Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha



I’m still here, still kickin’ n paddlin’, and still burning metals, both rod and wire on a daily basis.

Just off on a tangent of a thought and its requiring HOURS of library time and websurfing. In the words of Monty Python “T’ain’t Ded yet”.

Stay posted, some of my thoughts will get leaked here as I can.



Just not a lot to talk about. The Lincoln welder developed a small problem, one related to Gasahol. I’ve ran into it before in motorcycles; the solder in the brass floats breaks down when exposed to the alcohol in the fuel. I am ordering a rebuild kit with a float in the AM, but its brass as well. I cant seem to find a replacement float that is up to date with modern fuel: read fuel resistant plastics. This is one time where I wish I knew more about 3d printing (and had access to a 3d printer.)

Europe continues its decline into a Muslim state as all their churches get put to the torch. Sad that Notre Dame, survivor of untold conflicts since 1132, is put to torch, and yet, the French don’t take up arms over it. Maybe I speak to soon, but it seems to me this is being downplayed by media across the spectrum; likely to keep the ‘taking up arms’ thing down. Time will tell.

Here, the stagnation continues to grow and I’m seeing more and more situations that remind me of some third world places I have been. Just a matter of time as whats wrong can’t be fixed any longer. Nope, full reset, and history has examples enough to show its inevitably coming. Rome took ages to return to a percentage of its former glory: we won’t be any different. I only hope the endarkenment is not as far reaching or long lasting as it was then.

Sorry for the doom n gloom, just feeling like it is ‘here ‘ today, and needed a vent.

Simple is good.

Was doing some welding yesterday while the weather was nice and holding there. An upgrade to another piece of gear: new bottle jack for the press.

$35 from HF. Gotta love it!

Torched out the parts, ran a grinder for clean up, then 6013 rods to bind it all back into a different form. No worries, the Lincoln is a danged good option for this (might be a little fuel hog, but it works!)

Most of the way done, one last seam to run and I see smoke coming from the generator housing. WTF?!?!

Do the sniff test; not electrical in nature, more a dusty/musty kind of smell. Ok, finish up, but check this out ASAP.

Last weld done, the rain broke again. Grrrr. Well, it isnt smoking now, so can wait.

Today, I pulled the cover to the small genny/exciter coils, found a leaf, but nothing burned. Ok, next, pull the cover to the main unit.

And found

Yuppers. Packrat nest. An old one for sure, but there it is.

Finish pulling the cover and you can see where this nest caught a spark and started smouldering.

Anywhoos, since I was in there, I checked over the brushes, commutator, and ran a fine grit stone to polish ’em up.(didn’t need it but, I’m there, why not.) Brushes barely show wear, and the usual black oxides on the commutator, all cleaned now. One nasty packrat nest now gone, and my mind is much at ease. Granted, brushes, which are still available, aren’t very pricey ($140 for the whole set of 8) but it would be several days/week before I’d have them, and that would make me sad. LOL. Actually, I am ordering a set soon, just due to the fact that these brushes are 42 years old and, well, ya just never know. That whole ‘rather have ’em and be looking at them, then be looking for them” thing.

She might be old skool, but I’ve never had a better welder (stick welder that is.) and I intend on hanging on to this one.😁 (and there are other aspects I want to check out, like the whole scratch start TIG thing. She’s perfect for that.)

Well that was interesting

Warm weather here and I took Duh!k to the lake.

Wind was up and that was not a problem with the Carolina, but Duh!k is quite a bit ‘tippier’.

I was using my wider blades and should a switched out when the wind picked up. Live and learn. Yup, I capsized. Blade up, wind gust hit me and over I went. Happened so fast I didn’t even realize it until I was under water. Full wetsuit on, so water, while cold, was not an issue. I was not tossed out of the cockpit like I would have been if I’d been in the Carolina, but had to do a wet exit as I was not calm by any means: my brain went into panic mode and I could not get my ass sorted out to even attempt a roll up.

I’d have posted about it sooner, but my phone is at the bottom of the lake🤬. I thought it was secure, lol. Had to buy a new phone and go through the hoops to get it set up with my number. Done and done, still moving into this one.

