Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meat and Metal.

I've been doing a lot of grilling lately and I've tackled some new meats. For example, earlier this month I've cooked a brisket, two pork shoulders, baby back ribs, and made a really awesome stew.
Here are some pictures of the ribs:
I feel like I've learned a lot about how meat cooks from a chemical standpoint so it's been pretty fun. Also, for christmas Rosanna got this cookbook for me.

It's a really great book, it is a series of interviews with butchers and a couple of their favorite recipes. I think I'm going to make a tenderloin this week.

A couple of days before Christmas I went with Matt Smith down to the hinterlands of washington, I'm not sure where we were but I do know that we crossed the tacoma narrows bridge. We were on a rescue mission to pull an old dock out of the lake at his family's cabin. Here is "Man" Smith pulling the dock using only his pinkies.

The mopeds are still coming along nicely. I went to the wizard lair to do some serious damage on the mermaid bike.
I cut the forks down 2.5". Naz welded them and I think that it improved the stance a lot. At least now it doesn't look quite so American Choppers.

I got the disc brake properly spaced and I cut a bunch of material out of the caliper bracket, it's looking pretty sexy now.

DEATHped still needs forks, I've put so much time and care into getting this bike just perfect, it would be a shame to put some plain EBR's on it. So I'm saving for hydros. The rear end is pretty much done, I just need to put on the rear gear and then the chain and a taillight. I'm not sure how I feel about the red and black pedal chain. Too much red? Nah, it's appropriately obnoxious.

As these bikes come close to completion my mind starts drifting towards the other projects. Do I immediately start souping up the hobbit? I have two puch frames now (a chopped maxi and a wierdo colorshift pinto), should I build another puch? Should I slap a polini on the derbi? Rebuild the Hercules so Phil has a running bike to ride in Seattle? Only time and monetary concerns will tell.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Wow, it has been a busy and productive week in Kastle Kvernmo.
On Saturday we had a crowd of Mosquito Fleeters over for a holiday dinner. Eighteen people all stuffed into our tiny home around one long table. It was great. My contribution for the dinner was one 9 lb pork shoulder. I put the rub on the meat a couple of days ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge. The morning of the dinner I got up to start the grill at 3:30 am. I tended the meat all day and by 5:00 pm it was deeeeelicious. Sadly though, I have no photo evidence of the magnificent feast.
UPDATE: one out of focus polaroid was found as evidence of the debauchery:
MF holiday dinner 2010
DEATHped finally has some appropriate shocks, I ordered some 320mm adjustables. I really think that the black fits nicely. The wheels are currently being trued by none other than Haulin' Colin.
The Mermaid bike is really taking shape. Rosanna and I started assembling the parts and it is really coming together nicely. The disc brake assembly is fitting well and once I have everything perfectly fitted I will start hacking the caliper bracket down to a more aesthetically pleasing shape.
The bike as a whole is finally rolling. Some things remain; chains, a pipe, a seat, handlebars, and cables, but really this is a far sight further along than ever.
This tank is of course not THE mermaid tank but merely a placeholder. The forks need to be shortened by about two and a half inches which I hear is a relatively simple process.
I'll tease you with a glimpse of a project Rosanna and I have been working on. Can you spy what this is?
And finally, in sad news, Phil (Responsible Jon) and his wife have moved to Indiana. It's too bad they had to go but they have an opportunity too good to pass up. I helped them pack up the truck and they stayed one night with Rosanna and I before they hit the ol' dusty trail. Here, in video form, is their last rainy moments in Seattle.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back in the day.

It's winter. So as I spend more time in my house I become increasingly aware of the junk that somehow took root in my house. Rosanna and I are purging clothes we don't need, dvd's, cd's, books, all the kind of stuff a person keeps around because it has some sort of nostalgic value but in reality is just trash cluttering up ones personal space. At the same time, I began doing a digital cleaning of my old hard drives and I stumbled upon some old rough cuts of the moped documentary I started and never finished.
Back in 2006 I was in a video art class, (I believe it was Video 301 or something) and our project for the semester was to make a documentary. I had a friend who was involved in the moped scene here in Seattle so I figured I'd give her a call and see what those scooter things were all about. I followed the Mosquito Fleet around and filmed them doing their thing for a while, I bought my own moped, went to a rally in Arizona, and generally just got to know some great people and had a lot of fun. Eventually, I became less interested in taping and more interested in fixing bikes and riding. I also had a serious lack of confidence as to where the doc was going so I have a few drastically different rough cuts of my footage.

I've currently exceeded my Vimeo limit for the week so I'll update this post later with another video.

Moped Doc Trailer from Joel Kvernmo

Moped Doc Arizona from Joel Kvernmo

Another video

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making a disc brake.

