Tuesday, December 18, 2007


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment