Monday, January 22, 2018

Bicycle Stem Repair 3

Previously on Scrap Attack:
We built this stem upgrade which cracked after 9 months of use
Building the stem upgrade
Then, repaired it with a second tube
Repairing stem upgrade the first time
And now:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Foundry: Melting a Honda Engine Head (Video)

One day I was riding by and found some junk on the side of the road including various parts of a Honda 4 cylinder engine.  I decided to take them since I had my new upgraded bike basket which easily fit it all, and why would I pass up the single largest piece of scrap aluminum I'd ever found on the side of the road? (alright, maybe I'm not counting the time I found a car wheel next to the dumpster)
Instead of trying to disassemble all the valves and springs on the engine head and trying to cut it up into crucible sized chunks, I decided I'd just melt it directly in the furnace and let the molten aluminum drip out the bottom into some metal trays lined with sand.  What better way to kick off the foundry season then with some scrap downsizing? Here's the video of the melt in real time:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Rye Stout #4 Bottling

I bottled the latest Rye Stout in 2 different lots, one of them on Nov 29, and the other on Dec 2. The final gravity and ABV respectively were 1.013 and 5.7%. Altogether I was able to bottle a little over 50 12 oz bottles from this batch.

Monday, January 1, 2018

L.A. Eco Village Tour

As it comes time to think about where I want to live after college, one option that was introduced to me was the concept of an intentional community.  This sounded very appealing since it would involve living among people who share similar ideals to myself.  Additionally, it would solve the problem of finding a place to house my metalworking equipment, and also give the opportunity to share my skills.
I was invited to tour the Eco Village in Los Angeles as part of the Food Justice Club at my school.  This particular community occupies a block in west L.A. with several buildings and plans to expand.
I arrived with expectations of seeing something like the hippie communes in the '60s.  This was nothing like that, but rather a well established organization with a powerful presence in the city.  While my descriptions fail to catch all the details, it's basically a collection of apartments bought out and organized into a community living arrangement with emphasis on environmental sustainability and cooperation.  Tenants pay rent and can be involved in various committees to manage the different areas in the organization.  They have community dinners and events, and host tours to the public monthly for a small donation.  I figured I'd get my money's worth and make a blog post out of it!
Let's check out the place: Here's the front of the main building.