A while back Rosanna was riding old red and gold maxi and kept mentioning how bad her brakes were. I must admit I didn't consider her concerns to be in urgent need of attention until I had an opportunity to ride the bike myself. What she described as "doesn't brake very well" was in reality a complete lack of brakes. It was a truly hair raising experience. I tried a few times to improve the brakes by sanding down the drums, putting in new shoes, changing out the brake lines, nothing seemed to improve the situation.

So, when Rosanna hatched her plan to build a custom Pinto, I was determined that her brakes be over built. I want her to be able to stop on a dime. So while many people are adapting motorcycle disc brake setups, I thought that I would adapt a mountain bike disc brake setup. There are a few reasons for this:
A) Bicycle disc brakes are relatively cheap.
B)The calipers come in very good quality cable operated versions. My plan is to use the stock moped levers.
C) The challenge, man!

The first task was to make an insert that would replace the existing brake hub. I managed to purchase some aluminum stock from online metals for about $10. I headed down to the wizard lair and turned the insert, drilled and tapped it. This was certainly the most time consuming part of the process.
So as you can see here, I have drilled and tapped for the disc, and I have drilled and tapped the insert to keep it from spinning on the hub.
And then here you can see Rosanna's beautifully powdercoated wheel has matching mount holes.
Here are all the parts. Up in the top right corner you can see the bracket I made for the caliper. The round hole mounts on the axle and the slot goes on the existing brake stop.
I still have a little bit of work to go before this wheel is complete, spacers need to be cut for the bearings and the hub insert and the brake caliper. But now that the wheel has been powdercoated we are a lot further along. Exciting!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well hello mr. hoobit.

Phil gave me a hobbit. Well, by gave I mean I said, "How about I trade you my 2 speed hercules for the hobbit and your forks?" And he said, "Sounds fair, but how about I just leave the Hercules at your house?"
So now I have a hobbit. Which is great!
I took the hobbit over to Travis' garage the other day to see if we couldn't get'r running.
Travis was concerned about how much the rear wheel was dragging so we popped the freewheel off to access the brake plate and this is what we discovered.
So in the first photo, you can see on the left the brake drum liner that has separated from the brake hub, and then proceeded to swirl around and around within the hub. The second picture shows the mangled up brake shoes and somehow a large tangle of brake cable also got in there?
Travis was very amused.

The bike was originally missing some things, a tank, a petcock, an exhaust pipe, and brake shoes. But with Travis' generosity we scrounged up some spare parts and got it running. I still need to do a little bit of work on it, there's currently no lights and it needs a new rear tube, but all in all in should be a great little loaner.

DEATHped is still coming along, I've reach a financial impasse so hopefully on I'll be able to finish it up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DEATHtank and various other things.

Oh man! DEATHped is getting close. Yesterday I went to the wizard lair and got a lot of work done. I got the tank, magneto cover, and headlight bucket all powdercoated in a deathly wrinkle black.
I'm not entirely positive what the deal is with that bike, but when I held that tank in it's completed form something happened.
It's probably nothing. Anyway, the bike is starting to come together nicely, I still need some essentials; forks, shocks, seat, tires, chains, etc. But really, I swear, it's coming together.
The wheels are pretty much done, just truing remains. Just for info sake, the final equipment needed to convert loose bearing leilu (sp?) wheels to sealed bearings are:
-180mm M12 bolt x1 + washer and lock nut
-150mm M12 bolt x1 + washer and lock nut
- 6001zz sealed bearing x4
-.5mm shim stock
-Loctite 262
-.5" Nom. Aluminum Pipe
Estimated cost, ~$30.
I also got an 18 tooth freewheel which should give me a little more pedaling speed. Probably unnecessary, but neat nevertheless.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Whenever I get home from LA there are never enough photos to fully illustrate everything that went down. But on the other hand, maybe it's better that way.
Here is a couple of rad dudes that always treat us right.
I'm the sort of person that doesn't really like arguments or overly opinionated people. Usually if I disagree with someone I'll just keep it to myself. But for some reason there always comes a moment at parties when I'm yelling at everyone within earshot about how Dick's drive-in is far superior to In-n-Out, or how the Seahawks were robbed by the refs during Supersham XL, or sometimes I'm just screaming "Everybody Dance Now!" Rosanna thinks it's obnoxious but I think I'm awesome. I'M AWESOME OK!? Why's everyone leaving the room? Oh yeah, the reason that I'm saying all of this is because at some point at this party I was screaming about the Seahawks. And then the next day, surrounded by Chicago transplants, I witnessed the Seahawks beat the Bears. Booyah!
Anyway, Jed of the Latebirds has recently begun honing his tattoo skills and what better way to practice than on your poor decision making friends?
Here Craig and I are modeling the latest design from Altru Apparel, Cam makes a great model.
The next day Nik took Rosanna and I to the Getty. I must say that I was blown away by the architecture. What an amazing place. If you have the opportunity to visit I would highly suggest it.
And lastly, a photo of Cam on his first day at Folsom Prison.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Converting to sealed bearings

