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My kind of hardware store patron

“If you’re like me, you’re the bane of hardware store employees. I wander through the whole place picking up everything, looking at possibilities more than parts. Can they help me find anything? “No thanks,” I answer. What am I working on? “I don’t know yet,” I say. They move on, keeping a suspicious eye on me.”

Steve Hoefer is describing how a bit of synergy resulted in making some small LED lanterns with PVC pipe caps, an Eternal Flame Indestructible LED Lantern

There’s a good True Value hardware store up at the corner. The store has a very large inventory density which means you don’t need to tire out your feet to see a whole lot of stuff that can help put together ideas and solutions to problems you may not have realized you had when you walked in.

I don’t know about the “suspicious eye” thing, though. The staff is useful as well as they usually have ‘been there, done that’ and can often help me finish up a thought with an alternative option. For instance, I didn’t think about storing the PVC glue cap down but that idea should help keep it sealed and provide a bit longer shelf life in the garage.

I don’t think this hardware store is going to suffer much from the new WalMart nearby. They seem to know what makes them special – just as WalMart knows what it does best, too. Nice to have options!

The LED idea was to drill a hole in a PVC cap to glue in an LED and then use a coin cell held in place between the LED leads with a binder clip (from your office supplies). A plug is then wrapped in tape and friction fit into the cap.

A comment has a good warning as well. “NEVER use Kevlar gloves with rotating tools because if the fiber gets caught in the rotating part you may end up with a strangulated or amputated finger. Using gloves is a very good idea, but use leather gloves with rotating tools.

getting by and making things better is just a whole lot of these little things …

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