atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3409: And back to bed when this is done.

Like an idiot, I was up until 4 AM playing WoW. What'd I get, three and a half hours of sleep? Maybe?

...if church weren't at 9:00 AM, and close to home, I don't think I could do that and actually make it to church--but I did, and I'm glad I did. The 9 AM service only does communion once per month, and this was the last time it'll be done at the 9 AM service by the current pastor as he's retiring very soon. In fact he's got three more 9 AM services left in his career. (The church does a 10:30 AM service, "contemporary" fashion, which I've tried out and didn't much like. They do communion every Sunday at that one, though.)

(And of course he'll probably do services once in a while, here and there.)

Anyway, so I'm glad I went, even though I feel kind of embalmed now.

* * *

Guilty part: there was a woman with an awesome body a few pews ahead of me. What a distraction. *sigh*

* * *

So it seems that environmental regulations are delaying that totally useless "high-speed" rail line California wants to build. And the state government's answer to this problem? Give themselves a waiver!

* * *

More Democrat hypocrisy: Nancy Pelosi's female staffers earn less than their male counterparts. See, that "equal pay for equal work" thing, that doesn't apply to government.

* * *

Here's another story about Illinois' impending cigarette tax hike. Got to fill the hole in the Medicaid budget somehow!

* * *

It occurred to me--too late--that I should have taken "before" and "after" pictures of my motorcycle chain, because I still can't quite get my head around how much crud I got off that chain last night.

The chain is now hung up and dripping into the oil pan, and I expect that by the time I wake up from my nap it'll be dry enough to install.

Still, it's got me thinking about the idea I'd had to convert my parts washer into something that can use an actual solvent.

The thing I got from Harbor Freight in 2009 is almost what I wanted and needed. It doesn't have a sump; instead it's a container of water-based solvent (which does not work very well anyway) with a pump. Basically it's like a sink filled with a solution of Pine-Sol, only instead of a faucet there's a pump which circulates the fluid through a spigot.

I'll revisit my thoughts here: what I should be able to do is to (after getting rid of the solvent) cut a hole in the bottom of the thing and install a drain fitting for a sink. To that, I attach some piping which is connected to a container designed for something like kerosene or diesel fuel. Inside this container is an automotive fuel pump--not a high-pressure one--connected to more piping that is plumbed to the spigot inside the washer. Of course the fuel pump's intake would have a filter on it, and there'd be further filtering in the drain pipe, because I'd want to keep sediment etc out of the fuel pump.

I cannot think of a single reason this would not work. There are really only three issues that I can see wrong with the idea, and two of them have relatively simple (and inexpensive) solutions.

1) What pump?

Obviously it needs to be a pump that can handle kerosene. But anything that can handle gasoline ought to be able to handle kerosene; kerosene is a heavier oil than gasoline is and less volatile. It's actually an inferior solvent to gasoline, but of course gasoline is so volatile you don't want to use it as a cleaning solvent anyway.

A pump from a diesel vehicle would do the job, if I could find the right one. As I understand it, there are two fuel pumps in a diesel: one to get the fuel from the tank to the engine, and another one to pressurize the fuel rail. The former is the one I'd want, as it doesn't run at a terribly high pressure; the latter, however, runs at hundreds (or thousands, more like) of PSI, which is a no-go for a parts washer.

What I need is volume, not pressure, but anything over a few gallons per hour would work splendidly. A typical garden hose is good for about 6 GPH and that would be more than I'd need.

2) How do I power it?

I've got a spare car battery, and I could easily get a "float" charger to keep it juiced up. Some wiring and a switch to control the operation of the pump--this is just an engineering problem, and simpler than the "which pump?" one.

Depending on the pump, I don't even need the battery; just hook up the spare charger and use it as the power supply.

3) What about vapor control?

This is the hardest one.

No matter what solvent I use, it's going to give off vapor, and I need to keep that to a minimum. The nice thing about evaporation is that it stops once the air gets saturated. If I have a few gallons of kerosene in an open bucket, it'll all end up disappearing, sooner or later. But if I have a few gallons in a sealed container, it won't.

The best idea I've got right now is simply to cap the drain when I'm not using the thing. Whatever I use for a solvent tank, it'll have to have a vent on it, but I can close the vent when it's not in use.

The other idea is to make it so that the solvent reservoir is totally disconnected from the system when it's not in use--disconnected and capped, so that no vapor can get out. Then the piping to and from the washer itself can be capped, too.

In any case, as you can see the idea is still percolating around in the back of my mind--percolating and evolving, slowly, into something workable. Which means that next time maybe I won't have to use a pie plate to clean my chain.

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