The Expedition Now Fits in the Carport

My Wife and I have been saving for and looking for a new primary vehicle for a while.  Her 2003 Ford Explorer has 174,000 miles on it, and my 2000 F-150 has 162,000.

I take care of my stuff, so both of these vehicles are still in good mechanical condition, however, my old truck is beat to hell from years of using it for a truck.

Our original plan was to replace my truck with a Ford F150 Super Crew toward the end of this year.  Used of course, as paying $50,000 on a new one is flat out insane.  I looked at a few here and there.  I found a nice truck that actually belonged to my church secretary a year earlier.  It was older but in immaculate condition.  Sadly, Mr. “I can’t manage my finances” was upside down in his auto-loan and wanted some poor sap without access to Kelly Blue Book to bail him out of his bad decisions.  (I’m still mad about this).

2008 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer

We finally landed on a 2008 Expedition Eddie Bauer for $16,000.  It’s in great condition minus the DVD player not working (I really don’t care as I get car sick, and prefer driving).  There was just one small problem, our carport.

Carport 1The header of our carport is barely high enough for our Explorer.   It’s slightly over 6ft.  It seems to have been done this way for the sake of appearance, but has proved very annoying.  Thankfully there was nothing structural about this after a couple of hours I was able to have it opened up.

I am very thankfully for my Craftsman C3 Cordless Circular saw.  It is small enough and light enough to use at the odd angles I wasCarport 2 cutting.  I really love the C3 line, if you’re in the market I highly recommend considering it..   However, do spend the extra on the Lithium-ion Batteries.

Carport 3

Next weekend (probably maybe) I’ll trim it out and make it look right.  I do plan on painting the horrible exterior one day, but I’d rather gut and redo our kitchen.  We did the bathroom last year, pulled all the carpet, and painted everything.  Kitchens are just expensive even when doing all the work yourself.


How to Fix a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer That’s Not Spinning

It was Saturday.  A nice day of not doing a lot of anything.  For dinner we decided that homemade pizza would be enjoyable.  My wife makes great pizza, she even took a Craftsy course on how to make better pizza dough. She aced it.

Her most prized possession in our Kitchen is her Red KitchenAid Stand Mixer that she received as a gift shortly after we were married.  Being huge fans of carbs and gluten this mixer has made a lot of bread over the years.  The cool thing with this style mixer is you can get an ice cream making attachment, a meat grinding attachement, and more.

Things were going as normal until I heard the motor strain and then it started making a “clicking” sound.  The motor was still running but the mixer was not spinning.  We turned it off, removed the bowl, and let it cool for about thirty minutes.  We then turned it back on, same noise and no movement.  I wiggled the beater and it seemed to engage, but stopped as soon as some pressure was applied.

I assumed a gear had stripped.  After some searching we found that Kitchenaid designed their mixer with a failsafe gear.  The gear that engages the motor is nylon and if the mixer is over worked it is designed to fail so the rest of the mixer is not ruined.

Worm Gear Assembly

Worm Gear Assembly

Worm Drive Gear

Worm Drive Gear

The proper term for this part is the “worm drive gear.” You’ll want to check your model number to get the right one.  You can buy the cheaper gear, or spend a little more on the Gear Assembly. I bought just the gear. It was not hard, but if I have to do this task again I’ll spend a few more dollars and get the entire housing.  It’s just a little-bit easier.

The inside of your mixer will be filled with a lot of thick black grease.  It is food safe and non-toxic, but tastes awful.  I ordered a thing of replacement grease that isn’t needed.

Kitchenaid Stand mixer stripped Worm drive gear

I gave up on wearing gloves halfway through.

This turned out to be a very easy project that anyone that can follow directions can do.  I’ve linked to a Youtube Video at the bottom of this post that takes you through everything step by step, it only takes about 20 minutes to do.

Tools Needed to Repair Your Mixer:

  1. Flat-head Screwdriver
  2. Philips-head Screwdriver
  3. A set of punches (Allen wrenches can substitute, if you absolute don’t want to spend $5)
  4. Mallet (A hammer is fine just be very gentle while driving the pins out.)
  5. Disposable Gloves (Helps keep grease off your hands)

This is a great video that I used to replace my worm gear.  Follow his walk-through carefully and you’ll be up and running in 20 minutes.

