QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

Sticker Roller Box


Shelf full of sticker rolls

Each of these rolls has a label for a different product.

My wife sells sewing patterns. Patterns directly sold to customers through the website have the package just taped shut (with color coded tape). Patterns sold in stores need information on the back about sizes and how what materials are needed. Originally she just used to print stickers in a laser printer, but as sales grew that became expensive and awkward. So she had stickers printed by a service. For price-per-sticker reasons, she gets a thousand at a time for each pattern. These come in heavy rolls. Sometimes it will be a single large roll of 1000, sometimes two medium rolls of 500 each.

Rolls want to be rolled. But if you just put them up on a closet hanger pole, they don't roll well. The bar isn't near the center, there's friction, and it ends up being a mess.

So instead support these giant rolls with two smaller bars. And make a "roller bearing" to help them spin. I made a set of boxes to do just that.

One view of an empty roller box

The box doesn't have a bottom, that's just the wooden shelf it is setting on. I orginally planned it around using the rollers in the upper position only. For a full large sticker roll that is necessary. The medium sticker roll is more forgiving of variations. Both will fall through the wide one eventually, and need the narrow.

Another view of an empty roller box

The box partially visible on the left has the narrow roller on top configuration for a small (500 sticker) roll. The empty box has the configuration for a large (1000 sticker) roll.

Each box is made from four identically sized pieces of wood, with sides each having four holes corresponding to two high rollers and two low rollers. One pair of rollers is wide, for big rolls, one pair is narrow for smaller. The box can be flipped to make wide or narrow the higher pair.

The rollers are 3/8" (9.4mm) steel bars with 1/2" (12.7mm) inner diameter PVC water pipe for a roller bearing. There are only two rollers at a time in a box, the steel bars are just friction fit and can be swapped.

This works great. If I were doing it all again, I'd not use the all four identically sized pieces of wood design.

Simplied sketch of construction

The holes have to be offset differently on left and right sides with this layout which ended up making the drilling of the holes and the assembly a lot more complicated than it needed to be. Setting up the table saw for cutting longer and shorter pieces of wood would have been much easier overall.

His House


Wanting something to watch, I skimmed a list of best movies on Netflix (that page gets monthly updates). First the gothic horror Crimson Peak suggested itself, due to Guillermo del Toro directing. But the story was so-so and the actors never really disappeared into the roles (with one exception noted below), so it was meh overall.

Then I found a different sort of ghost story horror movie, His House.

Superficially this reminds me of American Gods: people moving to a new place bring with them the gods of their old location. Only in this case it's refugees bringing a malevolent spirit with them to the UK from South Sudan. This brings several forms of horror into play.

There's the low-level bureaucratic horror of seeking asylum in a western country, the more cruel horror (in flashbacks) of the violence they are fleeing, and the traditional horror movie evil spirit.

The three are seemlessly blended in this film, succeeding at making you care for the characters and worry about their welfare in the asylum system while also giving you ghosts and a witch to torrment and provide both visceral threats and existensial threats to the asylum process.

There's one actor who (dis)appears in both His House and Crimson Peak: Javier Botet. He's a dead spirit in Crimson Peak and the witch in His House. Botet is noted for playing monsters due to physical appearance, Wikipedia gives his height at 6"7' (a hair over 2m) and his weight at 123 lbs (56kg). This extremely tall and thin figure lends itself to playing inhuman creatures. The viewer in both of these films can't easily tell if it is puppetry, computer manipulation of the graphics, or a practical effect made possible by Botet's unusual figure.

Ten "rat" holes in the walls out of twelve.

His House at imdb

Abacus


I saw this antique wearable abacus recently and thought "How small an abacus can I make?" Answer is "Not quite that small, but pretty tiny."

Abacus ring

Chinese abacus ring, about 12mm x 7mm (0.5" x 0.36"), that inspired me.

Wood frame on blue tape as glue dries

I cut some thin slivers of wood, drilled tiny (#66 drill bit, .033", .838mm) holes, and then glued into a frame shape. To hold it while the glue dried, I stuck it to blue painters tape. My smallest seed beads are 1.5mm, so I drilled holes 2mm apart. Final size will be about twice as wide as the ring.

Starting to bead

I stained the wood and glued a brass angle iron on for reinforcement. I'm using colored jewelry wire.

Custom bead tweezers

I'm using a bead tweezers I cut from a coffee stirrer (see first picture, next to blue tape). It flexes to grasp beads pushed in, then the wire catches them to remove. Grid on ruler is in tenths of an inch.

Finished, next to a Lego plate

Smaller than a 4x2 Lego plate. Functional abacus with ten rods of seven beads each, brass reinforced wood frame.

Wake in Fright


For a "lost" movie of Australia, this is surprisingly easy to watch:

Complete Wake in Fright on Youtube

Well, when I say "easy" I don't include how it might effect you.

The film was made in New South Wales, in the area The Road Warrior was filmed, directed by Ted Totcheff before he became known for Rambo. Some years after it's release it came to be considered a classic of Australian film, but the negative went missing. A bit over a decade ago a complete restoration was made from a good print and/or negatives found in a box labeled "For Destruction" — I've read different versions of the story there — for re-release and DVD. That restored version is what seems to be up on Youtube. There's a made-for-TV two episode "mini-series" remake that I have read about but not watched. The TV one is available on Amazon Prime presently.

My biggest gripe with this film is how an intelligent guy makes such a foolish bet about thirty minutes in, setting everything up for his predicament. The remake, I know, changes the reason he gets stuck without money in "The Yabba". A good and valid choice for the re-do, but otherwise I can't comment on the differences.

Wake in Fright opens with school teacher John Grant dismissing his one room schoolhouse in a desolate patch of the Outback for the Christmas break. John boards a train for the nearest city where he is to spend one night before flying to Sydney. The first half hour shows us how much John doesn't fit in with the locals in two-building Tiboonda or the city in Bundanyabba. We find out he's only teaching in that remote town because a financial obligation gives him no choice in posting.

Then John loses all of his money and the plot begins.

He dejectedly begins to try to find a way to earn some to be able to pay for a hotel, or better, his trip to Sydney. Instead he finds locals who are all too willing be friendly in sharing beer, food, beer, housing, beer, and a night hunting trip (with more beer). The hunt is neither simulated nor pretty.

The sun, the heat, the beer, the desolation, and the people begin to take a toll on John's well-being. It may well be the death of him.

Three XXX beer out of XXXX beer.

A word of warning: do not try to keep up drink for drink.