Wednesday, September 18, 2013

random recent interesting titles

Oversharing: Yesterday's catalog search items that caught my eye. (My search was all T acquired in the past six months published in the past four years in English)

The future of post-human waste : towards a new theory of uselessness and usefulness / by Peter Baofu.

Masters of light : conversations with contemporary cinematographers / Dennis Schaefer and Larry Salvato ; with a new preface by the authors ; new foreword by John Bailey.

Chemistry of fossil fuels and biofuels / Harold Schobert.

Lightwave engineering / Yasuo Kokubun.

The diner's dictionary : word origins of food & drink / John Ayto.

Indigo : the colour that changed the world / Catherine Legrand.

The science of nutrition / Janice L. Thompson, Melinda M. Manore, Linda A. Vaughan.

The disappearance of darkness : photography at the end of the analog era / Robert Burley.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

lemon juice and fine steel wool works on rust on a stainless steel dishwasher

I had a rust stain on the interior of a stainless steel dishwasher from contact with a rusting pan, and after having no success with CLR and just a paper towel, I applied some lemon juice, let it sit a few minutes, and then gently rubbed with #0000 fine steel wool, and the stain was removed. I suspect the magic was the steel wool. I did test it in an inconspicuous space to make sure I wasn't going to scratch up the surface. I noted that GE approved citric acid for stainless steel dishwashers beforehand.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why toolboxes and tool handles stink.

Tools with Cellulose Acetate Butyrate handles

For years I've encountered this issue, and it always perplexed me: why do a lot of toolboxes stink? I had always assumed it was related to heavy use with sweat and dirt and zero cleaning, but after I started encountering it on my own, barely used tools, I started looking into it. You can find some posts on DIY forums asking the same question, and how they could never clean the toolbox well enough to get rid of the stink.

Eventually I found someone who pointed out it was coming from the tool handles, and then they pointed out the culprit: tool handles made of Cellulose Acetate Butyrate. A thermoplastic, it offers excellent UV and solvent resistance that cellulose acetate doesn't offer. And it feels in the hand like a natural substance, something that is almost intangible, like a tool that is made by craftsmen, a characteristic that a polyethylene or polypropylene handle does not have. CAB also offers no splinters like the older wood handles. It also can be very clear. And when that plastic begins to degrade, it releases free acetic acid and butyric acid.

The odor of vinegar is a familiar sign to those in the film and photographic business; the cellulose acetate backing of film releases it as it degrades. I once visited a famous photographer's house and his office where he stored his negatives had that acrid odor--while for a photographer it reminds you of the darkroom, the midpoint of the creative process, it also brings to you vividly the end of the process--the decay of the work.

The butyric acid, one of the carboxylic acids, with a formula of CH3CH2CH2COOH, just smells like, in polite company like parmesan cheese, or like rancid butter or vomit. It's not nice above a certain concentration. Once I discovered this I immediately spent a little time sniffing each tool I had, and in short order discovered the ones that are the problem. They immediately got isolated from the rest, because the free butyric acid really does migrate and make everything unpleasant. I thought about giving the tools away, but really, who wants such a tool, even if free? I was going to throw them out, but that made me feel bad. And I think I've found a solution to stinky tools. I carefully fully coated the handles in two coats of shellac, a natural sealer, and now they don't smell to my nose.

Monday, January 21, 2013

CFL lifetime report #2

A third CFL failed in my torchiere conversion I did back in the winter of 2008. I used this light about 7 hours a day consistently until mid 2011, then for about 4 hours daily since then, which gave a lifetime of this compact fluorescent bulb from n:vision of about 11000 hours. I'm starting to evaluate and switch to LED bulbs as circumstances warrant--I went out and bought the Philips L-prize winning 10W EnduraLED bulb as a birthday present for myself. Whether to get more is a good question given its cost of $40 (it currently is cheaper to buy them at a big box store like Home Depot than online). I really do like the 92 CRI; the question is it that sufficient enough reason to buy it versus the previous generation of 80 CRI AmbientLED? The cost of electricity isn't a reason: 10W for the Endura versus 12.5W for the Ambient means a couple of dollars a year if left on 24/7. The lumen ouput might be--only 800 for the AmbientLED versus a bountiful 930 lumens for the EnduraLED. If I went by cost only for 80-ish CRI the CFLs still win for the short-term. But I am tempted by color accuracy, which is somewhat important for me, at least in food prep and photography viewing. None of this moves into the realm of other home lighting, which I'm running into the questions of dimmers, recessed cans, appliance bulbs, and the aesthetics of bathroom fixtures. And not to mention essentially lighting doesn't really cost that much for me annually, compared to other costs.