Thursday, September 9, 2021

Spotting a Scam

 I received an e-mail (actually, the second one to a different address triggered this, but I'm hitting the first one).  Obviously, it's a scam.  Let's take a look :

First, an e-mail address takes the form of username@domain.  In this one, the "From" address doesn't match who they are pretending to be (they have with a name of "Produts Confermations").  The @ portion (the domain) is "".  No self-respecting business will send from a domain that is not owned by the business.  That would mean that McAfee e-mails would come from, not .  The username doesn't even spell things right.  We know from the start that this isn't from McAfee, and whomever it is can't spell to save their life.

Second, the "subject" of the e-mail has awkward characters in it.  Beware of crap that has emoji's or other things in them - they are definitely unofficial.  Underscores in a subject are nearly unheard of with real businesses.

Next, into the body of the message, we find mis-spellings and bad grammar throughout.  More underscores in "Dear-Values-Customer"?  Yes, please.  "Antivirues"?  Okay, enough on that.  Let's just check and see if we can find the origin.  Open the message source (this will depend on your mail client, you might need to open a browser window and search the Internet for "view email source" and the name of your client to find out how).

At the top of an e-mail source are what can be referred to as "headers".  There will be no empty lines in this area.  These headers are keys and values, separated by a colon, the key on the left.  When an e-mail is received by a server, that server is supposed to tack onto the leading front any source information such as "Received".  This means that if we find each of the "Received" headers as we scroll down, we are actually taking a look at the messages history and going back in time.  We want to know the origin, so lets scroll to the bottom of the headers, and then work our way back to the top.

You'll see all of the "Subject:" and "Bcc:" headers - these are what your mail client displays when you open a message.  Shortly above this is our first "Received:" header.

Received: from ( [])
        by with SMTPS id j5sor2873717lfe.26.2021.
        for <>
        (Google Transport Security);
        Sun, 29 Aug 2021 18:18:33 -0700 (PDT)

What I am interested in is anything that is four numbers separated by dots (no spaces, and not more than four numbers).  Here, that is "", and it's called an IP Address.

When you are doing this, if the IP addresses start with 192.168., or 172.16., or 10.0, or 127., these are called "private networks" - though they can give us an idea of what the networks are built like, they won't help us, so if your first Received: header contains an address like that, simply move to the next one.

In our case, the IP address is not an internal, or private network.  So, open your web browser and do an Internet search for that.  (If you have Linux, you can also simply run a "whois" and get results).

Well, that sucks.  That address is a giggle address (spelling is intentional).  It's one of the addresses.  I know, we could have looked at the domain name for it in the "Received" header, but I wanted to go through the exercise.  Google USED to show the source for the e-mail, even if it was done via's website and not an e-mail client.  Just for kicks and giggles, scan all of them.

So, what CAN we do?  Actually, not much with this one.  Let's look at the second one.

Bugger.  It's also from a gmail account.  Still, the spelling of the name is atrocious, the spelling and use of symbols and underscores in the subject is a fast red-flag to know this is not official.  In the body, we have the usual grammar errors, and capitalization issues that alert us that the sender is not a standard english speaker.  Remember, a big business will have additional people proof-reading their e-mails and templates.

Then, there is the killer.  They couldn't even spell the company name right that they were trying too poof.  They had "MAcfee" instead of "McAfee".  Unfortunately, this one also had a gmail IP address :

Received: from ( [])
        by with SMTPS id h7sor653174ljc.46.2021.
        for <>
        (Google Transport Security);
        Thu, 09 Sep 2021 03:18:39 -0700 (PDT)

So, like the detectives when all of the toilets were stolen from Scotland Yard, we have nothing to go on.

Still, on a positive note, they left two phone numbers.

1  (747) 600-1278 
+1 640-900-2247

If you Internet-search those numbers, you'll see that they have a scam reputation.  Still, I am tempted to call them just to see.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Building Another Tool Frame

With the latest wood shop tool acquisition (and preparing to build a table), and without a large shop I can use for either wood work or metal work, I have to have mobile tools that I can throw onto a shelf when not in use.

For this tool stand, I'd usually make a few cuts on the legs to bend an angle so I can get a good footprint (stable stance - like the wood lathe stand, the heavy 10 stand, or my mobile mini-mill stand).  This time, I opted to try to simply bend the metal, but that required making a bending die.  I had made the bending tool a few years back, but I can't bolt that to anything stable enough to use it, so I'll opt to use the hydraulic press.  It means I need a jig.  I cut the steel for the stand (I'm using 3/4" square tubing that is 1/8" thick, so it should be solid enough for any tool I throw at it.

After setting up for the bend, I went to make the actual bending die for the press.  As I was turning it on the lathe, the countershaft bearing went out.

This forced me to put everything on hold while waiting for new bearings.  Once I had the lathe up and running, I finished turning the die.  I only cut the groove 1/2" because the outside curve probably won't buckle as much (not compressing that one).  The bending die was then slapped into the bandsaw and sliced in half.

