Sunday, July 29, 2012

LP Bowls

I figured I'd better get in at least one post this month. I haven't finished many projects this month since I went from being unemployed and unmarried to employed and married. Being employed has cut drastically into my spare time. And weddings are an unbelievable time suck. It's been exhausting watching my wife write thank you notes and put our wedding albums together. I offered to help but apparently my handwriting can only be read by chickens and seers.

I have moved several projects to near completion, but am not ready to post them just yet. On the horizon are a solar oven which works pretty well, but I want to make it hotter, and a very cool gourd hanger/grower thingy made from patio furniture. I'm just waiting for the gourds to finish growing. Stay tuned!

Briefly back to the solar oven - I've built one and it was plenty hot for my latest project - bowls made from those old records that my parents had. One, of which, I made the cubicle clock from. I have an old meat thermometer that I'm using to test the temperature in the oven. The thermometer only goes to 160 degrees (which I find quite odd since that's the minimum temperature meat should be cooked to) and the oven will peg it. Pointless story short, I haven't the foggiest idea how much hotter it gets in there.

I did say I'd share my projects, warts and all, so here is one of the warts. It was my first attempt at making a record bowl in the solar oven. I tried setting the record over a mixing bowl with a peanut butter jar full of water on it for weight. Very little went well. It folded weird, the jar tipped over, I punctured it, etc. On a positive note,  future generations will not be subject to this Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians recording. You're welcome.

Since my first attempt was clearly unacceptable (no one in their right mind would pay $19,105 for that abomination) I had to come up with a better way to make the bowls. I made a template with a scrap 1/2" wood dowel and a piece of particle board that broke off of the Greatest Cat Condo Ever Built (it has since been replaced with plywood and the Tundra Hog kitty has been put on a diet).

The second time around I placed the record on top of the dowels and put the weight in the center. I closed the lid and in about five minutes the result was a very pliable record. I can tug on the sides and move the record around to the position and shape that I want (within the strict constraints of six wood dowels and physics (I'm pretty sure I can shape a gravy boat, though)). Then I remove it from the oven and wait one or two minutes for the record to cool and harden.

The final result is much more acceptable. This bowl is clearly worthy of its "Stereo Gold Award." Although, kitty is not so sure of it. She's under the impression that this bowl doesn't hold as much food as her last one.


  1. By Jove! I've say you've got it old chap.

    1. You are one clever dude! Can't wait to see your next project. Dad

  2. Love the cat's new name. If i keep gaining weight i may appropriate. Tundra Hog Tamiya has a certain ring to it. Also love the bowls. Whats your new day job?

    1. It's gotta nice ring to it. We'll call you THT for short.