Saturday, January 29, 2022

IT's ALIVE!!!!!!

The giant plasma table (gravity conservation device) is alive and working.  It's pretty cool.  I had to order some muffs, though.  It's loud!  I need some darker shades, too.  The plasma is brighter than the oxy shades can handle.  

Of course I tried it out!  What did I cut???  

Gotta start somewhere...

yeah, yeah, I'm still learning the software.  It'll get better over time.   Quality pass, with the 100A orifice!!  Not too shabby. Letters are 2 inches tall.

Man, this is exciting...  I'm hoping to earn a little scratch with this.....  time will tell.

This thing zips thru 12 gauge like nothing, cut's 1/4 inch effortlessly, and burns through 1 inch plate like a boss.  Too much fun!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

New Horizons

Well, I got word today that I've been displaced.  The way it works, you get 90 days to return to work.  If you file the proper paper work every month, you can extend that to 180 days.  That was Sunday.  They looked all over the company to see if anyone needed a wheezing geezer, and no body did.  Working the long term disability stuff now.  I sure am thankful I have that coverage through the company!  


My welder buddy bought this plasma table back in March.  It sat for months while we had other work going.  I was finishing up a project that just kept getting interrupted.  He was busy, too.  After I finished my little project, and cleared out the area around this thing, I started working on it in earnest.  Figured out that in shipping the gantry moved and stripped a belt.  Found those  ordered  a couple and fixed it quick.  The other axis was jumping and skipping and I thought it probably needed one as well.  So now I have spare for both.  The pc was a lash up.  It looked like a tornado hit a spare parts bin and out came a computer.  No case, just a kloodge of wiring and usb ports..... usb ports were hanging every where.  I left it running back in December, , and it started updating Windows.... And trashed the master boot record.  I could get it to boot on a spare pc at home, but never got the thing to work on the table.  I replaced it with a reconditioned one that will handle the next software upgrade, and it's smooth as silk. Turns out the old pc was glitching when it was moving the gantry and torch unit.  Too much for the old thing to do smoothly.  Got the software licensing moved over to the new owner and found out the maker of the table.  

Not this one, but similar.  Two things not shown are the torch unit and the pc.

A plasma table is really just a computer numerically controlled machine / table.  It has three axis movement.  You can put any kind of cutter on it you want:  plasma torch, oxy-gas torch, water jet, laser, router, engraver, sharpie marker, chalk, whatever.  This one is about 20 years old and has a big plasma torch on it.  I have a tiny 3D printer at home.  But it is exactly the same concept.  My 3D printer is a little thing, the welder's table has a workspace of 60 x 120 inches and can burn thicknesses up to 1.5 inches of steel plate.  Not hobby sized, it's a machine tool.


What can it do?  It can cut almost anything you can draw in two dimensions.

This gif shows one with a water filled table.  They muffle enhance the sound and keep the fumes down.  My bud's table has a downdraft fan.  It'll pull the vapors down and blow them out of the building.  I still need to vent that outside.  Right now, I just wear a welder's filter mask.

The software is very good.  It monitors the plasma machine and adjusts the torch height to keep it cutting.  It has a sensor to set the work height so you don't have to manually do that.  And it has a wonderful lookup table that automatically adjusts the speed based on material thickness and type.  I am really looking into getting a CO2 laser for it.  As well as an engraver.  It is the biggest table in the county that I know of.  How fortunate that I know how this works and he needs someone to work it.

 I have a lot to learn.  There are some finer points on running one of these that I don't know. But computer aided drafting and industrial electronics are things I've dabbled in for years.  It plays to all my interests and work history.  Too cool.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Time Wounds All Heels

Man, has it been a tough few months or what?  I am bushed.

that's me on the right...

Between the doctor's office manager that can't work a fax, or figure out how to call and verify that receipt of a fax, to insurance companies that change out great reps for morons that make a single request and never followup on it; I'm worn down.

It's a never ending mess, seems.  Two full time jobs now:  healing up as best I know how and keeping the information flowing between doctor, insurance and work.  Part time job is finding some scratch to fill in when the insurance is farting around and not paying the claim... 

Life has been a clapped out roller coaster, and I have not one thing to complain about.  Mike is in the meat grinder, Cedarq took a major hit, Phil and BCE are dealing with ridiculously insane groupies from Ricky Rat's lair, it's like the world is losing it's mind.  Or I am.

 Or I'm just tired...

Getting the gumption up to take care of normal business is taking effort now.  Still loads to do.  

This got painted finally...

is chuck tree a word?


Got the casters last summer before I got sick.  Nephew painted it a week ago, and I loaded it up the other day.  I still have a bit of work to do on top.  I have a little crane to install so I don't have to pickup that monster chuck on the bottom by hand (as if I could anymore).  Just a bit of welding, grinding and more painting  and it'll be done and ready.

Started to move things around in the shop to get the old LeBlond out and move in the Sheldon.  Still very slow going with the lack of lung power.  And, it's an elective at this point.  The main stuff is riding herd on the doctor, insurance, the work stuff.  And trying to figure out the way forward on the legal front.  No movement there to speak of.

I got a pc running the buddy's plasma table.  The old one choked on a hairball.  The new one runs the table smoothly and it'll run the next version of software, too.  License for the software has been moved to his company and working on getting the table info updated.  Found some neat free DXF files for it, and after the consumables come in, I'll cut some of them out.  Looks like that may be my pork chop money going forward.  Especially if the insurance can't get their heads out of their collective...... armpits.  When I get it running, if you need anything cut, let me know.  We'll work out good prices, especially if it fits in a USPS one rate box or envelope.

