Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Workshop Wednesday-Stand On Sprayer

 Due to the high demand (one person) for another "Workshop Wednesday" post, I offer you an update on the stand on sprayer project  that I last reported on in March. I finished the plumbing to include a foam marker system, flow meters and a quick disconnect for removing the hood to allow for spreading fertilizer.
 If a guy is building something for personal use, that's one thing. If you are gonna build something and then charge people for the work it does, it better work right. I had to calibrate the sprayer first which meant measuring out an area and spraying water. This gave me gallons per thousand square feet and allowed for figuring how much chemical to add per tank. The first job for the new sprayer was a remote industrial location. Afterwards we parked the sprayer for a week and watched the area to see if there were any problems. This was done just in case I screwed up on my calculations or if there was some type of weird overlap problem. As it turns out the sprayer did just fine and we brought it into the fleet for daily use. "Bringing it into the fleet" is easier said than done.

 Anytime we've added new equipment to the truck or trailer there has been a learning curve to get everything to fit. The hooded sprayer was no exception but the extra hassle is well worth it. The unit doesn't do the job any faster than an open boom but it does keep drift to a minimum and eliminates the potential for random over spray on desirable plants. With its foam marker system it also takes the guess work out of overlapping rows. It's also nice to just follow the foam and not have to think about where your last pass was.
 I have no experience with other brands of stand on sprayers and I'm not aware of any that are hooded so I can't compare it to other sprayers. The machine does handle a little stiff with the extra weight out front. I expected that and it's actually not as bad as I thought it might be. From the beginning I've had a plan to make it easier for me to handle and that was to make James run it. So far that plan is working out great!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shooting Rats

 Just sendin the .177 down range and killin rats. OK, really it was target practice with a co2 bb piston in my garage.

 The rats were just Greasy Shop Rag stickers but it was fun just the same. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we had the lever action bb rifles. We would patrol the yard just looking for an excuse to pull the trigger. Its fun shootin stuff when it can't shoot back. I say that because I remember if one of the neighborhood kids had a welt from taking a round, there was always a second kid with a matching wound. Revenge is sweet.

 A while back we had some birds find their way into our basement. Getting them out was a serious problem. That's when I bought this particular bb piston. It made bird removal just a matter of picking them up and throwing them away. A shot gun would have been a bit much for inside work like this plus clean up would have sucked.

 I didn't ride this week. The weather has been crap with cold, wind and rain. I made it a point to do "truck things", like hauling schtuff too big for the bike, so I wouldn't need the truck next week. We'll see how that works out.
 I did ride the sportster two blocks to the kwiky mart the other night to pick up supplies. Chips, dip, bananas and scratchers if I remember right. Lost on the lottery tickets and lost on the dip too. I forgot to refrigerate after opening and my wife threw it out. Bought some more the next day and forgot to put that one in the fridge too. Funny, I won't buy that dip again but I plan on playing the lottery some more. Anyway the point of mentioning the sportster was to say this. Just when you start thinking "what am I gonna do about this bucket of bolts" you walk out of the store to find a small crowd gathered around your bike leaving their dna all over it. At least someone is happy with the way it looks.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bike Don't Need Nuttin

 On Mothers Day my wife and I got out for a ride.

 One of our daughters called and my wife asked me to pull over so she could call her back. I did, and as they were conversing I was looking over the bike. No obvious issues and I started wondering what the bike needed in the way of farkles.

 I couldn't come up with anything. I think I may have this bad boy set up just the way I want it. Ya I know it needs tires and regular maintenance and one other thing...

 A bath!  This bike hasn't been washed in 2017 yet. I really need to get after that.

 Yesterday temps jumped to dang near 80 something degrees. When I got home from work we decided it would be best to skip a home meal and get on the Ultra and forage for food. We're at that stage in our lives when we aren't tied down by much of anything. The kids are out of the house, we're not geriatric, and I can still hold the big bike up. That means if we want to go on a week night dinner ride, well then we will and nothing will get in the way.
 The sportster hasn't seen much use lately and the rat turd is still in the living room. The BSA project seems to be in a holding pattern again. I guess it's just that time of year when those bikes won't see much action.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Trash Day

 Wife: "What's your blog gonna be about?"
 Me: "That pile of shit out by the road."
 Wife: "You're gonna write about a pile of shit?"
 Me: "Yep."

 I don't know how it goes in your town but here abouts we have a "bulk pickup" trash day once a year. It's always the day after Mothers Day. The thought process here is that if you're a broke ass bum and can't afford to take your mother out for beer and brats, at least you can go to her house and clean out the basement. If you're already living in her basement then you gots to clean out the garage or attic. Either way it's a chance to do something nice for your mom.

 As it turns out, it's also a chance for broke ass bums to stock up on free goodies. I'm not looking down on anybody here. I know we're all in different stages of broke, some just worse than others. At least these people are willing to help themselves and not whine about how the world owes them a life.  Now the way I see it, unless it's actual junk like grandpas old skivvies or an unwanted toe nail collection, most people put this crap out to the curb hoping someone will take it home and use it. We sometimes arrange certain goodies by the curb in a presentable manner, kinda like the way a guy stages a home for sale, so as to make our crap more attractive. I admit to occasionally hiding a valuable goodie in a strange spot just to see if someone is adventurous enough to find it. They always find it.
 Just before I started writing this yesterday a guy pulls up, turns on some music and starts carefully picking through everything out there. He claimed a lot of stuff and he was there a long time. I thought he was gonna break out a smokey joe grill, cook a meal and settle in.
 A little later I hear the clinker clatter of scrap metal dudes digging around in my trash. I looked out the window to see a full truck, or so I thought.

  Turns out the driver claims there was plenty of room despite the pleas from his two buddies that begged him to leave some stuff behind. He wasn't about to pass up a score like this and sure enough they got most of it. A local kid snatched up a big smoker grill before they could get it loaded. The two buddies were relieved.

  That a/c unit went on the truck too. These guys were from the next town over and I would be very surprised if those straps didn't let loose before they made their destination. I didn't have the heart to tell them they weren't gonna make beer or gas money with this load. I was just glad to see they were trying.
 I still have all day today to haul stuff out there. I like the relief that comes from cleaning out the garage but I find it hard to throw some things away. I told my wife, as I hauled a tractor fuel tank out to the curb, that I had been saving this thing for seven years because I might need it for a project. I'm now having regrets and I might go see of it's still out there. Other items have been robbing space in my life for much longer. It's a tough deal because I'm looking at stuff I know I'll never use but I come up with reasons to keep it. I should either get strong or get drunk and make the decision to get rid of it. The scrap metal collectors will have it picked up way before the trash man ever gets here.

 It used to be a hard to decide what to get/do for Mom on mothers day. Her garage was in good order and she didn't even have a basement. I have a reminder on my bike and think of her every time I go for a ride. If you can get this message Mom, just know that we miss you.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

More Random Phone Pics

 I was able to put a few miles on the Ultra this weekend. Even took my wife for her first ride of the season. Even though the sun was shining, it was a bit cool. She wore a heated vest and I had the heated grips turned on. Take it or leave it, that's really the only motorcycle news I have to offer.

 I was thumbing through the pics in my phone cleaning out the garbage when I wondered how many of these pics were of a positive nature and how many were negative. I guess it was a pretty even mix. Turns out I use the phone a lot as a tool to record work related events. Take a pic rather than look for pen and paper to make a note. A lot of those "notes" are records of why a customers equipment is broken.

 Ya the air filter wasn't doing much on this saw. If I remember right it was just sitting there not clamped in. There were about ten different dirty intake pics in there. A lot of people have no clue and if it starts next time they need it well then thats just bonus.
 Sometimes things go as planned and it just seems like a good idea to record the moment.

 Other times I'm not so sure if what I'm experiencing is good or bad so I take a pic so I can decide later. This one is just fun...

