Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My morning project, along with a lot of research on parts, was installing new lining on brake shoes. One done, three to go. I've been concentrating on the roadster and letting other things slide because I wanted to get it done before good weather for open car driving goes south. But when I got to thinking about all I still have to do to it, I realized it's going to take a lot more work. Blast, paint, and install a new rear spring, new drive shaft tube, new pinion housing, open up and rebuild the rear axle, install new rear brakes, etc. Looking at it realistically,  all that will take several weeks, and maybe months. I need to start getting some other chores done. So after a run to town for shopping, I spent the afternoon mowing. I got about half of it done, and should finish tomorrow. In about six weeks the chill will arrive and the grass will go to sleep, so this may be the last mowing before spring.   

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The best laid plans... I set out to finish the mowing, and was making good progress when I noticed an odd ticking sound from the left rear wheel. I stopped and checked the oil level in the final drive and found it low, so I got the filler. When I started pumping oil into the pan, it just ran out the bottom. Removing the pan, I found that the gear had worn a hole in the side, and the roller bearing was in pieces in the bottom of the pan. Just what I need, another project. I put the mowing tractor back in the barn and set out to finish with the Dixon mower. It's a lot smaller and a lot slower, but I got most of the job done. Another session tomorrow should finish it up.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

This morning I removed the sick wheel from the mowing tractor. I expected a big hassle,  but it was surprisingly easy. Getting the gears out may be another story. I also cut down some branches and vines that were interfering with the sliding east door of the barn. After a trip to town for groceries, I got busy with the mower and finished that job. The question now is whether that will be the last mowing until spring.

Friday, September 4, 2013

This morning I fired up the windows laptop I got for traveling and started trying to relearn how to use it on my website. When I got home from my afternoon class, I did more of the same. After spending all day on it, I can post text but I still haven't figured out how to make the pictures work. Computers can be absolutely infuriating.

Saturday, September 5, 2013

Maybe all I needed was a good night's sleep. This morning I went back to figurimg out how to work on my website with the laptop, and in less than an hour I found out how to make the pictures show up. Now I'm using the laptop for this entry to be sure I know what I'm doing.

Saturday, September 5, 2013

Maybe all I needed was a good night's sleep. This morning I went back to figurimg out how to work on my website with the laptop, and in less than an hour I found out how to make the pictures show up. Now I'm using the laptop for this entry to be sure I know what I'm doing. The big challenge is still pictures. I figured out how to make the ones downloaded from my website show up, so now I'm trying a shot of Daisy that I took today. I'm finding that the software I use on my iMac behaves differently on this Windows machine, so it's confusing and maddening. As I write this I'm able to see all the pictures on my screen. I just hope they show up when I upload the entry to my website.

Yes! It worked! Bed time.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Driving day one. Never having been to Hershey, the granddaddy of all swap meets, I decided that this is the year I'll go. I set out about a quarter of nine and drove all day. I arrived in Saint Louis about 4:30 and gassed up the car. That could have waited a few more miles, but I wanted to do it before hitting the Illinois prices. Missouri usually has the lowest fuel prices. I found a Chinese place and dined on Szechuan eggplant, then hit the road again. About ten I arrived at the Mile 64 rest area on I-70 in Indiana, and that's where I spent the night. When traveling I usually stay at the Camry Hotel. The front seat leans back to become a bed, and the price is perfect.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day  two on the road started about seven. I crossed Indiana, Ohio, a few miles of West Virginia, and then hit Slow Country. I-70 in western Pennsylvania has long, long stretches where the speed limit is only 55 mph, and some pretty long stretches of 45 mph! Eventually I-70 becomes the Pennsylvasnia Turnpike. I despise toll roads, so I took the Lincoln Highway, US 30. A lot of that is slow going too, with a lot of  twisting and up and down. But it is scenic. I stopped for dinner in Bethel, then drove on to Chambersburg, where I'll spend the night. I planned to stop in Gettysburg tomorrow and visit the battlefield, but this evening I remembered that  the DC clown show has decided to shut down the federal government, so I don't know if I'll be able to see anything.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I arrived in Gettysburg about sunup and took this picture by the early morning light. This is the Lutheran Seminary, built in 1834. Actually the seminary has moved into newer quarters and this building is now a museum. On the first day of the battle, July 1, 1863, a Union signal officer and his crew occupied the cupola for a view of the battlefield. The only means of communicating what they saw was by hand-delivered notes. I was pleasantly surpised to find the museum open, which it was because it's privately run by a historical society. Surprisingly, the same is true of the visitors' center at the national park. Many of the battlefield roads were closed, but at the visitors' center I was able to see the film about the battle, visit the museum, and see the cyclorama. I also took a lot of pictures, but Windows won't download any more than the first few because "the parameter is not correct", whatever the hell that means. Again I'm on the road and this piece of crap is giving me fits. I see a traveling Mac in my future.  