How cool is that?  Working in a welding shop with compromised lungs.  Death Wish part XXXIV.  I'm saving for powered grinding / welding respirator.  

 I guess that's it.  Kind of a weakly update...  heh....

So, remember kids:                                         KYHOYA!

Thanks to Dean Grennell for the great memory!  He sent me some of those stickers to post around the house....  almost 30 years ago..... 

Friday, January 7, 2022

Canadian Bacon!!

 Are you sure?

Life happened since the last post.  Everything got in my way.  I had a trip laid on this week.. Canceled.  I had a hot job come in.  Got that out the door at 1130 today, just in time to put new skins on the Zoomie Ferd.  I may take it next week on that trip, unsure about that though.

Therefore, the Canadian Bacon languished in the brine for 6 days.  After I returned home, I got out the Big Chief Smoker and set everything on Otto Pilot.  First up was the last of the Hickory chips....  Then about two and a half hours of modest heat followed by Apple chips.  I removed it, let it rest a bit.  I didn't cook it in the smoker, it's mostly a cold smoker.  And this loin was ten pounds.  

I whipped up some cardboard tube biscuits, heated the meat and had a snack.  WOW!!!!

That smokey end piece reminded me of smoking grape vine.  I'm just hoping my tongue doesn't swell up like that again.  I wondered why the scout master didn't stop us.  He was only there to keep us from having fun, and he didn't make a peep while we were smoking our way through the pile we gathered.  Next morning, my tongue was so swollen that drinking water was harsh.  I guess he had fun that weekend.  Laughing at all the hung over scouts that learned ALL about grape vine.  One and done.

It's been an hour, and my tongue is still upset at me for the tailgate I ate.  It was almost like eating the smoke out of a chimney.  There was a bit more flavor in there than that.  I figure the farther I get into the loin, the better it will be.

I decided to finish it off in the stove.  I'm letting it soak at 200° F, until the internals hit 150° F.  I think that's kosher for pork. Wait.....
So, to summarize...  six days in the brine, four and half hours in the smoker, unknown amount of time in the oven to finish up.  First taste was a tongue spanking with a hickory hammer handle, followed by some undertones of Canadian Baconesque notes.  It has all the subtlety of a nasty loud fart, on those sounding board desk seats we had, during a final exam that is 90% of your grade, that wafts a hint of mercaptan for the remainder of test.  It is really hard to concentrate on anything else right now.  I ate it over two hours ago, and it is still..... there.
I'm gonna call this Filthie Bacon.  It definitely is much more potent than Canadian Bacon.  Ten wonderful pounds of Filthie Bacon.  

Canadian Bacon

Filthie Bacon

I wonder how it would taste drowned in pineapple on a bread crust with spicy tomato sauce sprinkled with cheese.  I could cook that in the oven for a while..... at least until the cheese melted.....  
I gotta go fix this tongue.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2022 Day 1, Post 1

Am I a Foodie?

Man, that is a hard question for me to answer.   Probably a little.  But not for avant garde type stuff.  I just like eating stuff I haven't before and eating stuff I like to eat.  
No fishy flavors.  Or rot.  Not really interested in that.  That leaves out fishy fish, sea bugs, fish embryos, and that pressurized rot in a can from Scandinavia.  I can do fish if you fry it till it loses it's fish flavor.

I really liked this pepper bacon they sell, but it got so darned expensive, I quit buying it.  Instead, I started buying pork bellies and making my own.  It's pretty easy.  I follow Tim Farmer's 3 Day Bacon recipe.

1/3 cup maple surple
1/3 cup kosher salt (I use canning salt)
1/3 cup brown sugar
black pepper to taste (1/4 to 1/2 cup for me)

Rinse the belly, pat dry with a towel, mix the stuff, stick it in a ziplock bag or baking dish,  then put the belly meat down on the mix. Seal up, refirgerate. Flip every day, or not.  I don't cause why bother.  THEN.....  pull it out, rinse off, pat dry, smoke for a bit and it's did.  I picked up a cheapo meat slicer that I hate, but it does sort of work.  I've gone to slicing it as needed lately.  I may try one of those vintage hand crank types.  Trying to wean myself from electric type stuff. 

I use this device to smoke with.  Look on warehouse deals.  Saved 40% doing that.  Yeah, wean off'n electricity.... sure.....

I've made a lot of this over the past year, so I'm pretty comfortable with the process now.  Did you know that smoking meat has an antibacterial property?  I found that I only need to smoke it for about an hour to give a really good flavor.  Normally, I'll cut it into quarters and freeze 3 of the 4. 

Hey..... when did I buy that.......   

So, digging into the freezer I found a pork loin.  I really liked the tenderness of this cut and always try and keep one handy.    Did you know Canadian Bacon can be made with this cut?  So today's recipe is:

After boiling the brine up, letting it cool and cutting the 10 lbs of loin into 4 lengths, I stuck it all in this device:

 It has a burp cover in it, so I can make sure the meat is covered completely.  Now, it goes in the cooler for 3-4 days, and then the smoker.  I'll update when I find out if it's any good or not.....  

I don't use pink salt.  Even though I have it.  Why bother if I have a freezer.  But if times get sporty, I can do that.

I've about given up on Kimchi.  I've tried it twice and both times, it has nearly conquered the kitchen and started moving troops on the living areas.....  Uh, no.  Maybe I'll try it's cousin sour kraut next.  Those Huns are always on the advance it seems.


Settle down there Atilla.