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22 August, 2014

The Daves Workshop / Wildersport Outdoors podcasting audio studio is live!

I have the audio studio set up and tested. I put up a video / audio clip slideshow on youtube walking you through... Like I said, I am working my tail off trying to get Daves Workshop media to be first rate to make your time spent here to be as enjoyable and productive as possible!



Thanks for visiting.





17 August, 2014

XENYX 502 Podcaststudio usb mic port test



I have been in discussion with some folks about this issue. In my efforts to produce a better product for my readers / viewers I am wanting to produce quality audio, and video, I made this quick and honestly lazy presentation / test of the mixing board that came with my podcaststudio kit, and shows how a simple, very small mixer will allow for multiple microphone connections. Admittedly the channel 2 connection isn't ideal as it bypasses the equalizer circuitry, but it will work well enough for studio guests if I ever get them in... Yes folks I have ideas for where I want to take this blog, and I am looking at breaking into podcast / video podcasting territory...



11 August, 2014

Crash course to better serve my readers / viewers!

I am wanting to provide instructional / educational resources on my blog, and honestly the audio from my Camcorder stinks. I am also considering making a recurring podcast for those audio oriented folks, so I am crash coursing on using some home recording gear that is not attached to the camera, doing some intense video editing, and other multimedia work that I honestly haven't done any of since before Adobe Systems acquired Macromedia, so if it seems like I am taking longer between posts, there is a good reason for it. Think of it as the human version of electrolysis rust removal for the brain...

And before I get any more email on the subject, I wanted to let everyone know what I am doing with this blog / video / podcast I am hoping to make completely unique. While you will undoubtedly see similarities between my content, and the content of others, and I would be lying if I said others don't inspire me and my desire to dive deeper down this rabbit hole, I first and foremost have fun with what I am doing, I don't limit myself to talking about just one subject (Such as woodworking, automotive, outdoorsmanship, faith, family, etc...) rather I am using this as a platform to cover what interests me, and I use it as a way to help you along the process. I assume some knowledge, but try to keep that assumption as basic as possible, and I am open to feedback. If I went over something too fast, ask me for clarification and I will be more than happy to oblige!

I sincerely hope you enjoy the content I am putting up here as much as I enjoy creating it for you, and that you express that enjoyment by either donating to my site by purchasing products from my Amazon Store. And of course you are free to send a gift via PayPal with the PayPal link on the main page. Sadly the PayPal and Amazon e-stores don't link together... I will post up the best bargains I can find on anything and everything that I think might be of interest, and certainly what I feature in my posts, assuming it is available on Amazon. I will also let you know when an item is better priced elsewhere! Your purchases and gifts will help offset my costs, and help me justify what I am doing with this to my wife thus enabling me to keep diving down this crazy rabbit hole!

02 August, 2014

Making the tee splice in the 7 pin wiring harness.

Hopefully you can make heads or tails of the video. Sorry. I obviously have not figured out the finery of Youtube video publishing... Hopefully I will get better, soon...

If you have been following this on the forum, you will notice the use of a yellow wire to tie into a red wire. That is intentional as it meets the requirements of my documented circuit design.

As a reminder the design of the circuit is as follows...

12V red power feeds the hot side of supply side of a SPST illuminated switch which is already installed in the dashbaord. Sorry if you wanted to see that done. I figured that was so basic as to not be worth my effort of documenting... I can do a fresh one if you'd like... Another 12V red power feed runs and terminates at terminal 87 on the relay. Thus feeding power to the relay.

The load side of the SPST switch is a green wire in the diagram, I will likely use white as it is what I have, and is routed to share a common lug with the yellow wire we just soldered on, and those will terminate on terminal 86 of the relay.

Terminal 85 will have a black wire run to a grounded ring terminal.

Terminal 30 will be a blue wire feeding back, and a Y splice shooting 2 wires off, 1 to each of the LED reverse lamps. (The 2 pin couplers actually). The couplers other side will be soldered to a short black lead attaching to ring terminals at the mount and grounding as close as possible to the mount.

