tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-75560504653852474702020-03-13T06:32:51.243-07:00Bob Hoover's BlogFlying, homebuilt airplanes, working with wood, riveted aluminum, welded steel tubing, fabric, dope and common sense. Gunsmithing, amateur radio, astronomy and auto mechanics at the practical level. Roaming the west in an old VW bus. Prospecting, ghost towns and abandoned air fields. Cooking, fishing, camping and raising kids.Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.comBlogger358125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-62085198590983539602010-08-15T11:06:00.000-07:002010-08-15T11:11:09.465-07:00It is my sad duty to tell all of you who read Bob's blog that Bob passed away this past Friday, August 13. How much he will be missed is incalcuable. Thank you all for all the support you have given him. I'm his wife. He was a great man.Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-37779181630818185502010-06-19T11:15:00.000-07:002010-06-20T09:28:04.776-07:00Thinking SmallTo All:<br /><br />Some days ago I posted a short message to this blog to which a number of you responded. Alas, in most cases the response was not a good match for the topic, in that most of the responses dealt with other subjects. Indeed, the majority dealt with the use of wood from the lumber yard as opposed to Spruce from an aircraft materials supplier, and the general theme was that I should <span style="font-style: italic;">not</span> encourage people to build their airplanes out of scrap lumber.<br /><br />Which is good advice.<br /><br />But the use of scrap lumber is justified when you are trying to learn how to set up your saw, or fit pieces into a jig, or nailing those pieces together to form a side of the fuselage. Indeed, it is important for you to consider scrap lumber as a valuable <span style="font-style: italic;">too</span>l.<br /><br />As a point of interest this method of fabrication is known as the de Havilland Method. That is, side-frames are fabricated in a jig to ensure their accuracy. The side-frames are then plated with plywood to provide shear strength, then a left &amp; right side-frame is assembled to form the 'box' of the fuselage.<br /><br />You can expect the typical fuselage to be from twelve to 20 feet in length and one of the trickier bits is to ensure the side-frames are perfectly parallel to each other. That is, that they form a perfect square or other figure the designer may have called out. And to hold the sides square you are going to need lots of scrap sticks and pneumatically-driven pins.<br /><br />This is also a good time to check the alignment of your gluing, in that once it is stapled or pinned it's not going anywhere.<br /><br />The product of your labor is a <span style="font-style: italic;">copy</span> of the real fuselage. Add some utility wheels to give the thing mobility and use it as your test module for the other fabrication steps. Of course, the copy is fabricated from materials obtained at the local lumber yard. Which brings us back to the question of Sitka Spruce versus just about anything else.<br /><br />What we keep running into here is the <span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;">ASSUMPTION</span> that 'aviation-grade' lumber automatically means Sitka Spruce. It doesn't. Indeed, more than two dozen woods have been identified as suitable for aircraft construction.<br /><br />-Bob HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-32411265079271968212010-06-13T12:01:00.000-07:002010-06-13T14:15:36.912-07:00Staying AliveDear Friends,<br /><br />For those of you having an interest in my my health, I am doing extremely well. I believe I am doing equally well with regard to the little airplane toward which I have been devoting my spare time. Of the two topics I prefer to focus on the airplane. For those of you having a more specific interest in my cancer, please contact me directly at doyleshoover@yahoo.com. Personally, I've more interest in aviation than cancer for the simple reason that I seem to be able to make more progress with the airplane than with the cancer.<br /><br />---------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />Those of you who have attempted fabrication of some of Chugger's components have discovered that the fuselage is divided into three sub-sections, allowing you to work on the controls. firewall, wing pylon, cockpit and tail-wheel <span style="font-style: italic;">without </span>getting involved in the other sections.<br /><br />-Bob HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-4900506878468093512010-02-17T15:18:00.000-08:002010-03-31T10:49:30.650-07:00Casting Lead Bullets<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38FXq4xOhI/AAAAAAAABow/DQvg7FDMbR8/s1600-h/LEAD+SMELTER.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38FXq4xOhI/AAAAAAAABow/DQvg7FDMbR8/s320/LEAD+SMELTER.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5440072779094374930" border="0" /></a><br />17 February 2010<br /><br />First, a bit of background.<br /><br />For a given distance from the center of the Earth, the attraction of gravity is virtually constant. If we use the surface of the sea as that distance, the force of gravity will be the same at Bombay, San Francisco or Narvik. There's some minor anomalies here &amp; there -- there are a few crazy places on our planet where water actually does flow uphill -- but for all practical purposes we think of gravity as constant because it usually is.<br /><br />If you raised a mass some distance above that surface then released it, it would take a certain amount of time to fall to earth. In fact, even if you threw the mass from you it would still fall to earth in the same amount of time, so long as your throw was perfectly horizontal. (If your throw happened to be slightly upwards then the object would take slightly longer to reach the earth.) Indeed, rather than simply dropping or throwing the object, let's say you hurled the object from you as fast as a speeding bullet or a rocket ship, the same rule applies: the object will take the same amount of time to reach the surface, the only difference being how far it travels before touching the ground.<br /><br />I've mentioned this here because understanding the gravitational constant is fundamental to understanding the details of ballistics. The gravitational constant dictates the flight path of your bullet. To have the bullet fly straight to the bullseye, you want it to fly there as fast as possible, since the shorter the flight time, the less time gravity will have to influence the downward motion of the bullet. But the faster the bullet travels, the greater the chance it won't travel in a straight line. Aerodynamic forces will cause the bullet to tumble. Before we can take advantage of firing at a higher velocity we need to come up with some method of stabilizing our bullets. The way we do that is to spin the bullet, taking advantage of Newton's laws of motion, specifically,the fact that a body in motion will tend to remain in motion until something comes along and changes it. So how fast is our bullet spinning? And just how fast is it traveling down-range? I thought you'd never ask :-)<br /><br />If we were talking about a muzzle-loader, it's rifling would be on the order of one turn every four feet or thereabouts, and it's muzzle velocity would be about a thousand feet per second. But if we were talking about a modern, post WWI rifle,the twist would be about one turn every ten inches and the muzzle velocity would be almost three times as fast as the muzzle loader, typically around 2700 feet per second.<br /><br />One turn in four feet (for our muzzle loader) and an initial velocity of 1000 fps means out bullet -- in this case a lead ball -- is spinning 250 times per second as it leaves the muzzle. That's fifteen thousand rpm. More would be better but even 15,000 rpm is pushing it when dealing with a lead projectile because lead simply isn't very strong. Try to spin it any faster and it will simply shear-off where the lead engages the lands of the rifling. A modern weapon, with a rate of about one turn in every ten inches (0.83 feet) and a muzzle velocity of 2700 feet per second has our modern copper jacketed bullet spinning nearly 200,000 rpm. Now we're talking some serious spin -- and a superbly stable projectile.<br /><br />With a spin-stabilized bullet, a modern firearm is capable of putting ten shots through the same hole in a target a mile away. But that brand of accuracy is very expensive, with each shot costing several dollars.<br /><br />The more we practice our shooting... the more bullets we fire... the more accurate we will become. On average, the difference between a marksman and a Life Master is about 250 bullets per week. That is, if it takes you fifty practice shots per day to become ...and maintain... your skill as a marksman, doubling that amount of practice will turn you into a Life Master... an Expert Marksman. The problem here is the cost.<br /><br />By reloading our own bullets we can reduce the cost per shot from over a dollar per shot to something significantly less, the exact amount depending on the price of the primer and powder. We will re-use the brass cartridge case and cast our own bullets. Even so, the lead needed for the bullets reflects significant cost, so what we'll do is begin with used wheel weights.<br /><br />A wheel weight, as used for balancing tires, is typicaly 95% to 97% lead. Tin and antimony are used to harden the lead but it is the lead that is crucial here. The velocity of our bullet is a function of its mass and the power of the explosive charge that drives it from the barrel. Once the bullet is free of the barrel, the shape of the bullet has considerable effect but right now we're only interested in what is known as interior ballistics -- the stuff that happens before the bullet leaves the barrel. (Once the bullet flys free, it's characteristics are referred to as exterior ballistics.)<br /><br />The nice thing about old wheel weights is that they are inexpensive. Indeed, many gas stations and tire shops don't bother to recycle them and may even give them away. But for most of us, paying two-bits a pound is more the norm.<br /><br />We need to know the weight (or mass) of our cast bullets in order to select a suitable powder charge. This is one of those cases where no guessing is allowed, since an error can result in a damaged firearm or even worse, a damaged gunner.<br /><br />Once you have a batch of old whe<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38FryruW2I/AAAAAAAABo4/2tAcj6-aGgE/s1600-h/INGOT+MOLD.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38FryruW2I/AAAAAAAABo4/2tAcj6-aGgE/s320/INGOT+MOLD.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5440073124784528226" border="0" /></a>el weights, typically five to ten pounds, you melt them down and cast them into ingots of known volume. By accurately weighing the ingot you can determine what percentage of their weight is not lead. You then re-melt the ingots, adding enough pure lead to correct the mass.<br /><br />Melting lead or any of its alloys is fairly simple because it melts at such a low temperature -- pure lead melts at 621.5 F, which means you don't need much in the way of smelting equipment to turn wheel weights into ingots. Indeed, a few charcoal briquettes provides more than enough heat to melt ten pounds of lead, although a kitchen stove is more convenient and an electrically-powered smelting pot like the one shown in the photo is the most convenient of all.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38G1MvWSPI/AAAAAAAABpA/gZD7KsQPWzg/s1600-h/LEAD+INGOTS.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38G1MvWSPI/AAAAAAAABpA/gZD7KsQPWzg/s320/LEAD+INGOTS.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5440074385909500146" border="0" /></a><br />Once the content of your lead has been adjusted the metal is typically re-cast into ingots of convenient size, typically of 1/2 lb, 1 lb and 2 pound weight. This makes for easy storage and casting.<br /><br />I reload ammo for eleven different calibers, not including the balls I use in several black-powder firearms. The distinction here is that cartridges are usually not made up for black-powder weapons. Unlike modern smokeless powder that is virtually inert, chemically, black-powder can be extremely corrosive, making it unwise to pre-load it into cartridges or even into your firearms, until just prior to its being used. But modern smokeless powder can be used safely after twenty or more years.<br /><br />The 'grain' is the usual unit of measure for the mass of a bullet and there are 7000 grains to a pound. The bullet for a small pistol may weigh less than 100 grains whereas a large slug for a blackpowder rifle might weigh <a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38V7p0vWRI/AAAAAAAABpI/f8Y_lnUFIms/s1600-h/BULLET+MOLDS+2.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/S38V7p0vWRI/AAAAAAAABpI/f8Y_lnUFIms/s320/BULLET+MOLDS+2.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5440090989470374162" border="0" /></a>more than 25ogr. The 9x18 Makarov uses a bullet weighing about 95 grains or about 73 bullets to a pound of wheel weights. <br /><br /><br />CASTING BULLETS<br /><br />To cast a bullet we first need a bullet mold. If you are a machinist you can make your own molds but most most people -- including machinists -- prefer to buy their molds from dealers who offer reloading supplies. In the photos you will see some of the many molds I use. The sprue hole of the mold is pressed against the spout of the melting pot and the lever is raised, allowing molten lead to flow into the mold. You may cast as many as six bullets at a time although two is the most common number.<br /><br />When the mold is filled you release the lever, allow a few moments for the lead to cool, then give the sprue-cutter a sharp rap with a wooden maul. Cutting off the sprue frees the bullet from any over-flow of lead,whilst opening the mold allows the bullet to drop free. The freshly cast bullets are then collected, ready to be coated with lubricant. The lubricated bullet are passed through a sizing die which swages them to a precise diameter, such as .357" for 38 Special, or .356" for 9mm Luger. But the 9x18 Makarov bullet is actually 9.22mm or about 0.363". To produce a bullet of the proper size it is customary to begin with a cast slug at least 0.365" in diameter; to lubricate the exterior and to then pass the cast slug through a set of swagging dies to produce a bullet of the desired diameter.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-63616048311912373472010-02-13T18:49:00.000-08:002010-02-14T11:52:38.871-08:00A Very Good DaySince being diagnosed with multiple myeloma good days have become rather rare around the Hoover household; rare enough so that when one occurs I often feel the need to share it... with today being a nice example.<br /><br />I have guns all ovet the house and I wear one whenever doing so is not only practical but legal. But simply having a firearm is of little use if you are not qualified to use it. The only way I know to maintain your abilities with a firearm is use one. That means firing it frequenty; ideally, every day.<br /><br />The pistol I'm wearing is a Makarov. It uses the 9x18 Makarov cartridge, which is NOT the same thing as the Short Lugar... which is ALSO 9x18. To develop and maintain my proficiency calls for burning a lot of powder. Unfortunately, Mak ammo is fairly expensive. Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to the cost since I reload my own ammo, and while the 9x18Mak isn't commonly available, as a low velocity pistol round it's dead simple to reload. So that's what I've been doing but using LEAD bullets instead of better quality jacketed slugs.<br /><br />Today I turned 10+ pounds of wheel-weights into 11+ pounds of lead alloy suitable for bullets. You can't use wheel-weights straight off because they contain a tad too much antimony and not quite enough lead. So you melt the wheel-weight into 1/2lb ingots then figure out how many #00 buckshot must be added to each half-pound. Melt that together and you've got a suitable alloy for Makarov pills.<br /><br />Shells aren't a problem because regular 9mm brass, using Boxer-type primers, can be used in the Mak once the casing is trimmed to the proper length. This allows the use of Small Pistol primers and regular 9mm brass, which when combined with an accurately cast lead bullet, brings the cost of maintaining your proficiency within reason for even the most cash-strapped marksman.<br /><br />The fact everything worked out okay is one of the reasons today was an especially good day. The other reasons have to do with a new refrigerator, in that our old refrigerator was too short for three people, the new number of residents at the Hoover household. <br /><br />To install a larger refrigerator called for removing the cabinetry above the old refrigerator. Once it was removed we needed to shorten the existing cabinet. The main problem with doing so was the fact the kitchen has a dropped ceiling and the fact I can no longer raise my arms over my head. Fortunately, the new permanent resident is our daughter, who proved to be a Terror when handed a Skilsaw... or any other other tool of mass destruction.<br /><br />How high was the needed adjustment? One half of an inch. How long have we worked on it? Several days. But today brought all the bits together so that all that remains is to put the new cabinet in place.<br /><br />Finally, the best news -- and justification for any Special Day... it was just thirty-three years ago today that June Carol Yates became my bride. I love her still, as she does me.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-59003082423528575682010-02-03T09:07:00.000-08:002010-02-14T12:21:33.164-08:00Solved! - A Standard Engine for HomwbuiltsThe final piece of the puzzle fell into place when DuraFix altered the alloy of their aluminum brazing rod. The new rod allows us to apply the Fat Fin modification without fear that the extended fins would crack<br /><br />For those who have not followed the development of this engine, it' specs are as follows:<br /><br />2332cc displacement (142cid). That is, a perfectly 'square' engine having a bore AND stroke of 84mm. Rod length is 142mm (5.6"). Compression ratio is 8.5:1.<br /><br />(<span style="font-weight: bold;"> - 13 February 2010 -<br />My thanks to the several of you who caught this error. The 'square' engine would b 84 x 84... or perhaps 94x94... but it would NOT be 84x94. [My interpretation of the Standard Engine is one having a Bore of 94mm and a Stroke of 84mm.] So please accept my apology for this gross mis-statement of fact, for which I've no excuse... although I may be able to come up with one, given enough time :-)</span><br /><br />The propeller is installed on the clutch-end of the crankshaft. You may fabricate the required spool &amp; propeller hub yourself using the dimensioned drawings contained in the HVX Files or you may purchase them from Great Plains Aircraft Supply Co (GPASCo).<br /><br />A 20A. alternator is installed coaxially on the pulley hub. The guts of the alternator are taken from a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. A kit of parts, including the required regulator, is available from GPASCo.<br /><br />The engine conversion includes the HVX modifications. A swaging tool for installing the Toyota valve seals may be fabricated from the drawings or purchased from Mike Sample.<br /><br />There are a wide variety of carburetors that will work with this engine. Least expensive is the Tillotson Model-X whereas most convenient is probably one offered by GPASCo.<br /><br />The engine uses either single- or dual-port heads and may use either single or dual ignition. Unless dual ignition is required by local authorities, single ignition is recommended.<br /><br />The lightest and least expensive ignition system is the stock Volkswagen system based on a mechanical-advance distributor (ie, the -009). This system uses regular ignition points which should be replaced every 100 hours. The system my be improved by eliminating the points using a solid-state points replacement module, or converted to a Waste Spark system using the CompuFire DIS-IX, although the latter is significantly heavier and about 4x more expensive.<br /><br />---------------------------------------------<br /><br />The above defines the basic engine. Engines of other configurations will work but the key factor is overcoming the Volkswagens inherent thermal limitation as dictated by the fin-area of the cylinder heads. The 'Fat-Fin' modification provides an elegant solution to the thermal limitation by increasing the fin area.<br /><br />-R.S.Hoover<br />- doyleshoover@yahoo.com<br />-2 February 2010Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-68919276799505882912010-01-12T14:42:00.000-08:002010-01-12T16:17:26.155-08:00Miscellaneous InformationI have several e-mail addresses. None of them are very reliable but the best is doyleshoover@yahoo.com<br /><br />I've completed the second series of radiation treatments.<br /><br />A radiation treatment involves laying on a movable table on an X-ray machine while the technicians push &amp; pull on your body until an intersecting pair of lasers are aligned with dots that have been tattoo'd on your torso during your first visit, when the location of your tumor is determined through a series of X-rays.<br /><br />Once your body has been calibrated to the X-ray machine, the typical treatment involves TWO sub-critical bursts of X-ray's, aimed so that the critical amount of energy is achieved ONLY where the two beams of X-rays intersect. <br /><br />An X-ray treatment may take as little as ten minutes, although twice that is more the norm. <br />------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />Today I commenced the next scheduled sequence of chemotherapy. <br /><br />Chemotherapy is a Nine Dollar word for treating a medical problem with drugs... or chemicals. In the case of chemotherapy as applied to CANCER, chemotherapy typically refers to intravenous injections of a quart or more at a time. In the broadest sense the chemicals drip-drip-dripping out of their plastic baggie and into your arm are POISONS. The dosage is carefully calibrated so as to kill the cancer without doing too much damage to the patient, although there's usually some. In some cases the chemicals cause your hair to fall out, the generation of spurious pains, nausea of monumental proportions and even changes to your personality triggered by chemical imbalances. <br /><br />There are solutions for each of these problems, mostly in the form of <span style="font-style: italic;">other</span> drugs and chemicals, such as an anti-nausea drug, a pain-killer and so forth. These drugs don't prevent the chemotherapy problems, they simply reduce their effects to a level we can live with, on the assumption that once our chemotherapy is completed and we can stop taking the chemicals, the problems they have precipitated will cease.<br /><br />That means the trick is to get through your course of chemotherapy as <span style="font-style: italic;">comfortably</span> as possible. Alas, we humans are so variable in our make-up that it takes some degree of experimentation on the part of the physician to arrive at the proper dosage of these <span style="font-style: italic;">counter-chemotherapy drugs</span> that we may find the happy medium before conclusion of the chemotherapy, which can run for a number of <span style="font-style: italic;">months</span> in some cases. How do we know that? By keeping track of our blood chemistry.<br /><br />Blood samples are drawn every seven to ten days and fed into automated blood analysis machines. The results are printed-out on a report similar to a spread sheet, showing the measured amount of a particular chemical followed by a footnote showing the normal range for that particular chemical. For example, the normal range of White Blood Cells (as per cubic microLiter of blood) is 4.6 to 10.2, meaning a measured WBC level of 9.3 would be acceptable, while comparison to past blood tests would tell us if the trend is rising, falling or steady. This procedure is applied to more than <span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">two dozen</span> chemicals or characteristics that reflect normal blood.<br /><br />---------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />Once your blood chemistry reaches -- and maintains -- a stable state for a period of eight to ten weeks it indicates the causitive element -- the tumor or what-have-you -- is no longer active. Not cured, simply inactive. But that means your chemotherapy has been effective, and that you may chose to reduce your blood tests to once a month or an even longer period. This is not as risky as it may appear since you would still be performing a daily measurement of your Basic Vital Signs, such as your weight, blood pressure, pulse rate and body temperature. If your tumor becomes active it will usually cause a change in your Basic Vital Signs, giving you plenty of warning --- more than enough to schedule additional blood tests.<br /><br />------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />I'm sitting in the kitchen, where I've homesteaded a corner near the back door... and immediately adjacent to a small bathroom. I am wearing clean, freshly laundered <span style="font-style: italic;">new</span> clothes that very comfortable although their size (LARGE) would not have fit me a year ago.<br /><br />Oddly enough, some of the new clothing is <span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">NOT</span> from China ! ! The baseball cap is from MEXICO and one of my new shirts is from Bangladesh, which makes me something of a world traveler without having to leave home. (Or rather, without having to leave Wal-Mart :-)<br /><br />-BobBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-30903333427426518492010-01-07T00:05:00.000-08:002010-01-08T12:47:41.837-08:00On WritingI've been writing since I was about fourteen. I'm not too sure <span style="font-style: italic;">why</span> other than things seemed to have more permanence if I wrote them down. Each day the sun will rise and set but the day is not mine unless I make note of its passing. The writing grows from that simple root, in that while every day begins with the dawn no two days dawning are ever identical. To emphasize the obvious, I'm talking about the fact that on some days the sun is obscured by clouds or rain or being too lazy to make note of it. Or the day promises heat or the still expectancy of <span style="font-style: italic;">something</span> about to happen. It is that <span style="font-style: italic;">expectation</span> <span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-style: italic;"></span></span> rather than the day itself that prompts me to write.<br /><br />There are a million differences in the day. Just as no two people are alike, so too are the differences in each day. Frankly, I've a hunch most people don't see the differences. Life for them must be a tale of dull repetition. For me, it's waiting for the other shoe to drop.<br /><br />Most of my writing has been of a technical nature, an effort to explain the obscure in friendlier terms. Which works well enough for things that are fixed and will not change from one person to another, such as replacing a washer in a water faucet and sending the insidious drip-dripping to hell. But try to apply those writing skills to something as obtuse as human emotion and you'll quickly learn why there are writers... and then there are <span style="font-style: italic;">writers, </span><span>which begs the question: Which one are you? It's possible that <span style="font-style: italic;">you</span> have the rare spark of genius that is the foundation of every writer that is any good at all. <br /><br />Anyone capable of communicating via the written word is a <span style="font-style: italic;">writer</span> in the broadest definition of the term. Indeed, think about it for a minute and you will see that literally everything around you, from the slogan on the side of beer truck to: '<span style="font-style: italic;">He is my friend, faithful and just to me;'</span> is the product of a writer although clearly now we see some are better than others.<br /><br />Within a fairly narrow range, writing may be learned, so long as we restrict that definition to grammar, spelling and the like. Which means <span style="font-style: italic;">you</span> may have that spark of genius, smoldering beneath the ashes like coals in a stove. I think everyone should brush away those ashes, to see if they can coax fire from those coals. Because if you can, you owe it to those who can't. <br /><br /></span>Everyone who has every written anything at all eventually tries their hand at <span style="font-style: italic;">real </span>writing, such as a novel, stage play or movie script. That's when you discover it might be wise to stick to washers, fixing faucets and explaining why you must loosen the lug-nuts <span style="font-style: italic;">before</span> jacking up the wheel.<br /><br />"You should write a book!" (Heard not once but many times.) The truth is, I already have -- and several times over. But the chore isn't the <span style="font-style: italic;">writing</span> of a book, which isn't all that difficult. The secret is in <span style="font-style: italic;">selling</span> what you've written. For without the incentive of good, old fashioned <span style="font-style: italic;">money</span> there isn't any reason to spend the endless hours to find the perfect word needed to convey the image of the sun sliding slowly out of sight behind Catalina.<br /><br />So thank you. Knowing you've found something of worth in what I've written is warmly appreciated. <br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-63439023487539398182010-01-01T15:41:00.000-08:002010-01-01T16:38:52.786-08:00BANG!!You s q u e e e z z e the trigger. It slips the sear and the hammer is driven forward by the cocked spring, which drives the flint past the frizzzen generating a shower of sparks to land in the pan holding a tiny charge of fine-grained primer-powder. The powder is ignited and flashes BACK into the barrel of the rifle, where it ignites the main charge, lightly compressed under the lead ball.<br /><br />When the main charge ignites, it BURNS... it does not EXPLODE (although it happens so fast our PERCEPTION is that an explosion has taken place). When the powder burns, it raises the PRESSURE under the lead ball to tens of THOUSANDS of pounds per square inch. Not for very long, of course... too much pressure for too long will cause the mild steel barrel to fracture. But when the lead ball can MOVE, that is what happens.<br /><br />Pushed by the pressure of the burning charge, the lead ball is driven from the barrel of the rifle. But since there are several groves in the barrel, the lead ball will follow the groves, which form a spiral, making one complete revolution for every three or four feet of the barrel's length.<br /><br />Pushed by the pressure of the burning charge, the lead ball is driven from the barrel at velocities as high as two thousand feet per SECOND, although that is a bit higher than the norm. By actual measurement, a comepletely home-made rifle -- lock, stock &amp; barrel -- drove a 0.454" lead ball at a muzzle velocity of 1375 (avg) feet per second.... and since the ball was rotating at the rate of ONE REVOLUTION for every forty-eight inches of travel, it means the ball was rotating at 1375 / 4 or about 345 revolutions PER SECOND... which is about 20,000 rpm. And at 20,000 rpm the spinning ball proves to be remarkably STABLE.<br /><br />In effect, the lead ball has become a gyroscope that tends to remain stable, which is why the bullet flies true... we hope. <br /><br />------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />Can YOU do that? Can YOU build a rifle that will keep your family fed and protect you from those who might try to harm you? The record shows that you can. In fact, the tooling needed to fabricate such a weapon is available to virtually EVERYONE because it is based on easily understood principles. You can even manufacture your own GUNPOWDER... which is why the contraversy over 'gun control' is such a joke. <br /><br />-R. S. HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-44255850498717520442009-12-31T20:25:00.000-08:002010-01-01T18:35:32.339-08:00Flied LiceI learned to make fried rice when I was stationed in Japan. It generally comes out pretty good. Unfortunately, I've never seen a recipe that's exactly the same, although most are similar.<br /><br />Old Rice is Best.<br /><br />You want about two cups of COLD, cooked rice. Not sticky but properly cooked. I just wait for it to accumulate. When I have a couple of cups, I go ahead and use it in fried rice... then start accumulating rice for the next batch. (Does that make sense? Mebbe not. When cooking rice you generally cook a cup or two at a time but it's rare for you to EAT everything that you cook; there's usually a bit left over. So you save it. Then comes the day when you want to fix something to eat and see that you've accumulated a couple of cups of rice. So instead of cooking MORE rice you simply use the rice you have to make Fried Rice.)<br /><br />You GOTTA have Green Onions.<br /><br />Big flower pot. Buy some seeds or onion sets. Poke them into some sand or soil, keep it growing on a window sill or whatever. (If you've got the room, you can also grow your peas &amp; carrots. Think SMALL. You're feeding yourself... and maybe one other. It's almost impossible to NOT find enough room to keep a few things growing. And a lot of things you don't even have to plant! Seriously! Buy a bag of Navy beans... those little white jobbies. Pour some in a jar. Add water. Let them soak for a while then put them under your sink. Rinse them out every day or two until they sprout. Then EAT THE DAMN THINGS! Call them a salad if you want. Or stir them into your Flied Lice... or simmer with a thin-slice of beef. (The thinner you slice it, the better.)<br /><br />Snow peas... or whatever. About a cupful; mebbe less. If snow peas, you get to eat the pods as well as the peas. But experiment. If you've got a carrot, try chunking it up; mebbe some celery. Not too much. But not <span style="font-style: italic;">too</span> too much. If you add carrot, remember that it will take LONGER to cook than anything else, so start it earlier.<br /><br />MEAT.<br /><br />Bacon works. Ditto for ham. In fact, ditto for damn near ANYTHING although pork is traditional. (Sausage is interesting.) No pork? Then think FISH, SHRIMP or CHICKEN.<br /><br />(EDIT: We're not all the same. Thank God. Some of us eat pork but a lot of us don't. Take that sort of thing into account when cooking or inviting someone to share a meal... or a car-pool. It's not about Being Right or Being Wrong, it's about Being Human. We are different for a lot of different reasons and your job is to pay attention to the DIFFERENCES rather than the REASONS. If you've got a ship-mate who has different view of things dietary, respect them. The important part is accepting the differences rather than trying to change things. So there's your pard, working alongside in the same hangar. Except he goes around the corner four or five times a day to pray and you don't. Don't keep waving a cool one in his face -- he probably feels the same way about beer as he does about pork.)<br /><br />The meat USUALLY takes the longest cooking time. Respect it. Low heat. You are RENDERING the meat. If it is too dry you'll have to add about one tablespoonful of oil.<br /><br />You'll be cooking in a wok or fairly deep skillet. With the meat cooked, put it aside, increase the heat and stir-fry the vegetables. This should take only a minute or two -- big flame, LOTS of stirring. You know it's done when squeezing a pea causes it to pop out of its skin.<br /><br />Okay, dump the veggies with the meat and add the RICE to the skillet. Not too much heat but lots of stirring; you're getting the rice HOT... but without causing the rice to turn into little plastic bits. So stir. And mebbe give it a sprinkle of water, if things look too dry.<br /><br />EGG(s)<br /><br />Two little brown ones, whisked up with some water. Or mebber one great big white one; same deal; whisk it up. Don't do anything with them right now EXCEPT to whisk them up; I'll tell you when to add them.<br /><br />Now start putting everything BACK INTO THE PAN. Meat. Stir it in. ADD THE GREEN ONIONS (FINELY DICED). And the veggies. Stir &amp; fold; everything is GETTING HOT. You can begin adding a little SOY SAUCE. The rice will have a characteristic CRACKLING sound. (No, NOT like that... kinda like steam or sizzling veggies.)<br /><br />Got the EGGS? Okay, pour them all over the rice! Keep stirring. Briskly. You're just about done; you want everything to be FINISHED AT THE SAME TIME.<br /><br />The egg holds things together... along with the bits of meat &amp; veggies and rice and soy sauce...<br /><br />It starts to SMELL like Fried Rice (which is what it is). Now you can fine-tune things to your particular taste, perhaps by adding more meat or more onion... or less. Or whatever! You are FEEDING YOURSELF. It isn't a contest, it is preparing something that TASTES GOOD and is good for you!<br /><br />DIVVY UP THE SPOILS!<br /><br />Fried Rice can be kept for a couple of days, assuming you don't let it lay about open. First, you divide it with whoever you're sharing. If there is anything left over you can decide if it's worth the trouble to save it. Packed in a plastic box, you can take it to work as a brown-bag type of lunch (nuke it for a minute).<br /><br />Use your EYE to measure, as modified by your sense of smell and taste. Fried Rice takes only a few minutes to prepare so DON'T make a major production out of it.<br /><br />I tend to view fried rice as a means of getting rid of left-overs. But that doesn't mean you can't start from scratch and build a meal around it. For example, you may prefer to have your fried rice with shrimp or even chunks of chicken; something to add a bit more horsepower to what would otherwise be rather plain fare. (Do you like frog's legs? I do! VERY good with fried rice.)<br /><br />I like to add a lump of Chinese mustard to the plate, dobbing it up as an accent... or just to clear my sinuses :-) Some prefer to go all-vegetarian, serving the fried rice with fish, deep-fried egg-rolls or whatever.<br /><br />One of the best compliments to fried rice -- in my opinion -- is crispy spare-ribs. This is definitely NOT a means of ridding yourself of left-overs but of preparing a real meal.<br /><br />-R.S.Hoover<br />-31 December 2009<br /><br />PS -- I'll try to add some snap-shots. But don't wait for them to appear; go ahead and give yourself a treat.<br /><br />(<span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">EDIT</span>. I think most American's call them 'chop-sticks.' I call them 'hashi' because that's what I was taught. Hashi are a couple of wooden sticks that you use to shovel food from it's container into your mouth. You hold the container right up against your mouth then get busy with your hashi shoveling the groceries down the hatch. <br /><br />What you DRINK with your lunch is usually green tea. Or water. You don't use knives or forks but you MAY use a spoon if we're talking soup. Feeding yourself means getting the food INSIDE of you without making a mess. If you use hashi, it's pretty hard to make a mess. [Sip, slurp, shovel, shovel, shovel...] You don't need knives because you cut everything to bite-size during preparation.<br /><br />The interesting thing about 'chop-sticks' is that you probably have some near you, no matter where you are. And if you don't, pick up some scrap spruce and MAKE a set. )Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-23780931369130928812009-10-12T16:02:00.000-07:002009-10-13T09:00:45.069-07:00HVX MODS; How To Do It To it<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StO-WR-O7YI/AAAAAAAABn4/1i0GKwoP-iM/s1600-h/MIKES_PIX_1.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 207px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StO-WR-O7YI/AAAAAAAABn4/1i0GKwoP-iM/s320/MIKES_PIX_1.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5391862468883443074" border="0" /></a><br />Long, long ago, in a garage far, far away, a gaggle of VW mechanics gathered around a 1700 engine, which Volkswagen had brought out to replace the 1600. We were anxious to tear one down and see how you could improve on perfection. Actually, we were a kind of cheering section, giving the usual hi-fives and 'We're Numba Won!' as the autopsy progressed.<br /><br />Right off the bat we got a winner when we pulled the valve covers to get at the rocker arms because the rocker-arm <span style="font-style: italic;">shafts</span><span style="font-style: italic;"> </span>were grooved for lubrication channels. That means a mod some of us had been running for nearly <span style="font-style: italic;">ten years</span> had now been blessed with the Holy Crescent Wrench of acceptance in all factory-built VW engines (ie, this was in the early 1970's). Then came a minor scuffle over the thermostat; missing as they usually are on so many Volkswagen engines, with some of our band of experts admitting they'd never even seen one.<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StPG9iPAzaI/AAAAAAAABoY/0OgyeI_R-10/s1600-h/MIKES_PIX_2.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 162px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StPG9iPAzaI/AAAAAAAABoY/0OgyeI_R-10/s200/MIKES_PIX_2.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5391871939356708258" border="0" /></a><br /><br />In the HVX MODS you need to cut eight rather accurate grooves in the existing rocker-arm shaft and things were heating up between the How-Toz who were automotive machinists with twenty years of grease under their fingernails and the Street People, which included the Shade Tree experts, arguing first, that the 1600 and earlier engines <span style="font-style: italic;">didn't need them</span> because they'd run just fine until now, and the Do-It-Right Group which included some pretty good wrenches who had followed the HVX logic but were arguing <span style="font-style: italic;">how</span> to cut the required groove. Those who were machinists were holding out for a shaped carbide cutting tool, whereas the Lo Buck Warriors with a teenie-weanie 7x10" lathe and a bench-top drill-press were insisting an angle-head grider with a 1/16" blade did the job just fine.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StPHMg0gYbI/AAAAAAAABog/S3bXv4mIBgY/s1600-h/MIKES_PIX_3.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 134px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StPHMg0gYbI/AAAAAAAABog/S3bXv4mIBgY/s200/MIKES_PIX_3.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5391872196675133874" border="0" /></a><br />As usual, tasks ultimately descend to the abilities of the craftsman rather than the tools, with several examples of guys who built race-winning engines with a very modest inventory of tools. With jobs such as this the task often breaks down on how to hold the work... or how to hold the tools. In the photos you can see the rocker-arm shaft held in the three-jaw chuck of the lathe whilst the angle-head grinder is attached to the cross-feed by humungous rubber bands. Which is pretty smart. The grinder's speed is marginally controllable through the use of a 15A motor speed controller. This gives the machinist the ability to find a cutting speed that produces a clean, even cut without having the grinder try to climb the bar. The rubber bands provides the necessary amount of flex between the lathe and the grinder as each is brought up to speed, at which point the cross-feed is used to feed the tool -- the 3" dia. carbide disk spinning as fast<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StPL9_aofwI/AAAAAAAABoo/C4n5stiUZGI/s1600-h/MIKES_PIX_4.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 132px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/StPL9_aofwI/AAAAAAAABoo/C4n5stiUZGI/s200/MIKES_PIX_4.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5391877444748214018" border="0" /></a> as 18,000 rpm -- into the work, producing a groove of the required shape, depth and width. (Click on the picture). The builder, Mike Sample, has built a Double Eagle and has now turned his obvious talents to making himself an engine. Or rather, engines. Unsatisfied with the first, which I judged to be of about Porsche quality, he has turned his hand to a second which I'm guessing will be equal to something with entwined R's on the cowling.<br /><br />Here's a shot of Mike's 'dirty' work surface - a section of marble counter-top. Next comes the grooving of the rockers and confirmation of their ability to flow oil through the Ford/Subie type adjusters. These swivel-foot adjusters date from the early 1960's when they were introduced by Ford of Germany. Additional pictures and some early HVX drawings will show how the lubricating oil wends its way from the oil pump, up the push rods, through the rocker arms and out of the adjustable rockers where it pools in the tops of the valve-spring retainers, to be thrown off, carrying with it a considerable quantity of heat whilest at the same time, reducing the wear of the rocker-arm shims. Off-road racers and hot-rodders have been using these mods since the mid-1960's but it came as a considerable surprise to find that many builders of Flying Volkswagens appeared to have never heard of them.<br /><br />-R.S.Hoover<br /><br />PS -- Some folks didn't like the look of the pix, worried that abrasives were getting into the lathe's guts &amp; gearing. Personally, I've found that showing people what you set-up REALLY looks like generates more mail, asking if I've cut holes in a quilt and installed it over the tools.<br /><br />Basic rule with abrasives is to catch them before they can get to surfaces that can be damaged by them. The usual method is to lay-out shop-towels, overlapping, giving each layer a spray of kerosene (then) or WD40 (now) . By the time you get done, the shop has vanished from your How-To pix, leaving you with pix that look like you've set-up atop your bed. While these pix may not display reality, they have the advantage of showing the newbie how the parts are mounted in the tool and <span style="font-style: italic;">what</span> tool(s) you are using. <br /><br />Nowadays, with the ready availability of tempered aluminum and small lathes that are accurate and affordable, it's as though our shops have shrunk. Covering it up with shop towels gives an even worse impression, in my opinion. - rshBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-67776849873704150052009-09-24T11:59:00.000-07:002009-10-13T08:46:32.557-07:00<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Srv1OAn22VI/AAAAAAAABnY/9R-lD9KKI8s/s1600-h/ASPIRE_THREE_3.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 288px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Srv1OAn22VI/AAAAAAAABnY/9R-lD9KKI8s/s320/ASPIRE_THREE_3.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5385167400485706066" border="0" /></a><br />Have you seen this? Smaller than even the smallest of the lap-tops, it's usually referred to as a notebook computer. This is the 'Aspire One' and it's made by Acer. This particular model costs about $400, thanks to its larger hard drive -- 141 GB -- and a high capacity battery. The usual price is about a hundred dollars less. It has an Ethernet port -- the one that looks like a big telephone jack -- three USB ports, an SD port for memory sticks and an outlet for a high-density video monitor. Plug in a DVD drive, an auxiliary keyboard and a flat-screen display, it will make a fair-to-middlen' desk-top. Wireless is built-in, as is a high definition camera, making it a handy-sized package for people who may need to do some computing on the go.<br /><br />The Aspire One weighs two pounds fourteen ounces with the battery pack accounting for about twelve ounces of that. Acer does not provide a carrying case but there are a number of them available from the size of a back-packs to a simple envelope made of wet-suit material costing about ten bucks. Compared to a regular lap-top such as the eight and a half pound HP Pavilion shown below, the Aspire One is a dwarf.<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SrxKd7ZQAaI/AAAAAAAABno/s-hDegRERXo/s1600-h/ASPIRE_ONE_1.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 210px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SrxKd7ZQAaI/AAAAAAAABno/s-hDegRERXo/s320/ASPIRE_ONE_1.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5385261132448530850" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br />The little Acer allows me to convert otherwise wasted time into something useful, thanks to DeltaCAD and AbiWord. I've already told you about DeltaCAD so allow me to introduce you to AbiWord, a <span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;">free</span> word processor that actually works. The Acer comes with some Microsoft software but it turns out to be teaser-ware, since it turns itself off unless you cough up some dough at some future date. Having no faith at all in Billy and his merry band of hapless programmers, even before I bought the Acer I started looking for something to use instead of the Microsoft software. Seriously, for writing I'm still running Word Perfect on my other computers. I was willing (and able) to pay for decent software but almost everything I tried appeared to have been written by children or failed to pass my quest for practicality. Which made AbiWord a delightful surprise. Not only is it well written, it's free, with no strings attached... so far.<br /><br />Having cancer means spending a lot of time in doctor's offices. Not only does that mean a lot of time traveling too and fro, once you've arrived (always fifteen minutes early, as requested) you'll find that physicians have a bit of trouble reading a clock. I've never been an especially patient person and find I'm even less so now that I've been diagnosed with cancer. I find it rather ironic that the people who are trying to prolong my life appear unconcerned with chopping great chunks out of it.<br /><br />-R.S.Hoover<br />------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />10/09/2009<br /><br />Pull up the other comments you will see that Joseph and others have already caught my spelling error. Truth is, it's a sprawly kind of house, the Acer was in the bedroom and I wasn't. 'nuff said.<br /><br />I received several private messages. I assume they took the trouble because they wanted it to be private so let's keep it that way. But on the whole, most of the private posts were about prices, present or about to become public which had me scratching my head because I'd already bought the thing. Ditto for some pricing info on chip, SD sticks and so forth. Couple of hacks . But the really <span style="font-style: italic;">BIG SURPRISE</span> was in not receiving any. Usually, you buy something with a CPU inside you can count on several messages about how to make it do tricks. This time was nada. I'll let you figure out what that means.<br /><br />Overall, the palm-top has proven to be well worth the price. No sense in me telling you why it's useful... sorta like trying to sell computers in the '70's. If the customer doesn't already have an application that needs to be computerized then you can't sell them one to do their taxes or whatever... computers define their own applications, not the other way around. Mostly, I like it; it has proved handier than I thought.<br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-24244474779903322362009-08-25T20:51:00.000-07:002009-08-30T22:45:55.129-07:00Good Salad<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SpSxp5RUGhI/AAAAAAAABm4/1NbUZ1i6ZS0/s1600-h/P8250023.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SpSxp5RUGhI/AAAAAAAABm4/1NbUZ1i6ZS0/s320/P8250023.