Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chinese, and brunch at Charlie Browns.

Charlie Brown's isn't there any more. It's called Mary's now. It's a bacon and eggs joint in South Beloit. Years ago, I had this personal named Larry who had me drive him to Charlie Brown's so he could have breakfast here at 1:00 am. They say Larry is still around, I haven't seen him in at least 10 years. The service here is good, and I'm the only customer who isn't a local. I have to love joints like this.

I continue to attract comments in Chinese. I delete them all.

My PC died again last night, sigh..... I guess I'm stuck with replacing it. I'll take it to DO-IT and have it reformatted, AGAIN, but I'll take it to storage after I get it back. It's officially become an emergency spare computer, and I guess I'll have to buy a new one. It's actually pretty amazing how nice a computer you can get for 5-6 hundred bucks. I'm doing this post on my Apple, it's as slow as a 1990 vintage machine, but I guess I'll have to get used to it for a while.

Yesterday I bought a work truck. Today I will print out a few more business cards, the ones I have are buried in storage someplace. Print out copies of this agreement, both as a barn demolition agreement and as a welding agreement. Cover letter, and resume, which (thank god) are saved in an email I sent someone when they asked me to apply for a pipe welding job.

Resume for a welding job? How pretentious, but that's the modern norm. I guess.... I listed 9 previous employers and my own current LLC, and initially thought I'd left 3 off. I was wrong. I left at least 7 off. 16 previous employers? Yes, perhaps I've forgotten even more. Let's see, Wisconsin Steel Erectors, Speedway, Johnson, Victory,S&E....... Who are the other 2? It's bad when you can't even remember who you've worked for. Worse is when you look back on your career and none of them are still in business.

If it's steel and it's broken, I can probably fix it.

A brief explanation of steel welding repairs:

Most modern steel is cold rolled and has tinsel strength of 35 kips. In English this means it takes 35,000 pounds pull to snap a 1 square inch cross section of steel. The first 2 numbers of a welding rod description are the tinsel strength of the welding rod, so an E7018 welding rod is depositing steel that is twice as strong as the piece being repaired. The second 2 numbers describe the coating. The 18 in 7018 tells you the rod is low hydrogen, the coating and slag absorb hydrogen. When hydrogen from the air is incorporated in steel it makes the steel more brittle which is undesirable. Most repairs should be done with 7018.

Why do repairs break at the weld? Properly done repairs don't. Poorly done repairs often have a groove between the weld and the base metal, this is called undercut. It has the same effect as cutting a grove in a chain link, that's where it's going to break, and it accumulates stress. The other primary cause of welds breaking is inclusions. Failure to clean the weld between multiple pass's leads to inclusions, which look a lot like cavities in a dentist's X-ray. When welds are X-rayed, it is to discover these flaws. I've never had an X-rayed weld rejected, but I have repaired a large number of them. Most of the ones I repaired live in the Point Beach nuclear power plant.

The key to a high quality repair is to begin with the best fit possible. This is the first step. Achieving the best fit possible sometimes takes a little longer, but it is always time well spent. The best fit retains the original dimensions the manufacturer used, which means it will work like it did when it was new. Changing the dimensions can cause further breakage in other places, it should never be acceptable.

On site fabrication is also available. Need a gate, fuel tank, or custom trailer? I can make these things for you and give you exactly what you want instead of the closest thing available at the store. It may even be cheaper than the store, depending on what it is, and who buys the materials, you or me.

I hereby release, waive, discharge and covenant not to sue and hold harmless from any and all liability, claims, costs and expenses whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, that may be sustained in the dismantling process of the barn or removal of that barn located on the property of ______________________________________,
at or near _______________________________________.



I agree to pay the hourly fee for welding and repairs done by Randall Portable Welding on this and subsequent dates.

I further hereby release, waive, discharge and covenant not to sue and hold harmless from any and all liability, claims, costs and expenses whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, that may be sustained in the process of doing this work. The welding contractor mutually agrees to hold the customer harmless.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Buying a new vehicle

The first one I called back for a second look, the guy said he sold yesterday. So, I guess it was priced right. That one created a slight problem anyhow, I like my little S10, ratty as it is. As Jerry at the cab garage said, I know what I've got. It's on it's last legs, the mechanical part of it is ok, but the body was shot 3 years ago. I shouldn't say that, it needs a brake pad at the moment.

Disk brakes have a little metal scraper that makes a squeaking sound when the pad gets worn down. It's telling you something. Ignore that squeaking sound, and you will be getting towed and replacing that disk. Since that guy sold that nice little Sonoma, I can get Dave to put brake pads on it. The mechanic sees it as throwing money out the window, but I don't know how long I'm keeping it at this point. So, it's not throwing money out the window, I might still have it on Christmas.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shopping for a new pickup truck.

I forgot how big a pain in the ass it is to shop for a vehicle. It takes at least 90 minutes per vehicle by the time you call the people and drive there. Then you get there and find out that the picture on Craigs List was taken 10 years ago. But I did see one I will look at tomorrow that was just sitting out on the street in Janesville.

I did see something that was exceptional while I was driving around though. A pair of turkeys, with 8 baby turkeys. The baby's were about 1/2 as tall as the adults, they might have weighed a pound each. It was cool.