Sunday, October 1, 2017

I pulled weeds, cut little trees and poisoned the stumps, hauled the debris to the brush pile, and mowed. The photo shows one of the hazards of pulling weeds in the fall. I quit at three and started preparing for my annual pilgrimage to Hershey.  I want to leave early enough in the morning to get as far as Indiana tomorrow.

Monday, October 2, 2017

On the road again. I got away about 9:20 AM, crossed the Mississipi a little before five, and stopped for dinner in Effingham, Illinois at seven. It looked like construction in Saint Louis was going to be a big delay, but it turned out that the detour was well marked and it wasn't bad. I stopped at a McDonald's east of Terre Haute and used the free wi-fi to post this. I'll go on to a rest area near Indy to snooze, and should be in Hershey tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

I was up and on the road before sunup, but arrived in the Hershey area later than expected. Driving east on I-76 in Ohio I tried to change lanes, didn't see the car to my left, and had a slight collision.  Actually the collision was between the driver's side mirror on my car and the passenger side mirror on the other car. The damage was minor, but the police report took an hour and a half. I came out of the thing with a ticket for the lane change. I just hope it isn't outrageously expensive. Anyway, I arrived at Fiesta México in Harrisburg about 6:45 eastern time and enjoyed a nice dinner. In the morning I begin my three day walk.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

And the walking has begun. It started before I even got into the meet. The road I've been using to get in for several years has been replaced by a new, longer one. That doesn't deter me. I'll walk the extra distance to avoid paying the outrageous $15 a day they charge in the parking lots. On this first day I didn't buy much. I did pick up three spark plugs for $5 each. I later saw another of the same plug priced at $150, so I think $5 may have been a pretty good price. I bought a pair of little 48-star flags, one as a replacement for a lost one and one as a spare. Maybe I'll find more that strikes my fancy tomrrow. This afternoon a bunch of guys from the Model T forum got together at the MTFCA tent and had their picture taken. I'll show that one now and will get to the other pictures later.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Walk, walk, walk! I covered a lot of ground and bought a few small goodies, and by early afternoon was ready to "set a spell" at the MTFCA tent. In the evening I took two or three hours for editing pictures and posting them online.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The last day of shopping was the best. I'll give some details later, but now I'm pooped and not going to take the time tonight. I did take more pictures, and they're at the link I posted yesterday.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

It was car show day at Hershey, with lots of swell old chariots on display. The pictures are here.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

After the car show yesterday I drove down to Gettysburg and spent the night there.  Today I headed for home a new way, across West Virginia and western Maryland. The first hundred miles or so was slower driving than usual, with a lot of twists and turns and steep grades. The scenery was pretty but moist. A fine drizzle most of the time kept the road wet and my speed down. I finally stopped for the night near the intersection of US 35 and I-71 in the middle of Ohio.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Big travel day. I started at 5:30 AM central time, drove 836 miles, stopped  for dinner in Coffeyville for an hour, and got home at 9:30 PM. The wet weather that persisted through West Virginia, Ohio, and most of Indiana finally broke up and gave way to sunshine around Terre Haute. From Coffeyville west for a couple of counties real rain made for one of my unfavorite things: driving at night in rain. Fortunately it let up, and the last fifty or sixty miles were clear sailing.  After sixteen hours of driving I doubt that I'll have any trouble getting to sleep tonight.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Run-of-the-mill stuff today. I unloaded from my trip, filed receipts, had the water turned back on, bought groceries, bought oil and a filter for the Camry, and picked up the mail.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I unpacked my Hershey purchases, took pictures of all the swag, and posted them on the Model T forum. After a 1:00 PM dental appointment I came home and installed the new muffler on my runabout. It consideranly improved the sound of the thing. I think I can drive it into town now without attracting the disapproval of the gendarmerie.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

