Archive | March, 2010

Home Depot Gets Kudos For Paying Attention

Work continues into the night. Brock is skimming and sanding the final coats of glass. He’s driven to get this project done, which is a really great thing.
And I must give credit to Home Depot for paying attention to that crazy thing called the blogosphere. Thanks, Stephanie (see comment on last post). I will give her some details on the interaction and I end up feeling heard as a customer. And yes, Home Depot is very convenient and the disappointing experience will not deter us from going back.
In the meantime, Brock is hoping to get gel coat laid down on the next day he has time to work on this. And my Copper Bond epoxy solution (to replace the solder) worked perfectly ~ I get the credit for the heat exchanger fix!

Most Unhelpful Home Depot Guy Ever

As the day goes on, Brock finally gives up on the heat exchanger thing and sends me to Home Depot instead. You gotta love that ~ when he reaches the end of his rope with it, he thinks I’m going to do better? I’ll try to take it as a compliment, I guess. So I pack up Thing One and off we go.

On the way, we discuss the plan. Which is to give the damsel-in-distress routine a whirl. SB is shocked and appalled that his capable mother would use this approach, until I explain to him that it’s only one tool in a full arsenal of tools. He thinks it’s a bit unfair that he won’t ever be able to use that approach and we proceed to discuss the need for general competence in life.
Which is exactly what we didn’t find today at the North Seattle Home Depot. I brought the heat exchanger with me. Brock has had trouble with both 1″ and 1-1/4″ copper, neither of which fit quite right. When I tell the guy what I need (a 90 degree ending in 3/4″ male pipe thread), he just shrugs and says “I don’t know how to hook it up. It must be a proprietary size or something. You’ll have to contact the manufacturer.” When I asked if he had any ideas at all or direction for us, he just said “Nope.” Does he look at it? No. Does he think it through at all? No. Does he even pretend to care about this customer? Yeah, no.
I think I actually rolled my eyes at him (which I’m usually too polite to do; however, he really took the prize for Lack Of Customer Service) and said “Yeah thanks, we’ll figure it out from here.”
So we did. Put together a little system that I hope will work, along with a bit of Copper Bond, since the solder isn’t working at all. We shall see…

HT Days 5 and 6

Mostly a bunch of grinding and sanding and layers of fiberglass, along with sweating of copper joints on the heat exchanger and other miscellaneous mechanical stuff. I realized last weekend that this was a bigger project than I had originally anticipated.

It took Brock until this weekend to reach that same conclusion. He’s arguing with the heat exchanger right now. It has the tiniest leak around one of the fittings, so he’s re-sweating the joint (can I say it that way? You know what I mean). It’s been just a bugger of a job. Last comment I heard was “Do you know how close this thing is to flying into the water?” There’s always gotta be that one difficult part!
Most all of the mechanical is done on the project – pumps, wiring, plumbing from the engine room and back, etc. We should get to gel coat this afternoon, as he put the final layer of fiberglass down early this morning.

Revisiting the shop of Industrial Strength Dean, it appears that things are going well there. This is the small part of the lid with all of the patches and plates removed. That’s where you end up from 58 years of random modifications.

Soon it will look like the bigger part of the lid which already had it’s new steel in place. Much improved.