Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1974 Thing - Work Continues

The local Aircoolers Gang Chapter is having a show / get together on the 31st.  We bring our VWs no matter the condition.  My car was in the first one and almost every show for the past eleven shows.

I got the Thing out of the shop and started a good wash job.  The poor car is filthy.  It has not been washed since it was in California almost two years ago.


The wheels are in very poor shape, rusted and flaking paint.  Just to help the poor car out a bit I have ordered some plastic hub caps just to cover the wheels for the show.  The right side rear door is slowly rusting away.  It has a hole on the outside and the entire bottom is rusted through.  This car has never been outside for the past 10 years and no water has been sitting in the door like most neglected vehicles.   I can't explain it except that Rust Never Sleeps.



I made a list of the issues I need to work.  It is not in order of priority.  It is just a starting place for the huge amount of work this car needs.  I will keep you posted.

1974 Thing Issues
·         Wheels - Need stock wheels cleaned and powder coated
·         Brakes – Bleed and adjust brakes, possible disc brakes in future
·         Front right fender damaged
·         Rear right fender damaged
·         Rear right pontoon damaged – remove and repaint both pontoons
·         Body damage on front right door
·         Repair interior rust gash right rear seat area
·         Running board missing
·         Front bumper rusting – remove and repaint possible powder coat
·         Rear bumper damaged – remove and replace with scooter carrier
·         Stereo not working
·         Paint in poor condition all over car
·         Upholstery faded and poor condition
·         Dash board paint needs to be all one color
·         Engine oil leak
·         Engine fuel plumbing needs improvement
·         Engine oil cooler needed


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Shop Work Bench Part 1

This week I am building a 4 x 8 rolling work bench for the shop.  I want a bench this size to allow me to work on any project from any side of the bench.

I want to be able to work on Linda's scooter, a Volkswagen engine, a lawn mower or build a piece of furniture.  This bench will have room and strength to support a VW chassis.



This is the frame, 4 x 4 support posts.  I used 2 x 4 lumber to frame the bottom shelf.  The top is framed with 2 x 6 lumber.  It rolls on 6 casters.  Four of the casters are lockable to keep the bench from rolling.  I doubt if this is the final configuration of the casters, I am not happy with how they are mounted.



I framed the lower shelf with 2 x 4 lumber to support the 1/2" plywood shelf.


Plywood shelving installed.  Not nailed down yet, I may add some features.


It isn't complete I want to build the top and add more features. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Photo to Wood Transfer

I am experimenting today with some techniques to transfer photos to wood.  I want to recreate some vintage photo onto a piece of wood.  I am also test techniques to make the photo look older in case I want to make an item look used or worn.

You-Tube has a number of demonstration videos and after watching several I tried a few with some tricks of my own added.   I used different printers and different materials that are readily available at your local art store.


This transfer is a color laser print on regular plywood.


This one is ink jet printed and transferred.


This is also an ink jet print.  I was a bit too aggressive when removing the paper.  It does give it an aged effect.  Right above the "E" is a filled knot in the plywood.


These are some smaller labels. Again I was too aggressive when removing the paper.  I also need to trim closer to the actual photo to prevent the white "border" effect.


Here is the whole set.  I am sure you will see these again on some future projects.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Cat Defender

My lovely cats have chosen an area right next to the back door to deposit their litter.  They have a huge fenced yard to roam around in but they pick that one spot.  I decided to make the spot an unpleasant place to visit.

I took a used cat litter bucket, a Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR), an ARDUINO micro processor, an LED clearance light, a wind shield washer pump and a 5 volt relay to construct my device.  When ever the cat approaches the area I am defending the PIR sensor picks up the cat's body heat.  The program in the ARDUINO activates the LED light and the pump.  Noise, the yellow light and a fine spray of water deter the cat from going any further.


It works just as well on the cats as it does on my big feet.







Sunday, March 2, 2014

Charcoal Furnace

Yesterday I attempted to set up a charcoal furnace to melt aluminum. I have two brake drums from some huge trucks.  The brake drum is my furnace and I have a huge cast iron pot for my crucible.  I used my air compressor to feed air into the furnace.

 I set the brake drum on a 3 inch pipe cemented to the ground.  There is more pipe in the ground than what is showing.  This puts the top of the furnace about 29 inches high.

The brake drum is resting on a 3/8" steel plate.


In this photo you can see the crucible.  It is a cast iron pot I purchased at a junk shop.  It probably holds a gallon which is huge amount of hot metal.


I put a grill in the bottom hoping to get charcoal under the crucible as well as surrounding it.  I managed to burn 20 pounds of charcoal and melted a garbage bag full of cans.


I managed to dip out this 2.5 ounce blob of aluminum and pour it in my muffin pan mold.  There was quite a bit more metal still in the crucible but I was loosing my heat.

I learned a great deal from this first pass.  I manged this with no cover, no insulation and a poorly controlled air supply.  I am sure I can do better.

Also in my rush I dipped out good metal with the dross.  So I have to work on my techniques as well.