Outdoors

Waterproof switch not included.

Woke up in the middle of the night a couple nights ago to a weird screetchy, grinding sound outside… Ran out in the pouring rain to find my new atv winch running! The switch was in the off position (it’s spring loaded/momentary) too.

 I tapped the button, and it stopped. 

 Disconnected the battery,  and pushed it into the shop.

 Long story short, what I’m pretty sure happened, was that the switch on this one Isn’t rubber booted, nor apparently waterproof…(how did I not notice that before??)

 It got soaked in the rain, leaked, and shorted out.  

And the winch just kept running even while binding up and jamming the heck out out of the cable because I had it direct wired to the battery. Hadn’t gotten around to putting in the circuit breaker I got for it (didn’t come with one!). 

  I’m pretty sure that that kind of drag and heavy load on it, heavy amperage draw would have tripped a breaker and stopped  it. Oops. 

 Was a real pain to sort that cable out! 

Had to take the hook off, and feed it back and forth through and around the drum, working the loops and switchbacks out of it by hand.. all 40′ of it! Ugh. 

I thank God it did it when it did though… I was home, and I had the bedroom windows open. With the windows closed I doubt it would have woke me.  Or if I’d been gone, either way it could have ate the winch motor, or at least ran the battery dead… Wouldn’t have been good! 

New waterproof switch is on its way now. 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Modifications, Outdoors, Wiring | Leave a comment

Recovered slugs.

Recovered bullets from shooting Saturday. 

On the right a 210 grain JHP, or what’s left of it, from my 41mag. On the left, a, as I recall, 240 grain JHP from a 44mag. Might be a 220 though  (a friend’s gun/ammo). .

Both went into a heavy dell computer case, and through a DVD drive sideways, and stopped against the inside of the steel case(denting it deep), @ about 25 yards. 

 The 41 mushroomed out to 0.725″ average, 0.800″ on one axis… The 44 went to 0.600″ average. 

The 41 lost a lot of mass though. I need to weigh them both when I get a chance. 

The other smaller one is the lead core from a crappy russian TulAnmo surplus .308win that had 165 grain JSPs in them… It went clear through the computer tower, possibly through a hard drive or DVD drive, and a couple inches into a wet punky cottonwood log. Not much left of it, jacket totally gone, Really stripped the lead off too.  But it did manage to mushroom to about 0.40″

The 41 was my Ruger Blackhawk, the 44 a friend’s Ruger Redhawk, and the 308 another friends Rock River Arms M16 A4. 

What we were shooting at, after all was said and done;

One of these trips I need to take along a truck bed full of old phone books and newspapers, some cans of water and do the boxes of wet newspaper concept. Along with my cronograph, do some more serious velocity and expansion comparisons. 

Categories: Damages, Electronics/Media, Guns, Hunting, Outdoors, Reloading | 1 Comment

ATV Drop basket/milk crate carrier.

First of the items for the rear multi-mount. (This is what I was building when I designed the mount system.) 

I like the idea of a drop basket, but wanted modular so I could take packet crates in and out.  

Measurements came out great! The wheeler overall width is around 47″ according to spec. I measured to about 44″ tire to tire, where I was comfortable with the width being inboard of the tires. 

The rack itself is 40″ wide. 3 standard milk crates add up to 39″.  Couple inches either end for the frame comes to 43″ or 44″. Perfect!

Layout;

Some of the best weld beads I’ve ever laid down! 

Welded up;

Painted;

Brackets made for the crates, one single crate, one double crate. 

Hardware for brackets, no snag heads inside(can’t catch your hands or tools on them).

All together;

Turns out the frame flexes a little more than I like, even empty. I should have used angle iron for the ends, its stiffer than flat bar. But I’d cut the sides too short to assemble well with angle iron ends..  

So I’ll put in a down post on the two rear(toward front of bike) corners, 

reaching to the crate bottom. Then angle brace them both directions, to the sides and ends. Will stiffen the frame, I think.

And yes, I know they block using the winch. But the winch is something you hope to not need. If I need it,  I can most likely, easily set a crate and it’s contents out for a few minutes for winching.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Welding | Leave a comment

ATV Rear Winch InstallΒ 

I started with the concept of a rear reciever, and mounting the winch on a hitch insert. But it stuck out way too far to be practical. 

