The Secret Life of Components: Bearings

A bittersweet component

The Secret Life of Components finale is up and this time it is all about those wibbly wobbly bearings that help other parts move. I’m a little sad to say goodbye to more content from TV’s Tim Hunkin, but that’s what makes this series special. Hunkin isn’t like other video essayists and hobbyists on YouTube and that’s why I was elated when the series started. Who the heck is going to go on about bearings, glue, connectors, springs, switches, hinges, LEDs, and chain! These things are the mundane parts that make other things work. Somehow, Hunkin made each component interesting with live demonstrations and more.

Hats off to Tim Hunkin. If we’re lucky he will follow through with the idea he put in the description for this final video that he might make another series next winter. We should all be so lucky.

This time, especially, please visit Hunkin’s site for more information on the series and his responses to each episode.

The Secret Life of Components: Glue

Only one more episode after this

Tim Hunkin is back at it again, this time he’s teaching us about the wonderful world of glue with a little history and some real-world demonstrations both in his workshop and at his arcades. It is those demonstrations and Hunkin’s presentation that really make these videos work, and turn what might be a completely boring subject, like glue, into something fun.

One of the most interesting things about glue is how it is used today in phones, laptops, and some monitors. Usually glue is used to hold glass on to the body of the device instead of something with a visible mounting system. I used to think knowing about the glue trick these companies use devalued the devices because glue seems like a cheap answer to that problem, but it must be the most practical solution or there would be a replacement after all these years. I’m sure the people who fix these devices don’t appreciate having to heat up and remove the bond, just to have to re-do it again and hope you get it right without pinching any of the tiny connecting cables.

As always, I recommend checking out Hunkin’s website for more information about The Secret Life of Components series and consider pitching a few buckaroos Hunkin’s way using the links there if you’ve enjoyed the show. The Secret Life of Components has already covered Chain, LEDs, Hinges, Switches, Springs, and Connectors. Next week: Bearings!

The Secret Life of Components: Connectors

This week on The Secret Life of Components Tim Hunkin treats us to connections he makes with wires. This is probably the most practical video for me because I struggle sometimes to make good connections from one wire to another but I never look up any help about it and just keep making mistakes. So, if you’re like me and in need of some practical advice, or just enjoy listening to Tim Hunkin explain the components he uses to make the machines at his arcades, tune in above and then check out Hunkin’s The Secret Life of Components website afterwards.

One great new feature of the TSLoC website is that Hunkin has been writing a bit of behind-the-scenes errata or addendum in response to the comments on each video a little while after they go up. For example, Hunkin says in regard to the wonderful giant micro switch from the switches episode:

I’m delighted that many people commented on the giant microswitch because Rex made it 30 years ago for our Secret Life of the Lift film. Far too good to throw out its been waiting in my stores for this moment of glory. Its made of layers of MDF, cut to shape on a bandsaw.

We’ve already seen Hunkin talk and demonstrate about Chain, LEDs, Hinges, Switches, and Springs in this series. There are just two more episodes left, Glue coming up next week and Bearings the week after that.

The Secret Life of Components: Springs

For springtime there’s nothing better to build with than springs

Tim Hunkin is back today with another episode in his The Secret Life of Components series. Springs are covered and it’s fun to watch Hunkin explain the subject with real-world demonstrations of how different springs work and then applying them to his creative arcade machines.

There are just three episodes left in The Secret Life of Components, as Hunkin has already covered chains, LEDs, hinges, and switches, next week we should have access to his thoughts on connectors, then glue, and finally bearings. As always I recommend checking out Hunkin’s site for more details on the series.

The Secret Life of Components: Switches

Before the Nintendo Switch there was the electrical mechanical switch. Tim Hunkin’s new video about the subject is out in his Secret Life of Components series above and we are about midway through the release schedule for these videos as they go up every Thursday. We are about midway through the series of eight episodes having already covered chains, LEDshinges, and now switches, with springs, connectors, glue, and bearings coming up. As I think about that schedule I am just now coming to realize the hope that Hunkin really kinda glosses over the history of glue. I highly recommend checking out Hunkin’s website on the new series and chipping in a few dollars if you enjoy the new series.