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

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Its been a week plus?!?!

Yeah, I’m slackin’ on the blog, sorry y’all.  

Talkin’ ’round the hollar and on job sites, hunting is far worse than I predicted.  Local game warden swears to 75% die-off of white tails this year.  Locals are saying 50% or so.  

Bad either way.  Not an annihilation, but pretty daggum devastating to the herds.  I figure another 2-3 lean years before they are recovered, so long as we have normal weather and no more blue tongue outbreaks.

Been three weeks since the Vegas debacle. What do we know? Jack.  Shit.  Someone(s) is(are) covering something up; reason(s) unknown. The local PD is playing in tune, the site where it took place is as well, and by this time next year, it will be just another incident with a body count.  Good work Fibbies, ya make Comey proud.  Until further info, reliable info, is available, I am sticking to my “weapons sale to ISIS gone bad” theory.  It answers more questions than it raises, and Occums Razor still works.

Work work work, not complaining mind you, just afraid it could dry up fast as the weather cools.

Oh yeah.  Question for some of my more electrically inclined readers. (RDP, Spud, Snake,,,hint hint) Gasoline powered welder(lincoln 200SL with a 1950’s ford flat head 4 banger), older style, 200A cap.  Is it possible to adapt a MIG welder to it?  I’ve been reasearching and the only thing I am finding is silly bugger games using microwave transformers. (Cool, but not the same thing)

Anywhos, when I find something more interesting’ or fall into some other crazy redneck engineering game😎 I will post more.  Seems things are winding down, (and that makes me a little nervous too. ) and ain’t much to say right now.

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Runnin n scrapin

Made a change or two in how things operate, like the lifting lever. Otherwise, same as the Friday.

Took it out for a spin and smmothed some ruts in my dads driveway. Good thing to, as I dropped a bolt on the main strut.  The nut walked right off.  Swapped all the nuts with locking ones, problem solved.  

Is ready for the snow!

 And yesterday’s productivity

Once I had the frame bolted the way I wanted it, I locked it in the up, and drove it down the hill where my welder, gas set and anvil are located.

And while not done, I am done today.  That sun gets brutal when you’re welding or torching.  ‘Sides, I need to cut the tank apart, and would rather the cool of the morning to do that.  

Then, the fun begins. Muahahaha! (Mad engineers laugh.)

Just kiddin’ .  Actually, I look forward to giving it a try, we have a gravel road and it needs some grading done, and I feel confident this machine could fulfill that role as well.  I plan on adding a section of steel lengthwise on the bottom of the blade to enable that function.  The 12 gauge steel of the tank wouldn’t hold up long without that addition. And if it can grade, then its uses are more than doubled, cuz my yard has serious need of grading since we installed those drain lines in. Yah, it would be easier to hire a ‘dozer to do it, but I’m the tight wad, ‘member.  If it can’t, no worries, I have other options that include use of the horse power this thing has.  Just gotta make ’em. More of that ol’ repair, re-use, repurpose mentality (that our grandparents were so danged good at, at least here in the hills.)

So back at today.  Just returning from bolt place.  Had to purchase a 9/16’sX6″ shouldered bolt for the pivot.  Not something I normally keep in stock.  

Been a busy week

More than a few hours welding, wiring, and programming at work.  Picked up a new sight for the compound, more for competing than hunting, and have spent several hours getting that set up.  Its a single pin slider that I adjust to range, and that meant hours of shooting at specific distances.  I’m not overbowed, but my right shoulder is saying “hey! Give it a break dude!”  And I intend on doing just that tomorrow since I have it off.  (Whoa! A three day weekend. Been awhile)

Tomorrow is ‘work’, but of a fun nature.  I have most of the steel cut for the snowplow.  It will mostly be a matter of assembly, with a little welding involved. Maybe, if I think about it, y’all’ll get pictures of that project.  

I have been following the Vegas shenanigans and things just keep getting weirder.  How does a key witness “commit suicide” by a shotgun blast to the back of the head ?  Seriously, that was written out in the article as if it were all the explanation in the world.  He also killed his handicapped daughter, so the article said, and his wife who was in the house stated she never heard the blasts.  Umhmm, carry on, nuthin to see here.  The smell of this thing is seriously whiffing of cover-up.  The real question IMO is, which agency screwed the pooch?  And was it ISIS that did the shooting, not some 64 YO guy with a shady past, as they (ISIS) continue to claim.  Just saying,,,

Anywhoos, more when I have sumpin to say and show ya.

Talkin’ about foundry stuf

With aluminum, what works best for me is old castings.  Sometimes though, those are few between.  My solution is to bump up the silica levels with some ground glass.  Clear is best, and I haven’t tried anything other than that and brown bottle glass.  I would imagine the colors burn out, but it would be interesting to see what blue glass does to the color of the aluminum.  I tried the clean play sand and it just seemed to sink to the bottom and do nothing.  The glass is a finer powder and ‘dissolves’ better.

Yes, it makes it harder on the tools later, when I am machining the parts, but it doesn’t seem any worse that working the harder steels. (Obviously not machine steels.  Those get ground, not cut.)

