Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sears Catalog Fall 1962

  I was cleaning the "parts room" that is connected to my garage and came across some old books. One of them was a 1962 Sears catalog and I found it interesting flipping through the pages of retail history. Obviously pricing has increased but looking at design and materials was what really caught my eye. Stuff is now built out of plastics over metal and wood. Weight has been reduced in our power tools but longevity may have suffered. Check it out:


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Photo Dump And Other Pieces Of Crap

  Well my two day vacation was bundled with a weekend so I had four great weather days off. I mostly did stuff around the house like pressure washing the whole house, cleaning some windows, painting the garage and installing a door. I did get a little riding time in and I have no regrets. This stuff all needs to be done and 2020 is already a bust so why not now. 

 Enough about DIY stuff, lets just do a photo dump of some pics taking up valuable memory in my phone. 

 One of the guys at the shop got a Mohawk hair cut and I used this pic to compare his look to our friends here. 

 I have a pretty decent collection of hand tools but I couldn't find a driver for the top screw.

 This is from this years calendar. I didn't noticed any of the highlighted dates till the end of the month when I was ready to flip the page.

 I like to keep accurate notes for the customers so there is no confusion as to the state of their equipment.

File 13 bound.

 This carburetor pump diaphragm came from the factory installed like this. You don't need to be a mechanic to know its more crooked than a politician. The funny thing is that it ran for weeks before the customer brought it to us complaining of lack of throttle response.

  I've been seeing a lot of these crappy little engines lately. A store was having a sale on them and of course they can't do warranty work but we can so I get to deal with them. In the pic above this plastic piece warps and creates an air leak that eventually ruins the engine. Two pics up a bolt was over torqued and broke, resulting in a bitched engine as well.

This pic may have made an appearance here once before but its worth showing again.

 And finally, an everyday classic. The complaint was that this piece of crap we sold them starts fine when cold but is very hard to start warm. Its funny how its always the fault of the equipment and not the operator. Somewhere under all that fuzzy looking debris is an air filter. I wonder if they've ever even looked at it before? When I showed it to the guy, (and this is the response from over 50% of the people) "Oh, I borrowed it to so and so and he must not have cleaned it". Now I understand that belittling a customer, even a dickhead customer, isn't the right thing to do. Is it ok to draw an "L" on the inside of my mask with my tongue while some loser is blaming his neighbor for his own shortcomings?


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Garage Makeover Wrap Up

  Its pretty much done, at least as far as the big stuff goes. There will be more garage videos after I finish the parts room and the other bay, but for now lets wrap up the makeover series.

Check it out.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Four Days Off

  Last week I took off three days of work, er paid work, to do some work here at our house. As you know I brought home a lift and did all the trim and also painted the roof. I also did the high areas of the garage and now whats left is all ground work except for one small section. This week I'm taking off Thursday and Friday but I'm still not sure how my four day weekend will play out. I want to put some miles on the bike but I also have a long to-do list left to accomplish. I actually made a list and it fills all the lines on one of those legal pad sheets. Yikes. There are some things on that list that could eat up all of a four day weekend by themselves. I'll let you know how it turns out.

 In garage update news I can report that I used up some scrap materials to build a simple shelf above the workbench. Nothing fancy. Wait, whats a fancy shelf? A cabinet? 

 The single most used tool in the entire garage makeover was easily my Milwaukee drill/driver. Its an older one but still works fine. The problem is that I'm down to two small batteries and those are both falling apart. I think they've been dropped too many times. 

 One of them actually stops working because its falling apart. I was taping it up but that got to be a pain.

 Frikkin batteries are so expensive but I probably should just bite the bullet and replace these. Maybe I'll keep my eyes open for a bundle deal of a tool I need with multiple batteries.

 BTW, the second most used tool in the garage makeover is paint brushes. By the time I finish painting the outside of the garage I think paint brushes will be the most used tool for this project. Not very glamorous, no batteries required, no bluetooth or even any adjustments to be made but they sure do lay down the most impressive transformation. Low tech for the win.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Garage Makeover Part 8-The Ceiling

  It seems like a boring topic but the ceiling turned out to be the single most expensive, time consuming and involved part of this makeover. When I started this project the ceiling was hardly on my radar but its actually the main hub of the entire makeover. Everything in this garage is an extension of the ceiling from the attic ladder to the lighting and even the garage doors. I'm glad this part is done.

 Yes its true a lot of extra labor went into the ceiling just to save some coin and I'm fine with that. Saving money on colored panels that had to be painted, second coated and then touched up after they were hung is all part of being a gearhead on a budget. Buying slightly damaged lumber at half price and giving some thought to how those pieces needed to be cut in order to work is also part of that deal. Like I said, I'm just happy to have this part of the project behind me. It feels like, and is, all downhill from here.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Staycation-Painting My Roof

  This years annual bike vacation has been replaced with some home diy. Today I want to talk about how much it sucks to paint an old house. The siding is aluminum and only needs to be hit with a pressure washer. That is yet to come. The overhang is a real pain in the ass because of the amount of scraping that needs to be done.

