29 June 2016

not ski nautique

Man I've been lagging with the posts lately...
Fortunately it's been busy,
and now the kids are out of school.
I thought it was busy before!
Here's a recent project.
A friend Rich got this boat for the sole purpose
of heading out to Ralph's for surf sessions.
(A kinda remote spot off Point Loma)
The boards were getting battered 
in the relatively small space.
He waited patiently for weeks
while I got my chit together...
His first idea was palapa style,
with vertical tubes set up in a big square.
He had tubes bent at a local shop,
who crimped them like hacks.
He would've been happy with a cube structure,
just to save his boards.
No way could I ghetto the old Chris Craft,
even if 90 degree fish-mouth joints 
are easier to make.
This was knocked out in one big day.
The angled bars still make a massive rack.
Now it looks like an old Ski Nautique.
Way cooler.
It's been a real surf machine,
guess he's gotten 4 boards up there!
I need to get a loaded pic...

16 June 2016

Multi Multimeters

The other day I got myself into a pickle.
A project needed a solid multimeter
that could measure ohms/resistance,
and I realized mine were all glitchy.
So now you're gonna hear all about them...
Yes a fun yawner!
My go to tester for the past 8 years is this
beater Blue-Point MT145.
It's never worked perfectly,
sometimes doesn't even want to turn on.
The culprit is obvious,
severely corroded battery contacts.
That blue stuff grows overnight,
every time I gotta twist the batteries or scrape it.
The big problem is it's basically a voltmeter,
doesn't read resistance for chit.
Sometimes it'll work,
sometimes there's this ear piercing beep.
It just sucks.
I'm not a Snap-On guy anyway,
and I like the analog needle swing.
My previous machine was this old tank.
A Knight Auto Analyzer,
nice and heavy so it doesn't slide around.
I loved it for shop use,
other than the knob being broken.
That little thing sucks to twist,
and I never turned it off.
This thing uses 4 D batteries.
Who uses D batteries any more?
Have you priced good D batteries lately?
They lasted for years, 
maybe a decade.
Even at $1.50/yr it's not a bad deal,
but I'll wait for a cheap swap meet deal...
The problem is this only reads high ohms,
so it's limited for basic use,
although there are many engine features.
This hefty unit was a garage sale score,
a 1980's boxed Simpson 260 series 7.
The 260 model has been made since the 1930's!
Many believe it's the best US analog meter made.
The inventor built the compass for Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis!
I've had this for a couple years now,
and admit to never using it.
One reason is it's in such good condition,
I'd probably drop it.
That was just an excuse,
the real reason is these friggin batteries.
A big D and an old school 9-volt,
yeah the one you used to lick as a kid.
Dang these are expensive now!
Mainly because they come in 2-packs.
I bit the bullet and this works so smooth.
eBay helped with the broken leather case.
I'll need to zip tie it or something,
but that's the armor it deserves.
This story has evolved over many years,
nothing was a surprise,
there was a new object to hunt for.
Sure there are dozens of new cheesy $20 units
but where's the fun in that.
Before buying those batteries,
I found this $7 TMK TW-20S,
that looked like an old solid meter.
TMK makes a version similar to the 260,
but there's no info on this TW model.
Time to crack it open.
This seemed to have heavy duty guts.
What's this burn mark...
A 10k ohm resistor?
This is the project that inspired this installment.
WTF is going on here at the dinner table!?
See how multimeters are helping other multimeters?
The $2 resistor was swapped and it works like a charm.
But wait there's more!
While the resistor was being shipped from China,
I found this Radio Shack unit.
I'd asked earlier and he wanted $4,
then price checked eBay.
A Micronta 22-202u goes for $20-30!
Someone had spilled coffee on it 
before I returned.
$1.87 was the change I had in my pocket.
I made some red:black leads and it worked great!
Fits into the toolbox no problem.
Now there are enough multimeters for the house,
shop, a mobile one, and a loaner!
Holey Chit...

15 June 2016

Cart Wars

So I'm walking up this boat dock,
and what do I see...
Another custom aluminum dock cart.
I was surprised at the similarities.
There were a few differences I liked-
The reinforcement of the handle base,
the more level stance pad.
Then I remembered this guy...
he was checking out the cart 
at the BIG3 swap meet in 2012,
back when my cart was new.
He had this crazy mini boat cart...
And it made me wonder...
Anyway after 4+ years this cart
is still one of the most useful gadgets I've built...

06 June 2016


Nothing's worse than having a car,
especially if it's a hot rod,
that can't be driven.
After a 6 month slumber,
the old 40 could barely get out of its way.
The 302 lookin 5.0 was smokin,
the AOD transmission was slippin...
That 170k drivetrain was tired even in the lincoln.
Now it was time to sit back,
and watch the boys tear it up.
How far will we go only time will tell.
Ok and money!
While the engine may not get rebuilt
this time around,
there will be some changes.
The Lincoln Log exhaust will be swapped
for some scrounged headers,
possibly squeezing out some HP.
I really wanted to build crazy fenderwell headers,
but these fit perfectly with no mods.
The biggest change will be this puppy,
a Ford  WC T-5 transmission (5-spd overdrive)
with a S-10 tail shaft,
which puts the shifter in front of the seat.
A trick unit.
Thanks Jason!
Good thing the clutch pedal is still in there.
More later...

