Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I Aplogize, Most Humbly

 When I was a kid, we played cowboys and indians.  I had my hat, vest, chaps, a belt with 2 silver cap guns...  I was born wearing jeans and boots (sorry about that mom). My sister said I was a self proclaimed "do dun dowdoy".  I've always had an admiration for the folks that settled the west, and those that were the best light cavalry on this continent.  I know I have at least one side represented in my lineage.  I have pictures on my walls right now that hung in my parent's room growing up.  Cowboys, Indians, western subjects,  old farm houses... I still consider my self a DOT (danged ol' Texan) that is riding line and looking for strays.
If this were me, I'd have my left leg hooked around the saddle horn too.

I don't hit the office much, and my area to cover is south Texas.  So I a wound up being a cowboy, well, sort of anyway...

----Non PC Content Below The Fold----

----content that was perfectly fine in 1977---- 

Monday, July 26, 2021


Not catching many breaks around here....

Morton Salt....  Remember the rest?

Friday, July 23, 2021


I've always had books.  Dad had a full set of Zane Grey novels, tan with a red stripe, and WW2 coffee table books full of black and white real history photos.  True West and Frontier Times came every month.  He had paper backs scattered all over the place.  War stories, westerns, I had a few Tom Swifts and my sister got Nancy Drew books in the mail all the time.  The newspaper...

There was a shelf with red books (one had the first poem I learned, Eletelephony) grey encyclopedias from the early 50's, a dictionary, thesaurus and mom's Gregg shorthand manuals.  I remember hardbound Reader's Digest condensed books, all kinds of books.

The Little Golden Books were really neat though.  They had brilliant colors and amazingly detailed, in depth articles of tremendous importance and  scientific value...  Like this one:

ad for a sold book
My First Medical Reference Journal

That breathtaking beauty was drug all over creation by Doctor Dan the bandage man, and his side kick Tom the four barrel V8.  Did you see the keen cans on the wagon?  What style, what grace, and I bet you could see those flashing cans for miles!!!!

When she applied the band aid (fair use, I swear), the world was made right and the victim was saved.

Now, I'm not equating any of you with her, that would make me yak on the floor.  No, maybe Tom the V8, or Doctor Dan...  Or really, just a great league of folks...

The very pointed request I made for INPUT was answered.  It was amazingly consistent and pointed generally in the same direction.  If that isn't confirmation I don't know what is.

 How to Fool Yourself Into Doing Something Smart

 I have the smartest daughter in creation.  I know both her parents and they could not possible have had anything to do with her development.  Yet, I remember being there for all of it.  She knows my desire for autodidactism.  She knows how to reach my logic, such as it is, too.

When I started to glom onto the change in mental state when on the "stamina" med, we talked about how to find out if there really was an issue.  She said, "you never seem to have a problem paying tuition for quality education.  Why not consider an evaluation and therapy as tuition?  To get a quality education about yourself."  That hit like a Skin Bracer slap.  I could accept that.  It worked out well, too.

In all the sand blowing into my eyes the last two months, I lost sight of that concept.  How in the heck I ever thought I could navigate this new territory on my own, with my ignorance fully intact and at max smoke, I will never understand.  I guess I was overwhelmed and started the squirrel's final pirouette in the middle of the road.  You know, where they are running like mad, almost make it then double back to find safe refuge under your tires...  But the light began to dawn when you started to respond. 


yeah, like that

This little jack russell thought started popping up in the back window.  It just kept popping up and distracting me from what I was reading...  Only after the last reread of the emails yesterday did I stop and pay attention.  "Hey, why not pay some tuition for a quality education."


Oh fer garden seed....


Standing too close to the problem limits your view

What an ignorant zipperhead I have been.  Duly noted.  I wonder how much prayer it took to slide that thought into my mind?  Thank you.

I have a friend that knows an experienced barrister.   And now, pending a consult, so do I.  I did talk a while to the paralegal...

Hey, did you know that I didn't count days correctly and I didn't miss that deadline?  Hey, did you know that other date isn't the finish line but actually the starting line?  Me either.  Filed the paperwork a day early.  No need to rush.  How about taking some time to heal up and rest?  How about a massive reduction in pressure?  Yeah, I'm up for all that.

Simple.  So simple. 

You will always have a place by my fire.... anytime

I cannot thank you enough.  

 clarity, sweet clarity....

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

It just keeps getting better...

I have always known I'm an odd duck.  I wasn't wired up like anyone else I knew.  My head worked different than anyone in my family, except maybe my dad.  He was the benevolent dictator at times, other wise, inscrutable and ornery. 