 And this one I'm still not sure about...

 Other times a short video is needed. They were gonna throw this guy in the garbage so I adopted him and stuck him on my bench, I still don't know who added the doinker on him. The footage is shaky because I'm laughing so hard. Ya I know but grade school humor is the best.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Potpourri (In a Funk)

 Not really sad, just been busy trying to keep up at work. It's that time of season when I have to be in too many different places at once and am getting pressure from customers despite the fact that I haven't broken any promises (yet). The other day I was strong armed by a little old lady that must think I just sit at the shop and wait for the phone to ring so I'll have something to do. I tried to explain that she called in late and there were 18 kajillion people ahead of her. The conversation ending with me begging for her to give me until Monday (two weeks sooner than I planned) to spray the weeds in her yard. I think she must have been a hostage negotiator or used car salesman when she was younger. I must be getting soft because last week a second little old lady worked me over for $3 on a fertilizer quote. Come to think of it, both of those old gals used the hard of hearing routine to break me down. Ma'am, the price is $53. "what, $50?" No ma'am, $53. "$50?" $53, I said $53. "Did you say $50?" Yes ma'am, $50. "Ok, that sounds fair". Funny how she heard that part.
 Remember when I told you my new years resolution was to be less of a dickhead? Less means I can still be a dick once in a while and that held true this week when I had to fire two customers. One was for environmental reasons and the guy understood when I explained applications to his property could pollute the lake. The other one was monsignor dickhead himself. This guy screwed us over on a bill under the last owners reign and thought because I had a new boss it was ok for him to pull that shit again. I gave him the FE (F**k Em). It's funny, I actually take a highlighter and write in big letters FE on the work order and hang it over my desk. It makes me think I still have some control of this madness.
 I passed up three decent days this week to ride the bike to work. I just felt preoccupied. I think I can get through this busy season if I just schedule things in the right order. Take care of the big accounts, then the new ones that look like shit with all their weeds, then the loyal customers that have pretty clean yards right now and just get regular maintenance. Squeaky wheel gets the grease and put out fires in between.
 I know I've been preoccupied because the other day my wife caught me looking off into space and asked what I was thinking about. I replied "the maximum application rate of acelepryn insecticide".
Allllllllrighty then.

 Today is the Slimey Crud Run. If you're going, have fun. I'll be spending time with my wife on our 29th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary Honey!

 Just for fun I'll add a link to a funny skit from back when I used to like SNL. "We put a label on every bag. It says Kid, be careful, broken glass". Funny shit.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Vicious Cycle

 As a two stroke service tech there's a certain amount of tools I need to get the daily job done. It's not a lot of tools like say, a diesel mechanic or an all brand auto mechanic would need, but its a fair amount if you include model specific specialty tools. That doesn't mean I don't have an assload of tools in multiple boxes, it just means some stuff gets used a lot more than other stuff.
 When I was a young lad I remember my grandpa giving me a Christmas present of a craftsman 1/2" drive socket set. This was my first set of new tools that weren't plastic toys and it set the tone for what brand of tools I would buy. He was a great small engine mechanic and used craftsman tools and I wanted to be like him. For much of my adult wrenching life I had to go out and find what I wanted at the store. There was no internet and the only tool trucks that ever stopped at my place of employment were guys with out of state plates selling odd equipment of questionable origin. That's not the case where I work now. The craftsman line isn't really what it used to be and I've been buying whatever brand the vendors that stop by the shop have on sale when I need something.
 Lately I've been thinking about what a dollar really gets me in the form of tools. If I buy the cheap stuff I'll use it daily with ok results and have to replace it multiple times. If I spend more money on quality tools, they get replaced under lifetime warranty and the dude comes to me.
 I've also been thinking about the quality of the work I put out. I don't have much stuff come back for a rework, In fact I can't remember the last time it happened but when it does it bothers me. I know it's just chain saws and weed wackers but some of that stuff is contractor equipment that needs to run so that guy can put food on his table. With the kids out of the house it feels like I can take all of this more seriously. There's time for it. No band concerts or dentist appointments or any of those other responsibilities that weigh on a parent every day. My wife and I spend the evenings together, maybe get out for a bike ride or dinner date on the weekend and that's it. The rest is work and I refuse to suck at and hate my job.
 So where am I going with this? Simple. I spent some of this:

To buy some of these:

So I can better fix these:

 So I can make more money to buy more tools to fix more broken crap...


