I am not sure where I left of with y’all but I have been slammed kind of busy, not much woodworking, but sort of related to woodworking… My recent projects have been..
#1. Upgrade and repair the lumber wagon.
My truck is a 2004 Ford F150 4×4 that suffered from some design flaws, and need for improvement to meet my needs better. Specifically the design flaw which is common to all full size pickups built since about the 1980s, suspension components built with “lifetime lubrication”, meaning no grease fittings. Which took out the upper ball joints prematurely. So upgrade time…
—Front end was rebuilt using “Moog Problem Solver” upper control arm assembly, and lower ball joint with greaseable fittings. Synthetic lube used.
—Original leveling kit spacer, and factory shocks and coil springs were replaced with Rancho QuickLift Loaded 2.5” lift shock / springs. They don’t give the full 2.5” of lift after adding weight listed below, but the ride is fantastic, and the lift is about 2” now… Like I said, the ride is MUCH better than stock.
—Trashed front tires removed. Rear 35×12.50/17 mud tire took the best and put it on the spare, about 50 – 60% tread left. Installed new set of Hercules Trail Digger MT 35×12.50/17.
—Rebuilt the brake system with upgraded drilled / slotted rotors, and Extreme duty pads. I needed extra stopping power with the big rubber, and big loads. So far it has worked exceptionally well.
—Due to the lower ride height than I had with the prior spacer, I had some rubbing issues. “clearanced” the rear inner fender liner, and removed some metal from the back of the inner fender. I now have no less than 1/2” space between the tire and any part of the body work.
—Removed my original brush guard, that managed to get salty sand and water inside the lower tube causing it to rust through. Replaced it with a Go Rhino winch mount brush guard. Looks are very clean, good lines to it. And the winch support has already gotten me out of trouble once, and about 4 other drivers in a dirt parking lot during a rain storm out… I do need to fine tune the adjustment on the headlight hoop parts, but aside from that, I am VERY happy with my Go Rhino!
—Installed my Engo E9000 winch that has been in my shop for about a year. Finally got it installed, and the space in my shop reclaimed!
—Installed a fresh set of Pro Comp 130 watt stainless steel 6” off road lights. I left the covers off of my old ones, and caught a rock in the non replaceable lens… Ugh..
—Installed a set of “Pacer Performance” 2.5” rubber lip fender flares to cover the tires. I hated having gravel spewed up on the side of the truck. They don’t keep ALL of the junk off, but the gravel and junk is no longer hitting the body, but rather hitting the step bars, which I am planning on stripping down and coating with truck bed liner material.
—Ordered the items to complete my vehicle recovery kit. I looked at buying a pre made winch accessory kit, which would be great for a Jeep, but everything was sized too small for the 9K lb winch and my truck. Instead I opted to… Kick the B&D router that I hate out of it’s 19” ballistics nylon tool bag and in that bag keep the following items.
—> Keeper brand vehicle recovery strap. Have had this for years. 30K LB capacity. This is my 2nd one, my first was stolen out of my old Jeep.
—> 20K lb snatch block. The heaviest capacity I could find in any pre made kit was 16K lbs. A snatch block should DOUBLE the pull capacity of your winch, so at a minimum I needed 18K.
—> Keeper brand 20K lb capacity 6’ tree trunk saver strap.
—> Smittybuilt receiver hitch D ring shackle and mount. No pre made kits came with these…
—> Generic logging / choker chain, 3/8” chain and hooks. Useful for using sharp anchor points that would shred the trunk saver strap. Harbor Freight cheap, but well made so what the heck…
spare 3/4" D rings for connecting straps to snatch blocks, other vehicles etc... Not included in any standard pre made kit. spare winch clevis hooks. I have broken these in use in the past. Need to make sure I have extras out in the sticks with me! Not included in any pre made kit.
—> Jumper cables in a heavy duty canvas bag. I know this sounds funny, but I hang the bag handles over the winch cable to act as a cable dampener in case it breaks… Old trick I learned from my late uncle when we were woodccutting when I was a kid. Not included in any pre made kit, although Rugged Ridge does include a specially made cable dampener in their fancy kit…
—> Pair of Wells Lamont X Large pigskin roping gloves. Standard kits come with effectively large gardening gloves. I can BARELY fit my hands into the X large. And I honestly prefer a roping glove. Moves better with the hands. Even if I bought a pre made kit, I would have to replace the gloves.
#2. Work inside the house.
—Repair drywall in, and paint ceilings, walls and trimwork in the dining room, front hallway, and living room. (Living room about 80% complete, the other rooms are 100% complete).
—Built IT training infrastructure lab, and perform complete structured wiring project based on computer relay rack and a mount board for telephone 110 punchdown block and satelite coaxial cable.
I am next moving on to finishing the living room, then doing the kitchen, followed by some siding repair, and finish the drywall / reconfiguration of the shop.
I think I know why I am tired!
-- Manufacturer of fine quality sawdust since 1984. Comments and advice on my shop welcome. Check it out at http://lumberjocks.com/dbhost/workshop. Gladly accepting shop build donations!