masonite shelf model
Thursday, April 14 2011
It was a warmish, sunny day, with lots of sun. Now that the solar controller is back in summer mode once more, I could collect lots of hot water. There's a finite amount of water to be heated in our household hot water supply. I think the tank is 53 gallons in size. But there is some flexibility in terms of how hot that water can be made to get, meaning the only real limit to the amount of hot water collectable by the system is the boiling point of water. Typically, though, I do not heat the water beyond 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which is scalding if not significantly dilutes with cold water. Being able to heat water that hot is one of the side benefits of having no infants or mentally challenged individuals living in our household. The problem with having water at that temperature is that it tends to lose its heat faster (through the tank's insulation) than colder. Consequently, after a good day of solar water collection, I like to take a bath to use it while it is at its hottest. And so this evening I could be found in the bathtub reading my current book The Information: a Flood (and drinking a Stewart's brand Mountain Brew Ice from a can — the only way it comes).
Given that the new brownhouse faucet plumbing system sticks out from the wall about four inches, I decided to make it into a little shelf for holding soap and perhaps other products. The problem was that the plumbing that would form the shelf's substructure is comprised of numerous shapes, some of which jut up into and through the plane of the shelf. To make the shelf, I had to carefully measure the position of these projections so I could cut out their cross-sections with a scroll saw. By the time I was done making the shelf (from relatively non-durable masonite), I realized I could use the masonite as a model for a more permanent shelf, perhaps cast in concrete or from my huge collection of scrap solder. All I'd have to do would be to press the masonite model into wet sand, remove it, and then dump a molten version of a more permanent material into the resulting depression.
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