Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bunsen Burners? You want Bunsen Burners?

I'll give you Bunsen Burners . . .
Old Glenn Filthie up in the People's Republik of Canuckistan was getting all gear queer on us with the newfangled  Jet-Boil camp stove he bought at the local patchouli perfume emporium in Saskatchewan . He even bought a french coffee press for the thing! Can you believe he actually openly admitted to such a travesty while passing himself off as some sort of conservative? Sheesh!!! What is the world coming to these days when you can't even trust a fellow conservative to tow the line and not patronize establishments that cater to depraved politically correct ANTIFA social warriors? He even mentioned he was considering throwing out his old Coleman 502. That is pure sacrilege . . .WTF?  Yea, his corn bread ain't quite done in the middle . Must be that confounded polar vortex that getting to his head . . . .Yea  . . . that must be it .
He'll be alright once the spring thaw sets in . . . . .  I hope . . . .
Where is Al Gore and his confounded globular warming when you need him?
Here Glenn , this is what real camp stoves look like , go on embiggen the photo so you can really absorb the full splendor of this majesty .
These are acceptable man gear , all American built real gasoline burners . From left to right , the multi fuel 10,500btu Coleman 533 , the brown Coleman 400 I paid five dollars for at a yard sale , and the old Coleman 502 I found by the side of the road in a trash pile .The 533 is designed to run on both Coleman Fuel and Car gas . The other two , though designed to run on white gas will run car gas , preferably unleaded , in a pinch .
 If you can't handle the manly smell of gasoline and liquid fuel is not your thing , another acceptable propane burner from Coleman is an option .
An early 1980s  Coleman 5417B700 I refurbished last year will cook our steak just fine too .
Personally I like gasoline burners .  On the left a cheap Korean Stansport copy of an Optimus 99 with the roarer burner . While on the right we have a the bigger army surplus Optimus 111-T with the silent burner . They will both burn Coleman fuel and car gas . The 111-T is absolutely the most versatile and bulletproof of all I own , as it will burn kerosene, diesel and alcohol as well . I paid about forty dollars for the each of those , but it took a lot of persistence till I found the ones I wanted with a buy-now option for the right price .
 Today a used 111-T will sell for near 300$ on eBay . A bit steep but you get a 100% bombproof rig  that will run at any temperature . If I could keep only one of mine this one would be it .
The Swedish SVEA 123 makes for a nice compact rig .
It is a hundred and fifty year old design and about as simple as they get .
 Also from the Swedes , the Primus Vari-fuel Himalaya will burn all sorts of fuel including kerosene, diesel and probably Yak piss too . Note the pump is all aluminum much better than the plastic one on the MSR Whisperlite that gets brittle in sub zero temps. The one disadvantage of the Himalaya is that it is louder than a PT6 turbine running at full-tilt-boogie .
For a much quieter experience a surplus Swedish army alcohol burning Trangia with a home made wind-foil type stand .
Flirting with the more questionable butane canister burner here a rig of my own making.
 It started out with one of these french Bleuet rigs popular in the seventies that the greenies rendered inoperative by prohibiting the pierced canisters they used .
So with a cheap korean made valve glued on with JB Weld , I adapted it to use the more modern Lindal Valve screw top canisters . It all fits in a nice tiny four inch diameter candy tin. And burns real hot too . The only trouble with these butane mix canisters is in real cold temps they don't work so well . I have had them fail on me at right around zero F in the middle of a seventy mile Baxter State Park winter traverse . Gasoline will burn at any temperature every time .
A couple of the old Gerry/ Hank Roberts Mini Mark stoves that also required some McIvering to function on the modern Lindal valve canisters .
This is the type of rubber nipple canister they ran on , but the tree huggers hosed us over and banned them too .
So after finding a Lindal valve regulator I made this rig with a rubber plug that the brass needle from the stove can pierce into , and make a good seal . The other end of the aluminum tube is filled with JB Weld to hold the eighth inch copper tube that the hose connects onto . The blue gadget under it . . .
. . .  is an adapter that allows us to connect the Lindal valve regulator . . .
 . . .  to the bigger green Coleman propane bottles .
With the MSR Pocket Rocket we definitely get into hairy-armpit-patchouli-perfume territory here .
But my excuse was that I got it at that most positively of poo-white-trash places Mardens discount and Salvage for about eight dollars . Yea , they had no idea what it was .
Even a cheap seventeen dollar Korean type Coleman from Wallyworld works slick and is real stable . But hold off on buying the canisters there . They are about half the price when you buy them at your local Asian grocer .
And a no name suitcase type propane two burner . I think I paid about fifteen dollars for also at the local Mardens discount .
And cause you must have light too . . .  from right to left the red 1970 Coleman 200 A rescued from a job site dumpster , the green top 1954 Coleman 242B and an Optimus 930 of similar vintage .
Oh yea about that pooffy french press thingy , chuck it right out  , give it to the dogs to chew on and get yourself one of there rigs . Fill it with fine ground french roast arabica and you'll never look back.

