Sunday, December 29, 2019

Greasy Shop Rat

 Christmas day was just a day off of work for me. We celebrated with family on the previous Sunday because it was the only day we all could get together. This meant I had some time to experiment with making a big version of my Greasy Shop Rag rat for the front of my new tool cabinet. I was lucky enough to have been loaned a digital projector for this project and I figured I'd spend much of the day trying to figure that thing out. Actually nothing could have been easier. I saw it had a usb port on the back so I loaded an image on a thumb drive, followed the on screen prompts and voila, there was my rat.

 It never dawned on me when I was building the spray booth that some day I would be projecting an image through the glass door while painting inside and protecting the projector. I did, and it worked and its just sweet when simple things work out the way they do.
 That was the easy part. Set aside the fact that my artistic skills suck, I was having issues with my air brush. First it seemed to be a bit dirty from the last time I used it and then after it was clean I had mixed up a batch of paint that was too thin and I also had the pressure too high. This made an interesting and fairly consistent effect that I decided to run with for the lettering.

 From a distance its not really noticeable but the way my box is set up in relationship to the work bench behind it, there isn't much viewing that can be done from a distance.

 A rat dropping a deuce. Pretty much sums up what this blog is about. FYI, I'm not happy how this thing turned out but doing it over won't produce better results so I'll just run with it.
Check out the video:


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

 I just wanna take a moment to wish all my friends and readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas. For my wife and I things are a bit different than other years. We had family here on Sunday because that was the only day everyone could get together. That was our Christmas and today will be just like any other day off. I'll probably tinker in the shop or whatever and just be lazy. Thursday and Friday are work days again and then I might have the weekend off. Its all jacked up and will take some time to get back on schedule. Add to that the fact that there is no snow on the ground and temps were in the forties yesterday. It just doesn't feel like a normal Christmas.
 My wife and I collect gifts throughout the year and then have an auction with the kids. They don't get gifts specifically for them, they buy auction gifts they win with play money. When you've spent all your money then you're all done getting gifts. It always works out pretty decent and at the end there is a lot of trading. Gifts are usually of a household nature like cookware, candles, bedding, towels, tools, first aid kit and even ass wipe to name a few. A lot of it is stuff they need but don't want to spend money on. We try not to include any whammies but once in a while one will make its way in there. We've asked them if they want to do something more traditional in the future and they all say no.
 This year my wife came up with a genius idea to stack the gifts in the shape of a tree. Once the gifts were sold at auction the tree was gone. No mess, no fuss. By far it was our most eco-friendly "tree" to date.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Strange Visitor

 Today you'll see another tool cabinet video but this one is a little different. For one, I loosened up a bit but something weird happened while working at the shop. People have claimed the building is haunted and I've always figured there was an explanation for whatever they were hearing.

 During this work session I actually saw a ghost. Did I really or did I see something else and my mind just filled in the rest? What I think I saw was a man walking across the shop. He was dressed in all black and had no face. As I write this I'm hoping it wasn't the Grim Reaper and my fate is sealed. One thing I know for sure is that working alone in that shop when you know there is a ghost hangin around is quite distracting. That event happened about four hours previous to me writing this and I'm still jacked up about it. Anyway, check it out:


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Holy Crap Its Wednesday

 Thats what I said to myself this morning as I was going through my normal routine of starting my day. I knew something was supposed to happen today but it hadn't hit me yet. Garbage goes out on  Monday so its not that. Pot luck lunch at work isn't until Friday. Uniforms don't get turned in today. What am I missing? Crap, I forgot to write my blog last night! Believe it or not, the slack effort you see here of limited interest content actually takes me a bit of time and thought to produce. You know how some people can just have a microphone shoved in their face and start saying something that captures peoples interest. Thats not me. The microphone would have drool all over it and all you'd hear is "Ummmm". Maybe thats why I like doing this blog. It forces me to express myself instead of just hiding in this handsome shell. After five or six years writing this blog, the videos you are now seeing are just the next phase of that expression. If you've seen the videos then its obvious I struggle with those as well.
 I'm still working on the tool cabinet. I pick away at in one or two hours bites. Last I showed you the lighting and before that you saw that the cabinet was just a painted frame waiting to be skinned. What I've done since then has been to cut out 1/8th inch hardboard panels and paint them. Well, I've painted the inside of them in a white semi-gloss. I think the white combined with those led lights is gonna be pretty bright. Maybe too bright. The nice thing is that if its blinding bright then I can always just buy more tools to cover the walls. Don't want to blind myself, safety first and all that don'tcha know.

