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How are you filling in your day in lockdown?


red750
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If you were out socialising as usual, chatting with people at work, at the pub, or, like me, around the table at the men's shed, you would probably discuss some of the things you had been doing. The out of the ordinary type of things, perhaps. As we are not able to socialise as normal, I thought you might like to share your thoughts through this community. I must admit that my days are pretty much same-old, same-old, but I will start off with yesterday.

 

Backtracking just a little, I have had a tyre that has been going flat every couple of days. I haven't had the money to do anything about it and was going to one of those you-pull-it type wreckers and picking up a rim and tyre off one of the hulks in their yard, not one that had been in an accident. They had them listed on their website for $33 if you took it off the hulk yourself. The family wouldn't hear of it, my son said I should get four new tyres. Shopped around and found a national dealer who had a brand new tyre with warranty for $85, fitting balancing and alignment thrown in. Fortunately my $750 government support package had come through on Saturday, so I got the four new tyres fitted for $340. They are not top of the line, but as I rarely travel more than 5 km from home, even when there are no restrictions, all I wanted was something that was safe, legal, and wouldn't go flat overnight. My little effort for stimulating the economy.

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I am working on my 1932 Chev truck project. A bit each day, and i can see it coming along. I am painting the rebuilt engine at present, lots of masking and cleaning. Came up against an immovable obstacle two days ago, as the universal joint has a broken hardened steel bush on one of the four pins of the spider. The uni joint is otherwise good. The bush is an unobtainable size, probably not made since the 1930s, and new uni joints unobtainable. I have decided to put it aside for a week or two rather than do anything rash.

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Plenty to do during the lockdown.

 

Yesterday we did a video call with my wife's brother and his wife. My brother in law and myself are both keen coffee nerds so we set up a video call and fired up our espresso machines and chatted about coffee matters. After this we sat down and drank our coffee and chatted. My bro in law lives interstate so we cant understand why he have not done this before. Next week a dinner party.

 

At the moment we are watching a movie simultaneously with my son in New Zealand and an employee and friend of his who we know from our visits over there. A lady friend of my son from Dayton Ohio and another American woman that I don't know. Great fun hearing the comments of the others.

 

Apart from that I am preparing to transfer my work to online. Loads of reading. We do have some renovations to work on but not feeling so inclined at the moment. Long walk every day plus a couple of exercise sessions with an app we have been using for a while.

 

Quite enjoying it actually

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As mentioned in the health forum, a lot of my day is spent on the net creating profiles for the Showcase. I also do most of the cooking and am driver for my daughter when she takes the dog walking and delivering what most people refer to as junk mail, in other words, catalogues and advertising. She delivers to a number of dead end streets almost a km long, and down hill. I drop her and the dog at the top, she works her way down the hill, and I carry the bulk supply, stopping along the way for her to get a fresh supply. Then at the bottom of the hill, I pick her and the dog up, drive them to the next street and repeat. Saves her having to walk back up the hill. Other areas with less hills she covers on her own, using a large plastic crate on a pram frame.

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Great project, PMcC! I have a 1932 Chev roadster, a 1932 Chev sedan, and a 1931 Chev roadster - all awaiting my attention sometime in the near future, when I have finished off 20 other resto/repair projects!

The roadster is about 99.9% complete and drivable. Strangely enough, it belonged to a pilot in VIC, in the early 1990's - but his piloting skills were lacking and he killed himself in his aircraft. His brother inherited it and I bought it off him.

 

The 1932 sedan was complete but completely dismantled by two blokes who owned it previously. Then in a disastrous period of my life, someone stole the body of the sedan, when I left it stored in another persons yard.

The 1931 roadster is about 70% complete, and I have been gathering parts to complete it since 1975. Unfortunately, the radiator shell, radiator, and headlights, were grabbed for scrap during WW2.

 

I managed to acquire a complete 1931 radiator shell and radiator off eBay, from the U.S., about 9 or 10 years ago, for $275. But the rare missing parts are the parking lights, mounted on the top of the front mudguards.

These were unique to the Australian 1931 Chevs, and exist nowhere else. I have never been able to find any. They are similar to a VW Beetle park light.

