Monday, September 30, 2013

Mondee Again

Da ol man got everything you need....

For those of you wondering, these songs in these versions are on my auditory masturbation device.

No random searches for songs to post, what you hear here I hear everyday.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Big Scary Monster

So far he's doing great.

He comes running when he hears your voice, get underfoot properly and loves to snuggle.

His purr box almost needs a muffler but no reason to complain about that. He also figured out the potty.

He sorta tolerates Miss Barksalot, AlphaBrat Terrier. She cleaned his ears for us and left him no choice.

Hey, that bright blindy thing is not cool

Yer acting like you need bit.

Told ya you needed teeth marks on your knuckles...
Gotta feeling this may turn into the crazy cat lady forum for a bit, you'll just have to suffer thru.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ladies and Gentleman, Introducing,,,,,,

7 week old male free garbage kitty. We've named him Hoban "Wash" Washburne .

He seems happy so far and we'll see how he gets on with the Phantom Kitty that you will never see if you come over and has restricted my petting time to less that 45 seconds a day.

We also custom ordered a red boy Maine Coon from our friends next breeding. It just wouldn't be right in here without a Coon.

I'm fine with being the crazy cat lady down the street.......

"I was kinda liking you folks till that whole trying to drown me thing."
"Curse you and your inevitable betrayal"

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Long run, not long enough though.

Rest in peace Max, ya grumpy bastard. 15 years for a Maine Coon was a helluva run.
Not much of  a spiritual person but I know the Bible says animals don't go to heaven.
If my pets aren't there waiting for me, I don't want to go anyway.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Anyone got any luck I can beg/borrow/steal or buy??

Just finished freshening up the motor in the wife's 64 Buick, dropped it in and got it running, 75 psi of oil pressure while pre-oiling it.

Got everything lined up and took it for a test run, got a half a mile from the shop and heard something grinding and looked over no oil pressure.

Slowed down and once I got it back down around idle the grinding stopped and oil pressure came back.

Pulled it back into the shop and yanked the distributor which in addition to being a key component of the ignition also drives the oil pump. Set the pre-oiler back in and spin it 75 psi.

I happened to glance at the drive pin on the bottom of the dizzy,,,

noticed a funny wear pattern on it, so I took the oil pump apart and this is what I see,,

It turns out that the pump drive and the pump shaft were just barely engaging and once things got warmed up they didn't engage at all. The darker circle is where the drive pin was spinning on the pump shaft.

Looking at where the gear is pressed on to the shaft,,

I pressed it out a bit and tack welded in in place,,

and then re-installed it and hoped for the best....
But with the way my luck runs it was too late, damage done. Cam is wiped out and its got a knock in the bottom end.
I did mention this was a fresh engine? In less than 5 minutes its now a core that needs another overhaul.  I should also mention that after working on customer stuff all week I stayed late every night and was there till 2 am on Friday and was back at it 10 am on Saturday in order to get it running for our last big event. Woooohoooooooooo.......
I've been a "pro" at this for 25 years or so and this is the first time I've ever seen this particular problem. 
Well at least I know what to ask for when Christmas comes..... 



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Told ya!

I make some cool stuff sometimes.

That's as far as I can go till after the chassis has been powdercoated. After that drill a bunch of holes and add a bunch of aircraft rivets to complete the look.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I get to make cool shit,,,,


 That's the floor pan for a land speed car, a belly tanker that will hopefully be going to a VERY big show on the west coast. Below shows installed.
I still have to layout and roll in the matching patterns on the side panels, should be done tomorrow.


After it makes the show it will be going to the Bonneville Salt Flats to go for a record, needs to go 220 mph or so to get the job done.

Shops a mess, it gets that way during a thrash. That's why I haven't posted much short on time long on work.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back at it

Since the day of reflection is over,,,

Fuck muhhamad, fuck the religion of peace, and to hell with anyone that sympathizes with them or refuses to condemn their actions.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Take a moment to think about what you were doing on this day 12 years ago and about how much it has changed our lives.

To the folks that lost someone, words cannot describe the sympathy and grief I hold for you.

For those that passed later due to complications from the cleanup and rescue attempts, you are true heroes.

Now we mustn't forget last years debacle in Benghazi either, good people were lost there too and deserve our attention as well.

I could go on a tirade here about any number of things but today is not the day.

Today we should honor those that fell, celebrate the ones that survived and condemn those that perpetrated it or would see it happen again.

We can go back to the arguing and bitterness tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Having been a welder/fabricator for 20 years or so you would think I would remember that freshly welded stuff is somewhat warm.

