Monday, March 28, 2011

Making A Large Hole The Easy Way

I wanted to remove the perforated fan grill on an old ATX case I’m rehabilitating. DSCF0003

First I drilled a 3/4” hole with a step bit.


Then I got out the largest Greenlee punch I have.


And my hydraulic driver. One of the best tool scores of my life, I paid $7.00 at a yard sale. Look at the price of a kit on Amazon.


Assembled through the 3/4” hole. A little easy pumping…and the punch makes the hole.


Releasing the hydraulic pump.


The hole and slug. This is a lot easier than using a hole saw.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Windows 7 and Computer Price Update

As I mentioned in the Computer Love post below, I bought the Windows 7 family pack. It's on sale right now at Amazon for "only" $99.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack (3-User)

As I said, this is only an upgrade, not full version but the price is the lowest I can find, right now. The price seems to change almost daily... Obviously the reason I'm posting this is to drive a little Amazon Affiliate traffic, but it is a good deal...and I only found it because I was surfing for some other stuff...I'm such a shill...

UPDATE: It's back up to $123.99. It's interesting to look at historical Amazon pricing with camelcamelcamel.

The power supply I used is on sale at Newegg as well, 10% off using a promo code (An10psu ends 3/27, and I don't make any money off of it...)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Goodell-Pratt And Millers Falls 188A Push Drills, Disassembled

One of our neighbors is retiring and moving to the coast, so he had a shop garage sale this weekend. I picked up a little of this and a little of that. Included in my haul were two old push drills. One is a Goodell-Pratt and the other a Millers Falls. Both are model 188A as Millers Falls merged with Goodell-Pratt in the early 1930s. There’s a comprehensive set of pages on the Millers Falls company here, with detail on the push drills here.
The two drills.

Ok, bear with me, this is a little boring…follow the text around the handle…

Pulling down on the catch allows the cap to rotate, exposing the drill storage compartments by size…


The other one…

I know, exciting!


End on, with another earlier Greenlee drill I have. The caps on the 188As Seem to be riveted to the handle, where the earlier one uses a screw.


To disassemble I pushed down on the drill slightly to take up some tension.
And unscrewed the barrel.


It’s stopped by the chuck…


The chuck. Notice the pin.


The chuck cap unscrews, although that wire ring acts as a spring detent so you have to wiggle and pull to get it all the way off.


I clamped the knurled ring in the plastic jaws of a vise.


And unscrewed the nut from the handle.


The spring has a wooden guide – which is interesting, if you think about it.


The other 188A has a screw instead of a pin retaining the jaws. I was unable to punch or press the pin on the other one out, so I gave up…


With the screw removed the jaw assembly comes out. Notice how dirty it is.


Two pieces and a spring for tension.


The drill shanks are cruciform in cross section.


They engage the jaws thusly.


The screw and nut are a fast helix.


An 8 start thread.


When the drill is pushed down, 1-1/2” of travel turns it one revolution.

A little cleaning and oiling and the drills are almost nearly as good as new. And every now and then I’m sure I’ll use one.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Computer Love

And computer hate…

The PC that’s out in our barn/studio was having some issues so I had the bright idea of building a PC from components.I spent many hours on Newegg’s site looking at components, deals on components, reviews of components, compatibility of components, well you get the idea.


Henry unboxing the Antec Two Hundred S ATX case.


It’s big.


Henry opens the BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard box.


By the time we had the CPU (AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor) installed his interest was flagging. But it was quality time while it lasted.


There’s a lot of room in the case.


Once it was all put together I hit the power switch and…nothing.


There’s a tiny jumper (red circle) on the motherboard for BIOS reset that was in the wrong position.


It’s alive!


After an attempt at cable management.

Here’s a list of all the components:

1 x ($39.99) MEM 2Gx2|WINTEC 3AXH1333C9WS4GK R
1 x ($39.99) PSU ANTEC| EA-380D GREEN RT
1 x ($59.99) CPU AMD|ATH II X2 245 2.9G AM3 RT
1 x ($59.99) MB BIOSTAR A770E3 770/SB710 R
1 x ($-14.99) DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #581112
Total $228.96

I had hoped to use an old DVD burner (notice the IDE cable in the last picture) but it was so old it wouldn’t recognize several DVDs. So I later purchased a LiteOn DVD burner for 15.99 w/ free shipping that was on sale.

The 500GB hard drive was out of an old machine. I cloned it from an 80 GB drive I did the XP install on. That way if I screwed up the Win7 install I had a backup.

The video card is an old 512MB Geforce 8400 graphics card that I bought for $3.00 at a yard sale I hit last summer.

First I installed an XP home upgrade ($28.50 at Goodwill!) that I had laying around, then I installed Windows 7 Home from their “family pack” upgrade. It was $109.99 on sale at Amazon for 3 licenses ($36.67 each license). I installed the 64 bit version. I had a few problems at first as I forgot to install the Win7 drivers for the graphics card and motherboard. It’s a good idea to do a system image backup when you first install Win7 so you can revert back to a good configuration if you get constant cascading BSODs. Thankfully I had done just that.

My strategy on picking components was to buy the least expensive highest rated components with the smallest percentage of negative reviews. Seems to have worked as the PC has been up for weeks now without problems. But you never know. It has more than enough speed for web surfing and entertainment while working and will be upgradeable (The motherboard will accept more ram and a faster processor and it has the latest AMD socket type and ram type.) either as a backup for Felice and my computers should anything go wrong, or for the boys in a couple of years.

I Must Have Taken A Wrong Left Turn At Albuquerque.

We took a short trip to Albuquerque to visit with Felice’s parents. Her Brother and his family made the trek as well.


This is what I look like when I’m terrified. The flight to ABQ was somewhat (extremely) bumpy and we landed in at least a 40mph wind. My new friend Fred kept me talking the whole flight so I managed without being sedated by the flight crew. Yes, that’s a piece of gum in my mouth, I was chewing the whole time to keep my pressure equalized.


The whole family, minus myself and my sister-in-law.


That’s my sister in law. I have a number of pictures of her like this.


A view out the back of the house.


It’s in the foothills of the Sandia mountains.


Joe (Felice’s dad) has a number of his sculptures around the house.


He’s creative. All the paintings in the house are his as well.


We went to old town


Felice, Fran and the kids went up the mountain on the tram.




I saw a Wombat at the zoo. I decided that the Wombat is my favorite animal.


We also saw the Petroglyphs.