 

It's surprising the level of design changes to the Australian GMH Chevs as compared to the American Fisher-bodied models.

Doorhandles and many fittings are different, there are many smaller panels that are different, even the roofs are slightly different, particularly on the Australian roadsters.

The windscreen posts and windscreens on the local 1932 roadsters are a completely different shape to the American-built cars. The windscreen posts have a bigger outward curve, and the windscreen is a totally different shape.

When I got the 1932 roadster, the headlights, windscreen frame and posts were missing, because the former owner took them off and put them somewhere, possibly somewhere to be chromed. They were never found.

 

But it was fortunate, I had already acquired a set of 1932 Chev car headlights in 1974, from a old wrecker who was closing down. I got them for $25, and they are in excellent condition .

And amazingly, I eventually found an American company making new windscreen frames for old Chevs! - and they manufactured the Australian 1932 model windscreen frame!

It cost me $600 for a new windscreen frame - but I acquired that in 2011, when the dollar was near parity, so the pain was lessened.

 

It's interesting to see how GM and GMH utilised previous model parts in later models. The headlights and headlight bar on your truck are from the 1930-31 Chev cars. The 1932 Chev cars use a curved, solid bar.

I think it was the FE and FC Holdens that used doorhandles from the 1952 Chev cars. And the late 1950's models Bedford trucks used the cabin from the early 1950's Chev trucks!

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Re filling in time currently - I'm fortunate enough to have a rented workshop (factory unit) within 4kms of my home, so I can go there anytime and work on repairs and restoration work. It's in a "heavy industrial area", so no restrictions.

But SWMBO has decided now is the time to do a swag of house maintenance. We live in a 1957-built double-brick and tile 3 bedroom home, and the maintenance requirements are pretty steady.

Lots of woodwork that is exposed to the weather, and which needs regular sanding and painting - so that's what I've been sucked into, at present.

 

SWMBO decided every pathway, the concrete porch/verandah needed pressure cleaning, so that's been her "project" - oh, and she pressured washed the entire front of the house, so it could be repainted too!

She's already painted most of the front of the house, I get to do the "hard, difficult-to-get-at parts", because I'm more agile. She's had double knee replacements, and doesn't have quite the mobility she formerly had - but she does alright.

 

I've had to do some minor gutter and fascia board repairs, but these are in pretty good shape, because I did some major fascia board replacements, and installed all new guttering, about 10-11 years ago.

 

SWMBO wanted a pressure cleaner because she saw what her daughter had done, by way of house cleanup with her boyfriends pressure washer. So we went looking for a cheap, domestic pressure washer. She only wanted to spend $150.

We got one Ryobi pressure washer ($139 from Bunnings) - and it promptly blew apart. Went and replaced it (yes, they have a 4 yr warranty!) - and the replacement promptly blew apart, too!! (plastic housings exploded).

In disgust, we went at looked at Karcher in toolstores, and she bought a Karcher for $199 from Total Tools. Unbelievably, the Karcher exploded in a pile of broken plastic housings, inside 2 hrs from new, as well!!

 

We took it back, and got our money refunded, and swore off, "domestic-use, plastic-housing-and-pump based, Chinese pressure washers". I told her I'd buy a decent one for the workshop, and she could use it.

I've had a 2000psi Italian Lavor pressure washer for about 15 years, and it's provided good service - but it's been leaking through the pump-to-motor join for a couple of years, and I thought it was time to replace it.

I pulled it apart, and sure enough, it was past repairing, with corrosion and a sealing joint beyond repair - so I scrapped it, and went looking for another Italian pressure washer.

 

I eventually found a Husqvarna PW460 pressure washer in Toolmart. Italian-made, brass pump, ceramic pistons, built to last, and built for hard work. But priced accordingly - $979 list price, and no discounts!

But Toolmart had one in stock for some time, and it was still listed at the "old price" of $899 - so I grabbed it. SWMBO reckons it's fantastic, she's out there with it every day, I can't get it off her, to use it in my workshop!

