Neracar user manual, 1923

November 8th, 2011 by jman

For Neracar fans who’re watching the usual venues, this may look familiar. ;) Here’s a low-res but otherwise decent scan of a 1923 Neracar user manual.

A-Frame Project

July 18th, 2011 by jman

This is the A-Frame I welded up over the weekend.  It’s made from oil drill stem, 2-7/8″ diameter/0.20″ wall for the legs, 2-3/8″ diameter/0.20″ wall for the horizontals.  Webbing is 2″x1/4″ flat stock.

a PDF with the top leg cut pattern

spreadsheet with coordinates

How to clean a Ner-A-Car gas tank

March 19th, 2011 by jman

This Neracar had clearly sat for some years, judging by the amount of varnish in the gastank.  Underneath the varnish was a Kreem job that was bubbling up.


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1924 Ner-a-Car: back in the family!

January 10th, 2011 by jman

My great grandfather, my dad’s grandfather, Carl Neracher, invented a very curious motorbike that was produced in the 1920s, competing with Indians and Harleys of the time.  Strangely, my father, Carl Neracher Morris, had never seen one until I happened to meet online an English Ner-a-Car enthusiast, Ken Philp, and introduced the two of them, and Ken invited my dad to flag off the record 11 Ner-a-Cars competing in the 2001 Banbury Run.  Recently my father and I agreed that if we found one for sale, that we would try to buy it, to have an example of this history for our family, because I thought I would be capable of maintaining it, and of course because it’ll be a ton of fun cruising around town or showing it off at vintage bike events.

After many months of nothing coming up, in December, suddenly three appeared, almost at once!  This one, bought from Ken Caulkins, an interesting character in Ceres, CA (an amazing inventor himself), seems to be the perfect one for us.  It is an American model (the UK had three models, very similar, but manufactured independently in England with different tooling).  The American one  is probably the production model closest to the design that my great grandfather penned himself.  The bike is in very complete shape, but not running and with several minor problems so that I have an excuse to take it all apart!

Here’s a pic of my dad and me the day the bike arrived in Austin.


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Viking 6030 sewing machine rebuild

October 4th, 2010 by jman

A very nice lady gave me a Viking 6030 sewing machine (as well as this serger).


It had what is said to be a typical problem for this make and model:  the lubricating oil had solidified into a wax- or plastic-like consistency, and the upper main shaft, many of the controls, and other mechanisms were frozen.  The only way to repair this is to completely disassemble the machine, clean out the old oil, and reassemble it with new oil.  After such a complete rebuild, all of the normal service adjustments must be made.

This post documents the rebuild process with photos and provides documentation.  When done, your machine may be able to do this:

30.0.  All done!

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White/Maruzen Super Lock Model 503 (503W-3) serger

September 12th, 2010 by jman

These are pics of a White-brand serger that a very nice person gave to me.  When turning the hand wheel, it stops at one point, no matter which direction it is turned.  Opening up the bottom for inspection revealed that the plastic gear that drives the upper looper is cracked.  The below pictures document the problem and the machine identification markings.

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Toyota alternator fix on the cheap

July 24th, 2010 by jman

When your alternator light comes on, you probably don’t have to buy a remanufactured alternator for $120.  90% of the time the problem is the brushes are worn out, and can be fixed for $3! Read the rest of this entry »

Pinetop Perkins

January 9th, 2010 by jman

Pinetop Perkins concert

After Chris Holmes and Alba turned us on to Pinetop Perkins last Thanksgiving, we went back to Antone’s on New Year’s Day to see him and Lou Ann Barton.  He’s the greatest!  Watch the video!

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Testing FLV-Embed

April 22nd, 2009 by jman

Here’s a test video of Bootsky, the amazing rodent. Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese puzzles: Kong Ming Suo

January 9th, 2009 by jman

Outside her school, Yamin bought several little puzzles from a street vendor. Among them was one that you may have seen before, in Chinese, 孔明锁 (kong ming suo), maybe meaning “Kong Ming Lock”. Read the rest of this entry »