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Gumpin It

 I started blogging five years ago when a buddy was doing it. I expressed some interest and he encouraged me to start this blog. It started out as a simple report about my motorcycle activities. When that content is thin I write about work related crap. When that is too boring I move on to everyday experiences. Stuff like cheesecake.

 I had to take it home because multiple old fashioneds, prime rib, scallops, spuds and such had already filled me up. Ya my wife and I snuck out for dinner last night. I don't remember if this has ever happened before but we each ordered something different and when it arrived to our table we just switched plates. I'm not high society and I do better with menus that have pictures of the food, although I didn't need a pic of cheesecake to know it would be yummy. Locals will easily recognize the tavern where this pic was taken. Good food for sure. I can remember when I was in high school coming here at lunch time for a sandwich and a beer. Looking to my left or right I would sometimes spot a teacher doing the same thing. Times have changed.

 The blogs I follow are mostly simple like this one. Just people talking about daily shit or their mechanical escapades, no real news and not an endless barrage of ads. I force myself to post twice a week but not to drive ads or gain an audience. I just told myself if I was gonna do this and not quit, these were the rules. Twice a week and no politics or religion. I've read two different blogs this week talking about followers. One claims blogging is up and the other not sure if anyone at all reads it. For me, if nobody reads this I'm ok with it. I sometimes go back and read it myself just to see what I was thinking or up to. If you do get something out of it in the form of knowledge, inspiration or enjoyment, well that's just a bonus!

 You'd never guess I do fertilizing and weed control apps at work by looking at the who's who of weeds in my yard. I leave it that way so I can practice weed identification. Ya that's it. Yesterday I decided I should do my best Forrest Gump impersonation and get on my little rear engine rider and knock down the high stuff. Unfortunately for you I have nothing exciting to say about motorcycles this week.


Sticks, we just griiiiiind em up.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Painting Exercise

 I was sitting in front of my BSA tipping back a few cool ones and trying to decide what direction I want to go with this build. Every so often I think I know what I want then something happens and I think I need to go in a different direction. While looking at the tank I thought it would be nice to have a splash of color instead of just a gloss black paint job.
 I don't know how to do that. You saw what happened to the sportster. It's a friggin mess of color and shapes that were just created with some stencils. It looks like a third grade art project.
 I can't airbrush a design. I don't have the tools or skills. I wondered how hard it would be to tape off a design and paint it so I grabbed an old fuel tank that was collecting dust, wiped off most of the dust and got to work. This was to be an exercise to learn what will and wont work doing this type of painting. After squirting some black and letting it dry overnight, the rest of the project took about an hour and I learned a lot of "don'ts".

 That's not the fake stuff, no sir. That right there is genuine Rustoleum gloss black fizz bomb paint. I taped off an area and drew a semi complex design on it. The first lesson I learned is you can't easily cut through more than one layer of masking tape without pushing through to the bare tank and leaving deep scratches.

 The next lesson learned is to plan the pattern out in detail. After I started with the razor knife I realized there would be no going back. If this were a for real project I would have quit early on when it was obvious this was gonna look like shit. It's not a real project, it's a chance for me to learn. After I sprayed the white and pulled the tape I could see some areas that weren't cut square or I left a piece of tape. I scratched some paint getting too aggressive removing the tape and I just flat out stuck my fingers in wet paint. Later on some of it wet sanded out. I played around seeing how much sanding could be done before removing a top layer and also found out I could remove a layer of paint with the buffer.

 You can see all the flaws I pointed out. That blurry area on the two lowest white squares is where I buffed right through. Go slow, be precise and patient. OK, that probably won't happen for me so the biggest lesson learned is that a solid color will be fine for the BSA.
 On a positive note, the paint booth proved to be a winner. It's nice to have a clean, well lit and ventilated place for these projects. No dust and no stink. It has also encouraged me to try some more of these painting experiments and see if I can come up with something that doesn't look like shit.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

April Showers Bring May Flowers

 I guess that saying is supposed to mean that a little bullshit now will be rewarded with beautiful things later. Screw that, I want to ride now. Riding in the rain has never been an issue with me unless it means getting wet on the way to work. I'm not interested in standing around in wet pants half of the day. It makes me grumpy(er).
 I shouldn't entirely blame the weather because my leg has been giving me grief and I'm afraid if I instinctively put that foot down to balance the bike, the big cruiser would tip over. That would bring April moisture in the form of big tears from me. Even if my leg was strong, lifting that beast would be difficult.
 I did find some time for a quick ride on the sportster yesterday. Only a few miles but sometimes that's all it takes to ditch that itch that nags a guy to get out and ride. The forecast and my to-do list look promising for another ride today. Before I do that I need to bolt a few things down. It's gone beyond "the nature of the beast" and "a little annoying" to a new level of suck where I can't concentrate on the road. My mind wanders to a place that can't comprehend how two pieces of steel vibrating against each other can produce such a dreadful noise. I'm thinking of encapsulating the entire bike in spray foam insulation.

 If you need to launch your boat in the river these days it really shouldn't be a problem. The water level is up into the road.

 This should be a garbage pic but I only took a few shots and the rest of them were worse. Looking into the bright sun I couldn't even see the phone much less notice the big shadow I was creating. In these days of smart phones, everyone is an amateur photographer. It's easy to separate the hacks like me from folks that understand terms like depth of field, shutter speed and white balance. I didn't even get all the subject matter in the shot. One good thing has come from this pic. I just noticed those turn signals are hideous. I'll change em up after the headlight vibrates off which should be sometime soon.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Window Shopping

 Easter Sunday I found myself in downtown Milwaukee. My wife, our daughters and a couple of their friends had just finished having brunch and we were waiting for an arcade/bowling alley to open up. Ya, our new Easter tradition includes bowling although I wouldn't be knocking down any pins. I hurt my leg last week and was walking with a cane so I would be limited to pinball, pool and poking at shit with my cane. I didn't like having to use a cane but I could see having some sort of "swiss army cane" or some other Macgyver type of walking assistant if I needed one all the time. Of course it would need bluetooth or wifi and gps tracking for sure. Anyway, on the slow journey down the city sidewalk we passed a barber shop that had a few haircut posters in the window. I wondered if I were forced to get a haircut (like if someone shot me in the foot and then pointed the gun at my nuts and threatened to shoot again) which style I would choose.

 I guess some aren't that bad in a "please ignore the rest of my faults and only concentrate on the hair" sort of way.

The "Executive Contour" (top poster, top left) isn't too bad I guess. It would be easy to deal with until you get on the bike and then it turns into "The Ted" (bottom poster, upper right). That right there is a two for one deal if there ever was one.

 Considering what a barber would have to work with, any of these styles may be too much of a challenge. I don't spend much time looking in the mirror (for obvious reasons) but I just noticed in this pic there seems to be a lot more real estate between my eye brows and my hair line.

 Don't leave any comments about how I never smile. I am smiling in the top pic. I think for now I'll just keep sporting the stocking cap look. My hair is actually pretty long and the cap keeps it in check. What really needs attention is that mess hanging from my chin.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Two Paths

 Every day we are faced with choices. Whether or not we make the right choice can sometimes only be answered after the fact. At first glance, it would seem the coffee drink on the left would be the better choice to start my work day. Alcohol and chainsaws aren't a good combo no matter how good an idea it seems after a few brewskies.

  Was the coffee drink still the right decision even though half of it is on my pants and boot?

 Of course it was. Things don't always go as planned. Make the hard decisions in life and quit taking the easy way out. Whether you see it or not, it's hurting the people closest to you.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spray Room Tour

 The idea of a spray booth came a few winters back when I wanted to proceed on a bike build but had no warm place to do any painting. If I take pieces to my place of employment they are subject to dust and curious fingers that seem to need to check if paint is wet or dry. A few weeks back it occurred to me that if I moved a large shelf system out of my little shop that a wall could go up for a painting booth. Very little working space was lost. The shelves were 30 inches deep and the new spray room is 48 inches deep.
 This was a low budget project. I have $38 of my own money invested. Closer to $80 if you count beer expenses. Thanks to Craig and Waylon for the sliding door. A swinging door would have been a disaster in these tight quarters. Thanks to my dad for the air filtration unit, the center piece of the entire project. Thanks to Kenzo for a Menards gift card back at Christmas. Thanks to my wife for being patient. Thanks Al for the ceiling light. I know Tommy gave me some hardware or something but I can't remember what. If you contributed and I didn't mention your name, get over it. I can't be expected to remember every little detail. Left overs from a recent bathroom remodel contributed to the rest of the material list.
 The spray booth isn't complete yet, I suppose like everything else it will be improved upon as needed or when I figure out something is major screwed up. But, it is close enough for a short tour. 


Sunday, April 9, 2017

We're Back

 I rolled the Ultra out of the garage yesterday and rode it to work for the first time this year. For me that is the official sign that winter is over and regular warm weather activities can resume. After work I rode to my favorite mexican food joint, Grand River Oasis, for carryout. It's about a fifty mile round trip and I saw a lot of bikers on the road. I'm sure they were all thinking the same thing I was...hell ya, we're back in the saddle!

 I won't bore you with an update pic of the spray booth but I will tell you that more progress has been made and I'll fill you in later.

 In work related news, we've been busy. This is the time of year when things can get crazy and if there is a chance for a little fun well then we take it. A while back we hired a guy to help around the shop. This dude would lay on a creeper to work on a push mower rather than tip the machine on its side or put it on a bench. After he quit working here we would joke about it and even exaggerate the act just to get a rise out of the rest of the crew. Friday somebody (I know who you are) decided my freshly cleaned work area would be a good place to store floor jacks. I really don't need a floor jack to fix a chainsaw... or do I?


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This Sucks

 A couple hours here and there has allowed me to make a lot of progress on the spray booth. I did get a set of sliding patio doors and I have them installed. I also made a trip to the lumber yard for some screws and 2x4's. I still had some stuff left over from the bathroom remodel this past winter so that saved me a few bucks. The wall is up and the means for securing furnace filters above the door is in place.

 Yesterday I worked on the exhaust fan mount and duct. I wanted to use the Jet air filtration system so I had to get creative with mounting it. This is the hole where my air conditioner was.

 The plan was to set the fan unit on its end, vertically so it would be pulling overspray down. This also shortened the wasted space that would have occurred if I mounted it horizontally.

 Basically I have a six inch duct for the air to escape. A close look at the top of those 2 x 6's and you'll see a groove the fan unit sits in to help seal it.

 Some may scrutinize the work here but because I was trying to use up scraps from our bathroom remodel, I just had to make some stuff work. Besides, I'm ok with it so piss off.

 I ran the fan and it seems smooth and draws nice with no excess laboring. I mean, I just didn't know for sure until I built it. I'll know more once I finish the outer wall and seal things up. I also need to build a turn table, hang some hooks, figure out lighting and move that speaker.
 I need to thank my wife for being a good sport. She had every right to blow a gasket, but remained calm, when I started this project in front of another project we had in mind. Thanks Honey!


