Bridgeport Purchase

Managed to get a hold of a Bridgeport Milling Machine. Bought it from an auction of a closed machining business (Faye Tool and Die) for less than even half of what I’ve seen some pretty rough ones going for on Craigslist.

The day before the riggers were supposed to move the Mill for me, I drove over to the auction to pick up a set of hold downs I won, some copper clad board for my Dad, and a couple of small vises that I figured would get me going while trying to source a “good” vise. Glad I brought my tools since they didn’t have anything disconnected/removed on the mill. Spent a half an hour undoing the DRO, rotating the head down (as shown in pictures below), turning all the crank handles inward to avoid snagging and breaking them, and the real fun part, disconnecting the electric 3 Phase and small outlet that were attached. Had to use a broom to reach up high enough to shutoff the disconnect, then cut through the 10-3 hoping it was truly off!

Ended up going with Navis Pack and Ship to get it transported from Orlando to Mount Dora. Called a few places, and either got sky high ($2k+) or even after calling multiple times never heard back. It was still pricey, but thankfully enough under $1k that I was OK with it.

The first fun adventure with the Mill was getting it down off the pallet. When they delivered it, I had two options: Have them leave it in front of my garage, but off the pallet, or put it in the garage, but on the pallet. Their forklift was 3 inches too high to make it into the garage. I decided the latter, thinking it would be simple to lift it, remove the pallet and set it down, compared to have to move it 8 or so feet. Boy was I wrong…

In the end, it came down to using 3/4 all thread, my aluminium jack, some wood, a sawzall, and a lot of wrecked nerves. I started by jacking it up enough that I could support it on bolts and be able to cut away the pallet, which was much easier said then done. From here I was able to lower it onto some 2x4s stacked, then slowly lower it down on the all thread while taking a chunk of wood out. I would turn each all thread maybe two turns before going to the next one, all the meanwhile the Mill is doing a “jig” since there’s enough slop in the holes where it rides to be able to move. Once on the ground, just a standard 3ft prybar moves it with ease. I was very glad of this, and honestly wish I knew from the get go how easy it was to move. I would have had them take it off the pallet!

Neat find while at the auction

Good ole’ TRS-80 and even a TRS-80 Model II Disk System

Bought the house!

Closed on April 4, 2016, I am a first time home owner! A lot still needs done, but have also undertaken and gotten a lot done in only a week! Thanks go out to both my Mom and Dad to all the hard work with getting stuff done!

Things done so far:

  • Ripped out old carpeting, revealing rather nice wood floor
  • Hung up blinds in all windows
  • Rewired Shed and Garage so that it is now safe 
    • Added Garage Subpanel
    • Garage had two 12 gauge UF feeds, one was powered the other was for a switch loop
    • Removed unused switch loop and wired for 2 phase
    • Installed outlets for new lights in garage and outlets for the garage door and one for a future garage door
    • Put shed on breaker in garage subpanel
    • Some of the windows in the garage need fixed, but they all can now be opened (some needing propped as they are double hung)
  • Removed Living Room subpanel hookup which was tied to the main service feed, NOT on a breaker
  • Put both Kitchen and Living Room subpanels on a 2 pole 60 amp breaker setup
  • Rewired hot water heater to 220, was on 120…
  • Moved around some of the wiring, no need for the whole house fan to be hooked up right now when there are more important things to be wired in
  • Brought main breaker panel up to a safer standard
  • Mapped out entire main breaker panel, half of kitchen panel
    • No idea what two of the four breakers go to in the kitchen panel, nothing seems to not work with having them completely disconnected…
  • Landscaped out front, making it look like home and not just some house
  • Cleaned some junk out of the shed
  • Put in all new door locks and dead bolts on exterior doors, all keyed to one key
  • Ordered new kitchen and bathroom faucets. Some things I can live with, but low faucets (aka the Kitchen) and low and close to the back of the sink (aka the Bathroom) I cannot. One thing I found is that Amazon is SO much cheaper than the big box stores when it comes to faucets, I got both of the ones I wanted for way less than just the one would have cost.
  • Probably more that I am forgetting…

One improvement that I want to make sooner than later is upgrading the 27 gallon hot water heater. It is way too small, can’t even take a bath with it! Tankless seems to be cheaper in both upfront and over that long run costs. I should have everything required to swap over minus what is listed below. So for under 300, I should be able to install and have a tankless (read: Unlimited) supply of hot water

Tankless hot water heater setup:

Tankless hotwater Service Kit DIY:

  Price for a service kit comes to around 60 dollars, the DIY setup is about 37. Not only that, but this     is setup for 1/2 instead of the store bought ones that I can only seem to find in 3/4, which adds on       cost to reduce to 1/2

Looking at a house…

Looking at a house, it will need to be completely re-wired so this page is dedicated to a shopping list/information page

Service Feed Wire:

Service Feed Head:

Load Center:

Ground Rod:
Conduit to service head:
Still looking into this…
Conduit Clamp:
In-use box:
Weathertight connectors:

Amp Chart:


Driver side torque box is out

Got more media blasting done, got the rest of the torque box out as well as the floor pan support. Separated the one piece torque box I bought and did sort of a test fit, fit is alright, will know better once I knock down where I used the spot weld cutter and any other weld areas and am ready to put it in.

Built a media separator out of a 5 gallon bucket, lid, 2x 2″ pvc street elbows, 2″ to 1.5″ reducer, and 2x 2″ rubber couplers. I’ll post some images up when I have a chance to take some! Works great to be able to suck up the used media and be able to filter and funnel back into the blaster to be reused.

Started piecing together the next sheet metal pieces I will need to order:

  • or

Progress on the Tip-Over jig and some new parts…

Made progress on the tip-over jig this weekend. Got the 4×4’s and 2×6’s mounted, the plywood cut and temporarily attached. Need to cut a few 2×4’s and drill and bolt everything together onto the 2×6’s. Once the jig is built, I will jack up the car enough to remove the front and rear suspension components then I can lower it onto the jig. I also need to fab up some door jigs. I bought some square tubing at Lowes, just need to weld on a plate to attach to the door striker location and the door hinge mount. I will be picking up an electric hoist that I will be able to use to help “tip” it over as well as lower it when I need to. Hopefully I can get it “tipped” over next weekend. 

Ordered and received a new front floor support for the drivers side. Also just ordered the 1 inch shorter seat pans from NPD. They are the only people that sell them that I can find, and when I went to buy them a month ago they had NO stock, and looking tonight they had some in the FL warehouse so I bought them! 

New car!

Who would have thought simply taking in the SHO to get a screw removed from the tire would have me driving away in a 2016 Showroom Floor Ford Fiesta ST?! Story time!

Hop in the SHO and start it up, peek over at the radio and see the TPMS for the back right tire is at 10 PSI. Great… Hop out, grab an air gauge and test it, 34 PSI. Okay then, lets check the front right. Ding ding ding, 10 PSI. Not sure why the head unit had it swapped, but at least I know that a tire is indeed low. Fill it up, and see if maybe I can get lucky and spot the problem. I can, and its a nice screw right in the tread, well whats left of the tread, as my tires were getting pretty worn (Kinda sad they only lasted 15k miles, but they were crappy tires and most people I have talked to said they had about the same mileage out of them…) Anyways, take it to Firestone since I didn’t want to have to go to Ford (Mullinax chipped my Fusion rim and would take the blame, saying there machines wouldn’t do that…I’m sure the grease monkey is more than capable though…) Go in and they are booked for the day (it is the Monday after Christmas afterall) so I schedule and appt for the next day. Decided to run over to Ford (Prestige) and see what they can do. I get told it’d be about 30 minutes, nice!

As I go to sit down, I decided I’ll go test drive some cars. Get out, get some fresh air and have some fun. Up until this point all I wanted to do was get the tire fixed and go home. I was NOT test driving for a new car, just to go out and drive. I started with a new Explorer with the EcoBoost. Not bad I must say! Comfy and lots of features. Then moved onto a Flex with the standard 3.5L non-EcoBoost. I liked it, had plenty of get-up-and-go, even for not having the turbos. After talking some with the sales person, I realized even though they were nice cars, I didn’t want to move up to something bigger than my already large boat of a car. Before we went back inside, I got talking to the sales guy about a smaller car, like maybe a Focus ST, but they didn’t have any (small dealership in old peoples town) so we went into the show room. He wanted to have me talk to his boss to see what he might be able to do for me (even though at this point I was still just using up time) , while waiting they guy fixing me tire comes over and says due to policy, they could put a plug in the tire but not hot patch it since the tread was so low (and it really was…probably around if not past the legal limit…) so I said sure, just plug it. I didn’t have 2k to drop on new tires (thanks Ford for have 19″ fat tires that almost no one carries…) by this time the manager came over and we talked a little and I said how maybe I want something smaller than the SHO, but something with a stick to make it  fun car. Then I spot the Fiesta ST. Showroom floor, White Platinum Tri-Coat, Black 17″ Rims, looks sweet! I took a seat in it and fell in love with it. I knew from right then I wanted it. I fit comfortably, hell I felt like I had more room than in the SHO! Seeing a possible sale, my sales guy brought it out of the showroom after moving a nice looking F150 off the showroom as well. I take it for a spin and having some troubles with the clutch (little stiffer and the contact point is much different than that of the T5 in the ‘Stang) but I loved the way it drove, the way it took off, the way it corned, everything! When we got back I sat down for the paper work on it.

