FABTECH 2017 will be coming to Chicago in a little over a week. There will be two sculptures on display that will be a result of a collaboration between Jesse James and Albert Paley. As I understand it, each will start a sculpture and then the other will finish it. I saw a teaser by Jesse James on Facebook about this awhile back but didn't find any details anywhere. I finally came across some more info in an e-mail I received from FMA explaining what was going on. They also have a series of short videos with James and Paley with a couple more to come. Most of the videos are two minutes or under in length - definitely worth watching.
I'm sure most everyone is familiar with Jesse James but Albert Paley is not exactly a household name - he should be, though. He's a tremendous craftsman/artist. I'll be attending FABTECH so I'll get a chance to see the finished sculptures before they're auctioned off. There's supposed to be a one hour documentary on the project later on. I'm looking forward to seeing that. James himself said it'll focus on the making without any of the drama that you normally see on the television shows. That's the type of thing that there should be more of.
Got the headlight bracket thing figured out - at least for now. After I get the motorbike mobile, I'll see how well it works like it is. If I like it - done. If not, back to the drawing board. I also got going on the pedal chain tensioner. So still moving forward on that project, which is a good thing.
School house bell is out in front of the house. The Missus and I had a little miscommunication as to where this thing was going to reside, so I'll have to move it but only a few feet. Actually, that's probably better because I'm going to have to do some landscaping work to get everything like she wants it. Depending on the weather, that might have to wait until springtime.
Went to the fights Saturday night. Jimmy was out of town so my running buddy, who's also a boxing coach, and I worked the corner for a couple of fighters from the gym. One guy fought pretty well but got clobbered with about 15 seconds left in the fight and went down. He got back up and his opponent tore into him again. I was just about ready to throw in the towel but the ring doctor got up to do the same thing. Both of us and the ref were all going to stop it about the time the bell rang, so technically, he lost a decision. Five seconds longer and it would have been a referee stop contest - RSC.
The other fighter of ours just stunk the place up. I'd never seen the kid fight before. If I had, I wouldn't have gotten him a fight until he got in better shape. He could easily have won the fight if he had a little stamina. Hell, he was damn near out of gas when I was warming him up. The kid's got talent, just needs to make the commitment.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
I dig these old jerseys. I'm a big fan of wool rather than polyester like most of the new jerseys are made of. I like these with the collar and the pocket on the front - the Bianchi looks to have pockets on the back as well judging from the bump seen in the photo.
Meanwhile back at the shack, the headlight came in for the motorbike. The included bracket won't allow the head light to clear the tubes on the springer front end, of course, so I need to come up with something else for a mount. I could use the hole in the bottom of the steerer tube if I made the bracket that came with the light an inch or so longer. It might be better if I mounted it off the pinch bolt for the handlebars on the goose neck. I've got some mounting brackets that would fit on the handlebars that I could adapt also. I'm kind of liking the pinch bolt mounting right now, though. I could make a short mount to cut down on vibration and the light would be centered. I'll give it a bit more thought and then get to gettin'.
The light is nice and bright, though. Before I mount it up on the motorbike, I'm going to take a look at what it would take to put one on the touring bike. I rode the night ride this year and was thinking I could use more light but since I rarely ride at night, I don't want to spend a ton of money on a good light. Adapting one of the clamp-on brackets I've got might be the way to go here. Make something up I could swap between the touring bike and the city bike. Now that I've got the city bike dialed in, it would be a nice one to take on the night ride if I decide to do that next year again.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Got some parts for the motorbike - drive chain and extra master links, tail lights, and I got the bolt for the tensioner made up. I also ordered a headlight but it hasn't come in yet.
Tail lights are done already. I made a bracket that bolts to the bottom of the seat springs out of a piece of aluminum angle. I'm really impressed with these little lights. A pair of them off EBay for $6.00 including shipping and batteries. They've got three modes, constant, slow and fast flash, and waterproof to boot. I bought a pair of them once before - one of them went on my bike trailer after I put a fender on it, the other one is on my touring bike as an extra. The light that hangs off the saddle bag isn't much, and when it comes to being seen, you can't really do too much. In fact, I'm going to put a strip of reflective tape between the lights as a little extra insurance.
