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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hot Wheels epidemic.

Nothing really to post, but just a heads up- The first build off of 2015 is wrapping up soon. I had a lot of fun on this build. Stay tuned for some sweet Drag cars / trucks / haulers!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Old School Greene #5

The final update- all caught up now with this installment.

Cleaned the gas tank surfaces up with Acetone,

Bolted it all together,

And filled 'er up with Redkote. Seems to have worked okay, although I think I should kept it moving longer. Have a couple of thick spots I can see, but I don't think they are so thick that I'll have pockets of liquid.

I let that mess dry for about 2 weeks.

Mounted the gas tank good and tight.

Flipped it over, and got it back on skids.

My cup was just a little off. Hard to see, but the weights just barely rub on the side of the cup.

Easy fix, just jammed a big screw driver down there and pushed the side out a little bit. No more rubbing!

Got some brass plugs for all of the holes...

With the exception of the fuel tank drain. Spaced that one, but it turns out an oil drain plug from your standard 3.5 horse Briggs and Stratton fits great! Little on the long side but it worked.


It runs! Need to tinker with timing a bit and then see if I can crank the speed down, make it run nice and slooooowwww....

Fast forward a bit to last week. I had a chance to tinker with the timing and de-crudify the governor tension knob. Now it runs smooth and slooooww, without the clickity clack of the missed fires. Will try and get another vid of that eventually. Still need to put the cover gasket on, and now I need to find an old dead garden tractor frame to mount it to.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Student Projects.

Lots going on in the dorkpunch garage lately, both mine at home and the school shop.  Students have been working on all kinds of things.  Been fighting the 3D printer lately but it seems (knock on wood) that I have it figured out.  Had some issues with a sticky z-axis and loosing steps in the y-axis.  The y-axis thing as been going on since nearly the time I built the printer- I had it narrowed it down to a bad control board but thought I would try a few more tests on the y-axis stepper driver.  Tried lowering the voltage- that seemed to work great for about 3 days.  Adjusted and tested it at several different voltages and it seems to be working very well at a slightly higher voltage than its supposed to be at.  Suppose that means it's going to melt here any day now...

Anyways, here's a couple of recent prints with several more to follow.  A headphone stand, and a piston / connecting rod.

Our school has been doing a "FLEX" program- kind of a recess on steroids where the kids that need help can go see their teachers or go do something fun if they are all caught up.  I've had several kids coming in to weld and do lots of other things like these custom Hot Wheels.

The silver one is just a paint and wheel swap- but it's a replica of one of the cars in a Fast and Furious movie.  The other one had the roof chopped off and a new paint job.  Didn't quite get the tape stuck down for the stripes, but not too bad!

Have another kid working on a new body for his R/C truck-

And then there's the welders...

They're getting better.  Have some really good welders- for sure all of them are WAY better than I was at that age. 

On another note, January is almost over.  Time to shave the beard and get ready to drag the bikes out- as long as we don't have the nasty fog / black ice covered roads we had today...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hot Wheels mobile Workshop.

So I've been indulging myself further into my custom Hot Wheels building addiction and figured it was time for a better "workshop". I go back and forth between my home shop and the school shop so I needed something mobile. Here's what I've been using: A cardboard box lid.

As it happens, I'm teaching a class on sheet metal working and we are building toolboxes right now, so instead of demonstrating how to do things on a bunch of scrap metal or one of the students projects, I built my own.

I changed the dimesnions of mine a bit though, the smaller boxes are demo's from another class I teach and I've got DOZENS of them. Made the big box so the little ones fit inside and act as dividers.

I'm pretty limited by the size of the tools in my shop so one way we get around that is by making the sides separate pieces and riveting them in.

Piano hinge installed on the lid.

Box sides in with a "butterfly" (?) bend. This acts both as a handle on the outside and a ledge for the tray on the inside.

Lid installed. Glad I went through this again- forgot to make allowances for the hinge on my box so I had to do some adjusting. Students won't have that issue now.



Hardware. I mounted my little vice to the top of the lid. We'll see how I like it but for now its on there.

Inside was left grey to make it easier to see bits and pieces.

And hey, its for my Hot Wheels, so may as well put a big 'ole sticker on there, right?!

Not real happy with how the paint came out but that part was a rush job, and its a tool box so it's going to be getting bashed around anyways, right?

Starting on the "organizing" part of it.

Eventualy, I'm going to build a tray for it as well. All of the supplies will go underneath, and the tools will go on top. MUCH better than the stupid cardboard box lid I've been using!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Old School Greene #4

...TIME WARP a couple of years here...

Finally found something that will work for the oil screen. Only took me what, 2 years?

Anyone recognize it? Its a sink strainer, think its stainless and came from Walmart. Ole' John is probably rolling over in his grave right now...

It worked great though.

Working on a few other Deere projects but when they are done in the next week or two I'm planning on getting back on this project. Would like to get the thing running instead of being a paper weight.

Took a few measurements and spot welded the cup to the pan. Looks like it should work fine, although I need to bow one side out just a hair so the governor weights don't snag on it.

And in preparation for coating the tank, I painted the outside. Don't think it's technically the right color of John Deere Greene (?) but the tank will be mostly hidden under the engine between the skids. Eventually I'd like to clean the whole engine up and make it look new, but for now we'll just go with the patina.

Borrowed a tap to clean up some threads...

Looks a lot better.

Cleaned up the gasket surface and installed the new fuel line.

Back of the timing cover cleaned up.

Getting close! 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Old School Greene #3

Still working on getting all of this transferred and sorted out, so here is the latest installment.  

Blasted the tank and it seems to be useable. Couldn't find any pinholes. Going to buy some Red Kote and line the inside unless someone recommends a different product?

My package of parts showed up too. Seems like not very much for the price I paid... But I'm not complaining. Just glad there are still people out there that make parts for em!

Got a little more cleaning done. Still can't decide if I should leave it patina'd or clean it up and put some fresh paint on it.

Still waffling on the paint... Sounds like I've got one of the nicer original paint jobs out there, leaning towards leaving it original. Don't think that'll last, but its harder to un-restore them than it is to slap a coat of paint on it later.

Got a can of Red Kote to line the tank with. Started on a new oil pan today. Base was pretty simple.

The cup took a little more figuring, but I think this'll work. As you can tell, I don't know how to solder... It doesn't leak though!

Going to sit something like this.

Need to figure out a screen, then I can spot weld it on and should be good to go!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

"Why we need vocational education"...

School starts again tomorrow after a nice long (frigid) Christmas break.  Not really looking forward to waking up to the alarm clock tomorrow a.m., so I thought I'd do a little perusing on education to see if I couldn't maybe lessen the blow.  Came across this article in the Washington Post entitled "Why we need vocational education".  It's got all kinds of great ideas in it and several other links that I'd like to check out later, so I'm parking this link here for now until I have some time to chase it down in more detail.

Quickly though, I like the take on blue collar vs. white collar jobs and some of the perceptions and misconceptions about the two.  This trimester, I'm having my students do a little writing project once a week for bell work where they get to ponder one of Mike Rowe's points from his SWEAT Pledge, do some analyzing, and then synthesize some thoughts on the topic (take that, Mr. Bloom).   One example I like to use when talking about some of the points is my best friend.  He is a plumber.  He's very good at what he does, and has taken the time to become certified and currently owns and operates his own business.  He's got other things going on the side all the time and has become very talented at making money.  The kicker?  If I had to guess I would say he probably makes TRIPLE what I do as a teacher- with zero(?) college experience.

From the article:

I’m sure that most of you who teach high school have had some students confide that what they enjoyed doing most was working with their hands, whether on car engines, electrical circuits in the house, hair, or doing therapeutic massage. I bet that many of these students also confided that there is no way they could tell their parents that they’d rather pursue one of these occupations than go to college to prepare for a professional or business career.

 We live in a society that places a high value on the professions and white-collar jobs, and that still considers blue-collar work lower status. It’s no surprise that parents want their children to pursue careers that will maintain or increase their status. In high socio-economic communities this is even more evident. And for most teachers, if a student is academically successful, this will be seen as a “waste of talent.”

I've experienced this-  students have told me they want to be welders or something similar.  There is darn good money to be made, but it's also darn hard work.  It'll be interesting to see if I hear back from any of them in the next few years as my first group of students are just starting to graduate.  My biggest hope is that they can find something that they truly enjoy doing- not just something that pays the bills.

Five and a half years in, and I sure don't regret choosing something that puts a smile on my face most days!

Old School Greene #2.

Continuing on!  We're still maybe a year back in the process here.

Got some parts ordered and they are on their way. In the meantime, might as well do a little cleaning, right?

Pulled the skids off the bottom. Have a pretty good oil leak somewhere too...

Drained the oil and tipped 'er over.

Not sure if this is supposed to be a freeze plug or if its sposed to be threaded for a pipe plug?

The piece you can see in the hole is loose and looks like it could have been a plug of some kind... Can't get it out either way at the moment.  (As it turns out, it was a rock...)

This should have prepared me.

But it wasn't enough of a warning.

That is some NASTY old junk in the tank...

At least the crankcase doesn't look too bad.

Did some cleaning. Tank *might* be made useable,

but the oil pan has some small issues. Dozens of them.

Think I can build a new pan pretty easily, cut the sump tank thingy off and spot weld it on to a new one.

The tank, I can buy a reman tank for about $60. The question is- do I get a metal one that doesn't look like the original (squared ends, made like a pan instead of drawn like this one), or a plastic one that looks identical to the original? Almost seems sacrilegeous putting plastic parts on this thing.