Just got back from the store with a new (to me) beer, Shiner Homespun Cream Ale. I have a new favorite beer. Seriously, this is the beer I have been looking for for years, slightly sweet and not over hopped with just the right balance of sweet and bitter. I must send a letter to Shiner and tell them this.
Work on the Mid-Bucket has slowed while waiting on the parts to arrive, some of which are still not made yet. I mostly have been analysing the frame for things to leave off and make it lighter. I have found 2 tubes that are redundant so far for a total weight savings of 5.5 pounds.
On the Mini Sprint-T I’m almost done resizing the wheel halves for width after taking some time off for the Mid-Bucket. Filing the resin wheel halves is much quicker than the stainless steel steering arms on the Mid-Bucket, but because they have to be within a thousandth of an inch precision it’s only quicker in how long I spend actually filing them down compared to fitting the steering arms on the Mid-Bucket.
On the RPG front we are having some difficulty creating my character based on my life. Specifically my HP and natural armor or DR or in the terms of the game we are playing, Body and Hardness. Here’s the rub, the getting hit by cars doing from 25 to 30 MPH and walking away with minor abrasions is how Hard my body is in game terms. Getting hit by a truck at 60 MPH and barely dying is how much Body I have. Un-dying is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish that is covered by the rules but only for creatures in-game. And in-game I’m 129 years old, Mrs. the Poet has been dead at least 40 years, and I’m still living in the same house in Garland. I’m still mostly riding my bikes to get around except when I’m being a Runner when I have a couple of vans and cars. Also I’m an actual walking Urban Legend in-game having been a Runner since the events that created the game world. There are a number of people in law enforcement who don’t believe I actually exist, there are rumors I’m not actually human, that I’m some kind of avenging spirit, and even weirder stuff than that. This is going to be FUN!
On another front, my musical tastes are giving my YTM app apoplexy. So far on my saved music I have Jazz, Swing, Hip-hop, Classic Rock, Acid Rock, Electronica, Ambient, Trance… and whatever they classify Blue Man Group as. Seriously my tastes cut across so many genres My Channel is like listening to a radio that can’t stay on-station. If you can, do a search for Opus’ Fun Junk playlist. And prepare for your mind to get blown. 😀
And now I’m just doing the keyboard equivalent of babbling to hear my own voice, so I’m packing it in now. Happy Easter!
Even without Internet access I have been busy on the Mid-Bucket and the Mini Sprint-T. For the Mini Sprint-T I have been modifying the resin castings into the right width wheels with the file and the digital calipers to keep track how wide the front and back halves of the wheel were. That takes a couple of hours for each wheel. For the Mid-Bucket I have been sketching to get the things I see in my mind on paper where you can see them, but not yet because they look like crap and are only partly done. I got the basic ideas down but as I was working I realized I had forgotten something very important, I neglected to include a mounting point for the front 4-bar on the frame. That’s kinda important as that’s what keeps the front axle in front, and not someplace in the middle of the car. And also controls axle wind-up under braking.
How I discovered that was I was thinking about what size links to put in my build list, and couldn’t remember how far the axle was from the 4 bar mounts. Then I tried to remember where the mounts were by remembering where the structure went when the penny dropped and I realized I had left some very important bits off the frame. And also left off the bits that triangulated the mounts for both the front and rear 4 bars. Not a great tragedy, but there would be some flex in the mounts without the bracing, enough maybe to feel under hard braking while racing. I did figure out where to mount the frame ends of the 4 bars, on the roll cage front and rear hoops. And I did figure out how to brace them so they won’t move around. It made the frame about 10 pounds heavier, but really there was nothing else I could have done except leave the mounts all floppy. Also the braces make getting in and out of the car much easier, like having a ladder permanently mounted on the side of the car.
The other thing that sketching out the frame did was confirm the engine mounts will in fact come naturally close to frame members, especially the front and rear mounts on the center rear frame member, but the left and right mounts are going to be right on and real close to the rear diagonal frame members, respectively. That means all the engine mounts are going to be on the bottom plane of the frame, but with the braces the rear of the frame is going to resemble a Birdcage Maserati.
Now obviously I’m not going to go with such a complicated design, especially since it isn’t any lighter or stiffer than what I’m doing.
And since I need to get up early-ish tomorrow I’m putting this one to bed, and then me right after.
Earlier this week I was too busy doing things to write a blog post. Now I have a few minutes to write what happened. All I need to do is get the story straight in my head so I can put it on the screen. That is easier said than done.
Big news first, I lost my wallet again. Exact same way I lost it last time, from the same pair of shorts. I thought I was putting the wallet into the pocket, but it didn’t stay there. I probably lost it when I was sitting down after buying the day pass on the first bus of the day.