I hung a speed bag in the upstairs of the new barn a couple of years ago but it didn't work out as I expected. The platform is hung from the roof trusses and the whole thing vibrates and kills the action of the speed bag. The pieces above are to brace the platform into the wall. The wall is covered in OSB and all screwed together. I'm hoping this will kill the bad vibes and allow me to use the bag. I'm trying to get things useable so when I retire full time, I can work out at home if I don't feel like going to the gym. I've got a double-end bag out there as well so as long as it isn't too cold, I can put in a few rounds on each whenever the mood strikes me.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
I managed to get into the "darkroom" the other evening - actually that's the 1/2 bath off the laundry room - and printed some things. The photo above is from the roll I shot with the Franke Jr. a couple of weeks back. All eight exposures came out good. There were a couple of compositional errors on my part but no cut-off heads, nothing out of focus and all the exposures were right on the money. All the negatives were shot within an hour of each other so the lighting conditions were all the same which made it easy to guess my exposures and easier still when it came time to print.
The shot above was printed on a warmer tone paper than the rest of the shots and I toned it a bit with some black coffee. The thinking being since my running buddy was standing in front of a log house, a little brown tone would look better than stark black and white. The effect is pretty subtle but I like it. The remainder of the shots were printed on heavy weight fiber based paper unlike this one printed on resin coated paper. Those are currently drying under some weights so they'll remain flat when dry.
I printed a couple of shots from my European vacation but they could use some help. It was getting late, so I just made straight prints to see how they would look. Next time I print, I'll do a bit of experimenting and see if I can improve on them. I think I can get a real good one of the Eiffel Tower.
Next up I want to get out the 4x5 field camera and shoot a couple of sheets of film with it. I've got some film holders already loaded with film but I'm not sure what the film type is and which of the holders are loaded and which aren't, it's been so long since I've messed with the big cameras. I'll wait 'til the sun goes down one of these days and take the dark slides out, see what I've got, mark them properly and go in search of a non-moving target. I'm sure it'll take me awhile to get comfortable using a camera that you have to focus on an upside down image with a black cloth over your head.
Monday, October 23, 2017
My brother from a different mother came down last week so he, Cuzzin Ricky and I could do breakfast. He brought this scatter shield and a few other parts he had laying around that he thought I might be able to use if I ever get around to working on my hot rod project. No telling when that will happen but I definitely want to have something wrapped around the clutch and flywheel that will contain anything that goes boom. I replaced the diaphragm style clutch with a big "three finger" in my old '62 Chevy thinking that would take care of my clutch woes. It did until two of the three fingers came apart. Fortunately nothing else came apart and all the pieces stayed inside the aluminum bell housing. Kind of scary, though. If things get out of balance and start flying apart, neither the bell housing or the floor board is going to stop the pieces from the clutch or flywheel from chewing your feet off. So that's a problem solved.
I saw this the other day while looking for something else. Might be kind of handy. I've got jacks and stands but more than once I've put a bottle jack next to a stand. If I did more automotive work I might consider getting one or two.
What I need to get are a few more parts for the motorbike project. I definitely need to get some more drive chain. Since I'm planning on taking this rig out on the road once it's completed, a headlight and taillight might be a good idea. Maybe a horn as well. Garrett Wade has a set of three bike horns made from brass with the squeeze bulb. That might be an option. I could always put that on my Christmas list. I'm going to need a chain guard for the pedal chain also. I could buy one but I'll probably end up making one. I'd have to modify whatever I bought anyway - might as well start from scratch.
I'm making up a special bolt for the chain tensioner. It came with an 8mm bolt that goes through the bearing on the roller but it's a real sloppy fit and a10mm won't quite go through it. I'm going to braze up a shoulder on an 8mm and turn it for a sliding fit on the bearing. When I get that done, I'll make the bracket and I should be golden on the pedal chain.