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5374115588666038802" border="0" /></a>GOOD SALAD.<br /><br />1/2 head of Iceberg lettuce<br />2ea Medium tomatoes<br />1 'ring' from a Bermuda onion<br />1/4lb smoked salmon<br />1 heaping tablespoon Mayonnaise<br />1 Bud of Garlic<br /><br />GARLIC<br />Peel the bud of garlic, smash it with the flat of your knife and rub the crushed garlic bud all over the bowl in which the salad will be mixed.<br /><br />LETTUCE<br />You want it crispy. The best way to ensure that is to punch out the stem, rinse the head with clean, cold water, then bag it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. When you take it out of the reefer it will nice and cold. Poke your thumbs into the hole where the stem used to be, tear the head of lettuce in two then tear one of the halves into bite-sized chunks and toss them into one of those centrifugal spinner jobbies and pump it up &amp; down for about a minute. This will fling off most of the water. Toss it into the bowl. If lettuce is not available you may use a couple of six-inch cucumbers, well chilled then peeled and diced.<br /><br />TOMATOES<br />To me, a medium tomato is about 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Stand the tomato stem-side down and quarter it. Slide it apart so as to leave two halves and slice them three times so as to leave four chunks. Do this for both tomatoes, tossing the chunks into the salad bowl.<br /><br />ONION<br />You may use green onions here if you wish. Indeed, depending on the season and your location, green onion may be all that is available. In either case, dice the onion so as to produce chunks no larger than the chunks of tomato and toss them into the bowl.<br /><br />SMOKED SALMON<br />Shred the salmon with a fork. If salmon isn't available almost any other smoked fish will do: Smoked Tuna, Albacore, etc. If you are at or near a seaport you are bound to find someone selling smoked fish. Try a chunk of whatever is available. When you find something you like, use it in your salad. If you are out in the boondocks, try a can of smoked sardines or mackerel.<br /><br />When available, you may substitute avocado for the fish.<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Spe3CCS0gjI/AAAAAAAABnA/mz1mu_tXCb8/s1600-h/P8250024.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Spe3CCS0gjI/AAAAAAAABnA/mz1mu_tXCb8/s320/P8250024.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5374965925893407282" border="0" /></a><br /><br />Add 1 large tablespoonful of Mayonnaise then season to taste using the juice of two small limes or half of a lemon. Be wary of adding salt if you've used smoked fish, which is often already salted.<br /><br />Serve with cold beer and crackers or bread. In the photo you can see a dish of wholewheat bagel that I've toasted to make it crunchy then sliced into four pieces.<br /><br />The salad is meant to comprise the whole meal but it may also be served with steak, barbecued ribs, roast chicken and so forth.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-71242282855756041382009-08-08T10:30:00.000-07:002009-08-08T11:44:54.181-07:00Traditional Sized.<br />I am a ham radio operator, the holder of a General License although I have retained my original Novice license. I did that so as not to intimidate the youngsters who attended my classes in Morse Code and basic electronics.<br /><br />Many were drawn to ham radio because it allowed them to maintain communications with their home or office... assuming there was another licensed ham radio operator on the other end. But ham radio was also of benefit during the Voyager's around the world flight in 1987, when a group of us monitored the progress of the flight.<br /><br />I still use ham radio to monitor the location of my 1965 VW bus. Should I ever go missing in the desert -- or should the bus be stolen -- its location can be determined to within 50 meters or so through a combination of ham radio and GPS.<br /><br />In the delightful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, author of 'The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' and more than thirty others, Mma Ramotswe, the Botswana detective describes herself as a lady of 'traditional' size. By comparison, the 'traditional size' of the station of the typical ham radio operator would fill six to eight feet of shelf space, which makes it rather difficult to grasp the size of the present-day 'communications station,' which fits in my ear.<br /><br />Actually, the ear-piece is just the microphone and head-phones. The transciever is my cell phone, which fits in my pocket. Anyone having the number of my cell phone may contact me any time I am 'on line.' Which isn't very often.<br /><br />Of course, the modern-day system of cell phones depends upon the existing system of land-lines to work. That is, our cell phones connect to a local receiver-computer which locates the station you are calling. It then uses the land-lines to send your message to a transmitter/receiver nearest to the station you are trying to contact, which then connects you to that station. The key point here is that your cell phone depends upon the existence of the traditional web of wires or cables. Should there be a disaster that damages those land-lines, your cell-phone will not work, whereas the traditional ham radio station will continue to work since it does not depend on land-lines.<br /><br />Today I am measuring valve springs for four heads. I'll be working in the shop where I can't hear the ring of a telephone. So I'm wearing my cell phone in my ear. The ear-piece talks to the cell phone in my pocket. About the size of a pack of king-size cigarettes, this has become the 'traditional size' for personal communications <br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-4065133096992177582009-07-26T19:08:00.000-07:002009-09-01T07:42:07.409-07:00IT'S ALL ABOUT HEADS. HONEST!I've been trying to explain the importance of your cylinder heads. The subject is fairly complex and I've found the explanation difficult, having to stop and start over each time I came to a point that I assumed was common knowledge. Along the way a couple of my Mystery Followers checked in<br />. I didn't know if there was a secret handshake or password or some other Googleistic requirement. There wasn't. The 'Followers' were just guys who wanted to know each time I posted something to the blog. Fair enough, except for the fact I have been virtually unable to post anything anywhere for the past couple of weeks.<br /><br />It's called neuropathy.<br /><br />I get a basic blood test every week and a complete work-up every month. The doctors use the information from the blood tests to tailor my cancer treatment, altering my medications as needed to keep the tumor in check. With multiple myeloma the tumor isn't a single mass at one site, but distributed inside my bones at a number of sites. Which means they can't go in and cut it out. But the right combination of medications can limit its activity, keeping me alive a little longer. Unfortunately, some of the medications trigger side-effects, such as making your fingers 'tingle' to the point where you can't do much with your hands. And that includes TYPING. <br /><br />So the answer to the several messages wondering about my lack of activity on the blog is 'neuropathy.' Which is the medical term for having your fingers tingle. Especially when they 'tingle' so badly as to prevent using your hands for a lot of things. In my case, one of the things I couldn't do very well was typing.<br /><br />-------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />As for it being all about heads, it really is -- so long as we are talking about Volkswagens. And since it's about heads, it is also about the various TOOLS needed to work on your heads, such as a tool to compress the valve springs so you can remove your valves. You also need a tool to measure the strength of your valve springs when they are compressed to a standard height. Then there is the need for tools to cc your combustion chambers. And a tool to measure the amount of play in your valve guides.<br /><br />A lot of the articles I've written have been to show you how you can MAKE those tools, saving yourself hundreds of dollars.<br /><br />------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />As of last Wednesday I've been taking a medication that is different from the one that triggered the neuropathy ( nerve pain ). My fingers still tingle a little bit but nothing like before, when it got so bad I couldn't type. If my scores on this weeks blood tests show the new medication to be as effective as the old, then the problem will hopefully go away and I can get back to explaining what has to be done to a set of heads and why. So... fingers crossed.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-30778657710708908412009-07-11T21:48:00.000-07:002009-07-11T22:26:31.945-07:00The Fearless Leader Report.<br /><br />Yes, it is I; your Fearless Leader. I've still no idea what my duties entail but I see the number of 'Followers' has increased. <br /><br />You guys are really making me nervous. I appreciate the implied compliment but I assume it's some kind of inside joke. No, I don't expect you to run away, it's just that I don't know what I'm supposed supposed to DO.<br /><br />So until the other shoe drops, I'll keep doing what I've been doing. Which is not much, if the past week is an example. <br /><br />According to my blood tests the tumor remains in its cave. I am trying to regain my lost weight and restore my physical strength but I'll tell you pard, this is one hell of a chore. Some of the drugs needed to keep the tumor in its quiescent state also act to suppress my appetite -- a neat example of Catch-22. With my toothpick arms and spindly legs just standing up is a test of my strength. To stand up AND work at the same time is a real test of will. What happens is that after working for a few minutes I experience spasms in my lower back, forcing me to sit down. After sitting for a time the pain goes away and I'm able to repeat the procedure.<br /><br />About the only people who see something good in all this is our three 'outdoor' cats. (We also have one 'indoor' cat.) Whenever I sit down I acquire a lapful of cats.<br /><br />Yes, even when I'm writing something like this... it's a warm evening so I left one of the kitchen doors open. I've no idea how cats know when a lap appears. Perhaps laps give off a scent... or make some characteristic sound. Whatever the means, it is quite effective. I've got the proof right in front of me :-)<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-88667532030524355682009-07-06T10:37:00.000-07:002009-07-09T21:08:33.505-07:00Valve-job Tool<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SlJtu3E-mnI/AAAAAAAABmo/m8OMXDTY9fU/s1600-h/VALVE_SPRING_RETAINER.JPG"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 302px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SlJtu3E-mnI/AAAAAAAABmo/m8OMXDTY9fU/s320/VALVE_SPRING_RETAINER.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5355463558723181170" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br />The Volkswagen engine uses poppet valves, as do all other cars today. The exhaust valves are the weak link in any engine but especially so in air-cooled engines, be it Pratt-Whitney or Volkswagen. If we want to keep tabs on our engine's condition all we need do is keep track of the condition of our exhaust valves since they are the first part to fail. Of course, we never allow them to fail, we merely keep track of their condition and when they tell us they are about to fail, we pull the heads and give them a 'valve job.'<br /><br />To keep track of them we use the leak-down test, pulling the heads any time the leak-down is more than twenty percent or thereabouts. To do a 'valve job' means to remove the valves and restore the worn parts to spec. In about eighty percent of all cases, the worn part is the valve itself but other parts associated with the valve – the valve guide, the valve seat or the rocker arm – may also require repair or replacement. Since replacing the valves is the most frequent chore, that's what I'll talk about here, with a minor mention of the other valve-related components as we come to them.<br /><br />The valve is opened by the cam but it is closed by the valve spring, which we must compress in order to remove the valve. The valve spring is held in place by a retainer and a pair of valve keepers. That is, the retainer fits down over the stem of the valve and rests on the valve spring. The stem of the valve has a pair of grooves into which the valve keepers fit. When so fitted, the valve keepers lock into the grooves and wedge into a tapered bore in the retainer, which sits on top of the valve spring. So long as the spring is in its proper position and is not damaged, the valve will not come loose, even though it may be actuated several times per second.<br /><br />The valve spring is a coil-type compression spring that is progressively wound; the turns nearest the head having a higher ratio of turns per inch. This allows for easier opening. But like all springs, the Volkswagen's valve springs are effected by heat and age. VW valve springs typically take several million actuations before showing any sign of weakening. In a vehicle, the stock VW engine needs a valve job after about thirty thousand miles of service but Flying Volkswagens are rarely of stock displacement (which is less than 100 cid). Flying Volkswagens may be as large as 140 cid and their valve wear is a function of the work they do, which may be several times that of a vehicular engine. These non-stock 'Big-Bore Strokers' may need a valve job as frequently as every ten hours... or as infrequently as every two hundred hours, depending on how the engine is used. <br /><br />The Volkswagen is a robust little engine that, like all Otto Cycle engines, provides a wealth of precursors of impending failure. So long as the engine is properly assembled and operated within its limitations by a pilot who has learned to recognize those clues, it is as reliable as any other engine in its class. But this puts a heavy burden on the pilot, who must be able to recognize those clues.<br /><br />In an airplane the condition of the valves is determined by a leak-down test, which is performed periodically, the length of that period determined by the manner in which the engine is used. The leak-down tests (ie, wet & dry) reflects the amount of wear of the valves and rings, with the valves wearing at a much faster rate than the rings. <br /><br />To perform a valve job we must remove the heads from the engine and the valves from the heads. Exhaust valves are replaced rather than reground but the intake valves may be reground and re-used.<br /><br />When doing a valve job we check the valve springs against the spec in the work-shop manual. The diameter of the valve dictates the amount of spring tension needed to achieve proper closure. In specifying one valve tension but with a very wide tolerance for both the intake and the exhaust, you are seeing one of the many compromises Volkswagen made to keep down the price. For example, when the spring pressure is given as 96 lbs (+/- 6lbs) it is fair to assume that the smaller figure ( ie, 90 lbs) should be used for the exhaust and the larger figure (ie, 102 lbs) is used for the intake valves.<br /><br />One of the more interesting features of the Volkswagen engine is that each lobe of the cam actuates TWO valves rather than one. That is, the intake valve of the #2 cylinder is actuated by the same cam lobe that actuates the intake valve of the #4 cylinder. The action of the cast iron cam as it wipes across the face of the cast-iron cam-followers (ie, the 'tappets') is the engine's major source of metallic residue, which in turn is the main source of wear in the engine's bearings and oil pump. To minimize this wear the wear-factor of the cam must be exactly twice that of the cam followers. The pressure of the valve spring plays a critical role in the wear-factor of the valve train as a whole.<br /><br />At this point you need to go to http://home.hiwaay.net/~langford/<br /><br />That's the home page of Mark Langford, who has contributed about three Ph.D's worth of information to the pool of knowledge all of us are swimming in. Specifically, I want you to read about how Mark measured his valve springs. Here in the Blog I've posted an article about a tool I made for that purpose but I was dealing with forty or fifty springs at a time. Like Mark, you are building only one engine. His method is more practical than mine.<br /><br />What I want you to do is to COPY the method Mark has used for measuring his valve springs.<br /><br />The assumption here is that you have only EIGHT valve springs. What you'll want to do is create the best possible match from BANK to BANK.<br /><br />If you are running stock heads... meaning you are using valves of stock diameter, the spec for your valve springs is 126, +/-9 at a compressed height of 1.32". Which may be translated as 117 for your intakes and 135 for your exhaust. <br /> <br /><br />----------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SlJuOm_vXPI/AAAAAAAABmw/buxLaOzuicQ/s1600-h/VALVE+TOOL+BASE.JPG"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 298px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SlJuOm_vXPI/AAAAAAAABmw/buxLaOzuicQ/s320/VALVE+TOOL+BASE.