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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kirby The Grinder, Added Steering Limiter, Bike Linked To Blog

I've been meaning to link the bike to the blog for months and months, and keep forgetting to actually do it when I have the time to. Now it's done, badly, but done.

I just hand-painted it on the down tube and the cargo pod on the left side, and more neatly on the right side cargo pod mount plate:

I would have just written it on there in a giant marker, but my writing is actually worse than my paint-lettering. ;-)

I'd still like to print some signs up to seal in plastic page-keepers, then mount those to the bike. Or laminate them, perhaps. But since I keep putting off doing it the good ways because it takes so long to work out a design and perfect it on the computer, then print it and mount it, this at least gets the blog link out there for those interested without them having to find and ask me. Maybe more people will see how the bike stuff is done, and be inspired as a young perhaps-engineer-to-be in New Zealand already has been--that person has motorized a small bike using a radiator fan motor that looks the same as the Toyota Tercel motor I'd used first, though in a completely different way than I did it.

I like inspiring people to do this kind of stuff--both recycling and bicycling are fun things to do!

Yesterday before work, I fixed up a crude but simple and effective steering angle limiter to prevent the steering problem from a recent post.

It's just a piece of angled steel from an old rackmount ear tab that had seen better days (part of the same stuff the throttle pivot/chain guide wheel holder is made from).

It's welded directly to the back side of the fork (really the front side, but the fork is reversed specifically because it made the angle of this easier to do for now) so that the short side is on the outer face, and the long side on the rear face. The angle gives that corner more support against the stress of being slammed against the down tube during steering to the left (which shouldn't happen often, once I get really used to the steering on this), to prevent it from simply folding over.

The inner part of the long side is beveled inward at the top, so that it gives the correct amount of limiting. If I find I need more steering angle than this:

then I can grind that bevel down a little further.

There's no limiter plate on the right side yet, but there will be a matching one shortly.

It doesn't need one for the same reason, but since the only thing limiting rightward turning angle is the stem of the eye hitting the steering tube/stem, it's going to bend that eye-stem or break it, and I really don't want that to happen during a ride.

If I duplicate that limiter on the right side, it'll prevent steering-link damage.

Now here's another great find via Freecycle (sort of, in that it's from someone I re-met via a FC listing, and she brought this over with some bike lights and generators some time later, rather than thru a FC post):

The Kirby vacuum we already had here, courtesy of my oldest sister. It's not in great shape, and has a broken main brush roller bearing end in the primary carpet attachment, but it does work, and has a handful of odd attachments and such, most of which look like they've never been used (I know they weren't in all the years we had it), such as the paint/liquid sprayer, the air-powered vibrating sander, etc. One thing I never imagined they'd made for it however was a GRINDING WHEEL, which you see above before attaching it, in front of the Kirby.

Above shows it mounted and latched down. I had no good belts for the Kirby, but I've saved every belt from everything else I could get my hands on, including all the dead vacuums and whatnot people have had around me over the years. One of them just barely fit (it will probably break during use, because it's old and too tight).

It sure looks strange on there, doesn't it?

It works fine, though. It is missing the front cover for it, which would help it to suck all the ground-away dust and bits from whatever is being worked on, into the vacuum and thus the bag, keeping the work area all clean and stuff. ;-) Still works very well in that regard, even without the cover plate.

It has two stones, a smaller finer one, and a larger coarser one. I would never have even thought to try this if it were not for the very tattered remains of a paper label on the larger stone that says "...Kirby...somethingsomething...something...." with the "Kirby" as the obvious Kirby logo. Then I remembered about that vacuum, dug it out, and voila!

So now for essentially nothing, I have a fine-grained low-speed stationary "bench grinder" courtesy of what might be the most famous vacuum company, Freecycle, and packrat-ism.
It's already come in handy fixing up a pair of notched-out wire cutters I really liked before they were damaged from misuse. :-)

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