Second thing is I am no longer hairy. Well as hairy. I used a ½” guard on the top of my head and no guard at all on the beard. Then I charged up the electric razor and finished off the beard. Voila semi-fuzzy.
On the Mini Sprint-T, I think I have my tire mounting problems solved. I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be using a discarded insulin syringe to inflate the tire out to the edge of the wheel, well the other problem is the wheel making the tire grow larger in diameter by a substantial amount because it’s just too thick, for structural reasons. The resin used to cast the wheels is not as strong as the styrene plastic used in commercial model kits so it has to be thicker, basically all the way out to the flange diameter of the wheel. This in turn stretches the tire diameter by a similar amount, which drastically alters the scale relationship of the tire to the rest of the car. Well I’m going to try sanding out the inside of the tire bead so the oversize wheel so it doesn’t force the tire larger and see how that works. I have a spare set of wheels, and tires that I won’t be using on either model, to experiment with.
And I’m starting to get fuzzy around the edges of my mind, so I’m quitting while I can still hit the correct keys on the laptop.
Bille @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable but sleepy
Mrs. the Poet has been complaining about how I’m “not helping” her throw away my stuff when she does it during the part of the day when I’m still asleep. I don’t understand this. I don’t complain that she’s not helping me write when I start composing stuff at 0300 when the Internet is fastest locally and I can get to reference materials most quickly.
So we reached a compromise, in that Mrs. the Poet will not start throwing my stuff away until I get up, and because we both have things to do over the weekend I will start helping her on Monday afternoon after I have had coffee. There is something in the garage that she calls a “box full of rusty metal stuff” that I’m almost afraid to open. Then we don’t go into the garage again until after I get up Friday.
On other things I’m playing some more Shadowrun tomorrow, and there is a late race on Sunday, the Las Vegas race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. And now that I have a new tube of GOOP™ I can continue to mock up the Mini Sprint-T street version. I haven’t found a model kit that has the Pentastar V6 as an option so kitbashing is right out. But I have that first wheel glued up and ready to test fit to the tire when the glue dries. I’ll probably do that Sunday while I’m watching the race during commercials.
Billed @€0.02 Opus the Unkillable
Posted in Daily Feed, Department of DIY
Tagged conflict, Life, making model cars, Mini Sprint-T, model cars seldom kill people, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Mrs. the Poet, Pentastar V6, race, Sprint-T, unkillable badass
I was on a long walk to get some stuff at the hardware, and well, my mind also wandered. Specifically it wandered around the Sprint-T. What I was thinking about was what it could be like with the Pentastar 3.6l V6 DOHC aluminum block and heads engine that weighs a factory-claimed 326 pounds (as compared to the 545 claimed for the SBC and the 413 for the 3.8 pushrod engine out of the minivan) and delivers 305 HP in stock form. As a comparison the “performance” SBC in the first-gen Camaro was rated at 290 HP. In the Sprint T with the SBC and a TH 350 transmission I was looking at just over 1700 pounds empty, with the Pentastar V6 and the 42RE transmission coming in at 1450 pounds but that 42RE transmission would be dicey for racing use. The later models used 6 and 8 speed slush boxen that would survive racing but also weigh considerably more, the 8-speed being strong enough for the legendary Hemi. The transverse version of the 3.6 would bolt to the 41TE transaxle in the mid-Bucket and take 87 pounds off the weight and rear axle, while adding more than 200 HP over the engine as it sits in the minivan. Do I want one? Not if I had to buy it from the dealer with a car around it. Would I take a similar deal as I got on the 3.8l pushrod engine, remove a derelict vehicle to remove the stuff I needed to make a car for free? Hell I would even pay for a car that got wrecked in the back as long as it wasn’t more than $1K to get the 305 HP version of the engine and then swap the FEAD (Front End Accessory Drive) for the transverse installation. I mean 200 HP more and 87 pounds less would I take that? Hell Yes I Would Take That!
So the reason for the walk was to get the 7/32” drill bit and the small tube of GOOP for the bike and Mini Sprint-T respectively. I logged 3.93 miles and 25 checkins on Map My Walk and M Plus Places respectively and burned a lot of calories in the process. The weather was perfect, just warm enough and just breezy enough with a high overcast so that it was bright but not blinding.
And I have to get the rest of the stuff I do offline done so I can go to bed, so I’m putting this post to bed first, then me.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
OK I did my toes yesterday and picked up my meds. The toes were the same cost as usual, but my meds went up almost 500%, 471% to be precise. My usual pharmacy changed suppliers on this med and where the old supplier had a discount for monthly prescriptions the new one doesn’t. The new pill looks completely different in shape and color from the previous one. While I was going down the road I went ahead and got my bag limit for check-ins on my phone game, which is also working like it’s supposed to work. I just cashed in the gift card I earned last week and I’m close to getting another gift card on the side quest mission, just two more days to go on that one.
