DIY Concrete Toilet Tank Sink – This SHOULD Be On Every Toilet!

QUIKRETE is having a contest for the best project using one bag of concrete. (Not a sponsor.) I decided to make a “toilet tank top sink.” I first saw the idea on toilets in Japan.

When you flush the toilet, the fill water is re-routed to a faucet (don’t worry, it’s perfectly clean). You wash your hands like normal, then watch the water drain directly into the toilet tank. Next time you use the bathroom, the recycled water flushes the toilet and clean water is dispensed from the faucet. The design saves an estimated 1 gallon of water per person, per day! No modifications are made to the toilet except for routing the fill water tube into the bottom of the faucet.

Hopefully it’s good enough to win the $2500 dollar prize 🙂

Improving our RV’s Screen Door Latch

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The screen door latch on our 1999 Monaco Dynasty leaves a little to be desired. It’s a simple twist and lock mechanism without springs or retention.
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The biggest problem is that when you close the entry door, the screen door handle will unhook itself and need to be opened separately next time you arrive.

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Not a big deal, but I thought I might be able to solve the problem with a couple of magnets.

I ended up using magnets like these but rectangle shaped.  They are rare earth magnets which are super strong.

 

Full Disclosure: Dremel is currently running a contest called “Dremel Maker Days” where they are giving away a bunch of stuff including a 3D printer. As a Dremel Maker, they sent me a Dremel 4000 with flex shaft attachment to try out on this project.IMG_8403

The kit comes with a bunch of accessories, but the two I found most useful were the cut off wheel and the sanding drum.

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I started by removing the handle latch and taking it over to the bench vice.

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Using the cutoff wheel I carved out the shape of the magnet into the plastic.  It worked well, but left small ridges, so I used the sanding drum to smooth it out.

 

Next, I attached the magnet to the old latch using a two-part 5 minute epoxy.  I let it setup for about 30 minutes before re-attaching it to the door.

 

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Finishing Up:

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I used the same two-part epoxy to adhere the mating magnet on the screen door.  This was my backup plan after discovering all of the parts of the screen door were made of aluminum.

 

The magnet latch works well with normal force, but if you slam the door it still opens up.  I figured out that if I put a second magnet on the screen door it works great.  Unfortunately I only had 2 rectangle magnets, so I had to order more.  The round one works the same, but doesn’t look good.

Bonus Project:

While I had the cutoff wheel on the Dremel I used the opportunity to fix something that has been bothering me.

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Whoever installed the universal screen protector on our door didn’t do a good job cleaning up the excess material. They let it overhang the bottom and it looks bad.

 

The tool cut through the aluminum bracket easily and left much cleaner finish than the original.   Two problems solved in one day!  🙂

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RV’s – The Ultimate Money Pit?

We we bought our Monaco Dynasty, we knew any RV would be a money pit. There are simply so many systems on an motorhome that something is bound to break semi-frequently. I guess we just weren’t quite prepared for the “never caught up” aspect of RVing.

Since buying our RV in the spring we’ve fixed the refrigerator, floor, hot water heater, roof and dash AC, stereo system, suspension bushings, and all fluids/belts. We can now add to that list a roof leak… Our total repairs so far have cost over $6800 dollars and we don’t even live in it yet!

Links:
Fluids change – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um45hV3K9jg
Floor repair – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07fboRzi6v4
Cabinet doors – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01RwvOalSlM
Bushing replacement – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwPjCSlM7bw

Tackling DIY A/C Repair

The dash air conditioning in our motorhome was broken and I saw there was a leak from the fitting going into the compressor. Everyone I called to fix it wanted to remove the 40 foot lines from the RV and take them to a shop to install the new fittings. This would have cost $400-500 dollars so I decided to fix the connector myself with the mastercool hyrda-krimp a/c crimping tool.

I needed to upgrade to the $300 dollar crimping tool because I wanted to do the work in the engine bay and not at a vise, but the cheaper ones work just as well.

The $140 dollar crimping tool:
http://amzn.to/2aiL0rZ
My manifold gauge:
http://amzn.to/29KXg8w
The more expensive crimping tool I bought:
http://amzn.to/29Kr2V8

Onan Generator Troubleshooting and Repair

The RV is still in the shop (long story) and the trailer is still being built, so I’m sort of in between projects. I worked on this Onan Marquis 7000 generator for a little extra money and thought it might be interesting to some of you.

Note: This is NOT the generator from our RV. This is from a stage trailer that my church bought.

When I got the generator it wasn’t running. Once I got it running it wouldn’t produce any power. It turned out the carbs were all gunked up, the voltage regulator was bad, and the brushes needed cleaning.

Clamping Baby Monitor Arm (Scrap Wood Build)

We needed a better way to mount Hudson’s baby monitor when visiting other people’s houses. The curve in the wood was just decorative. I wanted to experiment with alternatives to steam bending wood. Versions 1 through 3 were not my proudest moments, but the final product actually clamps extremely well.

Jay Bates Knob:
http://goo.gl/2cIM6A
Our baby monitor (amazon affiliate):
http://amzn.to/291rBt5They work pretty good, we haven’t had any problems.

There’s a MAJOR stock market crash coming! – Stock Series Ep. 1 w/ Jim Collins

In this 10 part video series, Jim Collins shares his advice about investing in the stock market. He’s been investing for over 40 years and financially independent for 25.

Today’s topic: Why you should expect several major stock market crashes in your lifetime and that’s OK 🙂

DIY “Samsung Family Hub” Refrigerator with Raspberry Pi + Camera!!!

I got tired of seeing the commercials for Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator with the cameras inside, so I decided to make my own. I used a Raspberry Pi and USB webcam to take a picture inside our fridge and upload it.

Whenever the door opens, a light sensor triggers the a simple program I wrote to take a picture and upload it via FTP to our website. Total cost was about $80 dollars.

See what’s in our fridge!
http://www.inourfridge.com

Parts I Used (Amazon Affiliate)
Webcam – http://amzn.to/1ZMaJvg
Raspberry Pi – http://amzn.to/1tt1wOx
Light Sensor – http://amzn.to/28zYI1Z
SD Card – http://amzn.to/28zYg3H
Keyboard and Mouse – http://amzn.to/1tt1LsV

Download the python program:
https://gist.github.com/mmoyer2655/fdbf1aebe1db516f8c5893ae0cdbed8b