 Like most shops, every flat surface is covered with stuff. Some good stuff and some junk. I had to get creative when it came to laying the panels out for paint. Once again my pull out shelf worked great, this time to hold the paint can and roller.
 Tonight I'll hang the first of the panels. The funny thing is that I still am not sure how exactly I'm gonna do that. Oh sure I know they will be riveted on the outside of the frame but I've got some options. Do I try to hide the rivets under the edge trim? Do I forget that idea and put the edging on traditionally or flip it and have a minimal exposure of trim on the face? Do I even know which side of the trim is supposed to be the face? All good questions and I'll let you know how it turns out.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tool Cabinet Lighting

 Todays video presentation is about the led light strips I used in the side locker and new upper cabinet. If you've never used these light strips and are thinking about lighting up a cabinet or maybe creating some mood lighting or even illuminating an enclosed trailer, then check out the video. There are a few things you'll want to consider before your purchase and it sucks if you get all geared up for a project only to have to put things on hold half way through because you don't have all the needed pieces. Warning: If you have no interest in led light strips then the boredom level of this video is a solid 8 out of 10. On the other hand, if you can't get enough of the sound of my voice then why deny yourself?


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Third Floor Skeleton

 Is he still talking about that damn tool cabinet? Yep. If you saw last weeks video then you know my goal was to have this thing painted and mounted but not skinned. Here you can see that goal has been met.

 In the above pic you can see how the gap between the locker and my cabinet is uneven. I spent a lot of time thinking I really screwed up my framework by building it out of square. After doing some measuring I discovered that US General is the one with quality control issues. The way the locker hangs naturally on the 72 is wonky. I had to make some adjustments to their mount to get it lined up decent. Of course it looked fine until I added something over the top of it and I'm certain their new Icon line of boxes are built to a much higher standard.

 This cabinet will add a lot of storage space to my setup. If we stand back and look at the entire rig then its obvious I'm gonna add almost one third storage capacity without increasing my footprint at all.

 The above pic shows how I added a door stop on top of the cabinet. The door will now only open 90 degrees. It was getting kinda tall and I didn't want it hitting the ceiling. That and the fact I can't reach the door, even on my tippy toes.

 Some of you may have noticed this odd overhang. Its something I added to the new cabinet and it will have a strip of led lights under it. Actually, three strips. The idea is to illuminate the tool box drawers. No prior testing was done and I just welded this angle iron on hoping things would work out the way I dreamed they will. I realized it could look terrible and not work as expected, but last night I wired those lights in and they do light up the drawers below. I was in a hurry and didn't do much testing so I'm not prepared to say whether or not I'm satisfied with them.
 There is still a lot of work to do. I bought the wood and trim to skin this thing. That will require some cutting, painting and cussing. I need to attach a lock to the door also, you know, to keep the mice out of the fridge. The led lights inside the cabinet need installation as well. Another addition will be a coat rack on the side by the locker. The rack for the storage bins isn't built yet either but I do have a mental plan for that. Finally, because this thing is so tall, I will need some kind of step to be able to reach the top shelf. That project material is sourced but the design is pending.
 Even though its not skinned yet I'm doing the Les Nessman routine and opening the door before setting my lunch pail and thermos up there. I closed the door when I left work last night. Just havin fun with it I guess.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Tool Cabinet-The Rough Frame

 Its update time on the tool cabinet project. I've been pretty motivated and had the extra time last week so I was able to make some decent progress. The original vision for the gas cylinders that open the door didn't work. It took two men and a boy to close the thing. The next attempt left me with something that operated more like a mouse trap with my head in the path of the violently swinging door. The third attempt snapped closed so hard that if you got your hand caught in there it would take some assistance to get it free. The position I finally settle on gently holds the door closed and has plenty of power to push it open. It doesn't seem perfect now but future plans may include adding some weight to the door in the form of a monitor, and that extra weight should slow down the action of the gas struts.
 Besides the shelf and the slide rails, I also made a valance for lighting that will shine down onto open drawers in the lower chests and a rail for lighting in this cabinet itself. Another feature I installed is this spring loaded pin that will hold the door closed.

