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Lots of Legos

10 Jan

Between us, my son and I have a lot of Lego’s.  A lot.  And I’m too old to sit on the floor and build with them.  My knees hurt.

Then I saw my neighbors had tossed a couple of closet doors to the curb and I remember that my parents had built a couple project tables out of some old closet doors like that.  But I remember them being bigger than what my neighbors were parting with.  Maybe my parents closets were bigger; maybe I was smaller.  In any case, whatever I built needed to fit across the king-sized bed we have in our spare bedroom, which is where most of the Lego work gets done.

So I got a 4×8 sheet of plywood, some assorted lumber for reinforcements, and some folding table legs.

One might think that 32 square feet would be enough to spread out the Lego’s and play with them, but no…  Maybe 64 would be, but not 32.

Turns out they’ve got more than just one sheet of plywood down there at Dunn Lumber, so I set out to build a cabinet:

image

I built it so that the front and the back of the cabinet are the same – you can open drawers to the back as well.

image

In hindsight, I wonder if it would have been better to make every other drawer open in the other direction, so that you could have more to look at.

But perhaps the way I did it is good enough, as the drawers are built to come out and be put back in easily.  The drawers don’t have sub-dividers in them.  We’ll see how that works out.  My feeling is that I don’t want to have to have a card-catalog for Lego’s, and splitting things up 8 ways is already likely to be more than my son is likely to do.

 

I built it with all the parts exposed, and it’s built out of whatever wood I had laying around – some pine, lots of maple and some poplar.  I figured that was appropriate for the purpose.  The drawers are made out of ~5/16ths inch stock with 1/8” plywood bottoms.

I haven’t put any varnish on it, as it’s too cold to do that now.  I don’t know that I’ll ever varnish it.

I don’t know that I was entirely sensible here, but I built a mechanism to hold the drawers shut (or prevent them from opening on the back side if it’s up against the wall or something.  Here’s a shot of the cabinet with the drawers locked:

image

You can pull up on the dowel, spin them 180 degrees and drop them back down to unlock.

 

I tried to hand-plane as much as I could, rather than sanding.  I feel like I’m still struggling with basic stuff – particularly sharpening.  Still, from time to time, I can put an amazing edge on my tools.

Click here for the full gallery, including some shots that illustrate the fact that it might have been easier building this thing than sorting the Lego’s.

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Ewww??! What’s that smell??

15 Feb

No, it’s not what you think.

toot

Really.  No.  This article isn’t about that sort of thing.  It’s about my router…

I was in the midst of routing a profile on a long board.  I had my dust collector turned on, the air filter turned on, and the shop-vac engaged for chip-collection out the top.  My son came in the shop and immediately wanted to know what stank.

I finished the pass and I could smell it too.  Something was burning or scorching somewhere.  But with this smell, like some others, it was hard to pinpoint the source.  There were plenty of machines turned on and enough air movement to distribute it around the shop.  I thought perhaps it was the router bit burning against a badly-adjusted router table fence.  I fixed that and carried on.  Anyway, after a while, the router nominated itself by quitting completely.

When it comes to motors, I’ve gotta admit, I’m like this guy:

TheresYourProblem

If I’m driving down the road, and the engine seizes, I’ll pull over to the side, pop the hood and check the dipstick as if I had some sort of a clue.  I mean, even if some friendly fellow came along and said “Hey, is this one of your pistons?  I found it back up the road a bit.”  I’d probably react by saying, “Hey, you know what, the oil is low; I can see why if it threw a rod.  I bet if we just give it enough oil to fill to this line here, it’ll crank right up.”

So I applied that sort of knowhow to the router and pulled out the brushes (because that’s the only casually-serviceable part on an electric motor).  Sure enough, one was ground to a nub and the other was, well, basically not there.

Please Explain The Nature of the Medical Emergency

After an epic search for a parts distributor for Triton Routers within the Continental United States, I finally found the good folks at Avail Distribution.  Apparently they’re a part of Kreg tools, and they’re located they’re located in Huxley.  I’m sure you’ve heard of the town.  It’s smack in the middle of Iowa, and, as far as I can tell from the map, nowhere else.  That’s not a bad thing; it means they had plenty of time to talk to me.  Talk.  Yes.  Really.  They don’t make you go through a gauntlet of clueless folks reading from scripts before you can talk to somebody with a clue.  Manner of fact, I’m beginning to think they haven’t discovered outsourced call centers in Huxley yet.   Let’s not tell them.

