Monday, April 9, 2012

Tale of Two Tapes

The two masking tapes shown vary quite a lot in both price and quality.
The upper most tape was from a local chandler for $6 which I had to buy on a weekend when I had run out of the other.
The lower tape was more than $16.

Which would you buy?

The top one, even while applying the tape, I could tell was going to leave "furry" edges on my paint line.
The bottom one is a 3M product #2093EL called blue scotch, and has an "Edge Lock", which leaves beautiful fine lines after the removal. I also noticed that the tape could also tolerate some sanding up to, and on the tape, without affecting the edge.
I did one coat with the cheaper tape  and then removed and my suspicions about a furry line were confirmed. I applied the better tape about 1/16 inch further out and re-sanded before painting. A rescue of a paint job that I'm sure I would have been disappointed with had I left the cheap masking tape on. What annoys me even more, is the same tape in in the USA is $8.99 retail. Why should it be $16 here in Australia (with the stronger $)? But, I always knew Australia charged like wounded bulls for everything. Unfortunately, a necessary stop off on an around the world journey.

Install of Fuel Filter Monitor

A while ago, I wrote here about a fuel filter monitor that was both cheap and easy to install. I have gone ahead and purchased one and here are some pictures of my install.
The picture shows the indicator installed on the outlet side of the Racor filter. It is installed upside down because there is another Racor filter above for the Gen set and has to be installed this way because there is no room for it the other way around. It still functions the same. I had to purchase the base "T" in addition to the unit and an adapter for the thread of the unit to fit NPT fittings.
Once this has proven itself, then I will purchase another for the Gen set filter.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Holding Tank Vent Outlet

On my forward holding tank, the vent line comes out the side of the tank, and because of the small size (<1/4inch) of  the screw in fitting, occassionally becomes blocked. In clearing that blockage last year, I noticed the thread for the elbow, that screws into the tank was stripped. At the time, I secured it back into the tank with my favorite 3M 4200.
This year was the time, to replace that fitting. It was very difficult to get at, being close to the side of the hull, and I didn't want to take the whole tank out to replace it. So I came up with this idea.

I used a plastic fuel tank through hull vent that comes in two pieces. I mounted this on a 1/2 inch plywood disc, coated with 3-4 coats of epoxy. The vent has a tube within a tube and when mounted with the hose tail pointing down , gives an extra protection from water ingress (like a trap). The curved "outer" vent entry has a stainless mesh which I removed. These features, when applied to the holding tank application, should prevent fluid escaping out the vent line.

Diassembled vent and mounting disk.
The disk was located on the top of the tank and the process for attaching with epoxy glue was the same as in this blog here.  Essentially I drilled a hole big enough for the vent intake; sanded the tank and mounting disk; and applied a epoxy mixed with a silica "glue" as a paste between both parts and allowed it to set up. The vent intake was a firm fit in the mounting plate and allowed for the removal (unscrews) of the bigger vent "trap" with hose tail; and also allowed for orientation by turning the vent intake to accommodate.

Finish product
The photo to the right shows the finished product, albeit that I don't have the right type of hose. I have 5/8inch sanitation hose coming from the USA. It's not a size readily available here.
The old vent hole was closed off using a plug they use on hydraulic items. I had one come off a new transmission cooler that was the right size. And of course to keep it in there, I used my favorite product, 3M 4200. One day the tank may be removed and that will be the time to remove the old brass fitting epoxied into the tank.

You might notice the inlet to the holding tank is also on the side, (under the old vent line). I don't under stand why they were built that way. Both the vent and the inlet should be on the highest point of the tank. Next year, I might move the inlet to the top of the tank. And that will give me a couple of more flushes. Doesn't a flush beat a full house?