Lessons Learned in the Retrieval of Ferromagnetic Objects

First, if you’re going to work on installing a light fixture above the kitchen sink, I suggest that you first cover the drain with a towel, newspaper, etc.

If you disregard that advice, in the alternative I suggest that you run the garbage disposal first to clean out nasty gunk that might be lingering there.

After I dropped a screw into the garbage disposal, I couldn’t initially locate it among all the muck.   I came up with the “clever” solution of fishing around for it with some strong rare-earth magnets (out of old hard drives) stuck on the end of a screwdriver.   It didn’t occur to me that the magnets might be better attracted to the mass of steel comprising the garbage disposal.  So now I had a disposal full of muck, a screw, and a loose bunch of rare earth magnets.

I scooped the nasty stuff out with my fingers and found the screw but the magnets remained elusive.  The final lesson learned was that the screwdriver shaft was a pretty good probe for finding the magnets – there was a spot in the disposal where the tip of the screwdriver was attracted, and the magnets were there.


Stopping the Blichmann BeerGun Rubber Tip from Coming Loose

From the beginning, using my Blichmann BeerGun bottle filler was an exercise in frustration.  It is top heavy and I mistakenly trusted it in a heavy glass pitcher, but the weight of the beer and gas lines knocked it over and broke the pitcher: it really needs to rest in a plastic bucket on the counter or tabletop, which takes up a lot of space I don’t have to spare.  Also, I had some issues with foaming (not really the fault of the beer gun).

The worst part was the bottom rubber valve seat (black rubber tip) would come off at the slightest provocation.  It become a free-floating nuisance that enjoyed a tour of several bottles, pint glasses, and a growler, leaving me scrambling to disconnect the gun from the keg while beer squirted everywhere.  Not to mention the hassle, I anticipated spending a fortune on replacement rubber tips.

Looking at the way the tip moved when the filler was actuated, it sort of crept off the end of the clip it mounts on (upward in the bottom photo, taken after I bent the clip).   Because the clip didn’t position the valve seat centrally over the stainless beer tube, the tube would push more on one side than the other causing the rubber part to creep off and come loose.

bent clip in direction of red arrow

bent clip in direction of red arrow

I bent the clip slightly to better align the tip with the gun, and it managed to stay on for a record four bottles with no sign of giving up.  That’s all I needed it for at the time, so I stopped there.  Time for a beer!