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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Custom Fire Truck.

So "The Workshop" hosted another build-off last month.  This time the theme was Fire Trucks!  Here's my entry for the build.  Turned out nice and I learned some new tricks in the process.  Getting more comfortable in this "medium" and the cool part is I'm learning some neat things I can apply in my metals classes.  I leave bits and pieces of builds on my desk at school during the week and I've had a couple of students ask about them- some are interested in trying their own builds and it gives me an opportunity to not only show hands on working skills but also a LOT of different problem solving ideas.

My starter pic.  Wasn't really sure where I was going at this point so I kept my options open.

Eventually I decided I had to go with the Ford.  First step was to drop the front as low as it could go.

Then try and figure out how to make it loooonnngg.

Ended up combining a base with the overall body of the truck. 

Fenders.  This was tricky but they turned out pretty nice.  Wanted to completely enclose them- old fashioned skirt style- but that didn't work out.

"Water Tank".  Again, something new.  Forming the curve was a challenge.

Ladder time!  Most expensive part of the truck.  Had to buy a whole roll of wire.

Ladder mount and some more cleanup.  We added a friendly competition halfway through the build to see whose ladder was longest / tallest.  Mine missed by 1/4"...

Bolt is attached to the ladder pivot, the nut is attached to the base, allowing the ladder to swivel and raise.

Time to clean up the cab!

Paint and assembly.  Should have used some better paint, but this deeper red made me feel more "vintage" so I went with it.

Custom skirts made with chrome pin stripping tape.

Test fitting.


Ladder tilt.

Hose reel.

Cab detailing. Windshield wipers were a booger to do.

Single stack.

Ladder assembly.

Stock vs. Lowered.

Decals and more assembly.

Few more pics of it, then we can move on to the next project.

And there you have it, "ENGINE" 7.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dan's Chariot IN ACTION!!!

I finally have proof that the trailer I built works!  It's been used a bit and sounds like its working out well.

Dan, ready to go.

On the road.

They said they've put around 30 miles on it and love it. Glad its working out for them!

Some video of it in action:

Love watching him cruse. Hope they get a lot of use out of it!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I've hit the BIG TIME!

I entered my Worlds Smallest Flying Merkel in the Eastern Idaho State Fair, and hit the jackpot!  Took "Second Premium", whatever that means...  Apparently, it comes with a monetary reward, although I don't know what I'll do with all this money! 

In other news, I've managed to survive the first week back to school.  Shaping up to be a decent, albeit extremely busy, year.  Hoping I manage to survive it!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why teach?

I was recently asked why I was a teacher.  Here is my response:

I kind of fell into teaching-  The classes I was taking in college were not leading the direction I wanted them to go.  A lot of the classes I took were in a building shared with part of the education department, and I noticed THEY got to do all the things I was hoping I would get to do.  I had visited with my adviser once about it, then gone back in a second time with some follow up questions.  She was working on something while we talked, and at the end of our conversation she said something along the lines of "You're all set!"- she had already transferred me and changed my major. 

That was the moment I became a teacher.  While it may sound like the decision was made for me, I already knew that was what I wanted to do and here's why.  All too often I see and hear people say things like "you will never be happy with your job, just pick something you can stomach that pays good money and do it".  From what I had seen and later experienced this did not seem to be the case with this bunch of educators.  They (we) truly loved what we were doing.  Suddenly homework was FUN.  Class was FUN.  I was learning all kinds of things and really enjoying it.  Then came student teaching, and while I may not have left from that every day from school with a smile, I was always excited the next morning to be back at it. 

So there's the why: because I truly love what I get to do for "work" every day.  Why do I love what I get to do for work every day?  Easy- its awesome to see students working at developing a new skill- to see the failures and the successes, and to be a part of something that will hopefully be useful for the rest of their lives.

ON THE OTHER HAND... I did NOT become a teacher to listen to the lady in front of me at the checkout whine about having to buy pencils and papers for her students.  "Isn't the TEACHER supposed to supply this stuff?!" REALLY!?  Must've touched a nerve because I had to say something.  I'm pretty reserved and as my wife says avoid confrontation at all costs, but I couldn't let it slide.  I very politely struck up a conversation with her, during the course of which I was able to let her know how much money has come out of my own personal pocket (and much, much more out of my wifes pockets) on things that I'll never be able to get refunded for. 

Thats part of teaching, it seems.  Sad that it has to be that way, but it is.  The tax deduction doesn't even begin to cover the out of pocket expenses I think most teachers incur the first couple of years of teaching.  I get the feeling that the "pendelum" is starting to swing back, that there is hope on the horizon.  Things are going to get better.  Its going to take a few years, but if I've made it this far through the worst of it, I can make it a few more, right?

Here's to a new year, starting on Tuesday.  Hoping it will be a great year, excited for new things, sad for losses from last year, but ready to get busy and do my thing!