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Category: Dad

Fireplace love

So one of the other things that I’ve not liked about this house now is the mantle.

It’s got graffiti on it from previous residents, many screw holes, deep scratches, it looks dated and it’s pulling out from the brick. I really don’t want to put any effort into this mantle because I don’t like it, so it was time to replace it.

It was just affixed to the hearth with 6 nails into the mortar. That probably explains why it was falling out. When I removed this, I just needed to pick up slightly and it came right off the wall with no resistance.

Dad and I didn’t use any nails in the construction of the mantle. It required a lot of glue and a lot of clamps.¬†One of the problems using glue is that it drastically slows down how much work you can actually accomplish in a day.

After the glue was dry, I was able to sand the excess glue down and get a nice smooth surface pretty quickly with a palm sander.

I opted to use a wipe on polyurethane coating. It’s easy to maintain, seals well, can be sanded off easily in the future if I decide to change the finish and it allows the wood to still feel like wood.

While the mantle was drying, dad and I installed the bracket that we made on the hearth so I could complete the installation on my own.

I am extremely please with how this mantle looks. I increased the height of the front face by about 1.5″ when we built this mantle compared to the original mantle and I think that has made quite the difference. Also, note the above photo is not centered over the fireplace. This was taken while I was test fitting it. I’m sure I’ll post a centered and completed photo later when I put something new on the mantle for the holiday season.

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Easy Like Sunday Morning

Today was a decent day. I got a fair amount accomplished, but not quite everything that I wanted to do. I spent several hours on Saturday fixing a laptop. This thing was pretty bad. I’m not sure what happened to it initially, Very slow, lots of lag, very difficult to use. I pulled all user data from the drive and threw it on a flash drive. After everything was backed up, I spent some time and did a full system restore. After everything was restored, I spent some time restoring the user data and then a few hours updating it and re-installing Office.

After the laptop was finished, I headed out to Denham. Once I got to Denham, I spent a few hours fixing the air conditioning in my grandmother’s car. I wasn’t expecting this and it put me behind on my car. There was gas in system, but the a/c clutch never engaged. The low pressure switch checked out ok and so did the pressure switch at the compressor. The a/c relay checked out ok too. There was no power going to the relay to fire the compressor clutch though. After digging through the almost worthless manual for the car, we found a fuse for the a/c system on the inside of the car. After swapping that out we were able to get the compressor to engage. We finished filling up the system and now have cold a/c.

I topped off the coolant in the Talon. I spilled some swapping out the fans in my car two weeks ago. After topping everything off, I charged the a/c in my car as well. I didn’t get to the fan issue though, so only half of them work right now. I’ll probably work on that this week. I also need to swap out the o2 sensor in the car. It intermittently works well and then flakes out.

The last stop of the day was my parent’s house. I chatted with mom and dad for a bit, then started installing the Trail Tech Vapor on my DRZ. First up was installing the temperature sensor. This screws into an existing port in the radiator. Next up was drilling a hole in the brake caliper mounting bracket so that I could mount the new speed sensor. About the time we got this mounted, mom needed me to move my truck so she could go pick up dinner for herself and dad. Dad wanted to move my truck since he hasn’t driven since December and I told him to go for it, handed him my keys and walked off. I think mom thought I was crazy. While dad was moving my Jeep, I went ahead and re-installed the speed sensor. I swapped out one of the rotor bolts with the new magnetic pickup to trigger it. After testing that the speedo works, I need to pull the gas tank off to get to the coil. I wired the Vapor directly to the coil to read RPMs. This was pretty easy once we tested it. This required the removal and installation of the gas tank a few times. The final step was running power for the Vapor to the battery. I did not hook up permanent power yet because I need a small fusible link or fuse holder. Everything is neatly installed and it will be a pretty easy fix to finish installing everything. I just need to swing by a parts store to grab the last piece.

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I had fun

Thanks to all who decided to come over and hang out today. I had a lot of fun and it was nice seeing so many people come visit dad.

Thank you.

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