On the Mini Sprint-T I have been playing with the windshield frame from the donor kit to see if I can make it lay down like mine will with the posts I got from Speedway . Short answer: Yes indeedy. Unfortunately it takes both hands to hold the frame aligned with the body without using glue and since my mockup adhesive has gone walkabout I can’t put it together to take a picture. Since I have to visit the LRK early in the AM I’ll stop by the hardware and pick up another tube of Goop and some drill bits to install the tail light on the seat of the new bike. The mounting bolt measures 3/16” so that’s the drill I’ll be looking for or maybe a thirty-second larger.
Well, I have to get up at Oh-Gawd-Thirty in the Aye-Emm so I’m going to let it rest now.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
It has been a case of working on the various bits and pieces of the Mini Sprint-T build between taking apart the other toaster and healing up from working with dangerous tools that can take chunks outta my hand when they slip. They slip frequently meaning I mostly have tiny chunks missing from my fingers. This is what requires the healing up.
I have noticed something interesting on You Tube Music. When I check the Electronica Channel I get mostly a mix of ambient and swing music. Yes, swing music like from the 20s, 30s and 40s of the 20th century, only this is new and most of the instruments are synthesized electronically. The rest is what we used to call “Synth Pop”, I don’t know what current term is used. But really checking into the Electronica Channel one does not expect to hear jazz music. It’s momentarily jarring.
On other fronts I really need to air out my office. It smells like a locker room for some reason. I usually keep it closed up to keep the cats from cavorting through my stuff since I keep the fragile stuff and books in my office. Maybe I should shower before I go to my office instead of when I come out of it. I dunno? It gets kinda warm in here most of the year even with the AC running full blast.
On the Mini Sprint-T I have been playing with the spare wheels trying to get the width right, because it is way too easy to get too narrow with the file. Also I was thinking that when I do the vacuformed wheels I could just cut the 14″ wide rims down to 8″ (scale) since they would be easy to cut with scissors or a hobby knife, then glue in the centers and hubs from the resin wheels like I was planning for the 14″ rims. The construction method I was thinking about makes 2 separate halves anyway, so just trim for the desired width no matter what width it is. I could even make the 18″ wide rims to use the right rear tires off a Supermod car. That was a passing thought for a possible A/Mod SCCA Solo car using a SBC and a Powerglide transmission… which I could make in model form. I have thousands of ideas for cars running round inside my head, very few of which will ever see even a sketch on the back of an envelope. A/Mod cars are a fertile ground for my imagination because the lack of restrictions makes physics my primary restriction. There are just so many ways to make a car go around corners quickly, the combinations are essentially endless… Including a car with a large moving weight that would shift to the inside of a turn to counteract the weight transfer of making the turn, like the “monkey” on a sidecar rig.
And for a day I didn’t have anything to say I certainly have rambled on, haven’t I? It would be even more words if I didn’t use portmanteaus and acronyms so often.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
That app on my phone that pays me money is glitching big time the last couple of days. I have only been able to get one prize box since Thursday and haven’t been able to check in to a check-in location in that time. I can sometimes sneak in a sweeps entry for the “make an entry a day for 20 days and get a dollar” contest but I missed yesterday. And it isn’t looking good for today either. To make matters worse, some other apps I downloaded because they provided points for the other app no longer pay out at all and one of them stranded several days’ worth of points before the app stopped paying points. IOW I was still earning points and getting told I was earning points but not getting connected to the points server to collect the points, then they dumped everything about points without paying me my earned points.
Since things on other fronts have been floating along like the proverbial lead balloon, I bought some lottery tickets today. To be precise I bought a Megamillions, Powerball, and Texas Lotto ticket with annuitized payments payout. I win any of them and we have enough to live off of for our expected lifespans (well maybe not MY expected lifespan, but I should have enough by then to live off the interest).
I had to stop working on the remaining toaster because the pliers I have been using wore a hole on the top of my pinky finger from using it to open the pliers back up to make another grab at the stubborn screws. I have to admit the manufacturer had an insanely simple anti-tamper method, buy screws so cheap and soft that they strip the heads installing them so there is nothing to grab hold of with a screwdriver to remove them. Problem is from looking at the rest of the device I don’t think anti-tamper was even on the first 2 pages of reasons to buy cheap, soft screws.
On the Mini Sprint-T I was getting ready to mock up a full wheel to check for fit and my mock-up adhesive that I just bought seems to have gone walkabout. I’ve torn the room apart and can’t find it anywhere. That’s $5 down the tubes and no progress until I can get another tube of Goop™.
