Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Sunday, February 28, 2010
I pressure washed them with a mild bleach solution and I'm good to go for another five.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
mounted a pad-eye in the ceiling for any future failure. Be prepared,
the boy scouts say.
Unable to find a replacement 20-gallon tank in a pinch, I decided to test the limits and try an 11-gallon model from Kuuma. So far so good, but I'm not sure back-to-back showers are possible, but the recovery time is very short.
The pump was not so much of a surprise, but unlike the water heater, it had increased in price about 50% to near $400. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me earlier, but I still had the Shurflo 120V RV pump (only $110) that I'd used to cobble together a water system in the trailer. I'd already ordered a replacement Grunfos MQ, but I decided to plumb-in the Shurflo as a backup.
I made up a sign describing the now 3 modes of operation and the correct
valve position for each: Normal (Grundfos), backup (Shurflo), gravity.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Closet doors installed. Drawer faces and one more set of doors to go.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
"I could hardly lift it when I thought it was 60 pounds. I'll never be able to lift it now," I reply.
The whole thing is secured to the base with bolts using the existing threaded feet sockets in the table legs.
Completed I've turned a $27 stand into a $125 monument to planing.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I don't say this for my case alone. I don't just have a lemon, a one-off, poorly built example of an otherwise fine product. No, I have a product where the quality was designed out. I know because the online forums are full of complaints, fixes and workarounds. Living in the country, I need a reliable vehicle; I didn't reaalize I'd have to build it myself. Here are the 3 big fixes:
The crankcase ventilation system (CCV) spews oil and sludge back into the engine, instead of just gasses, eventually fouling important components. After learning how to fix this, I did my own write-up here.
Although wired for one, the CRD does not have a "lift pump" installed in the tank. The system relies on suction alone to get fuel to the injection system. This invariable leads to air in the system requiring frequent bleeds. My write-up on that fix here.
But worse, the fuel heater is at the high point of the fuel system. Air collects there and the heater, designed to be cooled by a bath of fuel, overheats and leaks. I was awaiting my lift pump when I inspected my heater and found fuel leaking from the electrical socket. This necessitated an emergency fuel head replacement with a RACOR unit. The fix for that here.
Because another work-around causes the check engine light to come on
I have now installed an engine diagnostic scanner on the dashboard.
A few months or so after completing all these fixes I was driving home late one night when the Jeep starts to buck and falter. A visual inspection and the scanner show nothing. But, it's so concerning that I stay overnight in Vernonia and have the car towed to the dealer the next morning rather than risk driving home.
The tow truck drivers rig is right out of Madd Max. Inteior panels are missing, bare wires stick out of the dash, and the cab is littered with all manner of detritus. But, the driver has a glowing blue, wireless headseat in his ear, GPS and satellite radio.
This failure would have been the last straw, but the dealer could find no trouble and in the end we concluded that it was a bad quarter tank of fuel I'd topped off with that evening.
Since then the Jeep runs like a top.
Next I painted the cast housing black. I cleaned and repaired all the interior parts, including fabricating a clear, Lexan disk to keep one from being able to put one's fingers right up into the socket.
I used 1-1/4" EMT tubing to make the stand, wiring a small toggle switch in on the vertical. The base is fabricated from two pieces of 3/4" ply. In keeping with its industrial look, heavy guage SO electrical cable is used.
The bulb had to be very short so as not to hang below the shade. I ended up with a compact 40W spot which casts an intense, narrow, warm beam. Good for reading
The center unit is built from old cedar and uses only pegs to hold it together; no screws or nails. It is designed to load wood in the top, but be able to pull wood out from the front once it is in the organizer. It can be loaded into the organizer from front or back.
The drawer holds the kindling and matches.
The idea was to span the necessary gap to the stove with a slate countertop. But to line them up, I'd finally have to replace the bricks the stove had been sitting on since day one with adjustable feet.
I didn't have a good place to put the length of rusty, old chain that every farmer uses to drag stumps, pull things over and move dead animals. The strength of the chain is never known, but it is assumed to be strong enough for any task. It's also awkward and dangerous. I used to keep it in the footwell, but it would snake down and threaten to get caught in the undercarriage. This $5 crab-bait holder (lid removed) is near perfect.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Here’s a photo shot by my neighbor of the house while I was gone. The skylights are invisible and the vent pipe is just showing its top. About 18” of snow or a total weight on the roof of between 4 and 7 tons.
No skylights and vent tube barely visible. [photo: JB]
In an effort to melt off the snow, I put my two electric heaters in that room on full, the hot air naturally rising to the highest point, the watertight collar fitted around the chimney pipe. This has little effect and by the afternoon the chimney is bent at 45 deg.; the snow starting to roll over it in an agonizingly slow motion frozen wave. From the inside the silicone seal is distended to the point that daylight shines throug
Neighbors wondered why I didn’t have any guy-wire supports. I’d had them removed the prior year as they had slid down the roof ridges to which they had been secured and even so the chimney had never moved a single degree. But two things were different this year. The volume of snow; about 24 inches, and the fact that without power or someone to tend a fire the snow just sat. Sat accumulating rain, and compressing under numerous freeze-thaw cycles.No true disaster had befallen me yet, but disaster loomed. How would the chimney situation resolve itself? With a violent release of pressure or ripped off in an avalanche of mass movement of the snow pack or just quietly melt away? Fortunately the forecast is for warmer, wet weather.
I begin to prepare by evacuating the room as in any event removal of part of the chimney was going to be messy. I then start to brace the chimney in preparation for possibly pulling it down myself from the inside.
Late in the day I sit on the sofa and contemplated the precariousness of my situation. I am now relying on electric heat. A storm is coming and outages seem unavoidable. I calculated that my battery backup will last only a day if I have to power a heater.As if on cue, the lights flicker and die. Power is out. I lay down on the couch and sleep. It is very, very quiet.
Mercifully the power is restored in 3 hours.Tuesday is spent watching the ice and snow melt imperceptibly on the roof. I had devised a plan to lower the bent chimney part into the house, remove it, replace the 48” section with a 24” one and push it back up. But to even attempt it I need the pressure off the pipe, meaning the snow has to melt.
New Year’s Eve morning finds little change inspite of above freezing temperatures. I spend the night monitoring the situation. The forecast is for heavy rain and high winds. We are on flood watch. The phone works.New Year’s Day. Raining and the snow is melting away. Just as I start to contemplate a difficult repair from inside the house the cavalry arrives; my roof guy and help show up and the are ready and willing to get on the roof right now. 3 hours later I’ve got fire again.
The cavalry arrives.
Happy New Year