31 July 2013

tijuana gold

This evening marked the end of a long haul of dental visits,
for me anyway.
A couple extenuating circumstances had pushed the rear molar fix
to finish within a couple days of a year.
gold TJ crowns

If you've missed the detailed history it's been great fun.
Here's a quick pictoral evolution...
gutted molar

First the molar was gutted in preparation for the root canal.
Talk about good times!
The memory of drowning in my own saliva...
TJ root canal

After that a gold post was cast and cemented into place.
Later the original tooth was whittled down,
and a mold taken to make the crown.
Here's where I dropped the ball.
This was last year about the time of daylight unsavings time,
and instead of pushing through,
I let it slide.
In Mexico if you let things slide,
then you go to the back of the line.
Not the dentistas fault actually the crown maker.
Really I could have left it with just the post,
with that huge square chunk of gold in there.
gold molar post

Looking back it wasn't that big of a deal,
as the wait allowed the front gold crowns to adjust into place.
The bummer was the post didn't give any resistance to the top molar,
and after the winter my teeth didn't match the old mold.
Since the wife has her braces there,
I piggybacked the visits with her every month.
Finally it was time to wrap this up.
perich sled

I love riding the bike the couple miles to the dentist,
and at the last minute the red Shelby cruiser was picked to go.
Every other bike had a flat tire!
I've never ridden a prewar bike down there so this would be fun.
I grabbed the wife's car and sped off.
holey chit - accident waiting to happen

Check out that top pick.
This little kid was walking in the middle of the turn there,
while the mom was getting the other kid.
Holey Chit!
That would have been one horrific accident!
road to Gato Bronco - Manuel Clouthier Blvd

The old cruiser was a blast to bomb down the hill to Gato Bronco.
Nothing like an oily coaster brake hub!
Gato Bronco - TJ

Yeah this post is picture heavy!
Here's a shot of the dentistas storefront.
You'd definitely walk right past this place!
Dentista Monica Torres - Otay/Tijuana

And here's the crown jewel.
A fat chunk of gold.
gold molar crown

The technician sculpts the tooth to resemble what should be there.
It's a lost art,
as most US dentists are going with the computerized resin process.
dental mold contraption

Within a half hour the Dentista had cemented the crown in place.
Dra. Monica Torres - TJ Dentista

In celebration I couldn't resist a stop by the local chelada shack.
chelada shack

These guys make a mean bloody beer.
It's the recipe we try to copy at home,
but way better.
It's all about that dark red goop on top there.
bloody beer

This one is like a meal.
Who doesn't like shrimp and clams with their beer!?
clamato afrodisiaco

Now I was ready for the ride up the hill.
I've been wanting to get a picture of these driveway gates.
A throwback to the time of long american sedans,
just cut the gate to fit the car!
trippy gate engineering

The ride up Clouthier Blvd is much safer on the trailway.
It's a main thoroughfare for walkers.
Definitely not the place to go dressed up.

Gato Bronco 

I'm really surprised this area isn't developed,
it has a really cool view of the valley and the mountains.
Check out that little shack above the bicycle up there on the hill.
Not sure if it's a squatter or a legal house.
TJ singletrack

The trail farthest away from the road is much more fun.
overlooking gato bronco

Tons of graffiti growing on the walls.
Definitely a cinderella area,
I'm ok riding around in the day,
at night I'd rather take the taxi.
Shelby Bike in TJ

Civilization arrived on top of the hill.
honda pizza delivery motorcycles

Here is a concept that America hasn't grasped yet.
These pizza companies rely on these little motorcycles for delivery.
I think they are 150cc.
There are tons of them around the city,
delivering for pharmacies and restaurants.
pizza delivery motorcycles

Here's the main drag of the Otay side of Tijuana.
Tons of radiator shops and taco stands in this part.
Otay Tijuana

I went a different way,
so missed the liquor stop at Calimex.
Instead dropped by this tortilleria,
and scored 2 dozen tortillas and that crumbly cheese for $4.
tortilleria La Laguna

Near the border crossing this guy had a bunch of old bikes.
This was a cool Schwinn B6 or Autocycle.
Check out the bat holder,
it's a pair of handcuffs and a water bottle holder.
mexican schwinn B-6 or autocycle

The border crossing had no line and I zipped right through,
and met the sunset on the way back home.
It is much less hectic leaving after the rush hour traffic.

