House of Hacks

Friday, January 25, 2019

How To Hang Moving Blankets For Sound Absorption


Description

Need to easily hang your moving blankets for sound absorption? In this episode of the House of Hacks, Harley shows an fast hack to make moving blankets easy to hang for acoustic treatment.

Referenced videos:
Using moving blankets for sound absorption

Spring clamp hack

Finishing paracord ends

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 Hang Moving Blankets For Sound Absorption

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

Transcript

Want to see how to make it easier to hang cheap moving blankets to absorb sound? Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to do exactly that.

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

In this earlier video, I looked at how surprisingly effective cheap moving blankets were for an acoustic treatment for a room. I measured the echo in my workshop before hanging them and then hung them and then measured it again and found that it worked really, really well.

Now I need a way to easily hang them, move them around and put them to use.

In that video, I used some spring clamps to hold the blankets to some overhead joists here in the workshop. It worked well enough but it was kind of cumbersome since the blanket was held in place by the jaws of the clamps.

As I showed in this other video, I put 1/4-20 bolts on spring clamps in order to hold photography accessories.

One such accessory are these. They're studs that are a couple cents apiece when bought in bulk and are designed to hold studio lights. But of course we don't need to use them for that.

At the hardware store, I picked up a grommet installation kit with some large grommets and some paracord. We'll use this to hang the moving blankets.

The installation kit is designed for two sizes of grommets and so it comes with two cutters for material to make holes the right size and a piece of wood to back those cutters up when cutting the material. To install the grommets, the kit comes with an anvil for one side of the grommet. This is two sided. One for the large size and one for the small size.

And it comes with two punch heads. These are used to crimp the two halves of the grommets together.

To be able to hang these blankets, I'm going to put three grommets on one edge of each blanket.

Starting with the large cutter and the wood, I used a hammer to drive the cutter through the blanket and into the wood. This gives me a hole the right size for the grommet.

The grommets come in two halves. The first half is designed to go through the hole and the second half goes over the top of this with the material sandwiched in between and then it's crimped together.

Place the grommet that goes through the hole on the bottom anvil and then place that under the blanket through the hole.

Place the other half of the grommet on top with the curved side up.

Use the punch head and a hammer to round over the center part of the grommet, crimping the two halves tightly together.

Once the grommets were in place, I then cut the rope into nine inch long segments and sealed the ends. I show in this video how I like to seal the ends of kernmantle rope and paracord.

The rope is looped through the grommets and held with a knot. I used a square knot but you can use whatever you like.

The loops of rope can now slip over the studs on the spring clamps and I can hang a blanket where ever the clamps can be placed... On shelves... On equipment... And it's easier to use on the joists too.

Thanks for joining me on this creative journey that we're on.

I'll see you over here in this video that YouTube thinks you'll like.

And while making things, remember: Perfections not required. Fun is!

[Beep]

OK! We got the audio running this time.

Last take I did the entire video and didn't have the audio on.

Isn't that fabulous?!?!

We'll call it a practice.

Friday, January 11, 2019

DIY Camera Gear: Spring Clamp Hack


Description

Need some inexpensive camera gear? In this episode of House of Hacks, we're going to take a look at an inexpensive but super useful DIY camera gear hack: the spring clamp. Also known as A-clamps, spring clamps are cheap but essential camera gear for beginners that should be part of every camera bag.

Spring clamps at 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 DIY Camera Gear: Spring Clamp Hack

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

Transcript

Besides a camera, today at the House of Hacks we’re going to look at one of the most essential, and cheapest, tools for a photographer’s camera bag: the spring clamp!

Hi! If we’re just meeting, I’m Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we talk about things workshop related. Things like metal working, wood working, electronics, photography and making things in general.

The spring clamp, also known as an A-clamp, is super useful on photo shoots. Today we’re going to talk about a modification that makes it even more useful for photography purposes and then we're going to talk about a number of ways it can be used.

Spring clamps come in a variety of sizes from huge, giant things to these medium sized ones, these happen to be 2 inch, to these smaller guys. I think these are 1 inch. Personally I find the medium sized ones the most useful, followed by the smaller ones. I've haven't ever found a need for the really big ones.

They cost a couple bucks apiece and can be found at most large home improvement stores. I’ve also left a link below to where you can get them on Amazon. This will save you a trip , I get a small commission and it won't cost you anything extra.

To make them even more useful for photography applications, I like to add a 1/4-20 bolt with a nut on it to allow you to mount things like cameras and other photography accessories lights.

To add this hack, for each clamp, get a 1/4-20 1 inch long bolt. I like to use a star lock washer. They seem to work a bit better than say the split ring lock washers. A nyloc 1/4-20 nut. A 1/4-20 flange nut. This is a nut that has a flange on with a wider section on one side. And a large washer where the hole in the middle is large enough for the nut part of the flange nut to go through but not large enough for the flange to go through.

And also some two-part epoxy.

Mix up a bit of epoxy and use it to glue the flange nut to the inside of the washer. The flange itself should be exposed and keep the nut from going through the washer.

While that’s setting, check your clamps to see if they have a hole between the hinge and the tip of the clamp. If they don't, you'll need to drill one. Some brands have a hole here. Some brands don't. These don't, so I'll have to drill a hole. And I'm going to drill that hole just below where the plastic part of the tip ends.

Then, with the star lock washer next to the bolt head, place the bolt through the hole from the inside so the threads are poking out. Use the nyloc nut to hold it securely in place.

Once the epoxy is set, thread that assembly onto the bolt with the flange part of the assembly pointing out.

This gives you a place to mount standard 1/4-20 threaded items onto. The flange nut works as a jam nut to tighten the item down and the washer gives you a little handle to be able to loosen and tighten it.

So, how can you use this?

You can hold backdrops or reflectors to stands…
tighten loose clothing on models…
manage cables and cords…
hold gels on lights…
keep gobos in place...
mount cameras or lights in awkward places…
hang sound absorbing material to deaden room echos…
or whatever you can think of.

If you have clamps like these, leave a comment below and tell me how you've used them.

I’ll see you in this video over here that YouTube thinks you'll find interesting.

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

[John 4:14]