Tae Kwon Do Testing

Today Jett went for his Tiger Brown and Journey went for her senior green belts. 


Jett was one of the best in the class. He kept his fighting under control and was able to do everything easily.

Journey did well in her form, but struggled with her contact skills. In sparring she was aggressive, but wasn’t using advanced striking.

H-Stab 2

I just finished the reverse side 1/4 foam that will become the spars and ribs. This time I mixed my micro super thick and spread it really thin. This made us easier to get it flat and I feel helped avoid bubbles under the BID. 

I again used the bias cut method for cutting the BID recommended in the manual. It worked great and the key was how I rolled up the fabric after cutting it. The first piece I rolled with the longest edge exposed and unrolled it along the 24″ length of the foam. The second piece I rolled with the angle cut edge exposed and laid it on the first to get the proper overlap and unrolled it diagonally. I left the pieces untrimmed and I’ll cut the excess off after cure. I used a lot of extra resin, spread it gently very thick and gave it time to soak in before working it in to the BID in two directions along the weave and removing excess.

The back side of the 1/4″ foam with excess fabric left. I’ll trim it after cure.

Horizontal Stabilizer

Tonight marks the start of the KR-Super2 build. I completed glassing the first side of a 2’x4′ 1/4″ Last-a-foam panel and one side of two 3/8″ panels for h-stab skins. Work was done according to Chapter 2 as per instructions. 

I was initially going to use Ecopoxy for this build because it was described as odorless and non-toxic and ok for structural parts. I purchased a gallon kit. Later I became worried that is may not be a good substitute. Aircraft Spruce was not able to provide a mechanical properties of the Ecopoxy resin system and I also read that the Aeropoxy does not contain the cancer causing substance MDA and is tested by Rutan for all structural use. I switched back to the Aeropoxy. Ordered a gallon kit from Spruce 3pm Thursday and it showed up 5pm Friday with UPS ground. Not bad. That allowed me to get started tonight.

All-in, tonight’s work used about 1/4-1/3 of a 1 gallon kit. About $30-40 worth of resin.

I laid out a sheet of 1/2″ ply to provide a flatter surface than my garage floor. The plastic is to protect the wood.

I cut the BID for the first two sheets as per instructions. The final piece I straight cut. When following the instructions I only had the small triangles as waste. Straight cut definitely has more waste, but the large leftover rectangle can be used elsewhere in the future. The bias cut method proved very hard to keep the cloth weave aligned as I was rolling out the cut sheets on the micro’ed foam. It took forever to get the weave aligned again. The overlap of the two pieces of cloth is also heavier. For future glassing, I think I’ll stick to straight cut and accept the waste to make a better, light part in less time.

Above, 45 degree cut cloth laid out and trimmed to size.
Overlap of 1.5-2″

Straight cut cloth trimmed to size.

Cut BID rolled up and ready to go.

Mixing station set up. I would pour out the amount of resin needed, weigh it. Divide that by 100 and multiply by 27. That gave the exact weight of hardener to weigh out. Tonight’s project used about 1/4-1/3 of the Aeropoxy that came today.

I printed and bound the. Hold manual for easy reference.


My first attempt at mixing micro. It was a bit hard to spread. I mixed subsequent batches thicker and it spread on much easier.

Edit – the next time I mixed the micro 1:1 by volume with catalyze resin and this consistency was much easier to work with.

1/4″ foam nearly done with micro. I used an extra large scraper to speed things along. Just had to be careful to keep it flat and not let the edges dig into the foam.

Edit – the next time I used my yellow plastic squeegee to spread micro. Though it’s smaller, it seemed to work much better and faster.

Rolling the glass on to the foam was so easy with one big single sheet. Smooth by hand to eliminate air gaps between glas and foam.

Completed side 1 of the 1/4″ panel that will become various structural parts for the horizontal stabilizer.

I did the 3/8 panels with two glass pieces cut at a 45 degree angle. This was much less wasteful on the glass, but hard to align the two pieces of cloth to get the right overlap while keeping the weave pattern intact. 

Closeup of a finished panel.

Three panels with glass on one side. The 1×2 strips will give the wing skin panels a small curve that helps them conform easier to the airfoil shape of the h stab. 

Total time start to finish, about 4 hours.


Night Stands 2

Last night I got all the veneer on inside and out and sanding done. I was able to finishe up the night with a coat of tung oil for color. Above shows with and without oil. I oiledboth and let dry overnight.

Tonight I got to work on the polyurethane. I use this Varahane product that’s actually for floors. 

I used it on our floors and it give a great, super durable finish, has little to no odor and cleans up with soap and water. It dries in about 45 min so it’s easy to get several coats in 1 night.

It’s self leveling , so it can be brushed on and still dries smooth. I’ll hog it 3 coats and then sand smooth with 220 grit and then one more coat on top. I would normally do 3 coats, sand, 3 coats, sand, 3 coats, polish, however, my wife says that results in a look that’s like plastic. She’s right in that it would be glossy smooth with no grain texture. So I stop early in that process to leave a more wood-like look.

First Corvair Engine Tear Down

I knew that one head had a broken intake flange, but he threw it in for free and I figured I could fix it. What I didn’t know is that he two heads I got we’re from different engines!

