Sunday, December 13th, 2009
11:14 pm - Long Weekend  
I had some extra vacation days I needed to burn before New Year's, so I took one Friday. I was hoping to maybe get a couple of rides in, but it was too damn cold Friday and Saturday, and it poured all day today. Instead I pulled the bike from the truck and brought it inside, probably for the winter. Feh.

I attached the face frames to the carcases, officially turning them into cabinets. I also added a pair of cleats to the back of each to support the back ends of the drawer slides, and even installed a couple of those.*

* I spent a good chunk of this morning fabricating a jig just to drill the holes for the drawer slide mounting screws in the face frames. Apparently they have to be placed just so or everything goes to hell in a hurry. One of the required measurements was 5/64ths of an inch (which is how far the slide needs to be positioned back from the front of the frame). Bozhe moi! I didn't even realize until today that I had a ruler marked in 64ths. OTOH, I made it from hardwood scraps left over from other projects, a piece of maple here, a piece of bubinga there, and some brass screws, so it's a thing of beauty.

The kitchen is clean, so there is now room to make some holiday goodies.

I was out doing some shopping Friday and spent way to much dough at Harbor Freight, home of the world's cheapest tools. Experience has taught me that it's usually better to pay a little more for well-made tools as opposed the the cheapest tools possible, but for things like clamps and such, where precision isn't really an issue, there is a lot of money to be saved by using the cheap stuff. Mostly I bought gadgets, but I did get a couple of 60" bar clamps for $11 apiece, with similar going for $30 at the Depot. I also got the world's cheapest double action air brush, on sale for $15. I'm treating it as a learner's brush, as I don't expect the quality to be very good. The thing is that a well mad air brush is anywhere from five to ten times what I paid for this one. And who knows, it could surprise me.
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hackerguitarhackerguitar on December 14th, 2009 - 07:35 pm
Glad you got the bike in - NE weather and salt isn't good for bikes. Broke a frame b/c of that once, long ago.

The $15 HF airbrush is pretty much the standard gun for a lot of guitarmakers - it's notably good for spraying waterbased finishes. If using waterbased finishes, mix them well and strain them before adding them to the reservoir, and you'll do fine. Adding a bit of high-proof ethanol as well (1:20 proportion or so - very, very little) also helps. And don't forget to blow out the nozzle with solvent when you're done spraying.
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DXMachinadxmachina on December 15th, 2009 - 01:37 am
The bike is actually pretty well protected when it's in the truck (I have a lid over the bed), and the frame is aluminum and carbon fiber, so I wasn't too worried about that aspect. It's more the annoying realization that I'm unlikely to have many opportunities to ride for the next few months.

That's good to hear about the air brush. It'll be used primarily for plastic models, so it'll see both water-based acrylics and traditional enamels. I have an old Paasche single action brush that I bought thirty some odd years ago (for twice what I paid for this), but I haven't used it in years. It's been, like, twenty years since I last worked on a kit, so I'm long overdue.
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hackerguitarhackerguitar on December 15th, 2009 - 03:18 am
I think you'll like it. I've sprayed KTM-9 from Grafted Coatings (Seymour CT, not too far from you) with it with great results. I just can't stress keeping it clean enough, though - while it's inexpensive to replace, they get better over time as the trigger wears in a bit.

I think my next bike will be an aluminum frame. I've pretty well decided to try to bike-commute using the train as an intermediary step. We'll see how that pans out....
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