Monthly Archives: September 2017

Told’ja I was working

Well I finally did it and remembered to take pictures. Unfortunately the lens on my phone tends to distort perspectives a bit because of the short focal length. That is inherent to phone cameras without expensive add-on lens systems, and as previously stated we be p’, too impoverished to buy a vowel.

Anyway, stick aided design is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: I use sticks added to another object to help visualize what the end product will look like. It’s like a externalization of my mind’s eye so that I can show others what I see, a pre-computer CAD rendering for those of us stuck with an OS that doesn’t designate a button for screenshots and a CAD that doesn’t play well with others. These sticks were left from another project from many years ago, to build a paper mache submarine on a bicycle trailer for a parade in a church. Long story short we built the trailer first and discovered we couldn’t make the first turn in the procession up the aisle to the altar so we went to plan B and built something on Blue that I could still ride the bike.

Blue as a Yellow Submarine

The sticks were supposed to support chickenwire that was supposed to support the actual paper mache that was supposed to be the submarine. So I have a few leftover sticks that I use for stick aided design.

So I taped some sticks to the bucket shell so I could show you what the nose of the TGS2 will sorta look like. There are two sticks taped to the beltline and another showing roughly where the lower frame rail will go.

How the nose tapers from the body

The side view requires some imagination. Use your imagination to remove the dashboard from above the stick and imagine smooth curves of fiberglass from the stick down and remove the coffee table from what you see. The swoop up at the back of the bucket will remain. There will be a flat or single-curve sheet from the nose to the top of the rear of the bucket generating downforce and reducing drag, with a cockpit surround to guide the airflow over and around the driver and into the engine.

rear 3/4 view

And here you can see just how little of the dash actually intrudes into the mold space for the TGS2.

See that gap? It's huge

This is the same area from a different perspective.

From the front the gap doesn't look that big

From directly above the minuteness of the dashboard incursion on the TGS2 mold is even more apparent.

See there is going to be just a tiny bump to remove from the mold

So I hope this helps you visualize the planes and curves of the front of the TGS2.

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Going for a walk tonight

It’s supposed to rain in a bit and then get cooler, so I thought I would go for a walk after the rain. And after I get back I’m going to do that stick aided design thing with the bucket shell. I was looking at the pictures after I did the post and decided that I don’t need to fix the “divot” from the dashboard because it won’t even be part of the mold. I just have to continue the top molding from the cockpit past where the dash interrupts it and make the flat top like the cockpit. Not that big a deal especially with the contour existing on either side. Of course that’s easy to write while I’m listening to “Seven Nation Army” on my music app. I mean most people could tackle just about anything while listening to that, it’s very uplifting and empowering.

Right now the rains have come as forecast, as Mrs. the Poet says “in buckets”, and Clyde came in, grabbed a bite, and immediately went back out into the rain. That’s Mrs. the Poet’s cat and as she says there’s something “not right” about him. I’m thinking the thing is he’s a bit more feral than Clint and doesn’t like the indoors even when things are yucky outside. And Clint just spent the last 20 minutes keeping me from typing by sprawling across my lap and demanding I pet him, that’s how “not-feral” he is, laying on his back with all four paws in the air begging for a belly rub.

Getting back to the car, I’m having a minor issue with the spindle not fitting the axle boss, being just a touch too short between the ears. I mean seriously there is like 0.02″ interference with the thrust bearings in place. Now I know why those spindles were in the Garage Sale section of the Speedway site. Again this is not insurmountable, I have an angle grinder and if I take the excess material off the thrust bearing side I don’t even need to be too careful about keeping the surface flat. I mean yes as close to flat as I can keep it, but I don’t need to make it super flat and true like I would the other side, the thrust bearing can cover a lot of imperfections, and the mill file can remove the worst of them. The top only gets paper-thin shims between the axle boss and the spindle, so it has to be flat and true to keep from messing up the shims and binding the steering.

I’m going to go for my walk in a few minutes, then go do the stick aided design and take lots of pictures while I’m doing it, then make another blog post with the pictures.

Mostly running in circles instead of making progress

The headline tell most of the story lately. I have been trying to make some kind of progress on something, anything, and most of what I’m doing seems to be chasing my tail, metaphorically speaking. I don’t actually have a tail to chase and I’m not running in circles or otherwise, but that doesn’t keep me from going over the same old thing over and over, and accomplishing nothing in the process. And yes the new meds are not very effective against the depressing political climate, which is all I’m going to say about it.

