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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity!

Because, I hope to never, ever be in another play again!  At least not when life is so crazy and I don't ever see life getting less crazy so there you go.  A once in a lifetime opportunity!

I was drafted / conscripted politely invited by my lovely wife to be in a play with her.  We won't go into details about how I politley but firmly refused for 3 days, but was drug to the auditions with the promise of "Just show up and you wont have to do anything" then "oh, by the way you have to sing a song and read something for them"...  I'm not bitter.  :)

Opening night is this Friday!  The play is "The Pirates of Penzance", showing this weekend and the next.

Couple of pics from a dress rehersal:

It has been a royal pain, all of the practices and whatnot... But it has been sorta fun.  I think it's going to turn out great, LOTS of funny business, swords, fight scenes, etc.  Y'all should come and join us for an evening at the historic Nuart Theatre in Blackfoot!


Custom Hot Wheels- Lickety Split #4

Back to work. Once I figured out the front end with working steering, my 11 yr old son said I should make it with an actual steering wheel that worked. I kinda scoffed at him and said it would be really hard to do after he explained his idea, but it got me thinking- and I simplified it a lot and came up with this!

The start- steering column with shaft.

Short vid of it sort of working.

Steering wheel cut on the lathe, and the center hub for it made out of a teensy piece of pipe.

The first iteration.

Assembled column.

There was one major flaw with this setup. Anyone spot it?

Guess I should have thought a little more about it before I tried that out... Easy fix. Sorta.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Random "Invention" of the day...

Any guesses!?

Our school Resource Officer came down to my shop the other day and wondered if I could help him make something to wind up really loooonnnnnggggg rolls of paper he had to go through for some case. This is what we came up with.

You can see the roll in the last pic- he had dozens of them to go through.  I think it took less time to cut the bits out than it took for the glue gun to warm up and slap the pieces together!  It must have worked out, because he hasn't been back!

Friday, April 10, 2015

7th graders can break ANYTHING...

Okay, so maybe it wasn't a student... The woods teacher was using at the time!

Obviously the poor hammer has been through the wringer.  Looks like it had started cracking a long time ago- Thinking that this must be the weak spot and it has fatigued over years and years of constant (miss)use.

It's been sitting on my desk for a day or two- Every. Single. Student.  has to ask me how I broke the hammer.

"I got a little upset with (insert students name here)..."

Monday, April 06, 2015

Lego Engines!

Try this on for size! This was built by one of my 7th grade students. It's powered by a Lego Mindstorms NXT and actually runs pretty darn smoothley!

Square piston and crankshaft.

Interesting spoked flywheel and the "electric start".

Intake / exhaust port at the bottom of the cylinder.

Video of it in action!

He said he just kinda started putting stuff together and this is what came out of it. Very impressive!

Now, I could have sworn I posted this one somewhere but can't seem to find it... So here it is (again?).

This was built by one of my 8th grade students that was also building my wobbler air engine.  Same story- he was playing with legos and this sort of emerged from the chaos.  This one even RUNS on compressed air.  It takes a LOT of it though-  lots of leaks through all the gaps.

Kind of hard to see but if you look to the right of the little square lego piece you can see the air intake port.

And of course a video of it in action!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Custom Hot Wheels- Lickety Split #3

Gonna need a great big fat V8 for a drag car, right?  Well, how about a thumbnail sized aluminum block V8?  Will that work?

Block and trans cut / filed from one solid piece.

More engine work. Start of the heads and valve covers.  Exhaust ports were drilled at a bit of an angle so the pipes will sweep to the back.

Some file work done so it looks like there are valve covers.

Start of the blower and intake manifold. Blower was made on the lathe and then cut flat on the bottom.  Manifold was hand filed.

Exhaust pipes.  Made out of 1/8" aluminum tubing.

Still need to trim them down but something along these lines.

Little bit of paint (FORD blue, of course!),

Me likey.

Starting to look like it might show some potential on the strip!

Friday, April 03, 2015

Alphatig 200x TIG Welder #3- Welding Steel Sheet!

Haven't had much time to play lately.

Decided it was time to practice a little. Tried something different this time though- switched it over to DC to weld on some steel. With my old welder, this was NOT an easy process. It involved unplugging the high frequency box and taking leads out of it and then re-routing the leads to the correct lugs on the main welder. Might not sound like a big deal but trust me, it was a royal pain.

The Alphatig- Click two switches. Wow, that was easy...

I changed the AC to DC, and the pulse to direct / flat / whatever it's called.

This thing welds steel BEAUTIFULLY. I'm a sucky welder as you can tell, but I was astounded by how easy it was to kludge pieces together. I didn't burn ONE SINGLE HOLE through the 18g sheet I'm using here. Compare that to using my little 110 wire feed where I couldn't run a bead longer than 1/4" without having to stop and let the metal cool, this TIG welder is AWESOME!

First nasty welds, getting it figured out.

Once I understood I could actually put some heat to it and not blow holes the size of Texas, I made some progress. Top is a lap joint, middle is a butt joint, and the bottom is just a bead ran on top of the metal.

The lap joint turned out really nice. Was giving a little forward-back motion as I went and it seems to have worked great.

Time for a little project! This would have been impossible to make on my wire feed welder. Cut a bunch of 2" squares out and tacked them all together. I should also mention tacking things like this together was a breeze. LOVE having the foot pedal.

Not real pretty, but all welded up.

Wish I could spend some time practicing, 'cause I really need it. Got a couple of bigger projects in mind if I can ever get caught up on everything else!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Steampunk Build-off- VOTE!

Couple rounds of voting availble! Right now the peoples choice vote for the "extreme" division of the Steampunk theme are up for votes.

Visit this page and vote by LIKING your favorite! Feel free to share the link and have others vote for their favorite as well!

Vote here:


The entries:

Again, just pick your FAVORITE and vote by liking.

The "mild" division will be posted for voting later this week.