Now that I'm home I can add some of those other Gettysburg pictures.

On July 1, the first day of the battle, Confederate troops used this railroad cut, which then did not yet have tracks, as a defensive trench, but about three hundred of them were overrun and captured by Union troops. The seminary is across the Chambersburg Road, on the ridge in the distance.
In November of 1863 President Lincoln arrived at this station in Gettysburg. He was to speak at the dedication of the new federal cemetery.

The chapel on Seminary Ridge.

A view of Oak Hill from McPherson's Ridge. Confederate forces were on Oak Hill when the battle began on July 1.

Confederate artillery on Oak Hill pounded Union positions north and west of the seminary.

You can't drive to the monument from here. Thank you, DC clown show.

A three inch rifle in the Confederate position on Oak Hill.

Wednesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 10, 2013

After spending Tueday in Gettysburg I drove up to Hershey to get an early start at the swap meet Wednesday morning. I've posted a full report on my time at the meet here: HERSHEY

Friday, October 11, 2013

I thought I had a deal to buy a spare engine block, so I went to the meet to pick it up. I spent so long trying to find a parking spot in the pouring rain that by the time I got there the guy with the block had packed up and hit the road for home, along with most of the other vendors. So I hit the road too. I got to Akron about dinner time, and was lucky enough to find Azteca just off the interstate. Perhaps surprisingly for that part of the country, it was good Mexican food. After chow I went on to a rest area west of Columbus and spent the night there.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Continuing westward, I stopped in Richmond, Indiana, to visit the Model T Museum. I spent a couple of hours there looking at the very nice collection, then was on the road again. Road construction east of Saint Louis wasted my time, and I arrived there after dark. I made the mistake of getting off the interstate downtown and trying to find a restaurant I had looked up online. Big mistake. Trying to find anyplace in a strange city at night is a sure way to get lost. I finally found my way back to the interstate and moved on. I ended up eating at a Burger King right by an exit ramp. It was probably better than McDonalds, but I wasn't impressed.  The "Angry Whopper" containing bacon, jack cheese, and jalapeño slices, cost  a couple of dollars more than a regular Whopper. It was short on jalapeños, and the bacon and cheese didn't add much to the flavor. The onion rings were dry,  more bread than onion, and way overpriced. It's not the Burger King I remember from my misspent youth.  I drove on and stopped at a rest area between Rolla and Springfield.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I was up and on the road again about six, and arrived home a little after noon. About a half mile north of home I took a couple of pictures showing the unusual waves and ripples in the cloudy sky. At home I spent the rest of the day unloading, downloading pictures, looking at the mail which piled up while I was gone, and grocery shopping.