I have been doing the stick-aided design thing with the bucket body shell trying to visualize the shape of the TGS2 and also trying to figure out how I’m going to build the plug to pull the mold from. The biggest problem I’m having is the seam between the existing bucket shell and whatever I’ll be using to build the rest of the plug from. That will also be the transition around the cowl that I won’t be using on the TGS2 that I’m still trying to figure out. There is a molding around the top of the cockpit that I want to continue all the way to the nose molding, but the cowl on the bucket gets in the way of just molding straight from the body and carrying that molding to the nose.
The dashboard slightly gets in the way.

and there are other considerations...

see how that dash just barely gets in the way?

As you can see the cowl has a major pinch that I want to turn into a smooth curve all the way to the nose but the dashboard just barely hangs into the transition and there is that interruption of the molding at the top of the cockpit I was mentioning. I might be able to fill in the divot in the mold after it gets pulled from the plug, but I’m not sanguine about my prospects of getting it right on both molds. Plus there is the matter of that molding around the cockpit going all the way to the nose.that I have some confidence in getting right if for no other reason than I can use a template gauge to match the profile to a carving tool I can whittle from sheet stock.

Well I need to stick some sticks on the body and think about the shape again.

Yesterday was busy

No post Sunday because I was out doing things. I wasn’t doing anything earth-shattering but I was away from home and any device I could use to make a blog post. I was at a role-playing group, but we were missing a player vitally important to the current storyline because she was not monitoring the message channel when we decided to have a game session.

So instead of playing the current game we spitballed possible directions where the game could go in the future, including deciding if my character’s December Bar-be-que will be in-game or out-of-game. In-game I died again about 3 years from now and Mrs. the Poet died with me, but unfortunately she didn’t revive on her own like I do. A few years after that TI asked for retirees with military experience to help defend the company from a corporate raider with a promise of executive-level pensions for survivors or lose pensions if TI lost. My character lost both legs and one arm like the protagonist in the “Six Million Dollar Man” except I wasn’t flying an experimental lifting body, I had a grenade dropped into my machine gun emplacement. Corporate raiders in Shadowrun had heavy weapons…

I have been following a YouTube channel called “How to Build a Racing Car” that has inspired me on how to deal with the body panels on the front of the TGS2. I will use the existing bucket to build a plug, pull a mold off the plug, then pull the final body panels off the molds, ending up with a custom body that weighs less than the bucket alone does now. That would be because the bucket is 47 pounds of resin-heavy chopper-gun fiberglass, and the body I’ll get will be less resin and more actual glass fiber cloth that is stronger and weighs less. Plus this will solve the problem I was having getting the body around, inside, and outside the frame. The plug will be easiest to mold in 3 pieces and a nose made separately, then assemble like a big model kit.

It’s late now, sp I’m cutting this one short.

Busy day doing nothing

Well after all the emotions of yesterday I just vegged out today. The most effort I put out today was watching the Xfinity series on the toob this evening. It was a good race. Twitter has been occupying most of my time with #DotardDon acting the usual fool. There just isn’t much I can do right now as I’m still waiting on the donor car to be delivered and for the engine hoist of my dreams to magically appear in my garage to remove the engine and transmission from the donor vehicle.

I’m ready to do something, but there’s nothing I can do until I get some pieces of paper with pictures of dead guys on them. I know what I need to do to the engine, I’ll know what I need to build the frame once I get the engine out of the donor vehicle to measure where the mounts go, I know how I’ll get the transmission to shift once it’s in the car, I even know where the fuel tank and battery go. I’m ready and raring to go, but I have no place to go. I can’t even rev my engine because the engine is sitting across town in a rusty minivan. Actually it is sitting two towns over in a 21 YO rusty minivan, waiting for me to come get it. I really need to go there and start the engine and let it run a while to make sure it doesn’t seize up from lack of use.

I also need to write, but lack something to write about other than Twitter and the comics I have been reading. Just to go and do nothing requires buying a $5 bus pass to get there. Problem is I don’t even have the $5 right now to go do nothing (or go to the library or something). We are in that time of the month when there was more month than money. Most of the little side gigs I used to have to scare up a few bucks have dried up, and the ones I still have are not making up the difference no matter how hard I work them. The mobile game I played is gone. The other gigs are paying out pretty much the same. I can’t find regular work with all the abuse my body has been through and because when I get assessed for disability my injuries are considered separately I don’t get any money because I can still “work”. I can’t do any of the jobs they suggest because what they suggest for one problem is exactly what I can’t do anymore because of another problem, then they do the exact opposite of suggesting a job I could do with that one thing wrong that I can’t do because of the first thing.