 Check out the video:


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Third Floor Cabinet Build

 My last video post talked about wanting to build a tool cabinet over my existing tool box at work. Before I could start that build there were a few basic things that needed to be done. The first was bolting down my hutch to the top of the US General 72. In doing so I found a use for one of those stubby wrenches I claimed to never get a chance to use.

 With the hutch secured I could now take some accurate measurements and start cutting 1" square tubing for the cabinet frame. The band saw at work with a fence stop made cutting multiple pieces of the same size a breeze. I just hope I cut them to the right size because no matter how many times I remeasure the project, I can never cut them longer.

 So these two piles represent the bulk of the cabinet frame. There should be about 25 individual pieces here including the door frame. At this point that door frame hasn't been thought out and is subject to change. Like I've said before, these projects change all the time during the build.
 When shopping at the local big box hardware store I noticed these cheap framing clamps and thought I'd give em a try.

 They aren't perfect for squaring up these long lengths of tube but they work great as a third hand. I thought it was $7 well spent.
 Here is where the project stands today.

 The frame is completely welded, and most of the door is also welded. I have the supports in place, drilled and tapped, for the slide rails that will support the parts bins. I still feel I'm missing something obvious and am hoping to figure that out before I get past the point of no return. I did pick up some drawer slides for the printer tray but I might scrap the idea of the printer sliding out from the cabinet. Not sure if its necessary. I also placed an order on Amazon and got some lighting and also gas shocks for the door. How the hell does a guy calculate how many pound gas cylinders to buy? At first I thought I could save few bucks and use the ones removed from the 26" box. Once in my hand I realized they were too weak but how much too weak? I took a stab in the dark and ordered a pair of 65 pound rated cylinders. I still don't know what I'll use to skin the door but I'd guess the weight of it to be under 30 pounds. The door will be hinged on top and swing 90 degrees open. I'm thinking if the cylinders push on the door closer to the hinge point it will take all 130 rated pounds to open it. Maybe I'm way off. Dunno.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Tool Cabinet Ideas

 I've hinted about wanting to build a third level on my tool box at work. The reasons for wanting to do this are partially to gain needed storage space and also because I enjoy this type of project. Even if plans were available online for this size cabinet, I wouldn't want to follow them. I'll build this thing to my specs with the features I want. The problem I'm having is the feeling that I'm missing out on incorporating something obvious. In the video I mention wanting to add lights and speakers and even a clock. I've also considered a computer monitor. Feel free to offer your input. What would you add to this cabinet? Do you have a functional idea or even just a creative design idea? I've only just started the build so anything can still be worked into the plan.
 Check it out:


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Grandpas Table Saw

 A long time ago when my Grandpa passed away, I received his old table saw. Its a Shopmaster brand made in Minnesota a very long time ago. Shopmaster was in business from the late 40's to 1970. I remember Grandpa saying he built his house using this saw but the more I think about it I probably remember that wrong. I think he bought the house and then about doubled its size with an addition. He would have used the saw for that addition and I guess that gives the saw a birthday in the early fifties, maybe a bit later. No matter, its old for a home owner power tool.

 The actual Shopmaster saw is a tabletop unit. All that framework and wooden top are an addition Grandpa made to more easily cut sheets of plywood. Its heavy. That huge motor is only 3/4 horse so you know its old school.
 Over the years I've used this saw and struggled with it. The fence guide rail is bent and the added deck no longer sits flush with the table top.

 I also had some belt slippage problems. I thought it would be nice to just buy a decent saw but how many table saw projects with I really have? Turns out more than I ever figured and I just kept fighting this saw. If I replaced it today it would cost about $160 for a benchtop unit with no extended table. Recently I decided if I can refurbish this one for under that amount I'd be happier than replacing it. The first step is to tear it down and see what I'm dealing with.