Monday, January 28, 2019

My youthful delinquency now immortalized for all eternity!!!

You can read all about it on Richard's blog HERE:

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A towel rack

A good customer and friend had a request for a quick little project . He had a nasty old piece of cherry and an old lobster pot mahogany runner he wanted me to make in to a towel rack for the wife .
I forgot to take photos before I started , but here is the end result .
 Ripped the cherry plank down to three and a half inches wide and ran it through the thickness planer and jointer to clean it up .
 Trimmed it to match the thirty six inch length of the lobster pot runner .
 Ran the router around it ,  drilled some holes , and hit it with some 150 grit sandpaper .
A couple of 5/8ths inch maple dowels fit snug enough to need no glue .
A quick wipe with some stain and some Johnson's clear paste wax to bring the cherry back to life .
There , that should make the missus happy .

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Back to the mundane

The Jetta was due for the state inspection sticker at the end of August , so I started looking it over for problems before I took it in , but then life got in the way with the demented medical roller-coaster ride, so Annie got to drive the BMW for a while .
 So the VW sat in the garage taking up room for about three months until I could muster my courage to crawl under it .
The major failure was the exhaust . That's the front joint where the pipe goes in to the big box muffler . The rubber hanger was stretched out allowing it to flex and it cracked at the weld , on the top side where I had no hope of ever welding it .
The muffler did not look bad at all for sixteen years of Maine winters and was not leaking itself .
The resonator , though looking a bit ratty on the outside, was actually sound . That is just the heat shield rotting off it . No compromise to its integrity nor critical to proper operation .
 I had replaced the cat pipe last year when the flex pipe gave up the ghost. . . though the cheap Chinese gasket between it and the manifold had gone in less than a year and was thus . . .
. . . now throwing an O2 sensor code .
 The leaking joint was an easy enough to fix for the cost of a new gasket and some scraped knuckles. Here's looking at it from underneath . I used every extension I had for my ratchet to reach those nuts .
That reminds me that last February I wound up having to replace the alternator on the thing too.

As the book value on an 02 Jetta with 160K miles is about six hundred dollars , paying someone else to work on it makes little sense . The quote from the muffler shop for a new exhaust system was more than the value of the car , and the local NAPA wanted over five hundred for the new exhaust kit. . .
 . . . it really left us no choice but to go with the cheap Chinese one from ebay .
Removing the old muffler was not easy and I had to resort to cutting the pipe with my saws-all in order to get it past the hump it makes over the sway arm cross beam . I wonder how the heck I am going to get the new one to go back in . . . I bet that's going to be fun .
The offending joint
Took a bit of finagling and some cussing along with the liberal application of a ball peen hammer on that aluminum heat shield to create enough wiggle room to snake the rise and bend in the muffler pipe over the swing arm cross beam where it needed to go .
But it is in where it belongs including new rubber hangers . All the slip joints got a hit of 700 degree silicone before I wrenched them tight too .
And while we were burning up the credit card on fleabay we got some new rear rotors and pads for about one third the cost of what NAPA wanted .
Got the right rear side . . .
. . . and the left rear replaced . I had replaced front brake pads and rotors , as well as suspension struts , and rear coils and shocks last year .
And after sitting for three months unattended , the six year old battery was DOA so we spent another hundred and a quarter on that
I even washed the dust off it so it would not look so sketchy for the guys at the inspection shop .
And we got the snow tires put on and a new inspection sticker today. . .  glad to have that monkey off my back .

Friday, November 30, 2018

Healthy Vittles

On a lighter note now . . .

Just cause you need to eat healthy don't mean it has to be tasteless .

Tilapia tacos , one of our recent favorites .

About a pound of fresh Tilapia, cut in one inch thick strips. Go for the stuff from Costa-Rica . Stay away from the Chinese farm raised junk that always tastes like mud .
Dust with Mrs Dash lemon , but the regular one works well too . Then dredge in flour and pan fry in a non stick pan with olive oil for about eight minutes .
Serve on a soft warmed tortilla , on lettuce or shredded cabbage , with avocado and red pickled onions .
Drizzle with poppy-seed salad dressing or any other dressing that floats your boat .
To make the pickled onions just peel and thinly slice a couple of big red onions , lightly salt and pepper . .
. . .  stuff them in a couple canning jars and cover with apple cider vinegar . Best make them a couple days ahead before you plan to use them so they can marinade well. They will keep in your fridge for at least a month if you don't finish them first .

An alternative to fish is also boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed or cut in half inch thick strips .
Dust with Garam Masala and stir fry in olive oil, and serve in the same manner with the same toppings.
If you can't find Garam Masala you can make it up yourself .