DIY Ocean Desk – A Standing Desk with Personality

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Apr 6, 2018

Because I spend so much time at my desk, I wanted to create a unique and beautiful desktop that I could place atop a motorized base. I started researching and discovered these gorgeous desk by a French designer in the Caribbean. He uses local stone, some serious machinery and a boat-load of epoxy. There’s a catch, however – his tables sell for anywhere from $12,000 – $60,000 each! A bit out of my budget, but I still love his work and wanted to try something that was original using wood.

How to Add an Electrical Outlet for a Wall Mounted TV

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Apr 5, 2018

After we wall-mounted our new TV, the first thing we had to deal with was all of the ugly wires hanging down. In a related article, I show how to hide your TV wires for just $10. In fact, I later came out with another article and video showing how to do this by using a kit that hides your A/V wires and your electrical wiring as well, if you’re interested in doing this with a kit.

How to Fix the Hook Timing on a Sewing Machine

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Apr 4, 2018
How to Fix the Hook Timing on a Sewing Machine

 

When my wife’s sewing machine was broken I decided to call a sewing machine repair shop but they told me it was going to be $90 just to take a look at it. I’m a cheapskate so I decided to do a little internet research to try to figure out how to fix it myself and, fortunately, as you’ll see below, this was just a fix that required some adjustments – no parts or anything like that.

How to Create the Perfect Retro Games Room

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Jan 24, 2018
How to Create a Retro Gaming Room

In the face of today’s high-tech games and fast-paced technology, retro gaming is making a major comeback. The BBC reports that more people are collecting and playing with games on systems that dominated the early days of home gaming. These include the Atari 7800s, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, and Sony PlayStations of the 80s and 90s, and the classic titles everyone played with as children.

3D Printing: 13 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started

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Jan 17, 2018
13 Things I Wish I Knew About 3D Printing When I First Started

Several years ago I read a book called Makers, by Chris Anderson and he talked about how, in the future, we could all have 3D printers of our own and our homes would be like little manufacturing factories. Today, we’re seeing that happen around the world. It’s pretty incredible. A couple of years ago I got my first 3D Printer and it cost me about $650 and could print just about anything I wanted up to 150mm squared. I was pretty stoked but it was a real labor of love. Things broke, prints got messed up and I spent more time trying to get a successful print than I did actually making cool stuff.

How to Build a Treeless Tree house – Part 1 – Footings and Deck

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Nov 18, 2017
Treehouse Clubhouse in the backyard DIY

Once upon a time, we had small children who loved having picnics in the front yard, dressing up like frogs, and playing on a good ol’ swing set.

Building a Woodshop from Scratch – Electrical Wiring

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Nov 3, 2017

If you’ve been following my other posts about this wood shop, you’ve seen the framing and then the siding, trim and roofing and broken rib come along over the last little while. By that point I only had two big projects left to do outside the shop: running electricity to the shop and building the front doors. I’ve started on the front doors and have come a long way but at this point in the year, it’s starting to get colder and darker so I figured I’d better hold off on the doors (I have temporary doors in place – they’re super ghetto but they do the job) and focus on getting power and lighting into the shop so I could hook up the heating/AC unit and stop running 100ft extension cords from the house for power. This will allow me to build the doors inside the shop and put them up as soon as they’re ready; hopefully in the next few weeks or so. I haven’t yet finished wiring the inside of the shop but I have started, and the shop now has its own power. Here’s how that all went down.