It was higher than I wanted to pay, but after really going over the SHO, I realized how all the little things really added up. The flaking clear coat on the hood and front bumper. The PO’s accident damage to the front bumper, the rust bubbles on the roof from the hail damage 8 months prior, the fact that the tires were practically bald, the after market head unit which the frame had a slot meant for a non-nav car’s screen making basically an oval hole into the dash, the partially blue carbon fiber wrapped dash, the not-in-the-best-shape seats, the fact that the paint had swirls and scratches that for the life of me and my DA could not remove, the accident damage from when I was rear ended (which was reported as major damage, and what really made the value of the car go down…)

I ended up talking them down 1.5K and made them throw in the ST rubber mats and walked out the door with one of the best cars I have driven! Now I just need them to replace the silver calipers with the red ones it is supposed to have since the 17″ Ebony wheel upgrade package (which I have) is supposed to come with red calipers…

And here it is shoved in “The Ranch” so that I can detail and apply 
Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Coating

More floor pan carnage!

Got most of the driver side floor pan removed, started out removed a good chunk using my plasma cutter (what an AWESOME tool!) The more I dug into it, the more I found that needed replaced (always the case with a classic!) I discovered the toe kick needed replaced, as whatever they had used before on the floor covered the rust quite nicely… Under the toe kick I found the torque box was pretty rusted and almost rusted through on the bottom! In addition, once I had most of the torque box cut out I discovered that the floor support could use replaced as well. Where it is overlapping the front frame support behind the torque box it is rusted through, and overall the support is pretty bent and beat up from the years of jacking. 
Instead of working above my head/face to finish removing (and eventually welding in) the torque box, I decided to move the timeline up for getting the 67′ set up on a tip over jig. Instead of paying around 2K for a professional rotisserie, I will be building a “tip over jig” which attaches to the front and rear of the car, and using some 2×6’s and some plywood will allow me to “tip” over the car on its side. While building it, I will post up my designs. Until then, I need to swap sides between the 67 and 73 so that I will be able to tip the 67 against the wall and not the middle of the floor.

More done to the 67′ the past few days…

Got the old inline 6 and T5 pulled out of the 67′ yesterday (Christmas Eve). Never thought I’d be so happy to pull the engine and transmission for what I believe to be the 7th (yes really) time. It was a great engine for what it was, and was to a point fun to see what I could do to add performance and reliability, however I wish that I would have instead spent the money towards putting a 302 in it. I have one I am working on to put in, however if I would have put the “performance” mod money towards it, I’d be much further!

Anyways, with the engine and transmission out, I should be able to roll the Mustang around much easier, and i’ll be able to get in the engine bay to “refresh” it, be able to replace the battery apron since it is rotted out from sulphuric acid from the years of batteries in it, etc. I am almost finished with the lower cowl “repair”, just a small triangle to weld in and grind down the rest of the weld I made. From here i’ll be able to move onto the floor pans. I need to remove the gas tank and fuel line coming from the tank, and then I will be able to use my new Plasma Cutter! The plan is to start on the drivers side, remove the floor pan, fix the frame rail (mainly pound out the metal so that it is square again, coat the inside with Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator, and clean the outside in preparations for the Subframe Connectors ( Then I will weld in the new floor pan and move onto the passenger side repeating what I have done for the drivers side. Once both pans are in, I’ll move onto dropping the rear end and getting the subframe connectors welded in since I have to notch out the new floor pans. Once those are in….

So just a thought out loud, now that the engine is out, and soon the tank will be out and rear end, maybe I should go ahead and make a tip over jig for it and do a 360* restoration on it instead of a 180… This will set back any sort of timeline I may have had, but I rather do it right then to rush it. This would also make it easier to install the subframe connectors and any other sort of bottom-of-car modifications or replacements. This would allow me to install a passenger side torque box and replace the driver side if it needs it. Also, when finished with the bottom, I could rotate it 180* and be able to do body work to the roof. Take off the paint, do any metal work, spray a body filler and get it nice and smooth while it is easier to work on then having to lean over it. And while on the bottom, I can get it prepped and apply a good underliner to keep it in pristine condition for years to come!