Basically I have two handicaps compared to what I was. First is my mind is not as nimble as it used to be. I still come up with solutions to problems, but what used to be nearly instantaneous is now a prolonged process. Second is because of the scar tissue around the various things they had to put back together in my left leg there is a lot of things I physically can’t do, like getting down on the ground and getting back up quickly. Getting up from the ground is a major deal requiring room and time. But if you read this blog much you already knew that. I’m physically and mentally slow compared to what I was before the wreck. And I never was much good before the wreck except for mental work. Physically I have always been a slug.

Enough complaining, I need to get to bed and let my aches and pains take a break.

I was out celebrating my B-Day

Sorry there isn’t more in this post, but I spent most of the day celebrating my birthday. Mostly I was going from place to place getting free stuff, some with Mrs. the Poet, some without. I had a free Starbucks drink so I got the biggest Frappuccino I could get and split it with her, after we got groceries. Then I hopped the bus and got a half-pound bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg at Red Robin and ended up getting stuffed on that and the bottomless fries. And there is a cherry pie with birthday candles waiting…

And with all the eating and the waiting around for the bus, I’m beat. I’ll write some more tomorrow.

Sitting here sweating

Our last window unit seems to be dying and not cooling and I’m suffering in an 86°F(30°C) office. I’m pretty much covered in sweat and somewhat smelly or maybe more than just somewhat smelly. I am seriously lacking energy from all the heat, but there is an up side to this: my back is not hurting much while the muscle is nice and warm. I was able to get to sleep without using pain relievers last night. I made the mistake of also not taking the diphenhydramine I use to shut the brain down so I can sleep, so I basically didn’t get to sleep for anything more than a catnap and woke up again around noon. I’m bobbing and weaving in my chair so I think I will be able to get to sleep early.

And I think I will take that trip to bed shortly.

OK I’m taking a step back because really stupid people pushed me into it

I’m posting this in response to something on Twitter yesterday that I read after posting yesterday’s post. The post was to the effect that because cyclists choose to ride in the roads we are responsible for what happens to us.

First is the false “choice” of riding in the street. If you want to get someplace you have no bicycle infrastructure for 99+% of all trips so it’s not a “choice” to ride in the street. It is a necessity.

Second we are not the ones using WMD as transportation that kills ~40K people/annum directly by impact and another million or so by pollution, and that’s just in the US. So it’s drivers killing cyclists, not cyclists forcing drivers to kill us. Drivers are not paying proper attention to traffic (and bicycles are traffic) and cyclists are suffering for their inattention. Or for their choice to drive on short trips. And for their demands for free storage for their property when not in use has literally destroyed city centers.

And for you not reading my recent posts I have a soft spot in my heart for cars, when used in an appropriate manner like motorsports in a controlled environment, or making long trips between places not served by any form of public transit like rural areas. Cars are a good fit for rural areas, but then we try to force them into urban areas where they are a crappy fit or worse. Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to figure out how to bridge between areas where cars are a good fit and cars are bad-to-deadly-on-a-daily-basis fit. I mean I’m no dummy, people in rural areas need cars and light to heavy trucks for their daily lives or they will be forced into poverty. On the other side of the coin those same cars and trucks are killing people in cities. And they are not so good for rural people either.

The real problem is we have baked automobilism into our economies so much that trying to prevent the harm it causes will cause as much harm as the harm we prevent, just of a different kind. To put this in a different perspective it’s like you have a cancer that will kill you painfully in a few weeks, and the operation to cure the cancer will kill you in a year, but it won’t hurt much. Either way you still die ahead of schedule. And there are times when it would be so much easier to be an absolutist instead of looking on both sides of the argument.

Truex wins the first race of the Chase Playoffs, Josef Newgarden wins Indycar Championship

Well, the first race of the Chase Playoffs is in the books and to nobody’s surprise Martin Truex won on the mile-and-a-half Chicagoland Speedway. It was a great race, especially with Kyle Busch getting 2 laps down but finishing on the lead lap. Truex didn’t exactly dominate the race, but there weren’t many times when he wasn’t either in the lead or striking distance of the lead.