As many of the connections as possible will be either weathertight, or soldered. I don't EVER want water problems with my circuit...



I MAY switch wire color from switch to relay to blue, and use white wire from relay to lamps. The lamps are factory wired white / black, and I don't have any green wire.  The relay is to be mounted underhood, so I am figuring I will need to carry 2 wires via a split loom to the front of the truck from the back, the yellow signal wire from the reverse light circuit, and the white power feed wire to the lamps. The relay can be grounded in the engine compartment, and the lamps themselves can be grounded at the frame mounting tab the lamps will mount to. This will minimize the amount of wire actually run throughout the vehicle, and theoretically at least, minimize the weight gain on the truck, by at least a few ounces, but every bit adds up!


A close up view, and sorry my camera work is a little jiggly here, but that red wire is heading straight to the center pin. According to every manual I have seen that is the reverse light wire, so that is the one we are going after!



So we fish back through the split loom a few inches back and fish that red wire out so we can trim the insulation off of it and make our solder joint. My camera work here is MUCH better as I wasn't trying to one hand it...



Strip back the insulation on the wire you are going to solder to the main, stripping enough insulation to make 5 full turns around the main wire.


If using stranded wire, twist the wires together before wrapping, at least this is the habit I got into. When you are done with your wraps it should look like the photo above...


In future videos the sound will be much improved. I didn't really need to be narrating it while I was shooting except my old M-audio duo USB isn't compatible with any OS newer than Windows 98... I could barely get it working in XP, but under Windows 8.1 forget it... I've got some new equipment coming from Behringer that should allow me to get back up to speed audio wise...

26 July, 2014

Notice to spammers...

You guys must be a special kind of stupid...

I moderate comments and while I will approve comments that disagree with me or take contrary view points, spam will be rejected offhand and reported.

For what it's worth I believe spammers should be rolled naked in thumb tacks and dipped in rubbing alcohol and rubbed down with salt.

But keep your chins up. In my book spammers still rank above Lawyers and child molesters... Ever so slightly, but still above.

25 July, 2014

Hunting and gathering for the trailer light / backup light installation.

So as of noon today, almost everything I need for this project is in hand, I think...

Large ring terminals for 22 ga wire seem to be extensively difficult to come by, so I am going to take a different approach, I have 2 wires that need to be ring connected to the battery stud, a 22 ga wire for the switch, and either 22 or 16 ga wire to go to the relay. So I figure I use a 16-14 ga ring terminal with a 1/4" ring and solder the two wires together and crimp that all it, I should be good to go!


The bag in the middle area is the relays, relay sockets, and ATC fuse holders. These things are major overkill for this task, but I am a firm believer in better safe than sorry... Not to the degree engineers are, but you get the idea...

Looking at the AWG ampacity ratings, my 2@ 18 watt lights will draw a total of 36 watts, and that means 3 amps, the charts for chassis wiring, which is what this technically is, rates 22 awg at 7 amps, WAY above what this will actually draw, or even think of drawing...

Now if we look back I think it was 3 posts ago, when I discussed designing the circuit, you will recall that the red wire comes from 12V source (battery) the black wire goes to chassis ground, and the blue wire feeds power to the lights.

It just so happens that I have the black and red wires in 16 ga, and digging through my toolbox I found 16 ga blue wire from the pilot off road lighting kit I never ended up using (and wish I knew where the relay from THAT went...)

In my digging to find my soldering iron, and spool of solder, I found a spool of white 16 ga wire as well... The green and yellow wires being signal wire being 22 ga is fine... So I am good to go, at least once I find the shrink tubing... I know I had it around here somewhere...

24 July, 2014

Dealing well with the pressures...

I just wanted to touch base with those that have been following my compressed air system journey. I realized my last entry on this issue was on June 8. I have been keeping the compressors powered off except when I am actively using them, but keeping the tanks pressurized. The system is holding pressure perfectly. The only time the compressors cycled was during hard use... I couldn't be happier...

Auxiliary LED reverse lighting continued. Prepping the brackets.

Simply put, these lights HAVE to work, and they HAVE to be out of the way when backing up, especially off road.

