How to turn a Vintage Zenith Radio Cabinet into a Lighted Bar Part 5: Door and Electronics

Hanging the Door

The original plan for hanging the door was to use a piano hinge. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but I had a heck of a time getting the swing of the door right. I think I ended up getting a couple of holes out of true, and then the door wouldn't close all the way. 

I looked for solutions for a long time, and I finally settled on a wrap hinge. A wrap hinge would allow me to put the screws into the strongest part of the frame I built around the door opening, but it did require me to chisel out some hinge pockets.

Hinge pocket on the door, along with the holes from the piano hinge

Hinge pocket on the door, along with the holes from the piano hinge

Wrap hinge on the frame

Wrap hinge on the frame

I liked how the wrap hinges came out. The door still didn't quite close, but it was better, and I was planning on using a magnetic catch, so that is how I "fixed" it.  Bre filled and re-painted my wood-butchery, and we were ready for the final stage!

Door on. You can see the door still doesn't quite close.

Door on. You can see the door still doesn't quite close.

The door with the back installed

The door with the back installed

Magnetic catch

Magnetic catch

The installed wrap hinges

The installed wrap hinges

Circuitry

I had pretty grand plans at the beginning. I originally wanted to make all the buttons on the front, like Bass and Treble and whatnot do things. I also wanted to light the interior, and integrate the main dial somehow. As I got into it, that turned out to be outside of my ability at present. I have a fair bit of experience with circuits and electronics, but I discovered my skills are pretty out of date.

I settled on using RGBW LED strips to light the interior. I bought my LEDs from Adafruit, since they had a nice tutorial on their site for building the circuit and programming an Arduino to run the LEDs.

I had some trouble with the microcontroller, which was entirely my fault. I was fooling around with the circuit while it was connected to my PC for easy code changes, but I had the LED strips powered off a separate power supply, since I didn't want to draw too much current from the USB port. That was a problem since the grounds weren't directly connected. I ended up burning up the first Arduino I bought, along with a couple of my power transistors.

Oh yeah, and I fried the 10K potentiometer I was using to test the dial function. I had the silly thing directly connected to the power supply, instead of the 5V output of my Arduino. I also discovered a short in my prototyping breadboard. The contacts inside were bent, causing the power and ground on the sides of the board to touch. This all came pretty close to being the final straw. We were over two years into the project at this point, with a lot of time and effort and false starts, and I couldn't build a circuit!

I ordered more parts, and started over.  I scaled my plans back to something I could achieve, with the options to add more features later if I get ambitious. The feature I chose to focus on was to use the tuning dial to control the intensity of the LEDs. That wasn't quite what the Adafruit tutorial was about, but I found another tutorial with code I could copy. Here is where I am now:

int ledPin1 = 3;// LED connected to digital pin 3
int ledPin2 = 6;// LED connected to digital pin 6
int ledPin3 = 9;// LED connected to digital pin 9
int ledPin4 = 11; // LED connected to digital pin 11
int potentiometerPin = A2; 

void setup()
{ 
// initialize digital pins as outputs.
pinMode(ledPin1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledPin2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledPin3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledPin4, OUTPUT);
pinMode(potentiometerPin, INPUT);
} 
 
void loop() 
{ 
int potValue = potentiometerValue();
int fadeValue = map(potValue, 0, 1023, 0, 123); // sets the value (range from 0 to 123):

analogWrite(ledPin1, fadeValue);
analogWrite(ledPin2, fadeValue);
analogWrite(ledPin3, fadeValue);
analogWrite(ledPin4, fadeValue); 
// wait for 30 milliseconds to see the dimming effect
delay(30);
}


//function to calculate potentiometer value
int potentiometerValue()
 {
int val = analogRead(potentiometerPin);
return val;
 }

All of the LEDs are modulated together. I have some features in this code what will allow me to separate out the color channels later if I feel like getting fancy with colors. I have also limited the power draw of the LEDs to only half of their scale with the fadeValue variable. In principle, it would go up to 255. But I was gun-shy after destroying my power transistors.

The case lid, along with the hole for the dial wires and the LED power leads

The case lid, along with the hole for the dial wires and the LED power leads

My circuit is based heavily on the Adafuit schematics. I bought some cases and screwed them to the bottom of the cabinet, and I put the Arduino and the breadboard in the cases. I used a 2.5mm barrel jack for the power supply, and crimped ring connectors to join the power transistors to the LED power leads.

