Comments from my life, family, and projects I enjoy.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Walk In the Woods

Today I decided to go check on the progress of the new nature trail that is under construction off Old State Road. The road is blocked off to vehicular traffic, but I didn't see any no trespassing signs, so I grabbed my camera and took a walk. The trail mostly runs along the old confederate earthworks from the civil war battle of Congaree creek. The trail goes deep into the woods and it is very remote and quiet. No cell phone service to disturb the sounds of nature.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Update on the Hobart Coffee Grinder

Progress on the coffee grinder has slowed considerably. After reassembling the motor I discovered the motor will start, but does not run. A quick check with the ohmmeter revealed an open run winding. I fear I damaged one of the wires in the run winding during the cleaning process. A rewind from the local motor shop is prohibitively expensive, so I will attempt to rewind it myself. I purchased an old book on motor rewinding online and have been studying it to see if a home shop rewind is doable. I will of course share what I learn. In the meantime, I fabricated a new base to replace the deteriorating rubber base and have been polishing some of the aluminum pieces. Here is a shot of the new base and a shot of the motor book.

MDF Base

Close up of base

Motor book

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Trip to the Upstate

Saturday we took a short trip to the upstate to visit the in-laws. Lucky for me I had a chance to take some photos. Early in the afternoon I had a chance to slip off and explore an area of their property that had recently been logged. I only had my cellphone for pics, so they aren't the best, but I think they are still worth sharing.

The first thing that caught my eye was a turtle shell. Upon closer examination, I spotted what looked like some large cat prints. Bobcat are common in the area so I wonder if that is what left the prints.

I also captured some interesting patterns in the mud left by some insects. Be sure to zoom in to see the details on the one below.

Insect Tracks

Much to my delight, I spotted a wild turkey up on the ridge. I was able to get within about 25 feet of this hen. It wasn't until I had taken several shots that I noticed she had 5 chicks following along close behind, hiding in the brush. They blended in so well with the brush that they were almost impossible to see. Here are 4 of the best shots

On the way home we stopped in Jonesville to snap a few pics. Jonesville is fairly typical of the little whistle-stop towns that you see in the south. Below are some pics of some old building along the tracks that caught my eye.

Finally, we stopped along the highway, just outside of Lockhart to look at some old fire engines a collector has stored in a shed. I think these are a 34 Ford, 46 Ford, and a 49 Mack. I especially like the HUGE spotlights on the 46 Ford and the Mack. I also like that the 34 Ford and the Mack are open cab models. So cool to see the old iron.

Drill Press Delays

One thing that caused some delay with my Hobart Grinder project was some downtime with my drill press. The on/off switch fell apart. Yes, it's an el-cheapo from China Freight. I guess I should know better. I did not have a direct replacement on hand, but I did have some rather stout toggle switches in my junk box, so that's what I used. Of course this required the fabrication of a new mounting plate, as the form factor of the switches was different. With a cut-off wheel and my old sears hand drill I fabbed up a plate with some leftovers from the capacitor bracket project. It's always nice to get multiple uses from the same piece of scrap. Here's a shot of the finished plate. I thought it turned out ok and the switch will probably outlast the rest of the machine.

Hobart Coffee Mill, Grind Chamber and Motor

The motor and grind chamber of the Hobart 3430 has now been disassembled and cleaned. After a week of soaking with PB-Blaster, the fixed burr remained stuck fast in the grind chamber. With only a small edge of the burr exposed to push against, I was reluctant to apply a lot of force for fear of breaking the burr. I carefully applied heat to the burr with a heat gun. Once the burr was too hot to touch, I applied more PB-Blaster and observed the heat draw the solvent into the parting line. A gentle push against the edge of the burr and it popped free.

The fixed burr after removal

The grind chamber without it's burr

The grind chamber and fixed burr after clean-up

The grind chamber is also the end bell for one side of the motor. Once the grind chamber was removed from the motor, I was able to remove the rotor assembly and the other end bell containing the start circuit.

Centrifugal Start Switch. Note flyweights and actuator disc on rotor shaft.

While I had things apart, I replaced the motor bearings and cleaned things up a bit. The original bearings were New-Departure C8503 and C88503. Both have an extended inner race, so make sure you measure the critical dimensions carefully before ordering replacements. I bought my replacements from Accurate Bearing. They are always super helpful with obtaining the obsolete types and had these in stock. Below are some pics of the rotor before bearing replacement. Note the grooved piece to the right of the bearing. The parts diagram list this piece as a seal. I have never seen anything like it before. There were no remnants of rubber or oakum in the grooves, so I'm not sure how this works. I think one reason for this design is to provide a surface for the adjustable burr tension spring to ride upon, as it rotates with the shaft and adjustable burr. After cleaning everything up I placed the seal back on the shaft with a little Locktite bearing retainer and reassembled.

