Huge first surface mirror

This is a huge high quality mirror I salvaged from the corpse of my folks’ old Mitsubishi rear-projection HDTV. Unlike the mirror in, say, your bathroom, it is silvered on the front surface, instead of the back. A front-silvered mirror is much easier to scratch, but it is also more desirable for optical purposes because light reflects off the silvering without having to be refracted through a layer of glass, first.

This one is trapezoidal, and measures four feet on the long edge, three feet on the short edge, and 27″ across the short dimension.

I was going to hang it on the wall, but it seems a waste of its unique properties. There ought to be some cool application for it. But I’m damned if I can think of what it might be. I don’t want to sell it on eBay because I don’t want to mess with packing and shipping it. Right now I’ve got it listed on Austin craigslist for $50, but so far I haven’t had any takers.

Suggestions, anyone?

Sad that it has come to this

I’m proud of my Lego syringe kit, and I firmly believe that, used responsibly, it can enhance an adult’s enjoyment of Lego and provide a rewarding, healthy experience. But please, moderate your use, and be honest with yourself: If you lose control, seek help sooner, rather than later. God bless.

Also: Brookelynn Morris, you are a magnificent human being. Thank you.

Coloring Shapeways models with Sharpie

Orange Sharpie, with half-colored Alphabet Die print, and color on white paper.

The cheapest and, reportedly, strongest material in which Shapeways models are available is called “White, strong and flexible.” I herein report that this material is easily colored with Sharpie-brand permanent markers. The ink does bleed a bit through the material, so experiment in an inconspicuous area or with a test model before attempting detailed work. Shapeways offers through-tinted colorized versions of their basic white material at increased cost; my experience with these is that the color fades rapidly, even without extremes of light or temperature. I was pleased, then, to discover that I could just order the cheap white stuff and use a Sharpie on it. Sharpies are available in a much wider range of colors, too. Here the technique is demonstrated on the most recent version of my Alphabet Die model; the bottoms of the letters are left white to enhance visibility.

Lego syringe

Lego syringe with Trans-Red "blood" elements.

The most difficult part of this design was actually getting the colors right. The rarest part is not, in fact, the chrome silver antenna, but the 8-long dark gray Technic axle. Generally, even-length Technic axles are black and odd-length axles are dark gray. The dark gray 8-long axle was included, so far as I can tell, in only one kit. And dark gray is the only color in which all the plunger parts are available. And this is the only plunger design I’ve come up with that satisfies me.

Here’s the parts list:

  • 2 Plate 2 x 2 Round (#4032), Black
  • 1 Plate 2 x 2 Round (#4032), Dark-Gray
  • 1 Technic Axle 3 with Stud (#6587), Dark-Gray
  • 1 Technic Axle 8 (#3707), Dark-Gray
  • 1 Antenna 6H Chrome (#104), Silver
  • 1 Bar 4L Light Sabre Blade (#30374), Trans-Red
  • 2 Brick 2 x 2 Round (#3941), Trans-Red
  • 1 Dish 2 x 2 Inverted (#4740), Trans-Red
  • 1 Brick 1 x 1 Round with Hollow Stud (#3062B), Trans-White
  • 6 Brick 2 x 2 Round (#3941), Trans-White
  • 2 Plate 2 x 2 Round (#4032), Trans-White
  • 1 Plate 2 x 4 (#3020), Trans-White

Anyway, if you don’t have the parts and want to build one, kits with Trans-Red elements for the “blood” version are available in my Etsy store. The model is fairly self-explanatory, but I have produced a simple set of instructions (PDF), which are visible below.

Lego Syringe Instructions.

Alphabet die in stainless steel

Alphabet die in stainless steel.

A few weeks ago Justin Michell contacted me about making an alphabet die I designed a few years ago available as a printable model on Shapeways, which I did. I made the model using SketchUp, and also hollowed it out to make it cheaper to print. Justin just sent me this photograph of the model printed in stainless steel, which is presented together with his meticulously-documented and impressive dice collection at Kevin Cook’s DiceCollector.com.