Thursday, June 29, 2017

Much Better

I did the machining on the Brass at work today thanks to some excellent help from a guy who knows what the hell he is doing and went straight into the garage when I got home to throw that little lathe back together.
It took some finessing and a few good whacks with a small nylon mallet trying to get the runout on the chuck somewhat within a couple of thousandths but I'll be damned if this latest upgrade didn't absolutely transform that little fucker into a usable piece of equipment finally.
I'll let you take a look at the finish on this chunk of bar and let you see what you think.

That is far and away the best finish I have ever gotten out of the thing.

I made a few other adjustments as I was putting it back together and added a brass washer behind the wheel you turn for manual traveling to get rid of the wobble on the shaft when you were turning it.

Smoothed that right out too.

I might actually be able to make something , finally.

I got this thing last Christmas, that means I have been fighting this little bugger off and on for six months.

There are still about seven hundred and forty six little upgrades one could do to it if one was so inclined, I have seen some fabulous shit done to them on Youtube but I ain't that damn anal, yet.

I just want it to work right and do what it's supposed to do.

Unless something really bad happens to me I should have a few good years left to play with it and I can get some of these other little quirks worked out of it now at my leisure.

In the mean time I am quite a bit happier with it now between getting the cross slide slop and the tail stock mess somewhat under control finally.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Critically Important News Every Gun Control Proponent Must See Immediately

There is a new report out based on a study that estimates the real number of guns being legally owned in this country to be over 600 million.

Combine that with an estimated 25 TRILLION rounds of ammo in private hands.

Theses numbers are estimates of course because it is physically impossible to get actual numbers but I certainly hope they fuel many a sleepless night in the ranks of the gun control crowd.

Keep on tilting at those windmills people.

You could pass laws banning guns completely at this point and the only sounds you would hear would be laughter and the metallic clicking of millions of rounds being chambered.


That's Some Good Shit Man!

Knock you the fuck out good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This Oughtta Give Irish The Giggles

In case you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, our favorite Feral Irishman, who recently went over 12 Meeeeelion page views, does machine work for a living.

Serious business that.
Expensive tools, expensive equipment and the knowledge acquired from a lifetime of turning big and nasty chunks of metal into shiny new parts that come damn near to being artwork when he is done.
We're talking major league skills here.
To say I am envious of those skills would be a bit of an understatement.

The guy is a prince of a fella though,just an awesome dude, and I am very privileged to be on the guy's Blogroll.
I couldn't even tell you how many visitors I get from him but it's a shit ton.

Anyways, I was thinking of him just a few minutes ago while I was out in the garage fucking with that damn Chinese Mini Lathe again.

I bet he would laugh his ass off watching me dick around with this stupid thing.

To start with, about the only thing he would have a use for this piece of crap thing would be is as a door stop.

But hey, it's what I got and it keeps me out of the taverns, plus I am learning new shit every time I mess with it.

You see, even though I have been a mechanic for forty fucking years, I have always been a "Get A Bigger Hammer" kind of guy.
You know, pound it to fit and then paint it to match.

Fucking around with these little needle dick bug fucker things is not something I am used to.
Sure, I have built a few engines in my day, I know about these magical things called " thousandths of inches" but they were few and far between doing what I normally did.

So today I was out there attempting to do yet another upgrade on the damn thing.
The tolerances machined into these mass produced little clap traps are, shall we say, less than ideal.
Irish would probably tell you that there is enough slop in the fuckers to throw a cat through.

I found this one guy named Steve Jordan on Youtube who is a absolute wizard when it comes to these damn things and he has the coolest little tiny machine shop crammed into an 8X10 shed out in his back yard that you wouldn't believe some of the things he does with.
He has a tutorial on how to upgrade the Cross Slide on these things to absolutely eliminate the slop they come with from the factory so I went and ordered a bunch of stuff and raided the local hardware store for everything else I needed to tackle this little project.

Of course when I try to do these things a cascading comedy of errors is soon to follow.
This one was no exception.

Thankfully I am quite aware of my shortcomings thank you very much and I tend to get extra shit whenever I start in on these kinds of projects.
This is usually a good thing and today was also no exception.
I wound up fucking up a piece of brass even though I had the parts clamped together and used the recommended drill bit from the video.
I also put the studs in the wrong holes and had to take them back out and move them to the other side because I wasn't paying attention to the fact I was working on the piece upside down.

Ahh, the learning process.

But in my defense, I do believe that I am pretty close to getting it done, using somewhat primitive methods in that mess of a garage I am still trying to get stuff pared down in.
Here be pictures of what I have been rambling about.

This is the cross slide with the original cast iron gib strips and the garbage hardware they attached it with laying there.

I had already put the studs in before I remembered to take a real crappy picture.

Here it is after cutting and drilling new Brass gibs with a spacer plate on the back.

After I get some machining done on the thick Brass plate and then get it back on the ways I will have to tighten things up and then use a dial indicator to tell me how much I am going to have to shim the front.
After I get the shimming done then I will put it all back on, snug up the Nylock Nuts, back them off 1/4 turn from underneath and that should pretty much be the end of it , forever.
Or at least until I am long fucking dead and someone else gets to play with it.
It is supposed to tighten things up to within one, maybe two, of those magical thousandths of an inch and it eliminates those little adjusting screws.

That's plenty good enough for ol' Bustednuckles.

Instant Carport- No Charge

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Going To The Show

Wish you were here.

99 degrees outside right now and we have to go to that liberal shithole called Portland to see it but this is the closest you will ever get to seeing a Pink Floyd concert again without Divine Intervention.