A test of the circuit with only one power LED connected

A test of the circuit with only one power LED connected

I bought a long-shaft potentiometer for the dial. At this late date, I realized the potentiometer for the dial needed to interface with the complicated three-part dial of the original radio, which combined a number of functions coaxially. I bought brass bushings which fit over the potentiometer shaft to preserve the ability of all three dials to spin.

The long-shaft potentiometer, along with the panel I would mount it to

The long-shaft potentiometer, along with the panel I would mount it to

The brass bushing on the long-shaft potentiometer, which is mounted on the panel

The brass bushing on the long-shaft potentiometer, which is mounted on the panel

I cut a panel out of 7/32" underlayment to mount the poteniometer. This will also be a place to mount buttons if I ever decide to use the radio buttons in the future. Bre painted that for me.

Another test circuit for the potentiometer

Another test circuit for the potentiometer

I ran 28 AWG leads from the potentiometer to the Arduino, on the theory I wanted room for the twelve buttons on the front later to run lead through the same holes in the cabinet. In retrospect, I regret my life choices. That wire was wayyy too fine for this work, and I redid it at least twice when it broke.

The final location of the Arduino

The final location of the Arduino

The power circuit, with four color channels. These are *almost* color-coded.

The power circuit, with four color channels. These are *almost* color-coded.

Everything all put together. Can you tell I'm not a cable-layout purist?

Everything all put together. Can you tell I'm not a cable-layout purist?

Once the circuit was assembled and tested, I drilled a hole in the potentiometer shaft for the last knob. That knob was cracked, so I epoxyed the shaft of an allen key into the knob and placed it into the drilled hole. We also replaced the broken glass with a new dome. I especially like how the glassware behind it looks with the LEDs on.

Almost done, just one last knob to put on!

Almost done, just one last knob to put on!

The finished bar!

The finished bar!

As I finish this, the bar cabinet sits behind me, softly glowing. I think it might need a pull for opening the door, but that is a project for another day.


How to turn a Vintage Zenith Radio Cabinet into a Lighted Bar Part 4: Refinishing

Refinishing

This is a guest post written by my wife. She is far better than me at detail work, so here is her account.


Painting the Inside

I started the refinishing work by painting the inside of the cabinet.  Because the wood on the interior of the cabinet was never meant to be seen, it was not the highest quality, it was sealed with something that made it blue, and we used MDF for the shelves we made.  All of this just meant that painting was our best option.  

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite, and sealed it with the clear wax.  There are more thorough tutorials on Pinterest if you are interested in the details of that process. I also used Mod Podge to glue the repair card we found in the cabinet onto one of the shelves, and to seal the the Zenith part number label.

First coat on the shelf

First coat on the shelf

First coat on the back

First coat on the back

Painting the door

Painting the door

Finishing the bottom

Finishing the bottom

The original feet of the cabinet

The original feet of the cabinet

Refinishing

After finishing the inside, I turned my attentions to the outside.  I looked up various tutorials via Pinterest to get ideas for ways to possibly/hopefully repair the cabinet without refinishing.  I decided to try the Howards Resto-a-finish and Feed-n-wax combo.  The products were easy to use, and did improve the appearance of the cabinet, but the finish, especially on the top, was just to far gone.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to strip and refinish the cabinet.  I had never refinished anything before, so I bought some vintage desks and did those first so that I would have some experience with the process.  It also took some time to find replacements for the labels by the knob, as well as a replacement for the faux finish on the front of the cabinet where the speaker fabric used to be. Also, I was pregnant and everything just takes longer and is more emotional then it needs to be, so if you're wondering why it took us so long to finish...there you go!

I decided to strip the cabinet with our orbital sander instead of using a chemical stripper, mostly because I was pregnant and wanted to minimize my exposure to chemicals (the area was always well ventilated and I always wore PPE!).  I was taking a risk by sanding because the cabinet is a veneer and there was a good chance I would sand through the nice wood veneer and end up with the ugly wood underneath.  Thankfully, that didn't happen, and the process of stripping the cabinet portion was fairly quick and easy.

The sanded cabinet

The sanded cabinet

The top looks better!

The top looks better!

