IQ Light

IQ stands for Interlocking Quadrilaterals because it is made up of several of the exact same shape which lock together. There's a few different designs you can make with the same shape. The 30 piece light is the most common. They have kits you can buy but i just traced and cut out the shape out of old mylar plans that work was throwing out. Here's the shape of the pieces and what it should look like when you're done. IQ Light and Template Pattern 30 piece IQ light, Interlocking Quadralaterals A few of the possible shapes IQ Light Pattern, Shapes, number All 30 cut out how to make an IQ Light Layout Pieces
1st row

IQ Light, How to Put Together, Step 1 2nd row IQ Light How to Put Together Row IQ Light How to Put Together Steps Row 3 4th rowIQ Light How to Put Together Ikea All done, notice i have the youtube video on the tv in the background. I had to watch 2 different instructions a few times before i figured out how to put it together. The 30 piece was hard enough, i can't imagine putting the 120 piece light together. Finished IQ light put together 30 Piece Ikea like IQ light pattern to make


Kitchen Stuff

I've eaten at Boston's Restaurant a few times and ordered their crispy fish-taco. It's really good so i tried making it. Here's what theirs looks like.bostons restaurant, crispy fish taco
They use feta cheese which i didn't have so i used blue cheese. Then i cut up lettuce and tomatoes which i got from the garden
how to make bostons market crispy fish tacos
crispy fish tacos, recipe, ingredients I also added Russian Dressing, Thousand Island Dressing and onions. It was pretty good.

I also painted the table legs, i think the color was metallic brown.

diy, kitchen island, how to make
pvc pipe leg, make kitchen island, bar
separate rooms with bar, island, counter top


Only a small rusted exhaust came with the mower motor. It's really loud and might anger neighbors, so i tried making a new, quieter one.
old rusted riding mower exhaust, snapper lawn mower
There's many types of exhaust styles. There are high-tech noise cancellation mufflers, but the one i chose, which was also the simplest to make was just a straight baffled design. That's where the inner pipe is drilled out and insulation is wrapped between that and the outer shell.

Here's an example of the basic ideas i tried to follow inside of muffler, exhaust, cut away how a muffler works, exhaust
After removing the old exhaust i connected steel plumbing pipes.
diy, make a muffler, connection tubes, pipes
Here's what the inner pipe looked like after i drilled out the holesmuffler port holes, drill, sound
Then wrapped it with steel wool and fiber glass
wrap exhaust with fiberglass, dampen sound
Here it is on the mower. I'm still working on it because it's still pretty loud.homemade exhaust, muffler, riding mower


Garage Lights

I realized that the 60 watt bulb in the garage wasn't going to cut it if i was in there working on the mower at night. So i decided to do the same thing i did in the basement and hang fluorescent lights. Again i went with the easy route, instead of wiring a switch and box, i just connected an extension cord to a "light bulb outlet." This way, whenever i turn on the light, the florescent bulbs turn on as well.cheap and easy garage lights, how to
Here's the easy way, so you don't have to install another switch.

existing garage light bulb, how to fix
connect light to garage door opener, added light
how to quickly and easily add lights to garage Everything took about an hour or two to hang up. Once again, another thing i wish i would have done a long time ago.


Hundred Dollar Mowers

I had been looking to buy an old riding mower for my lawn and i finally bought one, well actually i bought 2. They are the same model but the second one is just for parts. It's engine was in pieces in a cardboard box. I got them on craigslist both for $100 which is way cheaper then any riding mower you can find. People usually want around $250 for one, so i could always sell them for at least double. The good mower even has a bagger for grass and leaves in the fall.
snapper mower, craigslist, parts, riding mower, bagger
The reason that they were cheap is that neither of them ran. The guy said that the one did last year but now it doesn't start. A likely story. I don't know a lot about engines, but keeping it simple all you need to know is:
fuel, spark & compression

So i started reading online about some common problems people have had. This website is by an old motorcycle mechanic who tells you basically everything you need to know about working on motorcycle engines. Dan's MC It's mainly motorcycle related and i've used it before, but the information is good for any small engines too. He always says, "take you're time and don't panic." Like my motorcycle i figured the worst thing that could happen would be for it to burst into a ball of flames and i'd be out a hundred bucks. So
i got started trying to fix it.

It was getting fuel, i cleaned out the carburetor
lawn mower carburetor, riding mower, 8HP engine
It was getting spark, i checked it on the side of the engine.
how to check that engine has spark, spark plug, engine block
It was getting 60-70 pounds of compression which isn't great, but should be enough.
check engine compression, gauge, compression tester
I tried spraying starting fluid in the cylinder... nope.
Cleaned out the head and valves, which were a little dirty... still nothing.
clean valves and head, engine block, riding mower
So after 4 days i was ready to take the engine completely apart, since i didn't know what else to do, but then i thought about the Timing.

A couple of days before i realized that someone had changed the points and condensers with an electronic ignition. The points were in a plastic jar.
parts, how to fix a riding mower, snapper, extra parts
I had actually seen the problem 2 days ago but with my limited knowledge i didn't notice it. There's a metal wedge/pin which locks the crank shaft to the flywheel. There should be only 1 of those metal wedges. I wasn't smart enough to realize that my engine had 2. It used to be 1 but must have sheared in half, usually after someone runs over a rock or stump. Those are the 2 metal pieces on top. See how the 2 cut-outs in the center of the shaft and wheel don't line up.
timing pin, fly wheel, shear pin
So i went downstairs, cut an old allen wrench in half, lined up the marks, put it in there and tada, it started right up.
install timing pin, fly wheel, electronic ignition
The pin holds everything in place and makes sure that it sparks at just the right time, the problem i had was that it was sparking randomly because the wheel was slipping.

Another cool thing about the mowers is that they can be stood on end during the winter for storage, saving space. So hopefully this will be the end of me raking leaves and push mowing. Although i drove it around the yard a bit and it was a scary ride and might be tough to mow in tight corners.
snapper riding mower, for sale, buy on craigslist, bagger, 8HP
2 riding mowers for sale, bagger, snapper, hi-vac