With the new muffler installed, I drove the runabout into town to sell my share of the soy beans. They didn't bring as much as last year, but were still much better than wheat. Even this year's lower amount was enough to pay the property taxes and the house insurance and still have some money left over. That's much better than the pathetic returns the last time we had wheat. While I was in town I was going to buy more LED light bulbs. Last month I bought enough to replace almost all the incandescant bulbs in my shop and office. This time I was going to get enough to replace most of the incandescants in the house.  Unfortunately the shelf was bare of the ones I wanted. I'll have to get them at a different store.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The first order of business today was installing a longer fan adjusting bolt on the runabout to raise the fan a little higher and stop it from dinging against the crank ratchet. With that done I resumed the weed war. I mixed up a batch of killer and sprayed the Johnson grass and other weeds along the road to the west,  then mixed a couple more batches and did the same across the road, along the lane to the wood lot.  When I finished there I had more poison left in my sprayer, so I went hunting.  I walked along the wood lot road looking for smilax and spraying any that I found.  I squirted a little honeysuckle and poison ivy too, but stuck mostly to smilax.  It will take a few days for the spraying to do its job,  then I'll be able to see what I missed today and can hit it again.  The Johnson grass does come back, but after each spraying there's less of it, so I hope to eradicate all of it eventually.

Saturday, October 24, 2017

This morning I drove up to Winfield for an auction.  I wanted an air hose that was for sale, so I stayed and did some catching up on my reading while I waited for it to come up.  When it did, others were willing to pay more than I was, and instead of the hose  I came away with some Edison disks and a couple of piano rolls for $5.  After the auction I stopped at the Wal-mart to buy some light bulbs. In the parking lot these kids and their mom asked to look at the car, so I had them sit in it so she could take their picture.  I spent my afternoon and evening on a trip to Wichita. I bought 김치 at the Asian market, had dinner at El Agave, and went to see Victoria & Abdul.  Judi Dench is always worth the price of admission, and in this movie she and Ali Fazal and a great cast deliver an entertaining couple of hours. It's a quality production that does not bore.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Last month I bought sixteen LED bulbs and replaced incandescants with them. This morning I did the same with the sixteen I bought yesterday. So far I've replaced 3540 watts of incandescant lighting with LED's
producing the same or more light using 532 watts. I've now done this with all the lights that get the most use, so it will be interesting to see how much it affects the electric bill.  Next month, after another payday,  I'll get another sixteen to finish up the house and the shop. The month after that will do the barn, where I'll keep a few incandescants. The ones I've replaced will probably be more than a lifetime supply there. I didn't do a blessed thing on the roadster today except drive it to town for groceries, but I did get started on preparing to put wheels on the TT project temporarily so I can move it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Busy with other things, I haven't touched my TT project for several years. Today I put some wheels on it temporarily so I can move it around. The front wheels, tires, and bearings are no good for driving, but they'll do for just rolling the chassis about. Tomorrow I'll roll the thing outside and sweep up the leaves that have blown into the barn.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oh boy! The wind was blowing like
crazy Saturday, and I was bucking a fierce headwind all the way home from Winfield. I've found that the wind blew down the big old dead cottonwood east of the barn,  and a chore in my near future will be cutting it up for firewood to get it out of the way. Fortunately  the smaller trees around it broke its fall and kept it from doing any serious damage to the old parts beetle under it.  But I didn't have time to deal with that today. What I did deal with was getting the TT project ready to roll, mowing in front of the barn, towing the TT outside with the pickup, and cleaning up some of the mess inside. Next will be to finish cleaning out that part of the barn so the Dodge can enjoy the luxury of indoor parking. The TT will be tarped until I have some indoor space for it.

The old tree is blocking the way to my sand blasting area, so it will have to go soon.

Yes, there's a parts car under there. It's that orange thing. When I cut up the old dead tree that fell, most of those little ones will go too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I thought I'd start on that fallen tree today, but didn't make it. I finished cleaning a parking spot in the barn, then took a picture of the truck parked in there. I took another picture of it outside. Those photos were to go with the insurance application I filled out and put in the mail. I'm attempting to get antique insurance on the thing to save a pile of dough. The previous company I tried rejected it because it's not restored, so we'll see how this one goes.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A simple thing like an oil change shouldn't take several hours, but it did. I had to work on a pair of ramps so they would hold the car off the ground without sinking in and tipping over. I finally got the ramps fit to hold the Camry and finished the oil change at noon. Sometimes we old folks like to gripe about how things have changed, but I like how this modern car never needs to have any oil added between changes.

In the afternoon I fired up the chain saw and attacked the fallen cottonwood east of the barn. Before I got to that, I took out the clippers and the Tordon and removed a lot of the little trees that were in the way. After I get the old dead tree out of the way I'll remove a lot of other little ones.

