- I had a long, long thing here about how following my plan was so easy, but it kept reading like Tighter Buns in 30 Days While Eating Pizza, so let's leave it at this: Down by almost 27 pounds.
- Way back when, I did some solar experiments. I said I'd come back to that. I'm still working on that. The problem is, the design I came up with is kind of crappy.
What I want is a parabolic trough mirror focused on a central pipe. I've tried using mylar sheets on various surfaces before, but it didn't come out too well. This time I tried strips of mirror laid in a wooden parabolic form. I haven't tested it yet, but it doesn't look too convincing on the workbench. Lots of gaps, not much total area, not well focused, etc. (No picture, because seriously.)
While I was wondering what to do about all this, I came across this video. The guy comes across as a little infomercially, but his ideas look pretty good. In particular, I didn't know you could "drape form" plexiglass (aka "acrylic") mirror. That changes everything! Almost zero work and much higher efficiency.
- Which brings me to the third misc item. WhereTF do you find acrylic mirror at a reasonable price? I've found it as low as $4.50/sqft, but you have to buy at least $50, not to mention shipping. Plenty of ebayers, but the price with shipping never comes out lower than ~$12/sqft and you have to buy several sqft to get that. Lowe's can special order it, but you have to buy 5 48"x96" sheets and it's still $8/sqft. McMaster-Carr, despite their awesome website, doesn't reveal shipping information even if you ask a live human being, which, HELLO.
This kind of mirror is used in a lot of children's products because it's shatterproof, so I've considered repurposing a baby mirror, but the cost is still pretty high there due to packaging, frames, etc. I've even wandered around Home Depot and Lowe's to see if I could find a bathroom/decorative/whatever acrylic mirror on some other product. The sole success was a really, really crappy medicine cabinet with attached acrylic mirror. The whole unit was $12 and the mirror was 2 sqft.
I would just go with that, but the fact that it's attached to something else only proves that I should be able to get the mirror alone for cheaper. Also, I hate to buy something specifically so I can throw it away. In the mean time, I ordered a set of these to experiment with. With the shipping, even amortized over several other items in my order, the price per sqft comes out at lalalaicanthearyou.