Saturday, July 11, 2015

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Yesterday a pleasant fellow (Scott) showed up from UIC, the folks in Salt Lake City from whom I bought my air compressor (I got there from Amazon).  The manufacturer (Chicago Pneumatic) has a program which, for $350 for certification by a technician, extends my warranty on the important bits from one year to five years.  Considering the price of that air compressor, that's a serious bargain, so I signed up for it.  Having run a business before, it's easy to see what's almost certainly going on here.  The manufacturer is fully prepared to offer the five year warranty, but tying it to the technician's visit guarantees some revenue for their dealer, and provides a (hopefully positive) introduction between the dealer and the customer.  The manufacturer wins by having a nominally reduced purchase price.  Everybody wins!  My favorite kind of capitalist deal :)

Anyway, Scott showed up and started his routine.  It was obvious, watching him, that he was verifying that my installation was correct.  When he got done with that part, he asked me who had done the installation.  I told him that I'd done it myself, fully expecting that he was going to tell me what I'd screwed up.  Instead, he shook my hand and said that he never sees the installation made correctly – that normally on these visits he ends up redoing part of the installation.  Well, how about that!  But on reflection, that's actually kind of scary, as that thing wasn't really challenging to install – I just had to connect it to both 240V and 120V power.  Is that really so unusual to get right?  Yikes!

Anyway, Scott spent the extra time he had going over all the settings and adjustments, and educating me on the care and feeding of the compressor.  I'd have been happy to pay $350 just for that, without the warranty extension – he was great!  After that, we actually lit off my new compressor.  It works great, and is vastly quieter than the piston type compressors I'm used to.  It was quite impressive to watch that thing putting out 15 cfm at 150 psi.  I'm not going to have any problems with running air tools!

Later in the day I wandered up to Logan, to Standard Plumbing, and investigated the availability of Type K (thick wall) copper pipe, 1" diameter.  They can order it with a two week lead time, and the price was acceptable, so I put 340' of it on order.  Once it comes in, I'm going to be sweating a lot of pipe together, to get that compressed air plumbed all over the shop and garage, with a couple of outside outlets as well (for tire inflation, power grease gun, and general cleanup).

Yesterday I also bought the parts for a doggy ramp, for Mo'i.  He's having trouble getting up and down the stairs to our back yard, and he's taken a couple of tumbles now that worry us.  Today I built the ramp, which you can see bottom side up in the photos below.  I chose the color based on what dogs see best, because we don't want Mo'i falling off the ramp!  The top side is just two 2x12s side-by-side.  I'll be painting them tomorrow with non-skid paint, the same color.  It's actually the same can of paint, to which I'll be adding the additive shown at right.  It looks like fine-grained sand.  While I was looking at it, at Home Depot, another customer came up and told me he's used it twice, and it worked great.  We'll put it to the dog test here shortly!

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