Thursday, November 29, 2012

A last minute rush job....

.... the unglamorous part of carpentry work..... Got a call on Sunday night from a customer needing a quick repair job to comply with pre-sale inspection faults. Closing of the sale is to take place this Friday. Turns out the trim under the front door on her house was rotted due to improper sealing. Sheathing and rim joist were rotted as well. First part of the job involved moving the 8 x 8 foot layer cake entry stairs. It was not attached to any foundation but the framing was filled with a couple of yards sand to hold it in place. Ughhh we will sort out the sand part later..

Blocks and pry-bar made a quick job of moving it away from the wall to allow some working space.

upon peeling back the rotted trim I find the rotted sheathing and framing just as expected.


and the left side....

so we excise the bad rim joist careful not to cut the wiring and pipes behind it.

and replace it with a new piece.

....on goes some new OSB sheathing with some ice and water shield. The door frame is naturally punky as well, but the customer is not willing to spring for it and we really don't have the time for the job, so the worst of the rot on the door frame gets cut out.....

...and fit a new piece to fill the gap.... new Toughboard synthetic trim goes on and we refit the cedar clapboards I removed previously to access the bad sheathing.

 All joints sealed with polyurethane caulking.

then due to the 0 degree C weather and flurries we tent it over with 2 mil polyethylene plastic...

 .....and put the kerosene heater under the tent to keep us warm.... when I say US, I mean me, myself and I.. operating solo here though I have been known to talk to myself quite frequently....

....and we give it a coat of paint and stain the clapboards to disguise the work done.

Then the struggle to get the stairs back in place.. remember the two yards of sand under the stairs? ... lot of digging on my knees under the deck..... back and forth a few times with the bar and blocks I removed about 4 wheelbarrows of sand to make it all sit level and square...

11 hours of labor and a blown truck engine we are all done..

now about that truck engine.......

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I killed the truck...

Looks like I killed the engine in the truck today....  I was at the lumberyard picking up materials for a project and when I started it, it blew gobs of white smoke.. limped it a couple miles to the job site to unload the materials but then I could not get it to start.. frozen solid.. could not get it to turn over and with the hood open and the radiator cap loose it was trying to spit the cap off... compression strokes back in to the cooling gallery??? so I had to have it towed home. Fortunately it was less than a mile away..... just pulled the plugs on it and found the right fwd cylinder was full of coolant
Not sure what I will do next... new truck?? swap engines??? 

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Why have turkey when you could have lamb?
Thanksgiving diner.... another exquisite success....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Swamp Donkey......

Moose burgers that is...

blue cheese dressing, lettuce and tomato..... mmmmm good!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Its Inevitable.....

It comes every year at the same time, but winter always seems to catch us before we know it. Monday morning the windows in the unheated back mud room looked like this.

so we fired up the wood stove in the shop....

 and played with the milling machine...

My friend Jonathan needed to make some slots for captured nuts on some aluminum brackets for the directory signs he is making for the Gulf Of Maine Seaquarium.
So we figured we might as well try use the little milling machine I bought a year ago. Normally they retail for about $500 from Harbor Freight. I bought this one used for $200 as the previous owner had bought a bigger one. The mill is made in china so its best to not let your expectations run to wild. Surprisingly when we put the dial indicator on it the bit seemed to run true within a couple of thousands of an inch. But as soon as you start cutting the whole thing flexes somewhat.... like I said Cheap Chinese piece of junk. 

In this shot the mill was running but the camera managed to stop the bit mid turn.

a reasonable result....

I guess that's close enough...

the end result

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The barn gets a facelift

A Sunday spent fighting with a ladder. And my knees are not what they used to be. Must have gone up that thing 50 or 60 times. Never much cared for heights. In the plane it does not bother me one bit but on the ladder I am not at all happy. Might be the 18 foot fall I took 25 yrs back breaking both my ankles..... but that's an other story for an other time..... The barn trim needed painting, a change in color was in order and we really did not care for the cheap skinny low quality trim the mooks that built it had used. So I resolved to change the rake boards and give them some more substance.

 After prepping the new 1x8 Toughboard composite with a couple of coats of stain, the first job was removing the old trim and the 1&1/2 inch wide CDX plywood sheathing firring strips behind it. Then I cut the vinyl siding back 3 inches along rakes using tin snips which was the hardest task of all. Wretched stuff and the man that invented vinyl siding ought to have his gonads nailed to the side of a barn.