One thing that I crave is clarity.  That usually comes through discussion with those I admire and trust.  Trust and admiration only happens after time and observation.  I sent out the first newsletter to those who asked, that I knew from our interactions.  No newbies allowed, I guess.

I haven't gleaned much if any new info as a result of NL1, so I feel it was just a whine-fest.  Not what I was interested in doing.  I need intel.



Working up a second newsletter.  I may not continue this after number 2.  But I am amazed at what has been happening.

Here is the deal.  If you want to catch up, fine by me.  But I expect feedback.  I'm not giving info for no purpose.  I desire direction, encouragement, a stern talking to, something to learn or do or avoid.  You folks are a wealth of lifetime wisdom. I have developed trust through our conversations, even if we haven't shanken hands or slapped backs. If it seems like Ned and First Reader stuff, send it anyway.  I need it.  Otherwise, we can wait for Friday at the The Irishman's Lair.

If this is a waste of time, then I'll drop it, and just try and keep up to date with the piddly goings on around here as this chapter ends and the next unfolds.

But if you are interested in meat, ask for NL2.  And be prepared to advise.  This isn't an unveiling, this is a request for intel in an area I am completely unfamiliar with.  


STxAR sends.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Unapologetically Anachronistic




Well, I have no qualms about updating the three loyal readers of this blog.  But I'm a bit hesitant to just raise my skirt in public so to speak.  So, I plan to dust off the mimeograph and crank out a newsletter...

Can't you smell that smell?

If you are interested, and have posted here before, I'll send it to you.  Just include a SASE.  Or you can send me an email and I'll fwd it back.  Strictly an offline / online email kind of thing.  Email will come from budgetmachining at proton mail dot somesuch.

Comments to this post will be a poll of sorts.  If any one wants it, it'll happen.  

Thanks for stopping by.

PS  I used two 50 cent words up top to trip up the sensors....

PPS Someone said they were up for it.  I need to tighten it up, but it'll be ready in a day or three.  Thanks for the interest.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Argh, Etc.

Harsh news on the home front.  It has been keeping my mind preoccupied.  Sorry about the lack of new stuffuss.  Preparing my mind for the next steps.  Steps I've never even considered or wanted.  On this, I had no plan B.  May God be merciful to me. 

Didja see this???   


Me, too 

I have been busy.....  honest....

  • Working on a biz plan for the side work I've been doing, so I can keep doing it.
  • Finishing up a project that has broken all desire to ever see a similar device.
  • A few new responsibilities at the day job and a dawning realization that I may never get to retire from it.
  • Rekindling a friendship after a buddy's return from decades overseas.
  • Educating myself about a new diagnosis.  One that I have had since the spark of life.  One that has flavored everything I've ever done.  And is incredibly frustrating to work through.  Oh, there's a pill for that, too? 
  • Working on cleaning up clutter (like my patron saint, Saint Phil the Hoplophile). 

A bit maudlin perhaps?

I surround myself with pictures of men that I remember reading about, men that lived lives worth emulating.  

 Here's one:



He did the best he knew how.  He didn't quit until he was done.  I aspire to that.  I take courage from men like this.  Men that stuck it out.  Men that didn't quit when they were tired. Men that didn't stop until they were finished.  Men that gracefully moved on when it was called for.

Some of you guys that come by to visit, I read what you write on the webz, and I take courage from it.  Know this, that if no one else cares about what you say, I do.  Most of you are brothers, friends I've never met.  Men that live lives that, at least parts of if not most of, are worth emulating.  Folks that I wouldn't mind meeting.... well, once anyway!  Don't want to promise too much...

Last year was a tough one.  This one has a looming shadow that I can't seem to shake loose from.  I understand the image of the hammerfall now.  Waiting....

Working on hope for the future.  Preparing for major changes in my orbit.  

Thanks for caring enough to come by and visit.  I have a tonne of stuff to edit and put up....  Finding the umph has been... difficult.

Side note:  did you know that this was prayed for you?   I did.  I needed to hear it again, too.

John 17

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Soggy Sweltering Muggy

 For you guys that live way up north I thought I'd send you a warm, sultry greeting from down here in south Texas.  I pass this spot a few times every week.

It sure is a pretty place.


Down here, it feels like working in the Jolly Green Giant's armpit.  Or a nice, wet, wool blanket on hot asphalt in direct sunlight in Death Valley in August with some joker steam cleaning you...

I think every wrinkle I've ever had has been steamed out.  I probably look younger than ever.

I may send a note asking when I can come visit.  This is getting ridonkulous.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 Working on it...

How do you check spark on a blog?

I have been busy....  Didn't realize how busy until I saw it's been a couple months since posting.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Quick tips on marking out

I bought some real marking out dye, red and blue.  Blue in a spray can that lost pressure and put out 20 times too much.  And some red in a bottle.  That seems to get all over me when I use it.

