September 2010 Archives

Treadmill laptop desk

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My treadmill sits mostly unused during the warm months. I also spend a fairly large amount of time sitting at my desk doing relatively worthless tasks on the Internet, like looking at funny pictures of cats.

The obvious solution to both of these problems is the treadmill laptop desk.

At speeds up to 3 miles per hour (20 minute mile) it's not bad to use the trackpad and even do some limited typing. It only takes a few seconds to remove the desk, which is probably a good idea when running.

It seems little easier to read using Kindle for Mac than on the actual Kindle due to the larger, backlit screen and adjustable angle. It's also much safer than walking around outside while reading my Kindle.

It's pretty good for watching TV. I have an actual TV in the room but it's sort of at a weird angle so it's kind of nice to not have to look to the side. I'm considering a personal rule that Jersey Shore can only be watched while walking. It may still dissolve my brain, but at least it would be good exercise.

The thought of two people doing this while on Skype video chat makes me laugh - it would like going for a walk together without actually being in the same location.

It's made from:

8" x 36" melamine shelf $ 7.99
6 x 3/4" flat heat wood screws $ 1.59 (with a bunch left over)
plastic pipe strap $ 3.39 (with a bunch left over)
some grippy plastic shelf liner (had that already)
Total cost: $ 12.97

Cut the plastic pipe strap to length so it forms nice rings bigger than the size of the treadmill handrails. Make 4. They don't have to fit perfectly, since their purpose is really just to prevent the shelf from sliding off if you bump it.

Measure the distance between the rails and mark the locations on the shelf. I centered it and put the rings 1" from the edge.

Pre-drill the holes for the screws making sure you don't drill all the way through.

Screws the rings to the shelf.

I added a little electrical tape over the screws heads to make sure they didn't scratch the padded arms of my treadmill, though I don't think they would.

Slide it in place.

The plastic grippy shelf liner is there just to make sure the laptop doesn't slide off. I don't suspect it would, but better to be safe. Probably best to avoid steep incline mode, as well.

Dishwasher plate-o-matic

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Don't you hate it when this happens? You slide the bottom rack of the dishwasher in or out too fast and the plates go all wonky!

So annoying!

dishwasher1.jpgThis wouldn't happen to you if you had my patented dishwasher plate-o-matic!

dishwasher2.jpgAnd one can be yours for only $ 19.95!

Not really. And it's not really patented. Feel free to make one. It's just two scraps of plexiglass, two machine screws, two nuts, and four washers.

At least in my dishwasher, the flopping over happens when the plates in the front roll backwards, which then causes the plates in back to move out of the way by falling over, then get stuck in the sprayer arm for the upper rack.

I think this might be because my plates are slightly too large to be stable in the front row and naturally want to roll back, so probably not everyone experiences this as often as I do.

I don't use the heat drying cycle in my dishwasher to save energy, but I'm pretty sure the plexi should be safe. It's actually lexan polycarbonate plastic and it has a melting temperature in excess of 300°F, so it should be fine even in a heated drying cycle.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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