The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Measure twice, Cut once

I almost have everything up and running. Swather is all repaired and the tractor is only waiting on an expansion valve which should be here today. So I turned my attention to some minor things like the missing headliner and insulation in the cab.

I had a piece if 1/2" styrofoam insulation left over from my pumphouse and a small bit of automotive carpet from my minitruck. It was just enough to do the job, but barely. I took my time measuring. 39" at the front, 33" at the back, 25" long. To be sure, I measured again. 39, 33, 25.

I mark the insulation and remeasure my marks. 39, 33, 25. I cut the styrofoam 39 x 25. All I have to do now is subtract 3" off each side and I'll have my angles. This stuff is easy!

Next I pull out the carpet and spray glue. It's like the stuff Elwood used on the RV in The Blues Brothers... strong stuff! I have to mosaic a few pieces of carpet but I got the whole thing covered and it looked damn good if I do say so myself.

I take my masterpiece out to the tractor, scrape the roof well to remove any remnants of the old headliner and give it a good coat of spray glue. Next I spray the back of the insulation when... wait a second... I cut 3" off each side alright. But it was the wrong #^@%ing side! I had it turned the wrong way when I measured the cut. Instead of narrowing it Left to Right, I narrowed it Front to Rear on the Left side. The piece is completely useless and I just wasted all my spare insulation and carpet.

(Insert colorful sailor language soliloquy here)

Maybe the saying should be "Measure twice, double check your layout, cut once". I was damn proud of that headliner, too. It looked marrr-velous.

It sure would have been nice to have a fully insulated cab with a brand new a/c. I may stick it up there anyway until I can afford a laser cut cab kit. It won't fit right, but it would cover most of the exposed metal and make a big difference. It would also look redneck as hell.

Update: The expansion valve finally arrived after 5 and I deferred installation until after 7 when the big ol' shade tree was making a big ol' shade. I didn't want to waste that shower I took earlier. I quickly installed the expansion valve and hooked up the vacuum pump.

Much to my chagrin, it wouldn't hold a vacuum. I double checked all the connections on the expansion valve and dryer. They were all tight. I pulled another vacuum and as soon as I turned off the pump it lost everything. Then I thought about double checking the lines on my gauges and sure enough one wasn't tight. A quick twist and problem solved.

I'm letting it pull vacuum overnight and charging it in the morning. It should blow icicles while I'm cutting hay. It would have been really cool with a new headliner, too.

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