Now when I was considering how to add additional reverse lighting to my truck I will be completely honest, hanging LED fixtures were not at the top of my list. I was originally considering adding some of those 6" oval LED fixtures cut in to the rear bumper. Mostly for clearance sake. But I could see a minor bump in traffic causing damage, and honestly, I was having a very tough time finding sufficient quality fixtures for my application. Most of them are either REALLY expensive, or to be polite, severely lacking in build quality.

While I was looking for insipration, I came across F150Online.com member lakemarykid's beautiful Oxford White / Pueblo gold 2 tone 2007 F150 FX4 Supercrew. The job he did on the install looks great, although he is only powered by a dash switch.


Now the brackets he used are something used in commercial construction, not readily available to the average DIYer, so I had to take a different approach, but then again, what I used followed the same idea at least...

Yes, there was some DIY to it...

Step #1. Look around the shop and see what I have on hand. The aluminum angle I was planning on using appears to be all used up, so option #2. Use flat steel and make it the shape I want...
Step #2. I know I want a 1.5 x 1.5 L section with 5/16" holes for the bolts, so I take the 1.5" wide steel stock and measure up 1.5" up, using a sharpie mark a fold line, another 1.5" up and mark a cut line...
Step #3. Secure the stock in the bench vise, and using my 4.5" angle grinder, Harbor Freight cut off wheels, and of course safety glasses, respiratory, and hearing protection, made my cut.
Step #4. Repeate step #s 2 and 3 for the second bracket.
Step #5. Using a straight edge and sharpie, mark center of each half segment so there are two X's on each piece. 
Step #6. Using a punch and hammer, dimple the center to guide the drill bit.
Step #7. Secure the work pieces, and drill a 5/16" hole at each dimple.
Step #8. Using a file, clean up all cut lines, corners, and drill hole edges, insuring that a 5/16" fastener can easily pass through.
Step #9.  Using a machinists vise, secure the work piece such that the fold line is just at the top of the jaw, and squared to the jaw. Lock the jaws down so the piece can not move, and using a large, broad headed steel hammer bend the pieces to a 90 degree angle.
Step #10. Using a disposable cloth paper towel, shop rag in a box type of rag, and at least rubbing alcohol if not a stronger solvent that does NOT leave a residue, thoroughly clean all surfaces.
Step #11. Scuff surfaces with sandpaper, clean off any dust / residue then prime, and paint with at least 3 coats of rust inhibiting paint. You can also use plastidip if you'd like.

Your brackets are now ready! You can go ahead and bolt the light to the bracket using the provided bolts, however I would suggest instead sourcing up stainless steel replacements, and an additional pair of 5/16 x I think it is 1" stainless steel bolt, flat washer, and nylon insert lock nut to secure to the frame of the truck...

So you want to know where to find the bargains?

Harbor Freight 4.5" angle grinder. If you have a HF close, these are so cheap even if it breaks after a year or so just toss it and get a new one... Mine is an older B&D I bought at Walmart, the HF grinder seems to be better made...

4.5" metal cut off wheel for the angle grinder? Yeah HF has those too! I have used the ones from the big box stores, and the HF ones actually seem to hold together better...

I could give you a link to online ordering the flat stock, or easier yet, aluminum angle but get the stuff locally. It will be cheaper. Shipping on that stuff with eat you up!

Center punch. Yeah Amazon has those cheap. The HF ones I have tried are junk. The Stanley is okay, great considering it is dirt cheap and likely to get lost before you dull it... I have them in my Amazon affiliate store.

If you are like me and like to have the big box of crayons to color with as it were, and like having your bits etc... come in large sets, probably THE most impressive set of bits I have used to date are the DeWalt pilot point bits. They do help make drilling metals much easier. The DW1969 29 piece set is on Amazon at the lowest price I have seen recently...

For a lower budget option, you could try the Warrior 29 piece Titanium Nitride bit set from Harbor Freight. Mind you, I have not tried them out yet so I can not attest to their quality, or even usefulness. If anyone wants to donate a set for testing I would happily accept and test the snot out of a set of these...

