Monday, September 20, 2021

chimney cap

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Capping my old chimney will hopefully reduce my home energy use.

This chimney has not been required since the old oil burning furnace was removed.

Covered with a tin roof and screen, the old chimney was essentially an open tube from the roof down into my basement.

Although closed off at the bottom, this steel lined pipe was open at the top allowing convective flow from the top of the tube all the way down through the brick chimney core. In other words, some of my expensive heated air was rising out the chimney. Cold air was replacing it by sinking down to the lowest level of the house, right through the center of the house, without much insulation around it.

The new propane furnace installed three years ago vents through the wall of the basement so this chimney is no longer required. In a major renovation, a chimney like this might be removed entirely from the building and covered over at the roof line but that is not in the plan.

So the next best thing seemed to be cutting the airflow at the top in a permanent waterproof manner. I finally got around to this job three years late. I hate working on my roof.

Above was the top of the chimney showing the 7 inch diameter stainless steel liner and the old chimney cap. That was a pretty large opening into my house!

I used a cutting disk in a grinder to cut through the steel level with the stone and discarded the cap.

On the level surface I laid a bead of mortar then set the patio stone onto the chimney.

Once the mortar had cured, I added a layer of fibre glass tape and roof sealer to the joint.


Thank you for your interest.

George Plhak
Lions Head, Ontario, Canada

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

polishing headlights

Improving 14 year old headlights for about $25 and a few hours easy work. 

Most of the time is to allow drying after each step.

I used 1000, 2000 then 3000 grit 2 inch sanding disks in a drill to wet sand, followed by hand sanding then washing and drying at each step. Then I put on gloves and applied Wipe-New.

I had not used Wipe-New" before. The result is impressive.

The "AFTER" picture
<click to enlarge>









The "BEFORE" picture

The headlight as it was with masking tape applied to the surrounding paint.

Hard to believe it was this bad.

Three steps of progressively finer sanding disks were used wet followed by cleaning and drying after each.

Machine sanding with the drill was followed with hand sanding with the same grade pad at each step.

New sanding disks were used for each headlamp at each step.

Wipe-New back of package

tert-butyl acetate,
benzene and benzaldehyde.
Wear gloves.
Use outside.

Have both headlights prepared before you open this package. It evaporates very quickly.
Wipe each headlight only once to coat the surface.
I went in horizontal strips.
The applicator works well.
Do not try to touch up.
Wait for an hour.

Wipe-New package

Wipe-New product link

I bought at Canadian Tire for about C$20 +tax

    The live action "TECHNIQUE" video
The final result.

I am very pleased!

I will see better in the dark and will not confuse on-coming drivers.
Thanks for your interest.

George Plhak
Lions Head, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

fixing old stuff

Troubleshooting two big old Tektronix 7854 in my garage. The first analog oscilloscope with a computer. An oscilloscope lets you "see" electricity.
Currently I am checking the LV power supplies. I think I can operate them completely out of the scope.
I hope it will be an advantage to be able to compare one scope to the other. I have already found a few things
I have the 3" thick paper Tek manual with beautiful foldout diagrams and all the update pages (late issue).
And I have a third working 7854 on a cart in the house. I can always open that one up too :)
Why do this?
These scopes might be forty years old. A modern $400 oscilloscope from China does more, better, smaller, lighter, and is way cheaper (but probably not with 400MHz bandwidth).
The 7854 was introduced in 1981 at a base cost of US$10,500. In my 1987 Tek catalog it lists for $16,220 but by then included the waveform calculator and the extra memory option. Project Leader on this scope was Tom Rousseau. More about Tom and the 7A26 amplifier.
Thanks for your interest.
George Plhak
Lions Head, Ontario, Canada