Thursday, December 05, 2019

Motorcycle Days

A couple or three years ago after many years of riding motorcycles stating in the '60's on a Triumph 650 and ending riding a Honda Goldwing I hung up my helmet for the last time. It was a good time and almost as big a part of me as airplanes. Along the way I enjoyed many new friends and seeing what was around the next curve and over the next hill. I spent the last years of ridding doing mostly long distance/Iron Butt Association rides. The high lights of the IBA certified rides were a 50CC (coast to coast in less than 50 hours) and a Saddle Sore Gold (1500 miles in less than 24 hours) for a plate of Texas BBQ and return to Tucson.

MsBubba isn't the best long distance driver and she is my princess so one of the annual rides was to drive her to the PNW with the motorcycle in tow. Once in Southern Oregon we would spend the night then I would drop her and the truck off, throw a leg over the bike and ride back to Tucson arriving in Tucson usually on the same day. A month of so later we would reverse the process. That trip in reality ended my riding. On the last trip back to Oregon to pick up MsBubba I was on I-5 North near Mt Shasta on a dark and rainy night and found myself unable to see and react well enough to go over 40 or so MPH. I knew at that moment my riding days were over. Back in Tucson I parked the Wing, it set for a year or so before I made up my mind to sell. To get the bike ready to sell I took it to the local Honda dealer. After a couple of weeks I called the Honda shop to see what the progress was, they turned me over to the manager and his first words were "Mr. Hatch your Wing almost burned my shop down". Of course my reply was "Are you telling me you burned my Wing up"? Bottom line the Dealer's insurance bought my Wing for more money than I could have sold it for but now there was no going back on the decision to quit riding.

Long way around to; Because of replacing my iMac the other day I was looking through my photo files and of course there were a large number of bike related photos. Over the next few weeks I expect to publish a few of 'em. Mostly because I can but also the blog is a good place to store a few so they do not get lost.

I'm crossing the Lake Roosevelt/Salt River bridge. The bike is a Kawasaki Vulcan 2000. Of all the bikes I owned it was my favorite. In fact after they burned the Wing up the dealer still had it and I damn near bought it back.

The last for the day is still on the Vulcan 2000 going up Mt.Lemmon just North of Tucson.

Sorry to bore you  but great memories


Monday, December 02, 2019

Work Bench Builds

WARNING: My inter curmudgeon is loose and free.

On a woodworking site a member posted photos of his newly completed work bench. He did not say if it was his first but I expect it was. BTW, it was a very nice looking bench and I expect it will be serviceable for a number of years but there are a couple of areas I expect will be problematic in use. I can't tell for sure from looking at the photos but I would be surprised if they are not. That's not what brings out my inter curmudgeon but six freaking years to build it does.

How anyone can spend six freaking years building something that should be as simple as a workbench is mind boggling. There is one thing in common with long work bench builds and that is building to BeachCrafted plans. You do end up with a solid bench, full disclosure I've build one to BC plans, but it is also a bench that is too complex and has elements that within a year had me barking at the moon mad and building a different Roubo style but much simpler bench.

First build or twentieth, it matters not, keep it simple stupid. Use a simple proven design with easy joints and leave the bing off.  I can build a Moravian bench in approximately 60 man-hours, a simple Roubo shouldn't take much longer.

Ok, back on my meds and getting ready to go for my annual ground school and Sim training. Four long days of being treated as if I were a client. The good news, it is only once a year but that is also the bad news. Other than a 6 month hop in the Sim for for a 297 check it is usually the only time we touch the Sim in a year, It can be pretty ugly the first hour or two.



Saturday, November 30, 2019

Shop Apron

Over on SMC there is a thread dealing with shop aprons. I never really thought about it much, they are just part of the shop that I use when needed. I have several canvas ones and a couple of leather ones, the photo is of a leather apron I've had for years. I almost always wear it when sharpening iron for several reason, foremost is keeping MsBubba happy but also the leather and a fat belly make a great strop when chasing the burr.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ray Iles 10 1/2 Cutter

The new Ray Iles iron for the Stanley 10 1/2 was in Saturday's mail. It is a nice looking cutter, ~3mm thick. the OEM is ~2mm thick so while thicker it is not what you would call thick like most new irons.

IIRC, Ray Iles still makes his chisels and plane irons the old fashion way where they harden the iron first and then grind the bevel. I'll be reminded soon, once I start to flatten the back.

I pick MsBubba up at KPHX this afternoon, scheduled to arrive about 1700. It is about a 90 minute drive, all freeway to get home. I expect a tired, wet hen, on the ride home. Over 20 hours of airline terminals, three changes of airplane and all of 'em to ride steerage in the back of a Boeing will do that to you.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Narco VHT3 Superhomer

Bob over at The Valley Woodworker got me to remembering, not hard to do when you are older than dirt. I was working with a very young crew a couple of weeks ago and started to remissness about aviation when I was their age. It is no surprise things have changed but the truth is today's aircraft will not go higher nor faster than those of the late 1960's. Most civilian aircraft today and those of yesterday are limited to flying no higher than the Mid 40,000' MSL nor faster than around 0.80 Mach, not because they can't go higher or faster but those are good efficient speeds and altitudes.

The big changes are in engine technology (range) and avionics.  The first radio I used in an aircraft was a Narco VHT3 Superhomer. It had three crystals so you could transmit on three frequencies, usually the tower, flight service and 121.5, if I remember correctly. It has been a long time. In addition it had whistle stop tuning for the receiver.  You turned a crank until you heard a whistle to tune in the VOR (navigation).

Today, I can flying as the Captain, go anywhere within the range of the aircraft, by pulling on the yoke twice and pushing the autopilot control twice. First pull of the yoke is to rotate the aircraft for takeoff and the first push of the autopilot button is to turn it on, the second push of the autopilot button is to turn it off and the second pull of the yoke is to round out for landing. That's it folks, the F.O. has a little more to do but not much. Of course that's if everything is working, I make my living training 'em for the times everything isn't working.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

MsBubba Coming Home Sunday 11/24

I guess Sweet Maggie Dog and I will have to get our act together by Sunday evening. She arrives in KPHX late Sunday afternoon, I'll pick her up so she doesn't have the shuttle ride to Tucson on top of the 24 or so hours in airline terminals and the back of a Boeing.

It will be good to see the old gal, it has been too long. The only problem is she may need to turn right around and go back.

It will be assholes and elbows Saturday to get the pit ready for inspection. I need to figure out how to trash all the empty whisky bottles and takeout containers 👴.


Wagon Vise

The wagon vise arrived in the mail.

There is no room to mount on either bench, I have a couple of options both are kinda good.  I can of course build another bench. The downside of that is no place to put it until one of the other benches is sold or given away. The other option is making a new slab for one of the existing benches. A new slab would mean storing the old slab until I'm ready to build a new bench which wouldn't be too bad because a slab doesn't take much room to store and I'd have a ready made slab for the next bench build whenever it happened.

You can see which way I'm leaning, If it is a new slab then the question is which bench? I'm thinking the old bench but to be decided.

BTW, the end bearing came out of the pillow block during shipping.  A quick glance doesn't revile the keeper and no time to look tonight. It is monkey suit and strap a Sim to my ass for four hours time.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tool Sale

For the last few years Tucson's local WoodCraft has held a parking lot sale for folks with tools to sell and of course those that would like to buy used tools. This Fall's sale was yesterday 11/16/19 starting early morning.

A photo of my set up:

I had a couple of Veritas planes and a PM v11 chisel set that I do not use. Most of the other tools are chisels that have been rescued and are never used, a few marking gauges, some unused water stones and a brace along with more saws than I can count. The big items were a Moravian bench and a shave horse. I didn't really expect to sell either of them but someone might decide they need a bench after playing on this one. The bench itself is the best sales tool I know, it is such a pleasure to work on. Folks who have not played with a Moravian bench can't conceive of a bench this portable, light, and stable all at the same time. The laws of physics and the Schartz dontchknow.

I had a sharp draw knife there so folks could play on the shave horse (with very close supervision) and I think it was a big hit. I also had my personal sharpening set up there to entertain me when things were slow and touch up chisels sold if asked and a couple of folks did.  My personal stones are a Norton Med India, a Pike Lilly White Washita, and a Surgical Black Ark. I'll die clutching the Washita and the Surgical Ark in my cold dead hands. I think the 2nd. Amendment applies to sharpening stones, if it doesn't it should.  

I didn’t sell any of the “big” stuff but moved a good number of chisels, stones, marking gauges, and saws. It was a beautiful day with temps in the low 80’s and I visited with a bunch of folks, some old friends.

BTW, I'm still blown away (60's lingo for amazed) how easy it is to take the Moravian bench apart and then set it back up.