The bottom is the one with the broken flange and appears to be a 95 head (yay!) while the top is a 98/102 head (hmmm). Both looked ok aside of the flange. Well, if I don’t get the heads I want from the second motor, I can always machine the combustion chambers to match.

The next surprise came from the #3 con rod big end. It looked as though it only had one bearing. Surprise! What really happened was that the bearings were so worn that one rolled around behind the other! Even with that I might be able to save the rod.

One of these things is not like the other… with all the pistons out, it was obvious that #6 was different. I don’t know what the original pistons looked like. There’s no way for me to tell if #6 had been replaced or if all 5 others had been replaced. One this was for sure, this motor had a hard life.

With the pistons out, I cracked open the case to get my two major core items. First out was the cam. Perfectly good core. Cam bearings on the block were worn, but I’ll be line boring this block. 

Before and after a night in the solvent tank. Even thought I planed to sand blast the case, this will take off most of the grime that would contaminate my sand blaster.

Night Stands

With the basic bed in place in time for the mattress delivery, I’ve had some time to slack off. None the less, I started building the night stand portion of the bed. These are floating units that attach to the headboard with through bolts to anchor plates on the back. The box will be half filled with a drawer and then an open shelf on the bottom for chargers.

Above the sides of the boxes are cut from 3/4″ ply and have 1/2″ strips of black walnut glued to the face.

The strips hang over a bit on the sides and I used my router with edge trimming but to make them flush.

Sides trimmed, sander and ready for assembly. At this point I should have put the veneer on the inside. It proved to be kind of a pain later.

Glue and staple the sides while wiping off the glue as I go and checking for square.

Ready for Bondo and sanding.

I Bondoed and sanded the back side too. I want it to sit flat against the headboard, no gaps. Veneer goes on with contact cement. I usually work at night, so I trim the edges with a razor blade to keep the noise down.

Press down hard with the edge of a 2×4 that’s lightly rounded. 

For inside the box, I had to carefully cut the veneer to just the right width. These shims let me position the veneer and I just slide them out to stick.

New veneer pieces cut for the outside rob and bottom. 

That’s as far as I got today. 

To be continued…

Welder Upgrade

I’ve owned a Lincoln Weldpack 100 for some time now. Since day 1 I have always wished it could be a MIG welder. Inner shield is cheap and can make good welds. But comes at a price. It’s basically stick welding, so it’s messy. But if you do it right the slag falls off and a shiny weld is what’s underneath. Then you spend the next 10 minutes cleaning off you part. No longer! 

A peak under the hood of my welder reveals a 115v solenoid! I found this key complement on Amazon for $14.

My $14 solenoid valve with air fittings attached.

Parts list:

110v 60hz gas solenoid – Amazon, $14

1/4″ clear tube – Lowes about $1

1/4 bard x 1/4NPT – Lowes $5

1/4 NPT Brass street elbow – Lowes $5

1/4″ spade crimp connectors – free from my spare parts stock

Tiny hose clamps – free from spare parts stock

0.030″ contact tip – internet 12pack $5

1/2″ Gas nozzle –  internet $2

Screws for gas solenoid – free spare stock

CO2 regulator – Harbor Freight $27, this one sucked. Get it from Amazon for less and buy the adapter

I started by crimping my spade connectors to the solenoid. Then I used a paper to make a rubbing of the mounting bolt pattern on the solenoid.

I used a center punch to transfer than to the back of the welder case.

After the holes were drilled, I dug around in my spare bolts for 2 that fit and attached the solenoid. I then marked and drilled the hole for the gas inlet with a step drill.

I attached the spade connectors to the control board and hooked up the gas in and out lines. I also had to reverse the positive and ground leads to the gun. 

Hooked up the regulator and replace the wire, contact tip and gas nozzle. Done. 

Start of the build

We purchased a Sleep Number bed for Black Friday (absolutely hate it). This meant a new project, a bed frame. My wife is an absolute lover of all things Modern, black walnut and brass. I decided to try and incorporate all these and made a design sketch.

The original head board was just behind the bed, but Joey asked that it extend behind the night stands and that the night stands float on it. That made the total width just under 10ft. I found a 10ft long black walnut veneer at oakwoodveneer.com and they were able to ship it out the same day.

I built the headboard out of 3/4 sanded plywood with a 2×4 frame.

The plane was to inlay a 1″ wide brass strip between the edge and veneer so I put the veneer on before installing the edge. Above the assembled, bondoed and sanded head is stood upright. This allowed me to position the extra long piece of veneer by myself. Beachside of the angle that the board sits at it left a gap at the bottom for the bottom overhang. This was accidental, but it worked out well.

The headboard back up on the saw horses. It was actually a bit longer than I needed (not sure how that happened), so I trimmed the end to give me a 7/8″ spacing between the 3/4″ wide walnut edge and the veneer. After the edge strip was attached, I used a scrap piece of my brass and a razor blade to trim the veneer to the exact width. I then cut my brass strips and glued them in with PVA glue I had leftover from my piano restoration.

Headboard, footboard and sides laid out for test fitting. Note the 1″ width exposed wood on the headboard. This is where I would later put the brass inlay.

Bolted together in final position. I toe screwed the 2×4 stringers in place and then screwed down 3/4″ sanded ply on top for the deck. I drilled pass-through holes where the night stands will later attach.