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5355464104162057458" /></a><br />Doing a leak-down test, the 'wiggle' test and doing a valve job are common chores for those of us who flys behind a Volkswagen engine. Given that my life literally depends on the quality of the work done to my engine, it should come as no surprise that I'm unwilling to trust any work done by a mechanic who is NOT certified by some agency or authority equally concerned with the quality of his craftsmanship. Since there is no such agency for auto engines converted for flight it seems logical that I do such maintenance myself. There are a few tools specific to these tasks. They are available from most of the larger after-market retailers who specialize in VW parts. But it is the nature of the Volkswagen philosophy that the tools may also be fabricated by the individual mechanics. Volkswagen used to provide a booklet of dimensioned drawings for such tools but no longer does so.<br /><br />------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />The first illustration in this article shows the two most recent types of valve spring retainer used on Volkswagen engines. As you can see, we need to provide for a retainer approximately 1-1/4" in diameter. Once the tool makes secure contact with the retainer we need to provide a downward force to compress the spring. It doesn't take much -- about half an inch will do. We then use a scribe or other pointed tool -- a sharpened nail will work -- to free the keepers from the grooves in the stem of the valve. Once the keepers are freed, they are removed but kept sorted according to the valve from which they came. A magnetized scriber works best or you can use a magnetic pencil.<br /><br />For those of you without a metal lathe, making a tool that fits over the valve retainer is the most difficult part of the job but as you can see from the photos there are any number of workable options. And those rivets you see started out as regular nails. Just cut them off short.<br /><br />------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />As a point of interest the Single Port (SP) head shown in the photos is a junker. The spark plugs were installed WITHOUT anti-seize compound, a necessity with regular spark plugs and ALUMINUM heads. Both of the spark plug holes have been stripped until they are almost smooth.<br /><br />The shade-tree fix for a stripped spark plug hole is to install a Heli-Coil (a brand name), which is coil made of wire having a diamond-shaped cross-section. The inner diameter of the coil matches that of the spark plug whilst the outer diameter matches that of a special tap that is sold with the Heli-coils as a kit. The Heli-Coil tap is threaded into the hole WITHOUT drilling it to a larger size. <br /><br />There is another type of spark plug repair kit which uses a metal sleeve having it's ID threaded for the spark plug and it's external thread of some larger diameter, usually that of a regular size. This type of repair requires the spark plug hole to be opened up to a larger size, usually with a drill. To use this type of repair kit on a Volkswagen engine that is still in the vehicle the mechanic needs to use an angle-head drill-motor or a reamer, since there isn't enough room to use a regular drill-motor. (Clearly, this does not apply to aircraft installations.)<br /><br />Unfortunately, the point over looked by shade-tree mechanics is that ANY form of spark plug hole repair that involves the use of a coil or sleeve <span style="font-style:italic;">must not</span> be used on an AIR-COOLED engine (!!) The sleeve or coil upsets the resistance -- both thermal and electrical -- of the spark plug. <br /><br />The fact this type of repair is allowed on WATER-COOLED engines fitted with aluminum heads is taken by non-professional mechanics to mean the procedure may be used on ANY engine. Sadly, this is not true.<br /><br />So how DO you repair a stripped spark plug hole? Working from the chamber-side of the spark plug hole you hog out a crater of generous proportions, pre-heat the head to about four hundred degrees and go at it with TIG ( or even MIG, if you've got the right equipment) ...and fill the crater with molten aluminum. The head is then put back into the oven, the oven is shut off, and the head(s) are allowed to cool to room temperature. <br /><br />(Did you notice the implied plural? The plural does not refer to the fact VW engines have two heads but to the fact it is not economically practical to repair damaged heads one at a time. What you do is wait until you have about two dozen damaged heads then tool up to do them all at once. <br /><br />But here in Southern California, with more than twenty-one MILLION registered vehicles(*) -- and more air-cooled Volkswagens than anywhere else in the country, there was another option. <br /><br />During that period (circa 1970's) for small shops such as mine, it was worth while to find a bigger shop that regularly overhauled heads on an assembly-line basis in batches as large as 250. They would allow small shops to add their heads to the batch, inspecting them to ensure all of the preliminary work had been done, and done to their specs. They would then do ONLY the welding, charging a nominal fee.<br /><br />The point here is that the proper repair of a VW head with a stripped spark plug hole is to weld it up and re-machine it. For someone FLYING behind a Volkswagen engine, if it suffers a stripped spark plug hole your best option is to replace the head, since the repair would cost more than a replacement head. But don't forget that any replacement must be an EXACT match for the old head, meaning identical chamber volume and valve train geometry.<br /><br />And this time remember to apply a dab of anti-seize compound to the first few threads... and then wipe it off. The tiny amount that will remain deep in the threads is all you need.<br /><br />A handy way to prevent cross-threading a spark plug is to install it full-depth using only your fingers. It will then take little more than one turn to achieve the required torque-spec (22 ft/lb). And be sure that's done with a NEW WASHER. (They've got them at the real automotive parts places; don't waste your time in those chain-store auto parts retailers.)<br /><br />Finally, I recently read a post where a fellow stripped his heads because his spark plugs projected into the combustion chamber. This would NEVER happen on a properly assembled engine, where checking the projection of the plug is a standard step during pre-assembly. <br /><br />If the proper plug projects too far you will want to add a solid copper washer between the regular washer and the body of the spark plug. That is, you want your new, crushable washer to be in contact with the head on at least one side. Spark plug manufacturers provide solid copper washers as well as new, crushable washers. They're usually racked in the 'Dorman's' trays (those orange & black trays taking up wall space in the back of the store) :-)<br /><br />---------------------------------------------------<br /><br /><br />(to be continued)Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-54671795463439803712009-07-02T18:02:00.000-07:002009-07-03T00:14:22.968-07:00Designing a Bigger Box<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Sk1YztF1EII/AAAAAAAABlc/bgL350k4luA/s1600-h/P7020013.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Sk1YztF1EII/AAAAAAAABlc/bgL350k4luA/s320/P7020013.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5354033177314005122" border="0" /></a>.<br />There I am in the patio, holding steady at 151 pounds. Or 10.8 stone if you hail from across the pond. Or 68.5 kilos. Down a tad from about 235 pounds back before cancer came to call.<br /><br />My height has also shrunk, apparently due to the destruction of my 3rd lumbar vertebrae; enough so that my height is now 70-1/4" instead of 72", which explains why my trousers are not only too loose but too long. Here again, the cause is due to the tumor munching away on my spine. In fact, even my <span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;">feet</span> have gotten smaller. Not in length but in most other dimensions. Which means my feet sort of rattle around in my shoes... now that the edema-like swelling is no longer a problem. (For several months the edema forced me to wear an old pair of Uggs that I'd modified with a razor, turning them into enormous slippers.) As a point of interest, the edema was a side-effect of the medication. As I became accustomed to the medication, the edema slowly went away.<br /><br />Early in the history of this blog is an article about an apprentice's tool box, which was one of those tricky bits used to teach people how to rivet. A number of you, including at least one shop class, have found the tool box of sufficient interest to tackle it as a project. But more than one of you has pointed out that the dimensions of the box, while practical for tools of the 1930's, is a bit too small for tools of the 21s century. Which I pretty much ignored. After all, the project was meant to teach people how to rivet; it's functionality as a box for carrying tools was not its purpose. But when this point was raised by a third person I figured it was time to take another look at it. You can pretend that's what I'm doing in the photo above :-) (I think my wife took the snap shot to show my sister how skinny I've become.)<br /><br />So I will go ahead and post a set of drawings for a bigger box; something more suitable for a modern-day kit of tools. Personally, I have not yet found the need for such a thing but judging from my mail, several of you have.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-88516870981251006862009-06-29T15:47:00.000-07:002009-06-30T04:57:19.469-07:00The Crooked Foundation<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Skn8aTa8mII/AAAAAAAABlE/C1vfUlSCXvg/s1600-h/VALVE+STAND.jpg"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 312px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Skn8aTa8mII/AAAAAAAABlE/C1vfUlSCXvg/s320/VALVE+STAND.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5353087160926640258" border="0" /></a><br />.<br />During my last years in the Navy I was involved in what was known as the Technology Transfer Program. The idea was to pass along modern technology to friendly nations; to try and bring them up to speed in using modern-day communications and computers. I often wondered why. We were fresh out of Russians, pounding their shoe on the table at the UN, shouting they would bury us. 'Rebels' were occasionally given a polite mention.<br /><br />The quotes are because it was often difficult to tell who was a rebel and who was not.<br /><br />The program was a marvelous success, of course. (Have you ever heard of a government program that was <span style="font-style: italic;">not?</span>) In fact, most of the programs were dismal failures, for reasons that were painfully evident. For example, we were tasked with teaching the operation and repair of solid-state devices to electronics technicians who had never been exposed to solid-state devices. They tried -- and there were a few who did pretty well -- we'd been given the best people they had... and 'best' was determined by how well they did with tube-type equipment, the newest being Vietnam-era junk, long since replaced by more modern equipment.<br /><br />A lot of the mail I get reminds me of those 'Technology Transfer' programs. And for the same reason. For example, a message arrives from a fellow who claims to be qualified in all the basic stuff needed to maintain a VW engine, having owned his bug or bus for a number of years. In the message he provides a number of symptoms that make it clear the problem is worn valve guides, with a probability close to 100%, plus the fact that replacing the valve guides is a fairly common chore for the Volkswagen engine due to the small diameter of the valve stems and the fact air-cooled engines operate at a significantly higher temperature than their water-cooled cousins. Fortunately Volkswagen kept those things in mind when it designed the VW engine so that replacing the valve guides, which you'll need to do about every third valve job, is a straight-forward procedure, needed only a couple of additional tools.<br /><br />With those things in mind I pointed the fellow toward the valve guide procedure, which I believe is fairly complete.<br /><br />Unfortunately, the fellow had <span style="font-style: italic;">never</span> done a valve job. And of course, he didn't have even the most most basic tool, the valve spring compressor, needed to dismantle the heads. His definition of Major Maintenance was replacing his clutch disk.<br /><br />In the end, he bought a pair of 'rebuilt' heads from a the local 'expert' and took the first steps down the slippery slope that eventually lead to him getting rid of his Volkswagen.<br /><br />Ditto for Flying Volkswagens, except that first step is liable to happen within a matter of <span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;">hours</span> rather than years. Why? Because a flying Volkswagen is liable to be operated for hours at a time at a level of output rarely seen in a bug or bus. The tricky bit here is the belief that all rpm's are the same; that running 3600 rpm in a plane will be the same as running 3600 rpm in a car. It isn't... unless the <span style="font-style: italic;">manifold pressure</span> happens to be the same as well. The bottom line is that you can literally wear out a VW engine in a matter of hours.<br /><br />Which isn't especially bad, assuming you understand what you are doing and keep a spare set of heads on hand.<br /><br />-----------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Skn8pUAc3RI/AAAAAAAABlM/BgCAawNfpE4/s1600-h/BITS+%26+PIECES.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Skn8pUAc3RI/AAAAAAAABlM/BgCAawNfpE4/s320/BITS+%26+PIECES.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5353087418781981970" border="0" /></a><br />I'm a bit more circumspect nowadays, with people having assembled an engine from a kit of parts. Do you have a valve spring compressor? A rack to hold the removed valves? Do you have these f<span style="font-style: italic;">oundation</span> tools? Because if you don't, you'd better get them. You can buy them or make them but you absolutely <span style="font-style: italic;">can</span> <span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">not</span> do without them. These tools are the foundation of engine maintenace and to do without them is to build on a crooked foundation; things simply can not come out true.<br /><br />This article shows a fixture for holding valves. These happen to be made of wood but you can make them from cardboard, assembled with duct tape, or scrap aluminum if you'd like a simple riveting project. But I like to work<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Skn8-WTb4wI/AAAAAAAABlU/L6I1IAVSxgs/s1600-h/BASIC+STAND.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/Skn8-WTb4wI/AAAAAAAABlU/L6I1IAVSxgs/s320/BASIC+STAND.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5353087780175733506" border="0" /></a> with wood and had some scrap handy....Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-76744552642438349532009-06-18T15:39:00.000-07:002009-06-18T15:55:42.598-07:00CANCEROUS VOLKSWAGENS<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrChdIsNEI/AAAAAAAABkc/FEErAGN_UJk/s1600-h/RED+%27LOAF+01.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrChdIsNEI/AAAAAAAABkc/FEErAGN_UJk/s320/RED+%27LOAF+01.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5348801387468436546" border="0" /></a>This is a red 'loaf, I think a '71. No engine installed but it's on its own wheels. Used for storage so some stuff has to come out before it can go. There might be a Type IV stored in it -- I haven't been into it in more than a year.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrDHnlkAsI/AAAAAAAABkk/sfqiMjaihhc/s1600-h/RED+LOAF+02.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrDHnlkAsI/AAAAAAAABkk/sfqiMjaihhc/s200/RED+LOAF+02.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5348802043108917954" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />There is a small propane tank for this one. Lotsa junk inside.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrDlz3panI/AAAAAAAABks/EcE1MD4v8Pk/s1600-h/%27LOAF,+NO+RUNNING+GEAR.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrDlz3panI/AAAAAAAABks/EcE1MD4v8Pk/s200/%27LOAF,+NO+RUNNING+GEAR.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5348802561802070642" border="0" /></a><br /><br />This is the one down in the field. No running gear but trick upholstery. Loaded with junk. Needs to be skidded onto a flat-bed... after removing the vehicles in front of it.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrESofHW_I/AAAAAAAABk0/6I_oIiRhy1w/s1600-h/GRENDLE+01.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrESofHW_I/AAAAAAAABk0/6I_oIiRhy1w/s200/GRENDLE+01.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5348803331840498674" border="0" /></a>That's Grendle. I patched her floor &amp; door jams, did some work to the nose &amp; cockpit (floor was rusted out). Front axle is removed for overhaul... which never happened. Ditto for engine, except it was a swap; the core engine is still here, plus the tranny &amp; aft running gear. The running gear could be re-installed in a couple of d<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrFb7e7Y8I/AAAAAAAABk8/rF_0X4YIIac/s1600-h/GRENDLE%27S+NOSE.