I used Minwax English Chestnut stain and Minwax Polycrylic to refinish the cabinet per the instructions on the can.  Nothing unique or fancy about the process.  

I then took another really long break before starting the door.  The cabinet was mostly flat, so I could use the orbital sander.  The door had all the detail work, and so most of the sanding had to be done by hand.  It took forever.  Ben also had to do some chemical stripping in some of the nooks and crannies that the sand paper just couldn't reach.

Where chemical stripping was needed

Where chemical stripping was needed

I put the decal labels on after staining, but before the acrylic.  It turns out I should've done at least one coat of acrylic before placing the labels.  It looks okay, but there is a little bit of cloudiness around the letters that no one but me would ever notice.

The original faux finish

The original faux finish

The new faux finish

The new faux finish

After I finished sealing the door with acrylic, it was time to add the faux finish to the door and cabinet.  The faux finish had been one of the things that first drew me to the radio, and I was hopeful.  I found a guy that made replacement faux finishes for radios, but mostly for the front of the smaller tabletop style radios.  He made me some custom decals for this radio.  I followed the instructions included in the package and in his Youtube videos, but I was not thrilled with the results.  The decals had a hard time going around the curves of the radio, and so it ended up being a more time and labor intensive process then I had anticipated.  Once they were applied and sealed, I didn't like them.  It's difficult to tell they are even on there.  If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't bother with the faux-finish decals.  Out of the entire process, this is what I was most disappointed about, because the original faux finish was so interesting!

The finished cabinet

The finished cabinet

And now, at long last, the entire thing was refinished.  I will turn it back over to Ben for the hanging of the door and light installation.

The cabinet in the final room for better lighting

The cabinet in the final room for better lighting


Next

Up next is the door and the circuitry

Previous installments

Radio bar

Disassembly

Cabinet work

How to turn a Vintage Zenith Radio Cabinet into a Lighted Bar Part 3: Cabinet Work

Cabinet Work

Starting with cutting the door, the interior of the cabinet needed to be reconfigured to make it workable.

The Door

My across-the-street neighbor has a nice woodshop in his second garage, so I asked to borrow his table saw to cut the door.

Nice straight cuts

Nice straight cuts

A little too close!

A little too close!

I finished up the top and bottom with a hand saw.

The door, showing the original faux finish

The door, showing the original faux finish

The Shelves

The interior of the cabinet required removing the shelf and all its supports, and reinforcing areas that bear weight. Chiseling out these little triangular shelf supports was the worst part of this. They tended to splinter instead of coming out cleanly.

Shelf supports

Shelf supports

The shelf

The shelf

PC290109.JPG
Where the bottom shelf needs to go, all those supports had to be removed....

Where the bottom shelf needs to go, all those supports had to be removed....

Once the shelf was out, I used it to template out the two shelves I intended to reinstall into the bar. I made the shelves out of some MDF I had laying around. I used clamps and wood glue to secure everything. I was planning on using a piano hinge to hang the door, I used that to double check the width of the reinforcement pieces I glued in to the front.

New shelf out of MDF

New shelf out of MDF

I glued in the new shelves and some reinforcement for the hinges.

Every clamp I own is in here

Every clamp I own is in here

Hinge reinforcement, with the piano hinge I was planning on using for reference

Hinge reinforcement, with the piano hinge I was planning on using for reference

Ready to cut the door

Ready to cut the door

Once the hinge area was reinforced, I put the new shelves in, including to smaller ones in the top area.

Supports and a little extra mass to hold it all down. You can see where the old shelf was, just a bit higher.

Supports and a little extra mass to hold it all down. You can see where the old shelf was, just a bit higher.

Supports

Supports

Little shelves, and a center support to prevent sagging

Little shelves, and a center support to prevent sagging


Next

Up next is the finish work on the wood. I'll turn that over to my wife, since she did all the refinishing.

Previous installments

Radio bar

Disassembly

How to turn a Vintage Zenith Radio Cabinet into a Lighted Bar Part 2: Disassembly

Disassembly

Now that we had the radio cabinet home, we could begin to remove the radio parts and faceplates before attempting to cut the door into the front. 

The Radio

Pulling out the radio was relatively easy. I took out a few screws, and pulled the whole assembly out the back.

The radio

The radio

The guts of the radio and the speaker

The guts of the radio and the speaker

The dial

The dial

Getting the face plate off was a little harder. The screws were hidden behind the rocker buttons, and I couldn't figure out how to get to them. It turns out, there is a spring-loaded pin that holds the plate with the buttons in place.

