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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DIY Improvements.

Slowly the process of fixing all the crap I broke / lost during the last boat mission is getting resolved. Monday I managed to swing by the Home Depot to get more stuff to make two flag staffs.

But there is an interesting thing that happens with home DIY projects. You get an idea to construct something. So you do.

And then after you are done, you think of something you could have done differently that would improve the design. But you already have a first generation item.

Now sometimes you can modify the item to incorporate the improvements. And sometimes you can't. To implement the design improvements you have to start all over.

And such was the case with the flag staffs. The new and improved design includes locking nuts (they have a nylon insert) and TWO ty-wraps holding the flags on the stainless steel eye bolt. This is an example of a design change I could have made to the old ones.

But now for a design change that was impossible to make with the old staffs. I cut them slightly longer. So now the groove that prevents the staffs from twisting (there is a metal pins in the rod holders to keep fishing equipment in place) is cut deeper. About 1/2 inch of staff extends out the bottom of the holders. So now I can drill a small hole and put a small bolt in the part of the staff that sticks out the bottom of the rod holders to prevent them from flying out again. Even when towing.

I also improved the bow tie down thing. It broke too, but not because of anything I forgot to do. Some of the hardware came loose. What I had was two lengths of stainless steel cable. One length was wrapped around the trailer and held in place with cable clamps. Attached to the other end of the cable was a turnbuckle. And then on the other end of the turnbuckle was more cable, more cable clamps, and a stainless steel S hook.

The way it worked was I would put the S hook on the bow eye, then tighten the turnbuckle. This prevented the boat from bouncing up and down on the trailer. It did very little to hold it on the trailer - that is what the winch is for.

Well the cable clamps came loose and the S hook cable slipped and the whole invention quit working. Not a big deal, I did not really need it.

Well the improved design eliminated one of the cables. I bolted the turnbuckle directly to a part of the trailer, so there is just one cable going from the top of the turnbuckle to the S hook. And 4 cable clamps. I used the red lock tight in the hardware this time. This stuff is glue for nuts and bolts. Once the lock tight cures the nuts will not be able to come loose. Not even with hand tools. Supposedly, according to the package, the hardware will have to be heated to 500 degrees to break the lock tight. In reality you CAN get stuff loose with hand tools, but you really have to work at it.

I really need to photograph more stuff like this.

Anyway now the bow tie down will be easier to use (the dual cable system with the turnbuckle really needed two people because the cable would twist and so it helped to have one person hold the cables while the other person tightened the turnbuckle. Well now there is only one cable so I can easily just grab the one cable and tighten the turnbuckle myself.

But mostly, I like it when a DIY project works out.

Anyhow both these were simple projects. 30 minutes or so for everything. Not a big deal. A nice somewhat relaxing way to end the day.

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Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

No comments? Really now? Not one fucking comment?!?!?!?

You all suck.

Blogger Fuzz said...

Gimme a break.
I tried to get in here, but something went tragically wrong and it wouldn't happen.
Gee, and I was gonna compliment you on your improved design.
So now I'll click on that little "Publish your comment" thing and see what happens this time.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Fuzz - I am staining the flag staffs. Nothing is finished until it is painted.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

My last DIY project was to change out the cracked wooden toilet seat in my son's bathroom. The wooden toilet seat was not my idea. I knew the fool thing would eventually crack. My father brought it in thinking it would look nice. I replaced it with one of those squishy ones. I eventually need to replace the one in my bathroom too, but other than the dogs and the spiders, I'm the only one that ever goes in that one.


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