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I discovered last week that it was getting to be time for a new cordless drill. The casing on mine is starting to crack around the trigger, probably from old age and being dropped too many times.

I bought it about the time the 18V drills were brand new (the date code inside the handle is 1996!), so I have no problem with it not lasting long enough. I bought a DeWalt DC920A kit (two batteries, case, charger), so now I have four batteries and two chargers. So far the two biggest improvements are that it now comes with a side handle and the case holds three batteries (two in the box, one in the drill) plus the charger and space for odds and ends.

[ profile] teeka told me that now that I had a new drill, I had to make her something, so I built a new frit rack for the studio, which didn't really need the drill, as it's mostly dadoed and nailed together.

When I bought the table saw, my father in law gave me a box of blades and stuff he'd had for a while but never used. I finally really looked through it. There's two dado blades (one adjustable, on stacking), a shaper blade with 5 sets of cutters, and a dado insert that doesn't fit my saw.

I'll play with the shaper kit one of these days, but the stacked dado worked well for the frit rack: the top and bottom are rabetted into the sides, and the five shelves are dadoed, with everything going a lot faster than trying to do it with the miter saw or a router.
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A month or two ago I ordered a dozen cooling panels from Switzerland for the microscope lab we're remodeling at work.

They just arrived. 12 panels, that, according to the manufacturer, weigh 13 kg each, including the mounting frames.

Why, then, do they ship in a crate with a total weight of 460kg?

Do the 156kg of panels really need 300kg of packaging? I realize that they ship in a crate made from unsanded 7/8" thick lumber (which might be oak), but that seems excessive.

My afternoon plan is, with the aid of my trusty Fubar, to remove the panels from the crate so that I can get them into the freight elevator and take them to the lab, and then stash the lumber in my shop until I think of a use for it.
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My plan for this afternoon now is to deliver a sawzall, a hammer drill, and a tubing bender to some grad students, give them some basic instruction in cutting, bending, and wall-mounting stainless steel tubing, and then leave.
revchris: (Default)
[ profile] teeka, unfortunately, is in the living room worrying about having to go to the dentist tomorrow to have a crown reinstalled (hopefully it's that simple).

I just got done having more fun than any self-respecting snow goon should have.

The old snowblower took about an hour and a half to do the driveway, the sidewalk, and the extra paths through the yard.

We think I did it in about 45 minutes, including doing 2-3 extra neighbors worth of sidewalk, and cutting the plow berms next to the driveway and the curb ramp back about 3 feet. I didn't get the street pushed back all the way to the curb, because I didn't bring a shovel, and I can only reach about 30" high on the bank with just the snowblower (which has a 21" high cut, according to the manual). I'll probably work on that tomorrow when I go out to shovel off the roof.

Turning radius is similar to the old one, and I can still make the corner next to the garage to get to the back yard path, and I cleaned out the path we cut for the mail carrier, and turned around in the neighbor's driveway, as now I can climb the hill going into their yard (I followed the extension of the cut they made right up onto their front sidewalk).

I need to make a few adjustments tomorrow. The skid plates need to be lowered (they're in the factory-set "high" position now) so that the scraper bar doesn't catch on the sidewalk high points as much, and I need to tighten the bracket for the chute because it swivels the crank away from the chute and then I can't rotate it.

Other than that, I'm going to give the new snowblower a rating of at least 4 snowballs (out of 5).
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[ profile] teeka is at Menards right now trying to talk the gate guard into letting her drive away with an uncrated snow blower (it didn't fit in the truck with the crate on).

We're replacing the 1987 Toro 521 (21-inch, 3-speed) with a Yardmachines 24" 6-speed.

Hopefully, this means two things: Being able to spend most of my time moving snow instead of trying to get the snow thrower to run, and being able to snow throw over the pile that is the sides of the bottom of the driveway.
revchris: (Default)
We're starting to think about replacing ours.

It's getting to where I'm spending more time trying to keep it running than actually blowing snow.

[ profile] teeka called [ profile] jeffreyp to see if we can get one from Jeff's dad, and I'm going to start pricing carburetor rebuild kits and points (if one of those two doesn't fix it, it's probably not worth trying anything else). If that works, and I can get it to run properly, then it'll be time to talk to somebody (Hi Jeff!) about trying to reweld the auger shroud onto the impeller housing (half the welds have broken loose).

All in all, it's a 21-year-old snowblower, and it may not really be worth fixing, but first I need to figure out the repair costs.

Edit: Carburetor rebuild kits are unavailable from the three sources I checked (including the manufacturer).
revchris: (Default)
The boss told me to fix one of the tables in the back of the big classroom because two of the feet kept falling off.

I can't just remove the other two, because then it's scratch up the floor.

The answer: Buy a Helicoil kit and fix the threads (because the helicoil kit was cheaper than the rivet nut kit).
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Next step is to clear the truck off and go to the hardware store.

The preceding steps involved snow blowing the driveway and shoveling all the walks.

Why, you might ask, if I have a snow blower, am I shoveling the walks? That's because the intermediate step between those two involved the drive belt on the snowblower failing.

I've looked in the manual, so I know how to replace it, but I have to go take the old belt out in order to find out what kind it is, because the manual doesn't say.

Busy Day

Dec. 6th, 2008 06:36 pm
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Today I cleared all the sidewalk and the driveway of snow, then sanded and salted same.

Next it was off to Woodman's for people food, bird food, and candy making supplies, with a stop at the hardware store for propane and a bacteriostat and a new wicking pad for the humidifier.

Then I went back and cleaned up the end of the driveway after the plow came through, and then shoveled off the edges of the roof, and then drove over to the hardware store for shear pins because the plow berm did in one of the ones in the blower, and I couldn't find any spares in the garage.

