Monthly Archives: June 2017

6/30/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. It is hard to believe that the year is already half over. This year has absolutely flown by, and I see no reason why it will slow down anytime soon.

2. The garage is prepped for the lift install on Wednesday. I did move stuff around to give the lift side of the garage a little more room in front of the lift, and I’m sure I’ll move stuff around again once the lift is installed.

3. I am going to Summit Point Main Circuit on Sunday for a TrackDaze event. This will be the second track day this year, and the first one on the Main Circuit in about 6 years, so I will be relearning the track. Since I need to relearn, I will be in the Blue group, and most likely will have an instructor for a session or two. I’ll finish the car prep on Saturday.

6/28/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. On Monday, I ordered a lift, from Greg Smith Equipment, on Monday, and so far, the transaction is going well. It is being shipped to a local freight depot by Old Dominion, and per their tracking system, it should arrive Thursday. I plan on picking it up on Wednesday, July 5th, and to assist in unloading and moving the pieces, I will be renting a small fork lift for the day.

2. I will be re-organizing the garage in prep for the lift install. Hopefully, the new layout will provide more room on the lift side of the garage.

6/25/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. I got photos of the telescope mount that I welded in use. Seeing something that I fixed in use gives me more satisfaction most things from the day job. I need to continue to learn how to weld items, get better at welding and do more of this type of thing.

2. I’m back on the west coast, and I will be flying home tomorrow. While I’m not a big fan of business travel, I do enjoy and use the various walking paths that are available in the area. The bay area does a nice job at provided paths for people to use, not only for pleasure, but commuting. I wish Northern Virginia was better at providing this type of access

3. The real bright spot of traveling to the San Jose area is a restaurant called Sumiya. This place has incredible and authentic Japanese food. I tried their green tea brulee, for desert, and it was fantastic.

4. I’m ready to order my four post lift, and if all goes well, I will order it while I’m at the San Jose airport waiting on my flight Monday morning.

6/07/2017: Things I Learned Today

1. One of my co-workers had a broken telescope mount that he needed welded, so he brought it in to see if I could help out. The piece is cast aluminum, and I have never welded cast aluminum before, so I told him I would give it a shot. I spent a little time watching YouTube videos on welding cast aluminum, and I basically learned that it can be a pain to weld, but cleanliness is key.

Once I got the broken half circle mount secured onto the welding table, I got a new grinding wheel and cleaned the area around the split and grooved out the crack slightly. I then used a new stainless wire brush and acetone to complete the cleaning of the broken piece. I also used a new scratch pad to clean the filler rod.

It took a couple tries to get the heat set correctly on the welder, but I did finally get a good setting to get the cleaning and melting at a happy place. What worked for me is that I did two passes over the crack area. The first pass laid down new filler material on each side of the crack; then, the second pass I could fill in the crack. I did small sections at a time, but I’m happy with the penetration; however, I wouldn’t win a prettiest weld competition.

He will try it out this weekend, but it will work just fine.

6/02/2017: June Already

I can’t believe it is already June…

The Memorial day weekend was a good one. I didn’t mind the rain as it gave me an excuse to veg out in the house a little, and I made up for it on a sunny Monday. The Sunday of the holiday weekend was spent with the “in law” side of the family with a cookout welcoming a nephew home from Afghanistan while serving in the Army. It was good to see him and all of the other folks. The Monday was a nice sunny day, so we got a lot of stuff done around the house. One of the highlights was that I got to use the torch setup. We have three metal kettles that we want to turn into planters, so I burned a drain hole in the bottom of the kettles, and there is a metal liner remnant from a decomm’ed well that stuck up above ground level that I torched off. It has been 25+ years since I used a torch, so for the first little bit, I was a little nervous, but it did not take too long to get comfortable with the torch again.

Yesterday was my birthday, so I have successfully made another trip around the sun pretty successfully. Here is to many more…

One of my co-workers has a little welding job for me to try out. He has a broken telescope mount which is made from cast aluminum. Everything I have read about cast aluminum is that it is a pain to weld, so this may not be the best “first” weld job for someone else, but I’ll give it a shot. Fortunately, the piece is relatively clean, so I should be able to get it prepped for TIGing with out too many issues.