If the back of your desk is a rat’s nest, here’s a cheap way to manage those cables. This method uses a $4 box of large binder clips, plus some screws and washers. You may find it’s cheaper to buy a box of screws and washers as well. I worked in a shop once where [...]
I picked up a couple of the new Philips 10.5-watt 800-lumen LED bulbs this weekend. All around, they’re the best sub-$20 LED bulb I’ve seen yet.
My preschool-aged boys and I made train cars this weekend. Yes, I introduced my boys to the idea of making train cars from scratch–scratchbuilding. They aren’t finescale models by any stretch. But the project was cheap–no more than $30 for the pair of cars, total–and it was fun. Here’s how we made these simple train [...]
Frequently the trucks (the wheel/coupler assembly that sits under train cars) come unattached. Lionel trains from the 1970s and first half of the 1980s are especially prone to this, though other makes of trains aren’t immune either. And sometimes you just want to change the trucks–some Lionel and Marx O27 cars are just the right [...]
As I’ve mentioned recently, my new job allows me to work from home one day per week. They provide me a laptop to take home, but that’s it. If I want other hardware, I have to provide it. Fortunately for me, I was able to outfit my office on the cheap.
Timothy Hunt asked me (via Twitter) if I’ve seen the lightbulb reinvented, an LED bulb that screws into a standard socket but has wi-fi capability so you can tune its light temperature and otherwise control it with a smartphone. I hadn’t. But I found it interesting, and appreciate the mention.
There is some unfortunate misinformation circulating on various train forums. I first read this misinformation in the outstanding book by Peter Riddle, Trains from Grandfather’s Attic, published in 1991. As Classic Toy Trains editor Bob Keller noted while we were finishing up my article late last year, incorrect information in print lasts a long time. [...]
I saw a question earlier this week about working with Lionel tubular track. It doesn’t snap together quite as easily as modern Fastrack does, but it’s a lot cheaper, especially if you already have a bunch of it on hand. I probably have 100 linear feet of tubular O27 track (Lionel, Marx, and K-Line) on [...]