Years ago, I found out that blue Sharpie markers make pretty decent marking out dye.  I bought a box of 10 or so...  I still have a few left.  And 5 years hasn't been kind to them....

I got this all on my hand. I tried some turpentine, and smeared it all over my palm and two fingers.  I found some IPA, isopropal alcohol to you and me, and it cut most of it off.  Oh, hey! I found a cut I didn't know I had!  Noice.

The blue seems to build up when you go over it a few times.  The black seems to strip off what is down already.  I like blue better anyway. 

I have some cutting to do, so here is the kit.

Not shown are the leak-o-matic marker and a Professor Pete approved visor.  

I used the firm joint for a scribe, it's was sitting right there asking to help.


Don't fight with the part you are trying to hold.  Especially if you are trying to be accurate.  I didn't and I was.  That Stanley vise was a great score on 'bay.  I was shocked at how cheap I got it.  Paid about the same for the swing jaw and grooved jaw.  Got impatient, so paid a premium.

The profile wasn't tapered, but it didn't like the smooth jaws, so a scrap paper liner firmed up the grip.  I like to use what's handy, and the bit of cloth in the paper helps, it seems.

That green paper used to fill up my tank with gas.  Something changed though.  The gas didn't get better, or bigger.  The tank on my truck didn't get bigger, but the paper doesn't seem to fill it up anymore.  I measure the paper, and it didn't get smaller.  Plus, it still has the same number on it.  I guess it just doesn't pull as much weight as it used to.    Might as well use it for something constructive.  The folks that made it seem to want to take that away from it...

Those marks are within 1/64th of where I wanted them.  And that is good enough.  Now, I need to find a hatchet to cut it, a hammer to fit it and a maybe some self-tapping screws to hold it down....

Monday, March 15, 2021

Unknowable Inscrutible Mechanical / Electronic Marvels


A lot of wisdom there, John.

STxAR, I love reading these. I only understand about 20% of it, but it is fun trying to figure it out.


 Thanks, TB.  You made me think....

I find myself drawn to things.  Mechanical things.  Electronic things.  I can't really help it.  I cannot begin to compile the amount of stuff I worked on over the years.  Things I tore into as a kid.  Things that I reduced to scrap and was unable to reassemble.  Things I fixed for others, or myself.  It's called "The Knack".

Not me, but a reasonable cartoon representation

I was undiagnosed as a kid.  But everyone knew I had it.  Dad was not impressed.  I can't  really blame him though.  He had to fix what I couldn't or didn't.  (We won't talk about the stuff he couldn't fix and how he vented his frustrations.  He got some aerobic exercise, and I learned some things shouldn't be fooled with.)

There was an old hardware store in downtown Lubbock.  High on a wall was a sign that said "Knowledge can take it apart, Wisdom can put it back together again."  Dad pointed at it once, and said, "You are very knowledgeable."  That wasn't his only backhanded compliment.  But it prompted me to go farther, and get "wisdom".

I have this curiosity that compels me to investigate.  The best thing I can do is try and direct it.  I haven't been able to stop it.  And I don't want to.


99 Suburban update

Did you know that a 5.7 Vortec likes about 60 psi of fuel pressure to start reliably?  It'll run on 50, but starting is 60.  And that injector I replaced worked great.  Until the fuel pump began to really have problems.  Also, if you run one dry, it'll kill the pump.  One and done.  And this one appears to have had that happen some time in the past.  I killed a 98 GMC Savanna pump once just like that.  I learned to keep it full.  But this one went dry once too often some time in the past.  Even if it was only once.  New parts on the waaaay....

Friday, March 12, 2021

Guest Post, part 2


Next project 
Spray gun nozzles.
I'd bought one of these 15 dollar spray guns a while ago to try it out and spray some latex. 

But the instructions advised against spraying latex. The gun sat on a shelf for some time and I got interested again when we did a medium facelift in our bathroom and decided to paint the two pine doors when the weather turns nice enough to do it outside this year.
The internet says that you can drill out the nozzle on the cheap gun, thin the latex a bit, and get good results. The internet also says that instead of drilling out the nozzle from 1.4 mm to 2.0 mm I could buy replacement nozzles that would fit the gun. 
I ordered a 1.7 mm and a 2.0 mm nozzle from China. When they arrived they didn't fit because the thread number was the same, but the threads were a bit larger than the original. They are some sort of stainless steel.  