So anyway, I talked to a fellow who put a new pair of brushes in a box and sent them to me for a very reasonable price.  I asked what might indicate a more extensive problem and he replied that I should shine a flashlight into the slot where the brushes go and see there’s anything that looks blackened or scorched.

I did as he said and found nothing that looked burnt up.  There was just this little gap…  I wonder if that’s normal?

Anyway, once the new brushes arrived, I gave it a shot.  Wheee!!!  It works.  There is this clicking sound though…  I wonder if it had to do with that funny gap I saw when I was looking for something burnt up.  I pulled the brushes out and saw that they were chipped up a bit.  I started pulling the router apart in earnest and I discovered that I was cruelly misled by the gentleman from Huxley.  As you can see here, this really isn’t “scorched” per se.  It’s much more along the lines of completely and utterly friggin’ disintegrated.

Disintigrated

So…  Yep.  Time to get a new router.

These Skills?  It’s All Talent.

So I finished my project with a new router.  But I don’t give up that easy.  I do like the Triton router.  I’d like to replace my aging Porter Cable router that I use for most non-table routing.  Looks like I can get a replacement for the cost of this here motor drive.  I called the folks in Huxley up again and got a replacement for the tragic situation above and, oh, yeah, um.  Some brushes.  Yep.

Months passed between the time I took it apart and the time I got around to fixing it.

The best resource I found for reassembling the router was from Ray Girling’s blog, http://www.raygirling.com/dismtra1.htm.  I think he was dealing with an older version of the router than I had, but still, the steps were good, especially the tricks he offers for getting the chuck off.

The only tough part that I had to figure my way through on my own was getting the two bearings off.  The first bearing is the one between the shaft and the chassis.  That is, if you break your router down as far as Ray’s instructions take you, your rotor is still firmly wedged into the machine.  I got mine out by tapping on the router with a hammer, gently, but straight up & down.  After a couple minutes, it came out.

To take off the other bearing, you first need to take off the nylon nut at the end.  I first used a wrench, 9/16”, which was a bit too loose, but it doesn’t matter much because the nut isn’t hard to get off.  Probably the right size is a metric size.  Anyway, be aware that the threads for that nut are reverse-threaded.

I then was able to stick the wrench between the bearing and the rest of the motor and again gently tap the shaft until the bearing slipped off.  Getting the bearing back on was a bit tricky, but I did so by getting a 3/8” socket from a socket wrench set and putting that over the shaft so that I was able to knock it back on with even pressure all around.

Only A Few Extra Parts

But yeah, I do wonder where these are supposed to go…

ExtraBits

Alright alright, I’ll read the friggin’ instructions if that’s what it takes.  Yeah.  The TRA-017 cord-restraint.  Totally goes on under the power cable housing.  And the washer isn’t really a router part – just something that was laying around when I packed up the stray pieces to put it in storage.  I think.  Yep.  Pretty sure.

Alas.  That’s what you get for leaving that months-long lag between breaking it down and putting it back together again.  Smart people take pictures of each part as they take it off because the film for digital cameras is very reasonably priced.

The best part is it’ll be months before I need to use it – only then will the truth be revealed.  Until then, I can revel in victory.

Dust Collection – Those First Wobbly Steps

16 Jul

My Dad has made a couple serious efforts at dust collection, but his dust collector wasn’t really much more than an automated broom.  His new shop really relies on massive ventilation to keep the air breathable.  That’s how I operated in my old Austin shop too.  I put a bigass whole-house fan in the attic of my garage.  When it was new, it could cycle the air out of there in no time.  Over time, it degraded, but still, you could chuck a handful of sawdust in the air and watch it just go straight up & out of the room.

But I’ve seen the videos, and I know that proper dust collection can be done, so I’m going to make a go at it.  Still, my Dad’s experience shows that my first go at dust collection likely isn’t going to do much good…  And [spoiler alert] it doesn’t.

But it’s a bit better than no dust collection at all.  My biggest concern at this point is just learning the lingo and getting in the game.  I feel that I’ve made some progress there.

My first move was the table saw (with its attached router table) and the planer.  The planer is a no-brainer.  I just bought an attachment, hooked the hose to the Dust Collector and there you go.  The table saw is not a cabinet saw, so it was never really meant to have serious dust collection on it.  It’s basically got a shop-vac port on it that’ll help your saw not generate an enormous pile of sawdust if you’ve got a lot of wood to cut.

