drill pump bearing
Sunday, January 29 2006
I continued work on the antifreeze resupply system, doing numerous experiments with that cheap drill-powered pump. I found that it was capable of pressurizing water to the full 40 psi of the household fresh water system, though bad things would happen if I ran it without having primed it with water first. Inside the drill pump is a bar of slippery plastic that acts as a bearing against which the disk face of a rubbery water wheel turns. If there is no water in the pump, the rubbery wheel heats the bearing up and melts it, ruining its smooth surface and its ability fo form a leak-free seal against the water wheel, and greatly reducing its ability to pump. If you ruin the bearing once in this way you can get a second chance by taking the pump apart and flipping the bearing over to expose its still-flawless side. But once that is ruined, the pump can no longer be salvaged.
Now that my antifreeze supply was pressurizable, I could make a large unpressurized reservoir for it to draw from. I had a couple of five gallon plastic buckets in which in which I'd gotten a large amount of antifreeze earlier in the season, so I converted one of these into a reservoir by building in a length of copper pipe reaching down to its bottom and topped by a standard male hose connector.
This evening Gretchen and I had dinner with our friend J&D from Willow at a place we'd never been to before, a restaurant/inn called The Woodstock Lodge. J&D operate the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and are both vegan. J had lobbied the Lodge's owner, a youthful but nonetheless traditional German cook, to discontinue veal and offer vegan options, things she has done. So J has been doing her best to promote the place to her friends.
The Lodge also had entertainment tonight in the form of an improvisational jazz band comprised of the Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood as well as our celebrity friend Don Byron, who was shuffling back and forth through the restaurant being his usual distracted, disoriented self. He sat at our table a couple of times and complained about back pain and uncertainties with his wife's career as a German literature professor.
Some time later we went into the part of Lodge where the music was happening. The floor was so crowded that there was no way to see the musicians. Taking up what little room there was, a huge guy flailed about in a particularly-spastic arrhythmic dance style that resembled someone doing an overacted impersonation of a coked-out hippie.
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