Building a Woodshop – Sheathing, Roofing, Trim and a Broken Rib

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Nov 3, 2017

Holy Schneikes! It’s been months since I blogged about the shop and it’s come a long way since my last post. Since finishing the framing, I’ve worked on the next steps, which are many:

  1. Wrapping the structure in OSB
  2. Roofing: Applying OSB Sheathing to the roof, then tar paper, drip edge and shingles
  3. Wrapping the structure in moisture-resistant house wrap
  4. Installing all of the windows
  5. Putting up the LP SmartSide Panel Siding
  6. Installing trim around windows, doors and panel joints
  7. Installing soffits and fascia
  8. Installing gutters

How to Fix Your Car’s A/C in 5 Minutes

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Aug 17, 2017
how-to-fix-your-cars-ac-in-5-minutes
It’s August. It’s been averaging 102 degrees Fahrenheit where I live. Not having some good air conditioning in your vehicle can be pretty rough. When my A/C stopped working on the left side of my car, I knew it was time to recharge it. Recharging your A/C is a really easy process and only takes five or ten minutes. Here’s how it’s done.

1. Turn Your A/C on High for 3-4 Minutes

Put your A/C on all the way cold, recirculating and the highest setting. Let it run for 3-4 minutes at least before proceeding to the next step. This ensures that your system will be attempting to draw the refrigerant through the pipes, which is what we want.

2. Locate Your Low Pressure Service Port

Every vehicle that has air conditioning should also have a high and a low pressure a/c service port. They’re typically aluminum tubes, one thicker and one thinner. They also have removable caps on them labeled with an ‘H’ and an ‘L’ respectively. Locate the low pressure service port and remove the cap. It should either thread off or just pop off. Be sure to put it somewhere safe.

3. Use the A/C Gauge to Determine Your Current Pressure

The refrigerant you purchased should have come with a pressure gauge. The adapter on the end is identical to that of an air compressor hose. Pull up the collet and attach the adapter to the low pressure port. You should get a reading on your gauge. If you’re pretty much out of refrigerant, or very low, you’ll likely get a reading between 0 and 15 PSI. That means it’s definitely time for a recharge. If, however, your reading is in the blue zone (typically above 30 PSI) you might not need refrigerant and may have a different issue altogether. Be aware that over filling your refrigerant can be harmful to your system and may cause the same lack of cold air as an under-pressured system.

4. Shake it up!

Once you’ve determined that you need more refrigerant, start shaking the can. Its contents need to be well agitated to mix up the settled contents. Keep shaking throughout the next steps as well.

5. Fill It to the Appropriate Level

Check the included chart to determine what PSI you need to be at, which is determined by the outside/surrounding temperature. If you’re in a room temperature garage, for example (70 deg. F), then you’ll need your low pressure to be at 35-40 PSI. If it’s 100 degrees out, you’ll need to be up at 50-55 PSI. Keep moving the can horizontally and vertically as you squeeze the trigger to pressurize the system. Be sure to stop from time to time to check the pressure level so as to not over-fill it.

refrigerant pressure temperature chart

Refrigerant Air Conditioner Pressure to Temperature Chart

That’s it! You should have functioning A/C again – woohoo! If you’ve been without it on a scorching hot day and then get it fixed, you know what a joyous occasion this can be. In this case, I was working on my Dad’s old truck and he actually has never had A/C in it since he bought it a couple of years ago so you can imagine how pleased he was to feel the ice-cold air blowing out of the vents. Summers are suddenly much more bearable!

A Few Tips

  • The symptoms for low refrigerant pressure are varied and can include:
    • Warm Air coming out of the vents when the A/C is on
    • Cool air but not as cold as it should be
    • A/C only working on one side of the vehicle or certain vents
    • Pressing the A/C button doesn’t seem to have any impact on the air temperature
  • If there’s a bit of refrigerant still left in the can, you cannot remove the nozzle and use the can again. You must use it all in one shot, or at least without disconnecting the hose, or else the remainder of the refrigerant will leak out.
  • The hose and gauge of the refrigerant can be reused. The hose and gauge seen in this video is the one I bought for my car and then used on my Dad’s car, so he just has to buy the bottle, not the bottle, hose and gauge.

Happy recharging!

Ready to watch the video to see it in action? Check it out.

https://youtu.be/C_IhGe0Kip8

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