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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Monday, September 29, 2014

Hand Plane rant (sort of)

Not the blade in question...just there for a picture.
So, someone brings me a hand plane. They say they lent it out and it got dinged. Included in the story is "I've been using hand planes since I was a kid." This brings up a few things:

Ok...if you know how to use a hand plane, why can't you sharpen it yourself?
If you had used the plane before...why are the factory grind marks on the blade?
The plane is 15-20 years old, hasn't been all that well cared for...and you're blaming it on the guy you lent it to? I know what patina is. I can tell a paint stain from last month from one that's 10 years old.

Anywho, I take the plane apart, give it a once over. Checked for flat...not flat...flattened it. Then I took the blade and sharpened it. I could tell that this was the first time the blade had ever been sharpened. The patina is a dead giveaway that this is the original blade.
I only took the blade up to a 4000 grit edge. I could have gone to 8000, but I knew that the user would never appreciate the difference. Reassemble the plane, test shaving, cuts nice.

Here's the best part. I give the plane back to the owner. I removed the blade and showed him the edge. He looks at it disapprovingly, runs it up his arm and shaves a few hairs...frowns...and says, "I guess that'll do."

YOU GUESS??? WTF? Someone who wouldn't know a sharpening stone from a rock on the beach wants to criticize the edge I just handed him?

Needless to say, the blade nearly became a piece of evidence at the police station, but I held my temper.

The moral of the story? Admit when you don't know about something. It's ok. People won't look down on you. I have a hell of a lot more respect for someone who admits ignorance on a topic than someone who tries to fake knowing everything.

(also, if I've seen the butcher job on a knife you've sharpened, telling me you know about sharp plane irons won't work)

I just had to let that rant out.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Engine Mounting Hardware

The new frame for the Organ Donor uses later style front engine mounts. Older style mounts were integral to the frame, and motor dropped into them. Basically, just a pair of tabs welded to the frame.

The later frames had stud bosses in the frame and separate plates for the mounts. This is a better design in my mind, because it allows for easier installation of the engine. Instead of buying a set of studs and plates, I elected to make them.

Across the top is the lower engine mounting stud. This goes below the engine and spans the frame. It is about 7" long. The two plates and three shorter studs make up the front mount.

Headlamps: LED vs Halogen

One of the most important pieces of equipment on a bike is the headlamp. Even more critical than being able to see at night, is being seen by others at all times.

The trouble with most headlamps is that they are power hogs. The new headlamp that I installed on my chopper this year is a 55/65 Watt Halogen. The alternator only puts out 180 Watts at full tilt. That means, that I am using a third of my alternator just to run the headlamp. In the past I have run LED's in the tail lamp. In that case, I can take a 15 Watt drain, and bring it down to a fraction of a Watt (about .12W). I had an LED headlamp for some time, but after many surgeries, it was no longer practical to continue messing with. Hence my new Halogen.

After a little searching, I found an LED replacement bulb for the H4 type that was in my new lamp. The only downside is that I no longer have a hi-lo. When I thought about it, it occurred to me how little I use the hi-beam. The new LED bulb consumes about 5 Watts. About 10 percent of the original.

Time for some testing, what have I got to lose besides $15 and a half hour of my time...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Triumph Axles, pt.3

While making my rear axle, I decided that I didn't like the look of the stock nuts. With the addition of the spacer and adjuster, they looked a little odd.

Spacers. I milled them to have keys that lock to the frame. This way the adjusting flat always faces forward...and they look trick too.