The back of the face plate

The back of the face plate

Taking off the buttons using the spring pin

Taking off the buttons using the spring pin

Screws exposed

Screws exposed

With the cabinet bare, I took some measurements of where I wanted to put the door.

Overall dimensions, plus a nice whiskey tasting to boot

Overall dimensions, plus a nice whiskey tasting to boot

Radio bar door measurements

Radio bar door measurements

We cut out the shelf the radio was on, but we decided to put another one in a similar place, with enough room for bottles on top. It turns out to be a really good place to display things through the dial glass. I also ended up making some new shelves on top of that, but we'll get to the interior modifications later.

Based on the plans, my wife put some painter's tape in the areas I wanted to cut. This keeps the splintering down when you cut with a saw.

Ready to cut the door

Ready to cut the door

On the inside of the cabinet were two tags. One had the model number, plus all of the patents Zenith claimed on the design of the radio. There was also the business card of a local radio repair shop. We decided to keep them both. The business card came off the shelf ok, but we had to leave the Zenith tag, and mask it for later painting of the interior.

Zenith patents and model number tag

Zenith patents and model number tag

Repair shop

Repair shop


Next

Up next are the interior modifications we made to allow us to store bottles inside, plus cutting out the door.

Previous installments

Radio bar

How to turn a Vintage Zenith Radio Cabinet into a Lighted Bar

Radio Bar

This is a project that has been a loooong time coming. My plan is to walk you through all the steps we took to restore, refinish, and alter the Zenith radio cabinet we found at an estate sale into the final item that is currently sitting in my library.

The Find

In 2015, my wife found a Zenith radio cabinet at an estate sale. I drove over to the old house, occupied by the same local family for years, to take a look at it. The radio was in pretty rough shape. It looked like it had gotten wet at some point, the tuning knob was missing, and it had all the usual wear and tear of 70 years.

My first view of the radio

My first view of the radio

However, it seemed like we would be able to refinish it. We wanted to turn it into a bar cabinet, based on some things my wife had seen on Pinterest [dangerous!].

Pinterest example #1

Pinterest example #1

Pinterest example #2

Pinterest example #2

This seemed like a fun project, so I bought the cabinet for $49 [I offered $50, but I found out I was a buck short when I went to settle up.]

I brought the radio home, but unfortunately I didn't secure it well, and it fell over in the back of my RAV4, and I broke the glass.

Oops....

Oops....

Now that I had it home, I could look into what I had found. This turns out to be a Zenith 1005 cabinet, with model number 10-S-464. I wasn't interested in the radio itself, as my electrical skills in this area are rusty and out-of-date, so I didn't think I could try to make the radio parts work, or replace them if they were broken, so I sold the radio parts, with all their vintage vacuum tubes, for $49. I broke even!


The Plan

In good shape, a 10-S-464 looks like this:

Zenith 1005 Chassis, Model 10-S-464

Zenith 1005 Chassis, Model 10-S-464

We decided to make a door out of the front, differing from the example my wife found, which had to to be turned around on casters everytime you wanted to get inside it. My wife would handle the refinishing of the cabinet. I volunteered to light the inside, using one of the new spiffy microcontrollers that is so cheap these days. I figured I could find a way to integrate that with the dials and buttons on the front somehow.

Up next: Disassembly

 

Restoring a Torco Vise

Not my vise, but a remarkably similar specimen

Not my vise, but a remarkably similar specimen

Restoring an old tool is a project I find incredibly fun, and this bench vise is no exception. If you are willing to put in a little effort, restoring an old bench vise can be a great project. Older American made vises are prized for their quality and durability. You can often find them at garage sales or thrift stores. There are guys who are willing to pay top dollar for a specific make or model of vise, but in this case we are talking about a small, inexpensive vise that will great for using in the shop, rather than a collectible.

I finished this project three years ago, but it seemed worth sharing! Click on the galleries to advance the images.

Torco History

I got this particular vise from my Dad, who had it just sitting around in his garage. It was almost completely covered in rust, but otherwise in great shape. . To get started, I searched for information on this make and model, the Torco 3 1/2". The Torco vise is a home mechanics vise made by the Wilton Company during the 1950s and 1960s. 