Most of the items needed for this project have arrived already. I have 2 items left to have come in, One was due to an error in my observation. They are...

#1. The Tow Read 118136 Universal plug mount bracket. I thought I didn't need it, but I was wrong. It happens...
#2 12 volt illuminated rocker switch with green LED. I figure instead of the high dollar switches, which mind you are ultra cool, but pricey, that LakeMaryKid used, I figured I would color code. Keep the Red LED rocker for the front off road lights, and use a green LED rocker for the rear reverse / flood lights.

Package tracking says I should have all that stuff in hand tomorrow afternoon, so I should be moving forward with this project, and some work on the Saturn this weekend...

So stick with me, and enjoy as I document how the project all comes together!

22 July, 2014

Adding LED reverse lighting, and 7 pole trailer plug.

Anyone that has ever backed up in the dark, rainy, unlit night with factory reverse lights know the white knuckle braille experience it can be, now put yourself out on the deer lease, or in the mountains somewhere in those same conditions, you are going to want light and a lot of it...

Now my project here is twofold,

Fisrt off, I am wanting to add the final piece of the OEM "Towing Package" that my truck did not ship from Ford with and that is the 7 pin wiring pig tail under the rear bumper. It's a good thing this is a common part, and lots of the aftermarket produce OEM quality or better replacement pieces, and an even better thing that Ford designed the wiring harness to be modular. Simply snap on / snap off and you are good to go!

Second issue I need to tackle is the extreme need for radically improved back up lighting. Simply put, backing up this beast in the dark is a dangerous, white knuckle affair. I have wanted upgraded lighting on the tail end of this truck for years. And with the new LED lighting fixtures coming down radically in price, it looks like it is time to tackle this project! Tons of light, great durability, and greatly reduced power draw. What's not to like?

So first things first, design the setup and start hunting and gathering what I will need to make these changes, and get the knowledge I need to do the job...

Thankfully TowReady has part number 118247 trailer wiring and relay kit available at a variety of retailers. www.etrailer.com provides a pretty decent video instruction on how to install it. I WILL be varying my install from etrailers install. Their install is using a band clamp on a round tube trailer hitch, my hitch is square tube and I honestly think Etrailers use of a band clamp is beyond pitiful. It is barely better than bailing wire and bubble gum. I want this done RIGHT... So please ignore that part on their video. I will attampt to shoot and edit my own video on this project, so hopefully you will have something a bit better quality to work with...

Mind you, etrailer has been kind of nasty about this as they have disallowed embedding of the Youtube video, but I CAN give you the link... The video overall is decent, but like I said, they cut a HUGE corner quality wise in the install by relying on a band clamp. That just will not do!

Anyway the video link is HERE.

Like I promised on my forum posts, I will post the links to the products and the best prices I could find to get the job done, so if you go to my Amazon Store at http://astore.amazon.com/davework-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=14

There are 2 items that while I can find at Amazon that there are MUCH better buys at Harbor Freight tools if you have one of them close by...

127 piece Heat Shrink Tubing.

10 rolls 60ft 3/4" electrical tape.

I assume "normal" mechanical ability, and equipment. Feel free to add crimp connectors in place of solder connections. I personally prefer solder joints over crimp connectors, particularly in 4 wheel drive / off road applications.

So now that all the bits and pieces are on order, I ought to share with you the design for the circuit.


I am giving serious consideration to adding a 3amp diode inline on the feed line from the backup lights.

FWIW, this circuit design should work with any 12V DC vehicle with a factory back up lighting circuit where the desired end result is the accessory reverse lights turned on with both the vehicle being put in reverse, AND the lights being manually turned on with an interior mounted toggle switch with illumination that will allow you to tell if you accidentally left the lights on...

If I opt for the diode and I suspect I will so that I don't induce back feed into an unenergized reverse light circuit, the best price I have found so far is at Radio Shack...

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062578

So now that the design is shored up, and the parts are ordered (somehow Amazon Prime 2 day sometimes means 9 days...).

Before moving forward, there is some equipment you will need to round up. This is...