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I must admit that to date, I've been perfecting my couch potato impersonation. It's probably just the novelty of isolation, but that's rapidly wearing off.

 

The plan is to use this time more productively than I would in normal times; to try to make some good of it. Lucky to live on acreage with all it's corresponding unfinished jobs to get cracking on. Theory is - building & construction during the day, and at nights, hopefully finish off some long overdue research projects instead of watching Pooch Perfect and The Simpsons.

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I went to the brewing supplies shop today. I don't brew my own beer, but I do work with rusty metal.

 

So what's the reason for going to the brewer supplies shop - sodium metabisulphite.

 

Got you interested now, haven't I?

 

There are a couple of ways to remove rust from things you want to restore. First is using wire wheels and flap wheels. Slow and tedious. Second is electrolysis. You need a bit of gear and a steady source of low voltage DC current. The third way is to soak the rusty metal in an acidic solution - Coke; vinegar, or a proprietary rust remover.

 

These proprietary rust removers are pretty expensive (Evaporust 5 litres for $74 - down from $93). If you look at the Material Safety Data Sheet for any of these proprietary products, they simply list the components as "non-hazardous" and there is no more detail. Basically that means that the composition is a trade secret. However, I came across an MSDS that showed that Evaporust contained 3% Sodium bisulphite. Sodium bisulphite in fact is not a real compound, but a mixture of salts that dissolve in water to give solutions composed of sodium and bisulphite ions. It is probably better called metabisulphite because in chemistry "meta" means "derived from (compound) by the loss of water". Sodium bisulphite is sold at pool shops for lowering the pH of pool water, but it's really the meta stuff.

 

I looked on Youtube and found a simple video showing the use of sodium bisulphite

to remove rust from some metal parts.

 

So, after paying $12 for a kilogram if this stuff, I set out to make up a solution to clean off some rusty metal. Now, a 3% w/w solution has 30 grams of chemical in 1 litre of water. That's a bit much in the way of mental arithmetic when you are making up a bucketful of the solution. On the basis of "If some is good, more is better", I decided to make the solution 5% w/w, which is 50 grams per litre. It just happens that a measuring tablespoon of the stuff weighs a poofteenth under 25 grams. Since this is not being made for a chemistry test, I figured that is an accurate enough measurement.

 

The stuff dissolves readily in water, but is reaction produces sulphur dioxide which isn't nice to inhale. If you make up some of this stuff and put it in a lidded container, leave teh lid off for a couple of hours to allow the sulphur dioxide to escape.

 

So now you can go and restore all your rusty tools.

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Sounds a bit quicker than the molasses and water I use for rust. They used to sometimes use sodium metabisulphite on the prawn trawlers when the prawns would get a bit black under the gills. Makes them last a bit longer. That was in the days when wet boats were common; most of it is probably snap frozen with refrigeration these days.

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I use citric acid for rust removal - simple, cheap, safe, and effective. It's a food additive (an important anti-oxidant) and is used in "soap bombs", and costs no more than $5 a kg.

 

It looks like sugar, and you only need about a 3%-5% solution, for it to be effective. I get it from a bulk foods seller, Kakulas Sister, here in Perth or Fremantle.

 

Kakulas' have every type of bulk food, grains, nuts, dried fruit, seeds, home chemicals, you name it. Their stores are just all open bags of products, you grab a plastic bag and a scoop, and weigh out as much as you need.

I can get citric acid in a 10kg tub from a nearby chemical wholesaler - Westchem - but they're downright robbers. Only bought one tub off them, and they ripped me off at twice the price of Kakulas'.

 

 

I have several acid baths of varying sizes, the biggest is a cut-down IBC "pod", about 700 litres. I usually only put a maximum of about 400-500 litres in it at any time.

It's handy for larger rusty items, such as panels and wheels. You can put dozens of items in at once, but it pays to attach wire to them, so you can pull them out, and so you can be reminded of what's in the bath.

 

It's important to cover the acid bath to prevent evaporation - and more importantly - to stop UV light breaking down the citric acid, and rendering it useless. There are no poisonous fumes from citric acid, and you don't need PPE.

