Archive for the ‘Hobbies’ Category

Flying, Schooling My Mom

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I gotta say “mad props” to my mom. She’s a real trooper, and since my dad passed away last September, she’s had to learn and handle a lot of new things. I try and help her out as best as I can, but sometimes you just have to kick back and enjoy life, maybe try new stuff along the way.

I finally got fed up with living in the city and ended up moving out to the sticks. Actually, I’m living at the old family place out in the sticks. It’s been a learning experience, but all in all I really enjoy where I’m at. One nice thing is being able to do stuff like take 10 steps out the basement door and cast a line in the pond. Or go out on the porch and bust a few caps, and nobody gets all up in a bunch and calls the cops. Also, my yard is big enough (including the pond) to do some flying. Pretty badass since I have an electric Lazy Bee with the floats.

Anyway, last Saturday Mom came to visit (a weekly thing, I think she like it when I grill stuff for her), and she helped me clear some brush out by the gate. Dad never let her run the cool toys, so I gave her a crash course on the front end loader (I was busy driving the Gravely with the sickle bar, and it’s, no shit, a half a mile to the gate). She really liked running it, and wants to do it again. Running the loader is work, no denying it, so after dinner I said “wanna learn to fly?” She was all like “I don’t want to break any of your planes”, but I had an ace up my sleeve. I pulled out the Parkzone Vapor. It was dead calm outside, and just perfect for it.

I showed her the basics and got it set on the throttle and handed over the DX6i. Yes, she was fixated and within a minute she had spiraled it into the ground. No biggie, no damage, so I sent it on its way again and demonstrated what she did and how to not do it again. Mind you, this was the first time she’s ever flown RC. The second flight went much better and I could tell she was riding a surge of adrenalin, so when she handed it back, I took it and said good job.

I could tell she had a blast from the big grin and the shaky hands, I’ve been there. She said she wants to learn more and do some more flying, but only on the Vapor. I got a 2 meter glider that’s just begging for some stick time, and I’m sure I’ll get her hooked on gliders soon.


Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

I was looking back through the previous bunch of posts and realized that I’ve been a tad fixated on the 914, and need to change focus for a while. Plus, I’m waiting for parts.


YT – Pick of the Day

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Cool plane, but the pilot needs a little work.

And this looks fun. Might have to scale it up a hair and fab one out with full propo.

Pen Gallery

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Started a gallery for my pen turning projects. Check ’em out.

Pen Gallery

Mr. Darby – Quick Update

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Got a ton done on the Darby, the worst of which was sanding the main deck.  Putting 2 layers of glass down before sanding helped a lot.  Hell, the more I do it, the more I learn what not to do.  Also fabricated a mixer thing for my drill.  Overkill on mixing the activator for the glass resin is kind of an oxymoron.  You can’t mix it enough.  At any rate, the main deck and hatch are ready for the next phase.

I got the battery deck made, and gained a keel compartment underneath it.  I still need to reinforce the false bottom to take the weight of the battery, but that’s no biggie.  Both hull fittings are in place, with the fire monitor system complete up to the pump outlet.  I’m still pondering how to affix the bilge pump to the hull bottom.  

Doesn’t sound like much, but it was a full weekend of boat building.  19 new pix in the build gallery.

Mr. Darby – 1st Century of Pix

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

I added more pix to the Darby build gallery, then I noticed that I’d passed the 1st hundred mark.  

Almost done with the basic decking.  I didn’t get the chance to take pix of the fiber glassing on the main deck this evening, but it’s glassed and hardening right now.  I’ll probably start sanding it, and the hatch, tomorrow.  

Next up will be fitting the main deck to the hull, then working on the bulk heads and interior decking.  I’d like to get it in the water soon, but I don’t know if I have enough ballast to get it to the waterline.  At the very least I can test the control systems and drive it around a bit.  I’m sure I’ll get some video of it in the water.

Mr. Darby – Finished Rudders

Monday, September 1st, 2008


Finished machining the rudder pull-pull wheels and installed the complete rudder control system in the hull.  Using the larger wheels seems to provide a very strong, accurate setup that returns to neutral with little effort.

I got the main deck assembled today.  I still need to finish gluing the members, and I have to make the hatch, but it went together pretty easily after climbing the learning curve with the forcastle deck.  The hatch is going to take some work, since it’s a pretty tight fit (and I haven’t even started glassing it yet), and the kit wood isn’t square on one end.  Meh, it’s all part of building I guess.

Darby – Cut’n Metal

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I finally put the last couple dabs of green bondo on the skeg and rudder fairings early this evening and shelved the hull for that crap to harden up. I had planned on resuming work in the aft deck, built as a unit and bonded to the hull, but I figured that finishing some of the control gear would get me to sea trials faster. And I kind of needed to switch up to something completely different. Dad cut the first of two rudder pull/pull wheels out of aluminum, but hasn’t been able to work on the second. So, I decided to copy the one he’d machined. It took a few minutes to get the hang of his Southbend 10″ lathe, but it’s a pussycat once you get to know it. Almost 4 hours later I had a near perfect copy of the wheel Dad had cut. I still need to drill and tap two grub screws in each of them, but that’ll have to wait till tomorrow.

I’ll try to get some pix of them before and after I put them in the hull.

Darby – Running in the Drivetrain

Sunday, August 17th, 2008


First time I’ve run up the drivetrain on the Darby since installing and fiber glassing.  The motor noise in the vid is the twin Pittman motors.  I’m getting close to some sea trials.  I’ll post some pix of the skeg build in the gallery.

Darby – Fiber Glassing

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008