Sunday, April 26, 2015

Great day off

Started out going to the flea market. It was pretty decent size as the weather was perfect. Nothing interested me enough to buy, but it was still a fun walk through. Saw a lot of antiques. Unfortunately with my age, a lot of the antiques were toys I played with as a kid. Kind of cool walk down memory lane.

After the flea market, I headed to Lowes. Didn't even get out of the truck. The lot was FULL.... Not worth it. I will hit it up during the week when it is empty. Left there to see what Best Buy had going. Found a dishwasher that meets the need at a decent price. Cut out of there and saw a car show going on in the lot. It was just starting. I went home and got the Vette out and returned. There was a 1969 red Corvette convertible in immaculate condition. A Cuda, Challenger, Charger, Nova and many many more classics. My phone battery (my camera) was too low to get any pics. There were no classic mustangs, unless you want to count the 74 mustang II, which I don't. Kind of surprised me a bit.

After the car show, I played around in the garage for a bit. I turned the backing plate down for the new chuck. Drilled and tapped the hole for the clamp to retain the plate. Trued up the front and mounted the chuck. Huge difference. Went from a four inch to a six inch chuck. It will actually be usable now.

                        I mounted plate backwards and turned diameter down to match that of the lathe and put in mill and drilled and tapped hole for clamp. Clamp keeps the plate from unscrewing when doing left hand threads.

Mounted plate and cut diameter to fit snugly in back counterbore of chuck so it runs perfectly true. Trued up face where chuck bolts up and the OD of plate and chamfered all sharp corners.
Here is the new chuck mounted and ready. The one on the bed is the original chuck. I will hang on to it. I can reinstall if I get rid of the lathe down the line. Doesn't eat anything.
Enough fun for one day. Picked up a pizza and chilled out for the night. Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Good choice

Volunteered to work today. Rain, tornado warnings, high winds, good call. Heard about the military show down town on the radio at work. Hit that after work. Lucked out and went in to work early, so I got out in time to see the show. Picked up a few odds and ends. It's always an interesting show. Lots of unusual items. They had an ambulance used in Vietnam on display, and for sale. The military jeep they had was really cool. The collectors have a variety of items for sale, and a bunch of stuff on display.

Tomorrow is suppose to be back to sunny and nice. Hitting up the flea market/antique show in the morning. Then, I want to finish mounting a bigger chuck on my lathe and work on mounting DRO. Need to wash the siding as well. Cut down a few dead trees along house, exposing moldy siding. Yard is starting to look great.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gorgeous day, and I am off.

Actually got a Saturday off, and it was a beautiful day. Started off with a nice long cruise in the Vette. Went over to a collector car dealer. He was showing a C2 vette in stock. Unfortunately, it was a 1973. Worst of all worlds. Still had the steel bumpers on the back, but had the plastic bumper up front, complete with three cracks all the way through. Worst one was right down the middle. It had the automatic, as the government standards did away with stick on the vette for a few years. It was a convertible, which was a big plus. Had it been a 72, she would have been awesome. He had a few classic cars on hand. A GTO clone, a 64 tempest convertible, a 73 cougar convertible, 70 buick skylark convertible, and two old time VW convertibles. My dad had a bug, and a van. Still can't figure out how any of us kids rode in the back seat of the bug. Been many, many years. He also had an old Bronco in great shape.

After cruising about, I tried out my new lawn edger. It is awesome. I was using an electric edger before. Cords were a real pain as I live on the corner and have a massive amount of sidewalk to edge. New edger, four cycle gas powered. It is awesome. I can do in fifteen minutes what was a couple hours before. The electric was slow going and being light weight, it was harder to get any depth on the cut. Added bonus, the new one has a curb adjustment. Didn't even notice it when I bought it. It is a four wheel unit, The two front wheels favor the center. The back right hand one pivots down at about four different height settings to match curb height. It also has an adjustment so you can go 45 degrees in either direction. I plan on doing that when the ground dries out a bit more. Going straight down was a little mucky, more rain on the way for tomorrow. Once the ground is fairly dry, I will angle cut it. to give it a trimmer look.