I developed the roll of film I ran through the Vollenda. I've got a couple of shots that are keepers. A couple of the shots I took were the kind of things a tripod and an exposure meter would have helped. I'll see how the negatives look when I put them in the enlarger. I'm planning on printing a few shots this week as long as the chemicals are still good. Maybe make a rack for the motorbike to throw some camera gear aboard when I get it done so I can go off in pursuit of things photogenic.
Looks like the temps are going to be more seasonable this week. Had to happen sometime. I'm just about ready for winter. Regardless, I'll keep pluggin' away at things.
Have a good week.
Friday, October 20, 2017
|Photo From Here|
I've been busy of late. Had to get the final exams graded and the grades posted but got the new class off to a flying start. It's a small group and I had most of them last semester, so the remaining seven weeks should go smoothly. I have to do some more touchy-feely training on the computer for the college in the next few weeks still but that shouldn't be too tough. I'm liking getting home during the daylight hours, by the way. I was leaving the house at seven in the morning and getting home a little after ten in the evening the last eight weeks. Getting home six hours earlier makes a big difference in my energy level.
I made this throwing knife the other day. I don't know jack about throwing knives but I've got several old mower blades that I was wondering what to do with besides tossing them in the scrap bin. Only took me about an hour to make. I tried throwing it at an old dead tree out back and never did get it to stick with an overhand delivery. I didn't do too bad with an underhand style of toss, however. I've got a few more old blades still. Need to come up with something else to make that could profit from some good carbon steel.
Got a little more done on the motorbike. Bottom photo are tabs to bolt the chainguard for the engine drive chain to. I wanted to see what I was going to need for the other side before I welded them on. As you can tell from the other photo, this side is going to take a bit of finagling to make the pedal chain work. If I put a roller right behind the engine, that'll keep the chain down low enough to clear it. I'll still need to install a tensioner on one chain or the other. One of them I can adjust by sliding the wheel back in the dropouts but I'll need a tensioner for the other side. I was planning on putting the tensioner on the pedal side initially but I'm going to take a good hard look at it before I go any further. I might be able to make the roller on the top of the pedal chain work for that. I think there's enough adjustment to keep the chain under the engine and clear of the frame tube. I'm not planning on doing much pedaling anyway - just enough to start the motor.
The weather has been fantastic around here of late - temps in the 70's with lots of sunshine. 45 years ago Wednesday I remember it snowed after a couple of similar sunny, warm days. The only reason I remember is that was when my son was born. Hard to believe he's 45 now. Time marches on, as they say.
Took the Missus back to the doctor to get the test results from last week. Good news there! She's still cancer free. That's a load off of both of us. Hard to concentrate on things while you're holding your breath.
Count your blessings people.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Getting ready to shoot another roll of 120 film. This time in an old Kodak folder that was designed for 620 film. The actual film size of 620 is the same as 120 but the reels are a little narrower and the ends are a little smaller in diameter. In the photo you can see the roll of 120 on the mandrel just prior to me machining it down to size. Actually, this is one of the first things I wrote about when I started the blog back in '08.
The camera is a Vollenda model made around 1930 - so it's roughly 85 - 90 years old. Not the latest or greatest in cameras but it's still functioning well, at least it appears to be. I'll find out after I shoot the roll of film through it. Not the kind of camera you would shoot sporting events with but good for snapshots at family outings, portraits or landscapes. There's no connection for a flash but there is a bulb and time setting on the shutter. There are two spots to mount the camera on a tripod but they take a 3/8 thread rather than the more common 1/4 - 20. I've seen adaptors but I don't have one. I doubt seriously this is going to be my go-to camera so I won't worry about buying or machining an adaptor.
