ShopTalk Sunday: Serial Failures Weekend

I know about accident chains having flown a hundred thousand miles, plus or minus a pee stop, in our own plane. Part of the F.A.A. WINGS program includes the study and understanding of “accident chains” and how to break them.  Prevents falling “out of the sky.” What’s not widely appreciated though is the accident chain’s evil twin:  Serial Failures.  Especially at home, especially when you’re rolling on a punch list before Ure’s spouse’s next hip surgery…. …

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“Directions are Wrong” & “Square Hole” Ray

Yessir: ShopTalk Sunday.  As we await the opening of the “crooked casino”  now part-owned by the Federal Reserve (as presumably you as a taxbleeder), we go to our Person Caves to Create. “Directions Are Wrong” Added a few more items to the stores this week. Which meant assembling another 48 X 14 x 80 inch wire rack unit. I’ve done these before – and always meant to write an article about how to cut your …

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ShopTalk Sunday: DIY Pest Control Saves $$$

We used to spend $600+ per year on pest control.  Now?  Less than $150 and a little bit of time. Pest Control and Time This is a dandy example of the UrbanSurvival philosophy in action:  Select the lowest cost Vendor.  And remember, you can be the Vendor! Begin by remembering that your time is worth something. You have two things you can do with “personal time.”  You can turn it into savings or you can turn it …

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SatGourmet: Peanut butter Cookies from Cake?

Couldn’t resist:  From LOOB: I Got a request for peanut butter cookies from a cake mix from an old friend that asked me to share it. so here it is.. thank god for my daughter who first turned me on to making cookies with cake mixes.. they are the best.. although when shopping for cake mixes make sure you taste test the dough since there are a couple of cake mixes out there that skimp …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Day of Invention

A garden note to begin with. I have been happy with those “poo pots” for starting plants in.  However, one oddity this week.  Went up to the garden to water only to discover that an animal had dug out a couple of them and had taken a bite out of the container. I suspect a rodent family member (squirrel?) as the smell of compressed cow poo might appeal to them.  Could have been a skunk, …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Time Logs – Order of Battle

Project pictures toward the end.  Let’s talk theory first. Being a management sciences-trained geek-at-heart, I thought it would be useful to do a “ride-along” on a typical Sunday in the shop (and ranch) project.  Give you the feel for the “Maker Mindset.”  This is the “as it happened” time log. 07:00: Days Start with Planning There are always competing priorities.  So each day starts with “picking off a few” and resolving to make them happen.  While …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Toolbox Shoot-Out, ShopSmith?

If a discussion about toolboxes and whether a ShopSmith (serious multi-tool) seem like an odd pairing, relax.  It’s not.  Both have everything to do with how you get “the job” done. Let’s Do Toolboxes First It always struck me as odd:  That Pappy Ure’s shop was constantly piled with tools and projects.  Yet, when we were out salmon fishing, he un-erringly would say “Hand me a swivel from the tool box, second bin from right.”  …

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ShopTalk: Sprung-Upon

The arrival of spring!  This weekend has really ramped up the workload around the old rancheroo, though. Among the projects in our household right now: Finishing up a visual theme in the master bedroom.  We decided to theme it as an art studio. (What goes on in there approaches “art” [sleeping, lol, perv!]. That led to getting some drawings put up on the wall and making sure everything flowed together.  Nearly done, but waiting on …

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ShopTalk: Migration Path for CNC, .STL Designs

Daylight Time dawns over America.  Yet-another example of the Grand National Delusion we’re under. As the Native American  sage explained:  “White man the only ones who cut a foot off the bottom of their blankets and sew it on the top – and then claim their blanket is longer…” Or, as this once IAM-751 R&E mechanic was taught:  “If you don’t like the Work Rules, bring it up to the Shop Steward.” Of course, that …

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ShopTalk: A General Troubleshooting Course

One of my favorite “toys” died Saturday.  A mysterious death:  the power would not cycle on for my (formerly) reliable Heathkit SB-220 linear amplifier. Dead as the proverbial door nail. Things like this usually happen when I’m planning something not in agreement with Universe.  Specifically, the Major and I had penciled in a 75-meter ham radio contact for around midnight local time. Universe, however, clearly thought it was more important for me to sleep.  So, to …

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ShopTalk: Disaster Redesign and Estimating

There is an old saying – beneficially learned growing up in a racially homogenous community – among Chinese:  Crisis is often accompanied by opportunity. In fact, though I don’t remember the characters for it,  they are similar.  Now, in the wake of the BlizTex21, is a good time to remember this linkage. There are steps and process in disaster recovery.  Taken the right way, major improvements in lifestyle may be achieved.  Ignore, you will end …

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