 This old Craftsman motor still runs fine but the wiring is all cracked. In fact I found a few spots where there was arcing. I knew the wiring was bad but didn't know I was that close to blowing a fuse. Ya, my garage still uses fuses.

 This is the Shopmaster removed from the framework that Grandpa made.

 Patina? If I don't run into any broken parts that can't be replaced then it will get cleaned and painted.

 Underneath everything looks like it held up well over the years. It really just needs cleaning and lube.

 I found my "belt slipping" problem. Turns out the driven pulley on the saw arbor was slipping and ruined that shaft. I'll take it to a local machinist and see if he can bring it back to spec. I saw an old ad for these saws and it claimed to have "sealed for life" bearings. They still feel great but I might replace them if closer inspection shows any seal degradation.

 This is where it sits for now. Once I'm sure the arbor can be saved I'll move forward with cleaning the rest of the pieces. Yes I could slap it together and run it but maybe if I do it right the saw will run another 60 or 70 years.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

US General Power Drawer

 In an earlier video I hinted toward making a power drawer in my 72" tool box. A power drawer is simply a drawer in a tool box that has an electrical power strip in it. This is usually used to charge power tool batteries, flashlights, test equipment or even phones. I had seen the way SnapOn did theirs and figured I would do something similar to my box which never offered the option.
 The editing seems hacked up mainly because I was trimming time off the video to keep it under ten minutes. I'm also struggling with another part of the editing process that originates from the filming process. First let me say that my computer isn't super fast. This means if I film most of this nine minute video in one shot then decided to shoot it again in one shot, both versions having creative genius in them that I want to use, then loading and editing them is time intensive. If I record in small bits then the video is definitely gonna be choppy and thats also a lot of small bits to sort through. Thats lots of note taking and such to piece it together. I don't know if there is a better way or if it just gets easier with time.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Carb Cover Pin Mystery

 So yesterday I found myself at work diagnosing a string trimmer with running issues. That in itself isn't unusual at all, it just seemed odd running a strimmer outside in the cold with snow on the ground. I determined the unit was starving for fuel which isn't unusual either due to the fact that many of my repairs are fuel related and most fuel related repairs involve lean running conditions, or a lack of fuel. The usual suspects range from a stiff metering diaphragm to a cracked fuel line or plugged fuel filter. Maybe even lack of fuel because its being displaced by water. Usually I can guess at the problem before actually finding the problem but this time just seemed different. I have a routine that I follow and the first step is to dump the fuel and investigate. The fuel I dumped out was clean enough and smelled fresh enough to trust it in the space shuttle, if it were a two stroke. For you gearheads, lets just take a moment to imagine the sweet sounds of a two stroke engine big enough to move the space shuttle. BRAAAAAAAAAAP! RING-A-DING!
 Ok, I'm back.
 I removed the fuel filter and it looked good too. Next I connect a Mity Vac where the filter was and pressurize the fuel system. It should hold 10 psi but I was having a problem. The carb wasn't holding pressure. Once removed from the engine, this is what I saw:

 For the non-gearheads I'll give you a hint. That cover is on crooked. In fact its crookeder than a second term politician.  I've seen rifle sights at the county fair shooting gallery that were less crooked. In fact, I'll bet it was something like this that inspired Chubby Checker to write that song about the Twist.

 The red arrows point to where alignment pins used to be. They are part of the casting and how or why they broke is a mystery. The screw that holds the cover on was tight and I have to wonder if it was assembled wrong at the factory. This trimmer was traded in and I think the reason was because it always ran like number 2. See, this cover seals the fuel pump diaphragm and this would explain the lack of fuel getting to the engine. No problem, I have a big bucket of carbs I can dig through and find a new cover. The new pump diaphragm will come in a rebuild kit.

 The lone cover in front of a pile of carbs. Surely I'll have a donor in here.

