The Fixer topics

The Fixer archives

Harbor Freight trailer build

I was going to build my own utility trailer from an old boat trailer I bought, but came across a more commonsense approach at Harbor Freight. To the left is the completed unit with my added decking lumber.

Its maiden voyage was ferrying my Dr. Zee to an Idaho Star motorcycle class in Twin Falls. Here you see my wife’s brother Bruce tying it down HIS WAY for our trip back home.

Assembly was not overly challenging, but without a significant tool set, skill set and helping hand friend it would have been difficult or not […]

taking a time out

I am cutting back on my webpost side to regain more of my other Renaissance Man aspects.

I am master of four websites. I am still wrestling with cutting back on the out-of-pocket financial costs without resolution, but certainly can pare down the time I have been donating to this slice of my life without a solution to the expense question.

Woodwork, metalwork, strengthening my 2-way comms, building physical things, making music, reading, two-wheel-riding, wrenching, drawing, artistic painting and more have been calling to me – and I have answered their calls less than I want.

Most […]

simple pleasures in the workshop

Once in a while I simply get lucky as a photographer. I suppose as a modestly inspired amateur, that will be the only way I get a photo that really tickles me. Below is one of them.

At my skill level, getting the lighting just right to comfortably light the background while focusing attention, and projecting a welcoming feeling has to be totally a lucky shot, but this one speaks volumes for the shop guy, and the car guy in me.

I briefly opened the bay doors to admit the Honda for its overdue wheel swap from summer […]

bargain basement boot rack

We have muck boots for ourselves, family, friends and guests – anyone who happens by to work or play in our chicken yard, creek, snow or mud. Mostly the collection has been standing in the alley between our house and garage.

One such friend recently discovered a mouse nest in one of the boots we were loaning out. Turns out more than one boot was thusly violated. Fortunately this particular guest is an earthy guy who was not put off by this violation, but the ICK-factor was something we could not tolerate.

My wife sent me links to […]

welding lighting

I graduated from heavy-metal farmer-grade stick welding to light metal shielded wire feed welding with mixed success.

I recently figured out the pattern.

When the sun through my shop windows was lighting the work, I could see the two metal pieces through my dark helmet screen. When I could see what I was doing my welds were fine.

As soon as that light came on, I ordered some modern LED task lighting. Looking for a way to put it in the right position led me to a tripod I bought three years ago without any purpose […]

step stool

My wife, shorty, has step stools all over the place. The old plastic one on her side of the bed broke. It was old, brittle and not worth patching to last another little while.

What it really needed was a replacement.

Of course I couldn’t build a light-weight version, this one can second as a jack stand for auto repair. It won’t break – that’s for sure. I will feel no hesitation about using it myself.

The sides are “only” quarter-inch plywood scraps, the top a 5/8ths scrap of an old water-bed frame and furring strips at all […]

whatta day

The gas log fireplace was not working this morning. My studio space was at 35-degrees while outside was 10. Not good. Definitely wins the “Highest Priority” award for the day. It was mostly a repeat of my outta gas post from the other day except I didn’t have to eliminate so many possibilities before going straight to the problem. The thermopile was not heating up enough to generate the millivolts necessary to keep the gas valve turned on.

This time I cleaned up the pilot light flame to put out slightly more heat. I think it will go […]


Missy and I are investigating satellite Internet from 25 miles up as our Verizon from a tower 4.5 miles away is intermittently acceptable – the rest of the time NOT. So I asked Craigslist to tell me the real-world cost of a (data) router as the ability to use wireless anywhere in the house won’t be included in the new satellite package.

Ryobi router with table and bits $75. While I was supposed to say, “Not THAT kind of router.” What I said instead was “I guess we need to make a trip to Missoula today.” Heckuva deal a […]

working conditions

What I want to do is putter in my shop, fixing things and making things using my head, my hands and my tools. I enjoy metal work, wood work and more, but mostly I enjoy inventing … creating solutions to problems … making life better in little ways … installing smiles on faces.

It is awkward, to say the least, to enjoy that when my shop is 26-degrees Fareinheit. My kerosene heater isn’t real cheap to operate nor is it ideal to be reducing the percentage of breatheable air in my workspace. But I was running it full-throttle just […]

free gift wrap

Both the do-er and the do-ee can enjoy a gift of one done Honey-do. I will create a personalized gift certificate specific to your situation and thrill you both with a memorable and practical gift.

I am the practical, pragmatic creator of solutions for home, office or garage organization. In fact you will be surprised at the depth and breadth of my experience. I may be the cure for whatever has been bugging you for the last loooong time.

about your problem

The problem – solution list on the left is representative of my creativity and skills. I do not expect to solve the same problems in the future that I have in the past. I expect to draw on my knowledge and inventiveness to come up with a practical solution to whatever you need resolved.

If it turns out that I the analyst think that I the inventor and fabricator am the best person to construct a solution, then I will bid that job. If I think a carpenter, plumber, another specialist or combination of them would be better […]


As a hobby, I’ve driven race cars on road courses such as Laguna Seca and Sears Point (since renamed). As a dream, I could do that a lot more.

In the real world, I am a talented and skillful driver of equipment, commercial trucks and about anything else with two or more wheels (and some with tracks). I’m licensed for anything from motorcycles to triples, though not interested in full time trucking or equipment operation, I am open to an occasional driving gig or road trip.