Rotor as removed with fan, bearing, and seal

Each motor subassembly was cleaned up and repainted before final assembly. I've included a few pics of the completed assembly.

As a routine part of any restoration of old equipment with a capacitor start motor, I always replace the start capacitor. The original capacitor was mounted using a large strap clamp attached to the lamp bracket. The entire assembly bolts to a standoff bracket inside the case. The new capacitor is much smaller and mounts with a different style mount, so I fabricated a new bracket from some scrap I had in the shop.

Original lamp bracket with strap clamp

New lamp bracket with replacement capacitor mounted
Thats all for today on my grinder project.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Treasure From the Mailman

Earlier this week I used some of my birthday money (I just turned 54) to order some specialty coffee from a small coffee roaster in Brunswick, GA. I placed my order on Tuesday afternoon, the box was postmarked Wednesday the 5th, and the package arrived today, Friday the 7th. That's pretty fast service in my book. They claim to only roast the beans after receiving your order.
Here' a couple pics of the goodies. Don't worry, I'm not going to start doing "haul videos" to post on youtube. I think their logo is awesome.

I just opened a large bag of Italian roast from World Market, so it may be awhile before I can report on the flavor,........... if I can wait that long.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Early Morning Walk at the RIver

I got an early start on the day this morning and once I got Becky out the door I headed to the river-walk for some exercise. I was almost immediately rewarded with a beaver swimming along the bank upstream. The only camera I had on hand was my cell phone and as soon as I opened the camera application the chime from the phone startled the creature and it dove under out of sight. As my walk progressed, I soon came upon a cacophonous racket from a scold of blue-jays along one of the small creeks that empty into the Congaree. A glance up into the trees revealed a Barred Owl perched above the stream. I was able to get three photos with my phone camera before it plopped down into the stream retrieving a fish for breakfast. Here are the owl photos. Again, they are not the best shots, but wildlife seldom poses for your photos.

The rest of the walk was mostly uneventful, but I did spot a salamander, a five lined skink and a variety of songbirds. I walked from Riverland Park up to Gervais Street and back. A total of about 4.25 miles.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hobart Grinder Tear Down

Since my last post, I have dis-assembled the grinder and tore down the motor and grind chamber. At some point this grinder was exposed to water, so I have had some de-rusting to do. The first step was to remove the grind adjust/grind chamber cap to access the burrs. Here are a couple of shots of the grind adjust assembly. This was rusted solid and took some effort to clean up and get working again. It's interesting to note that the thrust bearing for the adjustable burr is a plug of hardwood.

Removing the adjustable burr assembly required a week long soak with PB-Blaster and some gentle persuasion with a long pry bar. I have been very careful to take my time and not force anything. There are no replacement parts available unless a parts unit is located. Here are some shots of the adjustable burr assembly, feed auger and wiper.

Here's what they look like cleaned up.

Next, I will separate the grind chamber from the motor, remove the fixed burr and replace the motor bearings. Lot's more work to do before we can grind some coffee.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Old Coffee Grinder

I finally became disgusted enough with my cheap POS  coffee grinder that I began researching a more robust solution. High quality consumer grade burr grinders start at about $150.00 and go up from there. I also noticed a variety of commercial grade grinders on ebay and craigslist.

I finally narrowed down my choices to an old Hobart or Grindmaster like you would see in the grocery stores back in the 50's and 60's. After searching ebay and craigslist for a couple of months I had the good fortune of finding a Hobart 3430 near Atlanta. Here are some pics from the craigslist ad.

Craigslist Photo
Craigslist PIC

It's a little worse for wear and tear, but I like rebuilding old things and putting them back in service. All the parts are there and the motor runs so I guess it's a keeper. This thing is large and heavy and was built to last. The downside is some water was allowed to settle in the grind chamber so I have a bit of work ahead of me. That's all for now.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

This evening we had a short shower that helped clear the air of pollen for a bit. I had to run out to the garage for a moment while working on a project and thought I would snap a pic of the pollen accumulation in one of the rain puddles.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My bag of apologies is empty. I still have an insult or two left in the insult bag.

Oh, wait a minute....  Don't leave.    I found a tattered "I don't give a shit" from way in the back.

Here,                                 you can have it.

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About Me

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Midlands of South Carolina, United States
Husband, Father, Quality Engineer, Electronics Professional, and tinkerer. Facinated by old technology and well made old tools. Old iron is good.