There's your virtual trip to TJ!


cut and paste

Going to a car show (which I'll post about later),
is a great way to get the fire burning on car projects.
After this weekend,
I made a shit-to-do (STD) list for the green 40,
and re-realized it was only a couple hundred bucks,
and a few weeks work from becoming a driver.
Ford AOD TV cable with 2100/2150 motorcraft carburetor

The STD list helped to prioritize which projects were dependent
on another being completed,
and then it was time to pick one that didn't cost money.
Ford AOD TV cable with 2100/2150 motorcraft carburetor

So can you tell the difference between these two top pictures?
Here goes...

One project I really wanted to do was an accelerator pedal/linkage.
Seems easy right?
Well since March I've gathered about 3 of these 2100 style carburetors,
and found that there are different types of gas levers.
I had already modified a carb and made up the TV cable bracket..
but I wasn't happy with the carb performance,
and the linkage attachment was really bulky.

Rework is a bummer as it seems like time's been wasted.
In this case the second time there were no surprises,
and the end result was quickly finished.
This carburetor was already tested so no rebuild needed.
Well worth the time to cut and paste.

What's going on here is modifying the carb linkage
to accept a stock Ford TV cable bushing.
world's shortest pencil

If you look closely at this bottom pic,
it's easy to see how the right carburetor linkage
is not as elaborate as the left carburetor linkage.
ford carburetor comparison

With the new ring welded on,
its easy to see how the custom TV cable bracket
is way out of alignment.
domino project

This was the part that created my mental block.
I really didn't want to redo this bracket,
but there was no going back now.
TV cable holder version 1.1

The bracket was cut up and rewelded.
Total for both mini-projects was about an 3 hours in 2 days.
Total time thinking about whether or not to do it - 4 months.
Note to self - don't think...just do...
operating table

Here you can see why the stock Ford/Lincoln TV cable is so sweet.
First off it has a nice bronze bushing,
and then there's the sliding adjustable connector.
It's a really simple bulletproof design,
no special tools or any tools at all needed to adjust it.
Only bummer is it is plastic at least it is black.
stock ford TV cable adjuster

So here's the finished product installed.
It is hard to see but the linkage is 5/8" closer to the center,
not riding right next to the valve cover.
The engine runs smooth and isn't as cluttered as before.
ford AOD TV cable with 2-barrel carburetor

This is the first time the engine ran with the electric pump on the whole time.
Usually I'd have to switch it on and off,
either a sticky float or needle on that other carburetor,
and yes I adjusted the float level at least 3 times!

Now I can move on to another free project,
the accelerator pedal and linkages!


30 July 2013

red carpet

Our landlord has silently allowed us to transform the backyard
into an ever changing useable space.
He called us out,
as he knows its a "I don't hear from you, you don't hear from me"
type relationship.
Best way to keep the rent down!

The spot beside the garage had became the perfect car port.
This had been suggested before we signed the lease.
The RPU is the perfect size to jet in and out of the tight turn.
Since it's not driven every day,
the tires had a tendency to sink into the dead grass.
Scrap wood was used as pads to keep the tires clean...until...
brick chippers

Our new neighbors started tearing up their backyard.
Their little piece of heaven requires swaths of green grass,
and Home Depot style landscaping.
Piles of bricks and rocks were ditched in the alley.
perich brothers & sister

Just what we needed to get rid of that funky wood.
Originally I had imagined some 2x12 wood strips,
like an old ghost town deck.
Way too cheap to do that!
After the kids chipped off any cement residue,
there were enough whole bricks for the four pads.
tip toe

The bricks were simply set on top of the grass,
and it was a pain in the butt to park.
Line up the tires and rock the hot rod onto the pads.
Since there were only a handful of full bricks,
I wanted to make sure the spot was in the right place
before digging them flush.
Of course that lasted almost a month.
chief - 1929 ford roadster pickup

Then over the weekend,
the mother lode appeared next door.
Too good to be true!
He was more than happy for the kids to clean up his area.
How could he not see the possibilities?
the mother load

Jakob christened the wagon "Danny".
To take a load off Danny - get it?!
Annie, Fannie, Manny, Danny it's all the same right!
Funny kid.
Again the boys used chipping hammers to chip any cement off.
Nothing like child labor!
Jaxon & Jakob - 2013