What I'm trying to do currently is just get back in the swing of all things black & white. I've got a 4x5 box camera that was designed for glass plate negatives and I've got a couple of other 4x5 cameras. I want to shoot a few sheets of film with those for a couple of reasons. When you use the big cameras, they force you to slow down and think about what you're doing. Other than the box camera, both of the 4x5s have some adjustments that I'm only vaguely familiar with. Be good to understand the effects of the tilts, swings, etc. Also, you can go out and shoot just a couple of sheets of film and then come home and develop them with out having to go through a whole roll of 8-12 exposures on the 120 film or 24-36 on 35mm. If I'm going somewhere that I would shoot 36 exposures, I'd probably go digital and a film camera on a vacation trip or something.
I hope to start printing a few things soon. I might wait until I burn through the roll in this camera. The lens will focus down to about 18" according to the markings on the lens, so I might try and see if I can get something decent at close range. I want to make a developing tank for the 4x5 film also. I've got one that will allow daylight developing for up to eight sheets at a time but it uses a lot of chemistry. Something that holds just one or two sheets would be ideal.
Monday, October 16, 2017
This seems to be the year of natural disasters. Huge fires earlier in the year in Texas and Oklahoma, then Montana, and now California. Hurricanes in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puerto Rico. We don't have to contend with forest fires or hurricanes here in the Mid-West but we do get tornadoes and snow storms. It's been pretty quiet as far as tornadoes this season but who knows what the winter will bring. With the way things are going, could end up raining frogs come December.
Or we could be hit by an EMP attack. I read the other day once again about just such an item. Now that North Korea has their ICBMs functional, those supposedly in the know say that up to 90% of the US population could perish if the grid goes down. That's scary. 100 years ago there was still a large percentage of the population living in the country, growing their own food and being mostly self-sufficient. It's not like that now. Hardly anyone is self-sufficient, and even if they are, will they be able to maintain that lifestyle when the grid goes down? If you were going to take the grid down, now would be an excellent time, what with FEMA and other emergency services already dealing with all the other natural disasters and with winter approaching. My garden is about done for the season and the fruit trees are likewise about finished for the season. The earliest I could expect new crops of any sort would be about eight months from now. No way I could go for eight months without resupply. Makes you wonder how the pioneers made it through their first winter. Lots of them didn't, I suppose.
There was an article about the mess in Puerto Rico in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal. Those people are in really sad shape due to a combination of factors. The island was in sad shape financially before the hurricane, the devastation was horrible and because it's an island, it's not easy getting supplies and equipment to them. No Cajun Navy to help those poor souls. If we here on the mainland had our power go down for a month, what would we do. People in a high rise apartment or the "rough" parts of the cities will be in a very, very bad way after only a few days, let alone a few weeks. After a couple of weeks I'm guessing it'll be like Lord of the Flies and they'll be looking at carving up the fat kids.
It looks like the government has done a fairly good job dealing with the disasters so far this year but I don't know if I want to count on them coming to the rescue if things go really sideways. I'm going to revisit my emergency plan and see what I can do to fill in a few of the blanks. You might be wise to do the same.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Spent the majority of the day yesterday chauffeuring the Missus around. First stop was the scan, then a stop to get her something to eat, then to the hospital for blood work. We get the results when we see the doctor next week. Hopefully see's still cancer free. I feel bad for the old girl - not easy waiting to see if the other shoe is going to drop.
I've got a list of things to do today - like most days - but I should be able to get back on the motorbike project for a bit since I'm stalled out on the school house bell. I need to finish the motor chainguard and then work on the pedal drive chain and another chainguard. There won't be too much more to do after that.
Finished up my last night-school class the other night. That feels good. Sixteen more days and then I'm done teaching. That should feel even better. I was talking to my cousin the other day at the reunion and I asked him how much longer he's planning on working. He said that ever since he was six years old, he's had to get up and go somewhere. I hadn't thought much of the school years, just my working years, but if you look at it like that, then 12 + 50 = 62. Holy Horseshit, Batman! I've had to get up and go someplace for almost 93% of my life. If I ever have second thoughts about retiring, (as if), I'll just remind myself of that percentage.