I watched a couple videos and set about enclosing it.  I basically just bodged up some junk plywood to block all the openings and built it around the underside of my router table.  Then I stuck a dust port on it, and squirted Great Stuff in all the gaps I could find.  I’m not real pleased with the result.  I’ve got basically just a gentle breeze at the blade and router bit; not a swirling vortex.

I shouldn’t say the whole thing is fail.  It does collect most of the dust that otherwise would have spewed out behind or under the saw.  It’s just that it doesn’t do much for the dust that blows forward from the blade.  Also, I don’t have a cyclone separator, and that means changing the bag out is a pain.

I might yet be able to tighten the airflow down a bit more, though I do wonder whether that’s really important since I’ve also read that the dust collector I’ve got doesn’t move nearly enough air to seriously reduce fine airborne dust.  If I tightened down the air to just what’ll fit through the zero clearance insert, I might have a howling gale at that point, but still not have enough total airflow through the saw to move the dust.

Still, even if this initial dust collection gambit isn’t all it could be, there’s other wins that come out of this work.  I redid the electric with a longer, AWG-12 wire.  The stock cord on the saw was just barely long enough, and I was forever tripping over the wire and pulling it out of the socket.  While I was at it, I also ran a 110volt line over to the router table extension of the saw and put a few electric outlets there.  No more hassling with plugging the router up to the outlet on the ceiling.

So anyway, there it is.  Pictures will be coming in my upcoming post about the saw blade cabinet I built.

Oh and yes, I did overbuild a bird house.  It’s hung up.  I think my daughter has completely forgotten about it already.  We’ll see if birds take up residence next year.  I mean, assuming it doesn’t completely fall apart between now and then.

An Ode to Tool Number One

12 Jun

Army Training

One of my earliest experiences that lent me a deep understanding of the hammer came while working for the Army in a building called The Hexagon.  It had 4 sides.  This is the Army after all.  They claim it was the budget cuts.  Whatever.  You know how it is.

Now, bear in mind this was a long time ago.  The building had no computer networking cable at all, and it was decided that we’d like to hook up a couple of banks of computers.  Trouble was the building really wasn’t built with that in mind; but in the Army they know what to do about that.  One of my colleagues got out a hammer and a cold chisel and set to it.

Our mutual boss was famous for an incident where his Yugo’s brakes failed and he hit a pedestrian.  The pedestrian was largely unharmed, but the Yugo was severely damaged.  Anyway, during a lull in the ferocious assault on concrete, our boss subtitled the scene thusly:  “Skilled technician installs delicate electronic hardware”.

A Tool for Every Job

Years later, I was at a pub with some friends when the subject of my ultimate set of tools was brought up.  Which amongst these tools was the foremost?  The most important, the one that could not be forgotten.

The hammer I answered.  No question about it.  You need it on every job.

“Every job?”

“Absolutely every job.  Installing a network cable?  Yeah, you need a hammer.  I mean, it’s not just about pounding nails.”

They still had doubts:  “What about, say, plumbing?  Don’t you need a wrench more?”

“Sure, a wrench is a good tool.  Useful too, but sometimes the pipes need, you know, a little encouragement.  Then you need a hammer.”

There was some disagreement.  Some pointed out that Dick Proenneke didn’t bring a hammer to Twin Lakes.  I’m not going to dispute that, nor shall I question the wisdom of such a man.  But I’d point out that right after he got to his build site, the first tool he fashioned was a hammer.  The knife just packed easier.  That’s all.

Building a Bookcase
(in the most difficult manner possible)

You’d think that a hammer wouldn’t be all that key to creating a simple walnut bookcase, but that presupposes that I’d make a bookcase the simple way.  Anyway, here’s the final product:

Bookshelf

Now, maybe it would have been more sensible to create the plywood center and then build a pair of face frames and attach ‘em on with biscuits.  Maybe I’ve been watching too much Man Lab, but I decided to build it up as a series of components, for example, this is the left side:

image

It’s built as a couple of solid face pieces with mortises, mounted to a piece of plywood with reinforcing splines.  It seems simple enough, but getting it all lined up right as pretty rough.  I spent a silly amount of time at it.  Norm Abram would have whipped out his nail gun and called it a day.  But I just gotta be me…

Sticking it all Together

I know what you’re thinking – this post is supposed to be about hammers!  What’s all this noise about a bookshelf??  Bear with me.  I’m getting there. Tell you what, we’ll skip ahead to the part where I have all the various components all built, pre-finished, and ready to go together.  You need to understand this:  I’d fit them, pulled them apart, fit them again who knows how many times.  I’m telling you, the pieces all fit.  They did.  Honest.

image

So one of my woodworking heros, Alan Little, inspired me to buy some PC-7 for gluing this job.  But somehow, I just couldn’t work up the courage to try something new after getting this far along with it.  But then I went and tried something different anyway – I added dye to my usual Titebond.  I was surprised to find two things:

  1. A little bit of dye barely effects the color of the glue when it’s wet, but after it dries, it’s a whole different story.  My first batch matched the walnut perfectly when wet, but dried absolutely black.  My second batch was light brown, but again, dried really dark.  But really dark was good enough for me.
  2. It dramatically increases the set-time.