The internet told me how to change the gear train to cut metric, and I followed the chart numbers. But the threads were close to the shoulder of the nozzle, and my external threading bit  just wouldn't fit. I bought this set because I wanted an internal threading bar because the tool my dad had ground only allowed me to thread a short distance. 
The design of this tool let me cut very close to the shoulder, and the carbide insert worked great to cut the stainless. I used a HSS parting tool to deepen the thread relief groove next to the shoulder, then I turned down the OD before the threads and used the same tool to cut off the existing threads. Then I locked the half nuts, and threaded the nozzle by turning the chuck by hand. 
On the second nozzle I used power. I also changed my technique a bit. I found that my right hand wants to turn the lathe's power switch in the right hand direction and whether that's muscle memory or habit I don't know. I do know that that habit caused a minor crash against the shoulder of the second nozzle when I went forward instead of reversing as I had intended. I then changed to using my left hand to reverse, and that seemed to work out very well. 
It went this way:
Skim cut by hand rotation of the chuck. 
Reverse until the tool is clear.
Zero the dial.
Advance the feed a couple of thou.
Cut the threads and stop the feed. 
Power reverse. 
Repeat until the threads will fit where they have to go. 

I learned a lot about metric threading, and I found out as expected that using a HSS parting tool to cut stainless was a bit tough because it took a bit of extra pressure before the bit dug in and started cutting.

Something we don't ever seem to talk about. What did it cost?

The HVLP gun cost 15 dollars. 
The two replacement nozzles cost around 30 dollars but each nozzle was a complete set of the long part, the nozzle and the nozzle cover.
The carbide threading set cost 41 dollars. 
And maybe two hours total standing at the lathe.
I was talking to a friend who asked whether the additional investment in the 15 dollar tool was worth it. Hmm. After thinking about it, I returned to Harbor Freight and bought a 75dollar HVLP spray gun. It was an easy rationalization. :)
And much like the old saying that if you only have a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail, if you have machine tools, then every problem can be solved by using them. Except that every problem really can be solved by using machine tools. 

Disclaimer.  I am not a real machinist, and I rarely figure out what speed and feed I should be using. It is very satisfying to create something that does what you need it to do by using machine tools and your skills. 

Take care, 

STxAR addendum:  If you machine you are a machinist.  You may not be a pro, but you aren't a button pusher either.  Us "figure it out on our own" guys are just like the fellows that did the same thing in the past.   Eating trig tables and squirting out parts....

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Guest Post!!!

 John in Philly has commented quite a few times, and we've run into each other around the net-world on occasion.

He mentioned some work he had done, and then sent a blog worthy run down to me via email.  With pictures, yet!

I asked permission to repost and here it is, for your enjoyment:

                            The Lampshade project. 

Cast of characters.:
Me. John 

Wife. Best Wife Ever. 
Best Wife Ever bought a Baldwin Brass Company floor lamp a bunch of years ago, and the shade had once again aged out and needed to be replaced. The last time this happened we took it to a small backstreet lamp and shade repair store and they stripped the shade frame and recovered it. 
Time passed, and the shade aged out again and the cloth became brittle. 
But the employee that overhauls the shades had retired without a replacement. 
The owner of the store and Best Wife Ever worked together and agreed on a replacement shade of the same quality. We bring the shade home, and Best Wife Ever begins to install it. But the lampshade retention system used by Baldwin turns out to be a different size than the normal. 
The new shade won't fit and Best Wife Ever wants to use the new shade because she likes it. What to do? 
If only we had a small machine shop in the basement. Wait! We do have a small machine shop in the basement. 
All I have to do is to take some measurements, do a bit of math, and then machine an adapter so that Best Wife Ever can use the shade she likes. And since the lamp is now using LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs, I can machine the adapter from PVC because heat isn't an issue. 
I mentally sketch what I need, dig through the leftover PVC fittings, find what I need to start, and begin  figuring out the tooling and sizes.I plan on making a screw together gizmo that will go over the three arms of the shade, and the brass finial that functions to hold the shade in place will screw into my gizmo. 
I will need to turn some ODs, cut two internal threads, and one external thread. 
OK. This will be my first ever internal thread and I've had that lathe for a little more than 20 years. 
The thread count is 20 tpi and I need an internal threading bar. I find that I don't have an internal threading bar, but I do find something I can use in my shoebox of hand-me-down tool bits I got from my machinist father.I can use this to make it work, and when I can use a tool that my father made with his own hands, I can literally feel the connection to him. 

This is the brass finial that won't fit on the new shade. 

This is not the shade, but shows how the center ring should fit up into the finial, and then the knurled ring will push the triple arms up the slots.


But the new shade has a center ring that is larger than the original and will not fit up into the brass finial.

There isn't enough metal to bore the hole larger. After some time at the lathe, and a trip to get a PCV piping adapter sized to make the knurled ring, I have completed the adapter. 

