Wednesday, January 18, 2017

BSA Engine

 You've been hearing about my '67 BSA project for a long time. I'll make a little progress then it will sit for months. This post is about a little progress.

 It started out just cleaning up some parts that have been sitting around.  I needed to put them together or put them away because they were taking up a lot of space in my little workshop. One thing led to another and the rings were on the pistons and the pistons were on the rods.

 With only one ring compressor I quickly realized I wasn't going to be able to slip the jugs over the pistons. I had to remove the pistons from the rods and install them into the cylinders first. Then I was able to just hold the cylinders in place over the rods and push the wrist pins in.

 I spent the better half of the afternoon looking for missing hardware. This stuff is all british standard so its not like I can just grab nuts out of the bin.
 This is as far as I got. I need to try to remember what issues I had with the transmission before I ripped this thing apart. I seem to remember something about an oil leak and a four speed with only three ranges. I don't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, how am I gonna remember what went wrong twenty years ago?
 I guess I'll just treat it like one of those minimal information repairs I get at work. The work order would read: The doohicky is all discombobulated.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bumpy Ride

 We had a few days of snow, rain, sleet and general crap this past week and that meant I spent time in a plow truck. At times the snow was coming down pretty heavy and many people claimed they haven't seen flakes that big in a long time. I'd say the largest were sized anywhere between a poker chip and a bar coaster. For those of you that don't drink or gamble, that would be about the size of a key fob and a sport bike drive sprocket. For those of you that don't drive or fix sport bikes, they were bigguns. Ya I stretched the truth but it's my blog, I can do that. Call it fake news if you want.

 Visibility was crap but that really didn't seem to keep people off the roads. I think for the most part people got caught in it. We had a few 10 minute bursts that would produce an inch of snow for a total of three or four inches on top of the rain we had for the previous eight hours. It was a huge problem that still exists in gravel lots that are built up with ice, but I think we'll be able to clean those up this week as the temps are supposed to get into the 40's. I wonder if that will be some kind of record?
 During all this snowfall excitement we have to keep trucks moving in the loading docks at a nearby manufacturer. Sometimes it can be like a carnival ride.

 The asphalt is rutted from the trucks moving in and out of the same spots for years. This makes a pretty bumpy ride for the first few passes. Still, I wouldn't trade it for a desk job. In fact, it could snow every day this winter and I'd be fine with that.


Go Pack Go!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Workshop Wednesday-Did You Lose This?

 I know its not mine. I looked all over for a key switch or starter rope but found nothing. Musta fallen off someone elses truck cuz I can't seem to make it work efficiently.

 I might be willing to run this if we can find a cab and heater for it. Actually this isn't a real thing. We just pushed this lawn mower attachment in front of the fertilizer spreader to see if this was feasible. It's not but we're always looking for ways to multi purpose our equipment from season to season.
 This last "storm" really sucked. We only got a couple inches of snow but it was followed by rain that lingered on all day. Ground temps were below freezing and the ice layer kept building. Gravel lots turned to ice skating rinks or more accurately, bumper car arenas. Trying to keep up was frustrating.

 In other shop news, this appeared on the wall in the rest room.

 It's sad that we need directions for ass wipe but we must be employing a bunch of neanderthals that either have no sense of decency or have someone else wiping their back side and never have to worry about where the paper comes from. Perhaps they can't figure out how that roll is magically fitted over the roller. Either way, upper management is on the case and I trust this problem is over.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Water, Lead and Good Fortune

 It was one of those rare January days where the temps soared into the upper thirties. We had light rain and snow was melting off the roof at work and forming a large puddle outside my shop door. We've given this puddle a few different names over the years because it really does become a pretty good sized body of water during a heavy rain. This "puddle" has given me a wet foot on a few occasions and today was no exception.
 So I squish, squish, squish my way through the workday trying to ignore the case of trench foot developing in my right boot. I did a few repairs including some work on one of those compact suitcase generators. You pretty much need to be an ambidextrous, double jointed contortionist to work on these things. If you're not, then you have to be willing to do a lot of tedious wrenching to do even the simplest tasks. In this case, a recoil repair. The once compact generator was now not so compact and spread out over the entire workbench. Eventually I completed the repair and reassembled the unit to damn near its original condition. No leftover hardware is always a good thing.
 Lunch came and went. I don't remember what I ate but I can tell you with no uncertainty that it wasn't a healthy meal. Afterwards I worked on our social media for a while. Yes, that's part of my job. I don't claim to be good at it but I enjoy it and nobody else wants to do it so it's kinda a locked in position. Nobody bucking for the job but no room for advancement. It's a wash.
 Five bells and I make like a banana and split. It's a twenty mile drive home in a heavy mist but my trusty (that should have said rusty) old dodge is up to the task despite some pretty seriously misaligned headlights and wiper blades. Come to think of it, that truck really wasn't up to the task. Anyway, everybody that commutes knows their route and becomes used to the particulars of that route including where the cops usually park and eat their donuts. For me there are two specific spots that could be considered speed traps. For whatever reason, I was day dreaming as I sped through one of those areas.
 I miss the soft glow of the old bubble gum machine globes on a squad car. These days we are subjected to the annoying glare of high intensity led lighting. I pulled over and waited for Johnny Law to catch up and make his case as the piercing lights filled the dark recesses of my cab. I didn't even need my dome light to search the glove box for my registration and proof of insurance. We had the standard conversation where he asks questions and I plead ignorance. I mean I wasn't even looking at the speedo and he was shooting radar. I should have asked him if he knew how fast I was going. As it turns out, he did know and it was a number I was a little surprised about. I chilled as he returned to his squad car to scrutinize my papers and investigate my driving record. As fate would have it, everybody I know passed by and saw me sitting like a rat with one leg caught in a trap. I could run but it would have required a lot of chewing and I wouldn't get far.  Instead I passed the time answering texts from those that drove past and saw me stuck there. Think about that for a minute.
 When our public servant returned we had a discussion about my driving habits and decided the best course of action was to provide me with a warning. I happily agreed and continued on my way.
 When I got home and took my boots off it occurred to me that I had somehow changed a wet foot to a lead foot that acted like a rabbits foot. Lucky me.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I Fix These

