Make-it-yourself devices archive page 6
Homemade dental tool

This is a slightly improved version of a previously posted item. I somehow lost that first one. I seem to lose a lot of stuff. A couple of weeks ago I noticed my library card was gone. I've lost 3 pairs of reading glasses in the last 3 years. Then there was the hand knit gloves my mother made for me. Anyway, onward about the subject at hand.

First remove the ink tube from a disposable ball point pen. Remove the point holder from a safety pin. Force the point through the plastic pen shell cylinder near one end (see photo below). The wire is then bent around the tube and the wire end pushed into the open end of the tube to secure it in place.

Takes time and patience to use, but once the sharp end dulls down from use, this works pretty good to do the same sort of job that a dental hygenist does when you go to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned. And you don't have to make an appointment, maybe take off work, or pay $40. I use this every day. I suppose it works better than dental floss because more force is applied per unit of area. As a tooth pick, I like it better than the standard wooden ones - its thinner tip gets into narrower crevices. The tip doesn't blunt like the wood ones do.

The picture below is a close up view of the working end. I left the tube whole length (about 6 inches) as a handle so it easily reaches my back teeth.
Car speakers:

To drown out road noise, I had to turn up the volume on my car radio to the point where the speakers couldn't take the power without a lot of distortion. My first solution was to put a headphone jack in the dashboard. Wearing headphones was a big improvement, especially with the windows down when driving in hot weather. But after a year or so I started to wonder if wearing headphones while driving is legal. A call to a local highway patrol station confirmed my suspicions. So I mounted my car's speakers where they would give maximum sound with the minimum power output. Put all 4 speaker within 1 foot of my ears.

I straightened the wire from two clotheshangers. Pointed an end on each wire. Pushed the wire through the driver's seat cover. Bent the wire ends to secure it through mounting holes in the speakers metal frame near the wire ends. Used paper clip wire to secure the speaker frame to the clotheshanger wire at the other speaker frame holes. That took care of the two 9 inch oval woofer/midrange speakers shown in the photo below.

I had already removed the car's headliner for another project. So mounting the two 3 inch tweeters was easy. I just tied them with twine to a sheet metal rib just above the driver's head.

This sounds tremendously better than the standard factory placement. I get all the volume I want with just a low cost radio. I left the dash headphone jack connected so a passenger can use it.

Window blind:

My computer sits next to a window. Glare from light coming in the window and hitting the monitor screen is a problem. I installed purchased Venetian blinds on the window. That helped but not a lot.

So, from a car radiator shipping box I cut two pieces of corrugated cardboard to fit over the window. One large side of the box covers the bottom half of the window. The other large side of the box covers the top of the window. Portions of a narrow side of the box were left attached to each large piece. Those smaller portions overlap across the center of the window and serve as flaps that can be tilted open to peek outside. A yardstick holds the flaps almost completely closed. The bottom photo show how a piece of clotheshanger wire is bent and secured with a wood screw to hold the yardstick at each end.

Works a lot better than the Venetian blinds.

Overhead Fan:

My computer is in the top floor of a two story house that has no air conditioning. Even with fans pulling in outside air, in the summer the room temperature sometimes gets into the upper 90s. So I hung a 5 inch fan from the ceiling so it aims straight down. It's about 2 feet above my head when I'm sitting at the computer. The monitor sits on a switch panel box with one of the switches controlling the fan. What a relief it is to flip on that switch on a hot summer afternoon.

The motor comes from a defunct microwave oven. I bent clotheshanger wire to make a hanger bracket for the motor. Two long screws into a ceiling joist secure the bracket. Two wire ends go through the holes in the motor's original mounting bracket. I bent the wire ends after passing them through the holes so they stay in place. The yellow and blue wires supply power brought in with a power cord from a defunct television set. The red in the picture is yarn used to hold the wires in place.

Having the switch within arm's reach lets me turn the fan on and off as needed without hesitation. The fan is quieter and uses less electricity than larger fans. Positioning of the fan seems to be ideal. I get a lot of air flowing over my body with little hitting my eyes. It does a nice job at keeping me comfortable. I'll give this improvised solution a 9 out of 10.

Kitchen Computer:

I wanted a computer in my kitchen. A computer in the kitchen seemed the best way to keep recipes handy, find particular recipes, and modify or create recipes. There was no good place to put the monitor and keyboard, so I hung the monitor from the ceiling using coathanger wire. I put 2 screw hooks into ceiling joists above the monitor and one screw hook into a wall stud behind the monitor. Drilled a couple of holes at the top corner edges of the monitor in line with the monitor's center of gravity. Used the holes to attach the wire to the monitor. A wire going to that screw hook in the wall keeps the monitor closer to the wall than it would otherwise hang. Mostly that is needed to keep it back out of the way. Set the keyboard on the microwave oven and the computer case on top of a cabinet sitting next to where the microwave sits. This is all in a relatively dimly lighted area so it's hard to see the coathanger wire. Makes it look like the monitor is floating there with nothing holding it up. Maybe I should tell people I have a computer- controlled microwave oven.

Clock buttons:

The buttons on my alarm clock have a problem. I have to push very hard for them to work. It seems like corrosion and/or dirt on the contacts. For a year I held on to something big like a super sized felt tip marker and used a protruding edge on the marker to push on the button. Using a finger to push hard enough required ignoring some pain. So finally I had enough of the marker repeatedly slipping off the button before I could get the right setting. I used a hot glue gun to melt a little bit of temp setting plastic on a button. I heated up a pill watch battery by sitting it on the glue gun's nozzle. (None of the batteries exploded.) Then a pair of pliers was used to set the battery in place. As the battery cooled it froze in place. The batteries have maybe twice the surface area as the clock's original buttons. The original buttons are recessed below the surrounding surface. The new buttons stick up above the surrounding surface. So it is much easier to put some extra force on the switch contacts to get them to work. And now I can feel when my finger is on a button. With the felt tip marker case, I had to guess just where I was pushing and hope I was pushing on the right place.

Hey, sometimes the manufacturer just doesn't get everything right and a fellow has to come up with his own ideas.

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