Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bat Build-Off 4.0

For your voting enjoyment, the Bat Build-Off 4.0! 

I've been a member of this facebook group for a couple of years now. This is really a lot of fun- we have "build off's" with different themes every other month or so. I'm not a real Batman / Superhero nut, so I haven't participated in any of the other build offs but I thought I'd give it a shot. There are some really cool ideas here, so take a minute to visit the facebook page and VOTE for your favorite! Can't tell you which one is mine, you just have to pick your favorite.

 To vote for your favorite, vote by LIKING it, here: https://www.facebook.com/29938657007...e=1&permPage=1

Again, to vote, visit this link: https://www.facebook.com/29938657007...e=1&permPage=1

and LIKE your favorite. Builders will be revealed after the competition is over, at noon EST on Thanksgiving day.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Parent Night.

For some reason we aren't doing "Parent Teacher Conferences" this year.  Instead, we are trying out a "Parent Night".  Seems to have worked out pretty well.  Instead of parents picking up a report card, then standing in line waiting to visit with teachers in the gym, there was an opening ceremony with a welcome and some performances by the band and choir.  Then parents were invited to wander around the school, having thier students show them their classrooms / projects / meet the teachers.  While I didn't get to see as many parents as I normally did at a Parent Teacher Conference, the overall effect I think was pretty darn good- very positive vibe.  Also, in most cases, got to meet most of the family instead of just one parent.

All cleaned up and ready to go.

Tech and Design:



And of course, Metals.

Overall the turnout was great too. Mighta had something to do with the Chili and Cinnamon roles, but I'd like to think they all came just to see me!

Thursday, November 06, 2014


Just learned something new today. This ratty old lunchbox I've been using for like the last 9 years?

Well, apparently they were built in 1913. Frickin thing is over 100 years old!!!

Near as I can tell they were built from 1913 to maybe 1917 but havent been able to find much information on them. Found it in an old garage we were cleaning out- EVERYTHING in it was headed to the dump. Thought it looked neat so I saved it and stupidly, apparently, cleaned it up and repainted it. Its starting to get a decent patina back though. Maybe in another 100 years it'll look good again. It also holds a can of Pringles perfectly!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

From the Teachers Desk.

The never ending cycle- completing 1 project means you can now start working on the next 2 related projects, meanwhile you are already 3 projects behind somewhere else.  *Sigh*.

Finally got around to this little endeavor.  Ever since I relocated my desk (3 years ago, remember that never ending cycle?) I haven't had a bulletin board.  Had a great big sheet of glass that I wanted to lay over the desk to put stuff under.  Well, I finally found my glass cutter and hauled the sheet of glass into school.  Of course, my glass cutter was utter garbage, so I bought a cheap oil filled cutter off of ebay and tried it again.  Turned out okay, although as you can see there were a few issues from trying to use the old cutter.  Not pretty.  What an amazing difference having a "good" tool makes.


And another fun bonus is now I can write notes to myself on my desk with permanent marker.  They're right there in my face where it's pretty hard to miss, and the marker comes off easier than dry erase markers do- but only if you give it a little squirt of Windex first.

Another "project" I've been working on is trying to make some type of clamp to hold our Roper-Whitney style metal punches.  Kids were having to strain awful hard to punch holes and that's never save.  To prevent smashed fingers here's what I came up with as a temporary fix:

So far it's working great.  Has the added bonus of not tying up valuable bench space when we don't need them- just stow them in the cabinet.  What's that in the back?  Oh, just another project- a hot chocolate machine I scored from a gas station.  Need to build a small cabinet for it to sit on, get it cleaned up, and put to work.

Sensing a theme yet?  Here's one more.  Picked up a scroll saw to play with thinking I could have students try it out as well.


I've got a couple of students coming in for "FLEX" to build custom Hot Wheels, and this may come in to play there.  Not sure how much patience the average 7th grader will be able to expend on a project like this but we'll give it a go anyways!

And just for fun- and Idaho sunrise, as seen from out my shop door at school.

Now, if we could JUST GET PAST ELECTION DAY, life would be pretty darn good!