My 1967 Omega Constellation has a fresh look. I made a custom strap for it that is sized to my wrist and non-adjustable. I’d seen similar designs before, but didn’t way to pay for something that looked so simple to make. It turned out to be pretty easy using a few specialized tools, hardware, and a thin scrap of leather.
First, I cut the strip with a box cutter and straightedge.
Next, I used a small leather punch and mallet to make a clean hole for a screw-in button stud.
After measuring the strap on my wrist, I marked a spot for the button hole. I used a specialized tool that creates a slit and properly sized hole, when struck with a mallet.
Then, I cut a small strip of leather to fold over and hold the strap end. I punched two holes in its ends and stitched them with waxed thread. I’m really happy with the result.
I have a bad habit of building prototypes right in front of the keyboard I need to access for coding said prototypes.
The elementary school variety show producer (yes, producer — we take this seriously!) asked if I could build some lighted magic wand props for one of the acts. “Heck yes!,” I said. I love building props.
Here’s how I built them:
- Start with an LED flashlight for the end cap switch, handle, and battery holder. Doing these things from scratch can be a pain. $5 lights worked great, you may be able to go cheaper.
- Remove the bulb, solder in leads and wires to extend the length, solder on a nice, fat 10mm LED.
- Use three street sweeper blades to form the wand structure, zip tie and tape them to the barrel.
- Heat shrink tubing to hold the LED nicely to the sweeper blade tips.
- Wrap the wand in masking paper. Glue the paper on, being sure to wrinkle and crease it like gnarled wood.
- Stain with wood stain, paint it, dry brush lighter colors at the peaks to increase the read on stage to the audience. Polyurethane the paper.
Here’s a visual guide to my method. UPDATE: The wands survived dress rehearsal and three performances! See bottom of this post for a photo of the young wizards in action.
Here’s another in my ongoing series: John Repairs Stuff With Sugru.
I bought this colander over twenty years ago, and I am fond of it. The mesh developed a couple of tears in it, so I patched them up. My one regret on this fix is my color choice — out of the corner of my eye it looks like some egg noodles are stuck in there. I may cover them over with a thin layer of red at some point.
Note: Sugru isn’t officially qualified as food safe; please don’t poison yourself and then yell at me.
Here’s a look at the morning ritual — grinding beans, dosing the portafilter, tamping, pulling the shot, steaming and pouring milk. Not pictured: drinking this deliciousness.
A friend was moving and thought I may have a use for this broken TV set. Here’s how I turned it into a book shelf.
I pulled off the back, removed the amplifier and CRT.
After removing the “gold tone” trim, these retention clips needed to be pulled to free the glass. The bezel is such a gorgeous brown, cream, and patina green. Here Beatrix and I appear on TV.
I framed it with some 1″ square strips of white oak I had left over from a catapult project, and used some hardware to mount a panel of wood. I pulled that panel from the dumpster at Walt Disney Animation Studios when they were remodeling one of the production pods a few years ago.
Here’s the finished piece. I left the tuning mechanism in place so you can twist the giant knob on the right and change the number front and center.