what mechanical works are you doing now that you are locked in your house

Gransin

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Todays mechanical addition

DOH...yes really. Over the Winter I bought an old Suzuki 92 Quad Runner 300.. delivered it to the island over the ice and hope to use it to do stuff I am too old and feeble to do with limited Muscle. Move rocks, haul wood, pull stuff with the winch. So this Spring when the ice melted and before lockdown, I Kayaked over to check the place over (And go for a spin) I had removed the battery and put it on a tender. So when I got there spent the night, got up early and put the battery in. All I got was a spinning sound, no engine turn over. At this point I was cursing myself for buying an old one, and a lot of stuff looks worn out on this 92' Wiring needs attention, etc, but it seemed to at least run well and go through the gears nicely. I really didn't spend too much time assessing it's condition as I had missed out on a lot of local deals I had been following.
So anyway I tried the pull starter and it worked first or second pull. Happy again. Drove it around through the snow, ran it through the gears. Started and stopped it a few times. Well then it would not start. No matter how I pulled. It also was very difficult to pull over. So it was stuck there, under a tarp till yesterday when I got back to the island. I have read up on how much has to come apart to get to the suspected starter clutch (A lot) Tried pull starting it with starting fluid this time....no luck. Then I saw the battery. The start button still turns over the starter motor....but what is this? Battery hooked up ass backwards!! Switched it around, turns over and starts instantly. Wonder if I fried the Stator? This time outdoors has caused the shift linkage to become stiff, so it only goes in gear after pulling up then pushing down a bit....but it is running and at this point I am stoked to make it better, clean off the rust, Lube everything, set up things correctly, and get that trailer and move wood. I'm impressed it survived that level of stupidity and actually ran for a while. I'm making a habit of this.
Didn't realize that the bigger Suzuki ATVs from early 90 looked pretty similar to the smaller ones, I only noticed because I just bought a nice -91 Suzuki LT50 for my son.

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JayWltrs

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@Nicad and @bfeng,

I have only used TIG on steel. I had a few requirements. I want a tig because it is ve try quiet and doesn’t throw sparks. Sparks burn my epoxy floor. I also really like the bead that TIG lays. They aren’t great for body work because they are slow and require footwork. So my requirement was a thumb control. This cheap TIG only has an on/off without flow. I spent another $150 on a nice flow meter. Fortunately the gauge of my material will be constant and a fixed thumb control should be adequate. I also wanted high frequency so I didn’t have to scratch start. I do plan to weld aluminum in the future so I wanted an AC/DC tig. Otherwise I would have purchased the Harbor Freight Vulcan 165 two years ago.

My mig is a terrible flux core that I totally abuse. The tig came with an extra tank so I’ll likely pickup a low-end blue or red mig. I’m honestly pretty sloppy with Mig, even with a good machine. I have a lot of time on my POS buzz box but you will never get great welds from a cheap 110v flux core.

This HF TIG is on sale for $899 through June (coupon online). I personally think it is the best Tig money can buy. HF completely ripped off Miller with the Tig 200. They took it down for a year, made some Chinese interpretations of the patent, and released the 205. In reality we should all be buying American welders right now but I don’t have $2,500+ to spend.


I picked up this mine for $450 with two tanks, thumb control, and some consumables. I figured even if the welder craps out I’ll have a head start on the collateral bits.
That's a super great deal. Does it have air or water cooling capability? I only ask b/c the lead looks pretty thick compared to the ones I've used. That's one of the things that's held me back is I battled heat on the red ones I was using at the union shop, and I'd really like to get something water or air-flow cooled. Not to mention it didn't have HF start, and I destroyed a lot of tungsten & even wore out the tungsten grinder (which I replaced for them b/c I felt bad about depriving the inmate class that shared the space).

I'm still surviving with the Harbor Freight 175 Mig that lets you add a bottle & has a whopping 4 amp-control buttons--I picked it up from an aircraft hangar sale for $100. I find the flux worthless w/o a perfectly clean surface and brand new wire, even then it is super challenging & messy. I could only make flux work on thickest wire and highest setting and giving it extra time to let the pool build, so it was useless on anything thin. But add a bottle & get the settings right, its better than I thought. The suggestions on gas, wirespeed, and settings on the unit are rubbish, and you have to perform voodoo on the wire tension & gas flow to get it dialed in, but it has done well enough to hold off on another purchase for a while. Buddy wants me to buy his ESAB multiprocess welder, which would be super cool, but I'm too cheap to spend $2500 on a welder.
 

bfeng

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Those are excellent ideas, but do not take care of the dishwasher, washing machine etc, which you have to cycle anti freeze through. The last plumber's assistant who showed up said some of these fancy cottages have very elaborate washing machines and fridges that they scratch their head trying to figure out how to get the computer to turn them on. I am actually OK with what happened, as I think I know pretty well all the plumbing now. Hopefully never phone that Plumber again. Those Sharkbite push on connectors that can hook up copper or Pex make a lot of sense. If starting over I'd run plastic as it can take some degree of freezing. Already looking forward to next Spring!
Nobody can beat you for cool but challenging lifestyle.

Too hard for me.

