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.


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.


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.