Pete J.

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About Pete J.

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    MCM Ohana
  • Birthday 11/05/1949

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  • Location San Marcos, Ca
  • Full Name Pete Johnson

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Pete J.'s Activity

  1. Pete J. added a post in a topic Why brass?   

    There are plenty of reasons for working in brass and they all have to do with certain things that plastic is just not capable of. 
    The first is of course greater strength.  At the same size piece, brass will sag less for a given weight. It is also more ridged over a given distance.   
    Second is bending.  Bending brass to a given shape is much easier than plastic and it can be done cold.  Plastic has to be heated to bend and getting it to hold a given shape can be difficult. 
    Although soldering joints in brass may require a little more skill than gluing plastic, it gives an almost instant solid joint when done right.  You can also reheat the joint to reposition it if necessary.  
    Brass machines very nicely in a mill or lath.  Plastic can be machined but it is very difficult to do and the results are not always as crisp at brass.
    Last, polished brass is gorgeous!  Nothing looks more like metal than metal. 
  2. Pete J. added a post in a topic Paint Strippers - What to Use?   

    Beware of plastic containers!  Thought I would add a warning to this discussion.  I have used DOT3 brake fluid for years to strip Tamiya paints.  SuperClean(purple power) won't touch the stuff and alcohol just cleans the surface.  I had a body in the brake fluid for about three days and it was doing it's job.  The other night I went to my shop to lock up and found brake fluid covering a portion of the bench.  To my surprise I had a cracked plastic container.  This wasn't the cheap Walmart stuff but a good  XOXO brand container.  Apparently the brake fluid reacted with the plastic and the bottom cracked.  Not sure what was going on.  Interestingly, I had been storing my SuperClean in it for about a year with no adverse effects.  I was also lucky in that the brake fluid didn't get on anything important.  It just missed my Tamiya RC Tiger I.  Had I gone out later that would have been ruined and that would have been expensive!  Since then I went to the outlet mall and grabbed some cheap Pyrex for future use.
  3. Pete J. added a post in a topic Warming paint cans.   


  4. Pete J. added a post in a topic Warming paint cans.   

    A thought just occurred to me about rattle can vs. airbrushes.  One of the biggest knocks on airbrushes(and some claim it as a reason for not using them) is the time it takes to clean them after you are done. I can strip and clean any of my brushes in less that two minutes.  That is far less than the time it takes me to heat a rattle can and then reheat it if it is a long paint session.  For the record I do use rattle cans for quick paint jobs, but I keep the cans I use frequently in a food dehydrator so they are warm when I am ready to use them.  Been doing this for 15 years and never had a can fail or bulge or react adversely in any fashion.  The food dehydrator runs at about 110 F.  There is no open ignition source in the dehydrator so a burst can would be unlikely to light off.  The food dehydrator would also likely to contain most of the paint in the case of a failure. 
    Shaken, not stirred.  One of the things that I learned a long time ago is it to store my rattle cans upside down.  There are a couple of reasons for this, especially for long term storage.  The primary reason is the shape of the can.  The reverse dome on the bottom allows the pigments to settle into the small groove around the bottom edge and it is hard for the glass balls inside to get down in that area to agitate the paint into solution.  The balls are also somewhat hindered by the dip tube(the straw leading to the nozzle) which could cause uneven mixing.  With the pigments in the upper dome, they settle in the middle and there is no hindrance in the balls getting to that area to mix them up.  Also, when you store the can right side up, the dip tube in very near the bottom and the pigments will settle around the dip tube and in long term cases in the tube.  This easily causes a clog.  By inverting the can the dip tube remains clear of the "sludge" in the bottom and is more likely to function properly. 
  5. Pete J. added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    Ok, here comes the curmudgeon in me.  I do not like "do everything" touch screens in cars.  I think they are far more distracting and not user friendly when it comes to driving a car.  As a point of reference, my daily driver is a 92 MR2 Turbo.  The original owner(a good friend) went all out and ordered the CD/cassette stereo system. 
    The problem with touch screens is that they require you to look and start answering questions because they control too much.  Sound system, ventilation system, Navigation, dash controls etc.  First question you have to answer is which system do I want to adjust.  Ok, select the right screen.  Now what do I want to do.  Change the temperature.  Yup, ok fine you have to look at the system twice.  Were is the temp.  Over here, yup, ok where is the part of the screen that I need to touch to make it do what I want.  Ok, look at the screen to make sure you are touching the section of the screen that does that.  Oop! I touched the wrong part of the screen and am now in the navigation screen.  Start over.  Bad system!
    In an older car with manual controls, most of the knobs had different shapes and moves and were clustered together by function. After a little familiarization, you could do just about anything by touch without ever looking at the control panel.  MR2, change the temp?  Sure, bottom of the panel, left/right slider.  Reach down and by touch slide the only knob in that area that goes left and right.  Move it left for cooler, right for warmer.  Eyes never leave the road.
      I will add to this that this is the old pilots method.  As part of our annual check ride we had a blindfold cockpit check.  You had to be able to touch any knob, lever or instrument in the cockpit without looking on the request of the check pilot.  The glass cockpits are essentially the same with buttons to control the functions.   No touch screens there that I am aware of.  Leave the touchscreen tablets to the passengers and give the driver simple knobs that do things. 
    Robert just saw your signature line that though I would add this to the half a glass discussion.  A wise old lady was once asked the question by a young philosophy student and after thinking for a moment answered, " Well, I suppose that depend on if you are pouring or drinking."  If you think about it there is much more to that answer than there appears.  If the glass is the life of others, be the one who is pouring.
  6. Pete J. added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    I just watched one of the shows I regularly watch.  I watched a 30 minute show in 18 minutes.  I did this by fast forwarding through the commercials.  So when in the heck did it become the norm to have 12 minutes of commercials in a half hour show!!!!  It won't be long before the commercials are half or more of the show.  No wonder I record the shows I like.  I doubt I could stand to watch them in real time!
  7. Pete J. added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    Gambling? No, not really.  The store and the manufacture are willing to give you assurances that they build the product right.  They are not willing to do that forever and say so.  You are making a choice.  No one if forcing you to buy the warranty and you should base you decision on how much it would mean if you had to shell out money for repair or a new machine.  If you are on a limited budget and can't afford repairs or replacement, then you should buy the warranty.  If it wouldn't cause you financial hardship, then don't.  It is like any other insurance.  How much financial hard ship would it cause if an event happened.  
    By the way, there is one company who's warranty comes with something different.  The Sears maintenance agreement is different in that you can have a service tech come out every year and inspect and adjust your machinery to make sure it is working at peak efficiency.   I always told people about this and said that if they used that service, then they got more than their money back. If not they the value might not be there but that is a choice that they have to make.  No one else does that.  Is it worth it? That is up to you. But I use the heck out of it.  By the time I changed appliance as a general rule, I had more than got my money back.  Just my take on it.
    On the subject of durability, yes the old machines were built more durable.  Plain and simple.  However the thirty year old refrigerator that you have running in the garage is probably over a third of your electric bill.  With the increasing price of electricity, people demanded more efficient appliances.  The engineering trade off is durability.  Your old refrigerator has a compressor system that could probably cool a four story building it is so oversized.  It didn't have to work as hard, but that comes at the cost of efficiency.  The new compressors are really amazing pieces of technology and are much lighter weight and run more frequently that the old ones.  They are just not going to last as long.  Efficiency generally means lighter components which translates to less durability.  No, they don't last as long, but that is what the public demanded and you and I get to pay for that. 
  8. Pete J. added a post in a topic Warming paint cans.   

