In my first engineering job after graduation I was issued with a hard hat and a pair of ear defenders. The hard hat was thrown away years ago – the shells gradually degrade when exposed to sunlight – but the ear defenders have survived, unscathed, until quite recently. I went to try and find them in the garage before doing something noisy and could only find the ear cups themselves, not the headband.
On closer inspection I realised that the rubber bits that hold the ear pieces onto the headband had perished and the headband, I’m guessing, had fallen behind the racking in the garage. Finding it would involve removing about a tonne of stuff on that racking so that it could be pulled away from the wall, and I seem to remember that the headband wasn’t in great shape anyway. I decided to 3D print a new one.
I used a few tap washers to replace the rubbery bits that keep the ear cups in the right place to suit the wearer’s head size, plus a couple of nuts, bolts and washers. While I was at it, I removed the foam from inside the ear cups and gave it its first wash in nearly 40 years.
Now reassembled, my ear defenders look as good as new and should protect my hearing for a few decades to come.
Faking it with pine cones
I have a little glass box in the bathroom that’s filled with pot pourri to keep it sweet smelling in there. I noticed the other day that the dried rose petals were faded and rather mouldy-looking. The pot pourri definitely needed changing, but I didn’t have any more and I don’t even know where I can buy it locally.
What I do have is a little bottle of “reviver oil” that came with some expensive pot pourri I was given a while ago. It still smells gorgeous. I gathered a few tiny pine cones from a place I’d noticed on one of my lockdown walks and gave them a good shake before microwaving them to kill any remaining bugs. Then, while they were still warm, I dripped a little of the scented oil on them and shook them around in a plastic bag to try and distribute it evenly.
Result! It may not be true pot pourri but it does the job and the pine cones look pretty in their box. I like the fact that I can adjust the amount of scent released by moving one or two of them to prop the lid open as much as is needed.