When I made my little steam engine, I didn’t have any cast parts to add to the melt: just slugs of already processed pop cans.  Stuff that I had melted down and burned off the paint and plastics.  It’s tough stuff, bit feels ‘gooey’ when its getting cut.  It will gum up a file with a quickness too.  Adding a tablespoon of ground glass and stirring the melt for a bit before the pour seemed to get rid of that gooey nature.  It also brought more dross to the surface.  I also put in some pool shock; about a tablespoon full, as well and that definitely cleaned up the melt.(fair warning, do this with GREAT caution, the fumes will, WILL kill you if you get caught in them.  I won’t  tell you the whole ‘apply only in a well ventilated area’ cuz ya’d best be out in the open working with this stuff anyways.)

By the way, that is why I have those graphite rods.  I use them to stir the melt.  They eventually burn up, but it takes awhile.

A little trick for working with brass. Add a handful of matchheads to the melt before scraping the dross.  It helps bring up the dross and makes the melt flow better.  It may darken the brass a little because you are adding phosphorous to it, essentially making phosphor bronze, but thats the fun of this: learning as you go what works and how, so later you know even more.  I haven’t tried tje matches with the aluminum but it would definitely change the alloy; I just don’t know how.  When I have the shop finished, that will be another project for me, just to see.

Anywhoos, its Sunday and that means laundry day so I’ll chat atcha’ll later.

Repair, re-use, or re-purpose.

A couple of years ago, I was given a 40+ Y.O. lawntractor.  16hp B&S v-twin engine (not original equipment) but the engine had a broken rod in it and didn’t run anymore.  (The guy stated specifically, “if’n anyone can do sumpin widdit, iz you. Have fun.”.) (I have the engine still and when the shop is finished, plan on rebuilding it.  It’s well worth the effort.  Have you seen the prices on V-twin mower engines lately? Yikes!)

Now, I have another B&S engine, but its a single cylinder 14.5 hp.  I had to play around as when this tractor was built, there wasn’t any standard patterns drilled into the engine deck. It’s now mounted, had to replace an idler pulley but the belt is good.
A little detail about the tractor itself.  Its an old Sears-Roebuck model.  Has a 3spd transaxel in it that also has a hi-lo option and that option works in reverse as well. The original owner had installed wheel weights (the big heavy steel plate kind) and chains to the back tires.  They used it to haul logs out of the woods.  It may have had a mower deck on it many years ago, but that thing is long gone on the scrap heap to China.(and I am not interested in it as a mower.)

Well, looking at my collection of steel (what? Ya think I’d chuck honest stock, just because its a little rusty?  Ya, right!) As well as the pile that my uncle has accumulated, and started getting an idea forming.  My and my Uncles drive are NOT tended by the county, and we have been stranded up here a couple of times when the snow is heavy.  I am going to make a plow attachment so we can dig our way out if need be.  I am also going to make a box-blade so that we, not some hire-on, can maintain that drive. (as well as clean the lumps out of my yard so I am not killing lawnmowers)  If this little tractor can haul big ol’ oaks out  the woods, it can do snow too.  We tried it out today by hauling an old telephone pole around and that little thing didn’t blanch or stall-out once.  It ain’t big, but damned if that thing doesn’t put some serious torque down.  It hung up once going up a hillside; it dug in until it had more grip then kept on going. Those chains just chewed right in until more tire was gripping.  

As for the blade for the snowplow attachment, my uncle has an old waterheater that sprung leaks at the seams.  I am going to cut the side out of it for the curvature and grind the inner face smooth.  To get rid of all that polystyrene insulation, we’ll cut out the ends with a whiz wheel then light a fire inside, but thats before I cut the side out.  I don’t want to breath that crap when I am torching those long cuts.  

Granted, there’s more than just those two items it can be used for, but with winter coming; I am thinking the plow is paramount. (Also want some used mower blades to use as furrow teeth for the boxblade: people just pitch ’em after a season of mowing rocks around here, go figure.)

I love being mechanically inclined and a welder/self taught machinist & foundryman.  If it rings, dings, or pings, I can make something out of it. And that includes beercans LOL.

I really need to get that shop built!

Take note

Big halabalu in Vegas with many more questions daily, but the MSMs see a(nother) hurricane and start crying about the sky falling.

Betcha that there will be cries of ‘climate change’ or Gorebal warming or cooling or whatever they are labeling the lie this week, as well.  Heck, lets just blame it all on Trump and the deplorables, since they all like coal so much, right?

Whatever. 

I am still watching Vegas because there is a really huge dead rat stinking up the place in that mess.  And it has something to do with the deepstaters, if my, and others, suspicions are right.  I am not hoping it will expose anything because most people are only concerned with what the headlines read, not the truth.  And that is why we are where we are. I am hoping it will end up being the light switched on to make the roaches scurry for cover though. Another couple of years to get our shit together, so to speak.

So, with that in mind, I’m getting back to it, listening, watching, and trying to keep my course true.

(Wish the hunting were better here, I’d be out there clearing the brain of stoopidity.)