Oh no not me,,, welded a tab on a chassis and noticed I had missed a spot on another tab and you guessed it, stuck my arm right on the forevermore red hot fresh weld.  I are a genius.....

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013


If your thinking about being a smartass and shooting someone's 22 spinners with your 9mm so you can watch it spin really fast,,,,,,

Not the best idea. 115 grain FMJ knocked a hole in it and left the jacket in the hole. Almost hate to fix it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Zen and the art of not running your booger hooks thru a Baliegh english wheel

There are few things I enjoy more than raw fabrication. Solving a problem by my own rules and guided by the laws physics. Job stuff gives a sense of fulfillment but nothing work related even comes close to the satisfaction of making something artsy with my bare hands and a few tools.

The title of this blog hints at this satisfaction, Sticks and Stones. While the familiar phrase "sticks and stone may break my bones" has a bit to do with it but not much.

The title has more to do with tools. Some of the first tools ever made were hammers and axes, STONE hammers and axes, with WOODEN handles. Sticks and Stones.

These tools have seen some remarkable upgrades over the thousands of years of use but are still nothing more than space age sticks and stones.

I use these space age rocks and fiberglass twigs to create some very cool things:


There are a few other tools used in some of these things, bead roller, welder, drill and such but its always followed up with a hammer.

As you can see I love the artsy side of my skills. No rules, no time limit and no customers breathing down my neck. These things are made as gifts for family and close friends and the occasional charity auction. I've never sold any of these for personal profit and I never will so don't ask.

Doing projects like this helps devise new techniques and really helps with learning to control the hammer. Another positive is that if I make a mistake nobody will know but me. They are also very relaxing, Zen moments if you will. Once I get started time becomes irrelevant, everyday problems melt away and I can concentrate only on the project at hand.

Few work related jobs give me the same satisfaction.

So all that leads to the current project. Its a belly tanker for land speed racing. The rear portion of the cage has to be fully enclosed to protect the driver in case of fire from the drivetrain.

The upper most portion has to have a compound curve and while it can be done with my favorite magic hammer there is a better way.

I've had this Baleigh wheel for a while now, having won it during a tech week on the Hamb, with this thread on making a brake bleeder from an oil pump.
I haven't used it much and its about time it got a workout. Its not the super heady duty version but under normal circumstances its perfect for the type of work I do. This project however would put it to the test.
(I didn't take pix as I went along so you'll have to bear with me)
This the shape I was looking for.

 I made a wire skeleton over the hole that I had to fill and made a flexible pattern on the frame. I then split the pattern and used it to cut a piece of 22 gauge (.030") steel to size, cut some reliefs in it and welded them up. After that a few minutes in  the wheel got it to shape, took less than an hour. (no pix of the process sorry)

Doing a prototype like this gets me used to what has to happen, how its gonna happen and why. It also gets me something to make a much better flexible pattern off of.

Once I have that in hand its time to move on to the real thing. The final product has to be made of 14 gauge (.080") after some quick figuring I realized that it takes almost 6 times the force to move. (Oh that's just great...)

This is gonna put some strain on me and that new machine for sure. I really wasn't looking forward to it. (STRESS!)

I followed the same procedure for splitting and laying out on the thicker material and unlike the thin stuff that cuts with snips, I cut it with a cutoff wheel and a profanity stream. (Sparks and STRESS!)

Pulling the reliefs closed to weld them up was a lot more interesting as well, it involved welding stubs off the part in order have something to clamp and pull on. (This better work.....)

Once they were welded up and the welds knocked down its time to put that wheel to the test. Lots of force and lots of motion. (This is probably gonna suck.)

 Since the machine isn't designed to work with the added thickness I had to crank on it till it started to flex and then start wheeling. (Yep the suckage is strong with this one...)

Since the machine was maxed out on pressure it took a lot more wheeling to get it to come around. (Suckage and a workout, perfect.)

I wasn't sure that I and the machine were up to the task, but soon things started coming around and I started to relax and focus on the work. (Hey, this isn't an art project why are you getting into it?)

A little more here, knock a bit more off that weld, jam it back in the wheel and go more here. Check it against the pattern, back in the wheel and so on. Don't run your finger into the machine. (Was that actually fun??)

 After a while I looked up at the clock and wow, I been at this a while now, haven't had a smoke in over an hour and I really need to pee.

Took a break and for the first time in a long while was looking forward to getting back after it. (No way, this is work dumbass..)

 Once I got back after it things came around pretty fast. (I can't believe you enjoyed that.)