Wilton Catalog

Wilton Catalog

 

The picture at the top isn't my vise, since I forgot to take a picture before I started, but that is very much what it looked like. The original color was some kind of green. Everything seemed square and true, and the jaw inserts were present. A little further research convinced me that this model would be worth restoring, and adequate for anything I might be doing with it.

The plan was to disassemble the vise, de-rust it, prime it, paint it, and put it back together. Easy, right?

Supplies

Nitrile gloves
Vinegar
Scouring pad
Dish soap
Sandblaster/mediablaster
Painter's tape
Self-etching primer
Paint
Graphite
Sandpaper

Disassembly

Taking the Torco apart was pretty easy. I just took out any screws I saw and then turned the vise handle until the movable jaw came out.

Removing Rust

Now that I had everything taken apart, I needed to remove all the rust. Since there was rust everywhere, including inside the casting, I decided that either vinegar or electrolysis were the best methods. Using an aqueous method would allow me to get inside everything, and it sounded like fun. Looking into the electrolysis methods, they all seemed to use car battery chargers and 5-gallon buckets, which didn't seem like a good idea with my two-year-old son running around.

The vinegar method was often compared on the forums to Evaporust, a rust-removal product I've used at various jobs. Since I knew Evaporust worked, that gave me some confidence the vinegar soak would too.

Freshly scrubbed hardware

Freshly scrubbed hardware

It turned out pretty well. I put the vise in a plastic container with the vinegar, and let it sit for a couple of days. After it came out, it was completely black. This was expected, so I scrubbed the parts with water and dish soap. This has a side benefit of neutralizing the acetic acid, which will cause your metal parts to rust again if you don't clean them.

Removing Old Paint

I used a sandblaster with aluminum oxide media to get the old paint off, but plain old sand works too. You could get to the same place with sandpaper, but it would take a lot longer. Getting into the raised letters would be a real challenge.

Sandblasted and ready for priming!

Sandblasted and ready for priming!

Painting

After all this everything came out looking pretty good. I used painter's tape to mask anything I didn't want to paint, and I brushed on the can of primer I bought. Then I came out the next day and there were rust spiders all over everything. I looked at the can of primer I had bought, and it turns out the first one was water based.

Rookie mistake

Rookie mistake

I'm sure that primer is a fine product, but it wasn't what I really needed. Everything went back in the sandblaster, and I bought self-etching primer for metal.

I gave the primer a chance to cure, and then I laid two coats of paint on top. I picked red, because it was fun.

Reassembly

I pulled the masking off, and then I tried to put the movable jaw back into the static jaw. It wouldn't fit! I had masked the rectangular slide of the movable jaw, but some over-spray had made the opening in the static jaw just a bit too small. If you look close in the picture you can see some red inside the channel. Fortunately nothing more was required than a little touch-up with sandpaper.

 

Mounting the Vise

I put some graphite on the base, drilled some holes in my work bench, and bolted it down. The only thing I should have done different is wait a bit longer for the paint to cure, since the bolts marred it a bit.

Not too difficult, and pretty rewarding!

DIY workbench

Following the project plans on the Art of Manliness provided by One Project Closer, I made myself a workbench. It wasn't too hard, and the only problem I had came when I deviated from the plans. I thought I might as well get bigger casters, and then I discovered that casters any bigger than the ones specified in the plans wouldn't fit on the legs of the bench. Ah well. I also used my new impact driver for this build. I have never used one of these before, but I'm not sure how I got along without it!

Here is what the materials cost me:

  • 9 - 2x4s - $27.45
  • 1 tube of construction adhesive - $2.40
  • 200 - 1 1/4 inch #8 screws - $17.96
  • 8 - Simpson corner ties - $34.80
  • 3/4 inch sanded plywood - $28.37
  • 3/8 inch plywood - $16.97
  • 2 locking swivel casters - $13.94
  • 2 swivel casters - 12.48

Total: $154.37

 

Laundry Pedestal

The Magistra decided she wanted to built something in the week in between Christmas and New Years, so we so we built this:

Ana White Laundry Pedestal

http://ana-white.com/2011/01/sausha's-washerdryer-pedestals

The plans were pretty easy to follow, and it cost us about $150 all told, but we did have some things on hand, like paint.