Keep on pushing y'all and I'll just imagine myself in that red Jaguar while you do.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
I've been both giving some serious thought as well as actually preparing for what I'm going to do when I'm fully retired. Obviously, the first things I should concentrate on are the projects that I've already started like the 900 and the VW. However, I definitely want to get back to some film photography, both black & white and maybe some alternative process stuff. I also want to get my little smithy up and running.
I've got the forge in place and I've got some coal. I've got most of the hand tools required - might need a few more pairs of tongs. Those could be one of the first projects, I suppose. I'll have to move a few things around to make sure everything is safe from flying sparks but most of those things are on wheels, so no real problem with that. Other than where to put them, that is.
Looking at the photos above, I don't need a door anywhere but I love the Art Nouveau style in general and the beautiful mix of ironwork and wood in particular. I've got a couple of books on the Art Nouveau style. Maybe take a look at those over the winter and start getting some ideas for some ironwork that would get me started on the path back to doing some blacksmithing again.
I painted the pieces I had primed for the school bell project. The Missus is still not sure about the color of the bell itself. I bought some paint thinking I'd be done in a couple of days but now I'm on hold. I told her just take the can of paint back to the hardware store and find one you like. Eastwood has some paint that I think would work well and would look good but this is her bell. Whatever Momma wants, Momma gets.
Painted the little bracket I made for the transportation room and got it installed. Managed to do a little thinning of the piles while I was up there. I've still got a ways to go on that, however. I've got a bunch of stuff left over from my teaching days and from workshops I've attended, plus a bunch of other crap from trade shows or just interesting things I've picked up over the years. I'll head back in there on another rainy day, garbage bag in hand, and toss some more of it out.
Milestone today, though. My last night class tonight! Just a morning class for the next eight weeks and that'll be it. I did sign up for the 5 axis machining class the other day. It meets only one day per week in the lab where I work now. I can keep my lab tech job open and that'll give me access to the tools in the building, at least until May. I'll decide then what comes next.
Monday, October 9, 2017
|Photo From Here|
Ain't that the truth. One thing about it, however, if you are willing to work hard, follow directions and show up every day, it's not hard to stand out from the crowd. I should probably add pull your pants up and put your phone away as well.
I didn't do much in the way of hard work over the weekend. I went to the gym and a wedding later in the day on Saturday, and a small scale family reunion on Sunday. Both the wedding and the reception were nice as was the reunion. Got a chance to see some people I rarely see, at least what's left of them now. Lot's of good memories flowing yesterday. That in itself is pretty amazing, seeing as how most of us can't remember what we had for breakfast at this stage of the game.
I did manage to get some primer on a couple more pieces for the school house bell project. Should be able to finish that project up this week as long as I can find some muscle to move things around.
I made another little corner bracket to hang a lantern in my "transportation room", library, man cave or whatever you want to call it. I need to get some brown paint and then I can hang it up. Be one more off the list. Of course, one of these days I'm going to run out of the easy ones and I'll have to get back on the big projects. I just needed to see the list shrink a bit - and should by week's end.
Friday, October 6, 2017
I was discussing something with the lab tech at the college the other day and my response to his statement was I just need to make it to December and immediately thought of Merle Haggard's classic:
Looks like that's going to be my new theme song. I'm down to under twenty working days left in my teaching career. I've got a great part-time job at the college but I'm ready to call it quits. Come December I can throw away the alarm clock and all my shirts with collars. Live in sweat pants and bib overalls, come and go as I please. Pick up the last four states on my quest to have been in all 50. Travel the Avenue of the Giants, see the Golden Gate bridge, sprint car races in Knoxville, Iowa, Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska and who knows where else.
In the meantime, however, knocking the hell out of the project list.
Got the bell base painted and finished making the chainguard for the motor bike. I still have to make the mounts to bolt it on, but soon. I made the front piece and rounded the bottom right corner off. It looked OK before I made the back piece. Now that I look at it, I should have had it follow the shape of the tubing so the two pieces look like one. Looks like I might have to splice a Dutchman in there.
