I can’t believe it’s been two years since we lost a good friend. A retired Captain in the Navy, Carroll LeFon had gone back to his treasured place in the cockpit and was flying a vintage foreign fighter jet as a civilian contractor helping to train our current Navy pilots. I stole the pic above from Old AF Sarge because it’s how I like to remember Lex.
I’m not going to go into details about how Lex passed. That’s been done for the most part and we’re still waiting for the full accident report due to complexities of the situation. No, today I will remember and celebrate a man who I respected as did many others.
Godspeed, Lex, and may God bless your family and friends.
The Missus and I went to the Central Coast this past weekend. Affordable lodging at Vandenberg AFB. We hit Pismo Beach and Oceano Dunes. The Monarch Butterfly Grove was quite interesting. The wind was very strong on the beach though. We did walk it for quite awhile. The wind surfers were out as well as the RV and OHV crowd.
On the way home yesterday, we stopped at The Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles and picked up a tasty treat!
More pictures at the link: http://desertf16apg.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/travels-to-the-central-coast-presidents-day-weekend-2014/
I took this pic when I got back from lunch today.
I’ve been pretty darn sick since about 12 February. It started with an icky feeling and a scratchy eye. It turned into upper and lower respiratory infections with a side of double eye infection. I wasn’t feeling too good the following day and left the bike at home. I had a fever of somewhere near 102° Friday morning which is why I called out that day. I pretty much held couches and chairs down during the next few days and came back to work yesterday.
Well, I decided to take the car again this morning before deciding to swap vehicles during my lunch break. Let me tell you – Never underestimate the restorative power of an inexpensive, middle weight, Japanese cruiser motorcycle, especially when combined with 40 degree temperatures and Finnish symphonic heavy metal music
My voice is still pretty much shot, my throat is still dry and sore, and I’m still trying to hack up half a lung, but I feel revitalized, refreshed, and I’m in much better spirits
Ride on, everyone
After all the work I put into this stove, I thought it might be a good idea to fire it up (Literally!) and make sure everything worked before I applied the decorations. Well, it worked
Actually, every part of the stove worked, but I learned a couple of things that are kind of important Here are a couple of pics from tonight’s first fire
Yep, it’s a stove What you can’t see in these pics is that I was able to see just why the case and lid had been scorched before I bought it. The flames from that main burner can get quite large and can spread out quite a bit when there’s a pot or pan on the grate.
With the way the fire can damage the finish, I’ve decided not to use the Roadrunners and Area 51 theme. I don’t mind using those stickers even if I only have one of each as long as no lives are in danger and the stickers won’t be destroyed in a short period of time. I think I’m going to go with the WWII nose art idea. I just have to find the right one
Last, but not least, I thought I’d share something I thought was pretty neat I’ve gotten used to seeing stoves like this get the burner bowl a bit red. This stove went above and beyond that and made the grate glow cherry red
Well, that’s all for now. Have a GREAT day, everyone
So, it’s coming down to the finishing touches now
I’ve got the stove painted Rustoleum aluminum and I’m planning on using some flat black model paint (brush on variety) to make faux panel and rivet/screw lines. Now, the original plan was to go with some nose art similar to what you see below:
That’s still a possibility, but I’ve run into a bit of a glitch. I can’t find family friendly pinup girl nose art with text that I like, in a size that works, and that doesn’t cost twice what I paid for the stove in the first place. I know I spent a decent chunk on the VHT paint and the Evapo Rust, but those can be spread out over several restorations and it’s not so much expense just for one project. This was supposed to be fairly low budget
I got to thinking… Maybe there was a way to make a good looking project and all that would preserve the budgetary intent and which might even have more meaning…
I’m an associate member of the Roadrunners Internationale and I’ve had some great times with those heroes of the Cold War The Roadrunners are the guys who designed, built, flew, and maintained the U-2, A-12, SR-71, and a bunch of other classified projects. They built the base at Area 51
I have a few stickers from the Roadrunners and a few of Area 51 from excursions to Rachel, NV and the Little A’Le’Inn, so I thought I’d lay some of ‘em out on the stove and see how they looked. This is what I’m thinking of doing for the outside/top of the stove lid:
I have a bit more stuff from visits to the Little A’Le’Inn, so I thought I’d lay it out and see how it might look if I put it on the inside of the stove lid:
I’m gonna sit back and cogitate on this for a while since it’s not like the stove or these stickers are going anywhere I’d be curious to hear what my friends out there think of these ideas as well
Well, that’s all for right now. Have a great day and let me know what you think
Shot by Rover Curiosity from the Red Planet
Pretty cool…………..Kinda makes one realize that we are not that significant in the Larger Picture of The Universe……………………….