No wires were used to check the thread sizing. I used the technique of cutting the threads until the parts fit together.  I was getting ready to part off the PVC knurled ring, and I realized that plastic is way weaker than metal, so I left it long. 
Best Wife Ever is happy and I got more learning on single point thread cutting, and using the change gears. 

The most interesting part was when I was cutting the internal threads for the knurled ring and I needed to figure out what size to bore out the ID before I started cutting the threads. The threading charts lacked information on what I determined to be 1.33" X 20 tpi internal threads.  I spent some time reading up on the subject, then did the math for 20 tpi thread depth and it all worked out.

Adapter and shade before adding the finial to it.

Yes, there's a shoulder in there.


John in Philly.


Here is a quick tutorial on internal threading by Professor Pete


 All in all, a successful project, and a happy missus.  Win - win!!

Thanks for letting me post this, John.  Job well done!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Machinist Rage

 I don't know who you are......

                    But I will find you........

                                And when I do.......




For the love of all that is holy, or just because some poor dipstick is going to take it apart someday, put a flat on ANYTHING that is gonna get a set screw driven into it.


I mean, how hard is this.... really....

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Recipe Time with STxAR

During the cold snap, I wanted some hearty goodness.  I remembered some leftover pork roast, and it started a memory hole.

I took the job I have now in 1997.  My manager's office was in SE Houston, just inside the beltway.  I think the address was on Fuqua.  Don't ask, I never could get that right.  He delighted in pronouncing it as pornographically as possible.

My manager took to me to Pe-Te's on Highway 3, right across the road from Ellington Field.  Like every great place to eat, it looked like a shack.  Gravel parking lot, LOADED with real folks and that weirdly Houston poser/zipper-head type guy.  If you've been there for a while, you know what I mean.

Most are carrying these styrofoam to go cups, with steam billowing out, and the smells are heavenly.  Jim says, "just get a medium, that's plenty."  So, I order a medium red beans and rice, with sweet tea.  As we sat down, I looked around.  Pictures and license plates on the walls so thick you couldn't see what was under them.  Poloroids or Kodak snaps, not framed stuff.  Astronauts, pilots in front of jets, lots of history hanging there.  It's right across from an Air Force base, makes perfect sense, they know good food.

And the food!!!  WOW!  Very good, better than I ever deserved to eat. 

Sadly, like all good things, it's history.

I decided to make something that at least looked like what I remember.  I had to go to the gettin-place to pick up some spicy that I didn't have handy.

I took the completed mess to my epicurean daughter, to get her reaction.  She was smitten.  It turned out really tasty, and it kept me warm and windy for most of the week.

My daughter asked me for the recipe, and I thought you might like to make some.

Pe-Te's red beans and rice (well, almost a reasonable facsimile)


Cook up a pork shoulder roast.  Easy peasy.  Sear before cooking, simple spices: salt,pepper, cut onions, some coffee (not stale!)  Slow cooker until falling apart tender.  Optional step: hide on the bottom shelf of the fridge until you forget about it.  Cut it up a bit, then mash it.  Instant pulled pork.

Cook up some red kidney beans, I used dried ones and put them in the slow cooker.  Spice to taste: cut onions, salt and pepper.

Louisiana brand Cajun Seasoning AND Frank's Red Hot.

Realize you've never made rice before.  Read how ridiculously easy it is. Get ready to fail, cause it seems to always happen.  Cook the rice and be surprised at how easy it is.  (beginner's luck)


Take a quart or so of the beans and juice in a big bowl, add in a few heaping heated piles of pulled pork roast.  Add too much cajun seasoning by pouring instead of shaking .  Open Frank's Red Hot, and make a mess on the cabinet.  In disgust, forget to put the top back on, and pour entirely too much into the beans and meat.  Mix well.  Drop rice by rounded serving spoonfuls between the stove and cabinet.  Move the bowl to the stove and try again.  Spread the rice around, and drop the near nuclear waste beans and meat mixture on top.  Serve to unsuspecting family members.

After Action Report:

I made enough to last the entire week...  It was really tasty, and was close enough to the original to give me a memory jog about the good days.  Days when my company was like a family, and not another major, international, corporate playground for lawyers and cpa's to foul up.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021


 Stuff like this is really interesting to me.


Neat little geegaw on the video editor too.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sunny South Texas!

Gravy, it is here.  Every day I checked the weather, they would lower the low temperature forecast.  If they are correct, we won't see the high side of 32 degrees Freedom until Tuesday.



I needed some parts and had to head over to the Gettin Place.  The dirt is still warm enough to keep water wet, but the windshields are frozen.

I figure some of you southern boys would need this info, so, it's worth what you are paying for it.  They don't sell ice scrapers this close to the sun.  So what do you do?