30 May 2016

shop life 9 - tractor pull

You're reading about our new/old tractor,
going WTH this guy with these toys...
We'll if it doesn't serve a purpose,
chit doesn't stick around long!
Last week we put her to use...
Any open space at the shop,
will become a catch-all for random junk.
Kinda like a coral reef growing on a sunk boat.
It's one part heavy and one part lazy...
This chit was sposta be here temporarily.
It just grows and grows til it's daunting,
becoming an invisible part of the landscape.
That's where team Perich comes in.
These kids are workhorses,
evolved over years of training.
Sure there are carrots involved.
Jaxon had a date night,
Jakob wanted video game time.
Chits not free can't teach em that!
The trick is make it seem like fun.
The tractor was that trick.
We pulled thousands of pounds with that gem.
Jake hogged up driving duties,
Jax and I were tire traction weight,
important on the crumbly rocks.
Any normal humans would've stopped here.
Not us...
In 6-7 hours we knocked out -1000 bricks!
I didn't realize we had so many still.
Not the flattest lay as this is the rain drain spot.
At least a jack can roll around.
Of course now this is considered a premium spot,
which has a history of being traded for a cluttered spot.
Already filled with the good chit...

23 May 2016

Tractor Time - Sears GT16

I shoulda wrote this when it was fresh,
now it's become an epic...
Macey James Perich with her Sears GT16 tractor
It all started after the big 3 swap meet.
We had offed a 4-banger engine,
and instead of a quick pick up,
had to drag it back to the shop.
big 3 swap meet 2016
It lingered through many past posts,
sitting in the dirt while we bricked around it,
built the boat windshield...
The long overdue pick up was a month+ later.
The new owner Ed was a diehard Model A fanatic.
He and his wife drove all the way from Pleasanton,
pulling a heavy duty trailer with this giant RV.
No way was this rig gonna back into the shop yard.
We ended up dropping the engine in the van,
then taking it to his RV parked outside.
The kicker was dragging the cherry picker,
two blocks away on soft asphalt on a scorcher day.
Holey Chit...
The steel wheels actualy left a trail!
Fortunately Ed and his wife were nice enough
to make the over work enjoyable.

After that a new obsession emerged.
I hunted craigslist for tractors and forklifts
missing out on a few cheap unrealistically large projects,
anything useable was a bit pricey,
until this one popped up.
1978 sears gt16 garden tractor
A couple hundred for a runner,
and it could fit inside the van!
We buzzed it around the yard a few laps,
and stripped it down.
Jakob Perich and the stripped sears gt16 tractor
These old Sears/Murray/Roper garden tractors
have a cult following.
Some guys restore them,
and other guys build race-karts,
using the original hood/grille to mower them out.
Easy way for us to get an almost free tractor!
Like another project was needed!
Well... no time to waste!
By the end of the day,
we had a general idea.
Unbeknownst that it'd take possession
of what would become the after 530 slot.
That selfish bit of time after responsibilities,
and before rushing home for family dinner .
I'd have to call this scrap engineering,
using anything lying around the house or shop yard.
Every evening any progression resulted in
another reason to bust butt the next night.
Funny how previous projects that took forever
gave the experience to do this quickly.
With the tractor re-skinned,
it was time to give it a purpose.
A beater cherry picker was dug out of the yard debris...
Thanks Jason!
A bolt-on mount torched and welded,
so it'll go back in the van...
...and the crane whittled down to fit.
customized sears gt16 mower
This part shoulda been easy...
Instead this picker was the reject non-folding design.
The lever arm wouldn't lower down tight.
The pivot part was all tweaked out,
the jack points were totally wrong,
and it was over a foot too long.
Thanks Jason!
How many thousands of these
were returned back to China as scrap!
No problem,
I know a welder...
sears gt16 garden tractor
A little rattlecan magic
helped it resemble a goldfish.
pumpkin patina
The patina was practice for a concurrent project.
Everyone questions the paint application,
the unsanded paint looks funky.
It's all about the strategic sanding.
customized sears gt16 garden tractor
The little picker had no problem
moving light stuff that was easy enough to carry.
modded sears gt16 garden tractor
There was an obvious limit with a heavy load!
Wheelie machine...
The common tractor fix is wheel weights,
cast iron or concrete plugs bolted in the rim.
We needed some serious heft not 40 lbs...
The battery was relocated to it's original position,
and a basket whipped up from more scrap.
The perfect spot to stash wasted anchor chain.
This was at least 150+ lbs of leverage.
Now here's a picker!
Finally we had a useable machine.
It was time to hot rod it out.
The next mod was only partially for performance.
The old hood had a cut-out for the exhaust,
It blew out the side.
The new hood forced the burnt gases
into the drivers lap.
Straight pipes were too loud.
No need for another tinnitis special.
I kept adding tubes til the tone was bearable.
This downpipe was like a dirt fountain!
I added a 2nd 90 degree bend quickly...
briggs & stratton 16hp exhaust
The new exhaust woke up the 16hp Briggs & Stratton.
The low gearing kept it tame,
but it could buck ya around!
jakob perich hauling junk
Jake tested it out moving junk around.
A natural!
perich brother and sister
Even Macey couldn't resist.
Probably a good idea to fix the brakes next time.
She was hesitant at first,
now she asks to go to the shop!
One more tool for the quiver...