Friday, July 29, 2011

Interlux Waterfront Challenge topic of Conversation.

Visiting the boat yard where our "new" flagship, a 1966 Navy 44 yawl, was being serviced the Sea Scouts had an opportunity to discuss the Interlux Waterfront Challenge with owner, Rob Morley.  We pointed out to Rob that from our research we had discovered that Federal Law dictates that oil collection stations should be labelled "Used Oil". He thanked us and stated he would put the decal on ASAP.

Details of  Sea Scout Ship 41 sailing adventures can be found on our blog.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interlux Waterfront Challenge Sea Scout Project

Just as a reminder, environmental specialists, Clean Harbor, on their website say that 1 gallon of oil could contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water. Since we live by one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world that fact is of concern to us. So if we can develop a hand operated oil filter crusher to drain as much oil as possible out of the filter and then have the filter recycled as scrap steel we will  feel like we have really accomplished something.

Now it's time to put all our design ideas together and build a prototype of our used oil filter crusher.  The work shop offering to build it was super busy but we persuaded John Henry to help us with the "challenge".

The above picture shows the horizontal bottle jack with a cam drive on the piston. The jack pushes the plate to the right squeezing the oil filter (white). 

This picture shows the hand crank operation with the grating bars impinging on the filter.  Hopefully crushing it!

John Henry did a super job taking the concept drawings and turning them into a prototype.  John will finish welding the crusher up then the Sea Scouts can test it out.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interlux Waterfront Challenge Project & Loco Drive Wheels

As the Sea Scouts move forward with their project to make improvements at marina oil recycling stations we look to design a hand operated used oil filter crusher using a bottle jack.  The request was how could we convert the up and down pumping action required to move the piston on a bottle jack into a wheel action?  The Sea Scout brains trust came up with several suggestions but the one that caught everyone's attention related to a model train locomotive. Take a look at the drive wheels and how they connect to the steam piston. Could we not use this same design principle?

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sea Scout Interlux Waterfront Challenge Projects Makes Headway

Our Interlux Waterfront Challenge  project design (an oil filter crusher) is coming together but something is still lacking.

And Gabriel explains it isn't fun pumping and pumping and seeing the bottle jack move only an inch or two. Is there anyway a wheel could be attached?

If we are looking to have DIY boaters who change their own motor oil at the end of the season use an oil filter crusher it needs to be simple and easy to use.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Research for Interlux Waterfront Challenge Sea Scout Project Determines that Most Marinas are Breaking Federal Law

As the Sea Scouts continued research for their  Interlux Waterfront Challenge project they found that most local marinas label their used oil collection tanks as "Waste Oil".  This is in violation of  Federal Law and could possibly result in an E.P.A. citation and fine.  The tanks should be labelled "Used Oil".

In a step to assist marinas to comply with the law Sea Scout Ship 41 is offering a 24"x6"  "USED OIL" decal with 3" lettering for a shipping and handling fee.  To request a decal a marina manager should email

The signs are produced by Lake Graphics, Label & Sign Co., 33760 Lear Industrial Parkway
Avon, Ohio 44011

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Interlux Waterfront Challenge - Light Bulb Goes On!

Ever had a flat tire and we don't mean a flatire burger, we mean where you have to jack the car up and change the wheel.  Wow! that's it, it only takes a few strokes on a bottle jack to lift a car.  Why could that force not be used to crush a used oil filter?  Simple, right - well, yes, we just had to find a jack that would operate on the horizontal plane.

We were fortunate to find a 4 Ton bottle jack for under $20.00 at Harbor Freight that is designed to work on the horizontal and vertical plane.

Now it's back to sailing but with little wind the Sea Scouts practiced righting boats (Lasers) that had flipped.

You never know when you might need this skill!!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sea Scouts Look to a Screw to Crush Used Oil Filters

We could put a handle on the end of this large course threaded rod and have a movable plate screwed into the oil filter. However a considerable force would be required to turn the wheel and it certainly would not meet our #3 criteria "fun". 

Doing a Google search for crushed oil filters the Sea Scouts found a research paper by a student at M.I.T.. Richard D. Kosoglow's paper, "Design & Manufacture of a Low Cost Mechanism for Compacting Used Oil Filters". Richard never build a crusher but had some interesting findings. 

1) If the filter was crushed on a horizontal axis a 15% compaction could be accomplished by 1,000 lb. force.
2) Richard stated that gravity draining only removes 40-60% of the oil. The remaining oil 8-32 ozs, could contaminate up to 240,000 gallons of drinking water.
3) E.P.A. regulates that if less tha 70% oil is removed the used oil filter is considered toxic waste and should not be put in landfills.

Richard's basic design is similar to what we have in mind above but the threaded rod is driven by an electric motor.  We are looking for a crusher that is strictly hand operated.  Stay tuned we have more ideas coming soon.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thoughts on an Oil Filter Crusher for Interlux Waterfront Challenge

The Sea Scouts came up with these parameters for an oil filter crusher suitable for marinas:-

1) Simple devise, easy and fun to operate,
2) No hook-up to compressed air or electricity.
3) Cost under $100.00.

The initial thought was to develop a machine based on a rack and pinion arrangement.  

But we want to be able to crush the filters on the horizontal and with the above arrangement things would get heavy and cumbersome quickly.  So it's off sailing and giving the design problem more thought.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Research for Interlux Waterfront Challenge turns up Project

The Ohio Clean Marina "Best Management Practices" manual has specific guidelines for the disposal of used oil. From Chapter 4 of the guidebook :-

If you generate used oil from maintenance and repair at your marina, or from maintenance 
activities of boaters who use your marina, you are subject to Ohio’s used oil regulations, 
found in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-279. Some examples of used oil 
include engine oil, lubricating oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid and hydraulic fluid. Many 
of the used oil regulations relate to good housekeeping practices."

Complete details of the manual can be found here, Chapter 4 details the requirements for used oil and oil filters.  Page 24 states :-

"Under Ohio’s used oil regulations, you do not need to handle used oil filters as hazardous 
waste if the filters are non terne-plated and have been properly drained of used oil."

Four methods are outlined for properly draining the used oil from the filters.

1)Gravity draining for 12-24 hours at engine operating temperature,
2)Crushing the oil filter,
3)Disassembly into component parts,
4)Air pressure forcing the oil out.

Method 1) is the commonly used method however most boat owners change their oil in the fall when the boats are on the hard.  This means that the engines are not able to run therefore the oil filters when removed are not at operating temperature.  In fact in the late fall with the cooler ambient temperatures there is no way the filters are drained as required.  They therefore remain hazardous waste.

Crushing, method 2), would remove a high percentage of the oil and filter crushers are commercially available. They need a skilled operator, require compressed air to operate and cost over $1,000.00.

Methods 3) and 4) similarly are not desirable for the marina industry.

The question then is how can we help solve the problem of properly disposing of used oil filters, remember that one improperly disposed of filter could contaminate 62,000 gallons of drinking water*.

* Research from M.I.T.  

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Facebook Page Established for Sea Scout Project

The scouts have established a FACEBOOK page to help spread the news and ask for assistance as our Interlux Waterfront Challenge project progresses to completion.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sea Scouts Find Unique Interlux Waterfront Challenge Project

As the Sea Scouts of Ship 41 envisage areas of environmental concern at their waterfront one subject kept coming up. What do boaters do with their discarded engine oil and oil filters?

Typically at the end of the boating season everyone changes their engine oil and oil.

What do the regulations say regarding these waste oil stations. The Sea Scouts are to investigate Ohio Clean Marina and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.

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