanged surface that acts as a lock nut and goes toward the plate.

Next measure your tool base to determine how big you need to make your plywood and cut it to size.

The hardware is designed to work with either 1/2” or 3/4” plywood and comes with different length screws for each application.

Depending on the thickness you use, you’ll have screws left over intended for the other thickness.

With the plywood cut to the correct size, place the wheel assemblies on each corner and mark the hole positions.

Then drill the holes.

I used a drill press but you could use a hand held drill.

Just be sure to get them as straight as you can since there’s another metal piece that needs to match up on the other side.

There is some room for play, so it doesn’t have to have super tight tolerances.

But the closer you can get it, the easier it’ll be to get everything lined up.

Once all the holes are made, it’s time to attach the corner assemblies.

Put the corner piece with the wheel in place, put a flat triangle piece on top with the countersink side up and attach them with the appropriate screws.

Note that the bottom piece has a pre-tapped hole so no nuts are required for this operation.

Get all the screws started first, then make sure the corner assembly is tight to the wood before tightening the screws down.

Repeat this process for all four corners and the base is ready to attach to your tool.

How this is done will vary, depending on your tool.

In my case, I just used grabber screws to attach from the bottom of the plywood up into the bottom of the tool’s case.

My Granddad used 2x4 construction for the base’s frame, so there was plenty of wood to attach to.

You’ll have to figure out the best means of attaching this for your situation and provide your own hardware.

Once it’s attached, all that’s left to do is adjust the rubber feet on the front.

You want to adjust them so they support the weight of the equipment when the wheels are in the up position but are lifted off the ground when the wheels are in the down position.

Once in the desired position, tighten the jam nut so they will stay in place.

And, they’re ready to use.

I’ll see you in this playlist of other shop organization ideas.

And when making things, remember…

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Installing a Fire Extinguisher - Fire Safety in the Shop


Description

June is National Safety Month. In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows how to install fire extinguisher to help increase fire safety in the shop. In addition to fire extinguisher installation, he'll take a look at the classes of fire extinguishers and see how well some old extinguishers work even though they expired years ago.

Four pack of fire extinguishers (Amazon affiliate)

References:
Wikipedia page discussing fire classes.
Describes how the different classes of extinguishers work.
Contains the PASS acronym.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to Install Fire Extinguisher - Fire Safety in the Shop

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Fire extinguishers are a great thing to have around both the home and workshop.

Today at the House of Hacks I'm going to see how well these old fire extinguishers still work and install some new ones.

In the process I'll also talk about the different types of fire extinguishers that exist and what I choose to replace my old ones.

Welcome to the House of Hacks!

If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and I make things out of wood, metal and other materials. I also talk about other workshop related topics.

Since June is National Safety Month, today I'm going to talk about fire safety in the workshop.

I have these old fire extinguishers that I've had for a number of years that tend to float between the workshop, the garage and the utility room depending on where I'm working.

But they have a few problems.

First, fire extinguishers are only good for so long. The contents in them have a tendency to compress over time and make them less effective. These fire extinguishers are over twenty years old so they're long past their expiration date.

Secondly, they're really small. Even in their prime when they were brand new, they wouldn't have put out much of a fire.

And finally, they're not rechargeable. This means that, since they're expired, they just have to be thrown away.

To remedy these issues, I got a four pack deal of these new fire extinguishers off Amazon. I'll leave a link below in the description if case you're interested.

These are 1) new, 2) rechargeable and 3) much larger.

By getting a four pack, I'm able to place them strategically around the property in places where fires are most likely to occur.

As DIY projects go, installation is pretty simple.

One thing of note though, the Amazon description says they come with wall hangers.

This isn't quite true. They have a loop on the extinguisher to hang them from but no actual wall hardware.

So I went down to the home improvement store and picked up a pack of simple hangers to hang them from.

Here in the shop, I'm going to put it here on the wall with other personal protection gear.

One right here easily accessible from the stairs, next to the furnace in the utility room.

One here in the utility room that's immediately adjacent to both the kitchen and the garage behind me.

And conveniently, there's a stud located right in the middle of the wall.

And here in the garden shed, I was thinking of putting one right here next to the door.

Here in the shed we have fuel and oil and grass clippings and hot engines.

Seems like a really bad combination and a great place for a fire extinguisher.

There are 5 classes of fire that extinguishers might be designed for.

Class A fires are normal combustibles. Things like trash, wood, paper, and plastic.

Class B fires are where the fuel is flammable liquids or gas. Around the workshop, petroleum based products are the common combustable.

Class C fires are where electrical components are the source of ignition. Things around the workshop include sparking motors, transformers and extension cords.

Class D fires where a combustible metal is actually burning. Examples of these types of metals are things like magnesium, titanium, and aluminum. The latter being what would most commonly be found in the workshop.

And the last class is K where combustion is in the kitchen from a liquids used in cooking. Fats, greases and oils are the typical examples. This is actually a special case of class B that was created for the special and unique properties of kitchen fires in the commercial environment.