Sunday, April 2, 2017


 Update on the spray booth. Progress is slow but ideas and procuring materials is still alive. I was working on the Jet air filtration system mentioned in the last post. I had it sitting on a plastic garbage can in the shop when I gave up on it for the night. When I came out the next morning I discovered the unit had fallen off the can and ruined a 32" lcd tv that was sitting near it. Seems when the shop furnace kicked on it blew heat directly on the plastic can and allowed it to collapse under the weight of the filtration unit. I don't have a time machine so I'll just have to get over it.
 Today I am going to pick up a sliding door for the paint booth. I know nothing about the door but the price seemed right so why not. Yesterday I tried to remove the old air conditioner from the shop wall. It has to come out so I can use the hole for a vent. It's glued in and wont budge. Gonna need a sawzall but I don't own one. I do have an ax, sledge hammer and hi-lift jack so I'm confident I'll get that sucker out of there.
 After raking the beds around the house yesterday, I got the sportster out and went for a ride. Felt good. The bike does need some attention. The amount of rattling from loose or broken pieces ready to fall off overcomes the sound of the exhaust. That's a lot of rattling.
 In other news, We're gonna cut the cable. I ordered an Amazon Fire Stick and have been using it for a few days now. There's a lot of stuff to watch but with no guide to see whats playing, it can be frustrating. I'm sure we'll figure it out. The remote that comes with the firestick has voice activation. Her name is Alexa and she aint too bright or maybe I'm just not asking her nice enough but getting acceptable results from her is frustrating at times. At one point I wanted to throw the remote at the tv but instead gave her the command to "self destruct". This is what her reply was:

 She's a freakin comedian.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Clean Air

 I'm in parts gathering mode trying to secure everything I need to build a small spray booth in my workshop. This means I need a general idea of what I want to accomplish and I think I have that but a paint booth is something new to me. I toss the idea around with others and pick their brains for things I may have overlooked. In doing so, my dad offered me an air filtration unit he was no longer in need of.

 I think I can make this work but I do need to take a closer look at the motor and make sure I'm not gonna be igniting paint fumes.
 I have an air compressor that will be incorporated with the spray booth but not actually in the room itself. I see they now make plastic air line similar to pex water lines. I need to do some research there but running flexible lines would make life pretty simple.
 Another consideration is the actual small size of my shop and the fact that a 32" or greater door will swing into my bike lift. I'm in search of a rat door. Rat door? Ya, a trashed sliding patio door that still slides decent but may have a cracked pane or other problems. "Gear head on a budget", don't cha know.

 This is where the magic is gonna happen. The room is nine feet wide so the booth will be 9 x 4 feet. I think that will be more than big enough to paint motorcycle and outdoor power equipment parts. I also have an idea to convert a blast cabinet into something I can clean parts with liquid or spray solutions and blow with compressed air. All the while keeping the fumes out of the shop. No more catching a buzz on carb cleaner.

 That's all I have about the spray booth but I wanted to share this pic of a weed wacker muffler. The exhaust was so plugged up with carbon and oil residue that the machine would not run. I went at it with a torch to burn the crud out of it and Al came over and suggested that once the carbon was burning on its own I should turn off the torch flame and just feed it oxygen. Oh boy, that got things heated up. By the time I whipped my phone out for a pic the muffler had cooled down to what you see here. I thought the whole thing was gonna be a puddled of tears on the floor and I was gonna have to replace the muffler but things worked out quite well. The little trimmer runs like new again!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

BSA Stalls Out

 Of course I don't mean I was riding the BSA and it quit. I mean I've been busy and the project has not progressed since last time we talked. Ok, I've not been so busy that I couldn't have worked on it but I'm not sure what I want the bike to be so its hard to make the next move.

 Putting the seat on like this has cleared a few things in my mind and one of them is I don't like the factory fender and tail light. Not so much their style and shape but more the frequency in which they appear on any given Brit bike. Ya I know you can't see them but I remember what they looked like and I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. I'm thinking maybe a subtle mix of new age tech to compliment the classic English bike styling. Maybe a narrow LED tail/brake light strip just under the seat. The low power requirements for LED lighting is also the reason I'm thinking of doing an LED headlight. The Lucas charging system will appreciate it.

Excuse the mess. I'm in spring cleaning mode.

