Saturday, November 11, 2017

1939 Ford 9N Repair Work: History and Teardown

This week is the first of a series of posts on my 1939 Ford 9N - a small utility tractor I use for property work and, importantly, snow removal in the winter.  This tractor has a bit of history in the family, but hasn't been well maintained to "winter plowing" standards - and definitely hasn't been maintained to my preferred standards.  It's been more "Fix it when it breaks" instead of getting it into good shape and keeping it there - which was fine for the occasional light summer and fall use, but not with what I'm using it for now.


If you're used to modern, disposable things (which, let's be honest, is most of the stuff built today), old tractors are entirely different.  They're built to run forever with occasional rebuilds, done mostly by a farmer with a crescent wrench.  My tractor is 75 years old now, and I fully expect it to outlive me.  It's a different kind of device, and I'll try to explain it as I go, for those not familiar with oil bath cleaners, carburetors, sediment bowls, and the like - so keep on reading!  If something isn't clear, please let me know in the comments and I'll try to explain better.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Harbor Freight Wind Up Flashlight/Radio Teardown, Review, and Upgrade (Model 98319)

I've torn down plenty of little solar powered gizmos on this blog, but I haven't torn down a crank powered gizmo - until now!  I had some spare birthday money and was at Harbor Freight.  Harbor Freight is a bad idea, generally speaking, because I end up with some neat (and cheap) gizmos to pull apart.

Like this one!  This is an "Emergency Crank Radio/Flashlight."  Well, I've had crank flashlights before, but I've never ripped one apart to see what makes it tick!


What's inside?  How does it work?  How can I improve it?  Is this worth buying?  What are the power consumption numbers?  Read on for the answers to all these questions!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Building a Trash Hauler From Old Parts

Now that I'm stable in my new location, I've been considering what I'm paying for - and how I can optimize costs for the next 60 years or so I intend to live here.  One of those things (admittedly small in the face of my current expenses, but a moderate long term expense) is trash service.  I can haul trash to the local dump for $14.50/ton (with a base fee of $5 for up to 620lb).  Toss in the diesel to get there and back, I'm looking at about $10 per quarter (or less) for trash.  My current trash service is $222/yr.  And, honestly, I don't like hauling the trash can 1/8 mile uphill to the street for pickup.  Plus, I'm lazy about splitting out recyclables, cardboard, and food waste.  So I decided to build myself a trash trailer!


I built mine out of an old pickup bed trailer laying around at my inlaws place.  We live quite close to them, we get along very well, and there's an awful lot of stuff laying around for the asking if I can make use of it somehow or other.

So, of course, I did just that!  Interested in the process of turning a half century old pickup bed trailer into my trash hauler?  Read on!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Syonyk's Super Stud-Secured Shed Shelves

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth overdoing.  Now that I have some property and the opportunity to actually build things that I don't have to take down, I can start doing things like building shelving that I expect to last the rest of my life (so a design lifespan of about 65 years - and that's a bit optimistic given my genes).

This post covers the overbuilding of several varieties of stud-secured shed shelves.  My design philosophy on things like this is, "It shouldn't come down without bringing the building down around it."  Overkill, yes.  But even with the wood weakening with age in the next 60 years, I'd like to be able to put stuff on these shelves without having to worry about what it is or what it weighs.  Maybe not Powerstroke 7.3L engine block, but I stand a good chance of, at some point, having some I4 blocks laying around to store.  Or Wankel rotary engines.

So, these are my Super Shelves.  Entirely overbuilt, as is right and proper for one of my projects!


Interested in the design and assembly?  Want some tips for doing something like this in your own shed?  Read on!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Briggs & Stratton Quantum 5HP Recoil Starter String Replacement (with spring rewind)

A few weeks ago, I implied that I would be doing more "homesteading" type posts - talking about property, improvements to property, and the equipment related to doing such.  And this week delivers!  I'm covering how to replace the pull starter string in an old Briggs & Stratton Quantum Power 5HP motor - part of my walk behind string trimmer that was given to me from the back corner of a relative's shed.

You'll notice that something very important is missing from the top - the starter handle!


Now, there's an "official" way to do this stuff, and it doesn't involve rewinding the recoil spring.  Of course, since my rope snapped, there was no way I could make the official way happen, so this post, fittingly for my blog, goes all the way down into the recoil spring and how to rewind that little hunk of evil.  So read on!


Saturday, October 7, 2017

An Adorable BionX 22.2V 6.6Ah Battery Teardown and 9Ah Rebuild

I thought I'd covered all the older BionX battery packs in my various previous posts, but I was wrong!  I recently found out that there's an absolutely adorable little pack I'd never heard of before!  This is a 22.2V 6.6Ah BionX battery, which is notable for being under the 300Wh limit that makes shipping really irritating.  I'd never heard of it before, and the capacity is as cute as the pack (not even 150Wh), but it's here for a rebuild - which requires pulling it apart first!


So, what's inside this tiny little pack?  Read on to find out!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Driving a 1927 Willys Knight

Oh, my, my, my.  It's been one of those weeks again.  I've found myself traveling through yet another series of time vortexes, and have found myself quite in the future, in "2017."  Which, obviously, is nonsense, as the world is clearly going to end in the year 2000, when the mechanical computing devices cannot understand the year change, as the number of gears and cogs required to store a 4 digit year "cost too much," or so say the clueless carrot counters in charge of driving the engineers to cut every single non-essential component in our sophisticated computational machines.

But, time vortexes being as they are, I did find myself in what, for all the world, appeared to be some time past the year 2000, when mechanical computational devices have been replaced, almost entirely, with "transistors" and "microchips."  How these replace a proper computer consisting of cogs and cams is beyond me, but, suffice it to say, they appear to have succeeded.  Admirably.  Everything has these "transistors" in it.  Even radios!

And, again, I go on about irrelevant things.  My purpose in posting today, in the time I find myself, is to offer some advice to those who may find themselves driving "antique cars" of the Willys-Overland brand, focusing on their superior Knight - my vehicle of choice, of course, with the silent sleeve valves instead of those clattering, tapping, and generally irritating and always out of adjustment poppet valves used in inferior engines.

Fortunately, I stumbled across a group driving what, to them, were "antique cars."  And I was able to join right in and have a grand time exploring southwest Idaho with them!  Though, sadly, one of them had a 1926 Knight, before they added the rectifier - and he did, in fact, smoke like a Knight without a rectifier!


But, if you, as a modern operator of such a vehicle, desire some advice - read on!