Thursday, January 14, 2021

off-road beemers

This is a slick off road beemer that I'm very fond of. There's a cheesy video below that shows it in action. I think they could have stuck with some footage of this transversing some rough terrain and that would have done it for me.

And here are a few more off-road beemers. They don't quite hit the mark, but they are still good reference for the day when I build one of these.

It needs a black or silver frame and full brushed aluminum bodywork; ditch the plastic front fender and white frame though...

This is more of a scrambler, but still decent reference. Not my favorite by any means, but still has some decent stuff happening here...

Tuesday, January 12, 2021



I have found myself thinking about the world lately. I stumbled on this talk and this conversation by Jordan Peterson late last night. I have been aware of Jordan Peterson for quite sometime, especially surrounding some of his controversial comments and stances. That said, here was something about the conversation that struck me. I am still sorting it all out and thinking about and through things, but I find myself pondering several things lately that were discussed here.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

porsche tractor

This would make a fine addition to the homestead. Can you imagine pushing snow with this or leveling out the rock on the driveway?




I really love the forms these old war planes had. They sounds amazing as well. I bet this is a rush to experience.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

alphatig improvements

I picked up a new torch, pedal, a gas lens and cup kit, and some lanthanated tungsten electrodes for this latest job I'm working on. I've not welded much aluminum over the years beside large castings. This finer work is way out of my ballpark. The welding class Eric, Ricky and I took in the School of Agriculture at U of I was awesome, but man, I needed to read up about what I needed for this job. Our instructor, Joe Harper, did a great job of covering all of the ends and outs through lecture and demo and I felt really good about my knowledge when the class was over (even if my skill was lacking). 

I start reading and talking to Eric last week though and it seems I need to go back to school. It's been almost twenty years since that class happened and it seems some tech has changed that I wasn't up to speed on. I have a cheap  AHP AlphaTig that I've not used much but the addition of these new tools transforms this machine. The old pedal felt like it was on or off with very little sensitivity, but the new one helps a lot. 

Ignore my first scrap tests pictured here. I was playing with the AC balance, and trying to see what things looked like on the underside when I "stepped into it". I'm happy to report that I've welded some of the thinner parts today and I was able to finish the parts to a happy result since these welds all have to be nearly invisible. It's mainly rosette style welds so it's not too bad, but I was worried about melting through some of the thin to thick areas I'm connecting. Anyway all went well... so far. I'm just glad to be back in the saddle again and continuing to learn and improve.

split hands/ detasseling

I put in a good days work yesterday. I was waiting on the girls to get off the bus at the bus-stop and I noticed my thumb hurting. It seems it split open. This time of year combined with working in the shop and my hands get to aching. It's not a bad ache though, just something to make me aware of of my hands I guess. I remember getting my first taste of this when I started detasseling corn when I was 14 years old.

I would think all of the rapid tap I've been using lately would keep things moisturized pretty well... guess it's only good for keeping them smelling like sulfur and keep a nice oily patina on my skin.

It's funny, I went found this video of kids detasseling. We never had safety glasses or face nets. I guess the safety police were bound to eventually get into the fields. She's right, a tassel will fly pretty good and I remember this being long hours, hard work, but rewarding when I'd get a check each week. The crews I worked with were a little rougher than this crew. I remember being exposed to some things I'd never seen before in my life. We picked up kids in the surrounding towns before heading North to seed corn country and some of the kids were practically homeless in some of the other towns. My crews always seemed to work later into the season too once the bad apples were weeded out, so it made for some tall corn, hot temps, but a really great income for summer work.

Monday, January 4, 2021



Speaking of utility: I was not aware of these vehicles. Might make a good offroad vehicle. Too bad you can't haul anything with it besides guns though.

aerial land photos

A couple days ago, Jill came across some old images of our place when it was up for sale before we bought it. There were some cool shots of the place that give context to the area we live in. It reminded me of the pictures that several people would have of their properties when I was kid growing up. It was common to go to a neighbor's house/farm and see an image of their place hanging on the wall. I always loved that sense of pride that people I grew up with had for their land. You just don't encounter that sense of pride much anymore...




I came across this video of several old bulldozer running and moving about. I love the pure utilitarian nature of the shapes, tracks, levers, seats, no seats, etc of these. The Cletrac brand is interesting. I had never heard of it before this. My neighbor has a bulldozer for blading the main road that I live off of. It is a heavy gravel road and requires regular grading.

For some strange reason, living where I do has me wanting a vintage bulldozer. It's funny how location dictates desire and necessity. I would never given this a second thought while living in the city; for obvious reasons. That said, I guess I think a bit differently when I have a little chunk of land and have the desire to move some dirt and gravel. I'd like to build onto my shop so this would be perfect for leveling some land behind the current shop. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


I've had spinning on the brain lately. Eric sent me this link to some new spinning lathes. Then I looked at some other videos. 

electric motorcycles info and links

As you might be able to tell, I am currently using the blog as some kind of reminder list/storage for ideas and things I find or discuss with people. For some reason, writing things down seems to help make it real and hopefully some of these things can happen. I use this a lot to refer to students when we are discussing ideas as well, and here lately I had just felt like everything I was referencing was coming from the past. Time for new content...

After discussions with Eric about building an electric motorcycle, I decided to do some research. I've found that a ton of people have built off-road electric motorcycles using the QS 138 motor and Sabvoton controller. Various people have even adapted the smaller output motor to bicycles. A few people I saw were comparing the Kelly controller and said that it's good for wringing every bit of potential out of your motor, but harsher on initial takeoff. I think it's worth looking into this based on what I've seen. You can buy a kit or source parts separately of course, but the prices seem decent to me. It looks like AliExpress and Alababa has a ton of different options if you can sift through all of the specs and various options. QS also makes some hub based motors as well that look pretty interesting. I think these would be good for a ground up build, but for some reason I like the idea of coupling the standard QS motor with a traditional chain driveline.

I found videos on programing the controller with a laptop and a lot of videos of folks just blasting around on these. It looks like tons of fun!

Silent Enduros has some good e-bike off-road content. As seen below.

Devin Lindstrom had some interesting videos as well.

Here is a hub driven set-up. I think it's using a motor like this.

And another motocross conversion...

When Eric was telling me about the Lixie mallets, I was originally thinking about the split head mallet from Garland. I've been using their rawhide mallets for many years but Chad was the first to tell me about the heavy duty split head mallet,