Holy fuck, what a show.
If you can ignore his political bullshit and just enjoy the music and effects like I did then I would strongly suggest you go see that shit.

Words don't do it justice.
It's an experience.

Phil, The Very Early Years

Now ya know why my Old Man used to call me a little fart when I was a kid.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Sense Of Satisfaction Denied By Design For Too Long

I had to break down and replace the radiator in the Caballero this morning.
It has been leaking for a couple of months but being a mechanic, it was one of those things that you just "keep an eye on" for a while before it finally just shit the bed and started leaving puddles the size of dinner plates under the front end after just a short two mile round trip to the local Mini Mart.

When it gets to that point, it then becomes, " I really should replace that" for another few days


I finally quit driving it because the weather was nice enough that I could just drive the Sprite.

I'm not stupid enough to think that nice weather is going to last forever around here so Thursday I ordered a new radiator and yesterday I zipped over to NAPA and gently set it in the little car and took it home.

It's been a bit warm around here recently and after I got woke up and went outside to start in on this little project I discovered that it was getting downright hot with a stiff breeze blowing hot wind around.
I threw a tarp on the ground, pulled up over it then set a drain pan under the front and opened the drain.

While it was getting busy making the inevitable mess, I went and snagged some tools and started taking shit off to get at it.
It really didn't take many tools, some I got out just because I did this kind of shit for a living for many years and had some little specialty tools to make things easier.

Shit like a set of Snap On hose removal tools to help avoid busting open yet another knuckle trying to rotate the hoses off the radiator inlet and outlet nipples after they glue themselves on.

It probably took me a little less that one whole hour to do the job.
I was in no hurry but the heat finally started getting to be enough that it was time to get done with it and flee back into the house.

One quick way to tell it is getting too damn hot to work on your car is to reach down and grab a wrench that has been sitting on the ground for a half hour and burn the shit out of your hand.
Yeah, that's enough of that.

Where I am going with all this is the fact that while I can do these repairs and still get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from doing it, millions of other people either can't because they don't have the tools and the skills, or even worse in my mind, they are denied the opportunity by design.

I worked in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership for ten years back in the 90's and watched the automotive technology explode.

Along with all the fancy new bells and whistles, gizmos and what the fucks, I noticed a rapid trend of making cars harder and harder to work on.

Ford Motor Company even went so far as to say out loud that they were working to make it so that the general public would find it impossible to work on their own vehicles eventually because Ford wanted them to have to take it to the Dealer so they could trap the market on repairs.

That is some evil shit right there pal.

They weren't alone.

Pretty soon things like John Deere Tractors and even Printer Cartridges were off limits to monkey wrenching, by design and by legal clauses written by scumbag corporate lawyers.

This has now been going on for twenty some years but there is finally some hope for potential mechanics and other people who would like to repair the consumer products they pay for and own outright, even if it only involves changing some code in a computer program.
There is even a groundswell of grass roots voices calling for the right to repair the things you buy and own called The Right To repair Movement,
which has gotten so serious it has morphed into something called The Repair Industry.

One very surprising and powerful source of hope is the United States Patent office of all places.

In one of the biggest wins for the right to repair movement yet, the US Copyright Office suggested Thursday that the US government should take actions to make it legal to repair anything you own, forever—even if it requires hacking into the product's software.

Manufacturers—including John Deere, Ford, various printer companies, and a host of consumer electronics companies—have argued that it should be illegal to bypass the software locks that they put into their products, claiming that such circumvention violated copyright law.

Another HUGE win for this movement was just delivered by the United States Supreme Court when they ruled against a single use printer cartridge manufacturer who had sued a guy because he was buying the used cartridges from all over the place, disabling a computer chip that was the reason it only worked one time, refilling them and then selling them.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in March and considered the principle of patent exhaustion. This idea stipulates that a patent owner's rights over a product should vanish once the patent owner sells the product to a consumer. By attaching a post-sale restriction to its single-use cartridge, Lexmark aimed to create a zombie patent that's never exhausted. You may have bought that cartridge, but Lexmark still controls it.

The justices agreed 7-1 that Lexmark can't do that. (Justice Neil Gorsuch was appointed after the court heard the case.) The court held that Lexmark exhausted its patent rights when it sold its cartridges "regardless of any restrictions the patentee purports to impose." To allow otherwise, the justices ruled, would adversely impact the economy.

But the Fat Lady isn't singing yet because now the trend is going to using the fine print in End User Licensing Agreements to deny peoples rights to repair items.

With the Supreme Court issuing a definitive ruling on patent exhaustion, expect manufacturers to turn to contract law—like sneaky end user licensing agreements—to enforce their will. You already see it happening. John Deere, after losing a copyright law fight to folks like, simply updated its EULA to block software modification in its tractors. Litigation dodged, problem solved. "They can't infringe upon your ownership rights if you've already signed them away," Gay Gordon-Byrne, director of said.

How many " licensing agreements" have you ever either completely ignored or glossed over ?
Thousands probably.

I am solidly in the camp of the Repair Movement.
If I bought it, I own it and I will do whatever the Hell I want to with after I take possession.

The way I see it is that even though things like Designed Obsolescence have been around a long time, if there is a will, there is a way to fix something. There is enough crap that was deigned to be unrepairable out there as it is.

People should be able to use their creativity to try do so without having to worry about getting sued by some asshole company trying to lock up the market on available repair monies.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Phil, The Later Years

That has Heavy Metal all over it.

Rock on dude.

My sincere thanks to The Feral Irishman who somehow managed to find the Youtube above to replace the silent .GIF I had up originally.
That guy has some serious skills to accomplish that feat.

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