The new fire extinguishers are designed for classes A, B and C since these are the most common combustables that are going to be found around the home. I figure we're not going to need anything specialized for the kitchen since we're not in a commercial environment where we have the large quantities and specialized equipment that that class was designed for.

Let's head outside and see how the old fire extinguishers work.

OK, we're out here in this controlled environment: the fire pit.

The fire's starting to go and we're going to test out these old fire extinguishers.

I've never actually used a fire extinguisher, so I've don't have any personal experience with it but there is a handy acronym that's used to describe how you're supposed to use them and it's PASS.

P is Pull the pin.

A is Aim at the base of the fire extinguisher.

S is Squeeze the handle.

And the other S is Sweep across the base of the fire.

The idea is you want to aim at the fuel that's providing the fire, not the flames themselves.

So let's let this get going a bit better and we'll give it a try.

Well, the smaller wood seems to be going really well. I don't know if the big wood is actually going to catch fire. It's large enough, it's kind of getting charred but I don't know that it's actually going to combust itself.

So, let's give this little small guy a try.

So, I pull the pin. It's got a little lever here on this particular one.

And the idea is we aim at the base of the fire and squeeze the handle here and sweep across.

So here goes nothing.

Well, there you can see. Even though that 20 year old fire extinguisher worked fine on this little, tiny small fire of course.

It's still a little bit warm. It didn't cool it down, but it did extinguish it and I can still hear the wood kind of popping a little bit, but it does seem to work.

Like I said, that was for a small fire. It was... so like on a kitchen, it'd probably work fine. You saw that it only lasted for a couple seconds, so I don't think it would have done a real good job for anything of any significant size.

At this point, I'm not going to use the other one because I'm guessing it's probably still fairly decent shape and I'll end up putting it somewhere just as a backup.

I’ll see you in the playlist that's on the screen right now of tips and tricks for the workshop.

When making things, remember...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, May 24, 2019

How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Handheld Dibber


Description

Interested in how to make gardening tools at home? Need a seedling planter for your garden? Want to make a simple DIY project for your gardening enthusiast? In this episode in the House of Hacks series' on DIY gardening tools, Harley shows how to make a handheld dibber, also known as a dibbler. Springtime is upon us and making homemade gardening tools can be an easy workshop project for either yourself or a loved one. The dibber is an especially easy-to-make DIY tool to help plant seeds and seedlings that requires minimal tools and time and is particularly suited for kids and beginners. These simple tools make great gifts for the gardener in your life.

Previous video gardening tool video: How to make a long dibber

Inspired by this Charles Dowding video and this blog article.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Make Gardening Tools at Home: Handheld dibber

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "Chipper"

Transcript

Are you looking for an easy to use gardening tool to plant seedlings?

Do you need a simple to make gift idea for the gardener in your life?

In today's episode of how to make gardening tools at home, we're going to make this handheld dibber.

With spring in full bloom, DIY gardening tools are a popular project for either your own use or to give as gift ideas.

In an earlier House of Hacks episode, I showed you how to make a long dibber out of a rake handle.

A long dibber is useful when planting seeds and seedlings in large beds at ground level.

This handheld dibber is useful in smaller areas, such as raised beds.

Before making the long dibber, I cut off about 12 inches from the end of the handle in order to make this smaller handheld dibber.

Conceptually the idea is the same.

We're going to be putting a rounded point on the end to make holes in the soil for seeds and seedlings but we're going to be adding a few extra features to this one.

In this project I'm going to use a lathe, just to show a different way of doing the same thing, but if you don't have access to a lathe, you could do the same thing as I showed before with a sanding station, or by hand with sandpaper, files or a rasp.

Today, I'll also be connecting two round objects to each other at 90 degree angles.

Stick around to see how I do that.

Welcome! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we make stuff out of wood, metal, electronics and other similar materials in order to inspire you on your creative journey.

For this project, to start, I'm going to cut off about 4 inches from the end of this wood.

I'll set it aside and use it later on this project.

Then I chuck the remainder in the lathe and start cutting it down.

The idea is to reform the end from the slight taper to more of a point with a rounded end.

Once I have it to the shape I want, I'll use the marks on the tool rest to inscribe a couple lines an inch apart.

These allow the user to gauge the depth of the hole they're making.

The last lathe operation is a bit of sanding to make everything smooth.

Remember that 4 inch cut-off from earlier?

That's going to be a handle for this piece.

I used the sanding station to put a slight chamfer on each end.

So now that I've taken the dibber out of the lathe, the next operation is to attach the handle.

Originally, I was going to use a hole saw and put a radius on this end for this to sit down inside.

But I don't have a hole saw the right size for this radius and so the next idea I came up with was to use a Forstner bit to put a flat on here and a dowel to join these two together like so.

Overall I think this is going to be a much easier operation.

All that's left is a bit of oil to protect the wood.

It's ready for use.

I'll see you over here in this video where I show you how to make the longer version of this tool for use standing up.

And when making things, remember...

