Bypass Lopper Bumper

I used the long-handled bypass lopper to harvest the 3D printed soaker hose splices and clamps, which made the sad state of the lopper’s bumper painfully obvious:

Bypass Lopper - OEM bumper
Bypass Lopper – OEM bumper

Contrary to what you might think, those rivets never had a head on this side and the bumper seems to be held in place by an interference fit with the plastic handle cover.

A bit of cutoff wheel work removed the crimped end on the 5 mm stud holding the bumper to the pot-metal dingus:

Bypass Lopper - shaft cut
Bypass Lopper – shaft cut

Whacking it with a punch separated all the parts:

Bypass Lopper - bumper parts
Bypass Lopper – bumper parts

The gray thing is a silicone rubber vibration isolator that’s a bit too large in all dimensions, but surely Close Enough™ for present purposes.

A length of 5 mm shaft became the new stud, with M3×0.5 threads tapped into both ends and a pair of random screws held in place with red Loctite:

Bypass Lopper - epoxy curing
Bypass Lopper – epoxy curing

There are no pix of the drilling and threading, as it was accomplished after a shiny-new 2.7 mm “titanium” metric drill from a not-dirt-cheap set shattered in the shaft:

Shattered metric drill
Shattered metric drill

The blue color on the flutes is Sharpie to remind me it’s defunct. I completed the mission using a #36 drill with no further excitement.

The dingus is now held to the lopper with JB Weld and, should that fail, I’ll drill-n-tap the rivets and be done with it.

Soaker Hose Splices: End Of Life

The soaker hoses from Mary’s garden all came from someone else and have now reached their second end of life:

Soaker Hose Splices - end of life
Soaker Hose Splices – end of life

Those orange lumps kept them alive for a few more seasons:

Soaker Hose Splices - harvested
Soaker Hose Splices – harvested

In the unlikely event I ever give another in-person presentation about 3D printing and what it’s good for, I’ll have some interesting show-n-tell samples. Might have to soak the dirt off, though.

Vultures Sunning

Spotted after pre-season prep at Mary’s Vassar Farms garden:

Vultures sunning
Vultures sunning

It must feel really good up there atop the old barn, even if they’re sunning themselves to kill off parasites.

Taken with the Pixel 3a zoomed all the way in at 7× from a bit over 200 feet:

Vultures sunning - photo range
Vultures sunning – photo range

Then cropped and sharpened just a smidge. Not a great picture, but good enough for practical purposes; the Good Camera + Big Glass takes better pix and is too awkward to carry in my pocket.

Step2 Garden Seat: Replacement Seat2

As expected, the plywood seat I put on the Step2 Garden Seat for Mary’s Vassar Farms plot lasted about a year before the wood rotted away around the screws. In the meantime, we’d acquired a stack of SiLite cafeteria trays, so we applied one to the cause of better seating:

Step2 Seat - tray variant
Step2 Seat – tray variant

Various eBay listings value that slab of Bakelite Melamine up to $20, which is far more than Mary paid for the entire stack at a local tag sale. They also call that color “rich brown”, which is certainly better than what immediately came to mind when I saw them.

The stylin’ asymmetric design happened when I realized the squared-off handle end of the cart didn’t demand a rounded-off end of the seat. I cut off the raised tray rim before sketching the rounded outline using the rotted seat as a template; some of the sketch remains over on the right-front corner. A session with Mr Belt Sander put the remaining rim edges flush with the surface, no matter what the picture suggests.

The tray being 2 mm thinner than the plywood, I tried printing the hinges in a different orientation with different built-in support:

Rolling Cart Hinges - solid model - build
Rolling Cart Hinges – solid model – build

The perimeter threads pulled up far too much and, although fiddling with cooling would likely help, I think the original orientation was better:

Rolling Cart Hinges - solid model - bottom
Rolling Cart Hinges – solid model – bottom

Given that the post-apocalypse breakfast will be served on similar trays, the seat should survive for quite a while in the garden. We think the sun will convert the brown surface into a bun warmer; a coat of white paint may be in its future.

