Recently I had to fix a toy for the new addition in the family. It was a car seat toy. The toy is suppose to play a song when you push the dog’s nose. We’ve had this toy for a few years and all it needed was a new battery. I made a short video going through what I needed to do to change the battery.
I hate tamper proof screws. The only point to them is to either sell more tools, or force people to throw stuff out. They don’t keep people out. People who want to get in will get in, and people who don’t want to will not. And keeping people out of products so they can’t change batteries doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Then there is the problem of end of life. How many people would just chuck this item into the garbage?
End users or consumers should always be able to remove and replace batteries without the need for specialty tools so they can remove the batteries before they dispose of the device, or prolong the life of the device. Why is this such a big deal? Devices with non removable batteries cannot be automatically processed by waste recycling facilities (because these facilities grind up the entire device – which would cause major issues with batteries). This forces these types of devices to be shipped overseas where low cost labour disassembles them. Often kids are doing this work, and the waste is not disposed of properly.
Apple is one major manufacturer that insists on fully enclosed non removable batteries. This is terrible, but it helps their agenda: sell more devices or sell more over priced service. Numerous reasons are given for built in batteries in small electronic devices, but in reality they don’t have any merit. I have a inexpensive ($100) Android phone with a removable battery and it works great. And if the battery needs to be replaced, I don’t even need any tools to replace it. And when the device fails I can remove the battery and send them to appropriate recycling facilities, instead of across the globe.
We really have to stop designing for the dump and quickest assembly, and start designing for service and longevity.
For my latest project, I made a concrete bench out of standard precast concrete blocks that are easily sourced. I filled them up with cement and steel reinforcement, grouted a piece of granite countertop on (to give a nice flat surface), and anchored my import lathe to it using sleeve anchors. I made a video of it here:
I also made a video of a quick analysis I did of the stiffness and damping properties of concrete and found concrete to be a great material to make a lathe bench out of:
It turned out well. I originally was going to build a steel bench out of 2×2 tubing to move the lathe to as the wood bench gave significant grief when trying to get the twist out of the bed. I then started thinking outside of the traditional box, and thought, hey what about concrete.
Now my lathe is pretty short – if you had a longer lathe you might want to support the granite countertop more with perhaps some steel bolted between the 2 supports.
I plan on making some shelves for below the lathe yet in between the 2 blocks. It was a fun project, and I learned a fair bit about cement and concrete in my reading. If you want to improve the damping even more, there are many studies on adding rubber pieces to the cement. You can also add steel wool to significantly improve the strength. Simple standard concrete alone though has the damping properties of cast iron.
Yes I can’t really move it, and I thought a lot about this, but I really don’t move my machines that often anyway.
The performance of the lathe is significantly improved, it is like day and night really. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. Some slight shimming maybe required yet to get the last small amount of taper out (or it could be another issue – I haven’t investigated any further yet as the taper at this point is way better than the .003″ over 3 inches I was getting before).
Here is a picture of the bench itself:
And with the lathe (I previously made a drip pan the lathe is sitting on):
It didn’t take that long to do – not significantly longer than any other bench construction method. Plus I didn’t’ have to deal with steel distortion and residual stresses due to welding – something that can be a significant issue.
This is what happens when you don’t compartmentalize your life! It’s my first attempt at a movie and I’ve hitched onto the Youtube bandwagon. I’m nowhere near the caliber of This Old Tony. I have some more technical videos coming – stay tuned.