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, May 10, 2019

How To Find A Lost Digital Camera - Unique color codes (Part 4)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the fourth in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Buy online (Affiliate links):

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Find A Lost Digital Camera - Unique color codes (Part 4)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Ever lost camera gear before?

Looking for ideas for how to recover camera gear if it's been lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your lost camera gear find its way home.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group where sometimes somebody will find photography gear that was accidentally left at popular shooting locations.

Generally, a post goes out to alert people that gear has been found and who to contact to retrieve it.

Many times the gear can be reunited with its owner.

Inspired by these posts, this is the fourth in a series of ideas to help your gear find its way home if it gets lost.

The other videos in the series can be found in this playlist.

The previous ideas help if your gear is found by a random stranger.

Today's idea helps your gear stand out from the rest, that may be very similar, when you're in a group.

Hi! If we're just meeting, welcome!

I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we do things related to the workshop like metal, wood and electronics projects and other things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

When you're with a group of photographers, many times people have either the same or very similar gear and if things get jumbled up, sometimes it's hard to figure out who's is who's.

To help in this situation, select a three or four color combination and get paint or tape in these colors.

Multi-packs of electrical tape and model paint kits are great sources to get multiple colors of each.

Electrical tape can be found at home improvement stores and model paint kits can be found at craft stores.

Or, they're both available on Amazon. I'll leave affiliate links to searches for multiple products of each down below.

Using tape or paint, depending on the equipment and your preference, put your color code on all your equipment.

This makes it easy to identify your equipment when it's combined with the same equipment from other photographers.

If you have friends that do the same thing, be sure to coordinate with them so you don't use the same or similar color combinations.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you have any strategies for identifying your equipment.

And remember, it's a good idea to have a multi-pronged approach and identify your equipment in multiple ways.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember...

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, April 26, 2019

How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Long Dibber


Description

Interested in how to make gardening tools at home? Need a seedling planter for your garden? Want to make a simple DIY project for your gardening enthusiast? In this episode in the House of Hacks series' on DIY gardening tools, Harley shows how to make a long dibber, also known as a dibbler.

Springtime is upon us and making homemade gardening tools can be an easy workshop project for either yourself or a loved one. The dibber is an especially easy-to-make DIY tool to help plant seeds and seedlings that requires minimal tools and time and is particularly suited for kids and beginners. These simple tools make great gifts for the gardener in your life.

Inspired by this Charles Dowding video and his website.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Long Dibber

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "The Whip"

Transcript

Need a dibber to plant seedlings in your garden?

Want to make a simple DIY for your gardening enthusiast?

With spring coming upon us, we're going to make a long dibber out of this rake handle.

The dibber is an ancient tool that's been around since Roman times. It's also called a dibbler, with an L in it and it's used to plant seeds and seedlings.

It's a simple tool to make and we're just going to be using a belt sander primarily, after sawing off a piece of this wood for another project.

Hi and Welcome! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given creative skills, talents and interests to make things here in the shop out of materials like metal, electronics, photography and in this case, wood.

In a future episode, I'm going to make another gardening tool out of this cut off that I just took from the longer rake handle.

If you're interested in something like that, hit the Subscribe button and then hit the bell notification icon and YouTube will let you know next time that video is released.

I've got the rake handle here with the end cut off for a future project and I'm just going to mark about a hand width's circle all the way around this piece to give me a guide line to work from.

And now I'm going to use the belt sander to just grind down to the line and make a rounded point on the end.

This was about 10 minutes worth of grinding on the belt sander here and I'm going to put a coat of oil on it to kind of seal it and that can be reapplied each year as needed to kind of keep the toxicity down rather than trying to use Varathane or some other synthetic material like that.

Well that's a simple tool that should be useful for years to come.

I've got some veggies to plant and while I do that, YouTube has some videos over here that it thinks you'll enjoy.

And remember when making things...

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, April 12, 2019

How To Find Lost Camera (Digital) - Use pet tags (Part 3)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the third in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Engraved pet tags on Amazon (Affiliate link)

Other videos in this series.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Have you ever lost your camera gear?

Are you looking for ideas about how to recover your camera gear if it ever does get lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your camera gear find its way home if it gets lost.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group and occasionally people in that group will find camera gear that was left at popular shooting locations. Generally what happens is the person that finds the gear will post where it was found and who to contact to get the gear back. And many times the owner is a member of the group, sees the post and is able to get their equipment back.

Inspired by these posts this is the third in a series of ideas to help you get your camera gear back if it ever gets lost. The other ideas can be found in the videos in this playlist.

Hi! If we're just meeting, welcome I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we talk about workshop related items. Things made out of wood metal electronics and other things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

The previous two tips were a bit on the technical side and required knowledge of the finder to go look for the information and they only worked for your camera and memory cards.

Today's tip is less technical and more obvious for the finder.

And it's this: go get pet tags for your gear.

You can go down to your local pet store and they have engraving machines where you can have anything engraved on little tags. You can then put these tags on your camera gear. At a minimum you probably want one for your camera and your bag but you can get one for any gear that you want to put it on. However you can't put much information on them. Just your name, phone number and maybe an email address.