Any old Boy Scout electricians out there besides me? 

Good luck folks, keep warm, and let the faucets run a bit...

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Calendar is on FFWD

 The speed of this year is impressive.  Time is flying.  

I've been working a project, and I have found multiple parts needing rework.  Not sure if it was contracted first to a foreign shop, or if these are parts that didn't make the cut, but were sold anyway.

Lots of work for me, anyhow.

One of the parts that was specified wrong was this little gear.  It's used as a stop of sorts, so no rotation or power transmitted with it.

Finished Product

I figured it would be interesting to film a bit of the process and make a little video of it.  


What follows contains language from a nearly lost dialect of American English from West Texas.  This is noted by hard R's among other irritating and hard to decipher vocal sounds.  Proceed with audio enabled at your own risk.  You have been warned.

Hey, if Phil and 4GSR could do, I figure I can, too.

Featuring a 1946 Logan 200 lathe.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Thanks, Phil

 So Phil made a comment and it sparked a memory.  

Story time...

We drove all day to go to my brother's wedding.  His buddy decided to throw him a bachelor party.  So, saddle up, boys, we are heading out...

Side note:  My bachelor party was pizza, pinball, goofing off, no major big deal at all, but just tons of fun with guys I grew up with.  All I really remember is joking around with a bunch of farmers, smiles, laughs, and friendship. This could be fun.

I hop in my brother-in-law's truck and off we go.  It's getting dark, I'm bushed from a 12 hour road trip, and start dozing off....  The RV point was a strip club parking lot...  "Wait, what? Where are we going?"    BIL says, "okay men, what happens here stays here. No tales will be told."  Not quite what I was expecting, but then I'm a simple hick, not a man about town...

Side note:  I had a big spiritual problem with this.  And a big mental problem with it.  This is not something I condone or encourage.  Just like putting raw pork chops in your pocket and teasing all the bobcats you can call up...  I want to support my brother, but not like this.  What to do? Science brain speaks up, "Okay bud, observe, see what they do, this is an experiment and you are the researcher.  Problem solved! Detached professionalism....  


We pay the 5 bucks at the door, and find a table to sit at.  Since I'm no drinker, I pay 3 bucks for a Dr. Pepper.  I'm always the designated driver in a situation like this...  Women everywhere, dressed to impress.  As the night progressed an older guy starts paying ladies to "dance" for my brother.  The amount of money he dropped was impressive.  "Wow, that was enough to pay my gas bill to drive here."  "Dang, He just paid for one of my new tires."  What is the point of giving that much dough just to see her bones wiggle through her skin?
Side note:  I'm a mid 30's, father of 3, working an engineering job, making less than median in Houston.  I didn't have 10 bucks to spend on anything.  I figured I could spend maybe 15 dollars there, max.  And then the covert Pete's Pastrami run with my daughter was still possible for lunch the next day.  Hmmmm....

Some young thing walks up and asks me to buy her a drink.  Sure! 
(Research for science in 3, 2, 1...)  I paid 5 bucks for her fruit punch, and she sits down to visit.
Me                           Her
Worked here long?  Yeah about a year.
Make good money?  Oh yeah, a lot!
More than your expenses? Yes! almost, *blush* money to burn.
Have a day job?  Not anymore, but I trained as a secretary.
How long do you plan to work?  They make you stop when you turn 26. 
Are you investing or saving the extra?  Bleep, blurp, ding, whiz, pop! What? No!
So let me get this straight, you have an almost unlimited earning potential, and a set point where you will not be able to do this anymore, and you aren't making any preparation for the end?  You could be set if you play it right!  I gotta go.

Right then, I realized that not only were the big spenders idiots, so where the wigglers.  This was a place that had no point.  It was stupid beyond anything I'd ever experienced.

Thank you, no.

And our wives found out anyway and they were beyond angry.  
My research project was only profitable for me.  No one else cared what I discovered.

And lest you think I'm a total block head, there was this ice cube that severely tested my professionalism and detachment, it is burned into my mind, and I will likely never forget it.....


That excellent gif is from here.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Photo Essay

Okay, my previous post didn't paint a decent picture,so a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here is the gear in it's home.

Side View


Overhead view

and finally....

Exploded view?

Those two black parts are collars, that keep the gear where you want it.  The builders turned down the bolt to make a stub shaft.  It bolts through the side.  BUT....  The shaft is supposed to be 0.5" diameter, and it's some bit bigger, each is different sized but all are too big.

I've got to resize the shaft bolts to fit correctly, and make the bushings to fit the 0.75" hole in the gear and the newly turned down 0.5" shaft.

