Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 28




Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


We had a great turkey dinner at my mom’s and got to visit with family a little.


Been enjoying being able to spend time with my son who’s home on break from college. Been talking about college classes, computers, video games, and new movies coming out.


He’s having a great time at college and I’m really happy he’s enjoying it.


Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving this year!



Many Hats

Many Hats

Nov 24


My little workshop has to be flexible and wear many hats.


Today was no exception. Today’s task was to convert it to an electronic repair shop to see if I can resurrect an old 22″ Dell monitor they were throwing out at work.


I disassembled the monitor, pulled the power board and found 4 bad capacitors which is typical in Dell hardware.


1- Power board on the bench being diagnosed -

2- Bad Capacitors (domed tops) -

So after about 30 minutes of my time and 4 new capacitors (56 cents total), I have a nice large Dell monitor for my home PC. Nice!



- It’s Alive! -

This was a nice little project that yielded a nice much larger computer monitor for my home PC for next to nothing.




BTW – Yes that’s a VCR under the monitor. I use it to transfer VHS tapes to digital media, and the pint glass you see has Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale in it which I highly recommend. :-)


Adding a Little Glow

Adding a Little Glow

Sep 26



Decided to take a little time away from woodworking to dress up the outside of the shop.

I’m a sucker for cool signage and vintage lighting. So I decided to finally wire my vintage porcelain sign light (center) and backlight my Pegasus Mobil sign with some red led strips off of Amazon.


Here are some before and after shots. They honestly don’t do it justice. It looks awesome at night.


Mobil Pegasus

Before the lighting was all hooked up



Mobil Pegasus

New lights!



Mobil Pegasus

Mobil Pegasus at night



Apple Pie!

Apple Pie!

Sep 19



Ah yes, It’s Fall. The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. Time for a trip to Monroe’s Orchard for just the right blend of tart and sweet farm fresh apples for my wife’s fantastic homemade apple pie.


We’ve been going to Monroe’s Orchard since Dane was in grade school. Yes, their apples are that good.


Here are some pictures of our visit:









Monroe's Orchard Apples

Missy picking the perfect blend of apples for her apple pie!


HomemadeApple Pie

Missy’s famous homemade Apple Pie


Homemade Apple Pie

Mmmm… yes, her pie is as good as it looks!




Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show!

Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show!

Sep 13


Took a half vacation day from work on Friday with my best friend since high school and went to the 2015 Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show. We had a BLAST!!!!


This is a great show and I got to play a TON of tables I love and some I haven’t seen before. Definitely go with a friend. We played all the tables on 2 player which made the experience that much more fun!


Here are a couple shots from the main room floor. The pictures don’t do it justice.








One of the highlights for me was getting to play Jersey Jack’s Wizard of Oz machine. This is a fantastic machine! It’s a low scoring machine (so don’t get frustrated), but an absolute blast to play!






Here’s a YouTube video featuring this amazing machine: CLICK ME!!!


If you are out and about and see this table somewhere, PLAY IT!  ——  It’s amazing!!!


—– Brandon




Disney Park Props

Disney Park Props

Aug 22




Here’s my latest authentic Disney Parks prop find:



Disney Trashcan Plaque

Disney park used Tomorrowland and Main Street trash can plaques

These are plaques off trash cans in the Magic Kingdom. One is from Tomorrowland and the other from Main Street USA!
Here’s a shot of the back showing these are authentic park used pieces that still have the bolts intact where they were secured to the cans.


Disney trashcan plaque

Back of the plaques showing how they bolt to the trash cans.

 These were an awesome find. They’re in great shape and are going to clean up nicely.


They’re a great addition to my growing collection.



Flooded (again…)

Flooded (again…)

Aug 15
Ugh! This Summer has been plagued with a lot of rain.
My garage and shop flooded last month which I thought was a fluke. Well we got a deluge of rain last Tuesday and the garage and workshop flooded yet again.
Nothing got ruined, but it is a total pain having to move everything and clean it all up.
Here are some shots of the sediment and mud left behind.
So I took a vacation day on Friday. I moved everything out of the workshop, swept, hosed, squeegeed, and mopped the shop and one garage bay. Moved everything back once it dried and did the same for the remaining garage bay Saturday morning.
Here are some pictures of it being cleaned. Lots o’ fun! <sarcasm>
I’m hoping this is the last time I have to do this.
—– Brandon
My ’69 Camaro (the saga)

My ’69 Camaro (the saga)

Aug 11


I’ve had my ’69 Camaro convertible for over twenty five years. It’s one of the last cars my dad and I restored together before I moved out, life took over, and I had less and less time to spend with him wrenching, sanding, and painting. I miss those days.


This car has always had a tendency to heat soak the starter and leave me stranded. Even with a new 400 small block transplanted in it (after I spun a bearing in the 327 a couple years ago), it left me stranded at the gas station and had to be flat bed home. I got fed up with it and it has just been sitting the last couple of years. Sort of a time out, if you will.


This past Winter I decided I want to get it back on the road this year so I bought a high torque starter (the small one on the left) to replace the regular worn out one (the larger one on the right). I wanted to start working on it earlier this summer, but with the rain and all I figured it could wait.


About a week ago I finally had some time to wrench on it, but it turns out the new starter won’t line up and the gears won’t mesh with the flywheel. The pinion gear on the new starter has 11 teeth and is supposed to be a direct replacement for the original 9 tooth one I’m replacing, but after many wasted hours of trying to get it to line up and the teeth to mesh, I call bullsh*t on that. This thing just won’t line up period. Unfortunately, I’ve had the starter way too long to return it. Crap!


High torque starter

Mini starter on the left won’t line up

Ebay and Skip White’s Performance Shop to the rescue! I picked up a shiny new 3 hp mini high torque starter (9 tooth pinion) and put it on this past Saturday. It’s a straight bolt pattern configuration, bolts right up to the 400 small block, and works exactly as it should. No shimming and no cussing. Let’s fire it up and get this thing timed!…. Well…. ummmmm… the Camaro seems to have other plans…..


New high torque starter

New kick ass starter from Skip White’s Performance

The new starter is in, she’s rollin’ over like she should, but … now it won’t fire. What the fu… (whoa! watch the language)?!?!


So, now it’s time for troubleshooting 101:

– Fuel? –> Check

– Spark? –> Nothin’ (Sigh… It ran when I parked it. C’mon! They’re all new parts. C’mon!)


Here’s a shot of the dismantled HEI distributor on the bench getting ready to have all its vitals (pickup, coil, ground wires, etc…) checked. Everything I can troubleshoot checked out fine so that meant a trip to the parts store for them to test the ignition module. The ignition module checked out fine (really????).


HEI Distributor

HEI Distributor


So I buy some dielectric grease, head home, put it all back together (for about the 10th time), and it fires right up first try. Really? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy it fired up; but I honestly don’t know what caused it not to fire before and can’t say I trust it since I don’t know what was broke. The only thing I did different was I left the tach wire off, but that really shouldn’t make a difference. Especially since everything was working when I parked it including the tach.


By the time I got it running, it was late on Sunday and I was just done. What should have been an hour or two on Saturday went well over the time I set aside to work on this. My plan now is to set the timing and mess with the tach sometime later this week.


To be continued…