Archive for January, 2010

Fluffy Bookshelf Trim

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I salvaged a set of shelves that were located in an institution’s hallway for some years.  There was a mysterious film on the kickplate at the front bottom of the shelves.  It took me a while to figure out what it was.

floorwax-web

I scraped about a handful of the stuff off a three foot length of panel.  It had been in the hall for long enough to build up a nice coating of floor wax from the side of the orbital buffer.

I’ve always vaguely understood what was meant by marketing copy that describes car wax as “fluffy”, but I don’t think that this is what they meant.

Perking up engine performance

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

As I am nearing the end of a move to a larger apartment, I have found several (some would say numerous) items that I should probably dispose of.  Some have a minor story behind them, and one is amusing enough I thought I would take a few pictures before throwing out the guilty part.

This is an old-style air cleaner for a carburated engine.  It sits on top of the engine, hence the chrome(esque) finish.

Aftermarket 14" air cleaner

Aftermarket 14" air cleaner

Here is the underside.  This cleaner never fit right; it always sat at a slight angle and required some fiddling with to get it to work.

Underside of modified air cleaner

Underside of modified air cleaner

Note that it has obviously been modified, with a new neck fastened on with what looks like caulk (or Liquid Nails or somesuch) and then resprayed silver.  I had assumed that a previous owner had done this to lower the air cleaner to fit under a low car hood.  On the other hand… one night I was working on the car, neighbors undoubtedly sighing “there’s that fellow again”, and had the air cleaner off.  My trusty head-mounted flashlight (neighbors sigh again) picked up a few words visible under the silver paint on the neck.

detail-neck-web

Brewing instructions!  Some ingenious and frugal individual had at some point needed to replace the neck of the air cleaner, and had realized that a can of Maxwell House or the like was almost exactly the right diameter.  Cut an inch or so of of the can, glue it to the cleaner, et voila!  A workable solution.  I say “workable” rather than “ideal” because the characteristic rolled lip on the can makes the inside diameter a little bit too small, hence my repeated troubles with fitment.  I will confess that I had not anticipated the above to be the reason for the problem.