  1. Factory jack, and handle for operating the spare tire winch.
  2. Wheel chocks, chunks of 4x4, whatever...
  3. Floor jack capable of safely lifting the truck. I opted for the Pittsburgh Automotive 4 ton item #68056. Purchased on sale, with a 25% off coupon so it wasn't that bad...
  4. Jack stands with sufficient height and weight handling capacity to give you ample room and safe load rating to work on the truck safely. I opted for the Pittsburgh Automotive 6 ton Steel Jack Stands item #61197. Same deal as the floor jack...
  5. I am not going to bother with linking one as you really ought to have it by now if you are wanting to take on this project, but you need a socket / ratchet set, deep well, in metric. The Etrailer video shows using an electric impact, no real need, and if I was going to I would go pnuematic not electric...
  6. Crimp tool.
  7. A basic soldering iron
  8. Lighter.
  9. Drill and bits.
  10. Screwdriver set.
I'm sure I will come up with something I forgot about while I am actually working the project. I will make note of it in the video, AND come back and update the list here.

So for now I bid you a good night, and promise that I will post updates here in text, photo, and video here shortly!.

14 July, 2014

When rushed for time, don't rush...

As you know, Dave's Workshop is a hobby shop. The only thing professional about it is the tools I still own that I used when I was a professional mechanic lin my youth. Yeah those tools are now considered "Classic" so that should tell you something...

So as I hinted to, I have been busy, too busy, with things that actually pay the bills, and dealing with extended family issues. (Not going into too many details other to say we have had a couple of losses recently...)

Now with all of that, the projects that need to get done, well, take a back seat... And one of those projects has been repairing paint damage on the back of the cab, and front of the bed of my truck that was caused by the toolbox rubbing... So I tried to take what little time I had available, specifically while my wife was getting her nails done, and found an abandoned part of the parking lot, some wax and tar cleaner, clean rags, newspaper, frog tape, sandpaper / sanding block, and primer, not to mention the color coat...

Everything went great, until well... after.

It would appear in my haste to maximize my time, I didn't do a good enough masking job on the back window of the truck, OR between cab and bed. I now need to clean red primer off of the back glass, and spray a bit more color coat between cab and bed. THEN I need to move on to more wet sanding, and another coat or two of color before I move forward with clear...

Now this is the first time I have ever attempted this, and I must admit, I am scared senseless to try this, but I figure with the amount of paint damage that was there already, I had to try, or simply cough out for a fresh paint job...

Duplicolor has some great videos on actually how to do this, and I highly recommend anyone that wants to try this on their own, to dig up those videos on Youtube and watch them first....


29 June, 2014

Fixing what the body shop set back to factory, and some perspective on the new fender flares...

So as you may recall, my truck had to spend some quailty time in the body shop due to an attempted theft / vandalism that caused some extensive damage to the drivers front fender, wheel, studs, and windshield. I finally get the truck back from the body shop that fixed what the first body shop royally messed up on, and I want to take the time here, since I knocked Cook Ford for the poor quality work, I want to credit Frede Chevrolet for exactly the opposite, although it took them a bit to get the parts in, more on that in a bit... they did first rate work. Everything was aligned properly, and fitted the way I would expect to see it..

Only problem is, they put it back to Factory, excluding the fender flares... They replaced the Damaged Pacer Performance flares, with EGR OEM Look flares. I am not going to complain, those were the flares I wanted in the first place, but couldn't ever seem to locate...

However, as I said, the body shop put the fender back to stock, meaning the plastic trim, and the steel lower / inner edge of the fender were put back where they were from Ford, and the 35x12.50/17s rubbed when I turned / hit a bump. I HAD to fix that again...

So now having some experience with this, I started the truck up, set the parking brake, made sure it was in park, and rolled the window doen...

I then got out of the truck, rolled the window down, and turned the wheel to the left (it is the back outer edge of the tire that hits), and watched where it came closest, and marked off about 1/2" past each way...


Turn the wheel to the lock the other way, and turned the truck off, and went to the shop...

Out came the air hose off of my hose reel, an air hammer, an air chisel hammer, and a pair of tin snips.