And, the reciever would have been a pain to work around to get into the trunk, even if trimmed.

So, I moved to above the trunk, behind the seat. Perfect open spot for it, just needed the tail light moved.

Had to scrounge a wider plate, to offset between the frame tails, and still have bolt realestate.

Made a mistake with the saw, cut too far. Twice. Erg.

The offset between the frame rails is to sit the winch and fairlead far enough back to clear the racks etc with the winch cable.

I LOVE this cutoff saw! Goes through 1/4″ plate like butter! Just gotta turn the lights off in the shop or it trips all the breakers. 

Squaring it all up, laying out for holes.

Drilled. 

I checked 3 times to make sure the winch cleared the bracket bolt heads. Oops. 

Found a bar with holes that matched, cut to length, made a spacer.

Test assembly;

You will note here that it’s only u-bolts holding the plate in. It was super tight, and if it slid backwards the plate would hit thr curved up frame rails, ride up the curve, and tighten the u-bolts. But I wasn’t 100% happy with it.  

So for the final install I drilled one hole on either side, through the plate and frame rail centers, and bolted it. Removed the two rear u-bolts in the process. 

Bonus there is not having to worry about gouging my hand on the U-boat tails when I reach in for the spool freewheeling release.

 Didn’t exactly like holes in the frame rails, but they’re small enough to not weaken it too much. While still big enough I think to keep the thing from going back under pull. 

Plate re welded at the cuts, welds dressed flat, corners clipped and rounded, drilled, and painted. One of the nicest install brackets I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself! 

I had to install the wiring twice. First time I got it all in, then tested the winch before bolt up… And it fried the relays.

 3 hours later, after some research on relays, and about 75 texts with a buddy that’s an electronics tech, I finally found where it was wired wrong. ( that’s how it was pre wired as it came too!) 

Had to take it all back out and lay it out, rewire it to match the existing wiring for the front winch. Works beautifully.

 5 minute fix. Ha!

Then reroute/reinstall it all. 

The relay bundle will almost fit in a small side area of the trunk.. This is a temporary setup to make sure I still don’t need to rewire again. Will fit it into its relay box it came with, and in turn into the side cubby hole later.

Wires out the side, gotta silicone the hole when I’m sure it’s setup permanently. 

One set of wires crosses and goes into a drain hole in the battery box, to the battery. The other set goes up, over the trunk.

And outcome the winch…

My mess of wires while trouble shooting 

The way someone wired it wrong…

Temporarily relocated the tail light. Need to build a bracket for it. (Cut the stock tabs off to clear the fairlead bracket)

Aaaannndd, two days, about 12 hours total work (amazing how long fabricating things can take!) It’s installed! 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Welding, Wiring, Wrenching | 2 Comments

Fixed ATV tail bags.

When I put the gun boot bracket on my 4 wheeler, the rear bag wouldn’t cleat it/go back on. 

I figured I’d just trim the right side compartment off of it. 2/3 bags is better than no bags! πŸ˜‰ 
I lucked out though, ended with 3 bags anyway! I figured I’d end with 4 walls and a lid cut off, basically useless. Turns out the compartments have a attached bottom separate from the base bottom sewn to all of them.   Got one loose bag for elsewhere now! 

Cut the compartment off the top, trimmed the foam back even with the rest. 

Then folded the base corner up to clear the brackets better, and seam sealed all the cut areas. 


Yes, that’s Gorilla Tape I used for seam sealer. Redneck, but it works! 

Categories: ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles | 1 Comment

ATV Rifle mount.

A buddy thought the way another bud and I wore our rifles slung across out chests on the quads for hunting last fall was a little sketchy… (it was at times, but worked good) so he bought both of us gun boots and bracket kits for Christmas! 

I’m not fond of this concept, it seems like it’d be a super slow access(while the moose gets away) and it would IMO inhibit leg/ridding area… heaven forbid you need off that side of the wheeler Fast, like in a roll over..  BUT, I’ll give it a fair shake, and try it! 

