The Best Way to Store Rolls of Tape

Whether it's Duct, Gaff, Packing, Electrical, Masking, Painter's, or any other tape roll under the sun, the easiest way to keep them is on a loop of rope with a clasp or carabiner on one end.

The best way to store rolls of tape

Just like using the right tool for the job, using the right tape is also essential. There are folks who are in the cult of duct tape, but frankly, it's comparatively expensive and in many cases there's a tape that can do a better job. Keep them all together in the way I've shown, and get familiar with which one is right for the job.

I learned this little trick when I worked briefly in film production. I didn't see it being used anywhere outside that field, until I met my classmate Luis Violante. I asked him where he learned to do that and he said "oh...when I worked in production." Go figure.

"Fruit Powered" Sound Sculpture

This was constructed from an obscure piece of aeronautical hardware I procured at the Pratt and Whitney Surplus Store in Hartford CT. I snaked stainless steel wire from it to act as resonators. Then at key points I installed piezo transducers. At the center the stainless steel wires stab into a banana and a pear. The whole works sits atop a speaker that the transducers constantly feed back.

Standing waves appear on the floor surrounding the piece and viewers' position and footsteps alter the resulting drone.

Welding for the First Time

This semester I've had the privilege of studying sculpture in a studio setting with Beverly Semmes and her students at NYU's Barney Building. A perk of being in the class has been gaining access to the school's wood and metal shop.

Today I met Gustavo Velasquez, a sculptor and professor at the Steinhardt School. He taught me the ins and outs of the shop, as well as how to use all the equipment safely. He seemed relieved when I told him I had experience in building and fabrication - he just needed to fill in some gaps.

Luckily, the bulk of my time with him was spent in learning how to MIG weld - something I've never done before. From what I learned, timing is everything in this craft. Make a zig zag bead at just the right pace, and you've got yourself a good weld. Varying the rate at which the welding rod comes out makes a big difference.

One of the strangest things to get used to was that moment between flipping the welding hood down and actually beginning to weld. Until that bright tip glowed, I was essentially blind. Like Luke Skywalker, I had to "use the force" and trust I was hitting the right spot, making sure to line it up properly beforehand.

He set me up to get some practice in, and I must say that while my welds were still sloppy, they held up well. It's only a matter of time and practice before I really get the hang of it. Here's the first piece I did:
My first Welding Project

Making Candles from Scrap Wax

Some of you may remember how my wife Melody and I had to scrape through 4 days without electricity last winter when we lived in our cottage.

Of course we busted out every last candle in the house and used up nearly all of them too! As you know, sometimes candles come in a nice little all-encompassing jar that catches and burns nearly all the wax. Then there are others that don't have receptacles, and can end up making an unholy mess, terminating their lives as frozen, gelatinous blobs that get tossed in the trash.

I've hung on to all that leftover wax and recently melted it all down to make a new candle with it!

Here's the scrap wax I started with.
Making a Candle from Scrap Wax

Then I put it all in a standard aluminum can and set it on the stove to melt.
Making a Candle from Scrap Wax

I hung a piece of cotton string in the liquid wax.
Making a Candle from Scrap Wax

When it had solidified (this takes several hours) I cut the can open with a hacksaw.
Making a Candle from Scrap Wax

Now I have a beautiful, fragrant, candle!
Making a Candle from Scrap Wax