Friday, November 13, 2009

This and That

Yesterday we went to the Telcel office to buy $200 pesos of pay as you go cell time. I heard they were copying passports before they would sell time to try to control the use of "throw-away phones" by narcos. They did not ask me so I guess it is only new customers buying a SIM card. I was prepared and would not have had any objection. We all have to help.

I might be in another "tear my hair out" situation trying to get a very simple job done. I lost the pin and hitch pin for the dolly in California. I bought a large bolt, nut and washers to replace it but I need a 1/8" hole drilled through the bolt for a hitch pin. Up to now I have been making do by using two nuts tightened against each other but tightening and loosening them requires laying on the ground with two wrenches. Yesterday I found a mechanical workshop in Guaymas and made them understand what I needed. After a ten minute search they finally admitted that they had no drill bits. I spent another unsuccessful hour or so trying to find another shop that might be able to do the job.

I do have a drill (and bits) and tried to do it myself but it is hard steel and without a vice to hold the bolt steady, I broke four bits and still have no hole. This all reminds me of my frustrating attempts to get my StarChoice dish repaired two years ago. Everyone down here is willing to help, but few have the tools required to do the job. I may buy more bits and make a "vice" out of my vice-grips and the dolly. I can't afford to tear out any more hair. A drill press would make it so simple. I wonder if there is one in Mexico?

Well, I made a vice with my vice-grips and the edge of the car dolly and tried again. I have come to the conclusion that the bolts are hardened steel and cannot be drilled without the proper tools. This conclusion came after four more broken and two dulled bits and a hole less than half way through the bolt. I will continue using the two wrench method until I can find a good machine shop with the proper equipment. It is not the worst situation, just a little inconvenient.


  1. I'm sure there are drill presses down here whatever they are. What do you commonly make with them? I'd figure out where they would have to be used and then look for a shop that does that. Sounds harder than it is usually. I have no idea what kind of stuff would be made with one so I can't help. There are lots of metal fabricators and hopefully you will find one. I remember we had to have a plate made for our hitch and a welder in Chetumal finally made one for us.

  2. Hi Jonna! A drill press is a precision drilling device that lowers the bit while holding the "work" tightly beneath it. Every well equipped machine shop should have one. Many home work shopd have one as well.

    It's OK, I am getting into the "manana" state of mind and will just continue with my old method until something better comes along.

    See you and Mimi in Merida!

  3. Croft, if you are looking for a machine shop, it is called a tornero. They can make anything you want.