The best part is, if kids accidentally find it and put their hands in it, there's no danger. The worst that can happen is they get itchy skin.

Once the item has been in the bath for the required length of time (2 days to a week, depending on the amount of corrosion), I take it out and pressure wash it. If it's still not 100%, it goes back in again for another 2-3 days.

 

Once I reckon it's clean enough, I pull it out, pressure wash it, then make up a spray bottle with about a 10%-15% solution of Ranex (phosphoric acid).

I spray the item with this solution, which stops flash rusting, and which leaves a protective phosphate coating. You can leave the item laying around for years with this phosphate coating.

When you want to paint the item, you merely wire brush off the heaviest layer of the phosphate coating, and prime and paint it.

 

Citric acid works to remove rust from steel, doesn't work very well on aluminium, and cleans up copper and brass very satisfactorily. Don't use old enamelled baths for citric acid baths, it will strip enamel off cast iron, clean as a whistle.

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RUST REMOVER UPDATE.

 

I made up a 5% solution and left the lid off the container overnight to let the sulphur dioxide escape - like letting a bottle of Red breathe before drinking. This is what I started with this morning:

 

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I had run the bolts under a wire wheel a week or do ago, so it's the washers and nuts that should show the best results.

 

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We'll see how they come out o the solution about lunchtime tomorrow.

 

 

Citric acid is an organic acid, meaning that the hydrogen atoms that come off it to make the acid solution, or to remove the oxygen from the rust. That leaves a carbon chain floating around in he solution.

1586329290758.png.863478d29e860616274d7616d1ff9cea.png When you buy citric acid by weight, it's like paying for prawns by the kilo. You have to throw away a goodly portion of the weight because you can't use the heads and shells.

 

 

Sodium bisulphite is all useful stuff.

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This is how the stuff cleans the rust off iron.

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... I recently repaired and improved a cheap Bunnings swing seat that the windstorms had trashed...

But wait, there's more!

I hack-sawed a couple of dozen "washer" plates out of angle aluminium so I can tek shade cloth over the frame.

How to trim all the burred edges?

Chuck them into the cement mixer for a couple of hours with a bit of dry sand-gravel mix.

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My son's birthday on Monday. He lives on his own in a unit 37km away on the other side of town. He can't come over for a birthday tea, and we can't visit him. He has to spend Easter and his birthday on his own. We are sending a package of cakes and a couple of Easter eggs by courier. Cheapest one we could find was $57.00. What a rip-off. If we tried to go over, the police would check our rego on the in-car computer and pull us up for being more than 20 km from home.

 

My other son is still working in the city. He was pulled over by the police on the way to work yesterday. Flashing lights. He said, "I'm on my way to work." They said, "We won't hold you up. Just a random breath test." He said, " It will be 000, I don't drink."

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My other son is still working in the city. He was pulled over by the police on the way to work yesterday. Flashing lights. He said, "I'm on my way to work." They said, "We won't hold you up. Just a random breath test." He said, " It will be 000, I don't drink."

Peter, that's interesting in light of Victoria's fairly strict virus procedures. In Queensland, RBT has been halted until further notice because of the health risk. They will still pull over an individual if they have reason to suspect drink driving, but all random testing has stopped.

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RUST REMOVER UPDATE.

 

I left eight bolts, nuts and spring washers in the 5% solution overnight and until 3:00 pm today. The pieces came out of the pot with a black coating, which turned grey after a short while. This is what things looked like when I took them out of the pot:

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Here's three bolts. The one on the left is straight out of the pot. The centre one has been rubbed with steel wool and had a nut run up the thread. the right hand one has had a few moments under a wire wheel.

 

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There wasn't much change in colour of the solution. but there were grains of crap on the bottom. That could have been paint. I would suggest that before this solution was used to remove rust, any paint should be removed using a chemical paint stripper.

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There's an exciting lockdown Easter Saturday planned for tomorrow. Thought I'd drive down to the front gate and check the mailbox. Might even hang around down there for a while to see if there's any cars going past that I can wave at. Just have to make sure I don't overdo it or there will be nothing to do next week.

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