The U.S. Navy’s first supercarrier — the long-decommissioned Forrestal — has begun its final voyage to a Texas scrapyard, after the Pentagon tried to sell it, found no takers and had to pay a penny to get rid of it.
OK, who’s still following along with me on the stove renovations ?
It’s getting close to being done! I’ve managed to get it de-rusted, primed, painted, and now reassembled :D I probably should have left it all alone to dry a little longer, but I just couldn’t help myself.
Here are some more before and after pics:
It’s not really apparent, but the manifold and burners look quite a bit different from the case. They’re a genuine flat aluminum color where the case and tank are a brushed semi-gloss aluminum. There’s a reason for this other than an artistic decision. The case and tank were done with Rustoleum and the burners, manifold, and grate were done with VHT 2000° paint. Call me crazy, but I wanted to make sure the paint on the burners would stand up to the heat
It’s a night and day difference to me even aside from the color change, but I might be a little biased
The top shows some improvement, but you can still see the same dents. I didn’t want to worry about trying to take out dents on this stove.
All I did on the bottom was use some toilet bowl cleaner and a wire wheel on a drill to get the rust out. I wasn’t about to try to use solder, welding, or even Bondo to fill in the pits. I just gave everything two coats of primer and two coats of color. My main concern was stopping the rust from growing and ruining the whole thing over time, but I figured I could make it look a bit better while I was at it
The next step will be adding a bit more decoration. I’m probably going to leave it alone for a couple of days and see what I can come up with idea wise. I already have a basic theme idea, but I’m trying to work out the specifics. I think it’s working out fairly well so far
That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon
Have a great day, everyone
So, getting back to that stove I’ve been working on… Progress has been made
I managed to get the burner cups, burner caps, manifold, and grate painted. And I did it pretty quickly, too! I suspended those items on hooks and painted them outside. I then brought them inside where the paint dry correctly since it’s COLD outside
There’s a special curing process for VHT’s 2000° paint. You’re supposed to heat to 200° for 20 min, cool for 30 min, heat to 400° for 20 min, cool for 30 min, heat to 600° for 20 min, then you’re good to go. I’m just going to start it on low, let it run for half an hour, shut it off, etc. with medium and high.
That’s all for now, but I hope to catch you all later
For those joining us in mid stream, I’ve been working on repairing and restoring a 1950′s Coleman 425B camp stove. I got it cheap at a local pawn shop a little while back. It was rusted, dented, and pitted, but it’s an old Coleman so it probably would have worked just fine. I still wanted to get it cleaned up and looking a bit nicer. This has been the tale of my quest to bring it back to decent condition
The downfall of a previous stove’s tank was the stem and check valve. To see what I’m talking about, click here. The broken stem was the reason I couldn’t use the pump to pressurize the tank and it all went down hill from there until one of the guys on the Coleman Collector’s Forum kindly sent me a new tank
I’m glad to say that I didn’t have that problem on this stove! I still wanted to get the check valve out and cleaned a bit, so I needed to find a suitable tool. Basically, you need a big, thick, flat head screwdriver…
I’d gone back to the same pawn shop where I got this stove to look for other neat stuff and I noticed something in their “free for the taking” box… It looked like it was part of a tire changing kit at first, but I saw it as a possible check valve removal tool
That free tool removed the valve with no problem at all! I left the check valve soaking in some carburetor cleaner for a few hours and I left the leather pump gasket soaking in some motor oil (I got the idea for the motor oil here) as well. I put everything back together and it seems to pump just fine
I’ve still got to de-rust the case and paint some stuff, but this stove is coming right along!
Have a great evening, everyone
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