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Two home ground beef patties, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, onions, and Joe's homemade pickles, on a sesame seed bun

Mmmm Burger

I have recently undertaken a journey of cooking*.  What started out as complaining about the price of ground beef (ridiculous), has turned into an obsession over cooking the perfect burger.  This is one of my better results.  I’ll probably make a few more posts as time progresses about the equipment that I’m using, but suffice it to say that this was one delicious burger.  Special thanks to my buddy Joe for the delicious homemade pickles.

*Despite a few more posts, I promise not to turn this into a foodie blog.  If you like that sort of thing, check out A Hamburger Today, which I blame entirely for my obsession.

I pulled this Razr clone from next to the dumpster. It had a loose front wheel that required tightening one bolt to fix. After I got it working I took it out for a spin. Wow, am I bad at riding it. To avoid an inevitable and grisly crash I left it on the deck and ignored it for a few months.

After spending the winter in the snow the scooter had developed a nice layer of rust.
I decided to give it to a friend’s kid who didn’t have a scooter. When I looked at it I realized that there was way too much rust on it for any kid to want it. Time for some rust removal.
The firs step was to disassemble the scooter. I took pictures of each area so that I would be able to put it back together later, and so I could share the experience with you.
As you can see the rust even made it inside of the handles. I found it interesting that the caps were held on with a simple knot. That was good for me, it was easy to reassemble.
These ball bearings were the worst part of the project. There was one on top and one at the bottom of the fork. Both had loose bearings. I lost one through my deck, fortunately it didn’t seem to effect the performance. I had to look back at this picture twice to get it back in right. Here are all the parts disassembled and ready to be cleaned. Apart from removing rust I wanted to take off all of the cheesy stickers. They were beat up and proof that it was a generic scooter, not good things when you are a kid.
Here are all of the small parts soaking in a bath of acetone. This did a fairly good job of cleaning off all of the dirt and grease. I used an old toothbrush to give each piece a good scrubbing.

To be continued in another exciting episode…

Dun, dun duuuuuuun.

KeychainWhen I was doing my CFL Teardown I mentioned that I thought the PCB would make a cool keychain. It does. I have had it on my keys for a little while now and it works quite well at helping me find my keys without getting in the way. I like the side with the components silkscreened on, most people like the green side with the traces.
keychainTo make it work as a keychain I had to widen out one of the holes to fit the key ring through. There are a ton of ways to do this, but I happened to have my Yankee Drill sitting on my counter as I was working, so I used that. Next I wanted to take off the excess solder so all the holes would be visible. I was feeling lazy so instead of using a solder sucker I just used solder wick. Once I was happy with the amount of solder I had left I put the keychain in my toaster oven to round off any sharp bits of solder that were left over. This made the board a bit discolored, but it also kept me from cutting myself when pulling my keys from my pocket.

After a few weeks using it the only problem I see is that I am slowly wearing the hole larger. I figure that in a few months I will wear completely through. I could cover the whole thing in a clear epoxy and it would probably last much longer. Probably I will just take apart another broken CFL and use the PCB again.

This is going to be an ongoing project for a while. I believe that it is a 1975 Yamaha motorcycle. I don’t really know many other details yet, hopefully I’ll get someone much more knowledgeable than myself to take a look at it soon. Hit the read more link for more pics and a little more info about the bike.

I went to visit my younger brother this weekend, and he had this yellow bike in his garage. It was left behind by the previous owners and he didn’t have a use for it. Not to mention that it was very broken and dirty.
So I threw it in the back of my car (with the help of my lovely wife), tied down the trunk with some rope and drove it back to my place.It is going to need a lot of work. Almost all of the electrical is unhooked and there is no battery.
The seat cover was all missing but the little bit that said Yamaha on the back. The seat was soaked in dirty oil. The gas tank isn’t connected to anything. The chain, brake cables and throttle are all missing.
But, when I pushed on the started the engine turned over. Yes it may yet workThis is the label, or at least most of it. The top has the numbers 3/75 on it so I’m guessing that is “THE DATE OF MANUFACTURE shoWN ABOVE” If anyone has any info or tips as I dive into this project I’d love to hear from you.


My Dremel burned out recently when I was using it. I was cutting through some thin aluminum with a grinding wheel when it got hot, then stopped working altogether. I received the Dremel as a gift for my wedding and didn’t have a receipt for it. I called up Dremel and they had me send it in without giving me any trouble. A short while later I got a box from UPS. Not only did it contain a perfectly working replacement unit, it had a nice letter, a CD of project ideas and a free accesory. Thank you Dremel very much. I think I may need to go buy some more Dremel products.

The accesory was a 120 grit flapwheel sander. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but right now just about everything is looking like it could use a good sanding.

In case you are wondering how I finished my project after the original dremel died, the metal was thin enough that I was able to cut through it with a box cutter. You’ll see that project in a later post.


One of my compact fluorescent lights stopped working recently. Instead of throwing it away I decided to crack it open and see what was inside.
<warning> Electricity can hurt you. If you don’t know what you are doing, get someone who does to help. </warning>

The first step was to remove the metal base and pry the plastic off of the globe. The plastic base, globe and lamp were disposed of. Be careful with the lamp, it contains mercury vapor, not something you want to be breathing.

The main circuit board. Everything was pretty tightly packed in. At first glance nothing is obviously bad. The plastic on the enclosure was a little browned, so I’m guessing something overheated. One part of the large yellow inductor was cracked when I removed it, so that is a possibility.
After a little time with the soldering iron I’ve got a nice pile of parts. I got six diodes, seven capacitors (two matching), five resistors (two matching), three inductors, two matching transistors, a fuse and a nifty circular pcb. Normally I would dispose of the pcb but I think it would make a really cool looking key chain.
Now all I need to do is check the parts that might be bad and put them away in my parts drawer.

Look what I got in the mail. I should really order things for myself more often.

The box was easily large enough to ship a full sized LCD. I reused the bubble wrap to ship my burned out Dremel in for repair.
The replacement screen, it looks exactly the same. So far so good.
All fixed up. All the screws went back into the right places, even the stickers and rubber bumpers went back. And I’ve even upgraded the software to boot. It’s like a brand new machine.