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01-28-2009 12:05 PM Free solar heater.
I've been burning wood in the woodstove we moved into the shop, which has worked out pretty well. However, it takes forever to heat up the cold shop and everything in it, and my wood pile is dissapearing quickly.

The shop faces south, and the garage doors are glass overheads I salvaged. Today, while I was outside getting my truck unstuck, I looked the south facing doors with the sun beaming in, and had a thought. I'd cut foam board panels to insulate the shop when the stove is going, but I wondered why I couldn't use the doors as solar collectors.

I have a heavy plastic tarp, black on one side, silver on the other, that I had tossed over my long suffering Thunderbird, that I was willing to sacrifice. I cut it in half, hung it up on the door from the upper roller plate, so there's a gap about 3" from the door, and left it hang loose at the floor.

With the outside temp at, right now, 22, the inside of the shop is now 38, by doing nothing else but turn on the ceiling fan to circulate the air. I'm pretty impressed. The temp in the shop when I started was 28, not as cold as the outside temp, but a 10 degree rise is not bad for free.

I was a little concerned about the temp getting hot between the glass and tarp, the thought of the tarp busting into flame scared me, so I stayed out there for an hour, but the temp between the tarp and the glass so far hasn't risen above 90.

I think I have a winner! It's pretty too!

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  [Entry #98]

01-26-2009 08:49 AM Fordillac Progress
The '39 Chev repop tail lights and Harley speedo arrived on Friday, so despite the cold, I made some progress. The tail lights fit the bustle of the '36 body perfectly, and match the shape of the '36's head light buckets well. I have them high enough on the body that they should be pretty visible.

The speedo ended up not matching the '37 four gauge cluster I'm using as well as I'd hoped, as the black ring and green numerals are silk screened onto the inside of the glass lens. I have the domed '36 lens, which will fit in the HD gauge, and a buddy who has a sign shop that I may have make me some numerals that'll match the other gauge better. It looks OK, but not quite "right". I'm on the right path, just not quite there yet.

I also mounted the master cyl. and made the pushrod for that, and got the pedal hung. That DID work out as planned, and now I can run the brake lines. It's slowly coming together.

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  [Entry #97]

01-22-2009 05:52 AM Fordillac shifter finished, again...
Had surgery on my rt. foot last week, and am enjoying the frigid Michigan winter. Cabin fever finally got the better of me and I got a snowboot on over my sore foot and went out in the garage, fired up the woodstove and re-engineered the shifter I'd made.

I wasn't happy with the brass detent rod. The typwriter I'd cannabalized for the keys had all sorts of neato nickle plated levers, levers and tiny machine screws, all crying to be saved. I used the carriage releasel lever, paper bail and a spring to make a much nicer looking, better operating detent. Big improvement.

I've also ordered up a bunch of needed stuff to finish the car. Cloth wrapped wiring and spark plug wires from Rhode Island Wiring, a Harley speedo to replace the one I ruined trying to pull the pointer off, and some other misc. trinkets. I think I've got everything to finish it now.

Mounted the faux Oldsmobile spark plug looms to the Caddy 472 valve covers in what I think was a clever way. Since the oil fill and breather intake are on the right, and the PCV grommet are on the left covers, I couldn't just screw 'em to the covers. I made a base from some 2" wide 18 ga, welded bolts to them and simply stuck them to the valve covers with magnets. The PVC grommet goes thru a hole I cut with a holesaw, and the covers are held to the bases with brass wing nuts. Combined with brass machine screws holding the valve covers on, the effect is pretty neat. The idea is to disguise the engine and make it look like an old industrial engine. I like it.

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  [Entry #96]

01-11-2009 04:50 PM More Fordillac work, and, I buy a Hemi..
Here's another photo of the fender, and the (almost) finished shifter. I used old typewriter keys for the indicator markers, stole the idea but it's a good one!

I'll also mention my brief 331 Hemi ownership last week. I was at my buddy Johns shop, and a guy came in and asked if anybody would be interested in a 331 Hemi, another friend of ours had sent him over. We went out an looked in his truck, and sure enough, an old Hemi, one head off, cyl's rusty and stuck, one valve cover missing along with a couple other junk engines and some misc. scrap steel. Clearly, they were headed for the recycler.

My buddy passed, and I offered 50 bucks for the engine and trans. After a brief negotiation, we settled on 75, and he said I could have anything else I wanted from his Dads warehouse, which he was cleaning out, that was small enough to throw in the truck.

I went to his place, we loaded the Hemi, a model A w/s visor with a bunch of holes cut in it (in perfect shape and very 'old school') and a GM 4-53 supercharger. We couldn't find the missing valve cover.

On the way home, I stopped at the hardware store, and a casual aquaintance came in and asked if I owned the truck with the Hemi in the back. I allowed that I did, and that I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, as I couldn't get in my shop to get near the cherry picker to unload it, and my dad's shop is also full of immovable objects. Did he want it?

He did indeed, and I delivered it to his place right then. It's probably rebuildable, but I don't need another project, and I don't have extra $$ to invest in an engine I don't have a use for. I have so much stuff now that it was just one more thing. It did weigh the back of the truck down nicely!

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  [Entry #95]

01-11-2009 04:34 PM Fordillac fender finished!
Four down, one to go! This afternoon I spent a little time finishing welding up the seam of the right rear fender, and ground the welds down. I'm VERY happy with how that turned out. Building this car has improved my metalworking skills tenfold. A very tiny bit of filler to fix a "wave" in the center, and it's done.

The left one is next, it's still just tacked together and the bracket needs to be completed. It's on the car, I need a small brace from the main bracket to the wheel cyl. mount area to stiffen things up and make it match the right side.

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  [Entry #94]

Pages (51): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 [32] 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

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