Restoration project: 1919 mechanical fan returned to full glory

This is a seriously impressive mechanical restoration project. Read the rest

Watch this guy restore a totally trashed MacBook Pro he bought for $100

Hugh Jeffreys bought a wrecked MacBook Pro for $100. The hinge was broken, the case was bent, dented, and scratched, and two of the bottom feet had fallen off which allowed the inside to become filled with dirt.

He started by opening it. It was filthy inside. He cleaned out the fan then powered it up. Fortunately, it booted and the display seemed to be in good working order.

He bought a replacement battery, a new bottom case, upper case, top lid, front panel glass, a 500 GB SSD, and a new clutch cover. The video shows how he removed all the broken parts and replaced the new ones. It looks like a lot of work but the end result is great. And now he has one of the good kind of MacBook Pros, not the bad kind with the USB C port.

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The existential endtime pleasures of watching silent restoration videos

It is perhaps in the spirit of our anxious, rickety age that antique tool, machinery, and toy restoration videos are becoming increasingly popular. There is something oddly comforting and therapeutic about seeing the old, the forgotten, the previously reliable (now seized with rust and neglect) being lovingly restored to life.

These videos are simple, quiet (usually with no spoken narrative), and most of the restoration process is carefully shown, from disassembly to cleaning, sanding, repainting to re-assembly and testing. This is a world in which time, Evapo-Rust, a wire wheel, and some rattle-cans of enamel paint can repair the past to near show room luster.

I can't get enough. And for makers, there are lots of great repair and restoration tips embedded in these videos. Here are a few of my favorite channels.

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Making hard candy on a restored Victorian machine

This video was far more interesting than I thought it was going to be. It's not only the story of the restoration of a cool barn find, a circa 1890 candy-making machine, but it details how Greg Cohen of Lofty Pursuits in Tallahassee, Florida used it to make strawberry "drops" (hard candies). Cohen is a real candy-making nerd and he shares how he spent 70 to 80 hours restoring this antique machine for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Museum in Skagway, Alaska:

To this day there aren’t many good roads into it, if any. Imagine how hard it would have been to get this device up there to be used for candy? And how much money there must have been in the 1890s... to warrant someone bringing it up so that miners could have a little bit of happiness in their pocket, some nice candies to eat, I guess, when they mine? It was a good bit of luxury that they could take with them, that they didn’t have to worry about spoiling. Because they lived a really rough life as they mined up there.

And while it probably was worth bringing to Skagway for business reasons, it probably wasn’t worth bringing it back, so it got stashed in a barn and it’s been sitting there for the last hundred and something years, slowly rusting away forgotten.

And now I’ve been given an opportunity to give it a little bit of new life making candy again.

(The Kid Should See This, The Awesomer) Read the rest