After a lunch break, I spent the afternoon installing a second lampworking station in the garage (canopy hood, tile on the counter, torch) and cut quick connects into the line for the first torch to allow the second torch to run simultaneously.

Now I'm going to start some laundry.
revchris: (Default)
All the signs of winter are here:

1) The first thing I did when I got up was to start the snowblower and clear the sidewalks.
2) We had the first plow berm of the season.
3) I broke the first shear bolt of the season, and had to run out and buy more.

Usually, I'm of the opinion that there should be snow on the ground by my birthday. Well, it's there, so, enough already, ok?
revchris: (Default)
I got the snowblower to start. I've also downloaded the manual, and will eventually have to run the carburetor through an adjustment cycle. It runs, but only at full throttle, but the adjustment process isn't hard, just time consuming.

[ profile] teeka and I redid the lower workbench (that she had been using for cutting glass) to make it shorter so that there can be a second lampworking station. Eventually we (I) will have to cut in and install a second exhaust hood as well, but that'll wait until there's actually a second torch in place.

I also got my workbench mostly cleaned off, and next I should hook up the dust collector so that I can use it while I'm turning. I might get to that next, or I might just go out and make stuff, and clean up afterward.

The dust collector closet also now has a sweep on the bottom of the door and weatherstripping all the way around the door so that it seals. There are a few small leaks, but almost all of the air goes out the external vent.

Of course, I also realized that I've been messing with the weather. We had been planning on moving the camper to Stoughton for the winter, and the snowblower wasn't working, so of course it snowed today. We've since decided to leave the camper in the driveway so that we have a chance at selling it over the winter, and I've got the snowblower working, but I've also admitted to screwing with the weather....


Nov. 30th, 2008 09:39 am
revchris: (Default)
The forecast now calls for 5-10" by Monday morning.

I guess I should go work on the snowblower.
revchris: (Default)
Yesterday I was a slacker (well, not entirely - I did laundry and dishes).

Today, however, I've actually gotten some work done.

The lawnmower has been run dry, folded up, bagged, and stashed at the back of the garage.

The snowblower has been dug out, I got the electric start to engage properly, but I haven't gotten it to start yet. I also cleared out where it parks over the winter, which gives me more room to work in the garage.

We went to Menards for parts, and [ profile] teeka now has a timer for her rod warmer and the heat lamp that keeps her feet warm, so that she doesn't have to worry about leaving them on.

Tomorrow I'm going to do more work on cleaning the garage, try again to start the snowblower, and replace the rubber flap on the garbage disposal.
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All of the transition strips are now in, except for the long one in the living room/kitchen doorway, as that's still on backorder. The front door transition will need a little bit of filler caulk as the entryway wood section is slightly taller than the main floor, and that makes the transition strips roll outward just a little, and the miter joint at the corner of the transition doesn't close right (and I couldn't figure out a good compound angle cut to make it work).

I finished the first half of the drop ceiling installation in the basement, using 28 tiles, one accessory clip, and 2 octagonal extender boxes. The ceiling light fixture sticks out from the tiles about 1/2", but unless I special order a 1" extender ring, that's how it's going to be. The other side has all the track up except for around the booze shelves, but I'll get to that later this week probably. Then it'll need about three boxes of tile. I decided to get the first section done (which took a trip to Menards today for 4 tiles) so that if by the time we get tiles they've changed designs, each side will be all one pattern.

[ profile] teeka dug a new bed and planted asparagus in it, and I put a planter ring aorund it for her. Now, as the asparagus starts to come up, she's going to slowly fill it in until it's the right depth. Then we'll pick up the tarp that the dirt for the bed is currently sitting on and replace the dead grass that'll be underneath it by then.

It took most of a day of fiddling around, but I finally got the lawnmower to start, and it ran long enough to go around one section of the yard once, then it died, and while it would restart, wouldn't keep running. I'm going to let it sit until tomorrow and then try it again, hoping the gumout that's in the gas will do it's thing by then. Then all I have to do is figure out how to take the pull-cord clutch apart so I can see why it isn't engaging most of the time when I pull the rope.

I also finally got around to putting a new blade on the miter saw. The old one has been on for several years, including two flooring projects. Looking at it, it's missing two teeth, and has several chipped teeth. My miter saw now cuts through things a lot easier, which tells me I probably should have changed it a while ago.
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Yesterday I took the truck apart enough to replace all the illuminator lamps in the instrument cluster in the dash. This was the second try - the first time, I didn't know it was going to require a pair of retaining wall blocks to make the whole process work. 45 minutes of work, and now, for the first time since we bought the truck, you can see all of the gauges at night.

I also finished the handle I was making for one of the big lathe gauges and started a maple bowl. It took about an hour to rough out the bowl and another hour to microwave dry the wood. I need to sharpen my lathe tools as this will not only speed things up it will let them cut more cleanly. The rest of the day was spent cleaning up the bench in the garage and doing some housework, but mostly reading or playing games on the computer.

Today we slept in, and didn't really start anything until after noon. I finished the bowl, except that I'm going to take it to work and see if I can chuck it up in the lathe there to finish the bottom - it ovalled and warped during drying (this is normal), but I don't have a chuck on the home lathe, so re-flattening the bottom is complicated (I should have squared off the top, glued on a scrap block, and done the bottom before I finished the top, but I didn't).

Then I cut the parts to finally put the door frame back in the computer lab, and it's currently in the basement for stain & varnish, but it might require a trip to Menards for wood conditioner as the stain we're using isn't going on evenly.


Sep. 27th, 2007 02:07 pm
revchris: (Default)
I like it. I'm thinking of putting it on my Christmas list.

I can't be the only one who's thought of a whole bunch of other uses for this than just visiting with your family.


revchris: (Default)

June 2010

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