I trimmed the plastic, just outside of the marked lines, so that there was no longer any protruding plastic. Next I used the tin snips to re-cut the fold that the body shop tack welded back, and then the air hammer / chisel hammer bit came out and folded the sheet metal back well away from tire interference...

There is now more than enough space for the suspension to flex.
The new flares offer close to full coverage of the tires.
Not fully covered, but close enough.

Road tested, and the tire rub is now completely gone over all surfaces I have been willing to try it on. Turning, large bumps etc... Still need to test it offroad, but that will be a bit...


IF the Rancho Quick Lift Loadeds had a strong enough spring, I am certain there would have been no interference problem, as I was running this same brand, model, and size tire with the stock struts and Auto Spring 2.5" leveling spacers. 

But, with all the headache it has been getting to this point, there it is, done for now. 2004 F150 4x4 with 35x12.50/17 mud tires, Only suspension lift is a 2.5" Rancho coil spring / strut lift, 9K lb winch and heavy duty brush guard / winch mount, nerf bar steps to help my wife and I get into the truck easier. I do need to swap the Rancho coils for Moogs, but aside from that, and some minor cosmetic stuff, this truck has seen enough attention from me for a while. On to the Saturn!

24 June, 2014

Prepping for a show, and Ye Olde Heavy Metal...

The workshop is set up and staged for several projects, most notably my lovely bride and I are going to try to reproduce a Talavera-ish look on some large plain tera cotta flower pots. Considering the size she wants in real Talavera runs around $80 - $100 per flower pot, and our lawn service has been known to break flower pots when edging around them, I figured we can replicate the general look pretty easily with some $13.00 Home Depot pots and some Ceramics paint, finished off with full gloss brush on lacquer.

We picked the pots up from Home Depot yesterday, and as they had been rained on in the outdoor garden department, they needed to thoroughly dry before I attempted to paint them. So in the shop they went, unfortunately that takes up a LOT of room...

Another project I had, and this one was more time pressing, was to size up some replacement steel rods for my E-Z Up 13 x 13 Pagoda Gazebo Canopy.
The Auto Show is coming up, and my brother in laws body shop is setting up a booth, and he was going to borrow up the Pagoda to use in the booth, which is great, but unfortunately the last time my wife and I took it to the beach, we got run off the beach by some fast severe weather, and I forgot the extension rods that hold the what would be the eaves if this were a normal structure, out away from the verticals.

So I sized up the bores for the rods, and found that they are 1/2", I used some 1/2" hardwood dowel from the craft store to size up how long the rods should be. I talked with the support folks at EZ-Up, they would be more than happy to sell me replacements for $25.00 + S&H by the way... but they couldn't tell me for sure the length, apparently there are 2 different sizes, mine happened to be the 28", so...

Once the lengths were measured, the angle grinder with the HF metal cutoff wheel was brought out, and the rods were cut, the rough edges were dressed off by hand with a file, and the rods were thoroughly cleaned...

For the Auto Show. I won't bother with paint on the rod yet... But once I get done with that, I get the rods back to the shop, they will get thoroughly cleaned, roughed up with some sandpaper, and then primed, and painted. Mostly to keep rust away from the canopy fabric... The end that goes into the fabric pockets are going to be dipped in Plasti-Dip to finish the job up...

Now as promised in the title... I managed to stumble across a Youtube Channel courtesy of none other than Wil Wheaton, yes, I am that geeky that I follow Wil's blog, and have him in my Google+ circles, and controversial or not, I actually LIKED the Wesley Crusher character in Star Trek The Next Generation! but I digress...

Being a child of the 1980s, heavy metal was a staple of the music scene when I was a teen, and of course, as I ripen, uh I mean mature into the graceful (yeah right) age I am now... I find my musical taste varies quiet a bit more, and I appreciate the finer points of true art that I simply wasn't open to at a younger age. Combine that with far too many years with my fall seasons spent at the Renaissance Faire, and yes... I think I have acquired a fondness for the more obscure musical genres...

