Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The trailer

Since I no longer have a truck I thought I'd get a trailer. I picked this gem up for the price of the tire repair. My plan is to shorten it up and make it a utility trailer that I can suit to my needs. On the way home with it one of the fenders fell off.
Luckily, the car behind me didn't run it over. Clearly there was a design flaw as it had been repaired in the past. There was a big fat weld bead just above the crack. You are the weakest link...goodbye.

So I stopped by the hardware store and picked up some flat stock. A little triangulation
and Robert's your mother's brother. I'm a little rusty as far as welding goes, no pun intended. As we say in my family "It's not much for looks, but it's hell for strong!"


The big ugly weld bead you see is the old repair. My weld is a little ugly one under it.
The Rust-O-Leum covers it nicely.
There is another design flaw with this trailer as well. It has trailing arms and a Panhard rod which can be a nice design. The drivers side trailing arm gets in a bind, however and has broken. I can tell by the gap where the arm should meet the axle and does not and is surrounded by ugly weld gobs. I ran a couple passes across there just for the time being. A friend wanted to borrow this gem so I figured I should make it less dangerous. As it happens, he's going to pass. It's probably just as well. Like all my projects, this is probably as far as this one will get. Even though I've only got about eight bucks invested, I'll figure out a way to sell it at a loss.



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Toy box of a different stripe and a wagon ramble

We have a three bedroom house. A while back we thought it would be a good idea to put both of our boys in one room and use the other room for other things. It's not a big house and there's always some sort of compromise happening relative to space and places to put our stuff. As it turns out, the extra room just became a 10' x 13' junk drawer. We emptied the room out, and gave it a coat of paint, some new outlets, switch and lighting fixture. The closet is still full of crap belonging to me and the wife. The boys, and the oldest in particular, have a fondness for guns. He usually picks something from Nerf's latest offering to spend his allowance on. While moving all his stuff from one room to the next it became clear we needed something a bit better than a big plastic bin for the toy arsenal. So I headed off to the home center with my "new" station wagon and tried to shoehorn some 4'x4' plywood and pegboard in there. I looked like Lucy Ricardo. It simply won't fit. An 05 Subaru Legacy wagon is not your father's station wagon. I did notice that Glen Campbell's Gene Winfield customized 1974 Cadillac Eldorado STATION WAGON is for sale. It's not far from me, either. I'd be willing to bet my plywood would  have fit in there.
That car is pretty darn cool. Imagine all the amplifiers and Blue-Ribbon winning  beer you could haul in that sweet ass ride. If gas was less than a buck a gallon I'd risk sleeping on the couch for a while to be the owner of this wonderful piece of custom Americana for the low-low price of $14,500. No I wouldn't, but a guy can dream right? I talked to a guy at a car show once with about a '65 Chevy wagon and he claimed a 4'x8' sheet would fit with no problem.
Back to the plywood on the Subaru. I thought I was going to have to use a lifeline, as it were, but being the resourceful lad that I am I got it tied down on the roof rack. It only took about a half-hour and it didn't fall off on the way home. I figured I could knock this box project out in whatever free time I can muster in a weekend. Two weeks later...it's as done as it's gonna get. Except for a handle. The Boy said it needs a handle and he's right so I'll get a handle. I'm no cabinet maker but I did make a cabinet. He's pretty excited about it and I'm pretty glad there is not a giant pile of brightly colored plastic and foam in the middle of his room. And that my friends, is one reason why my Sportster is not even close to done. But that Sportster won't put a smile on my kid's face the same way that Nerf cabinet did.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Genny




I don't know if they are the same. I'll have to check the parts book. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Wheeling Machine

I don't know why I keep calling it the wheeling machine, as opposed to, the English Wheel. I guess it's just my contrarian nature. I've made some small but measurable progress on the models. It has occurred to me that the frame for this could serve double duty as a louver press frame with a little tweaking. Food for thought.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Brakes? They just slow you down!

I had a pretty severe shake going on with the GT wagon. After some extensive research, some expensive parts, and some exploratory surgery I determined it had a bad caliper. The GT has some big brakes for a car this size. 12.5" dia. rotors, dual piston calipers. I bought rotors, calipers, hoses (there's a recall), and some StopTech street performance pads.  Oh, and a pressurized bleeder. That thing is great. Makes bleeding brakes easy, as long as your bleeder screws don't break off. I had no issues with frozen hardware, thankfully. It was so easy, in fact, that flushed the whole system. I'm pretty sure when I poured the old fluid out of the drivers side caliper, it was about 50% water. It looked like something out of a roadside puddle. The StopTech pads require a bedding-in procedure to heat them up and cook off the resins used in the binder of the pad material and to ensure the even transfer of pad material to the rotors. This requires getting things hot. So hot the rotors started turning pretty colors. It was a fun process. The brakes seem to be working really well and no more shake. I guess I'd better clean those wheels now. Been thinking about Plasti-Dipping them... Maybe some new center caps too. Gotta go, have a good Monday.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Louver press dies



Started on these a while back at the request of a friend. Just letting the folks who are talking about these kind of things know I've got a head start if that helps.

Made a little progress on the English Wheel as well, but it's tough to eat and do CAD at the same time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'm thinking Iowa

I was planning on doing a few trips this year on the VFR. Well, Vintage Days at Mid-Ohio came and went as did the Wauseon swap. I'm hoping I might be able to make it out to Iowa for the Chief Blackhawk Swap in Davenport. If I do it right I could shoot on over to Des Moines to Kung Fu Tap and Taco for lunch and buy a t-shirt, head back toward Animosa to see the National Motorcycle Museum and maybe make it back to Davenport to set up camp for the Swap on Sat. Maybe on the way back home I could stop and say hello to Bix Beiderbecke. I won't be making the Bix Festival, however. Another time, perhaps?

Click to buy the shirt.
I'm not buying one unless I ride there. It's the principle of the thing. 
DesMoines is a long extra leg for a taco and a t-shirt but it's on my list. Seems like a good enough reason to me. I'm mostly joking about the Bix stuff and I'm sure most everyone reading this that is not in my family will have to Google it to even know what I'm talking about. Not that that's any different from any other post.
Why the Kung Fu Tap & Taco? First, every night is bike night. Second...well, it's called Kung Fu Tap & Taco, and C) Maybe I'll run into Jeff Wright and we could talk photography and motorcycles. He builds some interesting shit. Case in point...
©Jeff Wright - Used without permission.Click to see the build site.
This reminds  me of something my dad would build under the right circumstances. I can't wait to see it when it's done. I don't know the exact connection between FTWCO, Church of Choppers, and KFT&T but it doesn't really matter. I'm digging what they are doing.
I've ridden the VFR to work 13 days this month. Good stuff. I love that bike. I've got wanderlust and I need to get my knees in the breeze and see some...Iowa.