I didn't get all of the old tree cut up, but I cleared away all of it that was blocking access to the barn. Before I cut up the rest of it, I have to figure out how to do the job without inflicting a lot of damage to the parts beetle under it. This old cottonwood won't make great firewood,  but it will provide some heat in a couple of months. I'll split the wood and stack it where it will dry out well enough to burn.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The only work I did today involved the "new" crank pilley I bought at Hershey. I hope it will be a good replacement for the loose, rattling one on the roadster. But it does have a problem. A crank pulley is supposed to have two opposite holes of different sizes. One is larger to allow installation of a pin to hold the pulley on the crank, and the other is smaller so the pin won't pass through it but it can be used to allow a punch to drive the pin back out through the bigger hole. The problem with this pulley is that both holes are large. So this morning I set up the equipment and sandblasted the pulley, then welded one of the holes shut. I'll redrill the hole an apropriate smaller size. That's all the work I got done, as I had an appointment with my eye doc in Wichita, and that ate up the rest of the day. The good news there is that my eye pressures are down. The last time they were checked they were 11 and 13, and today they were 9 and 11. I gather those are pretty decent numbers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

With rain in the forecast, today's first job was putting all the sandblasting equipment away in the barn, and  getting other tools that were outside moved inside. In the shop I got started on removing the loose and rattling crank pulley from the runabout and installing the better one I bought at Hershey and fixed yesterday. That called for removing the headlights and radiator so I could reach the front of the engine. I got as far as putting the pulley onto the shaft, but had to quit about three for another trip to Wichita, this time for a movie. It was Marshall, one of those pictures for grownups about something real that often don't make it down here to Podunk. Chadwick Bozeman and Josh Gad are outstanding in the lead roles, but so are the other actors, which indicates a good director (Reginald Hudlin) and a good screenplay (by Jacob & Michael Koskoff).  It was certainly worth the long drive to Wichita, even in the rain. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Laundry. I was running short on clean sox, and had to do it.  I had the clothes washed  and hung on the line by noon, then got back to work on the runabout. I finished installing the crank pulley then put on the radiator and lights,  and went for a test drive.  I really didn't notice any difference.  With the new pulley it sounded about like it did with the old one, so I guess any rattles are from some other source. After last night's 1.3" the ground was soft, so I got in about an hour of weed pulling this afternoon. I'll do some more tomorrow before the ground starts to get too dry.

Monday, October 23, 2017

I had to send some packages today, and spent a good chunk if the morning getting those ready to go. When I went to town to send them Shorty rode along in the roadster. Riding in cars has never appealed to her, but she's starting to get used to it. I do still have to help her in, though. Luckily I took a camera with me. As I was driving by Wilson Park I noticed that Santa Fe Locomotive #2542 was being uncovered. It's been under wraps for a few months while the old lead-based paint was removed, repairs were made, and it was given a new paint job. The plaque in front of the engine says:

Engine 2542 was built in 1910 by the American Locomotive Company in Pittsburgh, PA., for the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway. In 1929, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway purchased the KCM & O Line and assigned this engine to the Newton, KS terminal. This engine is a "2-8-0" which means there are two front wheels, eight driving wheels, and no rear wheels. In 1955, the engine was moved from Newton, KS to Arkansas City and placed on the siding track at the Standard Oil Bulk Station. The A.C. Andrews Construction Company moved the engine six blocks down Birch Street [Avenue] to Wilson Park. The move was accomplished by placing temporary track down and using compressed air to move the engine weighing almost 100 tons. The relocated engine was placed on a concrete pad and dedicated during the 24th Annual Arkalalah Celebration* that same year.

The following people helped in the moving of the locomotive: Engineers: J.O. Guffry, Tom Bender, H.S. Gibson, R.C. Gibson, H.B Bartlett, and George Wylle, Section Foreman Jim Dill.

The following is the dedication speech by John Landreth, General Manager AT&SF
To a railroad man a locomotive has always been a thing of life and power, and it always seems to me a ceremony of this kind is a fitting last rite for a thing we have labored with so long. I've often thought of the countless number of people who have heard its whistle at all hours, enjoyed the fruits of its labor, hauling goods from far away places as it crossed the states so many times, and of the men who have run her - not the least of whom were boys from six to 60 who vicariously ran her as they watched her go by. "It is for those little men to come we join you in setting aside this engine that they too, may have a part of her, the like of which has helped to build our great nation."