With the bending dies, I now had the tools I needed to progress (yeah, the lathe to make the tool to make the legs for the tool stand so I can use a tool - hmmmmph!).  This nested tool loop is expensive.  Anyway, back to the legs.

I loaded the first leg up in the press, gave it 12 strokes, and thought, "that looks just about right".  I ripped through the other three, and found that three of the four were bent slightly more.  So, I tweaked the first one (I probably missed and did a half count stroke that was preloading on the other three that I didn't do on the first.  It was half way through these legs (I had two done) that I had yet another thought - I should have used lubrication between the die and the leg.  I had resorted to just heating up the die and smacking it with a hammer to separate the two.  You can see the first one is not bent as much in the following picture :

I ended up with a 16 degree bend in these feet, without a lot of wear and tear on the bending die (and I have two).

Now, it was time to lay it all out.

Obviously, that's not the final shape, but it let me know where to start welding first.  I started on the long sides.  The 16 degree bends I wanted vertical, so a little math, and I could stack a few blocks together in order to establish angles that I wanted for everything.

It was a repeated process of weld-this, fail-to-get-penetration, cuss, clean, re-weld, un-tangle-mig-wire-jam, good-weld.  I think my wife laughed at me - a lot.  Anyway, once it was welded up (no stack of dimes, here - I go for loose dimes in a change drawer), I welded some nuts into the feet so I can put some bolts in, or thread in rollers for moving the tools around.  I didn't want to do anything fancy.  P.S., don't use zinc-plated bolts when welding if you have other options - you'll end up with headaches and nose bleeds from inhaling airborne zinc.

When you see the next picture, you might wonder why I didn't add stretchers on the short sides at the bottom.  This stand was specifically designed to slide over the unused Chevy 350 corvette motor sitting to the side to take up no more space than I am already taking up.  The higher-up stretches were more painful to do, but it should still provide enough operational strength to be satisfactory.  A little grinding and paint is all it takes to make a welder look like what he ain't.

I used a rust-oleum oil-based paint for this one - "hammered bronze".  I had some left over from the Heavy 10 stand (I'd have used the aluminum silver, but I didn't want to dig through the stack of paint cans buried behind my old 9" junior lathe parts pile).

I let the paint dry, and then ran a tap through those welded nuts just to make sure all was well on them (3/8"-16).  Then, I put castors on the bottom, and if I need to, I can replace those with bolts and I instantly have leveling feet.

I used some plywood I had laying around that wasn't long enough, and I glued them together for a top.  It was 3/4" ply, so I ended up with 1.5" of table top.  I installed the counter shaft and the motor mounts, and drilled through the top with a hole saw for the belts to pass through.  As each tool is mounted to this table, I will probably have to drill for each belt, and also install pulleys to the countershaft for the specific tools.  At this point, I have my first functional jointer:

It wasn't in it's final place, though.  I wanted to install multiple tools and have the work-height of each one be at the same height.  So, off I set to use the tool to make the wooden short stands that fit on top.  I don't care how "pretty" they are, I just need them functional.  The jointer stand needed a gap on the one side for the pulley, and it's weight sites squarely on the ends (it has feet), so I designed it in a way that it is easily done.  (This is the bottom side of the short stand.)

The planer was done next, and it needed feet to match the body, but added surface on the outboard so that it could cover in and out feeds, plus have an out feed table bolted up for longer pieces of work.  Again, this is the bottom side of the short stand that will sit on top of the tool stand.

Then I set to work on the table saw.  This one is not complete, as it will require an added horizontal set up because it has no way to drive the pulley from underneath.

I still need short stands for the mitre and the scroll saws.

I need new belting for the 3/8" pulley, and one counter shaft for the table saw, and I should be able to bolt things together and use individual tools as needed.

Now I can start working on the table.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Yet Another Tool Acquisition - Jointer and Planer

 So, I picked up some new tools.  Actually, I've had one for a long time, but I'm missing parts.  The one I've had but I'm missing parts is the jointer (some call them "joiners", but this isn't joining an old tool support group and is instead intended to create joints, so I'm using the official term of "jointer").  It's a Craftsman 113.20651, or an 6 1/8" jointer, made in April of '74.  The 113 indicates it was made by Emerson Electric.  (Yes, that's a can of WD-40 sitting on it, and a distributor cap).  The blades to be ordered are Craftsman #9-2293 (sometimes just referred to as 2293), an update to part # 18112.  The manual is available at if needed.

The parts I need make up the fence assembly, or parts 21229 (the fence body), 67009 (cutter guard), 21232 (fence end plate), 21736 (fence tilt scale), and the knobs and spacers/shafts (21440-plunger assembly, 21430-stop pin assembly, 47624-spacer, and 62331-knob lock assembly).  I can make most things fairly easy if needed - not too worried about the pins/plungers/knobs/spacers if someone has measurements of them - I can easily make the parts myself.  The fence, end plate, and the tilt scale might be a bit more difficult to make (though I could do exactly that if push comes to shove).

