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Lock him up!
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# 181055 30-Sep-2015 18:44
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Geekzone strikes me as the kind of place that attracts creative problem solvers, à la Mythbusters. When I was younger I used to enjoy fixing things that were designed to be unfixable, as well as creating new things for particular tasks. These days I don’t do much, but occasionally my skills still come in handy. Most recently I bought a new car and had to work out a new way of mounting my radar detector, which wouldn’t work with any prefabricated solutions because of the weird way the car dash and windscreen are shaped and the lack of any surface I could attach the detector to without doing damage. In the process of innovating a solution, I was reminded of something that I thought others might find useful.

We all have boxes and shelves of random stuff that might come in handy for something some day. Several years ago I acquired some rubber car weather stripping from a dismantler. I actually got it for free. He let me pull it out of a wreck destined for the crusher.

It was just some long tubes of rubber shaped to go around the door frame. I wanted it to repair damaged moulding on another car. I cut out the torn sections and glued lengths of the replacement rubber into place. The repair looked better than I expected. It wasn’t invisible by any means but it didn’t stand out either. It looked a lot better than the torn rubber and added value to an older car I was selling.

I put the remaining rubber aside with the thought that this was the kind of thing that might come in handy again one day. That didn’t happen for a long time but eventually my sub-woofer amp died and I had to replace it. This required some modification of the speaker cabinet as the amp was not a direct replacement for the previous one. The new amp worked well, but I had trouble damping vibration from the transformer and around the mount points. Then I remember the rubber stripping. It worked beautifully and provided the perfect solution.

After that I found many uses for it on various small build projects. Finally came the surprisingly difficult problem of mounting the radar detector. A modified universal suction cup mount gave me the basis, but there were numerous problems stabilising the detector and getting it into the right position. The rubber was just what I needed to go between the edges of the detector and the windscreen, and to provide a shock absorber underneath the part of the mount that was resting on the dash. Finally, I cut a short piece of rubber tube to run some ugly coloured leads through, which made a perfect conduit, giving the finished job a tidy look.

While doing this it occurred to me how incredibly useful and flexible this rubber has been for me as a construction and repair material, and what fantastic value for money it offers. It is the kind of thing that can have many uses but is not always easily available in shops. So if you want to add a truly handy all-purpose material to your junk box, go to a dismantler and look for the cheapest moulding you can find from any wrecked car. Who knows, you might even get it for free!

I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney

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Uber Geek


  # 1398660 2-Oct-2015 12:28
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The joys of hoarding .....

"I'll find a use for it ... eventually"

When eventually comes around, I can no longer find it ...

My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government

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