31 May, 2010

Husqvarna Viking Model 21 Sewing Machine

Mom had her sewing machine setup in her office, and I had to snap some pics of it. She bought it new on 1963. It is a Husqvarna Viking Model 21.


A Weekend at the Rents

We ran up to Medford Saturday morning to spend a couple days at my parents new/old house. We still had a few items of theirs leftover from their move, so we loaded up big Hank and hit the road. Luckily, the Memorial Day weekend traffic wasn't bad at all. Here are some random pics of the journey:

Big Hank loaded up with random leftover move stuff

Mount Shasta in all its glory

Izzy likes to climb on the rear patio cover and peak down like ceiling cat

Mom's front seating area

Crazy tree in the front yard that has taken on a shape all its own

See Susan's post for the people and party snaps.


30 May, 2010

24 May, 2010

Paper Holder

I found this little gem in a scrap box, while searching for Ratty's license plate. It is a little glass tube meant to hold registration papers. I think it came on the spare Bridgestone parts bikes.

I mounted it to coffee can toolbox.

It fits just right.

That was about it for this evening.


23 May, 2010

Ratty gets a ratty muffler

While Ratty wasn't super loud, it wasn't quiet enough to make me feel comfortable about firing it up on a Sunday morning to go for a ride. Unless I wanted to be "that guy" in our neighborhood. So I had plans of making a muffler, or finding a muffler, or something.

Turns out, while looking for the license plate, I found an old muffler I had laying around from a Yamaha YSR50 I had years ago. I took it apart to inspect the guts, and found it in very usable condition. The fiberglass packing was decent, and not too oily. So, I welded up a new end cap that slipped into the exhaust pipe and bolted in. Results below.

Entire muffler is easily taken apart. The tail cap is held in place with a big ass cir-clip thingy, then the entire guts of the baffle with fiberglass packing pull right out.

Front piece just slides into the exhaust pipe, and bolts in place:

Overall, the sound is about 25% quieter, especially at a slightly high idle with just a tick of choke on.

After a busy day, now I sit on the couch with a mug of coffee, blogging and watching Sahara on the DVR.


Gold Stars

The solution to my helmet dilemma was of course...gold stars. Gold sparkle stars actually.

Hand painted gold stars, with gold sparkle glue added over the top, and a thin black outline.


22 May, 2010

El Cheapo Helmet Paint Job

I had a spare old school DOT helmet that I plan on wearing when I ride Ratty. It was boring grey, and pretty ratty itself, dating back to 1994. I had various ideas of what I wanted, and finally got started this morning. It isn't done yet, because I'm not satisfied with the results of round 1. But, here is a quick review of today's activities, all done while sitting on the couch, watching some Nascar, and drinking beer. God bless America!

Spread out on the couch, just getting started:

Cutting out the stars with a razor blade:

tape, razor blade, paint, brushes, and some star templates thanks to Susan's craft room:

Main stars are about 1.5" across, both red and blue. I painted the entire helmet semi-gloss white this morning.

I made two of the stars on the top/back 3.5" across.

I intend to fill the void spaces with a bunch of smaller stars, since it looks a bit boring as it sits. And yes, I hand painted the stars, and intended them to look a bit roughed up. 5 minutes after applying the paint, I ran across them with the brush to give them a weathered look.

More tomorrow.


15 May, 2010

Rear Brake Foot Lever

I fabbed up a new rear brake today, using random scrap pieces from the garage. In total, an old bent 15mm wrench, a Honda S90 kick start lever, and some 1/8"x3/4" flat bar stock and a couple washers.

How many tools does it take to build a brake lever?

Lever installed:

I used the stock Trail rear brake rod thingy:

I used an engine kick starter, so that the toe part of the lever could fold up out of the way so that the engine kick starter will clear:

And yes, it works. I took it around the block a few times and I now have brakes (brake) that stops the bike.


13 May, 2010

Hook and Ladder Brewing Golden Ale


no alc given

The third of four Hook and Ladder offerings that came in my sample pack, this Golden Ale was a nice surprise. It has a bit more color than a typical light Ale, with a creamy foam topping. It has a much deeper body than expected, packed full of sweet malt goodness. It is very smooth overall, with the malt and sweet tones overriding the soft hops. I was also surprised by how well the flavors kept with it on the aftertaste. One of the few light Ales that you can actually taste between sips.

Well done.


Drake's IPA


7% abv

Drake advertises their IPA as Gold Medal winning. In fact, it took home the honors at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival. And I can see why, as it was excellent.

It poured out with a great deep color and stiff peaky head. It also had some sediment in the bottom of the bottle that dripped out over the foam like a sprinkling of nutmeg. Great aroma, with a balance of fresh hops and smooth malts. That balance stays through the body too, with a great IPA taste. It even has enough hoppy bitterness to keep the IPA fans happy.

