the nuts-and-bolts of life (or, waste naught, want naught)

As mundane a task this is, I’m sorting through Father’s bizarre method of consumable hardware storage.  He, presumably like most of the population, just threw a machine screw, washer, or nut into a coffee can until which time, days, months, or years later, he would fish through the container to find the right size, material, thread type, and grade of hardware.

My way of dealing with his legacy is “fixing” it.  No, I don’t mean that in a terrible way.  Just that, to gain independence from our parents, we have to sort through stuff and make determinations of what they want to keep or abandon of the legacy left to them.  This is not just physical things, but ideals, habits, beliefs, etc.

My belief is that I should walk up to a container of organized smaller containers that are organized further until they become unique and usable items.  I should be able to stretch out my arm, read a label (mach 1/4″ med or quarter-inch, medium thread machine screws) and pick the length I want.  In the same bin, I want to pick a nut that is the right size to fit it.

I do not want to sit there in a shop, dump a bucket of rusted shit onto a table, and sort through it all to find that something doesn’t exist.  That’s horse shit.  As Trevan Wong would say, Remember the Seven Ps – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

So, this is my statement to the Old Man – thanks for leaving your shit for me to clean up.  I will continue to be my father’s son and do those duties.  The Book itself says to honour your parents.  And that’s damn well what I’m going to do!  This is my version of it.

CNC birdhouse #1

This is the first CNC-cut birdhouse as well as the first 3D object created with AutoCAD Civil 3D and cut on the CNC.  Many mistakes!  But it’s a learning experience.  I know I’d likely not use AutoCAD again.

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garage thermostat

It seems ‘cloud-connected’ thermostats are all the rage these days.  Google doesn’t own enough personal information – they want to dissect how we heat our homes, too.  I went to Rona, Canadian Tire, Lowe’s, & Home Depot to find a manual thermostat suitable for the garage – that is, one that goes down to zero degrees.  Finding one that goes that low is not as easy as it sounds.  They’re all made for the insides of homes and only go down to 10°C at best.  I absolutely don’t want to keep the garage at a toasty 15°C in the dead of winter – just keep it above zero.

I finally one at Home Depot.  It’s made for electric baseboard heaters, overkill for this application, but it goes down to 0°C.  Now I see that Canadian Tire has the same one, but I dismissed it at the time because I didn’t know if a baseboard heating thermostat would be compatible with a forced-air type.

Yes, you can use a baseboard heater thermostat to drive a forced-air furnace but not the other way around.  The line voltage on a baseboard heater thermostat in North America is 240VAC/60Hz or sometimes 120VAC.  A forced-air furnace thermostat line voltage is 24VDC, I think, and does not handle any significant load – just a basic on-off thing to trigger a relay switch in the furnace.

So now I have a garage that will not freeze and will be nice enough to work in during the bitter, cold months.

teardrop 1 electrical panel

The electrical panel is now in.  It somewhat mimics the Sprite’s panel.  It includes a two-way radio (11- & 10-metre band SSB), a stereo with CD player, a solar charge controller with volt & amp display, a 120VAC GFCI plug (15 amperes), a 12VDC / USB plug, and four lighted, coloured switches (for the cooler, water pump, cabinetry lights, and galley lights).  All the electrical guts of the trailer will be directly behind that, accessible through the berth via a sliding panel.

It have started calling it teardrop 1 as it is the first one being built.  I thought of giving it a name but later thought otherwise.

putting up walls (or, ups and downs)

I’ve completed the walls for the latest project, the teardrop trailer.  Unfortunately, I broke a jigsaw blade and had to go buy some more.  Fortunately, the shop is close.  Unfortunately, those little suckers are expensive.  Fortunately, I get AirMiles.  Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to use my AirMiles – just keep collecting them.  Fortunately, however, all my AirMiles points are toward cash value from now on instead of travel / merchandise.  Life is full of ups and downs.

Uniden PC-122

I won an auction for a Uniden PC-122 CB/SSB radio.  This is the same radio as the Radio Shack TRC-465.  It’s a solid little radio.  I am thinking that MV can use it when we travel together.  We’re always fighting with battery power and range with some 2-way radios that we have.

For those who don’t know, SSB (Super Side Band, or just Sideband) radio is a type of radio signal that has no carrier wave but sends a signal through pure modulation.  Eh?  Read up if you want.  These radios operate on the same frequencies as regular CB radios, either just above (Upper Side Band) or just below (Lower Side Band).  The upside of SSB is increased range.  The downside is that the receiver cannot lock on to any carrier wave but must adjust their receiving modulation up or down to hone in on the signal.

trailer, bought and returned

I shocked myself yesterday.  I bought a 5×8 folding trailer.  See campers.allansplace.ca.  If you read this already, you’ll see I returned it this morning.  Two reasons:  They wouldn’t take delivery from their factories until the end of November; and it was too expensive, not only to purchase it but to purchase materials to build it.  I will look for a 4×8 trailer.