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SjrFb7e7Y8I/AAAAAAAABk8/rF_0X4YIIac/s200/GRENDLE%27S+NOSE.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5348804591070438338" border="0" /></a>ays but it's a long way from running -- needs a fuel tank &amp; plumbing, for example, plus I haven't finished the doors.<br /><br /><br /> There is a nose clip down in the field which was for this vehicle but now it's a case of winner take all. There's a shot of her nose.Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-59191015378882101322009-06-17T12:35:00.000-07:002009-06-17T12:43:15.858-07:00HVX_MODS WARNING !.<br />TO ALL:<br /><br />In doing the HVX mods you must drill two holes which result in the connection of the right-side tappet oil gallery to the #3 cam bearing. <br /><br />THIS DRILLING IS CRITICAL!<br /><br />On some engines there is not enough metal to allow the two new holes to connect without breaking through to the outside of the crankcase. THIS WILL DESTROY THE CRANKCASE. <br /><br />Before doing the drilling you must make sure there is enough metal. A warning to that effect has been on the drawings since they were first uploaded but in some cases it is difficult to take an accurate measurement, in others the builder lacks the proper tools.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-47733749398682426162009-06-13T21:54:00.000-07:002009-06-19T07:34:07.856-07:00What's the Secret?.<br />In addition to the Comments attached to to the tail-end of every Blog entry, a lot of folks contact me directly via email ( veeduber@chuggers.net ) In response to my last Blog entry ('Good News!' ) I received several email messages. One of them sounded a bit forlorn... and failed to provide a valid email address, making it impossible to answer them directly. What they wanted to know was the 'secret' of receiving good medical care.<br /><br />I don't think there <span style="font-style: italic;">is</span> a secret. But I think a lot of people have failed to understand the realities of modern medical treatment and a good way to prove that is to take a look at medical treatment in the past. You know the ones I mean.... where the Hero gets sick and ends up in the hospital attended to by the modern-day version of Florence Nightingale, where the All-Knowing physician apparently lived in a room just down the hall. The Hero's medical record -- magically reduced to a single sheet of paper attached to a clip-board hanging on the foot of the bed -- contained everything doctor might want to know.<br /><br />You can get a good laugh out of some present-day hospitals, the ones where the nurses don't even speak English and the physician might only come around one day per <span style="font-style: italic;">week</span>. My case will give you a nice example of modern-day medical treatment, where the patient becomes their own hospital.<br /><br />As most of you know, I have Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer for which there is no cure, although it <span style="font-style: italic;">can</span> be treated. The fellow who wrote me is apparently dealing with medical problems of his own, wondering what's the <span style="font-style: italic;">secret</span> to getting a bit of good news.<br /><br />Although I don't believe there is any <span style="font-style: italic;">secret</span>, the difference between my treatment and his could very well be the quality of the <span style="font-style: italic;">hospital</span> he uses, which is a play upon words since, as I've said above, in the modern day we often become our <span style="font-style: italic;">own</span> hospital.<br /><br />See that clip-board hanging on the foot of the patient's bed? Back in the Good Ol' Days... whenever that was, that was the patient's '<span style="font-weight: bold;">Vitals Chart</span>' and listed the patient's pulse-rate and temperature, recorded however often the doctor requested it, with every four hours being typical. Nowadays your vitals usually present more data, such as blood pressure and the oxygen content of your blood. Being my own hospital, I collect &amp; record my own vitals, generally using modern electronic instruments. As a pilot I already had a Nonin (brand name) blood-oxygen instrument, and the electronic thermometer seemed to arrive along with the kids. But I had to buy an electronic blood pressure device (less than $20).<br /><br />I usually take my vitals every day. The data is recorded in a notebook and again into a computer file. The notebook makes the data portable, allowing the physician to see it, should they ask. But most doctor's offices prefer to record your vitals themselves.<br /><br />I also record my weight, usually after my shower.<br /><br />My pills follow a four-times-per-day schedule. There is a listing that shows what medications I take, how much, and when they are taken. There is also an 'Origination List' showing which physician prescribed which pills, what they are for and when they were prescribed. Making sure this list up to date is a basic chore each time we visit any of the five doctors. Since my ailment is being treated by a team of physicians, it's up to me to ensure that all are made aware of any change to my mediations, especially when there is the possibility of any drug interaction.<br /><br />Many cancer patients say the cure is often worse than the disease. I've got a hunch they need to spend more time talking to their physician because a slight change in dosage or frequency can eliminate many of the side-effects which give rise to such claims. (In my case there <span style="font-style: italic;">isn't</span> any cure, but that doesn't mean it <span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;">has</span> to be fatal.) Working with the physicians over the past year has resulted in a nice <span style="font-style: italic;">balance</span> of medications which has reduced the side-effects to little more than a nuisance. That doesn't mean a full recovery -- the tumor has caused too much damage for that. But neither does it have me puttering about in a wheel chair. In either case, each of us is the master of our fate. For someone to feel that good medical care involves some <span style="font-style: italic;">secret</span> is more likely to cause others to doubt the person's perceptions than the quality of their physician. On the other hand, over the last few years there has been enormous strides in medicine and some physicians have failed to keep pace. If the cure is indeed so terrible it would seem logical to seek a second opinion.<br /><br />Personally, if there <span style="font-style: italic;">is</span> any secret it probably has to do with the cooperation between the physicians and the patients, with the patient playing the major cooperative role. Physicians simply have too many depands upon their time. From the outset of my treatment Dr. Bessudo, my oncologist, insisted upon a team approach, calling upon other physicians as needed. He also said that I would be a part of the team but I didn't realize what that role entailed. Looking back on the past year it is now obvious that much of my progress was due entirely to the roles played by my wife and myself. While that may sound self-serving I can swear it is not.<br /><br />In effect, my <span style="font-style: italic;">hospital</span> covers about 200 square miles (!). In the past year my wife has never failed to deliver me to the proper physician, on time and suitably attired. (Indeed, she uses a check-off list to ensure I have wallet, cell-phone and so forth -- ten items, all tolled.) Nor has she failed to procure my medications, and to dole them out in the proper frequency, from once a day to once per week. I suspect support of this nature is not considered much of a <span style="font-style: italic;">secret</span> when in fact it forms the very foundation of my treatment.<br /><br />A recommended change to my medication appears automatically on the other physician's computers, supported by an often cryptic email. Often times a recommended change will produce a flurry of emails before the matter is resolved, often based on economic factors. (You won't <span style="font-style: italic;">believe</span> what some drugs cost!) New drugs come on the market every day and if your ailment matches the intended purpose of the drug you're liable to be used as something of a lab-rat. Before trying something new, if you are being treated by more than one physician, it's a good idea to make sure they are all aware of the new drug and any possible side effects. This kind of information is available in the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) and from the company offering the new drug. The key point here is that you... <span style="font-weight: bold;">YOU</span> need to devote some time to your treatment. As I've said, physicians are busy people. Your treatment must be a cooperative effort.<br /><br />Baffled by all those medical terms? Then write them down. Now go look them up on your computer. Learn how to <span style="font-style: italic;">pronounce</span> them properly. Write down any questions you may have. <span style="font-style: italic;">Rehearse</span> your visit to the doctor. Be concise! Don't waste her time. (Nor his.)<br /><br />Are these things <span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">secrets</span>? I don't think so. Indeed, I've a hunch your physician will appreciate your enlightened interest.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-74175218899929964102009-06-09T14:59:00.000-07:002009-06-09T15:37:16.225-07:00Great Day!Just back from the Doctor Shop. This was the internist, Dr. Kipper. Turns out, he has not been getting copies of my blood-work from the lab. (The lab's computer zips the copies out to whoever is on the list. For some reason it has not been zipping. Now it is.)<br /><br />He does his thing; stethoscope, poke'm here, poke'm there... "<span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">DEEP</span> breath... no, a <span style="font-style: italic;">really</span> deep breath..." and I'm breathing so hard the wallpaper is starting to blister. Doesn't believe the girls figures perhaps. <br /><br />Hems &amp; haws and finally tells me: 'Get outta here. Come see me in three or four months."<br /><br />So the physicians are all in agreement: I'm pregnant. Or mebbe not :-) But I'm certainly <span style="font-style: italic;">not</span> suffering from a cancerous tumor. Oh, it's there. And it has already done its dirty work. But except for the back pain I am not <span style="font-style: italic;">suffering</span> from it. It has not spread; it is not eating me alive.<br />This is <span style="font-weight: bold;">GOOD NEWS</span> . And I am happy to share it with you.<br /><br />There is still the pain, of course, kept in check by a careful balance of pain-killers. If I try to do too much -- and I have, a time or two. I have a Magic Elixer called 'No Pain' that I can rub on the spot which does a nice job if the pain is not too large. But keep pushing the envelop and the pain will eventually break through. By the time it does, it's no laughing matter -- the magnitude is 'way out there and nothing works except a shot or more pain pills... which knocks me out. And if I'm not near a bed when that happens, it can be a <span style="font-weight: bold;">major</span> inconvenience.<br /><br />But today was a <span style="font-weight: bold;">good</span> day. One I wanted to share with you.<br /><br />---------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />I'm still working on the Portable/Table Saw project. I wasted a week tracking down some sanding disks. Then we had a spate of rain (!!). Unheard of this late in the year. Then there were house chores... yada, yada, yada. <br /><br />And the worry. Which is kinda funny.<br /><br />I've got cancer. But I feel pretty good and find myself <span style="font-style: italic;">worrying</span> about <span style="font-weight: bold;">that</span>. Think about it for a minute. The main problem is that I've not yet gotten to the point where I can shrug my shoulders and get on with my life. After all, Cancer is Bad. So I shouldn't be feeling Good.<br /><br />Crazy, eh?<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-21357838782204593242009-06-04T14:19:00.000-07:002009-06-05T16:36:00.444-07:00On Engines<pre><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">In response to one of Rocky's messages I mentioned a number of things</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">that can effect compression ratio. Sunday I go to check the mail and</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">there's this buncha guys peering in my window all saying pretty much the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">same thing:</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">I don't see how ... (you fill in the blank) can have any effect on CR.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">A minor variation on the theme was:</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">(Your favorite expert's name goes here)... sez to do it like ( whatever)</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">and never mentions (...various unmentionables...).</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Please accept the following as a general answer for all.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">CRANKCASE</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The four holes in the crankcase that accept the cylinder barrels are called</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">spigot bores. The area around each bore is called the deck and serves to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">support the cylinder. The deck of the spigot bores must all be the same</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">distance from the center-line of the crankshaft. This is something you</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">check before you start building any VW engine even when using a new</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">crankcase because sometimes the axis of the crankshaft is machined</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">slightly eccentric, meaning the main bearing bores are a little bit deeper in</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">one half of the crankcase than the other. Or more rarely, machined at a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">slight angle, with the clutch-end being more to the left, the pulley-end to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the right (or visa-versa). Not often but it happens. So you check it. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">With any USED crankcase the spigot bore decks will have been re-faced</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">-- re-machined to get rid of the shuffle marks. Good shops with the right</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">equipment always machine the case decks to match but if you buy a used</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">crankcase from a shade-tree mechanic or a shop that caters to the kiddie</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">trade you're liable to find almost anything. I've seen cases with as much</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">as sixty thou variation in the spigot deck height from one side to the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">other... and almost that much on the same side of some cases, which tells</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">you the case came from a drill-press operation (ie, a shop that doesn't</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">have a milling machine).</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Your jugs sit on the deck around the spigot bores. If there is any</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">difference in their height it will be reflected in the height of the cylinders.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">And since the con-rod extension is relative to the center-line of the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">crankcase, any variation in the height of the cylinders will show up as a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">difference in the deck-height of the piston at TDC.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">If that's not clear, make a drawing and work it out but the message here</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">is that you have to KNOW. You can't guess. You need to blueprint the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">case and record your findings, whatever they are, because you're about to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">build on that foundation and by the time you get out to the heads you will</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">have stacked up half a dozen components and even the smallest</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">variations will have become significant because of the stack-up. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Major point here is that there is always some amount of variation. With</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">an army of inspectors to insure the quality of every step in the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">manufacturing process, for original Volkswagen parts the variations</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">would tend to cancel each other out rather than stack up. That's not true</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">with after-market parts. The only way to know what you have is to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">measure what you got. Some guys call this 'blueprinting' and make a big</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">deal out of it but it's mostly common sense.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">CRANKSHAFT</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Set the crank up in vee blocks or with fitted bearings in a known-true</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">case half and check the length of the throws, even if it's a good crank</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">you've just sent out for a polish. Sometimes the grinder will have a bad</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">day and you'll end up with a crank having a slightly different stroke on</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">one (or more!) of the journals. So you check it to within the accuracy of</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">your tooling and record the results. Usually, cranks are pretty good.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Some of those cranks coming in from China are as good as any I've seen.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">But some are trash. Ditto for a LOT of welded strokers aimed at the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Kiddie Trade, with examples of every problem you can name being</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">woefully common. You have to check and record what you find even</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">when any variation falls within acceptable limits because that variation,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">whatever it is, will add to or subtract from the finished dimensions of the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">engine.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">CONNECTING RODS</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">To 'rebuild' a rod you re-bush the little end, hone the bush to spec then</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">pull apart the big end, use a surface grinder to remove a little metal from</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the parting line, torque it back together and machine the big-end back to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">a true circle relative to the little end. That is, you try to keep the distance</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">between the center of the big end to the center of the little end the same</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">as for a new rod fresh from the factory.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Sunnen honer properly maintained, skilled machinist... you can produce a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">pretty good rod. Shops that cater to the kiddie trade... wetback labor...</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">worn-out or poorly maintained machine tools... Forget about it. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">So what's the spec for a stock length rod? I donno... 137mm?</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Something like that.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Doesn't really matter. (!!) What matters is that all four of your rods</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">must be of IDENTICAL length. That's what matters. Long or short,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">you can deal with that but only if they are all the SAME.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">But they won't be. There will be some variation in their center-to-center</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">length, center of mass and over-all mass. You'll take care of the weigh</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">differences during balancing but right now you need to know the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">variation in their center-to-center length, which is pretty easy to measure</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">even with simple tools if you use one journal of a crankcase as your</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">center on the big end and a well fitted wrist pin on the other.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Con-rods are numbered. Use their number in your records when you</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">record the difference in their lengths. SOP is to identify the shortest rod</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">then simply record the differences of the other three. Good rods, you'll</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">be working in tenths.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">What's a well fitted wrist pin? Oiled and at room temperature, you</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">should be able to slide the pin into the little-end with your hands. Once</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">in, it should fit well enough so that the pin takes at least two or three</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">seconds to slide OUT when the rod is held horizontally (and the pin is</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">installed flush). Slower is better. At running temps the forged mild steel</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">rod will expand more than the polished cast iron pin so a good fit is one</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">that is damned tight at room temperature. There should never be a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">problem with the fit between the pin and the piston because the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">coefficient of thermal expansion for aluminum is MUCH greater than for</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">cast iron; at operating temps the piston will always be an easy fit on the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">pin even if they are locked together at room temperature. (You generally</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">heat the pistons to install/remove the pin.)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">A lot of rods aimed at the kiddie trade or used by lo-buck rebuilders</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">aren't even overhauled. They just knurl the bushing and hone it back to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">size and merely hit the big-end with a hammer before honing if they</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">bother to hone it at all. Shop by price, you'll end up buying junk. Good</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">shops are proud of the quality of their work, offer no objection if you</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">want to mike a part now &amp; then. Ditto for good dealers. The other kind</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">don't want anything to do with real mechanics. And get their wish :-)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">PISTONS &amp; CYLINDERS</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Pistons &amp; cylinders are manufactured individually then sorted according</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">to their finished diameter (for jugs) and weight (for pistons). The</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">different sizes and weights are identified by dots of colored paint on the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">pistons.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">In manufacturing a cylinder barrel the raw casting is first machined then</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the machined barrel is honed to remove the tool marks. In the process of</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">machining a given number of cylinders, the finished bore will become</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">gradually smaller as the tool-bit wears down. When it gets to a certain</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">minimum size they stop the machine and set it back up with a new boring</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">tool. The point here is that the inside diameter of the jugs being</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">produced will fall across a certain range of diameters. This is normal.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The honed jugs are measured and divided into groups according to some</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">standard deviation in their diameter, typically about a thousandth of an</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">inch. But even with that small a standard, with four jugs from the same</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">size-group you can expect to find a variation in their diameter. It won't</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">be much but you need check it.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Volkswagen used cast aluminum pistons from permanent molds. The</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">density of cast aluminum varies slightly according to how much metal is</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">in the smelting pot, its temperature and how long its been there. The</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">castings are then machined to a given diameter, for the grooves where</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">piston rings, for the wrist pin and for the top of the piston. All other</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">surfaces are usually left as-cast. As with all machining operations, the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">finished dimensions will fall across a range of sizes.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The combination of differing density in the aluminum alloy and variations</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">in the as-cast dimensions causes VW pistons to vary in weight by as</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">much as an ounce (!) Even by 1930's standards that's a bit much so the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">pistons get sorted into three weight groups with each group having a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">maximum variation of ten grams.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The nominal dimension of the piston (i.e., its size group) is stamped on</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the top and a dot of colored paint is used to indicate which direction its</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">actual dimension deviates from the stamped figure. A dot of colored</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">paint is used to indicate the piston's weight group and a plus or minus</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">symbol is stamped into the top of the piston to indicate if the piston's</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">weight is above or below the nominal weight for that group.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The pistons are divided into groups according to their weight and within</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">each weight group, are divided into groups according to their diameter,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">allowing them to be matched with suitable jugs, fitted with rings and</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">packaged for shipment. Stock jugs used to be available individually;</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">nowadays all you'll see are sets of four.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">But your carton of new pistons &amp; cylinders may arrive as a grossly mis-</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">matched set of junk. Here's why: Some after-market retails -- or the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">clerks who work for them -- tear open the boxes and shuffle sets around</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">to make up sets having the largest bore diameter and identical weight</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">markings. Some dealers even brag about this in their advertising,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">referring to such sets as the 'pick of the litter' that need no further</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">balancing. And sell such sets at inflated prices.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">It's all bullshit of course. With a weight group encompassing ten grams,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">with two divisions and a mark for high or low the best you can hope for</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">is a spread of 2.5g... about 25x worse than a real balancing job. (Using</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">an inexpensive electronic scale for measuring and a Dremel tool for</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">removing metal, the average novice has no trouble matching four pistons</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">to within a gram or two.)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">But the most interesting point of all this is what happens AFTER those</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">sets of pistons have been pawed over by the clerks. They get tossed back</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">into the boxes willy-nilly and sold to unsuspecting suckers, including</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">other retailers. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The tricky bit here is that you can't balance a set of pistons if they span</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">TWO weight groups. Pistons are provided with extra metal in the form</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">of 'balancing pads,' areas from which you may remove metal without</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">effecting the strength of the piston. But the maximum amount you can</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">remove is only a few grams. That isn't a problem when all of the pistons</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">are from the same weight group. But with MIXED weight groups you're</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">liable to see as much as 20 GRAMS difference across your four brand</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">new jugs. Not only does that violate the factory spec of 10g, the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">difference is too large to be balanced out - - there simply isn't enough</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">metal that can be safely removed.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">You just paid good money for a set of new jugs that are junk.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">But this is about compression ratio so let's get back to that.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">First thing you gotta do is examine your new set of P&amp;C's to make sure</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">they are of the same size group (ie, the variation of diameter) and within</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the same weight group. That is, all four of the jugs in the box should</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">have the same color code for dimension and the same color basic color</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">code for weight group. The code for plus &amp; minus doesn't matter</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">because you're going to have them re-balanced to a finer standard of</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">precision (i.e., typically +/- 0.1g across a set of 4).</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">You should do all that before you buy them. And yes, you can get</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">royally screwed when buying through the mail. No, I won't recommend</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">anyone -- I've been sued both ways on that one, once because a guy was</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">unhappy with someone I recommended and another time by a dealer</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">because I DIDN'T recommend him. So go fish. And good luck.