Friday, June 15, 2012

Hoever Sled Part II

So when we last left off I had a nice circle drawn on to a piece of OSB with purple crayon, which if I knew was the same name as some hippie learning center I would have most assuredly choose a red crayon instead. Since then I have been cutting, measuring and of course dreaming.  Not too much of a story to tell here to make this entry interesting, but for those interested I DID eventually find my pipe cutter, while fumbling about in the garage working on the sled. Below you can see my semi-nicely cut disc which will be used to propel me ever skyward. I took the liberty of sanding the edges to make them somewhat smooth as not to tear any experimental skirt that I will be wrapping around it.

Since I already had the saber saw out and warmed up, I went ahead and notched out the vent hole, where the air will enter the skirt. According to Beaty’s Ultra-Simple Hovercraftdesign, the vent hole is placed halfway between the center and the edge of the disc. I obliged him on this. While I was cutting this hole I started to think about the center hole. Beaty uses a bolt to hold the center of the skirtup close to the disc to create a doughnut shape. I wondered if, instead of using a bolt and nut, I instead used a small pipe and then screw a pressure gauge onto the pipe. This way I could get a pressure reading of the air under the skirt. Hmmm I will have to ponder this some more.

At this point I got sick of using the saber saw and decided to pull the miter saw out. My, or should I say my father’s, miter saw scares me. Long ago my father bought me a miter saw from Harbor Freight as a gift. I used it for years and years and years. Then one day the safety guard broke off of it and having an astute fear of having my hand get butchered and bloodied it sat in my garage for another year. 
This fear is not exactly well based but it has provided me with ample aversion to having any such wound inflicted upon my person. Aside from the terrible noise that a spinning blade breaking the sound barrier makes, there was a story that my father once told me that firmly cemented my fear of power tools. 
As all good fathers’ do, they regale tales of yesteryear with a dash of insight and knowledge to include a valuable life lesson in their words of wisdom. The story goes, when my father was a teenager, sometime in the mid-fifties, his father was in the basement showing him the dos and don’ts of running a table saw. Table saws of the period were little more than, gigantic electric motors directly coupled to a spinning blade much like the kind one would imagine in a saw mill located in Walnut Grove. They were big, they were cumbersome, and they were ANYTHING but safe. So the with the flick of the switch, the smell of ozone in the air, and a roaring howl of the spinning blade, my grandfather proceeded to tell my father the safety points of using the saw. 
1.       Hold onto you work, the blade WILL try to snatch it out of your hands.
2.       Wear safety glasses, shit WILL be thrown into the air.
3.       NEVER under ANY circumstances do you put your fingers near the blade like THIS!

The smile quickly, left my grandfather’s face, and he began to turn white. This was probably from him losing most of his blood out of his now bleeding finger. That’s right, probably one of the only safety lectures on the books that resulted in producing an injury rather than preventing one. There was blood everywhere. He eventually went to the hospital and got patched up. My father, as a result, ALWAYS respected power tools from that moment on, I guess such a graphic safety lecture stuck with him. I, on the other hand, was trying to make sense of this story through my father’s tears of laughter the entire time he was telling this to me. I won’t lie, it scared me a little, and in the end I respect power tools immensely. This all came back to me one day when I was in my garage, and I decided to just give the miter saw away to someone. This person ended up being the trash man.
Now, as I have explained before, my house is in a constant state of disrepair and the need arose once again for the use of a miter saw. This cropped up one day in a discussion while I was visiting my father. He quickly, assured me that I did not need to go buy a miter saw he had one that I could borrow. I asked him when he had purchased this one and he told me that he bought two when he purchased the one he gave me. I did not argue or question anything at that point I just merely accepted. HOWEVER, there was a strange element about all of this. When he brought out the saw to me it appeared to have its safety guard removed as well. Apparently my father had the same issues I had with mine. So despite all of my fears, in the end I have to use a miter saw with no safety guard. I suppose that is my lot in life.
Moving on, I used the miter saw to cut out the standoffs for the leaf blower power plant. I had toyed with the idea of boxing it up, but I wanted to make sure that all the air that it required would be delivered to it, so two standoffs would do the trick and keep the weight down. I think I will add a small third one under the junction between the blower and the 90 degree elbow.

Finally, I messed about with some small pieces of wood to get some ideas on a seat.

Things are moving along at a decent pace. Onward and most definitely UPWARD!

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