June 25, 2018, 07:10:11 AM

Author Topic: Building the Generator Saga—AKA Cleaning the Garage and the Mysterious Saboteur  (Read 1274 times)

Offline pabusnut

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Now that Christmas is over, and I squirreled away my gift money into the diesel fuel fund, I’m feeling out of sorts that the Arcadia Rally is happening and I’m not there AGAIN!!----I decided to start building my generator.  I have 3 cyl, 600cc Kubota diesel, a 7.5 KW 4-pole generator head, and my poly-v pulleys, and plenty of steel to build a sturdy frame.  -------BUT MY GARAGE IS A TOTAL MESS!!

So Friday I started cleaning the garage, and getting rid of stuff, consolidating oils, cleaners, making piles to sell on C-List, and E-place.  So by Saturday I was ready to start building, sort of.  But there was this Shelf project I started a few months ago that still wasn’t finished.   

Actually I had two very nice oak finish shelving units, 7ft tall and 32” wide that were both ruined by absorbing water up through the bottom, as a result of a leaking skylight(now replaced—with the new $7K roof).  Since only the bottom 6-7 inches, I cut 12 inches off the bottom and started building a new bottom support structure.  I bought a new 6’long, ¾” thick oak board for the bottom shelf, and a poplar board for the front and back face boards.  I already had some oak veneer from another project.  So after cutting, and screwing, shelf #1 is almost done.   But in order to drill some holes in one of the 3/4” x 3/4 “ braces, I had to remove some rust from the column of my 65 year old drill press so I could move the table up.  To use my power miter saw, I had to set up my cheap router table, but when went to set it up I discovered that two bolts were missing out of one of the stringers.  So after I found two bolts to fix the miter saw table, I was back to cutting the braces.  While I was waiting for the contact cement to dry so I could attach the veneer, I decided I could start fixing the welder that stopped working in August after I welded the first bunk frame together.  It makes a very loud buzzing noise and pulls a lot of juice(as  evidenced by the dimming lights) when on any setting other than fan only.

My welder is an older Century wire welder (gas capable), which I am told is hard to get parts for now.  I spoke with the local welder repair shop, and they said it might be the “contacts”, but since I am virtually inept with anything other than simple electric, I figured that I could fix it, since contacts sound mechanical, and I remember them from my first car, so I figured it was worth a try.  After removing all the outside panels, and testing all the switches, I moved on to removing(to test) a thing that looked like two wheels with contacts at the end of each spoke, but the diagram called it a rectifier.  When I took the first “wheel” apart, I discovered that a stinkbug was stuck under one of the spokes, which was also melted.  Before this discovery, I always ridiculed the “squirrel in the transformer” excuse the electric company gave me!

So there you have it---my bus generator build was sabotaged by a stinkbug!!!

Steve Toomey
PAbusnut
Steve Toomey
PAbusnut

Offline bkelly1011

  • Brad Kelly
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  • Nope, not my bus.
Steve - Stinkbugs must like electrical current.  I had ons get into the contactor on one of my outdoor heat pump units earlier this year.  Fortunately, the unit survived - the bug didn't.  Brad
Busnut wannabe.