So, dyed glue in-hand, I went to work on assembling the smallest bit that I thought I could get together and still ensure that everything’s square and absolutely tight:

image

The fact that the set-up time was increased turned out to be crucial because half of those joints just wouldn’t close up.  Remember what I said about them being dry-fit and going together fine?  I remember that.  They did.  I swear they did.  But things just weren’t going my way.

But then, I remembered to use Tool #1.  Yup, I had 67 clamps on there as tight as they could be made and these guys just wouldn’t go.  Then I started in with the hammer (with a wood block to protect the finish of course) and after a generous amount of whacking, all the joints closed up.

Then I hit ‘em a few more times.  Just so I could be sure it understood my true feelings.

I think those extra belts were really critical because when the time came to fit the next group (the bottom and right sides), those pieces fit together without objection.

They knew what was good for them.

Stop. Hammer Time

…See, I told you we’d be getting back to the hammer.

Some call it a sledge, a bludgeon, a cudgel, persuader, conk buster or mallet.  It’s the best tool ever.  Simple, practical, and limitless applications.  And a good nickname too.  Seriously, people nicknamed “Hammer” definitely get paid more than your “Creampuffs” and “Buttercups” of the world.  No question about it.  I mean I haven’t like done a study or anything, I’m just saying it’s a fact.  That ought to be good enough for anyone.

What’s Next?

My daughter wants a birdhouse.  Sure, I can overbuild a birdhouse too.  No problem at all.

But maybe I need to get dust collection sorted.  Decisions decisions…

Lo-Budget, Hi-Fidelity

8 Jul

I have a lot of tools in my workshop, but no music. I don’t really care, most of the time, as so often it would be drowned out by the hum/whine/screech/roar of machinery.  But still… It would be nice. Too bad I’m a cheap bastard and can’t see dropping cash on the problem.

Here’s what I finally came up with.  The centerpiece is a kit based on a TDA2005 car stereo amplifier chip and everything else is junk laying around the house:

Click for a close-up view
(click on the picture to see it in hi-res)

Now, before you read on, understand that some electronic devices were harmed in the creation of this thing, so if you’re squeamish about the interior of electronic gadgetry, it might be best if you stopped reading now. Also, since we’re on the subject of full disclosure, I have to admit that some innocent roly-polies were inconvenienced, bothered, and possibly squished.

The Genesis of the Solution… Or Maybe the Problem

I’ve been a cheap bastard for a long time, you understand.  I definitely was one when my beloved Nakamichi receiver that was plugged into my computer’s line-out jack finally failed.  That receiver wasn’t cheap, but it was purchased when I was young and felt that stereo equipment was a perfectly valid way to blow money.  Advancing years and aural damage have convinced me otherwise.

Seeing as the speakers were fine, I figured there had to be a way to get a cheap little amplifier. But no, it wasn’t so easy at all to find a decent amplifier for cheap. But then I found this kit for less than $20. Sold. Where’s my soldering iron?

So like I said, that was several years ago. I finished building the kit right around the time my first child was born. The finished amp was a glorious thing, dangling from a hacked up power line in my PC case.  But alas, I hardly used it, as opportunities to sit at my computer were usually concurrent with our baby’s sleep time, and, at such time, silence was golden, so I started wearing headphones. That habit stuck. I still wear headphones almost all the time I’m at the computer, and so that bodged up amplifier lay in my storage arrangement for all things electronic:

Highly organized stuff

As you can see, it’s all very neatly arrayed and carefully organized, and the old amplifier just happened to come into view as I was fetching a network cable out of there recently. A cunning plan emerged to use our family’s new laptop as a music source to this amplifier, deployed to the shop.

The Pot Problem

So when I said it was "working" when it was in my computer years ago, maybe I stretched it a little. It had a strange habit of cutting out the left speaker, which I was never quite able to figure out back then, but at some point the problem just seemed to go away and I left it at that.