 So I'm looking at this torpedo heater that came in for repair and appears to be covered in mud. I jokingly asked the guy if it was covered in cow shit. The reply I got back was "yes". Yuck.
 The new boss walks by and asks if I fix these too? Ya I fix em, cuz nobody else wants to. The truth is I like the variety.

 This one needs some fixin. The smoke rollin out of it was the first clue.

I fix these too.

 It's a concrete saw. Normally the engine is spring mounted to the handle assembly. When the anti-vibe springs broke I guess the job wasn't done yet so they used a ratchet strap to hold it together. Yikes.

 I fix ice augers too. These two are done and ready for fishing on the lake. Yeah!

 Here we are four days into the new year. How's it going? I've been better. We say it's a new year but really it's just a dot on the timeline of our lives. For now, a continuation of a cold winter. No riding has got me grumpy and I can see it in the way I've treated people close to me. If I followed tradition and made a resolution for the year, it would be to be a better person toward others. Not such a dickhead. It should be easy to do, easier than a diet. I'll give it a try.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

UTV Rack

 Every so often I am asked to build something at work. I like these light fabrication projects even though the other guys in the shop will give me shit about how long they take, even if they don't take long at all. I know this because I am just receiving some of what I dish out. If I do take a little extra time it's to over analyze every scenario and try to get it done right the first time and avoid down time in the future.
 This project is a simple rack that will allow us to haul a bigger load of wood in the back of this utility vehicle.

 Like most of these projects, the material used is based mostly on what is in the steel storage rack at the time of the build. We had most everything I wanted to use except for the expanded metal. That came the next day on a semi trailer along with an assload of other material to stock the storage rack.

 Some angle iron and 1" square tube welded together and we have a rack. I wanted the section above the tailgate to have no pins to get lost or hinges to rust or bend. It also needed to hold the sides from bowing out. What I came up with worked ok as seen in this top view.

 I cut a slot in a piece of tube that would be welded to the far rearward edge of the sides of the rack. A piece of flat stock was welded to a round rod. This assembly would be welded to a tailgate frame and then slide into the square tube.

 I said it worked ok. Ok wasn't good enough because it did bind a bit where the 3/4" rod was welded to the flat plate. Version two was a piece of flat stock with two pieces of 1/4" rod welded just to the side away from the groove in the tube. This fit a little sloppy in the tube and made it easier to move the gate up and down. I suppose if you zoomed in on this pic you'd see what I did. The tailgate also got a pair of handles to allow for easier removal.

 I know it looks simple but one thing you don't see is some of the thought that goes into one of these projects. When deciding what we wanted to accomplish, consideration was given to how much material would be used. I wanted to protect the back window but only use one sheet of expanded metal and that expanded metal does have a pattern to it. That accounts for the shape of the rack. Aaron helped me measure and cut that metal and even saved the day when I almost fouled up the project by welding one piece in the wrong spot.  This pic is the finished project except for paint. Troy was painting it Friday with some oil based flat black. I know this machine will be on an upcoming tree job and I suspect it may get scratched up. Maybe after that it will need a little camo touchup paint.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Top Five of 2016

 This is my last post of 2016 and my annual cheater post where I just link to a few old stories to wrap up the year. These are my picks and have nothing to do with blogger stats.
 I picked these in order from January to present. The first choice was titled "The Sickness" and it talks about a hoarding problem a lot of us have. Do you have the sickness?
 My second pick was titled "Night Out". Nothing special, just a little fun in the cold of winter. I also like the link to the story of Jack Shit. I can read that story back to back and giggle both times.
 A post from June titled "One in a Hundred" is a favorite because of the pic my wife took. Not to pat myself on the back too hard but I also did a hell of a job riding around some severe weather. I remember it as a great day on a bike.
 A touch of sickness in July resulted in the post "Popping Hostas". Although I didn't write it that way, it's a post about missing my Mom.
 "Chillin on the BRP" is a post about enjoying vacation time on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
 Finally my last "favorite post of 2016". Ya I know it's number 6 in a top 5 list but I don't feel like changing the title. If you've made it this far then you're a real trooper. On that note I'd like to thank everyone that suffers through this blog. I know this isn't quality writing and many times has almost zero entertainment value but hey, nobody is twisting your arm so thanks for stickin around. Anyway, "34 Degrees" was my last ride of the season and I really like the red, white and blue pic of the Ultra.
 So that's it. I wish you all a great new year!