Molding $16.00
4x4 $7.52
2x4 $18.30
3/4” MDF $68.84
Wood filler $8.99
3d finish nails $3.47
Square $3.97
Angle bracket $2.60
2” screws $7.98
3” screws $7.97
Total $145.64

Epic Win

How a $500 Craigslist car beat $400k Rally Racers

Wow. That is about all I can say.

My favorite part of the article:

OK, I know reading this is probably getting old, but wow. I'm having breakfast wearing a BMW jacket and the table next to me (like ten guys) turns around and says, "Are you the BMW pilot?" I then take pictures with each of them right in the restaurant.  

They said they like BMWs but are with a Mexican Dodge club. They love that I came to the WRC with no team and jump out at each service and start working. They said that I must be part Mexican because of the way I fix my car. That's a compliment, right?

h/t Tom

Humidor DIY

I had been having some trouble keeping the humidity at the proper level of 70%. I bought an extra sponge, but I was having trouble keeping mold out of it. The local cigar store sells a glycerol mixture that is supposed to prevent this, but I found the stuff rather expensive.

A couple of weeks ago, I was smoking cigars with my friend Fintan, and he showed me his DIY humidor. Fintan made a giant humidor out of a 30-gallon cooler by screwing cedar planks into the sides, and he made an equally large humidifier out of a tupperware and a sponge.

What I brilliant idea! I decided to copy him, so here is my much, much smaller example.

Ben's Humidor

Humidifier

The bottle you see in front of the humidor is a mixture of 30% IPA and 70% filtered water. I needed something to keep the mold and whatnot out of the sponge, and that is what Fintan uses. The sponge is sitting in the bottom of a $1 first aid kit from Target. I had to trim the sponge a bit, but it fits nicely, and it holds much more liquid than my previous humidifer. I hope for better results.

Altoids TIn Survival Kit Update

It has been a while since I did anything with my Altoids Tin survival kit. I have acquired a few additional items, but progress has been slow while I have been concentrating on different things.

I decided to make a few substitutions as well, and see how well it all goes. I'll probably end up with a couple of complete kits by the end. I wanted to get everything together first, and then worry about trimming it all down to fit in the Altoids tin later. With that in mind, I grabbed the tin from the watch I received for my birthday as a handy storage container. It has a better seal on it that the Altoids tin, even though it is quite a bit bigger. I also purchased an Essential Day Pack Bottle from Eddie Bauer that has a number of survival items in it while shopping today. It was only $10, so I consider this quite a score.

Kit itemsItems for Altoids kit

  • First aid antibiotic
  • Multitool with integral flashlight
  • Bottle opener

 

Eddie Bauer Essential Day Pack BottleEddie Bauer Essential Day Pack Bottle

  • 1 L plastic bottle
  • Clip
  • Waterproof matches
  • Multitool
  • Flashlight
  • Emergency blanket
  • Foil
  • Whistle
  • Mirror
  • Duct tape
  • Paper & pencil
  • First aid supplies
  • Compass
  • Salt/Sugar/Boullion/Tea
  • 1 L plastic bag

For now, I'm stealing the matches, foil, paper & pencil, first aid supplies, food, and plastic bag and stuffing them in the watch tin.

Forgotten Algebra

I actually use algebra most often of all the mathematics I have learned, with simple stats right after that. A couple of years back, I decided I wanted to brush up on my algebra, so I picked up Forgotten Algebra by Barbara Lee Bleau. It is a quick, breezy book that takes you through everything you really need to know. I found it kind of fun (sick I know).

I worked through all the problems and examples, and I felt pretty good about it all. I jotted down some quick notes, which tonight I decided to typeset in LaTeX and post here. I needed a refresher on LaTeX too.

Forgotten Algebra

Source

 

New Project: Altoids Tin Survival Kit

From the Art of Manliness, here is a photo gallery of a survival kit crammed into an Altoids tin. There are a few caustic comments on Field and Stream about the usefulness of such a limited kit, but the point is that you could have this to hand literally all the time, which ensures that it is there when you need it, and it is an interesting exercise to compile such a kit for anyone who ever goes hiking, camping, or on long car trips across the desert.

Altoids Survival Kit

So I decided to make just such a kit, and report on the items and cost of doing so. Here is the first batch of items:

  • Altoids, $1.69
  • Potable Aqua, $7.49
  • Princeton Tec Pulsar White LED flashlight, $6.99