Pete's random thoughts

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My new stupid project

Yeah, I know. Most of my projects are stupid. If not stupid, at least pointless. If not pointless, at least entertaining.

OK, I have a cannon. A 3-pounder RevWar period iron gun on a field carriage. Up on the top shelf in the gun room is also a golf ball mortar. it is not authentic to any time period, nor does it pretend to be. it is made of metal parts scavenged from the scrap bin at IPE, a place I used to work about a hundred years ago (my hair was jet black then, not a single grey).

For my next recreational artillery trick: a 60mm mortar. I've been wanting one for a while, originally wanting a US issue M2 mortar. I was shopping for a demilled one that had all of the parts except the tube intact with the intention of filing a BATF Form 1 and adding a functional tube for it. That way, we could make some mortar rounds for it that would be launched with shotgun shell blanks. (without getting too technical here)

Then I stumbled onto a Spanish one, circa 1960's, that was about 1/4 of what the price would be to gather the parts for the M2. When it came in, I was surprised to see that the tube was not demilled in the usual way which is to cut a bore-sized hole in the tube and weld rods across the bore so a projectile couldn't be inserted. Nope, this one came with the firing pin turned off and the end cap screwed onto the tube, then welded in place. It's a nice weld job.

My first thought was that I'd be able to turn off the welds in the lathe. Then it occurred to me that we could turn it into a black powder mortar! All it would take is to drill a vent hole in it to stick a squib. A better way would be to turn an insert for the breech that has a chamber in it, and drill the vent into that. The chamber allows for a smaller charge as it centers the force directly onto the projectile.

Now for projectiles...the actual bore ID is 2.24". That is NOT 60mm, more like 57mm (a European standard size). Wandering around the shop and house, I have test-fit several random objects into the bore...soda can, too big...Israeli rifle grenade, a hair too ball, too small, the plastic bottle that anti-skunk dog shampoo comes in, too small (but getting close)...the plastic bottle that camping toilet chemicals comes in...perfect!

I can't see myself ever using the camping toilet enough to accumulate enough bottles to be a good ammo supply, so on my next foray to the supermarket, I'll have to bring along my calipers. I'm thinking soup cans might work. We can fill them with cement and put an eyelet in the end to attach some surveyor's tape. The tape improves our chances of actually finding them to reuse.

Since I began to write this, I found myself upstairs in the kitchen, preparing to dismember the last of my Naragansett turkeys to put in the crock pot. All of a sudden, I spied a row of neat, orderly, alphabetized plastic containers that had just the right look to them. Spice jars! No, not the little glass ones that cost $5 for a quarter ounce at the supermarket, I'm talking about the larger plastic 2 3/4 ounce ones that cost $.88 at Ocean State Job Lots. I dropped what I was doing, grabbed an unopened jar of picling spices, and hurried downstairs to unlock the gun room. I slid the jar into the tube and found it to be a perfect fit!

What luck, an inexhaustable supply of projectile bodies! Since I use a lot of herbs and spices in my cooking and usually buy several jars at once so I'll never run out, what I can do is pour the contents of several plasitc jars into one glass canning jar, thus freeing up the plastic ones.

Going black powder instead of filing a Form 1 means I can take it interstate without filing more paperwork and also saves the $200 dollar filing fee for making a "destructive device". Saving that $200 frees up money that can be spent on other stupid, pointless yet amusing projects.

Sometimes it is a big pain in the ass to be me, other times it's pretty fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Calling for obama...

I don't know if someone signed me up as a joke or if the Democrats (a Latin word that means "anti-gunner") are just sending all of their election propaganda to me and Wendy. Since we are not done unpacking all of our stuff from our Lowell house, we don't have a dartboard set up yet, so we don't have much use for them.

They come in, sometimes as many as three a day, and are printed on glossy paper, so they aren't even eco-friendly to toss into the wood stove. (typical left wing hypocrisy)

Now the phone calls have started.

I generally am not the person to answer the phone. I hate phones. I hate phones almost as much as I hate left-wing anti-gunners or the stupid weenie college kids that do their campaigning for them.

A few minutes ago, the phone rang. Caller ID said "Obama for America". I HAD to answer.

Here's how it went:

Pete: Hello?

Kelly: Hello this is Kelly calling for Obama...

Pete: Sorry, there is no Obama here, you must have the wrong number.

Kelly: Umm, uhhh...

Pete: Hello, are you there?

Kelly: Uhh, yes we are just calling to see what you are looking for in a politician.

Pete: Well, what I'm looking for is someone who isn't going to screw me over, someone who isn't going to work to introduce ridiculous new gun laws, someone who isn't going to wipe his butt with the Constitution, someone who isn't going to raise my taxes and give my money to welfare trash. I don't suppose you know anyone like that? (I resisted the temptation to suggest Ron Paul to her)

Kelly: Umm, ok, umm, thanks for your time.

She didn't even try to suggest that her anti-gun socialist candidate might have something to offer. She just gave up.

In the past half hour, they have called three times! The last one sounded like a little kid, so I asked how old he was. He said 17. I told him that he wasn't old enough to vote, why should I care who he wants me to vote for. He said "forget it" and hung up on me.

I think I'll call back and ask to talk to his Mommy and ask if she knows he's making crank calls.

P.S. Spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "Obama", for some reason I find that amusing

Vote Ron Paul, the ONLY pro-gun candidate!

The Guy From Boston

Got off of the phone with Rick Howe a few minutes ago, and among other things he told me to visit "The Guy From Boston" on the web. After hanging up from Rick, I had to google it. Maybe this in't for everyone, but I nearly fell of my chair laughing at this guy!

He's a fat, obnoxious, cigar smoking Italian guy from Boston and thanks to the internet he has a voice. (not Rick, he's only obnoxious, but Rick makes me laugh nearly as hard) OK, every third word out of his mouth is profanity, but I've met so many people like him that I am just used to it.

I can't describe it, you gotta see it. (send the kids out of the room first unless they are used to hearing "the F word")

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Found a Turismo...but do I still need one?

The other night I was working late, trying to sort out the paper wreakage that covers my desk. I was listening to Napster through my headphones, it was the '80s rock I like. Something made me do a google search for my midlife crisis car: a replacement for my Turismo that I had when I was 20.

I've mentioned it here before, you can read about it here.

This one is on ebay, it's an 83 instead of an 81, but the body is th same. it isn't the TC3 version of it, but it's probably as close as I'll get. The problem is that it is in Kansas, some 1400 miles away. Bidding is only a few hundred bucks at the moment, but the last few minutes of an auction usually are the busiest.

I didn't bid on it. I'm not sure what that means. It may mean that I've somehow made my peace with my old Plymouth. It may mean that I've just admitted defeat to age. It may just be that I'm too busy and tired to entertain any flights of fancy.

Too much to ponder, for now I'm going to divide up nealry 300 pounds of pork that is sitting on my deck, waiting to be cut up and put in the freezer (we butchered two pigs this week). Sometimes work take precedence over dreams, even dreams about your favorite car.

Maybe tonight I'll upload a picture of my old Plymouth if I can find one. Pictures don't do it justice, you'd have had to have driven it (or at least clung to the passenger seat for dear life as I drove it LOL)