 No such luck. This carb isn't a common Walbro or Zama, its some other cheap brand with a name I can't pronounce without straining a tongue muscle. Like a lot of things from over seas, these are duplicates of name brand parts just built cheaper. The difference here is that they build these 180 degrees off. Oh they work the same but everything is flipped end for end or inside out or kittywampus. That means a zama cover won't work even though its the "same" carb. My big bucket of carbs has let me down and the entire carb is too expensive to justify the repair so I'll just order the cover. The boat carrying that new cover should arrive on our shores by the time the snow melts, just in time for strimmer season.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Keeping A Factory Moving With Salt

  So heres the deal. For now I'm happy with making more videos. I'll try to mix them up with varied content like the blog normally features but I'll limit them to one per week on Sunday. This way if it lasts more than five minutes like todays video does then it won't interfere with your regular work routine. Wednesdays will feature a traditional post with boring content and lousy pics, just as you'd expect from a blog titled The Greasy Shop Rag. As always, this plan is subject to change.
 Last Wednesday we got a little snow. It wasn't enough to plow but it did get slippery enough that we had to go out and salt. My entire route consists of taking care of one factory that is split into three locations. James made a run through earlier and now it was my shift. At the last minute I thought it might be interesting to talk and film through the process. I guess it was about an hour and a half of windshield time condensed to fourteen minutes. You can decide if its interesting or not but I've decided that with a decent camera mount it might be a good way to do a quick video if I just want to babble about something.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Plow Controller Mount

 It seems I've been designated our official snow plow/salter controller mount fabricator dude at work. Thats fine, I enjoy the challenge. What I'm talking about are the control boxes for truck salters and back blades. These units typically are mounted on or under the dash or sometimes strapped to the middle seat. I hate that. The dash of most vehicles doesn't offer a decent spot for these things and usually if you do find a spot then its a bit of an odd reach. Controllers that are strapped to a seat tend to move around. This means you don't develop muscle memory for finding the function you want when you need it in a hurry. I like attaching my mounts directly to the seat either at the frame underneath or sometimes at the head rest. If the truck has a middle seat with a head rest then I remove the head rest and put a couple of rods in its place and make a mount from there. With the seat folded forward this gives you an arm rest with your hand just in the right place over the controllers. The seat will have to remain in this down position for the entire winter season.
 For vehicles that don't have a middle seat and head rest I like to make a bracket that comes up from the front bottom framework of the seat. Usually this involves unbolting the seat and tipping it back to allow for drilling. This is a lot easier than it sounds. This truck will need a back blade controller and a salter controller. The operator has the nic name "Hammer" so I made this one a little stiffer than some of the ones I've done in the past.

 That grey box and the black one sitting in the cardboard box need to get mounted.

 I've done this with straps in the past but decided on a larger one piece design for Hammers truck.

 This is the mount and the back blade controller. Notice the bottom of the mount has provisions for eight sheet metal screws. Those get fastened right up into the seat frame from the bottom.

 This is a work truck with a back seat. Nobody will ever need to sit in that middle seat so making this kinda permanent is no big deal. If it were for a customer then we'd discuss options ahead of time. The nice thing about this setup is that it moves with the seat so the reach never changes.
 In the summer this truck will get a dump body and my bracket is large enough to accommodate that controller. There is also enough room to add switches for lighting or even a pre-wet system for the salter. Otherwise, that a wrap.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

US General Pull Handles

 Followers know that I've made a few videos for this blog in an effort to change things up a bit. In fact I've made more videos than I've posted just to practice. They sucked pretty bad and you'll never see them. The ones you do see are supposedly the "good" ones. Ha! I still have a lot to learn about the whole process including, but not limited to, loosening up in front of the camera. Sound, editing and camera work have progressed a very small amount but I can see things are a bit better than that first disaster I posted. Todays post is a bit of a combo between traditional posts and video and you'll be happy to know that I kept the video near my five minute goal. The video could use a bit more editing but I just don't feel like going back to fix it. This isn't work or a money making venture and I don't want to take the fun out of it by being too hard on myself. Bottom line, it just doesn't matter.
 My new tool box came with white paper inserts for the front of the pull handles. I don't like using them and without them in there it looks like something is missing. I found the answer on a YouTube video where a guy just added tape instead of the paper inserts. His looked good so I did the same.

 The above pic is the finished result with a midway and before pic below.