Meanwhile I scraped the mulch layer down to the hardpack,
and lined up a nice red carpet of bricks.
Looks like I need a tan!
farmer tan

The kids really powered through the chipping without complaints.
This took way longer than we thought,
and squashed out our plan to go kayaking.
We had exactly the right amount of full bricks minus one.
A couple half bricks were traded out from the planters box.
team black socks - stool time

Wow what a difference.
Now to clean up the rest of the yard!
red carpet

You'd a thought I'd zip back and forth testing out the launch pad.
We had laid the bricks without starting the engine.
As soon as we finished we got distracted with another project!
chief - 1929 ford roadster pickup

Looking at these pictures,
we could have made a little pathway out to the alley instead.
Ah well priorities!


29 July 2013

how to - shorten a kayak paddle!

Okay so last post I told you about the sleeping monster.
Now you'll know what I meant!

Jakob & new/old paddle

Our biggest problem was multiple boats,
3 paddlers and only 2 paddles.
A quick craigslist hunt came up with a $40 score.
(thanks CL seller!)
big and little

That's the white one on the left.
The brownish one is my old faithful Merv Larson stick.
Being cheap has some drawbacks.
This 230cm/90" paddle was almost a foot longer than we needed it to be.

So here's a "how to - shorten a fiberglass kayak paddle".
The popular paddle size is 220cm/86+",
which is good for fat wide kayaks.
Hey that's not a foot difference you may wonder.
hot rod work bench

I put some time in an OC-6 team,
those long 6-man outrigger canoes using a single blade paddle,
and learned shorter paddles allow a snappier vertical stroke,
using less arm and more torso strength.
It will also be better for the kids and strong winds.
We're shooting for a 208cm/81+" length.

About 10 inches were cut out of the center.
Then a 5 inch section was cut out the scrap,
and sliced up to use as a ferrule for joint.
Here I realized I was sparse on fiberglass resin,
so we took a trip to my parents house over the hill.

The first thing to do was set up the feathering angle.
That is the offset angle of the two paddle blades.
There's a ton of argument on the correct angle and control side,
but really it's up to the individual.
We're going for 60-70 degrees.
real work bench

The easiest way is to make a mark at the split,
when the paddles are at 0 degrees,
then another when they are at 90 degrees.
The center of those marks is 45 degrees,
and the quarter of those marks is about 70.

All the materials were collected.
I had some carbon fiber lying around.
It's important to use epoxy resin (or vinylester) or it will crack.
Time to preposition the clamp spot.

A couple wood blocks were needed,
and it reminded me of some friends recent blog post...
shinya kimura @ chabott engineering: DIY: work desk for #12 mezzanine...
Jaxon - child labor

My dad had one hand saw in his stash,
an old tree branch saw he's had for years.
Jakob - child labor

The kids and I all had our go at sawing away.
Must have been in the planets so similar to that link.
(see we read and learn shinya and ayu!)

Resin mixed and the ferrule glued up...
checking feathering angle

...and the last double check for a decent feathering angle.
This is why it's hard to know an exact number,
it's all in the feel.
My personal paddle is a left hand control,
due to that bike fall I told about last post.
This one will be right hand control.

The layup is easy,
similar to paper mache.
The carbon fiber is first,
and a layer of fiberglass cloth covers that.
Should have used gloves here!

It looks nasty and goopy and it is.
This is a little too wet with resin as well.
cheap vacuum bag

The trick is to get that plastic bag scrap,
and wrap it around the seam.
tape wrap

Masking tape is then wrapped around the repair,
squeezing out the extra resin,
and compressing the layup like a vacuum bag.

The paddle is blocked as straight as possible,
clamped up,
and left to harden.

After a bike ride and some chores,
we couldn't wait to see how it turned out.
time to unwrap

Jakob unwrapped it,
and it looked about as good as expected.
Shiny smooth with no sanding needed.

Time for a little rattlecan customization.
Only right side painted so it's easy to recognize,
and bright enough to be visible far away.
shorty paddles

Here's a similar repair on that right paddle.
It's held up for at least 15 years now,
using only one wrap of fiberglass tape.
Long ago someone had made this a two-piece paddle.

The boys couldn't stop and added some stripes...

And finally the paddle was finished.
perich brothers - Jaxon & Jakob - 2013

Time to test it out!