The latest in 1957 appliance technology!

I may be turning into Steve. I just picked up this mid-50s Hotpoint refridgerator for my kitchen.

My current fridge is a battered beige one that used to be my mom’s garage fridge before being gifted to me 3 years ago when I bought the house and needed a cheap fridge so I could move in. The compressor mount bushings are shot, so it clunks loudly when the compressor turns on or off, and the drip tray is missing, so it piddles on the floor.

My kitchen still has its 40s era cabinets, and I’ve been wanting to renovate it in a postwar style. So getting vintage appliances was always going to be part of that. I’ve been surfing craigslist for them, and lucked into this fridge cheap. I paid all of $200, though I did need to make a 4 hour round trip yesterday to pick it up.

This was quite the fridge in its day, with a brushed stainless panel on the front, and stainless and aluminum detailing throughout. The three shelves slide out to make it easier to get things off them, and there are separate cheese and butter compartments in the door.

Also it has Butter Control. Does your fridge have Butter Control? I don’t think so.

Right now it needs a deep cleaning, some minor paint/rust touch-ups from wear, one cracked plastic trim piece inside fixed, and I need to fiddle with the thermostat to get both the fridge & freezer portions to the right temp(it does cool, but getting the balance right will require some adjusting).

I’m super excited about this, and looking forward to getting it properly installed.

All the flake!

Saw this at a show this weekend. It was covered in a ton of big silver flake, then shot with enough clear to be smooth again.

Double cool was that they’d carefully ground the chrome plating off, leaving the copper underlayer(and painted the stainless pieces to match).

Trolling the future.

So when I tore out the trashed wood floor in my upstairs hallway(and the even more trashed linoleum under it), I found this hidden hole in the floor.

This was an old vent to allow heat from the kitchen to get upstairs before the house had steam radiators(the house was built before 1895). Now it is hidden by sheetrock in the kitchen, and was hidden by flooring in the hall.

While working on other renovation projects that needed finishing before replacing the hall floor I pondered what to do with this space. And finally, the perfect idea came to me.

Step 1) Buy teddy bear at Savers.

Step 2) Make the bear a sign.

Step 3) Put the bear and his sign in a bag.

Step 4) Stuff the bear in the weird hole in the floor.

Step 5) Install a quality hardwood floor in the hall, completely hiding the existence of the hole.

Step 6) Let some future person find the bear, and be deeply weirded out.

Given that the floor I pulled up was ~60 years old, there is good odds that I’m trolling someone who hasn’t even been born yet.

Car Show insanity

What you are looking at here is a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado body sitting on a stretched 1972 FWD Eldorado chassis, complete with 500 cubic inches of torque-monster V8 under the flip-front hood.

My favorite part was the owner/builder’s off-hand comment that he built it with “stuff I had lying around”. I envy anyone who has this much Cadillac goodness just lying around.

The first actual repair to the bike.

A prior owner had drilled out the muffler to try and improve the sound, instead it sounded like a bike with holes in the muffler. The pipe on the GS500 doesn’t take a slip-on well as it has a bend right at where the muffler mounts, and used stock exhausts started around $100 for a system with rust & dents. So fixing what I had seemed to make the most sense.

I welded a cap on the end of the muffler, drilled it out for the center pipe and welded that up too. Then it got a quick coat of high-temp paint. Looks a bit lumpy up close but not too bad, and fixed the muffler sound.

Wrapping up my present to myself.

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

I had known when I bought my motorcycle, that I didn’t want a red bike. But it was too good of a deal to pass up. I wasn’t interested in painting it, because that seemed like more of a hassle than it was worth. Instead I bought a 5’x5′ piece of 3m Matte Copper vinyl, so I could try wrapping it.Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

It took two evenings, and was quite interesting to do. I couldn’t manage to wrap the tank in one piece, and ended up doing it in two pieces. I was amazed at how much it changed the look of the bike.

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl
One unexpected part of the project, the “Suzuki” lettering on the tank had been clearcoated over at some point in the bike’s history. AS I couldn’t remove it, I wrapped right over it. This resulted in an interesting ghost effect on the tank that I quite like.

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

Cheap transportation replacement acquired!

On Saturday(while I was a state away buying my new bike), a good friend pulled out in front of a car that was going much faster than she thought, and they hit her in the driver’s wheel, spinning her car and totaling it.

Cheap transportation replacement acquired!

She got away with a few nasty bruises, and her toddler in the back seat was completely unharmed, despite her car seat being twisted 90deg on its base by the impact. Her car however is a writeoff, and with liability only she’s unlikely to see much, if any, payout from the accident.

I loaned her Box, and drove the ‘64 pickup to work. She needed safe cheap wheels fast, so off to Craigslist I went. Her only requirements were FWD or AWD & new enough to have the LATCH car seat system.

Cheap transportation replacement acquired!

I got lucky on my first search and found this 2002 Chevy Prizm. With an auto trans and grey on grey color scheme, it is pretty damn boring. But it has only 162K, everything works including the a/c, there is little rust, and I got it for all of $1100.

Cheap transportation replacement acquired!

Both she and I would have loved to get her something more interesting, but sometimes life doesn’t give you much choice in the matter. At least it is better(and newer) than the turd of a Focus she got from her ex-husband, and should be reliable enough to let her save some money for something nicer down the line.

Bought a new toy with less tires than usual.

I’ve spent most of my life terrified of the idea of riding a motorcycle. This year I decided I was tired of being irrationally scared of something, so I took a motorcycle riding course to decide if it was a rational fear or not. The end result? It turns out to I do like it.

Now that I decided I wanted to ride a bike again, I needed a  bike. After a pile of research I decided I wanted a 500-ish cc standard bike with an upright seating position. To this end, I ended up buying a 1996 Suzuki GS500E with ~17K miles for $850. It needs a bit of a tuneup/carb adjustment, needs a new gas door lock and a PO drilled out the back of the muffler, so it sounds like a bike with holes in the muffler.

But it runs & rides well, and has brand new tires & rear brakes. I am already researching parts for repairs & upgrades.