Getting it Done: Pane and Steps

Newtons and steps
Finally, there was a little bit of decent weather, and I was able to finish the windshield job. It had rained a few days, and in a cloudy but dry moment yesterday, I had dry set the windshield into the frame and realized that there was no room for a separate gasket which had been on the old windshield. Before realizing this I had called around to various dealerships, ebay-motor, and autoparts, and car body shops looking for the gasket, and had finally found the part at a dealership for $55. When I dry set the windshield in the frame after blowing air on the frame,



I realized there was no room for anything extra. In fact, the fit was so tight, that with the angle of the windshield and the windshield wipers, I had driven it without sealing it (keeping my speed about 30 mph), but going over 8 speedbumps, down a hill, and braking strongly twice. The windshield was not going anywhere at that speed.
Finally, with a little bit of sun, I got everything together and finished the job, using the entire 10 oz can of windowweld, and priming both the window pane and the metal. Before starting the job, I also cleaned around the edges 2X with a microfibre rag, and Bright Green cleaner (not tested on animals).

Since I couldn’t afford touch up paint, I simply used the black primer on the areas that needed paint, and a C-clamp to hold everything down on the left side while the seal was made.

I first primed the frame with the black primer, then primed the pane with the activator, then laid the bead of caulk on the frame on top of the dried primer.
After the initial bead of caulk was placed on the frame,






and the window dropped and sealed, I went ahead and used the remaining caulk to waterproof the outside. When I ran out, I switched to a silicone-superglue clear caulk and put a bead of that only on the top of the windshield to keep water from sitting in the groove.

It was overkill. But I’m pretty confident the windshield isn’t going anywhere now. The rearview mirror was reattached, and in another 16 hours, the truck will be drivable. So, $65 for the windshield, $20 for the primer, $25 for caulk, rags, etc. About $105 for the whole job.
So, now I’m good to go in a few hours. I’m completely broke, and am going to have to find some way to make my monthly payment for the property in Texas ($55).

I spent a little bit of time working on a little project with some steps at my friend’s place. The project was not an easy one. The steps had been built too short. The deck was not level,

and the steps were not yet attached to the deck. I had almost broken my hip falling as I took the steps down without knowing they weren’t attached. I wasn’t the first person to do this. Since then, I had avoided the steps altogether. So, my friend asked me to think about the problem. I guess I did more than think. I went ahead and nailed what was there to the deck. So, I thought about it a little. The deck wasn’t level, but I thought that it was kind of important for the steps to be level for safety reasons.


Steps can become slippery when wet.
So, I prioritized that, and then went ahead and nailed 18 galvanized 2 1/2 inch 8d nails into the deck using the brackets. Why nails and not screws? Well, I went green with it. A nail one can put in with a hammer, a screw would require powertools. Because of the direction of the force on the bottom steps, I angled the nails in, and about 1/2 way through nailing changed the angle to make a bent staple. In the end, I figured that if we had to switch to screws, when the stairs pull out, that at least the holes would be drilled through the nails. The bottom step is 34 inches angled down 60 degrees from the top bracket attachment. So, assuming the low end (depending on the wood), 42 pounds per nail acting parallel to a straightly inserted nail, that’s 756 pounds required to pull the steps out, if the force is acting at 1 cm. But we are acting at a distance, so the weight is intensified, but also at a 30 degree angle which will diminish the force by cos(30) or 0.154. So, balancing the torque, 33 in*2.4 cm/in = 79.2. Taking the angle into account, one then has a factor of 12. So, dividing 756 by 12, one gets 63 pounds. Enough for the dogs,


but probably not a human. I low-balled the pounds required for the nail, intentionally using the lower limit. The wood is pressure treated probably yellow pine. It will have more moisture in it, and therefore better nail retention from fiber swelling. Still, I am too heavy for these steps without supporting them from underneath. So, it requires support from the bottom, and the stone “floor” is not the same distance on both sides, so it will have to be measured and designed. Also, the steps themselves carry significant weight even without the weight of something on them.

Update 10/7: Still thinking…I think that there are 2 forces to be considered: The force that pulls out from the direction of the steps, and the force that pulls in using the bottom of the bracket as a fulcrum, and the nails as the counterweight. This second force is the main force. Both of these forces will have a static component which is the inertia of the steps (calculated through the center of mass – I unfortunately did not weigh the steps), and a dynamic component which is maximized when a person or dog is on the bottom step. So, the most efficient and elegant stabilization of the second principle force (both static and dynamic) will occur at 90 degrees to the angle of the steps, with a point of attachment to a post extending from the deck, with the stabilizing bar positioned underneath and behind the lowest step, in the middle.

So we need the equivalent directional force on the short end of the lever required to generate the 756 pound horizontal force in the nails (so 756/cos(30) or 873 pounds). It is actually a little more than this because the pivot has to move the weight of the steps that is above the fulcrum.



So, some blocks underneath for the support temporarily, but it is pretty stable right now, and I think it is safe and will last for a while.
Otherwise, some more mushrooms on dog walks,




I planted a few oaks and a maple that was gathered from the forest,

and two new bird movies (a northern flicker woodpecker (I think) and unknown bird) and squirrel movie.

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