John
 

Markos

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That's a super great deal. Does it have air or water cooling capability? I only ask b/c the lead looks pretty thick compared to the ones I've used. That's one of the things that's held me back is I battled heat on the red ones I was using at the union shop, and I'd really like to get something water or air-flow cooled. Not to mention it didn't have HF start, and I destroyed a lot of tungsten & even wore out the tungsten grinder (which I replaced for them b/c I felt bad about depriving the inmate class that shared the space).
Not sure about the Harbor Freight Unit. I see a lot of miller water coolers for around $400 on CL. Since I’m mostly doing sheetmetal work I figure I will need to let the metal cool anyway. Will not more soon! :D
 

Markos

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Need to be able to do something fun this summer. I picked up an inexpensive “tiny” ‘91 coleman popup. Canvas from 2017. Also comes with new tires, wheel bearings, and inverter. Furnace functions well also, and most importantly it was stored inside and is very dry. Most PNW trailers are soggy and full of mildew.

I’m going to refresh the interior and exterior. I’m pulling the cabinetry on the inside and will redo the floors, cushions, and countertops. Not much reconfiguration but I’m going to add a fridge. Exterior will bet a durabak spray and modern look. LED lighting inside and out.

Unlike my car project this will go as quick as the constant home projects. I’ll post the after picks this summer.

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Before I begin I am making a parking pad behind my shed. Ground was leveled a few weeks ago. I have four yards of “quarter minus” in my driveway to bed the pavers. I won’t use that much but have other projects that require gravel. Pavers recycled from the other side of my yard. I removed them when I built a deck a few years back.

I replaced that fence post without the cap. What a pain with concrete 24” deep. I chiseled that one out by hand. That corner of the fence was power washed needs to be stained also. Six garbage cans and a tarp of dirt. 2,000lbs to be precise. It cost $100 to dispose plus the trailer rental.

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Edit: These blocks are such a pain in the rear. I’m happy to be putting them to use but I wouldn’t wish them upon my worst enemy. I don’t much like laying down pavers but it’s coming along. Looks like I’m still going to have pavers and wall blocks left over. I wouldn’t use either type of block if I didn’t have them already. Came with the house and looked awful.

Looks crooked because of the fence but rest assured it is level. I didn’t build in a grade. The pavers have built in spacers that force a gap, one of the reasons why they don’t look good IMO. Happy that this will be covered by a tent trailer...

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vince

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Need to be able to do something fun this summer. I picked up an inexpensive “tiny” ‘91 coleman popup. Canvas from 2017. Also comes with new tires, wheel bearings, and inverter. Furnace functions well also, and most importantly it was stored inside and is very dry. Most PNW trailers are soggy and full of mildew.

I’m going to refresh the interior and exterior. I’m pulling the cabinetry on the inside and will redo the floors, cushions, and countertops. Not much reconfiguration but I’m going to add a fridge. Exterior will bet a durabak spray and modern look. LED lighting inside and out.

Unlike my car project this will go as quick as the constant home projects. I’ll post the after picks this summer.

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Before I begin I am making a parking pad behind my shed. Ground was leveled a few weeks ago. I have four yards of “quarter minus” in my driveway to bed the pavers. I won’t use that much but have other projects that require gravel. Pavers recycled from the other side of my yard. I removed them when I built a deck a few years back.

I replaced that fence post without the cap. What a pain with concrete 24” deep. I chiseled that one out by hand. That corner of the fence was power washed needs to be stained also. Six garbage cans and a tarp of dirt. 2,000lbs to be precise. It cost $100 to dispose plus the trailer rental.

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Markos, that popup is awesome!
 

JayWltrs

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Finally got this old boat anchor plasma cutter running somewhat consistently. Was about to put it on the curb, but gave it one more go w new consumables, dehy filter, and plug end & cleaning out the internal air line & electrical connections I could get to. The set-up, run, cut sequence is a MacGyver bomb-defusing scene with some voodoo chants thrown in. But it shocked me and cut through 3/8” plate like butter.

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vince

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Before all of this started, I worked from home probably half of the time anyway and I'm pretty lucky to have a nice home office. My wife received a promotion right before all of this went down. With her new job, she wouldn't go into the office as much. Now, we're both full time out of our house. She set her desk up in our family room on a card table. Anytime she'd type on her keyboard the whole thing would move. She needed something better so I built her this by rearranging a built in that didn't add much to the room. I learned a couple new tricks on splicing in carpet and I can't believe how close I got to the original stain color of the wood.

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Markos

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Before all of this started, I worked from home probably half of the time anyway and I'm pretty lucky to have a nice home office. My wife received a promotion right before all of this went down. With her new job, she wouldn't go into the office as much. Now, we're both full time out of our house. She set her desk up in our family room on a card table. Anytime she'd type on her keyboard the whole thing would move. She needed something better so I built her this by rearranging a built in that didn't add much to the room. I learned a couple new tricks on splicing in carpet and I can't believe how close I got to the original stain color of the wood.
Wow nice job! Later this summer I’m going to take the walls down on my storage room in the basement, and replace it with a shallow closet the runs the length of the wall with some barn doors. One problem was the tiny window in the storage room. The solution is a built-in with a desk and some shelving. My office is currently the couch and I suspect I’ll be WFH until 2021. I wish my office setup was as nice as @HB Chris :)
 
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