Rework is a hoot!!! Or not, for small values of hoot.  I'd rather have these uniform and not a custom one off job on each bolt.  So, lathe work tonight!  Alright!!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Proof of Concept

 Had a quick job to do today.  Had to check and see if this was worth doing or not.

Small gear, Boston 20 tooth.  Needed a 'reducer' to fit a half inch shaft.  There are two stop collars that are half inch so a quick sleeve would make this work RIGHT NOW.  This was spec'd wrong.  It has a 0.75" hole for a 0.5" shaft. 

So, here it is, pressed in the middle and ready for install.

The neat part: this doesn't rotate.  It is used as a stop.  Very interesting design.

Any way, This week has blown by, and left me in the dust.  My plan to post a million times this year is now behind schedule.  

Library Additions


I spent a few minutes visiting with my mentor this week.  He gave me treasure....

Editions 1,2,3,4,6,7

I love books.  I like the way they smell.  I like the way they feel.  Their weight says value.  And I LOVE the information that they hold.  They are there, rain or shine.  Ready to give what they hold by candle light, in an afternoon porch swing or any place you have light enough to read.  I have had the most wonderful trips, met the most amazing people, and have actually understood the mind of the long gone author by reading books.  I know it's old fashioned, but a library is a good thing.  And the way our betters are cutting people out of the loop, it won't surprise me in the least if our access to knowledge is curtailed... for some 'sin' we may or may not have done.
Looking at a website that has a scanned copy just isn't the same as knowing that I am holding a cherished tool.  Maybe it helped make the Jenny of WW1, or the P-47 or P-38 in WW2.  Did they use it to manufacture the iron lung that kept folks alive in the 50's?  You just never know where they come from, or what their owners did.  Yeah, I'm a bit mystic about historical objects, but I have a pretty active imagination.  
Hey, quick, what does a lathe apron look like?  You know, a cut away diagram.
Created with a pencil, a ruler, and a hunk of rubber... among other things

Hey, have you ever seen the drill press the Keith Fenner has?

How cool is that?

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 9, 2021


Well it appears we did see a yeet.  And now the there is a yeet to get rid of President Trump less than a fortnight before the inauguration.  Why would that be?  I think it is fear.

Inquiring minds would like to know.

New email for direct comms: budgetmachining at protonmail dot com

I've been working on a few projects.  more to follow.

But I find my mind wandering through the past two months.  What did I see?  What do I make of this?  How do I go forward?  How do I prepare and execute the right plan?  The pirouette of the mind can be paralyzing.  Especially when hope seems lost.

"In the course of human events...."

I find myself speaking low, "Pray for clarity and truth, Look around, See what is really happening here, Remember what you see and what you know.  Be strong and of a good courage.  Stand with resolve for the ones that look to you for strength."

Courage and Faith brothers.  We aren't the first to see this happen, we won't be the last.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

What's a yeet?

 Have you seen this pic?  Or one of it's many iterations?


H/T Ninetymiles blog

I was drinking coffee, reading the folks I trust this morning and it struck me.  Those guys on line three are spelling out yeet.

I wonder if we are about to see a yeet.  


I made myself laugh....

Sometimes the old wet ware sees patterns in the weirdest places....

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Steady Rest

I used a steady rest for the first time on the Logan.  I've watched folks do this a few times, and since I was just knocking rust off, I figured it was time to try it out.

Genuine Logan Accessory

I'll include a link to how to set these up.  Or maybe a couple links.

Here is Mr. Pete - This is the gospel according to St. Lyle

Here is Joe Pie up in Austin Texas - This is the high precision, professional way

Here is Quinn at Blondie Hacks - This is the hobby machinist view

If you look close, you'll see some black tarry goop on the tubing.  That is something that Mr. Pete mentioned some years back.  When I was first starting, I'd watch Mr. Pete and if he said it was good, it was ordered.  I've had this stuff for a while now, and it works as advertised.  I shudda bathed in this stuff this year.

Machinist's Brylcreem

Extra Credit Question:  What was Brylcreem's tag line?  

My runout at the rest was about .010"  Not good enough for precision work, but okay for a red Scotch Brite® 7447B scrub.  That stuff knocked the rust of easily.  I used a doubled strip about an inch wide, backed by a file.

I did some smaller shafting previously, and there was this wafting fog of rust dust moving around while I worked.  I wiped the ways after I was done, somewhat OCD about this Logan.  Mr. Garcia did a great job of maintaining it from 1946 until he passed in the early 90's.  I got it after it sat for 10 years.  So, I don't want to offend his attention to detail by being a dip.

Hmmmmm.... how to protect the ways?  

