Thursday, September 21, 2017

Scrap Alchemy Prevails! New Foundry Sand Sieve

I had been planning to build a new sieve for my foundry sand, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it got delayed again. The first sieve I made was just some very thin plastic with a window screen stapled on it, but the plastic disintegrated.  The 2nd one was a metal one I bought at a garage sale for $1, but the holes were too small to let sand through at any decent rate.  I was planning to use some 1/4" chicken wire connected to a wooden hoop, but imagine my surprise when I found this on the side of the street 4 days later:
Hey, what's that?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

DO NOT EAT THIS PLANT!!!! (Castor Bean Poisoning Story)

DO NOT EAT THIS PLANT DO NOT EAT THIS PLANT DO NOT EAT IT DID I MENTION DO NOT EAT THIS?
I had seen this plant for years, growing just about everywhere they don't use lawn mowers.  It seemed logical that if they were letting this plant grow so commonly, that it couldn't possibly be harmful, and if it were, somebody clearly would've told me by now.  No words could've ever been so untrue.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Trip to Portland

Around this time last year, I went on a trip to Portland.  It was about time, I was finally able to see the city everybody's been telling me I should move to.  While the city's motto is "Keep Portland Weird", I was surprised to find that this was easily the most normal city I'd ever been to.  I arrived with the expectation of a city full of hippies, with farmers' markets on every street all day and lots of guys obsessed with craft beer, handlebar mustaches and riding fixies... For better or for worse, my expectations fell far short.  I cannot stress how much of a regular city this is.
satellite view of portland downtown

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vineyard Relocated and Wine Progress

I was able to get my vineyard relocated to my new place. Thankfully, since I harvested a few weeks ago, I didn't have to worry about grapes falling off. Nearly all the vines had rooted from their container into the soil. No wonder they were always doing so well.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Taking Apart a Refrigerator Compressor

One day I was watching a Huell Howser episode on refrigerator recycling.  I was curious about the compressor part for two reasons; 1. I was considering building another bicycle powered compressor for a full fledged bicycle foundry vegetable oil burner, and 2. I'd read during a research project that they use permanent magnet brushless motors in applications like this and wanted to build a generator with them (also bicycle powered of course). 
Immediately after watching the episode, I went for a walk and conveniently, found a refrigerator next to the dumpster.  I jumped at this amazingly obvious scrap alchemy opportunity.  I noticed somebody else had already cut the copper pipes that would contain the freon, so I was already exempt from having to deal with that issue.  I went out with some tools and within a matter of 10 minutes had taken off the compressor and also the cooling fan.
Let's take it apart!