Sunday, December 20, 2015

I got me some sugar!

Yup - after spending a rather unproductive time using soda as a blasting medium with my Harbor Freight air blasting tool, I located a small container of sugar that I poured into the blasting head. The difference was immense. I could bring the paint down to bare metal when I needed and managed to roughen the surface of existing paint. 

It is indeed regular cane sugar. The traditional thing to use is sand or preferably silica free sand. Given that sugar is a substance broken down easily by the human body, I'm not too bothered about inhaling minuscule quantities though I hold my breath while I'm blasting. Sand contains silica which causes silicosis - a really nasty and frequently terminal lung ailment. The best thing is sugar is available just about everywhere. A 20lb bag is cheap in Walmart while for sand I'd have to go further and pay more.

Lacking time to paint properly as it was getting close to dusk, I pulled out the first spray can I could locate. Meanwhile, I have been wondering whether I should change the paint scheme. On one hand, I can get grey fairly readily. On the other, I could paint the bus a more interesting color. I'll probably stick with grey on the basis that most of the paint is probably not going to peel. If necessary I can use a steel brush or sandpaper for occasions when the compressor is unavailable. 

One of worries is whether my welds are good enough. I'm going to have to find a real welder and ask his opinion. I think my battery compartment is going to be strong enough. Mind, I've just measured it against a nearby car battery. It seems that the door the hillbillies put on is not large enough to allow a full sized battery. Thus, my plan of using gas seems to be much more of a thing. I can build a smaller cage to hold a small gas container. No need for a huge one as far as I can see. I can get away with a smaller battery because it's not going to be used for powering mains equipment. I'm thinking small electronics such as my tablet and my phone etc.

Speaking of welds, I welded some scrap steel together. This is so that m'lady's niece's boyfriend can his destructive streak and try to destroy it. If he can then I'll have to look harder at my existing welds.

Looking at my bus batteries, they were down to 50% so I put them on charge to bring them back up to 100%. The bus has been sitting idle for months. That's not good for the batteries but one day I'll get around to installing my solar panel. That should keep the battery topped up.

The solar panel I have should keep the bus batteries topped up. I suspect a similar sized panel might be sufficient to provide for my daily electrical needs unless, of course, I decide to install a fridge that runs off 12v. As I've mentioned, I'm experimenting with Peltier elements and these form the basis of 12v fridges. Now a single Peltier would use around 60w or 120ah. To make a freezer, 4 Peltier elements would be needed, using 480ah. That's way in excess of what I'll set up to do. I figure 10-15ah is all I'll likely need if I use gas. Indeed, since my microwave is close to being deceased, it's not too much of a stretch to put a gas hob where the microwave used to be. indeed, I suspect that I might have been better off not installing the 120v setup at all but rather, installing 12v and gas. Having said that, I have what I have. It'll all probably work out for the best. The goal was to have all electric and while that is possible, it's not of immediate financial practicality.

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