Tech In Plain Sight: Tough As Nails

When you think of machines you see around you every day, you probably think about your car, computer, or household appliances. However, the world is full of simple machines. One simple machine in particular, the inclined plane, shows up a lot. For example, think of the humble nail. If you are a woodworker or even a homeowner you probably have bags of them. They certainly are all around you if you are indoors and maybe even if you are outdoors right now. Nails have been the fastener of choice for a very long time and they are a form of a wedge which is a type of inclined plane.

What else can you say about nails? Turns out, there is a lot to know. Like other fasteners, there are nails for very specific purposes. There are even nails with two heads and — no kidding — nails with two points. Exactly what kind of nail you need depends on what you are doing and what’s important to you.

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Wire Wrapping Skills Put To Use For Sign Making

We don’t see many wire wrapped circuits these days, and you could be forgiven for thinking it was nearly a lost art at this point. But that doesn’t mean the technique can’t be applied elsewhere. [MiHu-Works] recently wrote in to share a sign they recently made for a client’s restaurant that looks an awful lot like the back panel of a homebrew computer to us.

Before you get a chance to scroll down and complain about it in the comments, we admit this one is fairly deep into the crafts side of the spectrum. But it’s also a gorgeous piece that we’d be happy to hang up in the hackerspace, so we don’t care. There might not be any angry pixies zipping around through all that lovingly wrapped copper wire, but it certainly¬†feels like you’re looking at the internals of some complex machine.

To make it, [MiHu-Works] first printed out the lettering on paper and put it on the wood to serve as a guide. Roofing nails were then driven into the wood to create the outline of the text. A simple tool made from a forked piece of wood was placed under the head of each nail as it was hammered in to make sure the depth was consistent. It also made sure there was adequate room underneath to wrap the copper wires through them. Then it was time for the wrapping…so much wrapping. (Who is going to come through with the robot to do this?)

A few years back we asked the Hackaday readers if they thought the days of wire wrapped circuits were over. It generated a lot of discussion and interesting ideas, but looking at projects like this, perhaps we were asking the wrong question.

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Laptop Broken? Get A Bigger Hammer

The weakest point in a laptop case may be the screen hinges, especially in heavily used machines. The mechanical stresses involved with opening a laptop can often break the thin plastic screw bosses and cause the threaded insert to pop out. What do you do? Get a hammer and some tacks of course!

[mightysinetheta]’s solution involves popping the bezel off the offending screen, then aligning the hinges in preparation for drilling holes though the computer’s plastic lid. Then he placed some short tacks though the holes and the hinges. Pressing the hinge down into the lid to ensure a tight fit, the hammer comes out to peen over the tip of the nail. Course that can be time consuming so just bending the tack over and flattening it down with the hammer works just as well.

With the hinge secured back into place his trusty laptop is back in service. The new additions on the back of the lid add a bit of a custom look that is purely functional.

While you’re in there… might want to replace that charging port that’s been wiggling mysteriously.