After I dusted the amp off and cobbled together some connectors and a power source, that problem came back. Sigh. I set about debugging the problem, which was tough since my electronics toolkit basically consists of a soldering iron and a multi-meter. (In layman’s terms: a stone knife and some bearskin.)

Fortunately for me, the problem lay in something simple, the potentiometer that controlled the volume, shown below:

A bad Pot

So I know what you’re thinking, one of the leads is chipped off, but that’s just because I had to resort to violence to get it off the board because neither a stone knife or a bearskin is a solder-removing tool. I have one of these things. Somewhere. The only thing I know for pretty much certain is that it’s not in any of my usual highly organized containers. So, like I said, I had to resort to force.

A potentiometer is basically this circuit:

A Basic Potentiometer Circuit

Only in this case, it’s a stereo potentiometer, where you’ve got one knob controlling two circuits just like that, one for the left channel and one for the right. One channel wasn’t making proper contact – if the knob was twisted to max volume (where the full 10k resistance to ground was in effect), then it worked right, but anything less than all the way to full caused the resistance between R1 and ground to go to zero, effectively cutting the volume out of that speaker to zero. When I had it dangling in my computer, I guess the pot volume was in a sweet spot where it was working, and in any case, I was running the volume from the computer anyway.

But that wouldn’t do for this application, as the laptop gets plugged into a variety of places, and I wanted it such that when I plugged the laptop into this amplifier I wouldn’t have to fiddle with the volume.

So I suppose a rational individual would have gone off to find a replacement pot. Who knows, maybe radio shack has one. But it was sort of a point of pride at this point that I was going to just use what was cheap and at-hand.  In any case, I really didn’t need to be fine-tuning the volume; the computer could do a better job of that. I could get by with something simpler, like a switch. But not just any switch, no, I happened to have this masterpiece laying around:

The Big Switch

Is that awesome or what??  It throbs, nay pulsates with Steampunk-era cool, doesn’t it??  I mean, seriously, where could I have pulled a switch like that from?!!

Frankenstein Switch

Oh yeah… That…

Resistance is Futile

So here’s the switch, all wired up:

Finished Switch

Delightful, isn’t it? 

Basically, it’s got three volume settings. With the switch up at the top, as shone above, it runs from the input, through a 1k resistor, up through the middle posts, and then back to the amplifier where a very small resistor is waiting to take it down to ground. If you flip it to the bottom, the signal passes through the medium-sized resistor shown in the picture, then to the little resistor, and then to ground. That’s the setting you want to use if you don’t mind annoying the neighbors a bit when the computer is set to max volume. If you don’t close the switch at all, then there’s no path to ground and, well, that’s your punk rock setting right there.

Of course finding all these resistors was a simple matter, seeing as how I’m so organized:

Okay, so really, this mess isn’t my fault. Radio Shack did it. A long, long time ago, I know this because I got it from my Grandmother’s late second husband. Bless his soul, he wanted to be a geek, he really did, but, well, his multi-tester is still in the shrink-wrap:

And he saved the receipt. Do ya think Radio Shack would take it back?

So anyway, I found some resistors with values that worked out somewhere in there.

Scottie, I Need Warp Drive in 3 Minutes or We’re All Dead

So there’s a lot to like about the amplifier kit I bought, but its hook-ups aren’t one of them. Input jacks are these awful 3-post screwdriver affairs and the power consists of a pair of leads soldered to the board. Now, as you can see from the previous pictures of my box full of crucial stuff, finding a wall-wart power supply that could deliver the requisite power was no problem at all… I’d just have to cut off the power cord and wire-nut the leads on there. But cutting the power cord on something as valuable and reusable as a wall wart power supply? Sacrilege.

Now it just so happens that we recently had to replace our phone… And it turns out that the power supply for that phone used the same jack as the one that I wanted to use for the stereo. So. I had to augment the toolset with a hacksaw to produce this result:

Yup, it was a bad ending for that phone.  It had it coming; trust me.  Oh, and I saved some screws and a few other fiddly bits for, well, I’m sure it’ll come in handy…  Anyway, today it was all about the power plug:

Destroyed Phone

And hey, seeing as how I’m already this far in, there’s no sense turning back now. How about I apply this RCA Jack farm to the problem.  I imagine some pre-amp from ages past had to die for that thing.  I don’t know where it came from but it’s a good fit:

The amp kit just has these awful 3-stud screw on ports that are very fiddly and, again require you to tear up a perfectly good wire to use. Why they couldn’t put on a female 1/8" jack, at least for the input, is beyond me. Anyway, I’ve got lots of 1/8" to RCA jack adapters.