Another place to get them is on Amazon they have a bunch of different vendors with a bunch of different styles. I'll leave an affiliate link below to a search query showing those different options.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you have any strategies you use for identifying your equipment.

And remember it's a great idea to use a multi-pronged approach to identifying your gear. For example this way, while it helps for a lot of your gear, doesn't work for memory cards.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How Computers Work: Binary And Data


Description

In the Bits of Binary twos-complement video, Christopher Mast asked "what do you do about the fact that all the binary numbers you're listing in the negative are assigned to trigger special characters and foreign letters?" That's a great question and today at the House of Hacks, Harley will talk about how computers work binary and data.

References:

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How Computers Work: Binary And Data

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

In the comments on the recent video about subtraction using twos complement, Christopher Mast asked a great question:

"what do you do about the fact that all the binary numbers you're listing in the negative are assigned to trigger special characters and foreign letters?"

This is a great question!

I gave a brief answer but wasn’t terribly satisfied with it.

So in this video, I’m going to dive a bit on how computers use numbers to represent all the different types of data that they work with.

By the way, Christopher has a great channel called “Legion of Weirdos” where he covers topics for your party time conversation so you don’t have to talk about your day job. Check it out.

At their core, computers just work with binary numbers.

As we saw in the Bits of Binary series, we went from 0 to 255 with 8 bits and that's all zeros to all ones with only 8 zeros or ones.

As computers got newer and more bits were added, each time they doubled the number of bits, from 8 in the old computers to 16 on some newer ones and they can count all the way up to 65535.

Adding more bits to 32 bit, again doubling, it can count all the way to 4 billion.

And with 64 bits it can count all the way to 16 billion billion, or an exabyte.

But in the end, they're all just positive integer numbers from zero to all ones, depending on how many ones there are.

So, how does the computer deal with characters?

Or negative numbers?

Floating point numbers?

Or any kind of data for that matter?

This is the topic for this video.

But first, if we’re just meeting, I’m Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given skills, interests and talents to make things in the workshop out of things like wood, metal and electronics.

Part of making new things is understanding how old things work and so that’s why we’re looking at computers so we can have better understanding for future projects.

The most basic answer to Christopher’s question is: everything in a computer is just a positive number and we use those positive integers in different ways, with different mappings, depending on context.

Let’s get into some examples.

As we've discussed, computers only deal with binary numbers, in this case 8 bits, from 0 to 255, all zeros to all ones.

When a programmer wants to use numbers in this range, they just define the memory as unsigned and when they do that, the computer will treat 0 as 0, 1 as 1, all the way up to all 1s as 255.

When a programmer needs negative numbers, then they define the memory as being signed, and when they do that, the computer will treat all binary numbers that start with 0 as positive integers from 0 to 127 and it will treat all numbers starting with 1 as negative numbers from -1 to -128.

And as long as the programmer maintains this context of treating these numbers as signed then everything works out just fine.

Now, let’s look at characters.

In the early days of computers, there were a number of different ways of treating characters inside the computer.

At the end of the day, the one that ultimately won out is something called ASCII.

And it breaks down the numbers into groups of 32.

0 to 31 are what are called control characters and these were used in the early mechanical input devices to physically control the input. Things like moving the carriage to the beginning of the line and ringing a bell for the operator notification. Things of this nature. They start out with 0 as null and continue down to 31 for special characters.

The next group of 32 was for special characters and numbers. It started with space being defined to 32, exclamation point, quote, hashtag, the numbers were in the middle here, and at the end at 63 was a question mark.

The next group of 32 were the capital letters. It started with an "at" sign at 64, capital A was 65, capital B was 66, capital C was 67 and so forth down to 95 which was the underscore character.

And the final group of 32 were the lowercase characters. It started with a back accent character, "a," "b," "c" being defined as 97, 98 and 99, continuing on down to 127 which was treated as a delete character.

Now to get to Christopher’s point, the extended character set came in later and it defined numbers from 128 to 255, which happens to correspond to the negative numbers that we saw in the twos-complement video.

These characters are things like an "a" with an umlaut over it or "u" with an umlaut over it for foreign languages and special line drawing things on CRT screens.

The way the computer differentiates between whether it should treat it as these special extended ASCII characters or a negative number is basically just the context of what the computer programmer has told that memory should be treated as.

Whether it should be treated as a signed number, in which case they're negative numbers, or whether it should be treated as a character in which case they're part of the extended ASCII sequence.

So it's really just the context that defines how these numbers are being defined and mapped, and how they're ultimately being used.

And any kind of data in your computer really is treated the same way.

Floating points are just ultimately numbers that have special meaning assigned to them when they're told that the context is floating point numbers.

And any other data is the same way.

For example, this video that you're watching, the audio and the video that you're seeing are just numbers inside your computer that are being displayed on your screen and output through your audio devices.

If this sounds confusing, occasionally it is, but generally it’s not too bad. Context is a real good indicator of what's going on.

