Sometimes you HAVE to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Not long ago, I bought some oscilloscope plug-ins from a local collector. While I was picking them up, he pointed at a piece of equipment in the corner and asked "You want that? I have no use for it."
It was a Bruel and Kjaer Type 1019 Automatic Vibration Exciter Control. I'd never seen one before, but it looked really cool (since then, I have seen another in a surplus shop). To be honest, I have no use for it either, but I'm not one to say "no" to free vintage equipment, especially such a beautiful piece of art. I just love the giant center knob.
I brought it home and stored it in my basement for a while. When I did finally get around to taking the back panel off and looking at it, this is what I found:
It is a mouse nest the size of a volleyball. There's also significant damage to the rest of the electronics. If I had seen this damage before I brought it home, I would have refused to accept it. (I am certain this nest wasn't built by local rodents because the construction materials are not "native" to my basement.) However, now that I have it, I feel some obligation to clean, fix, and restore it.
Just what I need! Another crazy project!