Monday, October 14, 2013

After a shower and breakfast, I spent the morning editing pictures, starting to get my website up to date, and answering email and deleting spam. In the afternoon I went to my machine shop class.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I spent all day slaving over a hot computer. I posted a report on my trip on the Model T forums, a job that included a lot of picture editing, and finished getting my website up to date. With those chores out of the way, tomorrow I can start getting some normal work done.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is it spring yet? I hate cold. My fingers get numb and my nose becomes a snot fountain. It was 39º outside when I got up this morning. I know, that's not so bad. But it's bad enough. I had the heater on in the shop for the first time this morning. One of the things I did in there was use a cutting torch to cut out a couple of pieces for a tool I'm making as a class project. It's a jig to hold spring hangers in a lathe. I could buy new 1913-1917 shackles for $230.50 a set plus shipping, but I think I can repair originals for a lot less.
In class I got started making parts for the tool. I'll weld them together at home, then do the machining in class. I think this may take several days. After class I did some shopping and bill paying, and that pretty well used up the day.  This evening it was chilly enough for me to light the first fire
of this season in the kitchen stove. Soon the kitchen was a nice, warm 75º. Tomorrow I start the job that will be a big part of my life until spring, cutting and bringing in wood.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Last night I got my bed ready for winter. On top of the sheets are two electric blankets, a regular blanket, a big, thick comforter, and an army blanket. The army blanket is for Daisy. She stays outside during the summer, but on cold winter nights she and Miss Kitty like to sleep on my bed. I don't need the two electric
blankets yet, but when the outside temperature gets down in the teens and my bedroom dips into the twenties
they'll come in handy. Today's main effort was that spring hanger jig, so I didn't have time to get much wood brought in. I welded the first plate to the shaft and ground the weld flat. It sure took a lot longer to do it than to type it. Tomorrow I'll go to the morning machine shop class and use a lathe to turn the plate down to the proper size, then I'll bring it home and weld on the other two parts. That will leave only machining, which I'll start in the afternoon class. The machine work will probably take more than one class session to finish. Then I'll be ready to try out the tool and see if it works.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Yum! Baby lima beans with butter. Butter? When you're watching your weight? Sure. Here's the deal. You can eat anything you want. You just can't eat it every day. As long as the calories you ingest each week are equal to or less than the calories you burn, no problem. And what did I do today before getting to the tasty beans? I worked on that spring hanger jig. The problem was that I had to do some of the work twice. I worked in the machine shop on some of the parts, then came home and welded some other parts on, then went back to the machine shop. All was well until the end piece popped off the thing while I was working on it because I didn't get the welds deep enough. So I had to bring the thing home and weld it better. Monday I'll have it back in the machine shop and hope the welding part is done.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

After doing laundry, I checked out an auction at the fairgrounds. Nothing to keep me there. I spent most of the day in the shop working on shackles (spring hangers). If I'm going to use this new tool and restore some shackles, I need to find some to restore. So I took the opportunity to sort them into front and rear, then sort them by style, and take off the nuts and wire the halves together. People often assume that a Model T is a Model T and all the parts are the same. But the Model T was produced for nineteen years, and in the course of that time many changes were made. These pictures show three of the styles of shackles used at various times, and there are others. I need the figure 8 style for my roadster, so I picked out the worst of those for practice. If the first one turns out OK, then I'll do the others.

Figure 8 style (1913-1917)

L-style (1917-1922)

U-style (1923-1927)

After my day in the shop I went to La Fiesta for dinner. Now I'm in love. I tried the enchiladas blancas, and I'm smitten. What a delicious treat! That's going on my regular rotation of favorite meals. I love the food at La Fiesta. Now, if they'd just get rid of the nonstop salsa music and play Mexican instead, I'd be a happy camper. I finished off the evening with a movie. Reading the online reviews, I found the one with the
most favorable comments was Captain Phillips, so I went with that one. Good choice. I thought it was excellent. Tom Hanks and the rest of the cast were great, which means director Paul Greengrass did his job. This was the first movie for Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faisal Ahmed, and Mahat M. Ali, four young actors from Minnesota who played the pirates. Oscar nominations for several of these folks and the movie wouldn't surprise me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another lazy Sunday of puttering in the shop accomplished very little. There's a lot of sorting and putting-away to do. Maybe I need to take a whole day every week for only that, until I get the place organized.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I must have been wider awake today. I spent the morning in the shop and actually made some progress on sorting, organizing, and putting away. In my aftenoon class I worked on that shackle holder, and was pleased that my second welding job was good enough that the thing didn't fall apart this time. So far so good.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This morning I finished reading the new Vintage Ford that arrived in yesterday's mail. With warm weather it was a good day for outside work, so this afternoon I started removing the scraps and junk off the living room roof. This took sorting. Little wood scraps went into a box. They'll feed the kitchen stove this winter. Boards nailed together or with nails in them went into a pile in front of the house, to be cleaned and cut up for firewood later. Boards without nails went into a pile east of the house. Those too will be cut up to feed the stove and the fireplace. Long boards in good condition went on the front porch roof. After I take the old roofing off the living room roof, those boards will hold down the tarps until the new roofing goes on.  Old valley tin and other metal scraps went into another pile east of the house. Those will go to the scrap yard for a few dollars. Leaves, bent nails and other small trash will go to the  dump.  A
lot of that trash is wet and heavy from last week's rain, so I'll let it dry for a day or two before I bag it up. I was surprised to find that I was able to get most of the roof cleared today.