So without further Adieu, I present to you 2 classically trained harpists Camille and Kennerly with their cover of Iron Maidens "Fear Of The Dark"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPb20fK0R94

17 June, 2014

Fixing The Flexy Flares...

In an attempt to keep rocks, mud, sand, and whatnot from being flung up at the paint on the truck quite so much by the 12.5" wide mud tires I needed a wider than typical fender flare for my 2004 Ford F150. And while I know there are plenty of folks that like them, but I personally don't care for the looks of the big chunky flares like the Bushwackers. After more than a little research I went seriously old school and opted for a set of cut to fit Pacer Performance Flexy Flares. Basically a 2.5" rubber fender flare that attaches to the inside lip of the fender opening.


Now these are really, painfully simple fender flares, akin to what you see on school busses, ambulances, and fender chopped 4x4s world wide... These have been available and in use literally for decades. I remember a guy in high school that had a set of the universal fit (you cut them to match your application) on a 1965 Corvair. Well anyway I digress...

Due to some vandalism damage my truck had to spend some quality time in the body shop at Cook Ford in Texas City Texas, and I should mention here and now,  and mind you, I am a very forgiving customer knowing full well people make mistakes, and I don't take making this recommendation lightly in the slightest, but I have to say, in the strongest terms, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH COOK FORD! I took my truck there as they were the closest Ford dealer that was in my insurance companies preferred repair facility program. If I have anything to say about it, they won't be for much longer. But don't take my word for it, take a look at their BBB rating. I dropped the truck off on Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, and was told that they would not be able to even take a look at it until the following Tuesday, so I went ahead and left the truck there. I left with a leery feeling of this shop, and started digging into the reviews and BBB complaints, and by Friday morning I got up early and got to the body shop just after opening time. Unfortunately the insurance company had already notified them that I wanted to get my truck out of there, and they had already started pulling the truck apart, and had sanded the fender down and had bondo on it. So I was kind of stuck... End result?They botched the repair job badly, took it in to straighten some fender damage caused by vandalism, they delivered it with the fender STILL bent, proud of the door by no less than 3mm and distinctly bowed out at the wheel opening like it was a wide body kit, fender bottom edge trim wouldn't fit door trim they took off for painting they bent in the process, and the windshield glass I specifically asked  the body shop manager, Sonia I think her name was, some blonde woman is all I am sure of, if they were going to use the OEM glass with the F150 logo, ended up being a generic aftermarket piece, so she flat out LIED to my wife and myself.

Anyway, among the other things that were done wrong such as the fender that was supposed to be straightened, wasn't delivered straight, I also found the fender flare on the other side of the truck had several of the screws removed. This was causing the flare to curl in, and contact the tire during turns.

I opted for a more permanent fix than a replacement screw however, and broke out the Harbor Freight rivet gun. The hole was already in the flare, and in the fender, all I had to do was run the rivet through both holes, put the riveter on the stud and pull the handle.

The end result is that the fender flare trailing edge is now tight up against the fender, MUCH tighter than was possible with the screw. I am actually considering pulling the existing screws, one at a time, making any width adjustments needed, and running rivets in instead of screws.

Tire to fender flare rub now gone, I can now go to a Chevrolet dealer (that just seems existentially wrong) to get the proper repair done. They had an '09 FX4 F150 in black that they were prepping for delivery that just came out of the shop with similar damage, and not a hint of the problems I had... Hopefully they get the job done smoothly, and this can be the end of my fender mash nightmare...

Likewise, not with any of my rigs, but a friend of ours, who happens to do housekeeping work for us (she helps us catch up every other week with stuff we can't finish off), needed help with her little truck. The bracket that holds the gas strut for the camper shell hatch lost the rivets that hold it on, so I re-riveted that, and double checked the other side...

Overall, the HF riveter that I picked up specifically for this purpose, I used to have a Stanley years ago but it grew feet and left me years ago, anyway, the HF riveter seems fairly well made, it does what it is supposed to, how it is supposed to, and doesn't seem like it should have any failure due to skimped materials or construction methods, however it was supposed to come with a spanner to help change the tips, mine did not, I considered taking it back, but I have more than enough wrenches and don't really need it... Oh for what it's worth, the units in the store have yellow handles, not red, and the metal frame black part is smooth either painted or powder coated, not sure, but it isn't the hammered finish shown in the HF pics...