And it’s not completely without precedence. Consider spoken language.

Here's a combination of letters in English that has two meanings, the same spelling and different pronunciations.

It could be "minute" meaning a unit of time or "minute" meaning a small amount.

And here's another combination of symbols. The same three letters.

But if you're in English it means one thing.

If you're speaking Spanish it means something else.

And if you're in trig and math, it means yet a third thing.

Same symbols, different meanings, different contexts.

Thanks again Christopher for the great question and don’t forget to check out his channel up here in the cards.

Also up there in the cards is a link to the Bits of Binary playlist if you're interested in a deeper dive into binary number systems and over here are some videos that YouTube thinks you'll be interested in.

I'll see you there and in the mean time, remember when making things...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, March 22, 2019

How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement


Description

Interested in subtracting in binary using 2's complement? In this final episode in the Bits of Binary series, Harley begins with what we know about subtracting in decimal and applies that to binary. Along the way way he introduces 2's complement and shows how it makes subtracting binary numbers a matter of simple addition.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

This is an elegant but non-intuitive way to represent negative numbers.

On this episode of Bits of Binary, I'll explain how it works, here at the House of Hacks.

Hi Makers, Builders and Do-It-Yourselfers. Harley here.

This is the last planned episode in the Bits of Binary series.

Previous episodes explored the concept of alternate number systems and how to do various mathematical operations in binary.

If you missed any of these episodes or want a refresher, they're all in this playlist.

In this past episode, I explained how to subtract a smaller number from a larger one.

It introduced subtraction and related it with how you know how to do it in decimal.

But by limiting the scope to smaller numbers subtracted from larger ones, I avoided the topic of how to deal with negative numbers.

Let's look at negative numbers and how computers represent them.

When learning decimal in grade school, we started with only positive numbers.

Once we got that under our belt, we were introduced to negative numbers, where the number line just mirrored the positive side with a negative sign in front of the number.

We could do the same thing with binary; just add a negative sign in front.

And if humans were the primary users of binary math, this would probably be sufficient, just like it is in decimal.

But we have to remember that the most common use of binary numbers is inside computers.

In the digital electronic environment of voltages, currents and electrons, we don't have the luxury of introducing another abstract symbol like a minus sign.

Ultimately, everything has to reduce to an on or off value.

Further, because of the physicality of the equipment, representing numbers of arbitrary length is hard.

So, two things are done to simplify the problem for computers to use.

First, there are already two symbols, 0 and 1 represented by no voltage and a voltage.

Rather than introducing a third symbol like a minus sign, a 1 is used to represent a minus and a 0 is used to represent a plus.

Second, instead of allowing an arbitrary number of digits, a fixed number of digits is defined.

Typically the number of digits are a power of two: 4, 8, 16 and so forth.

For the purposes of example, we'll assume 8 digits.

If we assume an unsigned number, 8 digits gives us a range of 0 to 255, or all zeros to all ones.

If we use a 1 in the most significant bit to represent a negative number and a 0 to represent a positive number, we reduce the number of bits for the number by one to 7.

This gives us a range of 0 to 127. With the last bit for a sign, the total range is 0 to +/- 127.

This introduces some interesting problems.

In this scenario, you have 0 to 127 in the positive range and then you add a 1 to the front for negative numbers.

Look what happens here at 0.

You have both a positive zero and a negative zero.

This doesn't make too much sense from a mathematical perspective.

The other problem is how to simply handle negative numbers?

First let's look at a decimal example to remember how borrowing works.

Let's take 2002 - 3.

We have 2 - 3, we can't do this so we try to borrow 1 from the previous column.

The previous column is already 0 so we have to borrow from its previous column.

Well this is also 0 so we do it again.

This means the two changes to a 1 and the third column is 10.

Now we borrow the 1 making the third column 9 and the second column 10.

Now we can borrow the original 1 we needed leaving the second column 9 and the first column 12.

Now the subtraction can occur with a final value of 1999.

Remember how this borrowing against 0 columns causes them to become 9s.

We'll come back to this.

Let's look at another example of 1 minus 2.

According to our earlier rule, we can't take a larger number from a smaller number.

So we make a new rule that says if we have a larger number from a smaller number, then swap the order and and add a minus sign to the result.

We could in theory do this in electronics.

Do a comparison, swap the order if needed and add the minus sign.

While it can be done, it's pretty complicated circuitry.

Let's look at what happens if we try doing some borrowing.

Using our example of 1 - 2, in binary we have 1 - 10, we can't do this so we have to borrow from a previous column.

But since the previous column is 0 so we go to the next column.

We do this until we run out of columns.

So we set the negative sign and make this last column 10, or the value 2.

Now we borrow one from that column, leaving 1 and shift to the next column.

This borrowing propagates all the way back leaving 1s in each column, just like we had 9s in our earlier decimal example.

Finally back to the first column, with the borrow, the subtraction can be done, leaving 1.

Because we have 0s in all the remaining columns, the borrows drop down, like the 9s did in our first decimal example.