Wednesday, October, 23, 2013

Curses! Foiled again! This morning I welded up a shackle, took it to class this afternoon, finished up the jig, and started turning down the shackle. It was going pretty well until the jig broke. So back to the drawing board. Another case of not welding deep enough, so I'll start over on the jig and weld both ends deeper on the new one. When I got home I took a can of spray paint and started marking dead trees so I'll know which ones to cut up for firewood during the winter. While I was at it I took a few pictures. We don't have the spectacular fall colors here that they have in the eastern states, but a few of the plants are starting to put on a little bit of a show.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Got a few things done today. I cut a piece of pipe for the second attempt at a shackle jig, and welded it to the base. I cut out a piece of steel plate that will be part of the jig. I pulled some branches out of the grass down by the lane. I cut them last spring, and they're about to become firewood. I took a walk to the west hedge to check out the firewood situation there, and found some wood I stacked up last winter and never brought in. The marks still show on the dead wood I marked there last year. I started removing a dead tree that's fallen down across one of my roads. It fell on top of some very live hedge branches that I started cutting up because they have to come down before I get to the tree. That's as far as I got because I couldn't get the chain saw started. I'll take it to a repair shop tomorrow and find out if there's something wrong with it, or if I'm just too old and weak to get it going.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Some things got done today, and some didn't. I was going to work on my shackle jig today, but I forgot about Arkalalah, the big local fall festival. The juco is closed. But I did get up to the roof and accomplish a few things. I swept and bagged up the pile of trash. I noticed that the plastic sheeting meant to keep rain out along the upper wall was starting to go to pieces. So I went to town an bought a couple of gray tarps. With any luck, those will keep the rain out until I get the living room roof done. I thought I was going to cut firewood, too. But I couldn't get the saw started. I later found out that I had forgot to fill the fuel
tank. Oh well, I can cut later.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It was auction day, and I spent the day at a farm sale east of Winflield. As usual, I bid on a few things that ended up going to people who wanted them more than I did. I ended up spending a whole five dollars. I wanted a bolt cutter, and bought a pile of stuff to get it. One of these years I'll have my own auction and get rid of a lot of the extra stuff I've bought.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Didn't get up until eight this morning, and spent a lazy Sunday not getting much done. What little work I did was on the roadster. The inspection cover on the transmission was leaking oil, so I took it off and cleaned it up to apply some sealant. I've noticed some kind of dust around the timer, and suspected what it was.  Taking the timer off, I found I was right. The dust is debris from brush wear due to the wrong spring in the brush. When I went to town for groceries, I stopped at the hardware store to see if they have a spring of the right size. Of course not. I'll borrow the correct spring from another brush and buy the right spring later, probably the next time I go to Wichita.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Busy, busy. This morning I adapted a generator brush to make a timer brush and installed it in a New Day rotor. I'll find out later whether it works. I took my second attempt at a shackle jig to the machine shop and trued the end of it on a lathe, then brought it home and welded on the end plate. The next step was to take it back to the lathe and turn the outside of the thing all to the same diameter, then drill the end hole. The mills were all being used, so I'll do the milling Wednesday morning.

     New carbon brush for the timer. Will it work?

    Finishing the outside of the shackle jig.

Drilling the end hole.

My last work of the day was firing up the chain saw and attacking a fallen tree to clear the road and produce some firewood. There's a lot of dead wood to cut, and I need to get on it and start building up a supply, because the really cold weather is coming. So far the overnight lows are mostly in the low forties, but in a month or two the low forties will be a nice warm daytime high.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today's main job was to finish cutting up that dead tree in the road and getting the wood under a roof to stay dry. The forecast predicts a hundred percent chance ofrain tomorrow. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Well, it did rain, but not as much as predicted. Enough to wet the ground, but not enough to make puddles. I spent a big chunk of the morning saving old email. I signed up for email from Horizon Internet Technologies in 1999. I've had that old address ever since, even after it was acquired by EarthLink. I've kept it for a few years because I wanted to save some of the old email that's still in the inbox but couldn't figure out how to do it. Last night I finally discovered a way, so I'll be putting the old emails I want to save into a folder. Then I'll retire that address and stop wasting money on EarthLink.

In my afternoon class today I worked on my second attempt at a shackle repair jig. So far it's staying together, but the real test will be actually using the thing.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Never went off the place today. I spent all morning and part of the afternoon saving and filing
old emails. I emptied my Earthlink inbox and SENT folder, mailed a check for my final Earthlink bill, and emailed a reminder of my current address to everybody on my list. That's one expense eliminated. This afternoon I took a few fall pictures.