July 8, 2013

Mechanical Projects

I like getting my hands dirty and going outside my comfort zone to take on projects that will fix all kinds of equipment and facilities.

Below are lists of hardware and mechanical projects that I’ve completed around the house, in the car, at work, and in the laboratory.


  • Replaced cabin and engine air filters, as well as wiper blades
  • Replaced battery and front disc brakes on our previous Ford Windstar
  • Replaced battery, driver’s side mirror assembly, power window and door lock controller in the driver’s side door, alternator belt, harmonic oscillator / alternator belt tensioner, spark plugs and wires, and distributor cap in our previous Mazda 626
  • Replaced HID headlights, running lights, turn signal lights, license plate lights, and taillight bulbs in our Toyota Prius (Second Generation)
  • Replaced lower grill and converted foglight bulbs to LED bulbs in our Toyota Prius (Second Generation)
  • Cleaned air conditioner and heating system with foaming evaporator cleaner and ozone generator in our Toyota Prius (Second Generation)


  • Replaced bathroom and kitchen faucets
  • Replaced garbage disposer and under sink plumbing
  • Replaced electrical sockets and light switches
  • Installed dimmers and LED lighting
  • Disinfected basement ceiling, floor, and walls after minor flooding due to a sump pump failure during a power outage caused by a hurricane; used mixture of isopropanol, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide
  • Painted ceilings, floors, and walls
  • Repaired drywall
  • Replaced toilet hardware and ring seals
  • Removed, disinfected, painted, and replaced baseboards
  • Cleaned, primed, and painted concrete floors
  • Removed carpet, padding, and carpet tack
  • Installed laminate flooring and floor transitions
  • Replaced belt in electric clothes dryer
  • Replaced agitator dogs in clothes washer machine
  • Replaced gaskets in dishwasher
  • Replaced electric igniter in gas oven
  • Replaced pressure relief valve on water heater
  • Replaced and installed exterior ventilation covers
  • Rebuilt PVC plumbing manifold and replaced plumbing and sprinkler heads for in ground irrigation sprinkler system
  • Maintained HVAC systems, refrigerators, water heaters, water softener, and reverse osmosis drinking water purification systems
  • Replaced and maintained smoke detectors, door bells, and thermostats
  • Maintained garage door opener
  • Built and installed virtual window for cats
  • Installed shelving
  • Built a lot of IKEA and similar flat pack furniture, including bed frames, bookshelves, cabinets, cat towers, chairs, desks, media centers, shoe cabinets, and tables
  • Installed flat panel TV wall mounts
  • Installed phone and tablet furniture mounts
  • Installed cable organizers
  • Installed cabling and power grommets

Laboratory / Science/ Engineering / Work

  • Reseated camera controller PCI card and installed drivers in FTIR microscope PC
  • Repaired ion chromatography system by flushing the electrochemical detector and replacing the separator column and tubing, as well as rehydrating the suppressor
  • Replaced ion exchange cartridges in Ionograph / Resistivity of Solvent Extract (ROSE) test equipment
  • Replaced EEPROM chips in FTIR system for Y2K compliance
  • Replaced bulbs in optical microscope light sources
  • Maintained and repaired scanning electron microscopes
  • Maintained and operated FTIR, UV-Vis-NIR, and EDS spectrometers, X-ray diffractometers, DSC, TGA, dilatometer, and melting point apparatus thermal properties test equipment, surface area and pore size analyzer, spectroscopic ellipsometer, spectral reflectance thin film test system, Instron mechanical properties test system, salt fog chambers, temperature-humidity environmental chambers, thermal cycling ovens, vacuum and conventional ovens, and dessicators
  • Maintained and operated CVD coating systems, atmospheric and vacuum chamber plasma coating and surface modification systems, a laser cutting and etching system, ultrasonic bath cleaning stations, water spray and submersion test systems, grinding and polishing stations, mechanical workshops with saws, sanders, drills, drill presses, and soldering irons, electroplating systems, hot plates and magnetic stirrers, and organic synthesis laboratories

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