  For a long time I thought this bike would get more of a stripped down look, maybe a battery elimination and see through mid section. That was until yesterday when I strapped this side cover to the frame. I most likely will use the stock oil tank and it would block that see through effect so I'm drifting away from that idea. Maybe its just because the side panels are another place to add acres of more black paint. If you haven't been paying attention, I like black bikes and I can not lie.
 One thing is for sure, the fuel tank is in worse shape than I remember. Gotta get that paint booth finished. It's funny I wrote that. I need to get this shop clean, remove the shelf system and start building the paint booth.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Puter Problems

 It may not look any different from your view but from here things are fresh, clean, vivid and exciting. What am I talking about? I bought a new laptop. I'm not excited about having to make the purchase but there is something exciting about unboxing a new gizmo and getting that first whiff of new plastic. That smell means to me that nobody else has screwed things up yet and that task is fully on my shoulders. I don't necessarily like the smell of plastic but it's better than the smell of rotting food crumbs jammed in the cracks of a keyboard or whatever residue the cats leave behind when they rub their junk on my monitor.

 I was feverishly trying to get my old laptop up and running again when my wife made me an offer. Get rid of all the old computer crap laying around and buy yourself something new.  This did kinda fit into the spring cleaning theme going on around here so I took her up on the deal.
 Normally I would research the shit out of a new puter purchase but this time I did something different. I went on amazon, looked for a "best buy" with high ratings, made sure it had some minimum capabilities I needed and added it to my cart. Done. Three days later its waiting for me at home.

 Back in the day when you bought a new computer it came with an assload of paperwork. Directions, warranty cards and owners manuals and other trash can filler for every piece screwed to the motherboard. This laptop had two pieces of paper and one of them was just a screen protector. The other was a quick start guide that basically said I should plug the laptop into a power source before turning it on. Alrighty then.
 So I'm back online with my new shop computer. It won't help make this blog any better or your experience here worthwhile but it should keep me happy.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ya I Don't Know

 Sometimes I write these blogs in advance and they just sit in my draft folder until I'm ready to post them. Right now I have fourteen different drafts in there and not one of them is worth a crap. Oh sure maybe they could be doctored up a bit and made post worthy but I'm trying to keep this blog non-fiction. I'll probably just harvest the pics and scrap the rest. Why am I telling you this? Because I'm writing this in advance and it's gonna be crap too.
 Lets see, where did I leave off? The bent back blade wing is still bent. It's the end of the plowing season and there really isn't gonna be any rush to fix it till the weatherliars predict another storm. We should be able to flatten it by running it over with something heavy, scabbing a brace on it and then just one pin and bolt to mount it. Run what ya brung.
 I've been giving a lot of thought to the spring cleaning purge and right now I'm not having any trouble throwing stuff away. Well what I meant was I have no problems with the idea of throwing stuff away. In reality not much has hit the trash yet. My mind says toss it so you can build the paint booth you want, then another voice jumps in and says maybe you could use this stuff for a future project. One trick the hoarder half of my brain has been caught doing is moving items out of the heated shop and into the garage. I'll deal with it later. So, what gets tossed out?

 These tail lights from an old version of my sportster could hang on the wall I suppose but thats not really a purge if stuff just moves from a shelf to a wall. I mentioned them to a guy at work and he took them. Gone. Out of my life and not my problem anymore.

 Everything in this box-o-crap went in the shit can. I found a lot of boxes like this that seemed easy to toss out.

 Not everything was easy to throw away and this electric actuator/ram thingy is still on the shelf. I'm thinking an automatic center stand deployment device or some similar nonsense. Despite keeping the actuator thingy, I was picking up momentum on the cleanup but kept getting slowed down by the memories each item was bringing. Why did I have this item to begin with and what was that project like? Then I came across a box of pics. Many of these were scanned and featured in this blog years ago. Reminiscing wasted another hour or so. 

 Lets old Willys truck, a wedding photo, some crashed and yet to be crashed bikes. Ahhh, the good old days.