Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kitchen Garbage Bin

Build a garbage can for the kitchen on wheels that doesn't look like a garbage at first sight, is large enough so it doesn't have to be emptied all the time and when it does, it should be easy to do

Melanie and I have both been annoyed at how quickly the garbage can under the kitchen has been filling up so quickly and of course, emptying the trash is nobody's favorite thing to do so it usually doesn't get done until it's overflowing. By that time, it's an even bigger pain in the butt to do so one of the first "projects" on parental leave was to remedy that situation.

Although it took about 3 weeks to accomplish (amidst the feeding, diapers and trying to get Ellie to sleep) I finally finished it up.

I took my inspiration for the design from the inukshuk; I think it's really beautiful. I tried to find a picture online that I could turn into something resembling a garbage can but could only get part-way there. I have to admit, the final product doesn't screem "inukshuk" but at least for me I know the design's origin.

Once I figured out the measurement it was pretty simple to put together. I used 5/8" MDF, sanded and painted it, then put a clear coat of hardwood floor sealer on it to make it more durable. The most time however, was spent on the garbage bag holding mechanism. I wanted it to be something very simple to use so I wouldn't be the only one ever changing the garbage bag which I knew would be the case if changing it would involve more than two or three steps.

Instead of trying to explain it all in words I'll do brief captions on the pictures below


The picture that inspired me

After the rough MDF construction and first coat of crack-filling

Sanded and ready to paint

Finished primer

Painting the metal pieces for the garbage holder mechanism

More metal for the mechanism

The finished garbage can with a little drawer for my wallet, glasses, bb and keys

When the garbage is full

Step 1: lift up the top locking mechanism and hook it onto the little hook I made. Step 2: pull it out to the first notch and remove the full garbage bag

Step 3: Pull it out to the second notch, replace the garbage bag, push it back in and lock it in place

Metal rod on the left with the two notches
Table saw, welder, oxy/acetylene torch, hammer, drill, wrenches, grinder, paint gun

5/8" MDF, caster wheels, 6 feet of 3/8"x3/8" solid steel rod, 8 feet of 3/4"x1/8" flat steel bar, paint,

$70.00 ($30 for the MDF, $20 for the casters, $10 for the paint)

All in all about 12hrs

About $130, couldn't imagine getting one similar to this for under $200 bucks

Works great and yes, I'm not the only one emptying the garbage now, whoohoo...

Friday, September 14, 2012

H2O Mop Take 3: The Capitulation

Fix that bloody H2O mop. Again!

This is a follow-up post to two earlier posts:
1. Fixing Melanie's H2O Steam Mop
2. H20 Mop Take 2: The Rebellion

Last week I was getting ready to mop the floors for Mel and after a few minutes the mop didn't seem to produce any steam. I realized that the epoxy glue I used on the blue water filter a year ago or so had dissolved with the vinegar I used to de-calcify the mop and because of that a little bit of air was able to get sucked into the machine which essentially stopped the vacuum required to suck water through to create steam.

I went out in the shop and took the filter apart again, cleaned out all the glue and ended up trying to plastic-weld it back together with the acetylene torch instead of using glue. It didn't really work until I resorted to the soldering gun with a flat attachment. All put back together I realized that the initial oxy/acetylene "heat-treatment" warped the intake fitting. After drilling it out and exchanging some o-rings I got it semi-working except for the water tank kept creeping up and because of it kept leaking some water onto the floor.

Fed up with the ugly concoction I capitulated and ordered two replacement filters online for $20 bucks. In retrospect I should have probably done that from the beginning. Lesson learned: Fixing is NOT always the best option. Unless of course you want to know how everything works. In that case, taking stuff apart is absolutely essential.

The ugly filter after plastic-welding it together with my soldering gun

You can see how the oxy/acetylene attempt at plastic-welding warped the round fitting at the top

Brand spanking new water filter. Oh, so pretty and only $20 bucks for two of them

Looks a lot nicer and actually works!
The beauty in all its glory
Close-up of the replaced filter


Oxy/Acetylene torch, soldering gun


Cleaning supplies, replacement filters




In Nathaniel's words: I guess I learned something today