 I like the way it turned out. The job was easy to do and if I get in a funky mood I can pick up some colored tape and mix things up. I stand in front of this box six days a week so how it makes me feel is important to my mental health. I guess thats one way to justify this project.
 Followers also know about the pull out work surface under the 26. I finally made a pull handle for it as you'll see in the video. Heres a couple close up shots of what I did.

 These metal pieces of channel held magnets that I removed for other projects. I cut off one side of one channel and welded the two pieces together like this:

 This pic is before I finished welding and cutting to length. Now I had a handle shaped like a tool box drawer handle that could be screwed to the bottom of my work surface. You'll notice I found another use for those magnets that came out of those channels. This one is holding the two pieces square while I weld things together.
 As I post this I am reminded that I had taken a big piece of cardboard and wrote notes on it so I could read it during filming and do it in fewer takes. In fact it worked and what you'll see is one take with most of the BS cut out. That cardboard is still leaning up on my work bench behind where the camera was placed. The notes are cryptic like "welcome", "bummer of the week", "dude on youtube".  I'm sure whoever beats me to the shop on Monday morning is gonna be wondering wtf was going on there. Oh well.
 Check out episode four.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Tool Box Tour

 I haven't given up on posting videos yet mainly because not enough of you have told me to stop. You won't find any improvements in sound, script or my comfort level because it was filmed on the same day as the last video.

 Heres the worst part...this one is ten minutes long. So if you don't have the time or don't want to see my special use for Harbor Freight magnet rails then I'll understand if you take a pass on this one.


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Dummy Lights

  As a driver there are a few things you should know about your vehicles engine, and dummy lights on the dash can warn you of problems. If your temperature light comes on then you know the engine is overheating and you should take measures to cool it down or stop entirely. But which do you do? Maybe you don't need to stop and all thats needed is to select another gear or adjust the position of your snowplow or quit drafting the rig in front of you. Warning lights aren't always gonna come on when things are convenient and sometimes you need to decide if you can make it a few miles to a safe place to pull over. What if your oil pressure light comes on? With an idiot light all you can do is assume the worst and stop the engine to investigate. I prefer gauges and the ability to make a reasonable decision based on real numbers. This was the scene yesterday on the way to work:

 Visibility was crap. It felt like one of those scenes where the starship goes into warp drive and everything flies past you. A few minutes after I took this pic the oil pressure warning light and buzzer where screaming at me. A quick look at the pressure gauge showed between 5 and 10 pounds of oil pressure. If I didn't have a gauge I would have had to pull over and shut off the engine immediately. This would have made for a bad situation with the limited visibility. I pushed on the accelerator a bit and noticed the gauge go up slightly. I then downshifted one gear to raise the rpm and see what happened. Sure enough the pressure went up enough to shut off the light and buzzer. Now I'm driving with one eye on the road and the other on the pressure gauge. I turned the radio down to see if I could hear any engine noise and everything sounded good so back on with the tunes. Hey, gotta have my jams.
 A few miles up the road was a gas station that I pulled into for some investigation. The dipstick showed oil almost to the full line. This is what I would have expected to see without this low pressure incident because I had just added some oil the other day. So now what? The best place for me to proceed investigation is eight miles down the road at work so off I went. The pressure seemed better after the restart but slowly fell to about twenty pounds. The gauge fluctuated with the accelerator and I made it to the shop without issue.
 Sending unit? Plugged oil filter? Bad oil pump?
 The big ass station wagon has a drinking problem that costs me a quart every 500-750 miles. I figured I was adding so much oil that it was kinda like a perpetual oil change and actually the color of the oil wasn't bad. Its not like I went beyond a reasonable mileage between changes because the suggested oil life as shown in the below picture was at 4%.

The problem could be with the filter so I decided just to do a regular oil change and see what happened.

 The above pic is the result after the oil change while rolling down the hiway.

 This is what I have idling in drive with hot oil. I meant to cut the filter open and see what there was to see but totally forgot. Maybe next week if its still in the drain pan.
 So for me having gauges is a no brainer. I know its not needed for everyone because a large portion of the driving population is only guessing at what the numbers on gauges mean. If the light comes on you either stop and call AAA or you drive it till it dies and call a tow truck.
 How about the odometer reading two pics up. What are the odds of something weird like that coming up? Are they 1 in 171717 or just 50/50 meaning maybe something odd will show up or maybe not? Now what are the odds that the engine is also turning 1700 rpm?
 While you're pondering that let me give a special shout out to Brooke and Mike for hosting their annual Halloween costume party. As usual the chili dump was delicious and a good time was had by all!


