Sunday, May 7, 2017

Opinel Modification, Headphone Repair

I've had an Opinel No. 8 with a lanyard for a year, and I use it all the time. I got it originally because I felt a need for a pocket knife--I'm cutting stuff regularly all day--but I didn't want it to be intimidating or flashy (and here I am blogging it).

It turned out to be a pleasant tool. The thin blade sharpens easily and cuts fruit and vegetables without much force. I sharpen it like a kitchen knife with a low included angle. If I need a cold chisel I use a cold chisel.

I don't like how it falls into my pocket and turns sideways, especially when I am biking. It also seems thicker in the middle than it needs to be, although it's comfortable to hold outside of a pocket.

Taking that experience, I present the new and improved!

With smooth, modern lines inspired by-

Handle thinned and diameter matched to the locking ring. The blade point is modified a little, edges broken, and a choil added.

I also fixed my "AmazonBasics" headphones. The frame was really fragile--probably intentionally--and eventually both earpieces snapped off. The speakers worked fine though. I thought I would make a new wooden frame for them instead of giving more money to The Man.

I put my head face-down on a piece of paper and traced it with a vertical pencil, as a starting point. I cut out a plywood template based on that, and turned it into a clamping jig:

I assumed the lamination would spring back some after gluing. It didn't. So I made a second one, to the exact size I wanted the finished headphones-

The lamination is three layers of maple joined with wood glue, just shy of a millimeter thick each. It's plenty strong and light, though the frame twisted slightly as it dried. Here is the prototype result:

They work great for about a half hour, before the ears start to ache. Ears are pretty sensitive, and the muffs have to sit on them just so--this design provides no adjustment. Even then, most headphones become uncomfortable after an hour or so. For now, I declare these Good Enough. I kept the glueing fixture for another attempt when I get tired of these.

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