This gives us a final value of 11111111.

If we wanted to make this look like the original idea of using the last bit for a sign and the remaining bits look just like their positive counterparts, somehow we need to make this look like 10000001.

We need to figure out how those 1s that are a result of borrowing get changed back to zeros.

It turns out this is a pretty complicated problem too.

But what happens if we just assign the result of all ones to mean -1?

Ultimately numbers are just arbitrary symbols with assigned values.

There's nothing stopping us from just saying this symbol represented by all 1s has the value -1.

If we do this, it really simplifies the electronic circuitry for the computer designers.

Let's take look at a couple other examples.

Let's take 1 - 3.

In binary this is 1 - 11.

Going through the process we used for 1 - 2, we end up with a final result of 11111110 which we assign the value of -2.

Now let's take 1 - 4. In binary this is 1 - 100.

Going through the process again, we end with a final result of 11111101 which we assign the meaning of -3.

Doing this again for 1 - 5 gives us 11111100 meaning -4.

Is there a pattern emerging?

If we change all the 1s to 0s and 0s to 1s we see this.

And this is the positive values offset by 1.

So there is a pattern and it's pretty logical.

And it turns out doing this offset by one and change of 0s to 1s and 1s to 0s is relatively easy to do in electronic circuitry.

It's called two's complement and has become the standard way of representing negative numbers.

Going back to our school days learning decimal numbers, once we learned about negative numbers, we then learned that all subtraction problems can be transformed into problems where we add the opposite.

So 2 - 1 becomes 2 + -1 and 1 - 2 becomes 1 + -2.

Well the same thing happens in binary using two's complement notation for negative numbers.

2 - 1 becomes 2 + -1.

Working through this, 0 + 1 is 1.

1 + 1 is 0 carrying a 1.

This 1 + 1 continues until we run out of digits leaving us with 00000001, the expected answer.

If we switch the operands, we have 1 - 2.

Converting this to adding the opposite gives us this.

Working through this 1 + 0 is 1.

The remaining columns are all 0 + 1 giving us 1s for a final result of 11111111 or -1.

Again the expected answer.

And it turns out this works for any combination of numbers.

Let's look at this on a number line.

And remember that weird case we had before with a positive zero and negative zero?

Well, it turns out with two's complement math, what used to be that hard to deal with negative zero just becomes -128.

Here at House of Hacks, I hope to inspire, educate and encourage people with a bent towards making technical and mechanical things out of wood, metal, cameras and electronics.

Binary is the basis for many things related to digital electronics, as well as Boolean algebra, which I'll cover in a future series.

If topics such as these are interesting to you, be sure to subscribe and click the bell notification icon to have YouTube alert you when future videos are uploaded.

Thanks for joining me on our creative journey.

Until next time, go make something. Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, March 8, 2019

How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the second in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Other videos in this series: How to Find My Lost Camera
Photography videos: Photography Tutorials

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Have you ever lost camera gear?

Are you looking for ideas to recover your camera gear if it ever does get lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to talk about two such strategies.

Hi. If we're just meeting, welcome!

I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we do projects related to the workshop, things made out of wood, metal, electronics and other related types of materials.

Today, it's photography gear.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group where occasionally somebody will run across some camera gear that was accidentally left at a popular shooting location.

Generally what will happen is a post will go out describing where it was found and who to contact for more information.

Often times the owner is a member of the group and gets their gear back.

Inspired by these posts, this is the second in a series to help reunite you and your gear if it does get lost.

There's a link to the series right up here.

Our cameras use SD or CF cards to store images on. These are really nothing more than solid state disks that can store any kind of information, not just images.

With this in mind, today's tip is to add a file that contains your contact information in it.

I'm going to show you two ways of doing this.

The first way is to create a text file.

To do this, open a text editor.

On Windows, hit the WIndows key, type "notepad" and hit enter.

On a Mac, hit Command-space and type "textedit" and then hit enter.

Once you're in the editor, put in your contact information. Things like your name, address, phone number, e-mail and website.

Then, save this information on your computer. It can be anywhere you'll remember where it is. Your desktop or documents folders are great locations.

Call the file something that makes the contents obvious. Something like "contact info" or "read me." If you start the name with an underscore character, it'll be at the top of the file list when sorted by name in Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder.

Next, plug your memory card into your computer using a card reader.

The operating system should detect the new drive. Using either Windows Explorer or the Finder, open the card's drive and copy the new file into it.

And you're done!

Do you have any strategies for helping your camera gear find its way home?

Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear it.

And the second way is to create an image with your contact information in it.

To do this, grab a blank sheet of paper. A sheet from your nearest printer will work great.

And then get a marker pen. One with a thick tip is best.

Just write your contact information on the paper and make sure it's legible.

Then take a picture of that page and you're done.

You can keep the paper in your camera bag and then whenever you reformat your card, it's really handy to just grab it and take a picture so that card is now ready to find it's way back home if it ever gets lost.

With either of these tips, if someone finds your camera or your card, all they have to do is take a look at it and they'll be able to find your contact information.