Then it was time to trim the thing to size, back to the cutoff wheel and some profanity. I cut it close to the lines with the wheel and since I have used tinsnips a lot over the years my forearms are a bit overdeveloped the final trimming was done with snips.

After a final pass with a DA sander I was really happy with the results. The seams have disappeared and its pretty close to what I need so it got tacked into place and checked against the pattern for the last time.  (Everything's shiny Cap'n, not to fret.)

Now for the really fun part, the other side. Its not enough to make one side nearly perfect, now I have to make a mirror image of the first one. Same process just reversed. (This could go badly, best to pay attention.)

Flip the pattern over and layout another blank, cut/bash/weld and jam it back into the wheel. (Here we go, I bet you screw this up...)

This one went a bit faster at the start as I had some idea of what has to happen, grind, wheel, check pattern, no finger through the wheel. This time the focus came about right at the onset, no worries but whats in front of me.

Monkey motion, check pattern, no fingers in the wheel. Got it. Lather, rinse, repeat. (Still having fun? Are you sick or something??)

After  what seemed like a few minutes but was a lot longer I had it done, not perfectly matching the other side but close enough to clamp and check against the pattern. (Twice,,, you got it right twice?)

It changes shape slightly when clamped into place so the final checks have to be made on the chassis and then adjusted accordingly.

All in all a good couple days and for the first time in a long while I left the shop beat up and sore as usual but more relaxed than I have in a long time. Its not artsy but it is just as satisfying.

I still have to trim and tack the mirror side on but that'll wait for another day.

Edit: Other than a set screw coming loose and the tensioner knob unscrewing and falling off the wheel did pretty smurfily and shows no ill effects of the abuse.

(Parts of this may sound like a plug for Baleigh, so what if it is. My Blog, my rulez and they are a great asset to those of us in the biz.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Question on Syria,,,

Which assholes are we backing? The ones that may have used gas on his own people or the ones that flew jetliners into buildings and killed our ambassadors? And why is this our problem?

Oh yeah, we ran out of decoys for all the "phony" scandals and now we have to come up with something new.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Test Drive

I took this pic a few years ago, this truck was brand new and on a test drive when they had an oopsie.

Wonder if "You break it you buy it" applied here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gun o the Month

Last night I gave a Gun of the Month Speech at the SCRA on my new toy and since tacticool wasn't enough, I added the ultimate operator level accessory,,

Mayor Bloomie approved too as it will only hold 12 ounces.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mondee Blues

15 minutes of perfection.

If your into the blues this is album is a must have.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

B17s Galore!

Back in June we had a guest fly into the airport, Sentimental Journey. Being a WW2 warbird fan I made a pest of myself for the entire time it was here.

 Being a Studebaker guy one of the first things I checked was to see how many Studebaker powerplants it had,

3 out of the 4 were made in South Bend. During the war Studebaker was of the companies licensed to build them.
While it was here I made a couple connections that would pay off later.
This week I rolled into the shop and saw a familiar shape on the flight line, another B17, this time it was Aluminum Overcast. it was flying with 1 Studebaker.

 This time I remembered my camera when they were allowing folks inside.

Bombardiers area, would have had the best view of what was coming but during the war I doubt that was a good thing.
 Cockpit, note the Garmins on the dash. I thought they were cheating but then again I can understand why.
 Hidden above the bulkhead that leads to the bomb bay and waist gunners area they had this.

It was hooked into the com system and the Sirius was working.

Thru the bomb bay, being skinny was a bonus here.

 Radio operators area.
This is the top of the ball turret for the belly gunner, very cramped and had to be a terrifying spot to be during a bomb run.

Waist gunners spot. The only armor in the plane is under the guns here.
 Way back in the back is the tailgunners post.

It was a very enjoyable to see and board these aircraft but as I looked around it dawned on me that there were a whole bunch of men younger than me that flew into the great unknown on these things. Once they left the ground the real terror began and ahead of them was a hell that defies the imagination.
I cannot fathom what each and every trip must have been like. To say I have respect for those that served during that time is an understatement. I'm not sure I could do it and I don't see how they did.
Thankfully they pulled it off or our world would not be the place it is now.
I did use some of the connections I made on the first B17 to get our Studebaker out on the flight line for a quick photoshoot.
Its a 63 Lark, 6cyl/auto. Yeah its slow but it looks great and gets great mileage.

Sadly it leaves tomorrow and I'll be standing on the flight line to see it go. Rumor has it next spring we'll be having a Ford Trimotor. Cant wait!