*Arkalalah began in 1928, but this was the 24th because it was not held in the last three years of the war.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lately I've been hearing a clanging sound from below when the roadster hits a bump. The reason for that turned out to be a broken brake rod support. That's why some folks call it an anti-rattler. Little by little I'm replacing incorrect parts on this car with correct 1915 parts, but in this instance I'm doing the opposite. I replaced the broken 1915 support with the 1916-1927 type that is much less likely to break. After all, this car is for driving, not showing, so the better support won't lose me any points. Actually, nobody but a car show judge would know the difference anyway.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The other day one of those recurring questions popped up on the Model T forum. It had to do with carburetor fuel shutoff valves. For questions like that which keep coming up repeatedly, I make web pages about them, so I don't keep typing the same information and looking up the same pictures over and over. I spent all morning creating and posting this new page. In the afternoon I made a trip to town in the runabout to buy tea and some shop light bulbs and get a new bottle of Tordon. Shorty rode along. If she rides in cars often enough, she may get used to it. When we got home I took advantage of the nice day to put that Tordon to work on little trees in the back yard.  I've cleared a pretty good patch of yard now, and I'll mow it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Taking advantage of the nice weather before it goes south, I did yard work today. About eleven I heard a sound that would have been very familiar to my great grandparents—a locomotive whistle from three miles away. The recent refurbishment of Santa Fe #2542 included making the whistle work. I assume they installed a compressor somewhere in the engine or tender. It was neat hearing the same sound here the old timers heard when they were young, a hundred years ago. I didn't get around to the mowing I intended to do, but I did clear the weeds and small trees out of the way. Maybe I can get that mowing done tomorrow. What I did instead of mowing was to finish cutting up that old fallen cottonwood enough to get it off the parts beetle. The smaller trees broke its fall, so the beetle was a little bent but not seriously crushed. Cottonwood doesn't burn a long time, but it will provide some heat for the perfect price for awhile.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Well, the mowing can wait a few days. I was too much of a cold weather sissy to spend much time outside today in a chilly north wind. I worked mostly indoors on a couple of things. One was to wire brush and paint the timer control rod for the touring car. The other was to make a masonite template for bending the brass channel for my new roadster windshield. That was simple, but first I had to play the obligatory round of where did I leave it? Once I found the scroll saw, I had the template done in less than an hour. After I finished I took the radical step of putting the saw away on the shelf where it belongs.  One other inside job was to finish indexing digital photos. I've taken so many pictures that finding a particular one would be well nigh impossible without an index.  

Saturday,  October 28, 2017

My first attempted project today was bending the brass channel for the new roadster windshield. It was soon obvious that what I was doing would end in a mangled mess. I'll have to make some special tools for that job. So instead I went back to work on the touring car, installing the pan arm bolts. Especially on the left side, with very limited space to work, what looks like a simple thing takes approximately forever. Eventually I got the nut and cotter pin on that last horizontal bolt,  but it would be much faster work with two people doing it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

An unplanned project took over my day.  After  the quarter inch plywood in my creeper collapsed,  I hunted up some 3/8" ply, cut a replacement, and rebuilt the thing. That included going shopping for longer carriage bolts to accommodate the thicker plywood, and some other hardware. The rebuilt creeper will probably outlast me.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mostly I worked on the touring car today. I installed the bolts holding the drive shaft tube to the transmission, and pinned and wired them. I installed the timer brush, but not the timer yet. The generator goes in before the timer, and I want to get the engine pans in before that. The last thing I did on the car today was install the manifolds and hook up the exhaust pipe. I'm not rushing this project, as there are plenty of other things to do, but I should have it together and ready to go for a drive sometime in November.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Searching for a missing part disrupted my plans today. I was going to attach the wishbone (front radius rod) but couldn't find the cap, studs, and springs to do the job. I spent the morning and part of the afternoon  digging through  boxes of parts picked up at auctions. I found a lot of good stuff I didn't realize I had, but not what I needed right now. So I finally got on the phone and ordered the parts new. I suppose after I install those, I'll find the ones I was looking for. In the afternoon I made a trip to town for groceries,  and in my pocket change discovered a 1940 penny. When I come across old change like that I always suspect some drug besotted half wit stole a coin collection and is spending it at face value.