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

Friday, August 30, 2013

Printer prep. Got 300 kids that want to play with it this year!

Dug my MM 2.0 out of the closet and got it set up and running in anticipation of 300 new students that want to try it out this year...

'Course, had to do a test run...

Printer ran great, although my design needs some tweaking to prevent warpage.

Thought I needed to give the printer a workout, so I found a broken bit of plastic I needed repaired.

I've got Pelican cases on my KTM, and one of the latches lost some teeth. The release would still catch and sort of hold it on, but I didn't want my lunch flying out on the way to school.

Gettin the dang thing apart proved to be a chore... Had to drill a hole to get to the back side of the pin so I could punch it out.

Pin on its way out:

Viola! Latch removed. You can sort of see where the broken teeth are- the bottom piece where it sticks down is supposed to have a hook on it.

Sketchup to the rescue.

Took me about 5 attempts before I got one that fit nicely and pulled the door shut tight enough.

Gettin a print ready:

One of the early attempts:

Heres the one I'm currently "testing". It was printed with only 10% infill, so I don't think it will hold up long. We'll see. Already found a few minor changes I want to make, but here it is as printed:

Cut and ready to fit:



So here is the before:

and the after:

Had some issues with the printer this time. Think I've had problems with my control board from day one (pretty sure its one of the first RUMBA boards- every now and then I get a random issue where after every move, it pauses for about a second.  Think I found a workaround today though). If I have any money left over in the school budget I might just spring for a new one to rule that out.

Also going to start experimenting with settings (jerk, in particular) to see if I can get better quality and higher speeds.

One other thing (okay, 2) that I want to learn more about is Bridging and "moving part" prints.  Both I can attempt with this model-  could do 2 bridges and have only 2 pieces printed instead of 3, and print them in place.  The harder one would be to print bridged, with pins in the holes so I didn't have to use metal.  Probably too weak for real life application, but it would be pretty neat to print the part, pull it off and have a moving part with out any other assembly!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dead Dodges.

So about a week before I had to go back to work, I figured it was time to do something about the old trucks in my neighbors field.

Oddly enough, I teach with his daughter, and am friends with him on Facebook. I'd talked to him on FB a few times about this that and the other, but never in real life even though he only lives 1/2 a mile from me.

Sent him a message asking about the old trucks rotting in his field, and he was very amenable to seeing them go bye-bye.

Went over and checked them out- boy were they rough.

The black one supposedly was running before it got "parked". He took it in payment for some sheep he sold, who knows how long it sat before then. The other is anyones guess. There's no oil on the dipstick, and the cab has been really smushed at some point, but it has a decent bed on the back.

So I hemmed and hawed for a while. His price wasn't sooooper cheap, but it was a pretty good deal. I figured worst case scenario- I can get my money back out of them to someone that wants a rat rod. Better scenario- I get the motor running, and if it turns out to be pretty decent I'll put the motor in the '48 Dodge that I inherited- that my Great Grandpa bought brand new and used on the farm. Best case scenario- I get the truck fired up and drive it home, and with a bit of elbow grease turn it into a daily driver.

Yeah, right.

Went back over the next day and sealed the deal. Took some tools and junk with me and tinkered for a bit.

Hooked a battery up, fiddled with some wires, lubed some linkages, turned the key and stomped the starter button. WOW, it cranks! It even popped a bit on starter fluid.

Had my fill of hornets (carb cleaner is an EXCELLENT wasp killer- drops them pretty much on contact) so I packed it in and went home. 

Went back over there another day and began trying to move things around. The rusty one was turned into a fence post and had 4 flat tires. Took a while to get the tires aired up and all the string and barb wire detached- oh, and kill 4 million more hornets.

We did finally get it loose, started to pull it backwards and noticed this:

Guess that tire ain't going to hold any air!!! Kept pulling, and it BOUNceD over the bump each rotation until it finally popped. Got it moved though. 

With "Rusty" out of the way, I could take the rest of the old fence down to get to "Blacky". Backed up, hooked on, and yanked away.

Huh. Guess that wheel ain't spinnin. Probably 'cause it's flat. Only one tire on this truck would hold air.

Resting spot.

Started changing tires and learned something new! Can you tell?

See the "L" on the nuts? Yeah. The drivers side lug nuts are left hand thread.

Even got a little help with this part.

Some helped more than others... Don't know what he's doin in there.

But in the end, they both helped out a fair bit spinning bolts in for me.

Hey! A truck with 4 tires that hold air!

Time to get Blacky home. Hooked up my super lightweight tow bar and headed out.

Remember that dragging back wheel? Well, it wasn't because the tire was flat...

But we did make it the half mile or so home. It helped a lot too once I straightened the steering wheel out on the truck.


Great.  What am I sposed to do with this?!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to the Grind...

Well, its official.  Started back to school last Wednesday.  Couple of meetings under the belt already, and 8 mind numbing hours of helping with registration spread over 2 days.  Didn't get anywhere near as much as I'd hoped done in my room but we are making progress.

Now that I'm back "on the job", that means project time has totally dried up.  I've got a few things I want to post about over the next week or two from summer, but in the meantime here's what I've been working on most recently.

The Monday before I was supposed to go back to school, my wife and kids were already in school.  That left me home all alone.  Boooorrrriiiinggg... Time to go for a ride! So I got all loaded up and headed out on this:

To do this:

I was under 700 miles to go for my goal this year, this would have put me within 400 . The last couple of miles was hoping to rack up riding the 7 miles to work and back.

Ride started out great. Roads were clear, found a fun little detour, clearish skys, nice weather. Had a little niggling feeling though that maybe I should head home, get some stuff done, and save this for another day.

Nah, it'll be fine.

15 miles later.

The hole is almost the size of a quarter, and you can see clear into the tire. I hear a *BANG* and felt the bike kind of lurch, but just thought that I ran over something. About a mile later, I decided something was wrong, and started slowing down from about 70. Once I got down to about 45 the back end started to wander ALL over the place. Kinda scary, but I got it stopped and managed to get a ride into Soda Springs and get things figured out.

3 hours later, thanks to some family that lived sorta nearby, we got the beast loaded in the back of his BRAND new pickup, which made it a pain because we had no ramp and he didn't want to scratch his new truck.

Made it home, but I think the bike'll be down for a while... Can't afford a new tire right now.

Only made it about 90 miles into the 300 mile trip.  Bummer. Guess I'll just have to ride 'ole paint.  I wanted to haul things though, so that means I had to camouflage my KTM as a KLR... Think anyone will notice?

That worked great for a couple of days, but really... I can't handle that.  SO... Dug out the set of panneirs and Happy Trails rack I have for the bike that got mangled when I got rear-ended at a stop sign a couple of years ago.

Started with this:

Applied some heat,

Welded up some cracks,

Added some hopefully rear-ender deterrent:

Slapped a coat of paint or 3 on the rack,

And ended up with this:

Turned out pretty nice!  Even got it relatively square.


Now I can lug my lunch to school in STYLE!  Hoping to get a new tire for the ST soon, as I still want to hit my goal of 60,000 miles (6,000 of them this year).

I'm getting excited for school- got all kinds of idears tumbling 'round in my head for things to try and change this year. Hoping for a good batch of kids who want to learn, but I have to remember its more MY attitude about that then it is theirs that makes it fun for me.

Could be a pretty rough year though.  I have 17 computers, 22 desks, and TWENTY FIVE students in most of my classes.

Twenty five students? You might say, "thats ALL!?" Yeah.  Try having that many in my classroom with the amount of different things going on and sharp objects / power tools all over the place.  The rest of my beard may actually go white this year.

Wish me luck!