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Because getting a set of P&amp;C's that hasn't been tampered with is just the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">start of the story.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Once you have a set of P&amp;C you'll need to put identifying marks on the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">jugs and record the marks and the dimensions in your notes. I file</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">notches in the flat area of the upper-most fin. When you have more than</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">one engine in the shop at a time, keeping their parts separate can be a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">problem. I use a series of adjoining notches to identify the set then one</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">to four additional notches, spaced apart, to identify a particular jug within</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">a set. The notches are cut with die-grinder as soon as I open the box.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The pistons have to stay with their particular jug so you need to put a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">matching mark or number on the underside of that piston. I use a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">vibrating scriber.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Begin your measurements with the distance between the deck lip and the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">top of the cylinder barrel. The easy way to do this is to just stand the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">thing on its head and use a surface gauge to find the tallest barrel then</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">record any difference in the other three. Here again, you can expect</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">some small variation.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Barrel length is an especially critical dimension in an horizontally</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">opposed engine since it is the foundation of the valve train geometry.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">This dimension is even more important in horizontally opposed engines</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">like the Volkswagen which depend upon head studs (or stays) to</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">maintain the seal between the cylinder and the head since any difference</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">in the length of the barrels will impose an asymmetric load on the sealing</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">surface leading to compression leaks. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">After measuring the length of the barrels the pistons are removed and the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">pin height is measured. Follow the same general procedure; put the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">piston, head down, on a surface plate, use a gauge to find the tallest then</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">record the difference between it and the other. (As a point of interest, in</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">most cases there's nothing to record - - the dimensions match to within</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">less than a thousandth of an inch and an amount that small is generally</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">not significant. What I'm really looking for here is any radical departure</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">from the norm.)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The rings get removed and a lot of other work gets done but we're only</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">talking CR here so I won't go into the other stuff.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">CYLINDER HEADS</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">As with the jugs, when measuring the heads you must first identify them.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Through the course of assembling an engine the heads get a lot of work</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">done to them and you need to keep good records. I stamp numbers on</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">them, over by the right-hand exhaust stack (right-hand looking into the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">chambers, push-rods down). Doesn't really matter how you identify them</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">just so you do. I use stamped numbers because in prepping a set of</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">heads I usually replace some of the guides, run them through the blasting</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">cabinet to roughen up certain areas then open up the chambers, unshroud</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the valves and do a few other things, most of which will destroy any kind</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">of temporary markings.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">On the chamber-side of the head casting you will find either a fully</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">machined flat area surrounding the chambers (old style heads) or six</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">machined bosses, three to each chamber. The horizontal plane defined by</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the machined surface is the base-line for all of your head dimensions.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">You need to know the distance from that horizontal plane to the sealing</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">surface of the combustion chamber. More specifically, you want that</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">distance to be as close to identical as possible for both heads and, within</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">a head, for both chambers.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">This dimension can be all over the map if the heads have been opened up</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">by a schlock shop. Good shop, any variation should only be a few tenths</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">(ie, ten-thousandths of an inch) up to a max of half a thou (ie, fifty</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">ten-thousandths). Shlock shop, using a cutter in a drill press, you won't</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">believe the crap they turn out.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">This dimension is especially critical in the fabrication of a good VW</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">engine. If this distance varies by more than two thou between the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">chambers of the same head, or by five thou between a pair of heads,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">have the heads fly-cut by the minimum amount needed to arrive at a</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">uniform figure for all four chambers. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">With measurements for the case deck height, barrel length, rod length</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">and piston head height, and knowing the compression ratio you are</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">planning to use, measuring your chamber volumes tells you how much</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">you will have to open them up to achieve the desired compression ratio.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Indeed, once you've nailed down a few dimensions, setting up the correct</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">compression ratio becomes something of a no-brainer.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">And somewhere about now you'll realize this message wasn't about</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">compression ratio at all :-)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">There are two main reasons for doing the work described above. The</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">first is to be able to identify good parts from bad parts. You can't make</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">this determination by price nor the fact the part is new, rebuilt or</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">whatever. Nowadays there is so much junk out there the wiser course is</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">to assume you're dealing with shoddy goods until its specs prove</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">otherwise.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">As you progress through the measurement of the parts you begin to see</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">ways in which you can combine those parts so as to arrive at the most</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">dimensionally-uniform result. For example, a slightly short throw on the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">crank can be combined with a slightly long rod. The same is true for the</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">jugs and the heads in that some combinations may be used to cancel out</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">dimensional variations.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">A nice point to keep in mind here is that the 'assembly' of a 'paper'</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">engine is an arm-chair activity. You may take as long you wish, shuffling</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">the numbers about in every possible combination until you arrive the one</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">that makes the best possible use of that particular set of parts.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">OF THAT PARTICULAR SET OF PARTS...</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Did the light-bulb come on over your head? You see, the typical engine-</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">builder can only afford ONE set of parts. And as much as I hate to say it,</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">if you simply bolt them together the odds of getting a good engine are</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">vanishingly small. Oh, it'll run. Veedubs are robust little buggers...</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">ANYTHING will run. But if you simply throw the thing together it will</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">not run as well as it should nor last as long as it could. And you won't</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">know the difference.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">But I'm not a machinist... (I heard someone shout).</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Neither was W. Edwards Deming. He was a statistician with the Bureau</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">of the Census. (Never heard of him? Your loss.)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">The truth is, you don't need to be a machinist to build a better engine.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">You can do that by simply taking a few measurements and keeping good</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">notes. That's enough to keep you from building a total piece of shit.</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">When you subtract the POS Probability Factor from the engine building</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">equation you AUTOMATICALLY end up with a better engine. How</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">much better? On average, about twice as good. Yeah, I know... nobody</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">else believes it either. Except for the guys who have done it. (Didja read</span><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">my article on dialing in your cam? Ditto.)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">Up to you. It's your engine.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: times new roman;">-R.S.Hoover</span><br /><br /></pre>Bob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7556050465385247470.post-4735576999640637762009-05-29T10:54:00.000-07:002009-05-29T12:23:58.247-07:00BOB THE PLUMBER.<br />When you liv<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiA0BQnCk2I/AAAAAAAABkE/HpUtaHiXtrA/s1600-h/VALVE+ASSEMBLED.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiA0BQnCk2I/AAAAAAAABkE/HpUtaHiXtrA/s200/VALVE+ASSEMBLED.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5341326354304635746" border="0" /></a>e in an old house you can expect to do lots of minor repairs. Such as plumbing. In the time I've been ill a surprising number of chores have piled up. Family and friends have pitched in but some are major tasks, such as keeping our property trimmed down so as to prevent less of a fire hazard. Unable to do the trimming and tilling myself, the local fire department is threatening us with having the work done by their selected crew and simply sending us the bill, always a bit fatter than when we hire someone ourselves -- and when we do a lot of the work ourselves.<br /><br />This year I can't do that so we've budgeted for what we can do.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiAzNUMwqDI/AAAAAAAABj0/4V0fSRq3LHo/s1600-h/INSIDE+VIEW.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiAzNUMwqDI/AAAAAAAABj0/4V0fSRq3LHo/s200/INSIDE+VIEW.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5341325461914953778" border="0" /></a><br />One aspect of fire prevention was plumbing the property with a 2-1/2" water line when I bought the place back in '65. I have 1" and 1-1/2" pipe completely around the house, with heavy hoses for each faucet.<br /><br />One of the faucets developed a leak.<br /><br />Fixing faucets, including chucking them in the lathe and turning a new valve seat, is another of those chores you have to keep up with. This post shows what you need to do to repair a particular type of faucet.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiAzhZV3BQI/AAAAAAAABj8/EJdLPMi9fEQ/s1600-h/WASHER.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiAzhZV3BQI/AAAAAAAABj8/EJdLPMi9fEQ/s200/WASHER.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5341325806892680450" border="0" /></a><br />In the exploded view you can see that the faucet consists of a shaft, a shaft seal &amp; packing, a washer and a valve seat. The valve seat is what connects to the water pipe. In this case, the pipe is one-inch, stepped down to accept the 3/4" faucet. Two other faucets on this line are only 1/2", their size reflecting the area they have to cover should we need to wet-down the property so as to suppress embers.<br /><br />To maintain the faucet you may have to replace the packing around the shft, a task that thakes only a few minutes. Usually, the job calls for replacing the neoprene washer. Rarest of all is having the re-machine the seat where the washer forms a seal.<br /><br />All of my plumbing stuff was kept in a plumber's bag, a white canvas thing with leather re-enforcing the corners. During my illness the bag has vanished. I assume it was simply moved from one place to another but I haven't time to search for it. After going to the lab for my blood-work, we stop by the local <span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Home Depot</span> to pick up the needed gasket. (See above)<br /><br />Wanna guess what the store no longer carries? Right. But they still have the <span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">valve</span>, of course, at about nine dollars.<br /><br />Vista used to have two well-stocked plumbing stores. They've been forced out of business by Home Depot and Wal-Mart.<br /><br />When I'm feeling better I'll use a razor to cut out a supply of gaskets for our various valves. And track down the missing plumber's bag.<br /><br />The photos show what the valve looks like when dismantled. The washer goes in easily, secured by a single Phillips Head screw. Phillips screw drivers come in a variety of sizes. This one calls for a #1. I think the la<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiA0g0wSFPI/AAAAAAAABkM/26ouJixVejU/s1600-h/NEW+VALVE+INSTALLED.JPG"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JU6RC7jJfRc/SiA0g0wSFPI/AAAAAAAABkM/26ouJixVejU/s200/NEW+VALVE+INSTALLED.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5341326896583021810" border="0" /></a>rgest we'll see is a #4 but just for insurance I'll make up a few extras in that size.<br /><br />Finally, back home with the nine dollar valve instead of the five-cent gasket, everything is back together again, making our home that much safer when the fires come roaring down from the hills.<br /><br />-R.S.HooverBob Hooverhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15861126799745704555noreply@blogger.com0最新高清无码专区在线视频_一日本道不卡高清a无码_狠狠躁天天躁中文字幕