Monday, November 28, 2011

Cool, man!

What's cool? Well, we'll see.

First possibility: I've crossed a line in the arena of marital infidelities: I am now sneaking around with a car dealer. Yes, my unbridled lust has led me astray. I have to cleanse my conscience with a full confession: I test drove a Mustang. As thousands (if not millions) of men that have gone before me have rationalized, how can something that feels that good really be wrong?? So what's "cool" about that? Well, this: that car goes like stink! The dealership I went to is so large that you don't have to test drive on public roads; rather, you go to their test track where, in the words of a very naive salesman, you are "free to drive it any way you like." I'm not sure he knew who he was talking to... 85 mph down the straight and hard on the brakes into the hairpin turn, the smell of a brand new engine baking off whatever anti-corrosion gunk they put on there pungent in my adrenalin-flared nostrils, Co-pilot Egg screaming in fear as her woefully short life flashes before her eyes... now that's a test drive. And the best thing about it? That would have to be that I was not driving the car that I will eventually buy! I'll be ordering mine from the factory.

But that's not what's cool. Here's another possibility: I ordered the powerplant kit and it should be here in no more than three weeks! All I have to do is finish up the fiberglass work on the canopy and I'm ready to go!

Cool, yes, but still not what I'm referring to in the title. As it turns out, I'm referring to "cool" in a thermal sense, as in "it sure has gotten cool outside." So cool, in fact, that I've run into a problem with the fiberglass work. I discovered the problem a few days ago when I went out to the hangar to sand off the umpteenth filler coat and found that rather than generating a fine white clinging powder, the sander was actually just moving goopy epoxy/microballoon mush around. The epoxy hadn't cured fully after two days! Too cold, it would appear. I gave it another day, but to no avail. I failed to get this job done before the end of the fiberglassing season.

Truly unfortunate, that, and by no means cool.

In the hippy sense, not the thermal sense.

There was nothing to do but remove the canopy and take it back to the subterranean lair for further work. I had thought getting it broken loose from the airframe might be the hard part of the job, but the liberal coating of wax did the trick. The real difficulty was drilling through the fiberglass to get at the pivot bolts. The problem there was Van's instructions regarding the method for doing so: drill a 3/8" hole centered over the bolt. This is, of course, impossible because as soon as the pointy end of the bit breaks through the fiberglass it runs into the unyielding head of the underlying bolt. What I had to do instead was to use a #40 bit to drill holes around the bolt head and then use a pointy sharp grindy thing on the Dremel tool to finish cutting off the resulting cap.

After that it was an easy job to load the canopy up in the trusty Vera Cruz and haul it to the basement where it sat for a couple days while the fiberglass steadfastly refused to set. Why? because it's too damn cold. Why? because the furnace picked that very day to stop working. Because of that, the last couple days have been filled with my ham-handed attempts to wrestle the furnace back into compliance. The problem appears to be with the ignitor, the replacement of which in a customer-friendly world would be as easy as replacing a light bulb. After all, they know that these things wear out every 3-5 years, so why put a bunch of steel pipe and some kind of electronic valve right smack in the way of removing that stupid ignitor?

I eventually managed to get the thing out of there and a replacement ordered, but even with $40 of Next Day shipping charges I won't have it until tomorrow, at which point the furnace will either be fixed or will have to wait until Plan B a day later, which the confidence-depleting Co-owner scheduled in advance with a professional repair outfit. Actually, I think that was a great idea - if I manage to fix it, she'll just cancel the appointment. If not, we will get to test the theory that I used to talk myself into attempting this repair in the first place: no matter how badly I mess up this furnace, I can't do any damage that sufficient money can't repair.

Hey, it's just a theory!

And when you get right down to it, the indoor shop isn't a bad place to work, really.

Except for being in the shadow of this %$#@* piece of *#^!

1 comment:

Scott Kuhar said...

When you get it, don't touch the working end of the ignitor. Treat it like a halogen bulb.

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