Sunday, July 19, 2020

Camping without the buzz....

…. the buzz of mosquitoes that is. Hands down the best part of this past weekend was the fact that there was not a bug to be found - not at the campsite, not on the trails, not near the water.... How novel! I returned home without a bite on me, which I don't think has ever happened in the history of camping out west!

We rolled out Friday for an awesome few days of campfires and dirtbiking, and of course we had tons of laughs and excellent riding.

The company was stellar, and the entertainment was impressive! Between the nightly fireworks displays, the 'high-marking' attempts on the wall behind our campsite (the little guy in red is only 7 years old!), and the requisite games of giant jenga, there were very few dull off-trail moments.

Next up - packing for the Shuswap! Looking forward to some beautiful BC lake time and some real summer weather! Woot!


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Vacation season has begun!

July is rolling right along, and I have been having a grand ole time! The month has started off with some outside time, both in the mountains and at the lake, as well as some inside time (but NOT at work!).

Some friends and I headed west for a day of oogling waterfalls and canyons. It took a couple of tries, but we were able to find a trail that was not being pounded by rain...

Then I loaded up my MIG101 PPE and headed for Red Deer College where I had the best week of my summer so far. This is the second year I've taken 'The Art of Welding Metal', and already I am excited to make it a three-peat!

What did I come home with, you ask? Quite a wide variety of things actually, all made from scrap metal. The instructor's words were something like "make whatever you want, as long as it fits in your car".... LOL! So this is what fit in my car:

You probably guessed that this is a duck!
The head was cold-bent to make its shape, and the legs are 1/2" rods
and the neck is made of bushings and a spring... legs and neck
are epoxied into drilled holes. Feet were cut out of mesh using the
plasma cutter and tack welded onto the legs.

On the left is a random cut-out piece that I welded onto a base
made from square rod welded to square tubing. I cut the rod and tubing
ends at 45's, and I decorated the swirl with a few weld dots.
On the right is a wine bottle holder which is also welded together
from scrap pipe and scrap plates. Grinding and patina gives the round
holder some texture, and weld dots make the plates less plain.

Yes, it's another metalcycle! Not quite as cool as the first generation was,
but unique nonetheless. It is free-standing and the 'seat' moves around.

This... well, I don't know what this is. I had a bunch of
ball bearings and I wanted to see how hard it would
be to weld them together. It wasn't!  😜

This thing weighs a ton, and I left it in three pieces.
The 'cat tails' are round rod and springs of various
diameters. The outer 'cat tails' are fit into holes
that I drilled through the 1/2" plate and are welded
to the bottom side of it. The centre 'cat tail' fits
into the hole which I drilled through the rock.
My arms were pretty sore after all of the drilling!

All of the above pieces came to fruition during welding week as I dug through the scrap metal bin. The only real idea I went into the class with was of a side table, made of nuts and bolts and other miscellaneous tools and metal items. Here is how my project turned out:

I am pretty happy with the finished product, and the glass top makes it functional. And yes you counted correctly - it only has three legs. That's what happens when you are working with junk!

Within 12 hours of the course ending and me dragging all my treasures home, we were up and on the road to Sicamous. It was a super-quick trip to drop off the boat, but it was fun and we made a few pitstops at cool places along the way.

Can you say high water!!?

I tried to take a pano shot, but with the dock moving up and down,
it made the boat look like it is inflatable or something!

And that is my first half of July in a nutshell. The rest of the month is shaping up to include more camping, dirtbiking, and hiking, and then it is off to the Shuswap. Yay for vacation season!


Back road on a beauty day!