Converting loose bearing wheels to sealed bearings has always been a difficult and time consuming effort for me. But I really think that if done correctly the product is worth it. The leleu wheels that I am using have an OD of 29mm. That's a problem because the bearing sizes I want come in 28mm or 30mm.
Yesterday I stopped by the wizards lair and asked phil if they had any pipe I could turn in order to make a shim for 28mm bearings. If you were keeping track that would mean I'm making .5mm shims. That's small and probably too difficult to turn in a lathe. Phil suggested I go get some shim stock. I didnt know that this stuff existed! It's great. I was able to stop by online metals and pick up some .5mm shim stock and since it was scrap they just gave it to me for free.
Anyway, I got the shim material, cut it down with my dremel and trimmed it fit.
All in all it's been super simple and easy. I still need to use some red loc-tite to seal it in place and I need some length of pipe to keep the bearings from being pulled in on each other.
The bearings i used were 6001zz. With this setup I'll be running 12mm axles. Stoked!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

DEATHped progress

I'm back from Catalina for a few days so I've been working hard on the DEATHped. Man, with a name like that, it would be a real shame if I actually died on it... anywhoodles, it's coming along swimmingly.
I started by meticulously cleaning and assembling the engine, then I wanted to see how it would look with the yellow sebacs I had laying around, and then I figured I should throw some wheels on it to check the stance, and now it's actually looking like a moped. Amazing!
I am for sure not going to use these wheels or these forks, I'm waiting to buy some black EBRs, (unless some benevolent soul wants to give me some?) and Phil is currently powdercoating some spokers for me.
Phil said that he would work on perhaps getting me my wheels this evening. Fingers crossed.

It is really nice to build a bike without rushing it. I can disassemble and reassemble things as I discover issues rather than building it with my usual, "I have to get this done tonight or I won't have anything to ride!" For example I don't want any wires showing if I can help it, so I drilled a tiny hole in the frame near the motor mount and that is where my taillight wire pops out. Another pet peeve of mine is when someone does a meticulous and beautiful pinto build and then bolts the coil right above their front wheel. Like this:
Gross. So I spent some time figuring and I managed to bolt my cdi coil onto the case nice and discretely. There is a small section of case that sticks out like a tab in-board of the flywheel. I just drilled a mounting hole and bolted it in.
And lastly, here is my motomatic N8p all bolted up. They made me this pipe way back in the day and it had gotten really dented and gnarly so last year when we headed to the Latebird Invitational I dropped it off for a restore. They did a great job. They replaced the header, angled the flange to fit a gila, took out all of the dented sections, and generally cleaned it up, as well as giving it a nice new powdercoat job. Their fit tolerances are perfect. I told them it was for a gila on a pinto frame and the mounting bracket fits just right. Also, I'm a big fan of pipes that kick up a little bit, so this thing really makes me happy.

Oh yeah, I threw those sebacs on there. I can't decide if they fit or not. I was starting to feel that when this thing is done there might be too much red and black so the splash of yellow might be a racy contrast. Any thoughts? Bear in mind that I'm color blind so most of the time my color choices are cranked to the max.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


It's sunday and I'm watching the Seahawks. I love football and for me the Seahawks represent the old, blue collar days of Seattle. Before Amazon, Microsoft, and the general tech boom transition this city has made.
The ultimate Seahawk will always be Steve Largent. He was white, small, and a real nice guy. But he was an amazing wide receiver and was the coolest when I was a little kid.

Here's what wikipedia says: When Largent retired, he held all major NFL receiving records, including: most receptions in a career (819), most receiving yards in a career (13,089), and most touchdown receptions (100). He was also in possession of a then-record streak of 177 consecutive regular-season games with a reception.

In 1988 Steve Largent proved what a badass he was. Earlier in the '88 season Denver player Mike Hardin threw a right forearm to the left side of Largent's face, shattering the facemask, dislodging teeth and leaving Largent briefly unconscious and with a sprained left knee. The next time Denver played the Seahawks you could really see the tension. Check out 1:19 when Largent gets riled up at the refs call and yells into the refs mic. And then at 2:08 Largent demolishes Mike Hardin after Hardin intercepts a pass. Man, what a guy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Catalina Dive, September 29th

Whoo! I've been on the water a lot these past few days. At night I feel like I'm still swaying on the boat and I rock back and forth in my chair.
The snorkeling in the cove right here on the USC campus is really incredible. I've seen Bat Rays, Leopard sharks, Garibaldis, and lot's of other kinds of fish. The Bat Rays and Leopard Sharks were huge! Unfortunately, I don't have an underwater camera housing so you'll just have to take my word for it.
Here is some photos from our sub operation on September 29th:
Sunset 9/28
Sunrise 9/29
Ryan getting the shot.
Gearing up and heading out for the dive.
Antipodes by the caves.
Sunset 9/29
I've also gotten really good at handling an outboard motor. Here I am transporting people in the tender boat.