 The loose stuff comes off quite easily. The pain in the ass part is that half of this overhang can't be done while standing in the lift basket. I use the lift to get on the lower roof and then squat/kneel while scraping. Painting these areas is worse because I also have to deal with a gallon of paint that I've been setting on the sloped roof and holding in place with my foot. I know it sounds like a bunch of whining and it is. I'm typing this after a 13 hour day of scraping and painting and I'm sore.

 Now just regular old scraping from a comfortable position isn't too bad. I hand scraped about 80% of the roof with a 2 or 3 inch Red Devil scraper. I was able to kneel on a pad in the lift basket and just scrape away. I probably spent 1/3 of my time getting up, working the lift controls, and getting back down and scraping. What that thing needs is a bluetooth control that straps to your wrist or something similar.

 Once I had everything scraped I used my handy dandy Echo battery powered handheld blower to clean up the mess. Speaking of mess, this roof paint is some nasty stuff to work with,

 I had some inconsistent results from the first day where the first bucket of paint dried a different shade than the second. For this reason I spent some extra time mixing all the buckets this morning. Once I popped the lid on these things, some of them had a hard layer on top that seemed like the aluminum. Others had a less hard layer that seemed more tar-like. My handy dandy old school Craftsman drill handled the chore of mixing just fine.


 In the end its all about protecting the metal roof. Appearance is a plus too and it doesn't look too bad. Now is that because it was so far gone that anything would look better or does it really look decent? The nice thing about roof paint jobs is that they all look good because you're always looking at them from a distance. 


Sunday, August 9, 2020

What Day Is It? Sunday Late Edition

  I've been pretty good about posting at regular times on Wednesdays and Sundays. Today not so much. I'm taking a few days off to paint my house and I have a lift here to make the job easier. Last time I painted my roof I used hook ladders. That sucked. Let me repeat, that really sucked and I was twenty years younger when I did that. This time I have a 55 foot lift at my disposal but its not for an unlimited time. Its a rental item from work and it needs to go back. Sure I'm paying to use it but not full rate and there is a guy that wants it Wednesday so theres not time for dickin around.

 Besides the roof, I'm scraping and painting the overhang and also using the lift to do the section of garage above the greenhouse. I'll probably use some vacation time to seal that drive in the above pic too. The only good news about this whole project is that I'll probably be too old and feeble to do this job the next time its needed, so I've got that going for me.

 As I type this sunday night it has begun to rain. I have the roof about 1/3 painted. Of that 1/3, 1/2 was done early in the day and it looks like its doing ok. The other half was done just a short time ago and looks like it might be a "do over". Grrrrr. The forecast for tomorrow isn't ideal either. Double Grrrrr.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Half Price Lumber

 Last week I was getting all geared up to do the ceiling insulation in my garage in preparation for the steel panels I wanted to hang in there. It suddenly occurred to me that I still hadn't purchased any wood for the floor of the attic. Big deal, right? Wrong. I had to get that material up there before I closed up the gaps between the rafters. Its a 50 pounds of shit in a ten pound bag kinda thing. Even if a four foot wide panel fit through the attic ladder hole there wasn't enough head room to physically wedge an eight foot length up there. It would all have to be done first and that meant a trip to the lumber yard, in this case Lowes.

 I never used to go to Lowes before this year. Lately I've come to like that store. Their lumber is of better quality than their competition. Customer service is top notch and the price advertised is the actual price without any gimmicks or mail in rebates. Well, its not always the actual price as this cheap bastard tested during my last visit. I said their lumber was decent but on this visit I was looking for cheap wood for the attic floor. What I found was some 1/2" exterior plywood sheets on a rack and they appeared to be cover and bottom sheets with the edges damaged from banding straps. I already knew I was gonna have to rip these to width to get them up there so if I could get these six lonely red headed step child looking sheets for a decent price I'd be happy. I found a manager and asked if they were on sale. He whipped out his phone, did some poking and scrolling and decided there were not on sale. He also decided he was seven sheets short on the pile which has nothing to do with this story but I found it interesting. Anyway, I asked him if he really thought he was gonna get full price for these sheets and began pointing out all the flaws and damage. So much so that I was having second thoughts on whether or not I actually wanted them. I told him I'd clear the rack and take all six for the right price. He offered 50% off  and I accepted without a counter offer because that seemed fair and was the number I was hoping for. I may be cheap but I'm not gonna be a dick about it. 
 They wouldn't even let me load the cart. Two of them handled the lumber and cart all the way to the big ass station wagon where I finally did get a hand in on the action. When I got home and started using grandpas table saw to cut the sheets I realized they really weren't as bad as they looked in the store and with a little thought on how to cut them I was able to make any ugliness go away.

 I'm not claiming to be some great negotiator. All I'm saying is that some times you need to keep your eyes and mind open. I didn't walk in to that lumberyard looking for 1/2" treated plywood but rather for the best deal on a product suitable for what I wanted it to do. I didn't let on that all I was looking for was cheap, cheap, cheap. Instead I offered to do him a favor and get those crappy sheets of plywood out of his hair so he could display a fresh bundle. 
 What a nice guy I am :-)


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Garage Makeover Part 7

 Today I spent some time putting up insulation in the ceiling and painting steel panels. The panels are getting paint because I decided to save some money by purchasing scraps I had to cut to length. These leftover pieces are all new stock without any screw holes but about half of them are all different colors than white. I'm a cheap bastard so I'm gonna paint them.