Then I reinstalled the old trim as a new firring strips and started applying the new wider trim.

Each joint got a couple of biscuits in order to keep everything on the same plane with the lower edge floating over the vinyl siding.

Here is the finished job. The upstairs barn door and the garage door trim got a couple of coats of tan stain last week previous to replacing the trim. At some point I will replace the corner boards as well.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Back to your normal programing now....

Well sort off.. we continue greatly disappointed with the recent turn of events in our country but we will save the subject for perhaps an other day.....

I get to fly with my friend Clint about half a dozen times a year. Today was one of those fortunate Saturdays. And some fancy equipment it is. We usually go for a few hours to practice instrument approaches. In this case to get some practice in with his new radios.. A Garmin 750 and a 650..Touch screen technology and more wiz-bangery than you can shake a stick at.

Here we pull out the Bonanza from the hangar on a brisk 40 degree Saturday morning. Clint is sumping the tanks checking for water in the fuel.
This is what the new radios look like. Note the I-pad like screen icons. The new ones are the 2 top screens on the center stack. Nav-Com function with moving map, approach plates, full data base, anti collision, XM Weather and Music.....

...yes folks music for your soothing enjoyment. Nothing like a little George Frederich while shooting an approach....

Here is a closer look as we set it all up on the apron at North East Air and receive our clearance to taxi from the tower.

and as we start out our roll on runway 11 at KPWM (Portland Maine for you pedestrians)

Here is what the view looks like at about 500 feet from the copilot's window looking at the west end of the Portland peninsula I-295 at the bottom and Maine Mercy Hospitals new buildings at the waters edge.

And from the pilot's window looking at I-295north

A few seconds later over the city looking over downtown Portland to the East End of the peninsula.

Back Cove and Tukey's bridge by the B&M bean factory viewed from above the city.

And the Portland waterfront with Dimillos floating restaurant the big paddle boat in the marina and the overpriced condominiums that yuppified the working waterfront.

we head North east up the coast to Brunswick....

Airspeed on the left column, altitude on the right heading on the gyro compass in the center of the left screen... moving map display on the right.

The requisite partners in crime shot with yours truly now sporting his usual winter growth in the copilot's seat.

Past Bruswick we fly up and take a look at Merrymeeting airport were nearly 30 yrs ago Clint taught me to fly. 1800 feet sod, mud and gravel with a hump in the middle.

a strafing run on runway 32 in Bowdoinham as we cross the Cathance river.

We then head 6 miles back south to NAS Brunswick over the tidal flats on final....
... and the view on final approach to runway 11
 Here's what it looks like on the panel as we near touchdown.

and our own shadow as we flare for touchdown

 Naval Airstation Brunswick.

 The purpose of our visit was to check out the new Citabria (backwards spelled airbatic) Decathlon our friend Joe and his friend Adrian had just purchased and brought back from Wisconsin.

Adrian is one of the principal people behind the development of the new all composite carbon fiber  Kestrel aircraft. So while Joe took Clint for a ride in the Decathlon, Adrian gave me the tour of the facility. Here we see the Kestrel prototype. It has been across to Europe three time and made it as far as Dubai. The actual production aircraft will be slightly longer and wider fuselage with a more powerful turboprop engine.

 Invited to check it out the inside I can't refuse. The prototype is a work in progress with all sorts of comical annotations on the ceiling liner.

A view forward inside, currently stripped out the panel has been cannibalized of instruments for the Restoration of a company commuter a Mooney M20-E

Here we see models for what the prototype looks like in the background and the all wood model in the foreground was the original design when the project was first initiated in the UK many years ago. The production aircraft will actually have the longer wider fuselage of the wooden model in the foreground.

Some of the tooling molds used to make some static mockups/proof of concept for the larger production model. The pink foam cube in the background is made all from Owens-Corning extruded polystyrene as an inexpensive size mockup. The tooling on the floor is all CNC cut foam molds for the various fuselage and tail surfaces.

A view of the cavernous hangar that once housed the P3 Orions sub chasers that were based at NASB. the small GA aircraft seem lost in there.

Headed back to KPWM looking off the right wing at the Cousins Island power plant in Yarmouth.

4 pm and the sun will set in about 30 minutes...

 Final approach to newly expanded and repaved runway 18 in KPWM
 Short final over Stroudwater

  and that all for today folks..... I had a great day... but of course any day I get to fly is a wonderful day....