I found time to finish another running book - The Inner Runner by Jason Karp. As the title suggests, not a "how-to book" but one that deals more with the spiritual/mental/physical aspects and how they affect your well being. I especially liked the last chapter Becoming a Better Runner and a Better You. Much of what he says would apply to most any sport but you can't really participate in any sport without running, either. If you're a runner now, the book will help explain the appeal of running and the emotional boost it gives you. If you're not a runner, read the book and you might become one. Running, whether you're world class or just a duffer like I am, is good for what ails you.
Hit the streets, my friends. You owe it to yourselves.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
I got the base for the school house bell all welded up and ground down. I've got the cradles for the trunnions bolted on in the photo to check the hole placement and the spacing to make sure everything will work as designed before painting. I got it primed right after the photo. I'll get it painted black in the next couple of days. The Missus still hasn't decided on the color for the bell itself. I told her to come up with the color scheme in the next couple of days and I'll have this one wrapped up.
I saw both of these at the Daily Timewaster. I'm really starting to lust after a Jeep truck - especially those old ones. And as a man with way more tools than the average Joe, I don't need another screwdriver at the moment, but that's a spiffy set right there, by golly! I've got a couple of 3/8" drive bits like that now. One of them is for big clutch head screws that I needed for working on one of my old Chevys years ago. I'd be nice to have a wooden handle like that and then maybe get a couple more various types of drive bits for it. I doubt that Snap-On sells a set like that anymore. But if they did - I'd put it on my Christmas list.
I made a little progress on the motorbike again. I've got the chainguard pert near done. I made it out of two pieces to accommodate the frame tube. I've got a bit of welding to do on the guard itself and then make a couple of tabs to weld onto the frame to bolt it on. Should be able to get that taken care in the next few days along with a couple of other little jobs I've got going.
All in all, making good progress lately. I'm almost due for an "Atta Boy".
Monday, October 2, 2017
Tubing for the schoolhouse bell project all loaded up for transport to school. I'll weld everything together and grind it down there. We've got a big layout table to work on - that'll make it a bit easier.
If you look under the pile of tubing, you'll see an aluminum sheet. That's one of the pieces I picked up from my sister in law the other day. Just right for making a chainguard for a motorbike. We've got a 4' shear in the shop that'll give me a nice square cut. I can bend it in my brake at home. I would have sheared it here at the shack but as long as I was going to drive the truck to work, figured I might as well take it along. I've got another little job in the cab to make up also. It's a little bracket for hanging a railroad lantern in the corner of the room where I've got my train board. It's nothing fancy - but I took one down to use a pattern so they'll all match.
Shot a roll of black and white film Saturday morning using the old Franka Rolfix Jr. Jimmy's dad gave me an old folding camera a couple of weeks ago so I thought I might clean it up and try it out. As it ended up, however, it looks like the camera has been dropped while it was open and from a pretty good height. One of the rivets for the folding mechanism is gone and the lens is sitting askew when you fold it out. Since I had gotten a roll of film out, however, I loaded it up in the old Rolfix Jr.
That's the Rolfix Jr. on the left, along with the more sophisticated Franka Rolfix on the right. The Jr. is my mother's old camera that she used when us boys were all young pups. My older brother was born in '48, so I'm guessing that's about the vintage of the camera - something close to 70 years old. I shot some informal "snapshot" type portraits of my running buddy while we were scoping out the trail for our next outdoor boxing workout day. I mixed up a fresh batch of developer and processed the film that evening. The negatives look real good. Because it was sunny out, I was able to use a fast shutter speed and a small aperture which makes for a sharp focus on the negatives. This is the first time I've shot a roll of film in a few years. I'm planning on getting back into the photo hobby again once I retire. I've got an idea for a 4x5 box camera design I'd like to try and make someday. Might start sketching out ideas in earnest so I'll have something to do in the basement workshop this winter.
Not sure when I'll get around to printing any of Saturday's negatives - I've still got some from my trip to Europe I never got around to printing. The time change is just around the corner and I'm swearing off most television, so I should be able to spend time in the darkroom just about any evening I care to. Be good to do something non digital.