 Anyway, I finally got mine mounted.

  

It looks high, but the butt ends sits lower than my head height ridding. Put it in the best compromise I could get for low, inboard of the fenders, out of my leg area, and leaving rack space, all while actually having rack to bolt to. 

Need to drill a couple extra holes in the bottom plate towards the front(by the big round hole) to u-bolt it to that front rack bar. But it’s already pretty dang solid. 

Dropped a rifle in and went ridding for an hour after I got it on there, trails, mud, and bushwacking, it stayed 99% as solid. 
It was also amazingly out of the way! 

Still not sure what it’d do to a fast get off on that side, but let’s pray I never have to find out! πŸ˜‰

Need to look in my hardware bins, want to replace the nut on the angle adjust bolt with a big knob, and a wing nut over it (tighten knob, then jam nut lock it with the wing nut) for easier angle adjusting, if I need the butt end lower to go under downed trees etc. (Will weld the bolt to the bracket to make it a one hand/no hold wrench operation.).

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, Guns, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Vehicles | Leave a comment

This week, April to May 2017 transition, EDC, and Alaska outdoors.

(No, I haven’t taken up snus. Needed a tin for my gum, got tired of the cardboard packages getting mangled, crushed, wet, etc. These tins are durable and have a rubber seal; water tight.)
Alaska state bird is out in full force;

Went boondocking, checking out some river roads one day, grabbed my 380 for just in case… Should have had something bigger since it’s late enough I know the bears are out, but this was handy. Thankful I had it on hand when I had an… let’s say odd, encounter with a two legged animal… Not threatening or dangerous, but, disconcerting, and.. odd. The gun was reassuring. 

Yes Very few of these EDC pics are different,  or not much different… If it works, it works, and I don’t change it often.

Mr. Peter Cottontail, showing a start to his summer clothes.

Bloody Big moose track on a sand bar

Along the Middle Fork of the Chena. 

And along the North Fork (also the Chena)

Look close, you’ll see three swans in this slough;

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Guns, knives, Outdoors, Spring, weather and seasons, Wildlife, Winter | 1 Comment

A bright idea?

Or a hot idea perhaps. 

A fiery one at any rate.

So, I’ve been using the match safe and matches for a few weeks before this, partly because it was fun and works fine. But mostly because I ran out of butane, And lighter fluid.   

And I’m miserably broke. So no fuel of either type was forthcoming anytime soon.  

 I’d been using the liquid fuel lighter inserts most of the summer, and winter, because I ran out of butane in the mid summer.  And just happened to get a free can of Zippo lighter fluid when we cleaned the previous tenant’s  “trash” out of one of the houses we worked on. πŸ˜€ 

@ $10+ a can, I’d given up buying the lighter fluid a couple years ago in favor of butane inserts.  But the butane isn’t exactly cheap.. 

Anyway, I got to thinking about what else I could run a Zippo on. I’ve never done it, but Dad had told me years ago that they will run on gasoline,  and diesel(and probably kerosene) if you can stand the smell.  

I wondered this winter if my Zippo hand warmer would run on Heet, or Iso Heet  alcohol. Never got around to trying it.  The general concensus on the interned is that the lighters will run on the alcohol,  but not great, and it evaporates out of them a Lot faster. 

Next couple days, if I find I still have a bottle of it kicking around, I’ll try it in a lighter and see how it does. 

I also wondered if I could use the can of white gas I have… but that’s pretty volatile stuff, didn’t want to blow up a lighter! Or me. πŸ˜‰ 

Little research though, and, turns out white gas is a fancy name for what is basically 99% naphtha.  Interesting! 

Id always known that lighter fluid is basically 99% naptha. 

πŸ˜€ 

My Ford Zippo is now running one Coleman stove fuel(white gas)! 

Burns the same, and the exhaust, smell is the same. 

The kicker here is that I have almost a full gallon can that I bought almost a decade ago for my Coleman multifuel stove!

 At the time that gallon can was a horrific  $10.  What I’d pay now for a maybe ~ 16oz bottle of lighter fluid!   Hate to think what the gallon of white gas costs now!! 

Categories: Fire, Lighters, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts

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