Thursday, March 26, 2020

DIY projects for hunkering down

This is a time of tragedy. But I've been very fortunate, having steady employment, and (so far) a healthy family. And lately I've had the opportunity to do a lot of fun DIY projects.

I'm teaching online. Mostly, I'm doing it by writing short notes, broken up into discussion-thread-sized bits, and posting them on a discussion forum. But I also recorded some short video segments today, which reminded me that our one camera tripod had a broken hub. So I designed and 3D printed a new one. (Design files are here.)

It's been bothering me for a while that one of our bathroom faucets had rounded knobs that had to be grasped firmly by the fist to turn. This means that you get the knobs dirty when you start the water with dirty hands, and then after you wash up you get your hands dirty from the knobs when you turn off the water. Levers are way better: you can either move them with elbows or you can ensure that you push on one side with dirty hands and on the other side with clean hands. I printed some lever attachments that slide over our rounded knobs. (Design files here.)

The grocery store was out of toilet paper. So we ordered some giant commercial-establishment bathroom rolls. Of course, they don't fit our toilet paper holders in the bathrooms, so I made this one out of some scrap wood and a handlebar from a broken-down scooter:

My usual form of exercise--the climbing wall--has been shut down. So, I've had to switch to tennis. I found out that it's hard to move around playing tennis in long pants, and I didn't own any shorts, so I found some old khakis in my scrap cloth box, and cut them down and hemmed them:

And, finally, I sewed a mask for myself and one for my wife for when we go to the grocery store. Mine used this design and the one for my wife used this one, except that I added some heavy gauge insulated copper wire to shape the nose ridge area. (I used cotton T-shirt material as per this article, layered with some microfiber for one of the masks.)


El Gerente said...

Stay safe and healthy Alex!

Dagmara Lizlovs said...

Stay safe and healthy. I am very fortunate and I thank God that I have a secure job and can telework. The hard part will be that I won't be able to see my 95 year old Mother and my sister for Easter.

Alexander R Pruss said...

I added a cutter for the toilet paper mount: