Sunday, September 12, 2010
A DAY IN THE LIFE
I like it when things go right. Today was good.
The last few days, I have been trying to repair the steering column on my larger ECV, the real old one I got on eBay for 93 dollars. The steering column is a multi-part assembly and the base of it has 'tabs' that hold the heavier shaft above it and are subject to some big stress. They had snapped off during visit to Disney World last year, and I have been running it with an ad-libbed fix, but wanted to get it truly repaired as it was still handling very loosely.
Given the tiny amount of metal below the break I decided to make a 'cast' of metal to overlap that and the tabs, and used JB Weld to hold it all together, bracing it with a hose clamp while it set up.
After the first go round it turned out due to improper cleaning (used alcohol, which I later learned was the one thing NOT to use) the epoxy didn't even leave a stain on the 'cast'. So I cleaned it again, using the prescribed soap and water, thoroughly drying, and roughing the surface with sandpaper and tried again.
Meanwhile I noticed the tire was pretty far gone and after searching the net and finding that the best deal I could get had the tire for 20 bucks plus 9 bucks shipping, I decided to look around to no avail, until today, when I headed up to Howard's Flea Market in Homosassa...
Also noting another thing I had been looking at was extending the steering column as it is a bit low for me and hits my knees occasionally, so I wanted to raise that up a bit, so the other thing I wanted was a piece of 1 inch square tubing. Again, I decided to have a go at this at Howard’s, as the prices on this sort of thing at Home Depot are outrageous. As in maybe 10 or 20 bucks or more for a 3 or 4 foot length of it, whatever they have, no cutting. (I only need four inches). I also would need a tube that just fit inside it to join it neatly to the existing tube.
So, after loading my smaller Go-Go scooter into the Honda, I headed on up to Howard's. Upon arriving and taking to the aisles in my Go-Go, the first thing I noticed was how awkward, slow and rough it was after several months of using the older scooter exclusively!
My first search was for a tire and no one could help me, but then I spied a rack with some small tires on it and alas! I saw one of the size I needed! It was a wheel for a hand truck, but the tire was the size I needed, and the entire thing was only 8 bucks! Yippee!
Then I continued on, many aisles and vendors, and I found a guy selling a set of special self-fluxing low temperature brazing rods and got a quick tutorial on that, something I have been thinking about lately with plans to make a new body for the old ECV! So this was a great bonus and his stuff works with a regular propane torch!
Meanwhile, on those same lines, I ran into a biker, one of those home-made three wheeled jobs, and he had built mostly with aluminum diamond plate, and I asked where he got it and he turned me on to a local junk yard where he got it at a good price, a good thing as that is another thing that is grossly expensive at the hardware or home repair stores!
So have to go look into that before I go and buy the brazing rods... but looking good!
Next to him was a guy selling e-cigarettes, so I got to try those, something I have been looking into lately, and he also was selling the latest version, which has overcome the things that were turning me off on the things, no bottles of fluid to load, just new cartridges, and all-in-all a pretty darn good alternative- nicotine anywhere and no smoke or added chemicals, nothing but water vapor. Ya, I know, you non-smokers, but for smokers, this is good! Again, gonna think about it and maybe get it next week. (Howard's is only open F,S,S.)
So, I continue my search, no one has any metal stock, but one guy has this huge display of rubber duckies of every description. A few years back I went to a party in Sarasota and the host had a huge collection of rubber duckies, and the motif continued on everything throughout the house, towels, shower curtain, fixtures, wall decorations... anyway, he would have gone wild over this! Well, the booth next to him was selling oldies collections and a great old song came on, Green Tambourine, and I took my time listening and looking through the scores of ducks, and got yapping with the booth guy and asked him about square tubing and he suggested used display racks- and then went in the back and called me in and showed he had one! As I needed four inches of tubing and this was a large rack, I told him I would think about it and maybe come back with my car to his spot when I was ready to leave.
I bought an "Indy Jones" rubber duckie, thinking it might look good on the handlebars of my scooter, and moved along, checking out some mattresses at the end of the aisle- good prices and my bed is pretty much dead... again, maybe later...
It goes with my one other Rubber Duckie I got at a Yacht And Beach Club 4th of July pre-movie Party a couple of years ago!
So, I leave, then remember the rack and given he wanted ten bucks and I would pay at least that for a length at HD and also have to travel all the way up there, I went back after food shopping and he was closing up but I got it. Had to take it apart to get it in the Honda, and in doing so, I was thrilled to discover that it was expandable, and it did that by having square tubing sections that fit just inside the square tubing that I had seen and that was the size I needed! So I got both the tubing I needed AND the tubing to fit inside it!!! Big Yippee!!!
Then I came home and turned on the TV for the game and the Bucs had been blacked-out so I got the Miami-Buffalo game! Another yippee!