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Take Six

 Last week I made my first attempt at a vlog and if you watched it you know it sucked. I'm fine with that because this isn't something I have to do or am doing to make money. I'm just having fun messing around and to be honest after six years of two posts a week, I'm looking for some ways to change things up.
 Using my phone in the vertical position for that video was really dumb. I just went back and that video was painful to watch. The good news is that for this video I switched to my GpPro5. The bad news is that the audio is terrible and my presentation compounds the problem. I'm learning a lot by making mistakes and I hope some day to make one of these videos that I can be proud of.

 You know one of the things I need to work on is to plan out what I want to say and lay it out in an interesting sequence. That won't happen in this video because at some point I was drawing a blank, didn't have a plan, didn't want to edit a bunch of crap together, and just threw in the towel. I titled this post Take Six because this was the sixth attempt at filming this scene. Once I tripped, once I stepped on my own tongue and another time I stood there with an even stupider look on my face than I normally have. Bear with me while I try to get comfortable doing video, and as always please feel free to comment or offer advice.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

New Workbench Surface

 Thanks for all the feed back on my last post which was a vlog attempt. I'm gonna be doing more video but I have a lot of things to work out. I suppose at some point the best case scenario might be every other post being a video. Unfortunately for you, there will be some crap video and experimenting long before there is anything good. Maybe one of you out there can suggest a free easy to use but full function video editor. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

 At work one of my primary jobs is chainsaw repair and the bench surface I've been working on is just a piece of OSB board similar to particle board. As a work surface this totally sucks. It isn't durable, soaks up oils and gives me slivers under my nails every time I go to pick up a small part. I've been wanting to upgrade and finally took the time when the boss offered up some sheet plastic that was left over from a dump truck bed liner. My vision isn't getting any better and the bright white surface works great for spotting small parts and really helps me see what I'm doing. The following job was one of the first repairs done on the new work top. So far I like it.
 A while back I was prepping a new saw for a customer. I poured bar oil in the tank and the work bench started filling up with oil. Further inspection revealed a crack in the oil tank. Not sure if it happened at the factory or at our shop but it needed to be fixed. Unfortunately the oil tank is part of the engine shroud which is the piece everything else is bolted to.

 The broke ass saw on the left, the replacement engine shroud on the right. Pretty obvious that everything has to come apart.

  A view of the other side with the clutch removed.

 Muffler and oil pump removed. Oil feed hose and bar stud swapped directly onto new shroud.

 Here is a close look at the damage. Someone dropped this saw before it had a bar on it.

 Heres what works for me to remove screw-in bar studs. I screw a larger Stihl style bar nut on first then jam a smaller Husky style nut against it. Now I can easily use a wrench or socket to run the stud out (and back in).

 Starter cover and handle isolation springs were next. This white surface is really nice to work on. 

 The air filter, carb and fuel lines, and ignition wiring are all removed. This job is so much easier being a clean brand new saw. 

 Intake boot, spark plug and the bolts holding the shroud to the engine are all removed.

 The engine can now be removed from the shroud and the whole process gets followed in reverse. Its easy for me to see that no screws are left on the bench although I can't say if any rolled onto the floor. Maybe I should paint the floor white?

 Echo allows 1.3 hours labor for this repair. I came in at about 1.5 hours but its hard to be certain. There are no one hour blocks of time when there are no interruptions so I'm just guessing. I know I can get that number down now that I've been in this model once plus if I ever do it again I probably won't be taking pictures. The work top is a big success and I now wish I'd have done it sooner. One thing not seen in these pics is the right side of the work top near my tool box. I left a 2" overhang and drilled a series of holes so I can store commonly used tools. Its really made a difference in the cleanliness of my work area. I know the guys at the shop will laugh at this but I'm making an effort to clean up my work space. We'll see how that goes.