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Old 10th Apr 2014, 7:05 pm   #80
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Olympia, Washington, USA.
Posts: 493
Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Here are a few things I have used over the years:
Sewing felt to make anti scratch wshers for knobs. Use a bottle top of correct size to make the outside circle, and a piece of hollow tubing, sharpened on the bottom edges as a punch with a block of wood backer for the shaft hole.

A piece of automotive fuel line for the dried out Atwater Kent model 55 dial drive rubber.

Wooden chopsticks as insulated prods for poking about in chassis. (The GF got a bit miffed about her orange sticks disappearing when she wanted to do her nails).

Plastic knitting needles reformed for tuning tools for IF cans and pots.

Using stick on wheel weights to make the proper tone arm weight when replacing the old massive cartridges with a newer style.

Nylon fish line and BB shot sinkers to replace missing anti skate weights on t/t. (Looks ugly, but works well).

"O" rings from the local auto parts shop to replace defective drive tires on VCR's

Gluing a small flat belt on the outside of an idler wheel thats NLA to make a t/t work again.

"O" rings to the rescue again to replace a missing dial drive belt thats NLA.

Using grommets glued on with a bit of RTV cement for non-scuff feet.

Model paint to repaint a dial pointer, or touch up a cabinet.

Use a Sharpie (tm) or other asphalt base marker to make "etch resist traces" on a PC board, instead of spending big bux for the same thing without the brand name on it.

A steam iron can make a fine load or dropping resistor for testing equipment. ( Do this when the XYL is not home though).

Texclad III graphite grease from Texaco Oil Co to lubricate VCR and t/t mechanisms, as its 33% graphite (and a real ****** to get it out of your clothing.) It was originally designed for open gear lubrication. The actual VCR grease is hard to find here any more.

When using plastic pipe, pill bottles, etc. as coil forms, be sure to check their characteristics at the frequency you want to use them at. Some can really muck up your project.

Glass tubing for neon signs makes great insulators for coil forms and comes in many sizes.

The glass neon sign tubing standoffs also are great for HT cable run standoff insulators.

The old bushing and nut from a junk pot make great panel shaft through bushings.

Wiring from old junk washers, dryers, ovens, etc make great project wiring for tube projects. (Here 600V rated wiring is difficult to find anymore.)

Plastic caps from soda bottles, water bottles, etc make fine knobs for your projects. Just turn open side up, fill with epoxy, and put the shaft you need a knob for in it and let it set. BE SURE TO GREASE SHAFT FIRST! Then the epoxy will not stick to it. Then
paint your desired color with plastic paint. With care you can even drill a set screw or grub screw hole and tap it out too. Best to use the slow set epoxy rather than the "5 minute" type. It seems to set better.

Use "Tinker Toys" to make a basket weave coil on. Then you can pull out the wooden dowels and the " wheel" and the coil will hold its shape if you use solid wire. Glue to cardboard as a "backer" if you desire.
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