The original OpenSCAD code is still out there as a GitHub Gist.

Monthly Science: Inchworms

A Rudbeckia Black-eyed-susan coneflower from the garden carried a passenger to our patio table:

Inchworm - linear
Inchworm – linear

Even linearized, the inchworm was barely 20 mm long; it’s the thought that counts.

The stamens mature in concentric rings, each stamen topped by a pollen grain. Apparently, those grains are just about the most wonderful food ever, as the inchworm made its way around the ring eating each grain in succession:

Inchworm - feeding
Inchworm – feeding

Of course, what goes in must come out:

Inchworm - excreting
Inchworm – excreting

I had to brush off the table before washing it; the pellets are dry, but smear when you get them wet.

Another flower in the vase held a 10 mm inchworm with plenty of upside potential:

Inchworm - junior edition
Inchworm – junior edition

After nearly a week, the flowers were done and the inchworms had moved on. We wish them well, although we likely won’t recognize them in the future.

Round Soaker Hose Clamp

An aging round soaker hose sprang a leak large enough to gouge a crater under a tomato plant, so I conjured a short clamp from the longer round hose splints:

Soaker Hose Clamp - round - installed
Soaker Hose Clamp – round – installed

The shiny stuff is the plastic backing on strips of silicone tape intended to prevent the high-pressure water from squirting through the porous 3D printed plastic. The fat drop hanging from the hose shows some leakage around the tape; an occasional drop is perfectly OK.

The leak faces the round side of the bottom half of the clamp, which probably doesn’t make any difference.

I hope the washers occupy enough of the minimal surface to render aluminum backing plates superfluous:

Soaker Hose Clamp - round - kitted
Soaker Hose Clamp – round – kitted

Creating the 3D model required nothing more than shortening the original splint to 30 mm with two screws along each side. While I was at it, I had Slic3r make three clamps to put two in the Garden Dedicated Hydraulic Repair Kit for later use:

Round Soaker Hose Splice - 30mm - Slic3r
Round Soaker Hose Splice – 30mm – Slic3r

Change two lines in the OpenSCAD code and it’s done.

Also: clamps for flat soaker hoses.

Rt 376 at Zach’s Way: Near Right Hook

We exchanged waves as he rode by Vassar Farms:

Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way - Near Right Hook - 2020-07-19 - 0
Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way – Near Right Hook – 2020-07-19 – 0

Although I can rarely hang with real roadies, I can put the fear in ’em for a while, so the chase is on.

About 25 seconds later, I’m southbound on Rt 376, accelerating past 20 mph = 30 feet/s. The overtaking pickup, which I haven’t noticed yet, is signaling a right turn at Zach’s Way, 350 feet ahead:

Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way - Near Right Hook - 2020-07-19 - 1
Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way – Near Right Hook – 2020-07-19 – 1

The pickup enters my field of view, but I can’t see the turn signals:

Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way - Near Right Hook - 2020-07-19 - 2
Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way – Near Right Hook – 2020-07-19 – 2

Two seconds later, the driver is braking:

Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way - Near Right Hook - 2020-07-19 - 3
Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way – Near Right Hook – 2020-07-19 – 3

During the next three seconds, the driver realizes I’m going much much faster than your usual cyclist and is braking hard:

Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way - Near Right Hook - 2020-07-19 - 4
Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way – Near Right Hook – 2020-07-19 – 4

My startled shout (“Don’t even think about it!“) may be misinterpreted, but I try to be friendly,

Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way - Near Right Hook - 2020-07-19 - 5
Rt 376 SB Marker 1124 Zachs Way – Near Right Hook – 2020-07-19 – 5

Alas, the cyclist turned into Boardman Road and all that adrenaline went to waste.

Elapsed time since the fender appeared: six seconds.