A very easy diy repair job that only takes a little time to complete. That’s what I think is nice about high end tools, they are made to be repairable, instead of just thrown away when they break.

Buy your own KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Empire Red

If you have any questions I’ll be happy to answer them and walk you through the process just leave a comment.

God Bless,

How To Repair a Damaged Extension Cord

Here is the latest video from my Youtube Channel.  For a while I was trying to do one video a week but that’s just not feasible for me at this time.

Had had problems with my 100ft extension cord.  The first is that it was always getting tangled, I hated using it.  100ft is just too long for my needs.  The second problem is that the safety ground had been removed at some put.  The third problem was that the female end was coming loose exposing bare wire.  Overall it was just unsafe to keep using.

Instead of throwing it away I decided to fix it.  Then I had the idea of making two 50ft cords out of the one.  You can buy replacement cord ends at any hardware store and its a super easy project.  Now I have two cords that are easier to handle, and if I ever need a 100ft cord I can just connect the two.  So if you have a damaged extension cord don’t throw it away, fix it.

Coleman Cable Replacement Yellow 15-Amp Cord End

Watch this Video to see the process.  It’ll take you about 30 minutes to do this project.

Fixing the Gaping Hole in the Side of my House

IMG_20140311_123840_670After a higher than expected bill from the plumber I was left with a hole in the side of my house.

It was a normal Friday evening. Dinner was being prepared, chores were getting done.  Then it happened, as potato skins where getting put down the disposal, everything stopped. The laws of physics stopped working and the flow of water reversed.  [EXPLETIVE DELETED] (this is a family friendly blog, after all).

***This post is the first in a new category “Household DIY” I’ll be adding more before and after pictures of our house soon***

Being a man and DIY’er this was no big deal, just a pain.  I’ve got a drain line snake.  I decided to just deal with it Saturday, I filled the sink up with water and walked away.  I have a disdain for plumbing. It’s nasty, smelling, wet, and always involves crawling into uncomfortable places.

Saturday morning I saw the sink had drained over night, so I took the pipes going into the wall off and brought out the snake.  I figured that this was just your average clogged pipe.  If by average I meant clogged with solid concrete I was right. I got nowhere.

As much as I hated it, someone with bigger tools had to be called.  Turns out the galvanized pipe that went from the Kitchen Sink to the main line was completely corroded and had to be replaced.  I always like to be around while a pro works, because there’s always something to learn.  I have no doubt that I could now do the the job of replacing the pipe myself, I just lacked the knowledge of how to diagnose the problem.

My house has asbestos shingles, the stuff that all the lawyers say is really bad on late night TV.  So I used a dust mask to take it down, also I read that if you wet it down it keeps the dust at bay as I took it down.  I’ve removed siding before, but never asbestos.  After I broke the third shingle, I said another “expletive” and just tore it off where needed.  I got the pipe exposed and waited for the plumber to come back the next day.

I happened to be at Home Depot the next day and went looking for replacement shingles.  Concrete board makers (such as Hardie) make replacement shingles since asbestos is illegal to sale now.  Having inhaled my fair share of concrete board dust, I’m not sure it’s all that much better for you than asbestos, but whatever.  I didn’t see them in that section so I asked a worker, “Do y’all carry Hardie Board (the brand that HD carries) Siding Shingles?”

I get a dazed, ‘I’ve smoked too much pot’ look, and as a reply I get, “You mean those black things you put on a roof?”

“No,” I said, “Hardie Board,” as we stand in the aisle with the yellow board made of concrete.

“…What’s Hardie Board…?”

“…”  [bless your heart]

We go to the computer to look it up.  I tried to be nice, but eventually I just took the mouse away and found what I needed “Special Order Only.”

HD, “Does that mean we have it”

“… … no, I’ll order online”

I then went to Lowe’s and asked the same thing.

Lowe’s “I’m not sure this is my first day but I’ll find out for you.”

Me “Thanks”

They didn’t have them either, so I just ordered them online.

Here are pictures, Yes, I hate the color of our house too, but after this there’s not going to be money to paint it for a while.  So we got a quart to match the current color.

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I finished this post a few days ago, but in honor of the Home Depot employee I decided to post this April 1st.