Like the tips in the last video, this is a great first step but it only works for your camera or memory cards. And it requires a bit of thought on the person finding your gear. They have to go look for the information.

And if you ever format the card, you have to put the information back, either copying it off the computer or taking another picture.

In the next tips, I'll give ideas for identifying your equipment that's less technical and doesn't require as much thought on the part of the person finding it. And it'll work for pretty much any item in your camera bag, not just cameras and memory cards.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And while making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, February 22, 2019

How to make a portable air hose reel cart


Description

Wondering about how to build a portable air hose reel cart? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows an install method for his new air hose reel that's portable and uses a new-to-him construction material: SteelTek. There are many ways of mounting an air hose reel but sometimes you don't want it in a permanent location. This option will allow you to move the reel around. This is a small test to see the applicability of this product for future SteelTek projects.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to make a portable air hose reel cart

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "The Whip Theme", "Pump", "There It Is", "Guiton Sketch", "Cool Rock"

Transcript

There's got to be a better way.

Hi. If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given creative talents in the workshop to make things out of wood, metal, electronics and other things like that.

Today we're going to be working on a storage system for this compressor hose.

As part of the car project, I picked up a new air compressor. And along with that came a number of new things that are related to the air compressor itself. Things like the air hose and other miscellaneous bits and bobs that are used to connect hoses together and things like that. And eventually I expect I'll be getting some more air tools and I need a place to store those. To help keep the garage organized and less cluttered, I need a place to store some of this new stuff.

I got a ReelWorks hose reel to store the hose on but now I need a place to mount this and I don't want to mount it permanently to the wall anywhere in the garage because I don't really have a good place for it in there and I don't know exactly how I'm going to be using it, where I'm going to be using it, so I wanted a portable solution.

So today I'm going to look at making a cart that this hose reel will mount to and then will also have additional storage that possibly in the future might be expandable to store additional air tools and things like that in that I purchase in the future.

Let's open this up, get some basic dimensions on it because it will be kind of the core around which everything else will be built.

[Unboxing ReelWorks hose reel]

This is what came in the box: the reel, a manual, a strain-relief spring, a connector fitting and the handle.

A little tiny bit of assembly required.

When I ordered the air hose, I also ordered an air filter and a three foot section of hose.

The idea was I will mount the air filter close to the hose reel and that will filter out any contaminants that are in the air line.

I'll get another hose, probably in the 20 foot range, that will go from the air filter to the air compressor.

From my research online, that's a good length to have between the air compressor and the air filter in order to allow time for anything that's suspended in the air flow to condense out and for the air filter to actually be able to be effective.

Then I'll have the longer hose that will wrap onto the hose reel to move around for actual use of the compressed air.

So, let's assemble this, make some drawings and see what we come up with.

[Hose reel assembly]

[Drawing cart elevations]

OK. Here's the concept.

We've got elevation drawings for the front, the top and the side.

The hose reel goes right here and we've got castors on the bottom.

It's 19 inches from the edge of this handle to where this curves up and it's 13 inches tall from the base here where it mounts to the outside edge and it's 11 inches around in this direction.

So the idea is to build a square base that has castors on it depicted by the circles down there so that'll allow it to roll around and have a plate on the bottom that the reel will mount to and then also have two supports that come up and that are joined at the top and it's going to be offset from the center.

It'll be behind the reel.

And that will be what the air filter connects to and then there will be a hose that runs from here down around into the bottom of where it mounts to to connect the incoming air from the air filter into the hose reel.

And I may think about putting some sort of storage media on top here somewhere.

I need to be careful about how big this is though because I don't want it to go above the handle, so it might look like something along these lines where it covers a portion of that space to hold odds and ends and nick-naks.

I don't want it to get all the way to the edge though otherwise it'll make it hard to spin the handle.

So that's the general idea. Let's go see if we can find some parts to build this with.

[Parts shopping]

[Parts cutting]

I was walking through Lowe's the other day in the plumbing department and noticed this really cool material that I hadn't seen in there before.

It's a whole system for making things with. It doesn't really belong in the plumbing aisle as far as I'm concerned other than it has these tubes that kind of looks like plumbing but it's not a plumbing system at all.

It's really a, basically a, Tinkertoys for adults.

They have all kinds of different connectors. These happen to be Ls and I also got some intersection connectors that have one pipe go through on the one direction and has another connector attach something in.

But they have all kinds of different connectors for Ts and multiple intersections coming together in pretty much all the different configurations you can think of of pipes coming together.

They also have adjustable connectors where you can have set screws and put the pipe in and adjust it to different angles depending on the purposes for whatever it is you're building.

It seems like a really cool system.

According to the web site, it comes in 3/8, 3/4 and 1-1/4 inch sizes and in galvanized and in black.

Now my local Lowe's only had it in 3/4 and 1-1/4 sizes and only in galvanized so I haven't seen the smaller size or the black.

For this particular project, the 3/4 is what I got because that was the smallest size they had but it's really overkill.