I took a paper sack, like civilized people used in the pre-enlightened age.  You remember that time right?  Back when trash could actually decompose over time? Or you needed to start a fire in the fireplace or wood stove?  Or you needed to protect a borrowed book? I used some old hard drive magnets to hold it down, then hit it with a light spray of oil (WD40 works) to latch onto the dust.

paper sack, 1946 Logan, hard drive magnets, a man's shop
Multiple historical artifacts pictured above

Not borrowed, but I still want to keep it protected!!

It worked well, and I still wiped and lubed the snot out of the ways.  Oh, about the book.  I'm a "nuts and bolts" guy.  I like to know how things work, like, how EVERYTHING works.  I can't help it.

This is an old school steady.  It has rubbers not rollers.  That may need to be rectified/retrofitted at some point in the future.  But this worked well for me on this job.

Thanks for stopping by the shop.

Saturday, January 2, 2021


This won't be about machining.  This is more personal.  If you don't want to read it, that is fine.  I'll be back to machining soon.



I have begun to crave clarity.   I know I've mentioned it before.  Seeing clearly is such a gift.  As I've aged, my eyes have started to do what all old eyes do.  One eye has gotten better at distance, while losing near vision, and the other has done  just the opposite.  Vision changes as we get older...

Did you ever think that vision could be painful?  I had a close call last year with a detachment of the vitreous in my eye.  A big purple streak in one eye, like an arc flash, on a cloudy day while I was driving.  No reason to have that, and it lasted for well over 90 minutes.  I had two laser treatments since, as I have a family history of detachments of the retina.  Both eyes are doing well.  But those treatments were very nearly torture.  The bright flashes of a green laser and pressure on my eyeball were tough to endure.  But I still have good vision.  Clarity cost me a bit of pain.

Clarity of position this year has been quite painful too.  Seeing family members suffer without any ability to mitigate it put me in my place in January / February.  God is the only One who can mitigate that type of suffering.  Slamming headlong into my own physical weakness through the head injury was sobering.  Having family abandon me in the midst of being unable to care for myself showed me their priorities.  It also showed me that I could manage just enough to keep body and soul together, God gave me strength to do that.  I didn't have it in me to.  Having a coworker submarine me was harsh, but I needed to negotiate for myself. And I was successful, but only with God's intervention.  Watching the .gov abandon all pretense of integrity has clearly shown me that God is the only one that cares for the people under His authority.

I follow scripture as best I can understand it: "a man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh."  I started a family, and they are all adults now.  I've had setbacks, but they have brought clarity.  Knowing where you stand is priceless.  It's painful too, but I'm not focusing on the pain.  I'm focusing on the clarity.

So, here I present something I have shamelessly borrowed.  I found my path coming close to this already.  It was oddly prescient.  Prescient: adjective, having or showing knowledge of events before they take place.


  1. As I am a Christian and as such will continue in my Christian beliefs and expect myself to live in the confines of orthodox Biblical Christianity, seeking like minded believers.  I must never be complacent in study and reading of the Bible as it is the revealed Word of God, Himself.*

  1. As I am an adult responsible for providing for myself, I will live, invest, and save in the expectation that no-one can or should support me.

  1. As the power to tax is the power to destroy, I will do everything in my power to legally minimize the amount of taxes that I have to pay.

  1. As the growth of government is the growth of the ability to control the individual and impede freedom, I will do all I legally can to slow or deny this growth.

  1. As physical fitness enables all other aspects of life, I will do all in my power to maintain my body in as healthy and strong a state as I can.

  1. As privacy is the ability to live one’s life free from interference and oversight, I will do all in my power to eschew public and social media attention.

  1. As money is the ability to act in an economic world, I will buy only that which is needed and planned for, buy used before new where sensible and possible, and seek to use, reuse, and extend the life of all items I own as long as possible.

  1. As independence from the cash and debt based economic system is the ability to act freely, I will seek minimize my needs and to provide as much of them as is possible.

  1. As we have become a society which values number of contacts over the depth of those contacts and has given those contacts the right to judge the individual, I will seek to narrow my relationships to like minded individuals with whom I share an active, ongoing involvement instead those based on a distant, social media relationship or those who feel even a vague acquaintance gives them the right to judge my fitness to participate in society.

  1. As as student of Holy Writ, I will seek to continue to train my body and my mind to live in harmony with the precepts of it, seeking the enlightenment that comes from truly understanding the Author of it, as He reveals Himself through the Word, in me, to affect my sphere of influence.*


     You are reading his blog every day, right?  

     Feel free to ask how the progress is progressing.  I welcome accountability.

    To those of you who commented last year, the encouragement you gave was needed and appreciated.  I can't even tell you how much.  I'd punch you in the arm if you were standing next to me.

    Okay, back to normal, scheduled programming.

    borrowed image