 After cleaning everything up, it was play time in the garage for a while. Got the lathe cleaned up. I also installed a couple of replacement parts. I got a new threading chart for it as the old one was completely illegible. Cleaned up the mill and got the vise back on it. Came up with a new floor plan to get a bit more room. I am going to try putting the mill up on the bench so I can put the powder coat oven where it resides now. I want to install the new display on the mill and start mounting the scales on the lathe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I ordered a cheapo phone charger off ebay for a tablet I picked up cheap. It has free shipping and says it should arrive no later than 4/12. Cool. I ordered it. Saturday came along and I checked. It was still in Florida. In three days time, it had traveled from one part of Florida to another part of Florida. Monday rolls around, I check, somehow, the post office figured that to get package from Florida to southern Indiana, it needed to go to Michigan. Some weird never before heard of town in Michigan. I checked again today, it is now in Detroit Michigan. I am not in a hurry as I have a charger that will somewhat work, but, I am just mystified at how they can sometimes get the shipping so utterly screwy on a package. Curious to see if it makes the west coast by tomorrow:)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lazy day.......

Didn't go to the shoot. Didn't do any more yard work. Did go cruising all the local twisty country back roads in the Vette most of the day. It was an awesome day. Top off, sun shining, seventy degrees. Perfect. I forget how well she hugs the road. Have to keep eyes peeled for deer at all times though. I played in the garage the rest of the day. Bought some micrometers really cheap last year. They were a bit crusty. I sprayed them with PB blaster last year and just let them soak. I was able to salvage all of them. A couple of them were completely locked up. They cleaned up very well. Wouldn't do for work, but, good enough for home. I need to take them to work so I can use the standards to adjust them. One inch micrometer up to six inch for sixty bucks. Three of them are Starretts, the other three were Slocumb. Never heard of the later, but the price was good. Had a bonus two inch craftsman mic in the mix.

Weather is suppose to go back to soggier than usual, so the Vette goes back on the rack for about a week. Got the plates in the mail and they are now installed on all the vehicles. Not ready to go back to work. Time off was fun but short.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

One more day of freedom

Almost time to go back to work. One week off and I still get two phone calls on work related matters. What part of on vacation do they not get? At least I know going in it is going to be a nastier than usual Monday. One machine has been down and I am fighting with the nimrods that supposedly serviced the control, which still doesn't work.  One of the other machines I run developed an ailment. Sounds like a bad rotary encoder. Just once I would love to go back to work and have all the equipment unmolested and working properly. I just hope nobody tried "fixing" anything as that usually creates more issues than it resolves.

Did get the last of the dead wood ripped out of the yard and cleaned up. I put some bird feeders up where the dead bush was by the living room window. Getting quite a variety out there, and a good view. Hoping on getting the hummingbirds back again this year. Lost a couple of the bushes they liked, but I placed some butterfly bushes close by along wit a feeder that should still help attract them.

Still waiting on a quote for the garage out back. May hit the club for the shoot tomorrow. Get some work hours in and see if I can get any leads on a concrete guy. Would like to get a foundation for the garage and a price on a small patio. Have pavers out there now, but would prefer a nice flat concrete pad. It was actually nice and sunny today and suppose to be more of the same tomorrow. Been an extremely wet nasty vacation weather wise. Suppose to be more of the same next week.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rich's garage's?

Been doing some searching and measuring while on vacation. Garage in back yard looks very doable. Hit a couple places and viewed some models. Would be nice to be able to park the Vette out back and be able to work in the main garage anytime I want without moving vehicles around. Would be nice in the winter as well. Be able to put the truck in the garage. The one I am looking at would allow me to get rid of the shed out back and use the back portion of the garage for lawn equipment. Running power out to it will be a pain, but I will manage.