And the IndyCar race from Sonoma is on but it might as well be on the radio because Clint has decided that the spot in front of the TV is the perfect place to take a nap, which blocks the crawl showing the running order, and it’s almost like they were watching me type this because now the crawl is at the top of the screen, and Clint is laying down almost enough to see the whole screen. There was a break in there where Clint decided to try to sleep in behind me in my chair (I have a memory foam seat cushion that retains body heat) and I couldn’t reach the keyboard to type. And Simon Pagenaud wins the race but Josef Newgarden of Hendersonville TN wins the championship. I used to work in an auto parts store in Hendersonville for a company that doesn’t exist any more. I wonder if Newgarden ever came into the Honey’s Auto Parts in Hendersonville?

Now is the replay of the F1 race in Singapore. I missed the first show and haven’t checked the F1 web page for the race. So for me this is like a live race. And that first lap was wild. Too many people trying to win in the first corner with too little traction in the wet. There were 5 cars taken out in one corner and half of them were hit by a car out of control after bouncing off another car. At this point about halfway into the race there are either 7 or 6 cars out, the graphics aren’t staying up long enough to be sure. And now they are back to showing just 5 cars out with two some laps down. With all the cars flying during the slow-motion replays I’m getting lots of good ideas for underbody configuration. And right now they have a dry line and small lakes off line so it’s follow the leader on slicks, but the rest of the track is drying so maybe there could be some passing in the last few minutes. Checking the graphics they lost 2 more to mechanical failure bringing the casualty count to 7. ATM it looks like Hamilton unless something breaks in the last lap which has happened before to Hamilton in the Mercedes. But today he won. Even though they didn’t throw a checkered until the second lap after the white flag. Another WTF moment in a series of WTF moments in this race.

On the TGS2 right now there is zero progress being made. I’m rebuilding my hone to get the kingpins to fit the spindles but other than that nothing is getting done. The biggest impediment is changing my anti-depressant meds destroying any motivation I have. That and zero budget for parts and tools. That really kills progress too.

And on that happy note I’m going to shower and get to bed.

Big racing weekend

There are a bunch of races on the tube this weekend, trucks tonight, Xfinity series tomorrow, and F1, Monster Energy, and Indy Car on Sunday. Indy Car is deciding their champion Sunday, Xfinity series is starting their playoffs and the trucks are setting their playoff contenders tonight. Racing inspires me when I’m building my TGS2, but I don’t get any direct transfer from their designs. Detail touches sure, but nothing major can transfer because of the vastly different technology in my car and all of those race series. I think the closest is Indy Car or F1 because of the mid-engines, but with the tubular beam front axle and de Dion rear suspension on my car compared to the 4-wheel independent suspension on those cars, and my engine being transverse and their engines being longitudinal, and I have a 4-sp automatic and they have 6 to ? speed manual or semi-automatic transmissions. Like I said, details, details.

I have been following a YouTube series on building an Australian rules Formula Vee and I have to say their rules are a wild combination of ancient suspension geometry and frame, and modern aerodynamics. And the tires are completely different from the spec tires used in the US. Like I said, interesting and something to add to the data bank even when there is no direct transfer to my car. I like to learn as much as possible because you just never know when something you learned is going to come in handy. And that doesn’t just apply to cars. Sioux, that one’s for you.

One of the things I have been thinking about was extending and smoothing the front contours of the body for more room in the cockpit and better aero for freeway fuel economy. I have some options on that, because I can either put a big fuel tank behind the driver, or two smaller tanks on either side of the driver in a more supine driving position for less frontal area. The single tank behind a more upright driver is better for Goodguys autocross and SCCA Solo racing, but the laydown position gets better fuel economy and isn’t a very big handicap for autocross and Solo. Final analysis it depends on personal preference, my personal preference. And I prefer to sit more upright and be able to see my outside front corners, plus the single tank costs a ton le$$ than the two tank setup, because the single tank is a stocked item in several retail sellers, while the dual tanks would be custom job$.

Something else to consider is the adaptability of the cockpit to different drivers. The supine driving position requires lots of changes between drivers unless they are practically identical twins where the more upright position just needs to change the seat insert and maybe the steering wheel when changing drivers. I’m thinking about changing drivers because I want to have a pro driver to get the most out of the car at Goodguys, and I have a friend who’s a decent driver and probably wants to get behind the wheel in competition, too. So I really need a cockpit that is adaptable to different drivers without major disassembly.