And recently, i've added a planer :

It's a Delta portable planer model 22-560.  It is in good shape, I'd like to fire it up and see how sharp the blades are, but I'm not sure I'll get to that any time soon.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Odds and Ends - A Few Projects

 I had a few hours to "kill" over the weekend.  First, I tackled the final pen building for the retirement gift :

The pen is an "Apprentice Gentlemans, Jr" kit in chrome.  The tubes were simply discarded, and I used surgical stainless (comes in many different types, actually, not just 316 stainless) bars.  I had 5/8" and 1/2" bars.  I bored them out with drill bits, polished them up, and pressed them together.  It is one of the most perfectly balanced pens I've ever made.

Next up, I tackled the base timing of the Corvette. It overheated while I was doing that, and I traced the problem back to the relay for the fan.  Unfortunately, it was completely missing - and had enough primer overspray on it to know where it disappeared (a paintshop, maybe?).  I grabbed one and installed it, but I need to test that still.  It got hot enough to do this to the fuse assembly :

While that cooled down, I kept thinking about advertisements for "bullet pins" that you'd use on a cork board or a bulletin board (no pun intended).  I still had the .40 caliber casings from the bullet ear bud project a while back, so I ordered some 10mmx3mm magnets (I don't use cork board) from Amazon, and they fit a little more loosely than I wanted, but I simply used epoxy to bond it all together :

I gotta let these cure, and then I can try them out.  Turns out they work pretty slick.  First, on the fridge :

And also holding the wiring diagram to the toolbox :


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Custom-Formed Toolbox

 I have a Dodge Ram.  The rear back seat folds up to reveal some pockets, and I've had some emergency tools loosely thrown into one of these pockets.

These are awkwardly shaped, and not level.  If my tools end up greasy or dirty, I'd rather not get the carpet soiled.  Also, if I had a Craftsman set (one of those portable tool sets) that would have fit, I'd have just called it good.  Commence over-engineering a new "toolbox".

I was told about "Kydex" from one of my buddies who loves leather work.  Kydex is commonly used to make holster clips (attaching a holster to clothing) using a heat gun for forming.  So, keeping that in mind, I ordered a 24"x36" sheet of Kydex.

Now, if I were to start this over, I'd do this a little differently.  I'd go to the fabric store and by the cheapest, white-colored fabric (about a yard is all that is needed).  I'd then lay the fabric into the pocket that I'm forming to, and draw lines every where there is overlap on the fabric.  Then, I'd cut out the overlapped pieces, and I'd have my pattern to trace onto the Kydex sheet.  However, I started before I ever even thought of that, and this is process I'm going to walk through.

First, I needed to get the shape of the base of that pocket.  I used a sheet of paper and traced the corners to generate a base template.

With the base template, I could position that on the Kydex sheet and trace it on.  I'm going to use a silver-colored sharpie for contrast.  Placing this required measuring the height of the tool box to get it with the length of the sides as the distance away from the edges of the sheet.

The hardest part of all of this is that the compound curves are going to be difficult to form.  I threw some lines coming as tangents from those curves for some saw lines, and measured the height away along those lines.  Using those markings, I drew another line around the outside - my outside cut line.

What I was left with as a pattern that I could then cut out.

Those compound corners were going to bite me - I knew that, so I cut along those lines I'd used earlier to get the outside cut line in place.  This would allow me to form the Kydex around those curves and corners.

Next up was to start forming the box.  I lined the pocket with aluminum foil.  This would protect the carpet in those pockets from heat as everything was formed.

Now, I broke out the heat gun, and heated along the original pattern lines until the sides could be bent up.  I worked it a few times until I could drop it into the pocket and press the Kydex against the shape that it was being fit to.  This was repeated numerous times until I was satisfied with the resulting shape.

With the shape set, it was a little flimsy - those sides were all loose-goosey.  It was time to start "welding" it up.  Mind you, I'm a terrible welder.  But, hey, this is an experiment in futility, so, I jumped in.  I did learn that my plastic welding is worse.  But, it was adequate.  I would weld some seams on the plastic about one inch in length, and slowly work my way along the entire seam.  When I was satisfied, I'd use the heat gun and re-form the newly-joined sides back to the cavity.

This was a long process - a lot of repetition of plastic welding, heat gun forming, and inserting new pieces of Kydex to fill any gaps and holes.

The more I added, the stiffer this box became.  There were a few times the welds snapped.  I started even doing the "stack of dimes" with the plastic welder, and then I'd run over it dragging it to clean it up and get it strong enough.  (Again, I'd only do about an inch at a time so that what I'd just welded didn't set until I had run the clean up drag stroke.)  It was a lot of wash, rinse, repeat, until I had the base done.  While I was there, I folded an area to hold a breaker bar, and "welded up" a bracket for the handle :

Then, being tired, I just dumped all of the tools back in.

I need to make some separators and organizers, layering the tools and giving each one a place to be.  Then, I can call it good.