Really, lots. I found like 6 of them in that box. Who knows why I have that many. And happily a one of them was one I soldered myself back in the wayback.  I imagine that somehow I couldn’t find the other 5.  Must have been before I got organized.  Anyway, I un-soldered it and took the RCA plugs out of that and soldered them into speaker wire, so now I have a much nicer plugbox.

About those Roly Polies..

So you noticed that high-quality mounting board I chose? Yup, only the finest for this project. It was hand-selected plywood from a pile of various stock left by my home’s previous owner. Digging around in this pile dislodged a considerable number of invertebrates, much to the delight of my children.

Somehow it became the plan to use the bulk of the sheet, plus some leftover window screening to construct this fine habitat for all the roly polies and whatnot that my children capture:

Roly Poly Hacienda

As you can see, they contributed the paint job and screen trimming.

They’re available for hire, by the way, if you, say, need them to give that treatment to your living room…

How to Fix a Dishwasher

5 Dec

My dishwasher broke mere days before my parents were supposed to arrive for a visit. Now normally a broken dishwasher and company aren’t a good thing, but my Dad can fix anything so I figured it was kismet.

"Dad! Glad you’re here! Can you help me fix the dishwasher?"

"Son, no, it’s not like that. It’s time to go to Lowes and pick out a new one."

"But…"

"Look, you’re gonna bust your ass and find that the busted part is gonna cost you $200 or be unavailable altogether. Get yourself a new one and save yourself the heartache."

"But…"

"Look, I don’t like going to the dentist either but I go; so go out and buy yourself a new dishwasher. They’ll pick the old one up for free."

So of course I didn’t listen. It all started so innocently… I figured, if I’m gonna get a new dishwasher I can at least install it myself, right? So I better see what I’m up against and pull it out and all… So I started pulling it out and figured, "well, if it’s a gonner anyway, there’s no harm in pulling parts off, right? I should have a look…"

After a little bit, I had that "Thar’s yer problim!" moment as I plucked out a shattered hunk of metal. So I went to the repair guide. I couldn’t find the exact part, but they showed the whole area I was working on came as a bundled "Impeller drive kit" or something like that. $30. Sold.

It showed up after a week or so and I got busy. Initially, I was puzzled, but then I figured out that the busted part I had in my hand was actually just a chunk of a larger part, so I pulled that out and replaced it and buttoned it back up again. It didn’t seem to fit, but, well, what could go wrong??

The loud humming sound that came along after the tank filled up appeared to me to mean that something could go wrong so I frantically aborted the whole operation. Only one thing can make this worse: a 5 year old.

"HI DAD!!!! CAN I HELP????"

"oh hell no."

"But…"

"WAIT! YES! GET ME A FUCKING BUCKET!!!"

"Err Dad, what kind of bucket?"

"Sorry. The big orange one."

After bailing the dishwasher out with the 5-year-old’s assistance, I still hadn’t learned my lesson. After all, the whole issue just came down to the fact that the impeller was binding against another part. Let’s look at that other part, it just needs to be pried >>>SNAP<<< or broken off. Fine. Looks like it was smashed up anyway and it’s a part of the impeller kit, so I have a replacement.

It all went together pretty well except for this rubber doohickey that didn’t want to seat all the way down. Perhaps. Or maybe it was fine. Hard to tell. Well, there’s one way: put her all together and see if she works! What could go wrong, after all?

Well, it could leak, for one.

"DAD!! DAD!! I BROUGHT YOU A FUCKING BUCKET!!"

"But we don’t even need a bucket, ’cause the motor at least works and pumped the dishwasher out. What I need is a towel." "I’LL GO GET THE ORANGE TOWEL!!"

Whatever.

It was around this point that I discovered this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hS0v8uP09I

I tell you. The interwebs knows everything. It’s exactly the kit and the model of dishwasher I have in-hand. I did everything the fellow said to do. Believe him when he says "This may take some effort". My response: "and some C4".

His secret sauce was the dish soap on the rubber thing. Once I did that, it went together pretty well. The dishwasher still is making more noise than it should, which could either be because I knocked the motor off-center or because of what looks like another broken part underneath the drain pan. I don’t know. In any case, the dishwasher runs.

I’m not crowing victory. I think I bought myself some time, that’s all.