Commissioned Rustic Cooler Build

Enjoi Sweets, http://www.enjoisweets.com/, asked me to build a rustic cooler for an upcoming event.  Of course I said yes 🙂

Here are the build pics.

Update 2 – All Stained up and ready for Clearcoat.  Test fitting the steel edges.

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Update 1 – Side Wall Building and Test Fitting Cooler

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Truck on Part 3

She’s done ya’ll!

I finally finished the truck to a point where she can hit the road.  Our first gig is next week and we are more than ready.  Here she is wearing a new outfit.  Check her out at www.whatupdogtruck.com

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Motorcycle Adventure Part 3 – She’s Alive!!

 

Today I decided to double check the wires and found this.

One of the wires bundles that is coming from my stator and going up to near the battery area had a compromised section where the sheath was torn and one of the wires was exposed.

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After some research this bundle comes from the pickup coils.  The exposed wire was grounding out to the frame.  I cleaned up the exposed wire.  wrapped it securely with electrical tape.  Then I wrapped all 4 wires with electrical tape to add some stability.  Then I wrapped the new bundle and the old sheath which was partly still connected to give it an over abundance of stability and protection.

Took her out for a ride and all is FINALLY well.  The stalling and stuttering has stopped completely.  Power is amazing.  Smells like it’s running rich but that’s easy to tweak now that the main issue is solved.

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Motorcycle Adventure. Let’s beat this once and for all. Part 2

1507683_10152146739462492_1299771361_nIt has been quite a while since I’ve had time to dedicate to my girl but many things have changed since the last entry.

Due to time constraints with work and my wife desperately wanting me to get back on the bike, (In her words she wants her husband back.  I’m too stressed out when I’m not riding) I sought out a local Moto Guru.

Upon diagnosis he decided that my carbs needed to be rebuilt and that the carb boots were old and leaking.  He also said that my front cyl was running about 100deg hotter than my rear one.  He rebuilt the carbs and replaced the boots.  The throttle cables broke in the process and he replaced those as well.  After all this he said that the battery was not charging so he replaced the R/R  (Regulator / Rectifier).  He claimed the bike was rideable but that it was still a little off.  He said that the rear cyl was still not firing quite right and that it might be the rear ignition coil.

I picked the bike up from him as it was getting far too expensive for my blood and decided to heed his recommendation. (the ride home was the scariest yet)  I purchased a genuine kawasaki rear ig coil and swapped it out myself.  This changed not a thing.  She still was stuttering and stalling.  With some further research on vn750 i decided to get new spark plug caps (plugs and wires already replaced previously).  Upon installation the stalling has come down significantly but still happens often enough to be dangerous.

I believe that there might be a bad ground or wire somewhere.  Next step is to research the entire electrical system and systematically check each one.   AAHHH!!!! I JUST WANNA RIDE ALREADY!!!

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Truck On!! (Part 2)

More progress on the Food Truck.  Had to significantly slow down my rate of fabrication due to work.  Everything is complete.  Inspection passed and it is at the wrappers.  More to come on the unveiling.

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Truck On!!

Been working on a very large project the past 2 weeks and am about 50% done.

Creating a food truck from scratch, doing all the work myself.  I really loving it because it’s forcing me to use many different facets of myself all at once.

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Naturally Combatting Post – Partem Depression – Placenta Pills

Did this for my wife on the previous pregnancy and it worked so well she wanted it done again.  This time I documented my methods for you guys via an amazingly gross video 🙂

Seriously though these things work.  They triple milk production and help return the mother’s hormones to the normal balance.

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Motorcycle Adventure. Let’s beat this once and for all. Part 1 – The Gas Tank

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Back in February my wife approached me that it was fiscally responsible to replace our recently totaled car (not our fault) with a commuter motorcycle for me. It took me all of 3 seconds to agree with her.

I got the bike, a beautiful 2006 Vulcan 750.  A month later the problems began. I have fought with this bike for 8 months and I’ve tried many different things. I finally got tired of shooting in the dark and have decided I’m going to fix this thing once and for all.

I purchased a Clymer’s manual and began reading.

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Clymer Manual.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

 

 

Boy do I wish I had purchased this before.  I was being hardheaded and wasn’t listening to my brothers over at www.vn750.com  Needless to say, my understanding is increasing and I am now ready to conquer this thing and figure I might as well Chronicle the entire adventure here.

Based on my reading and experience from a fellow local vn750 rider I am starting at the fuel system.

The Tank

Tonight I cleaned out my tank.  I didn’t have much time as the sun went down so pic are sparing tonight.  I flushed the tank 4 times.  I decided that I needed to visually see what was in my tank.  I had tried flushing before but again I had no clue what I was doing.

I removed the seat, then disconnected the tank vent,  fuel gauge wires, Carb vent tube from the underside of the tank on the fuel gauge nipple (I’m earshaved and it’s simply a dead air location), the 2 fuel lines and vacuum line from the petcock (fuel valve), unbolted the two 12mm bolts holding the tank on (my bike does not have the third bolt under the seat and on the rear of the tank, it’s stripped out) and removed the tank.

I placed it on a scrap of plywood.  I got a gas can, large funnel and paint strainers, the kind that are funnel shaped with a netting and fit in the funnel.  Turning the tank on it’s side, petcock up, I unbolted the two 10mm bolts, carefully removed the petcock taking care not to damage the 2 attached strainers (the only filter we have on this bike).  With a strainer in funnel and funnel in gas can I turned the tank carefully petcock side down and poured the fuel into the gas can.  As the tank emptied, I progressively increased the angle at which I was pouring, attempting to get the fuel to pool over the hole before coming out and allowing any sediment to come out.

Once empty, I replaced the petcock, opened the gas cap, put a new strainer in the funnel, funnel in tank and poured the gas from the can into the tank.  Closing the gas cap, I sloshed, shook and rocked the tank trying to keep the gas settling on the petcock area.

I then put my first strainer back in the funnel and repeated the process going from the tank to the can.  I absolutely made sure to always keep 1 strainer for pouring from tank and one for pouring from can.  This allowed me to keep track of what crap was in the tank and what crap was in the can and kept the gas clean.  I repeated this process 4 times and each time the strainer collected what was in the tank.

It definitely paid off because this is what I found in my tank.

Crap in my tank

Crap in my tank

Put everything back together, fired her up, let her warm up, ran around the block aaaaannnndd….she spit and sputtered and stalled multiple times on the way back. The problem is still here…sigh.  I have to keep the throttle up and feeding her w/ fuel to keep from stalling.  Still think it’s a fuel delivery issue.

I’m not going to get angry this time around.  I am no longer shooting in the dark.  Systematically I WILL beat this.

Since I already recently thoroughly cleaned the carbs (replaced many parts inside as well), rebuilt the petcock and replaced the fuel and vacuum lines, I figure there might just be something wrong with this petcock and/or  the vacuum actuation.

Next up.  All new petcock. Leaving the vacuum design behind and using a TW200 which will allow free flow.

Tune in for part 2 later.

,Mike

 

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Rocket Stove Part 1

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As I do more and more of these the more I’ve noticed that my latest “Can do”s are more survival / prep oriented.

This one is part of my JIC (Just in Case) also known as SHTF on other sites.  It also stems out of an “I’m sick of paying ridiculous electricity prices and i suspect my stove is a large culprit” mindset .

That being said this entry is about the Rocket Stove.  A rocket stove is a furnace that is very simple yet extremely efficient.  It is simply an L or J shape made out of brick, steel, dirt, or whatever you can use to fashion the shape that won’t get consumed in the fire. The stack is typically insulated to keep as much of the heat as possible from escaping.  This creates an extremely hot flame and stack which forces the airflow to  increase dramatically as well as burn up the remaining smoke particles and volatile gasses.  This produces a clean heat that is safe to use for a multitude of options.

It can be used to heat water (also as in hot water heater), your home, for cooking, electricity production, woodgas production, and many more.  My plan is to start with it for cooking and then move into electricity and woodgas production.

I was unsure what size of a stove that I needed to make and I HATE building multiple copies of the same concept so I chose to make a dual chambered rocket stove that can be converted to a triple chamber stove at any time in the future.

Here are a few pictures of my build.  I went with an old water heater as the outer housing and cut it down to 19″ in height.  It has a 16″ diameter and has quite a large amount of space.

Housing and larger tube.

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Traced the tube on the side of the housing where i needed to cut. Be sure to match the angle at which the pipe will rest inside the housing or you will find the hole too small.

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Hole cut out with a plasma cutter but can also be done with an angle grinder with a cut off wheel or a torch.

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Cut the tube at a 45 degree angle so I could flip it and make a 90 degree L shaped tube. The cut was too wide for the band saw so I used the plasma cutter.