Anywhoos, once free of the duh!k, my mind cleared up, I relaxed and decided to swim and tow back to shore. Just didn’t even want to attempt a cowboy recovery in 300′ deep water, and it was only 100 yards or so to shore (that’s when I realized the phone had deeped on me) so, slide the paddle into the boat, grab a handle and back stroke with her in tow.

Pluses: wet suit works awesome, never felt the least bit chilled, even after getting to shore with the wind blowing.

The combination of suit(wetsuits add to flotation, divers have to use weights to counteract that.)and PFD really made swimming easy, and getting a grip on my panic even easier.

My confidence in the Duh!k, counter intuitively, is better. I now know where that tippiness becomes roll. And it’s a lot further over than I thought. I know I don’t have to clinch my knees up to stay in tight, so I can be a little more relaxed (and less likely to tense up, which is what really capsized me, the wind just kicked it off.)

And I really learned how to get the water out of the boat. That’s harder than you’d think, but not so bad if you can rock the boat on a pivot point. (Point in this case was a half sunk log near shore.) A boat holds a lot of water and water starts weighing in fast. I really need to get my float bags and bilge pump soon. Those would help and a water recovery would have been more of an option.

Interesting and educational in a way a book could never be.

Now if I could find someone as nutty as me willing to learn the same things I want to learn, we could buddy up and,,,

Eating my words

Last post I mentioned my 6013 rods were “purt-much crap”. 
Well, being the cheap-ass frugal squirrel  I am, and not wanting to write off $25 worth of rods, I said to self “Self, ya have the means,  flip that polarity and just see,,,”
So I did.
‘Purt-much crap’ turned into “wholly whomuguzzits, thats cool!”  The box states DCEP, AC, or DCEN. Well, DCEN took the crown here.  I haven’t AC function on this Lincoln, but I’d bet these burn pretty good on that too.  They do not like the electrode positive and I flipped back just to verify; all the original problems I was having came right back. 
Now I know. 
And Yeah, I’m practicing.
A lot.
Not just while building the trailer up.  I set up a 6g test setup and I’ve been .working that too.  Who knows, maybe by the time Duh!kee and I can take first place, I’ll be ready to drop a couple bills and get certified by AWS as well.  That means more than just laurels on the wall: more like $$$ and around here, thats slim pickens most days ,unless you work the mines or the gas wells in some form.

Perishable skills

It isnt always ‘like riding a bike’.  Certain skills need constant polish applied or they wither away. 
All are perishable skills. 
Take a year off from shooting and when you get back into it, you’ll find that your ‘minute of badguy’ group might hit the platoon said badguy is in.

In my case, its the welding thing.   I haven’t burned rods regularly in years. (As in ‘High School’)  The occasional plate to beam thing, but never anything serious, ” just stick ’em together’ kinda stuff.

Since I now have a serious welder in possesion, I have taken it on myself to get back into the rod and lightning type stuff. 
Whoa,  I suck at this!
It aint the rods,  it aint the lincoln, its me.  Rusty buckets of bolts in my skills department.  I can MIG all day: run verticals, overheads, and blind holes like nobodies business, but these rods are tripping me up.  The funny part though; the flats are where I’m tripping. My uphill verticals and overheads are passable (not perfect but,,,) but the flats all look like birdsquat.  Thats with both 6010 and 7018 rods.  The 6013’s I have are purt-much crap, and I fight with ’em and it doesnt seem to matter what voltage or amperage setting I use. The only rods I can get to work well in the flats are the 308’s I first used when I got the ol’girl running again.  (Scary enough, those rods are 40 years old. My dad used to weld with them when I was knee high.   Been sitting that long in a rod box and still burn great.)

I’ve got a lot of practice time ahead of me, I can tell.  (And if I want to charge for welding I had better,,,)

More done on the rig setup.  Nothing huge,  just a rock solid rack that I can lock my mini bottles to.  Still getting the ammo cans for storage,  and still need lights. 


