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November 28, 2008

Car Photo of the Day: Name that car.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 1:52 pm

yeah, it’s an easy one… but so many of you are in that post-thankgiving food coma that I figured I’d lob a softball at you.

November 27, 2008

Car Photo of the Day

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 9:41 pm

It is Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t find a picture of a turkey. 😉

test timelapse

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 9:37 pm

I picked up an el cheapo discontinued Nikon Coolpix L11 camera that is directly supported by my software. The image quality is far better than the iSight I’ve been using for the task. Above is a test run from the other night. Whaddya think?

November 26, 2008

Car Photo of the Day: It’s a Stude, dude.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 8:52 am

I’m not a big fan of American V8 lumps to be honest. They are just so common. But here is one I spotted last summer in Libby, Montana that was honestly appealing. Perhaps it is the Ferrari-esque placement of the oil filter? Maybe it is just the spotless, fresh-from-resto look? It sure looks nice doesn’t it?

Apologies for the lack of a CPotD the past two days. I was a tad busy all day as things at work and in life have me spinning at the moment… ah the holidays!

I had a bit of time last night to do something new and different. OK, not really new, but certainly different. Stay tuned for more on that.

November 23, 2008

Car Photo of the Day: Weekend Stumper.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 12:46 pm

Can you name this car?

It is harder than it looks.

Weekend Tinkering… with Chuck The Plumber!

Filed under: Diesel,Homebrew BioDiesel,life — chuck goolsbee @ 10:22 am

I was never cited by any candidate in the recent presidential election, but I can use a pipe wrench.

In my quest for energy independence one of the skills I’ve picked up is plumbing, oddly enough.

I’ve plumbed up as much of my homebrew BioDiesel setup as possible. The reason being is that waste veggie oil is some seriously messy stuff. The less I have to touch it, the better. So I have created a system where once I have pre-filtered the waste oil from the restaurants into 5 gallon buckets and poured it into the settling tanks, I never touch the stuff again. It moves through pipes from tank to processor, from processor to wash, from wash to dry, from dry to upper settling, than upper settling to final storage tank, and finally from final storage into our cars. All this movement is motivated by pumps and controlled with ball-valves. It has a sort of Rube Goldberg look and feel, but it works. If I ever move house, I’ll put some serious thought into organizing it better and designing a more compact, logical placement of the various elements.

One limiter to my production capacity to date has been the size of my drying tank. It started life as a 30 gallon poly barrel I obtained from a car wash. This meant that 110 liters was about as large as I could go in a batch. I finally sourced a 55 Gallon poly barrel last week, so this weekend I’m preparing it for deployment. This means removing the plumbing from the old tank and installing it in the new one. One of the problems of my old tank was the standpipe was too high. This meant that I had to manually drain the last 15% or so from my dried BioDiesel. Since this sometimes has residual water in it, I would just dump it into the WVO settling tanks at the start of the process. I decided to cut down the standpipe at some point and now is as good a time as any. I clamped the pipe to my workbench and donning my fashionable Bill Nye The Science Guy protective eyewear along with ear protection, I fired up the Dremel with a cutting wheel and chopped that sucker in half! (have I ever mentioned how much I love the Dremel Tool? Man, what an awesome little thing!)

Not the prettiest cut in the world, but it doesn’t matter… it will be submerged in oil for most of it’s life.

Yes, I smoothed it out with a stone tip, and washed away any residual metal bits. The last thing I want in my injection pump is metal filings!

I also have built and am testing a Methanol Recovery processor. Frankly its scares the bejeezus out of me, but I need to render my glycerine byproduct inert and non-toxic prior to composting it. More news about that soon.

I also finally got around to a long-deferred task: Replacing the handle on my wood-splitting axe. Sounds odd, I know. We have 3 fireplaces and a big supply of firewood. Last winter was so mild that we barely burned anything.. well WINTER was mild but Spring was wild. Lots of snow, but it was never cold enough to really use the wood. The winter before last though? That was crazy. Late that winter I broke the handle of our axe. I found a replacement at our local hardware store, a nice stout hickory one. Seemed crazy to buy a whole new axe when I can just replace the handle. Since I had all the tools out I went after the remaining wood left in the axe head and eventually worked it out. The new handle went in very easy. All that Douglas Fir that has been sitting out in our wood pile for the past 2 years since the big windstorm brought down that tree should be about ready to split this year.

Car Photo of the Day (yesterday)

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 6:05 am

I was too busy tinkering out in the barn yesterday to post a CPotD, but overnight the guys at coldtrackdays linked over here promising photos of Jaguar E-types, so I have to oblige.

The above photo was shot at the end of the first day of the 2007 Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally. The sun was setting over the Pacific and the car was parked on a gorgeous bluff on the Oregon Coast. It was a magical evening.

Mad Dog should follow the links as there is a nice Lancia B24 in there.

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