And I really need to wrap this up and get to bed. I have a busy day of role-playing games ahead.
billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
While I was out walking and looking for Clint Sunday night I heard him answer back from inside the neighbors’ fence. Unfortunately they were asleep at the time so I couldn’t ask to open the gate and let him out, and then it started raining. It wasn’t until I got back from my walk yesterday evening that I was able to get someone next door to talk to me and open the gate. When they finally did get the gate open Clint burst out of where he had been hiding and out the gate and didn’t quit until he got to the front door. I spent the next several hours being loved on and repeatedly invoking the “no claws clause” because Clint was just ecstatic about being back with me and back inside where it didn’t rain and wasn’t muddy. It took until this afternoon for him to finish getting the mud out of his fur, but he’s clean(-ish) now.
On the lab-rat front, I’m working again on a new study. This time I’ll be taking an approved drug to see if it works for another condition. I have hypertension combined with left atrial hypertrophy, or in simpler terms an enlarged heart. Mine is benign because I got it from extended periods of moderate aerobic exercise (I rode my bike a lot). Anywho it means that I can sell plasma while I’m on the study since this time they are testing an approved drug. That means I will be able to buy some parts for the hot rod, probably the Watt’s link since it’s one of the cheaper parts and it doesn’t have to be custom ordered to fit the car. When I get a good measurement on the face-to-face distance of the minivan suspension in its stock form I will be able to order the right width front axle since custom widths are only $25 more than in-stock. I can’t say any more about the study because of the NDA.
And I just lost about 20 minutes writing time because of the cat on my lap giving me kisses (with tongue! 😛 ). I am still his Most Favorite Person In The Whole World, even more now that I rescued him from the neighbor’s back yard and their cat-proof fence. And it is nice having some
onething to cuddle with for a while.
After the cuddle break and dinner I decided I needed some time to work on something, anything, and I had a flat file and some too-wide wheel halves for the Mini Sprint-T. Turns out the file works just as well as the sandpaper I was thinking about using to narrow the rim half and get the width right for the street wheels. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to get the bead of the tire out to the bead seat of the wheel. I have lots of insulin-dependant friends who go through tons of syringes with hair-fine needles in a month, that would be great for moving a tire out on a rim by inflation until the glue dries enough to hold them in place. [Evil Thought] Or I could get some expand-in-place foam and squirt the precise volume of chemicals needed to fill the tire cavity to push the bead out and keep it out. [/Evil Thought] Anyway a few minutes of work gave me a wheel that is the right width for the street version of the Mini Sprint-T, but I have to be careful because of how easy it is to go overboard with the file and take off too much material. Fortunately I have some extra wheel front halves because I’m just going to use the centers from them on some much wider shells.
Time to go take care of other things.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
For those not up on the current jive SAD is Singles Awareness Day, AKA National Condom Day, AKA Valentine’s Day and a bunch of other stuff. I chose this particular headline because it is a contradiction when read as the words they appear to be, but not in their literal meaning. I mean “Happy NCD” has meaning but no ironic subtext like “Happy SAD”.
Also a reminder that there are many suicides today by people who think they will never be in a relationship and a lot of these are single-vehicle “accidents” that sometimes involve innocent bystanders like pedestrians or cyclists. So stay alert out there especially between 2300 and 0100 tonight, that is peak time for Singles Awareness Day suicides.
Since I’m temporarily stalled on the 1:1 hot rod I have been doing some minor piddling around with the Mini Sprint-T, specifically the wheels. As delivered the Wide 5 wheels were way too wide for the street tires but too narrow for the race rubber. I have engineered fixes for both those problems but I only have the tools to fix one of them. As delivered the back half of the rim is almost exactly the right width, but the front side is way too wide. Since I still don’t have that lathe I’m going low tech, wet or dry sandpaper and an old mirror to get a flat surface to sand off the outside of the rim to the right width. Just as a reminder the W5 wheels I got from the vendor were for a 10″ wide (bead-to-bead) scale wheel while the street version uses an 8″ wheel and the race version uses a 14″ wheel. Also don’t forget there are 1″ wide bead flanges on each side of the wheel so the overall scale width is not the spec width*scale but the flange width*scale. Basically I need to take 0.08″ off the outside half of the wheel for the street wheel. The scale race wheel will be made with a vacuum forming machine that I’m building from the stack of broken toasters that have 2 settings: off and charcoaled bread, and the centers from the outer halves of the wheels that will be sanded down to glue inside the vacuum formed outers. The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to form the flange on the outer street wheel so the tire doesn’t fall off the rim before the glue dries.
I know this is early but I want that travel warning to hit as many people as possible so they don’t get hit later tonight.
PSA, Opus the Unkillable