Took ol’Gal to the filling station and filled her up, brake action was a touch spotty at first,  but whatever gunk/rust/loose spat was gumming things up worked its way out.  By the time we returned, flawless stopping.  The thing I like about surge brakes is they can’t lock up, short of a mechanical failure. The closer they get to locking the slower the trailer moves and eases up on the pressure applied as the towing vehicle is moving faster then. Its a simple negative feedback system.   Its not perfect, but, IMO,  better than finicky electric brakes that depend on some complicated electronics and can be ‘mis-adjusted’ by a wayward knee or even fail completely thanks to nibbly packrats looking for nesting material or cheap battery failure.   This is pretty straight forward, the most complex part being the shoes themselves.   A ‘piston’ as a hitch, lever, a cable actuating on a pulley to a pair of levers at the shoes.  Pressure is applied evenly to both shoes by the pulley.  Worst case, I break a cable and no brakes: thats the weakest link in the mess, but that cable is 1/4″ aircraft grade steel rope.

Anywhoos, its late, I’m rambling, its ‘back to work’ Monday in the AM, and I have a ticked off cat eyeballing Voodoos throat (yeah, he ate her food again)
I’ll chatatchay’all laters.

Ol’ Lincoln post

Managed to get my trailer brakes (actually a surge brake set-up) finagled out today.  Years of sitting out did a number on the cables, but nothing some PB blaster, a little time, and some judicially applied heat couldn’t cure.  I looked around and did find a supplier for such parts, and actually quite reasonable.  A new cable for this trailer will run me around $50 not including shipping costs.   A new set of p-brake cables for my S-10 would set me back around the same, so reasonable. I don’t need it yet, but whats on there will need replaced, sooner more likely than later.  I realized after getting it all together that backing up my be a problem, so I made a pin to drop in for that.  Drilling the hole for it was the harder part: namely drilling through 2 pieces of 1/4″ steel where one has some wiggle to it. That’s now on a small chain so it doesn’t become FOD on the road.  This weekend will consist of testing it(by taking it to the gas station and giving it a fill up.  Likely its first in only God knows how long.) And fitting trailer lights.  I had a set, or so I thought,  but when I retrieved them out of my shed, found the packrats had decided trailer wires make for good chew toys/nesting material.  Life in the woods, you can’t get away from ’em, and they are damned tricky to trap. (And I have NEVER personally seen one, but the evidence they are here is undeniable.  That, and Voo n Jack are always trying to root them out of the woodpile when I am loading up wood.) 
I still need to decide which bottles I am going to use for my torches.   I have the smaller 80cuft bottles as well as the larger 200’s (? I think thats how big they are, not certain though.)  I only have the one torch head currently and really no need for two. That may change, but until I can justify the expense of a second set,,, 
The smaller bottles would make for an easier cage to build (read as ‘less steel to weld up, therefore cheaper.’)  But the cost of filling them, while less per bottle, is almost double by total volume compared to the big bottles.  Yeah, I am weighing all my costs, mostly so I have an idea what to charge for services.  Don’t want to screw myself, but at the same time, want to keep things in reason.  (Without underselling ME.)
I know I’ve heard several complaints about 2 particular local welders.  Not about their skills,  but about their cost.   Granted,  a full rig duelly with a topshelf Miller set up,  and all the bells n whistles costs mad money, so the guys are going to charge accordingly.  I’m not after their clients. (Not yet anyways)
And there are people that would complain if you gave them shit for free, so I listen but take it with a grain of salt.
In a way, this karmic blessing couldn’t have came at a better time.  I was at the shop working a week before I picked the Lincoln up, and had to tell a guy I couldn’t weld for him unless he was able to bring the part in. This wasn’t the first time either.  I have one or two a month, sometimes more sometimes less.  Only once was I able to help, and that was because they had the gear on the truck with them. (And my boss made that profit,,,   that’ll change soon enough.)
Now, I have other options.😎
And those options are almost road ready. (And the first thing this rig will “pay for” is a new set of tires for itself. They aren’t horrible, but they aren’t great either.)

Granted, I still have to add storage, maybe the larger vise (I have a Rigid pipe vise on it right now) a rack for the torch hoses; but with the bottles caged, I can work the rest out of the truck for a time. 

And the weather is shifting to nicer, so ‘Yak season is approaching😜.  Wouldn’t that be a sight: a couple of kayaks atop the truck hauling a big honkin’ Lincoln SA200 welding rig.  LOL