    This is probably one of the best reasons for decanting the paint and blowing it through an airbrush.  Instead of using heat to control viscosity, pressure and volume, a good airbrush can do all of these constantly.  Not to mention that you don't have to stop half way through and reheat the paint.  I know, I know, not everyone wants to spend the bucks on an airbrush and a compressor, but frankly, it solves all of these problems very nicely.  Of course then you have to learn how to use an airbrush, which everyone doesn't want to do either. 
  9. Pete J. added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    Actually Harry I was wondering the same thing and then one day I happened to be in the freezer when it went through its cycle.  As the ice cubes(moons if you will) come out, there is a cam lobe that lifts the wire handle up, the ice falls in the tray, and the cam lets the wire down on top of the pile.  Pile gets high enough it stops production.  If your wire isn't doing that then look at how the cam and the wire interact.  It may be bent. 
  10. Pete J. added a post in a topic Bending tubing   

    Great idea!  I will be stealing that one!  Having said that I rarely bend aluminum tubing, because I almost never use it.  I use solid rod.  Most of the time it doesn't matter if the piece is hollow or not and rod is much easier to bend.  If the end is open and the hollow shows like exhausts, then I suppose you have no choice, but most of the time it just isn't nessesary. 
  11. Pete J. added a post in a topic What did you see on the road today?   

    Living in SoCal just sucks!  Went to my favorite farm stand to pick up some strawberries and corn for dinner tonight and this was sitting in the parking lot!  Got to chatting with the owner and he as several other rare cars as well.  Still a nice ride!

  12. Pete J. added a post in a topic Warming paint cans.   

    This subject seems to come up all to often and there is a lot of anecdotal information out there that may or may not be correct.  Before you get into this, I suggest that you read the following investigation of an legal expert witness on aerosol cans and DOT requirements regarding internal pressure and tests done for court cases.  Personally I found it very interesting and if I am reading it right, explosion due to heat well below 175 degrees is unlikely.  You are more likely to have issues with inadvertent punctures than explosions from heating the can.  If you stay below 125 degees(well below what a water heater or food dehydrator operate at) you should be safe.  Boiling water or any association with a stove is likely to result in a disaster.  If the can is bulging, carefully remove it from the premises and  let it cool and throw it away.  You got away with one and don't do that again. 
  13. Pete J. added a post in a topic Turned some parts on the Lathe today   

    Heck man, with a mill and lathe that size you should be turning full sized wheels for real cars!
  14. Pete J. added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    The first history of conscription comes from the Civil war era.  The south had the first conscription law in 1862 and the north in 1863.  This was modified several times until  1917 when the Selective Service act was enacted which require men between 21 and 30 to register through local draft boards until 1920.  The Selective Training and service act reestablished registration for 21 to 35 year olds in 1940 and was later in WWII changed to 18 to 35. This is the basis for the continued Selective service system that requires all males to register at age 18.  There is and never has been a "compulsory military service" requirement such as exists in Israel.  The draft has always been full of loopholes and exemptions so service has only been mandatory for those who were "drafted".   
  15. Pete J. added a post in a topic Turned some parts on the Lathe today   

    From the last pictures, I am guessing that you are using both a mill and a lathe.  The positioning for the holes suggests a mill with a turn table.