Apr 29 2017

I fixed the clock and bulbs in my Toyota

I drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla which I adore. Unfortunately, ever since I purchased it in 2013 it has had trouble with the clock sometimes working and sometimes staying dark. You can buy replacements, but they run around $60 for a used clock.

 

Then I found a link to DC HomeMaker, where the author mentioned that she fixed hers herself. It really is as simple as she describes. All you need is a soldering iron and a couple screwdrivers.

Here is the result:

While I was doing it I also replaced the bulbs behind the climate control knobs with LEDs from SuperBright LEDs in Earth City, MO. The ones you want are the NEO4-NWHP: 4mm NEO4-xHP Natural White.

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Sep 11 2016

The Worm from Labyrinth: Step by Step

In April I made a cake topper for my brother-in-law’s birthday party while my wife made the cake. Here is the step by step on how I did it:

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It starts with making a wire armature; I made this one out of a clothes hanger. Luckily this is all the armature that the worm required; making armatures for human figures is much more complex.

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Then you cover it with aluminum foil until it is about 80% of the bulk you need it to be.

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I’m sculpting the worm with a polymer clay called Sculpey, which runs about $10/lb. You layer it over your wire and foil armature no thicker than 1/4 inch and then bake it in the oven at something like 275 degrees for 20 minutes. I learned about this from my friend Dave 20 years ago. After you bake it, then you can cut, grind, sand, ┬áscore, and even layer on more Sculpey and bake it again.

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Here is a closeup of the freshly sculpted and unbaked Sculpey.

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Here I have globbed on the initial blobs that will make up the worm’s face.

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And here are all of the blobs smooshed into a rough face. Note the score marks on the eyes so that I can smooth on more Sculpey for the eyes once it has been baked the first time.

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The worm was baked, then eyes and eyelids sculpted on.

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img_5667Here I have smoothed down the rough edges of the grooves in the worm’s body with a tiny file, and cut in more smaller grooves with a dental tool.

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Now I have added all of the fat rolls on the worm’s neck. This was a little difficult, making layer after layer one at a time and not smooshing the underlying layers.

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After the last bake it was time to paint. I thinned down some gray acrylic and brushed/dribbled it into all of the little nooks and crannies to make them stand out more.

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I painted the rest of the worm with acrylic, then superglued some snips of fancy yarn on for his hair.

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Finally I finished the pupils with a Sharpie marker, then sprayed the entire thing with clear acrylic sealer, and cut a strip of felt off for the scarf.

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Here is the final on top of the awesome cake that Heather made. In total it took me probably about 8-12 hours.

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