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Test fit.

 

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All welded up.

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Tube and pipe for the 2nd chamber. Notice the Rotors in the background that will be used for the burner tops.

 

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2nd hole in housing and hole in tube cut. Notice the hole in the housing is wider than the tube. This is to allow a greater insertion angle.

 

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Test fit.

It was getting late and I needed to rush the next few steps so I’ll have more pictures later in part 2.  Here is an early preview for those who are interested in the test run of the stove.


 

Categories: How To, Repurpose, Survival, Tutorials | Leave a comment

No Smell, No hassle Composting/Black Soldier Fly Larvae Farming 101

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Growing up my dad had a sizeable garden.  Every summer my 11 siblings and I were required to work his garden.  It was something that we hated to do…well 75% of the time we did.  The soil was terrible, chock full of rocks and needed an immense amount of care and supplements.  To naturally supplement my dad setup a few composters.  It was also our job to make sure that all non eaten scraps, chicken poop (yes we had chickens as well), grass clippings and animal carcasses were deposited into these composters.  It was a horrible job and we looked for every excuse to pass the buck to the next unsuspecting sibling.  It smelled wretched, was full of black widow spiders and looked like a rolling sea during a thunderstorm…a rolling sea of maggots that is.  It took FOREVER for biomass to convert to usable fertilizer.  To combat the smell and bugs, periodically my dad would put lye in it.

After we grew up, some of us silently vowed to never have a garden.  The work was just not worth it.  That idea didn’t last long for most of us.  Apparently it was ingrained in us and now we find satisfaction and enjoyment in the hobby.  Since I couldn’t seem to escape my fate I decided that some things would have to change.  I was not going to suffer through the process.

I recently have discovered the Holy Grail of composting/feed creation for animals.  Black Soldier Fly Larvae aka BSFL’s.  These wonderfully designed bugs are medium sized flies that look like small black wasps.  In adult form (fly form) they have no mouths, can’t bite,  are not vectors, meaning they do not and cannot transmit disease.  Their sole purpose is to breed and lay eggs.  Adult lifespan is roughly 8 days.

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Black Soldier Flies Mating

 

But the adults are not the main attraction here.  What we are interested in are the larvae or as I like to call them, grubs.

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Black Soldier Grubs

These babies are biomass processing machines.  They convert waste to fertilizer in no time flat, can process veggies, meat and nearly anything you throw at them and will do it fast enough to prevent any scent.  They do not eat healthy flesh and as a result can be used to save meat in times of no refrigeration. They will eat only the meat that is unsafe for us to eat and leave the rest.  They can be used to detox material as well.  If you have material that you are unsure will be safe in a garden they will process and absorb the toxins into themselves. In this case you do not want to feed them to your animals.  If you are processing healthy stuff then here is the best part.  When the grubs reach maturation and are ready to pupate (become flies) they self harvest.  They crawl upwards until they cannot any further.  The trick is to design your bin so that as they crawl upward they are funneled to a hole and then drop into a collection bucket.  From there you can choose to feed them to whatever animal you like or allow a select bunch to actually become flies to then go lay more eggs.  They are high in protein at 43% and are very suitable for fish, chickens, and even dogs.

How do you get them?  Well they are native to most places and you simply have to attract them to your bin.  To do so put lots of overripe sweet fruits like pineapple in your bin before you do other things.  This will produce a very sweet smelling odor and they WILL show up.  To facilitate the process even further hang an egg trap above the compost.  This will provide a location for the mothers to lay eggs.  An egg trap is simply a strip of cardboard rolled up.

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Egg Trap

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The white oblong grains are eggs. About 500 of them.

Once you have a BSF colony started they will drive out all other vermin that would normally contend for the food.  They produce a hormone that wards off house flies, gnats, beetles, etc, while attracting more BSFs.

Long story short, even though this is still technically a hobby, it is step one in my survival food production mentality.  My family recently started juicing and we are going through veggies/fruits unbelievably fast.  To make this cost effective we need to grow as much of our own as possible.  Once we master that we can work on growing ALL of our own.  This will also give us a leg up for when it is time to begin meat production.  I believe that this is a critical step that everyone should learn.  It’s simple, odorless, and fun at the same time.

Here is a video of my test setup.  A larger more robust one will be built later.

Categories: Food Production, Repurpose, Survival, Tutorials | 6 Comments