Overall, a great IPA, and a great beer.


Side "Covers" Round Duece

I know I already made some aluminum side covers, but I had originally sketched up a simple wire frame type contraption. So after collecting a bunch of old rusty rod from the work yard, I got busy. They aren't really covering anything, so they are pretty pointless. As is most of the bike.

I cut out a piece of foam to use a template, then placed the rods on the foam to get everything tacked in place. And yes, the foam melted.

I only made the driver side so far. It mounts much better than the flimsy aluminum covers, since the wires have some girth to them.

Another view.

The wire rod material was actually old ARC welding rods that had been sitting out in the dirt around the welded building for years. I just cut and bent them into shape using my incredibly strong hands and bench vice.

They don't stand out like the AL covers, but that might not be a bad thing. Not sure yet how I like them.


11 May, 2010

Exhaust wrap, and some overall pics

My exhaust wrap came in today, after ordering it late Sunday morning. I picked up two rolls of DEI 1"x15' black exhaust wrap from Summit Racing. I've never used this stuff before, so I actually read the instructions before I got started. Crazy I know.

I soaked the wrap in water for a few minutes before I got started, which seamed to make it softer and easier to wrap.

I didn't get many shots during the wrapping process, mostly because I was covered in liquid black shit. That, and I had to keep a tight grip on it to keep the wrap tight around the pipe as I worked down the length. For those thinking about doing this, let me just say that a roll of 1" wide, 15' long wrap barely was enough. The 2" wrap would have covered more, but I was concerned it would be more difficult to use around the tight radius of the header pipe. I also used some stainless safety wire to secure the ends, and a couple other places along the pipe.

And now, a few shots of the bike. It is almost finished. I'm not fully satisfied with the side covers, so I brought home some random scraps of 1/8" diameter rod from work, that's been sitting int he scrap bin rusting away. I might make up a lattice type thing for the covers this weekend. We'll see.


10 May, 2010

Mendicino Brewing White Hawk Select IPA


7% abv

I almost poured out this IPA into a giant glass of foam. Luckily, I caught it and was able to slow it down. I don't think it had much effect though, as this was a very good solid IPA. Not super hoppy on the front end, but it had very strong hops and bitter notes through the body and finish. In fact, the bitter notes really hung in there between drinks. I usually don't dig overly bitter IPAs, but this was pretty tasty.


Hook and Ladder Brewing Anniversary Ale


no alc given

This was a strange one. It was both very sweet yet strangely sour. The malty tones were pretty subdued, in fact, it smelled very malty, but the sweetness overpowered the malt. And for some reason, it had a Bavarian Heff style sourness to it, which is not my favorite. But luckily, everything managed to balance out into something I enjoyed.


Hook and Ladder Brewing Backdraft Brown


4.5% abv

A perfectly good drinking brown, but lacking much of the unique characters that make up a brown. If that makes any sense. Fairly dark in color with a medium body and a nice syrupy mouthfeel. Flavors were fairly mild though, which was surprising given the meaty color. The nuttyness is there, but it is just very subdued. It also has a hint of sweetness and malt flavor that balances it well. I just wanted more of a flavor hit, probably because I don't get many browns.

So not your typical brown. Which can be good or bad, depending on if you like browns.


ps: thanks Rich for the note about the abv!

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest


6.7% abv

A very tasty, and very potent fresh hop ale. It poured out with great head, and a very rich color. Aroma was pretty hoppy, but not too biting. The bite saved itself for the full-bodied flavor, which had just enough fresh hop taste to be exciting. There was ample bitterness on the finish too. Overall, a real top notch beer that was fantastic on a Saturday afternoon.


North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin


9% abv

Old Rasputin poured out very thick and creamy, coating the glass with a thick syrupy flow. A stiff peaky head lasted for quite a while, even after sipping down half the glass. There are sweet malty overtones, but no trace of the somewhat high alcohol content. Basically, a nice smooth thick bodied stout that was great to drink.


09 May, 2010

Side Covers

I fabbed up some simple side covers for Ratty, using a scrap piece of aluminum sheet. Mostly something to cover the openings in the frame, and give access to the wiring behind it. Here was the process:

Traced out a pattern roughly 1/2" bigger around than the size needed. Then I bent the edge over to give it a 1/2" depth. I then drilled a few 5/8" holes in it:

Inside view of the cover:

To keep the thin aluminum from bending in while I drilled it, I cutout a piece of 1" thick rigid foam to fit inside the cover. I was surprised how hot the cutout aluminum piece was, as it melted down through the foam:

The almost finished side cover mounted up. I have since made the other side panel, and given them a light wet sand to scuff them up a bit. I didn't want them to have that brand new shiny plate look.

I would have posted a "finished" picture of the covers, but I locked my keys in the garage, and Susan is off at Salvation Army serving food. So you'll just have a to pretend to know what they look like, while I drink a beer.