Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Photo From Here

Monday, April 13, 2015

Velocity Stacks

Since the weather has warmed up, I'm able to sneak out into the shop and work for a couple hours at a time and get some things done without freezin' my ass or waiting for the shop to warm up just to turn around and go back in about the time it gets comfortable enough to work. 

I dug through my box of parts I made when I had access to the CNC about 20 years ago and came up with a velocity stack that fits the Amal on the BSA. Took the K&N off the Ducati and put the two pieces on the bike to see what it looked like. The air filter has an angle on the inlet. It just clears the cardboard template for the sidecover but in use it would probably rub the paint off. If I put an air filter directly on the carb, no clearance issue at all. I need to have Surly weigh in on what I've got and then get to gettin'. Haven't done dooky on the bikes all winter long. Again.

I've only got one complete velocity stack but I do have another base already machined up. Making the actual stack part isn't all that tough. The Prez might have a pen and phone but I've got aluminum and a lathe. I like the look of the stack with the filter and everything clears the fuel taps. I think I might be on to something here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Field Hospital

I got the drive chains replaced on the snow blower yesterday. This thing has an interesting system to make everything go - a couple of belts, a couple of chains, a few gears, and a wheel with a rubber tire on it that slides back and forth on a hex shaft to change the drive speeds. As long as it works, I'm happy. And so far it has for quite a few years. With new chains and a couple of squirts of grease on all the Zerks, hopefully it's good for a few more years.

Beautiful day yesterday to be out working on things. It was about 65 and sunny when I was working on the snow blower. - much too nice to be inside the shop. Hence the "field repair". Later in the day it cooled off a bit and the wind picked back up so I moved the wife's car outside and cut the top for the table saw out feed table. Need to get a few 2x4's for the framework and I'll have that job done. Man it's nice to be working again.

The magnolia trees are all budding out now and the grass is greening up. It'll be a few more days before the tree in the photo will be at it's prime but I can wait. 

The newest addition to the family - my niece's daughter. Beautiful little thing. Fall used to be my favorite time of year but the older I get the more I like Spring. A time of new growth and fresh starts. It was three years ago today that I had my heart attack. I was very fortunate to get a fresh start on life. Most every day is like springtime in my world now. Don't take what you have for granted. Enjoy every minute you're blessed with. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Teacher Training

I got an e-mail about Weld-Ed's summer training sessions, one of which is Instructional Design and Teaching Strategies. For non-members the four day session is a cool $1K. For a thousand bucks, I'll be happy to come to you and put on a training session but I can save you some money if you'll just remember a few simple things.

Know your subject matter well. 
Be enthusiastic and sincere in your teaching. 
Gear your presentation to the skill level of your students and individualize the instruction as much as possible. A one-on-one in the welding booth with a quick sketch on the welding bench with a piece of soapstone almost always trumps even the best Power Point presentation.
Look them in the eye when you're done. If the light didn't come on, you did it wrong.

Pretty much all there is to it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Vote KV

For those of you with a Facebook account, hit the link and vote for KV Weldshop. It won't cost you a thing but there's some serious money riding on the outcome. Do it now and help my buddy Dave continue to improve the program there.


Monday, April 6, 2015


Saw both of these at Rocket Garage

Saw this one at Recycled Garage.

Managed to get out into my garage and shop - did a little clean up and decided I should look at why the snowblower was shifting hard before I put it away for the year. That was an easy fix but the two drive chains underneath are about shot, so I should probably get those squared away before I park it, forget about it and then go through the aggravation of trying to fix it when one of them breaks when the snow is a foot deep and it's 5 degrees outside. Looks to be a 40 series chain with 1/4" spacing between the links - 420 maybe? I'll see if I can find anything locally and get that checked off the list. If the weather stays warm I'll be mowing in another week. Or it could be like last year and snow a couple of inches this week.

I need to get out in the garden and start getting it ready for the year. With the drought in California, veggies and fruit are liable to see a size-able increase in cost this year. Since I'm probably going to be staying pretty close to home for awhile, might as well expand the garden a bit. Rhubarb is popping up, so it won't be long and it'll be time to get everything else in the ground. 

Lost one of my aunts yesterday. She was a very dear lady who passed away peacefully in her sleep. Via con Dios, Joyce.

Friday, April 3, 2015


I went up north the other day to do a quick spin around Cabella's and stopped at the Chrysler dealer on the way home - had this one sitting out front. R/T model with the Shaker hood. I like the metallic blue paint. This dealership always has a few hot rod versions on the lot - like the old days at Mr. Norm's Grand Spaulding Dodge. The more I look at the Challengers, the more I like them. I'll have to see what they've got in stock come September.

I e-mailed my buddy with the 68 Camaro that I was looking at a new Challenger and he sent me back this photo of what's left of Mr. Norm's. I remember he and I made the pilgrimage to there in '71.

Photo From Here

If you grew up in the Chicago-land area in the late 60's - early 70's, you knew about Mr. Norm's. WLS radio always had spots for Mr. Norm's - "soda pop's carbonated, carburetor's calibrated, dyno timed and analyzed." If you didn't dig Chryslers, you could always run across town to Nickey's, "with the backward K", Chevrolet. I'd say those were the glory days, but these new cars will out run the old ones, get better mileage, go 50,000 miles on a set of plugs, and go around corners. Of course they cost 10 times what they did back in the early 70's but a candy bar now is more than a nickel and a soda is more than a dime.

I buy myself a Challenger, I'll have to get a Mr. Norm tee shirt. Hell, maybe I should anyway. Just for old times sake.