Been getting a lot of indoor chores done during vacation. Seems I picked monsoon season for vacation. It hasn't missed a day as far as rain goes. Throw in a few tornado warnings for fun, and all is complete. Still better than working though.

Going to skip the machine gun shoot. With all the rain, parking is going to be muddy to say the least. I have a truck with 4 wheel drive, so that would not be an issue. It turns into an issue when you get stuck behind some little subcompact buried to the axles in the mud and they have to somehow get a tractor in ahead of you to tow said vehicle out of the way. They already said one of the local bridges got washed out. Theirs is intact for now.

Finally cleaned up the closets and took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and some old furniture to a consignment shop. Serviced all lawn equipment and got lawn mowed, fertilized, weed killer applied and some more dead bushes cut up and disposed of. One more dead bush to go, but that will happen tomorrow. Hard to believe vacation is almost over. Hopefully tomorrow will turn out nice and sunny as they are predicting. Like to hit the range at the club for a while.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The neighborhood ducks are back. They walk through the streets visiting different houses along the way. They took a dip in the little fish pond in my front yard and then decided to nap under the tree. Neighbors are pretty careful not to hit them. They walk down the road and you can drive right past them. There is a little man made pond of pretty good size a block over that they usually end their day in. It's pretty cool the way the two travel the little subdivision during the day though.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy 20 years anniversary to me...

Twenty years ago today, I started work for a machine shop building plastic injection molds. Twenty years later, I am still making and maintaining molds. Now they are injection, blow mold and thermoform molds.  I now work in our main shop in southern Indiana. A huge improvement over the Chicago plant. Lucked out and took the choice to relocate down here eight years ago as they shut the Chicago facility down completely last year. Hated to see it shut down as I knew a lot of people who worked there. The high taxes and other Chicago fees make it much more expensive to operate than other locations. They doubled the size of the main plant down here and absorbed most of the Chicago plant. I came down here when the absorbed the small machine shop where I worked. The shop down here is much bigger. I also enjoy CNC machining a lot more than all the manual work I did up north. Won't live long enough to get twenty in anywhere else. If I can make it four more years, I will get a fifth week of vacation and I will hit what they call the rule of eighty. When your age and your years of service equal eighty, you get four additional weeks of vacation you can use anytime you want. They roll over through the years until you use them up. May be tempted to try and take a whole month off. Pretend I am a democrat for a month. Only problem, I probably wouldn't want to go back.

It is vacation time. Can't decide between the machine gun shoot or, the NRA meeting in Nashville. I forgot about the NRA meeting. I was planning on getting a hotel room within walking distance and taking in some of the sites while there. Hank Jr. and Ted Nugent are putting on concerts this year.

Got the Vette cleaned up and the oil changed. Blew the cobwebs out of it. Was going to drive it today, but the rain started a day early. Need to detail the inside of the car. It is very dusty. Need to check brakes on the truck for more fun and excitement. Want to do some work on the Mustang as well.

Did get the digital readout box built for the mill. Still need to make a case for it, but the circuit is complete and I tested it out and it works flawlessly. Still have a few project boxes I picked up from radio shack before it closed. Picked up a whole slew of electronic components for pennies on the dollar as well.  Going to make another one for the lathe. Figure I can get the scales mounted on the lathe and the digital readouts installed. Looks great and it's really easy to build. Have to post some pictures as I set it up. Using my old cell phone for the display. If I can find a cheap tablet that has Bluetooth, it will become my new display. Running on Bluetooth, I can easily move the display between the mill and lathe as need requires.  Found a circuit diagram for building a tach that I can attach to the lathe that would display through the readout as well. Lathe has a pulley set up for changing speeds. Found a plan for converting to variable speed drive. When I convert the drive, the tach will be useful.

It's going to be great to be away from work for a while. Need some down time.