13 June, 2014

How to deal with a jointer that is too narrow.

I am doing some stock preparation of some pretty rough walnut that I picked up off of Craigslist a few years ago. Much of the stock is 8" or wider, and just under 4/4.

Now if you have been paying attention to my blog, and have gone through the shop tour page, you will remember that I have and use a 6-1/8" bench top jointer. Nice, space saving contraption, that is all but useless for face jointing wider stock. I pretty much MUST keep my stock under 6" wide or it's a no go for this little guy...

To solve the problem I resort to the time tested method of all sorts of woodworkers. I built a jig. Well built might be an overstatement...

Simply put, I used a planer jointing sled.

Now for those unfamiliar with what a planer jointing sled is, it is a piece of dead flat stock, in this case 3/4" plywood, that is 8' long, and just barely narrower than the max capacity of the planer. In my case I have a 13" planer, so the jointing sled is 12-7/8". Thus my stock handling limitation here is 8' x 12.75". You need just enough space around the workpiece to be able to secure it to the sled...

The work piece itself, is secured to the sled via a hot glue gun and glue. Using the same techniques as you would with a jointer to determine which face to start with, secure your work piece to the sled, building up the hot glue to make up gaps between sled and work piece at the edge. The idea here is to solidly hold the work piece, and keep it flat as you plane away at it... In my case, I had approx 1/16" twist over 6' of stock, so I had a corner that was proud of the rest of the stock..

Run your stock, with the sled through as you would normal stock, until you have the exposed surface dead flat. If your planer snipes, it will be a bit exaggerated on a sled, BUT depending on how much material you are taking off, that can be dealt with...

Once the exposed side is flat, just cut the hot glue free, and remove the work piece from the sled. Clean up the sled and set it aside, then process the other side until you get to your final thickness...

With your stock flat, and at your desired width, edge joint it, just like with face jointing, you have multiple options, but in general, unless you are jointing monster sized stock, even a tiny 4" bench top jointer should suffice... I have read on most forums guys trying to say that a bench top jointer can't get a straight edge on anything longer than about 36", I have found that to be pure bovine fertilizer.

I have seen time and again forum members advising newbies to spend the money and buy a jointer first before a planer, the process I just described above to you, along with a similar, and similarly simple table saw edge jointing sled, make me seriously question the wisdom of that advise. If you don't have the budget, or space for a jointer, AND a planer, you are FAR better off with just a planer, and alternative planing methods.

If you would like more detailed information about alternative jointing methods, take a look at Marc Spagnulo A.K.A. "The Wood Whisperer"s video called "The Jointers Jumpin'" http://youtu.be/M-ZZ0dhbJYY . He covers areas that many folks simply don't think about, and unlike certain TV personalities, he takes time to SHOW you how it's done!

08 June, 2014

Follow up update... Dealing with the pressure!

Good morning all, just a quick post between Sunday morning activities...

Upon waking up and prior to heading out this morning, I popped out to the shop to take a quick peek at the pressure gauges. Sure enough the system is holding steady.

I have some long term durability concerns for using the rubber hoses, however I realize that I am pretty much going to require hoses to connect the compressors to the manifolds at least as the compressors vibrate and I need the flexible connection to keep from transferring the vibration to the rest of the plumbing, and in turn to the wall studs, and the rest of the house...

My options as I see them are...
#1. accept the fact that the rubber hoses will eventually spring leaks and fail (they all do) and replace them on an as needed basis.
#2. Upgrade the output side of the system between the filtration system and the hose reel adding possibly a hard drop at the front of the shop using a snap together system such as Rapidair.
#3. Run a system similarly laid out to the rapidair mentioned above, but with sweat fit / soldered copper pipe.
#4. Same as the 2 above, but using black iron...

I know I am overthinking this at this point, as it is all set up and working so well, but I want to have my head around any future possibilities.