Saturday, October 27, 2012

Craigslist Treasures

This is the dining room with our old table and borrowed folding chairs.

 Here's the new table and chairs.

 And here it is with the leaf in.

This is the living room with our "minimalist" furnishings. 

The suspense is building...

BAM!!! New (to us) custom couch.

With patience (and a U-Haul), Craigslist is the greatest furniture store in the world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Compressed Garbage

This is our beautiful 70's era trash compactor.  I should probably mention that it doesn't work.  It also makes the storage in the corner of the lower cabinets basically unusable, unless you want to access them through the six inch wide cabinet to the left.  It has to go.

The project started off well, until the cord for the unit proved to be inaccessible.  My dad recommended I cut it, so without thinking, I did.  The resulting flash ruined my wire-cutters, left me temporarily blind and tripped the circuit for our kitchen.  Oh, and it also pissed Chrissy off.  Luckily I was not severely electrocuted.
This is the filthy gap that was left.


Hopefully we will have a post about filling that big hole soon.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Simplify, then add lightness"

That is one of my favorite automotive quotes.  It was said by Colin Chapman, the father of Lotus.  Those words will improve just about any car, but they also apply to motorcycles.

I have begun to both simplify and add lightness.  Here's what that process looks like:
This is how it started (sorry about the bad picture).

I first removed the rack in the rear meant to hold saddle bags.  To get that off, I also had to remove the rear fender.
 Looking better already.  Good riddance.

Front fender was next.

 Then I went for the giant muffler.
I'm liking that clean exhaust.  I might not have to do much with that.

Now the passenger foot pegs and the muffler on the other side.

Battery box, outta-here.

Horn, gone.

Chrome handle under the seat, history.

Say goodbye to the mirrors.  Those things aren't really needed.

Cleaned up the front fork here.  No more reflector or 1988 New York inspection tag.

Air supply tube had to go, as well as the stock air filter.  The black plastic doesn't work for me in the middle of the sea of aluminum.  I am going to have to do something about the gaping hole on each side.

Things got messy.

This thing is starting to look pretty cool already, and I haven't really done anything, although I have just about run out of simple stuff to yank off.
Blogging about this is fun.  Writing the blog is like reliving the project, and when you enjoy the project, that is great.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Line Dry

Our brand new clothesline, expertly installed by Chrissy and me.

 Another angle, prior to line tightening.

The instructions recommend setting the pole in concrete, but that seems a bit excessive to me.  Some quality tamping got the job done.

 Tools of the trade.

Here's the washing machine that will be feeding the line's endless appetite for soggy clothes.  We got a great deal on it at Sears, and since life isn't interesting enough, the first time we used it, water leaked out the bottom.  A quick inspection revealed a slice in the drain hose.  Credit goes to Samsung, however, because I called them on Monday and the machine was repaired under warranty on Thursday.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Weigh-In

It's been a while since my last motorcycle post, but we are finally somewhat settled into the new house and Chrissy left me alone for the evening, so it was time to get wrenching.

One thing I wanted to do before I started working on the bike was weigh it so I could compare the weight before and after my modifications.

Normally, you would use a scale that is made for this type of thing, or go to a recycling center and borrow their scale, but I am too cheap to buy a scale and too lazy to haul the bike somewhere.
So how does a lazy cheapskate weigh a motorcycle?  Like this:
Take one bathroom scale and a few custom cut pieces of wood (and by custom I mean whatever scraps you have lying around) and roll the motorcycle onto it, one wheel at a time.  Meanwhile you must ensure the other wheel is at the same height, so you need to cut some more custom blocks to achieve the perfect height.  Get it right and it looks like this:
I did put the seat on before taking the final weights.

The results:
With no battery and no gas, but with full oil, the weights are as follows:
Front:  198.0 lbs
Rear:  237.6 lbs
Total:  435.6 lbs

One set of specs I found lists the weight as 215 kg, which is about 474 lbs.  I'm in the same ballpark, so I trust the numbers.

The bike had fuel in it when I got it, 10-year old fuel.  In order to make comparing weights easier, I had to drain the tank.  That involved removing the seat then the tank.
What a difference!

I'm looking forward to digging into this...NOT.

I drained the fuel in a very environmentally conscious way, being sure to capture all the fumes.*

I even had to remove a petcock to get the final drops.  Shockingly, it didn't flow out when I just opened the valve.

This is what gasoline is supposed to look like, right?
The chunks add flavor.

So it seems the motorcycle project has officially begun.  I hope to have more posts soon.

*When I say capture all the fumes, I mean let them accumulate in the garage where I'm working and try to asphyxiate myself until Chrissy comes home and points out that I'm about to die.  In my defense, I poured the gas outside and left the bucket there, but the empty tank was apparently fuming.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crazy Coax

As you may have guessed by the satellite dish post, the previous owner was very serious about their TV.  So much so that there is coax cable running to every room in the house, and in the case of the living room there are two cables running to it.  These cables are just coiled on the floor in the most unsightly way possible.

Since I don't want to remove all the cable from the house just yet, Chrissy has taken to pushing the cable out of the rooms to be coiled outside, or just hiding the coil behind furniture.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Toilet Post

The toilet seats in our house were not pretty.

But our new ones are.  We got two of these bad boys.

Now, the moment you've been waiting for, damped toilet seat video goodness (sorry about the tilted camera).
There is really nothing better than a damped toilet seat.  There is no need to tolerate slamming toilet seats any more.