For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Triumph Cylinder Head

During the tragic valve/piston integration incident, my cylinder head got really tore up. The left side combustion chamber got chewed hard core. That's what happens when you throw valves. So, I had two spare heads, I sent one along with my other parts during the whole Let's-Rip-Mark-Off-Fest...and interestingly enough never got it back. I have my suspicions about that. I think it got rebuilt and sent to another customer. Evidence? No...but he said it was ready to run about a week before telling me it couldn't be repaired.
When it became apparent that I was getting hosed, I got hooked up with Phil Wyatt (thank you, Adam). Phil took what was otherwise a chunk of scrap aluminum and turned it into a gorgeous functioning part. Phil charged me $600 to do some pretty extensive work. About half of what my previous source was trying to charge me for half the amount of work!

Valve go BOOM! The intake valve clattered around in there and did its best to destroy my head. For most of us, this is unrepairable. On the bright side, there are a few good Triumph head guys out there that can actually salvage it. We may be looking into that for the next engine. For now, this head is shelved.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

back in time...

I spent a chunk of my morning pulling pictures off of my old computer, and got sidelined into viewing hundreds of pics from the last couple of years. Thanks to digital cameras, we no longer have to share mischief and mayhem with the kid at the photo place...honestly, it would ruin their life (no need to worry, I'll try not to share any of those pictures)

ahhhh...when I first met LaCucaracha. This machine ruined my life, and I've been happy ever since. A throw back to a bygone era of chinchilla fur and guys wearing daisy-dukes.
This is from the day we fired her up the first time. I didn't even have a side stand on the bike yet...which is why there's a 4x4 underneath. I had a Honda Nighthawk front end, and had to stretch the stem out in order to make it fit. Don't try that at home unless you really trust your welding abilities!


It's spring time, when a young man's mind turns to thoughts of gasoline fumes, burning tires, and all things horsepower. At this moment, the lower half of my chopper's engine is out for grinding and balancing. It's a waiting game. I ordered some brandy new Crower rods for my girl, and they had to make 'em since they are not always in stock. Add to that a Morgo 750cc big bore kit, some Johnson cams, and a head from Phil Wyatt, and you've got yourself a hot rod. Every bit has been worth the wait.

Light Sweet Crude.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Change in focus? Flour and horsepower?

You might notice, in the time to come, that the focus here at the Monastery is going to change a bit. Let's face it, on my list of priorities, woodworking is third. In front of it are bikes and baking, my other two interests. None of these three hobbies are cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. They are all very time consuming as well. As such, most of my resources go to the first two.
I only have a couple woodworking projects on the slate, maybe two or three.
Baking? Well...I bake something at least once a week. Boredom with the ordinary has driven me into more advanced stuff. Cheesecakes are easy-peasy. Pastries are the hard stuff.
Bikes? LOML is a 67 Triumph chopper. Been with that machine for several years now. She's getting a new engine as we speak. I also have a new (to me) Aprilia RSVR 1000 Factory (135 horsepower, say it with me...). I plan to spend a lot of time with both.
Machine tools have become part of my interest in bikes. I first got into machining in high school. Mills and lathes come in handy for building custom bikes. I've renewed my interest there.
Woodworking has to take a back seat. That's not to say that I'm selling my tools, far from it. You're just not going to see as much of it going on.

Anywho, here's to flour and horsepower!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Glue sniffing horsepower freakazoids...

Are you into horsepower? Sniffing glue? Mayhem? Vans? General kookiness? If you are, then you need to check out my good friend and shopmate at  The House of Heavy Horsepower. See the link to your right. If you are not into any of the above, everything I just said.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Lathe

Picked up a new machine yesterday. A South Bend lathe. Case of beer for payment, can't beat that, even for a basket case. Pre-1947 Going to see how deep of a restoration I can do. More to come...