3/8 probably would have been way more than sufficient.

Each of the connectors have set screws in them that are tightened with an Allen wrench that tighten down onto the pipe and hold it in place.

It seems to be a really solid, robust system and I have a number of projects that I think it'll work really well for but I wanted to use it on this smaller project just for testing things out.

It is not a very cheap system.

These eight connectors and a 10 foot section of pipe ran me about $70 so compared to like copper or PVC that you might use for a similar application from the plumbing aisle where the connectors are in the cents to dollar range, it's much more pricey but it also is much more robust, rigid system.

The pipe comes pre-cut in various lengths from about I think 4 inches was the smallest in I think 2 inch increments up to a certain size and then it started going in foot increments.

The pipe was pretty expensive when purchased in the smaller sections so I ended up getting a 10 foot section which was the longest I could get and the cheapest per foot and then just cut it up to what I needed for this project.

I cut three 20 inch sections for the cross members and four 15 inch sections for the width and the height and now it's just a matter of connecting everything together with the Allen wrench.

Let's put it together.

[Frame assembly]

OK, that's all there is to it. This is a real sturdy system. I'm real impressed. Like I said, this is way overkill for this particular project, but don't have to worry about the hose reel going anywhere.

The next step is to cut some plates to mount things to.

A buddy of mine gave me some of these surplus moving dollies that his company built.

It's basically a piece of heavy duty sheet metal with a bunch of castors on the bottom.

The castors are a little gummed up, a little worn out possibly, possibly just dirty.

So, I'm going to tear these apart, clean them up and cut the metal down to fit in here and use a couple of the castors for the four corners of the hose reel.

[Moving dolly disassembly and cleaning]

OK, that worked really well.

I first started by trying to spray some WD-40 in one of them and realized that was going to take a lot of WD-40 and a lot of fiddling with things so I had the idea to take it upstairs and run them under some water and within seconds of putting them under water they immediately freed up.

That tells me that the thing that was really keeping these things from moving freely was dirt and probably soda.

These things were used to move soda vending machines around and my guess is they just got a lot of soda in there that kind of caked the dirt in there and made everything really gummy because, like I said, within seconds of putting it under the water they were moving freely.

I did use some soap and tried to clean things up pretty well. Had a lot of dirt come out of it as I was running it through the water and now I've kind of soaked them in WD-40 to drive all that moisture out, to lubricate them a little bit and to protect the surfaces from rust.

WD-40 makes a great solvent and water displacer. It does a little bit of surface protection and lubrication but that's not really it's strength.

So, once this WD-40 kind of evaporates out and displaces all the water, I'll get some oil, 3-in-1 oil or something similar to that, and just kind of lubricate this up for long term lubrication and protection.

The next step is to take those metal plates and cut it down to try to make it fit for the frame that I made earlier.

[Metal cutting, filing and drilling]

[Final assembly]

Well, that's a lot more compact and I think it's going to be easier to use. I don't have to unroll the whole hose in order to use things and we've got the filter on it now.

I didn't get it as far done as I would have liked. I would have liked to have painted the wood and gotten the storage system on top but I just have other projects I need to get to and ran out of time.

So, I'm going to call this good for now. Eventually I can do those as future upgrades.

Over here are some videos that YouTube thinks you're going to enjoy and remember when making things, as this demonstrates...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, February 8, 2019

How to find lost camera gear - Set Metadata (part 1)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the first in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Other videos in this series: How to Find My Lost Camera
Photography videos: Photography Tutorials

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to find lost camera gear - Set Metadata (part 1)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Ever lost photography gear?

Looking for ideas for how to recover camera gear after it's been lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your lost gear find its way home.

Hi! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we work with things related to the workshop. Things like wood, metal, electronics and things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

I belong to a local photographers Facebook group where occasionally somebody will find some camera gear that has been accidentally left at a popular shooting location.

Generally, what will happen is a post will go out on the group describing the gear, where it was found and who to contact to retrieve it.

Often times the person is a member of the group and sees that post and is able to get their gear back.

Inspired by these posts, this is the first of several tips to help reunite you and your gear if it ever gets lost.

And today's tip is to update the metadata in your camera.

This information will get saved into every photo that's taken with that camera.

All the Canon camera's I've owned have come with a program called the EOS Utility.

Inside this utility is a Camera Settings section and inside this section is a place for you to enter your name and other contact information.

When this data is uploaded to your camera, it will be added to every photo that's taken by that camera.

This helps in two ways.

Every image you take with that camera has your information in it that can help resolve any copyright disputes.

And if your camera or memory card is ever found, someone can look at your photos and find your contact information to get a hold of you.

And if you find a camera or memory card, look at the card in either Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder.

Any information the user has stored in the metadata will be shown in the information panel.

This way of identifying your gear is a great first step but only works for your body and memory cards and it's not intuitively obvious to anybody that finds it that it's there.

They have to know to go look for it.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you've done this.

I'd also love to hear if you know how to do this for other camera brands.

In future videos, I'll give additional ideas for identifying your gear.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!