Posted on June 26, 2008 in abject failure, wiring by kazNo Comments »

Well say there folks n’ friends!  What spins real fast, serves no purpose, and has taken up a significant portion of my life?  If you guessed ‘this weeks project,’ then fuck you!  No one likes a smartass, and I hope you die in a fire.

You may remember many weeks ago a project that began with an LED message writer and ended in tears.  Perhaps you don’t, but I’m afraid I can’t just sit here scratching my ass while you send a search party to dredge the Lethe, so either way I’m moving on.

For the past 2 months this project has been an ever-faithful companion.  Picture Old Yeller, except that instead of just shooting the fucking thing I continue to let it rabidly maul me.  This week, I figured I had it licked.  So confident was I that I could finally finish this thing, that I worked on no other project.  And I did finish it, according to the design in my head.  Sadly, that asshole Physics crashed the party, ate all the cheetos, and puked indelible orange goo all over the dog, metaphorically speaking.  I briefly considered keeping this new setback a secret, but then I realized that if there is one place where Failure can kick off its shoes and feel at home, it’s the internet.   So here goes.

The Plan:

The first version of this thing was intended to hang from the ceiling by a string, and so was a self contained unit.  With 4 batteries, a motor, and various electronics and support structures, it was a very heavy self-contained unit.  It could neither work up enough speed to make the LED message legible, nor enough altitude to make itself anything but an eye-level whirling blade on a string.  So, the new design placed the LED gizmo and the motor at the end of a tube with the batteries on the other end serving as a counterweight and a bearing in between.  This version was to be more of a “thing on a pole.”  Here’s a diagram of it:

 

Diagram

 

and here’s a video of it failing:

 

And now you know.

Posted on June 15, 2008 in welding by kaz2 Comments »

Buy Now

If you’re like me, then you’re tired of worrying about the same boring things day-in and day-out. Sure, ridiculous fuel prices and worldwide poverty are fine for Barry Pleberson and the Lowbrow Bunch, but not me! Like many of you, I live in a basement, rarely see the light of day, and eat only a potent mash of No-Doz, Vicodin, and Smarties, for which I expect to receive FDA approval any day now.

No, tramps like us, baby we were born to run… from zombies.

That’s right, the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner, what do you intend to do about it? For all you know, the zombie apocalypse just may be my next project, and THEN where will you be? Standing athwart the helm of the USS Totally Fucked as it circles the drain, that’s where.

Unless.

Unless you take appropriate preparatory measures.

We’ve all seen what happens to those who are caught by surprise by the zombie apocalypse. Guns are useless, trucks and explosives are effective but unwieldy. What you need is the ZOM-B-GONE, and I’m just the man to show you how to make one.

Bat-Cut Take it ALL off

First, I used a hacksaw to cut a notch roughly the size of an axe head into an aluminum Tee-ball bat, available at many convenient garage sales and thrift stores.

Next, I stripped off all the paint using a wire wheel, but you needn’t. If, for instance, you find the zombies are already prying off your hastily applied window boards, you may feel free to skip this step.

axe-head To make the axe part, I welded a pair of steel flat washers to the top and bottom of the old axe head I sized the previous notches to fit. These are for threading a long bolt through to shore up the inevitably shoddy welds that will result from trying to fuse steel to aluminum.
The spike spike sharpened

The spike started life as some sort of valve wrench I got at a junk yard. You could probably use something similarly shaped, as long as it is roughly the same metal as your axe head. Otherwise the weld won’t hold very well and everyone will refer to you as the zombie who used to be a guy that tried to fuse dissimilar parent metals. Yes, people are cruel sometimes.

I chopped the round bit off, and sharpened the pointy bit with angle and bench grinders.

U-bolt alone handle To make the hand guard, I took a giant busted U-bolt, chopped off the ends, welded a spoon to the bottom, and a metal pipe clip to the top.
All Together Now Horizontal Close-up head

Run a bolt though the whole shebang, starting with the spoon at the base of the handle, and ending with the washers on the head of the axe.

I attached the top of the hand guard to the bat with 4 steel pop-rivets, and the spike to the top with an eye-bolt over the central bolt.

Then, I welded pretty much everything. The places where I was welding steel to aluminum served more or less to make the joints a tight fit, but I’m of the opinion that more welding is better than less welding, so I went ahead and welded the shit out of it.

TADA
Anyway, after all that cooled off and the pleasant red mist of “welding lust” faded from my vision, I put a couple coats of pretty Rustoleum on it and wrapped a tennis racket grip around the handle. Again, if this is a rush job for you, please feel free to skip these finishing touches.