Thursday, December 1, 2011

The first day of the new month was a busy one. I got another day closer to finishing antique tool cleanup, with only a couple of pieces left to clean but about a dozen to give an oil bath to keep the rust away. Cleaning, oiling, and researching old tools used up my morning and part of the afternoon, then I headed for town. I bought a new TV because it has a digital tuner to get some channels I've been paying for but couldn't get. Imagine my delight when I hooked the thing up and turned it on, tuned to the new channels, and the words "No Signal" appeared on the screen. Grrrrr..... I phoned the cable company and got instructions on what to do. Still no signal. So they're sending a cable guy out tomorrow to try fix things.

Friday, December 2, 2011

After a little morning shopping, I took the truck and the chain saw down to the woods and harvested some firewood. With rain in the forecast for tomorrow, I wanted to have plenty of wood and kindling in the garage where it will stay dry. Meanwile, somebody was supposed to come from the cable company this afternoon to get my digital channels working. Nobody showed, and when I called to reschedule  I found that they had my cell phone number wrong by one digit. So we'll try that agan on Monday.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Job one was doing laundry, then I went to a farm auction west of Oxford. A cold rainy day kept the crowd down, and there were some bargains to be had. I came away with three steel parts cabinets, each with eighteen drawers, all for $5, a box of eight locking pliers for $2.50 each, a good heavy extension cord for $3, and a dozen or so 78's for $2. I missed the engine hoist I went after, but I'll just wait until another comes along.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My morning chore was sorting some of the pile of papers off my desk. It's a pretty good pile, and will take several more sessions to get through the entire thing. I spent the afternoon at an auction in Wellington, and got  a few bargains. The most expensive item may have not been a bargain, depending on what I can get for it. I paid $85 for an early thirties Chevrolet radio. I'll need to do some research to see if it's worth that much. The steel lunch box and Thermos bottle for $1 each, the miscellaneous box containing a couple of Ford wrenches for $3, and the the early General Motors battery charger for $1, all fall into the bargain catagory.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I spent a good part of the day going through my weekend auction purchases, taking pictures of some items and posting them online to get comments by anyone who might know more about them than I do. Outdoors, winter weather has arrived a couple of weeks ahead of winter, with lows in the teens and twenties and highs in the thirties and forties. So this afternoon I was going to split the firewood I gathered Friday. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the splitter started. I'll see if I can get it running tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yes, I could. I pulled the splitter into the heated shop so I could work on it without getting frostbite, and I got it running properly. So I was able to split that pile and lay in a supply of wood ready to use through the coldest days until I can get out and gather some more. I seems there's always a recurring chore. In summer it's mowing, and in winter it's bringing in wood.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Well, that job's done. This morning I was in the shop and took something upstairs, and while I was there I noticed the hollyhock stalks lying on the table. One fall several years ago I decided to save some seeds, so I took some stalks from the yard and laid them on the table upstairs where they've been sittng ever since. So today I decided to finish the job. I spent the morning removing the seeds and separating them from the chaff and putting them in a little can. Next spring I'll plant them. The afternoon chore was starting cabinet cleanup. One of my winter projects will be cleaning up those three eighteen-drawer cabinets I bought Saturday and getting a lot of hardware that's cluttering my shelves organized and put into them.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I spent most of the day on the first of those three cabinets. I hammered out dents, scraped out mud dauber nests, and cleaned all eighteen drawers. I ended the day planting a couple of trees. One was a sweetgum, a tree I've wanted for years because of its spectacular fall foliage. I got it from the Arbor Day Foundation for less than $10, and a free red maple came with it. I planted the sweetgum east of the house next to the driveway, and the maple west of the west drive. I was delighted to find such an inexpensive source of trees, because I've plated two previous sweetgums that did not come cheap and they both died. If this one croaks, at least I'm not out much.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today's first job was a little clean-up in the shop, then I got started on cleaning and repairing the second cabinet. I took a break for a couple of hours for company. A couple of fellow Model T guys from Enid and Blackwell dropped in for a visit. We chewed the fat and I showed them my collection of old junk. After they left I went back to the cabinet until it was time to bring in wood for the evening. After a week or so of chilly weather, the forecast calls for a warmup into the mid forties this weekend, so it looks like a good time to get out and harvest more wood.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Well, that forecast of a warm day in the mid forties was a bust. It was cloudy all day and never got above 35, so I stayed inside except to bring in wood. If the forecast of high forties tomorrow turns out to be true, then I'll get out with the chainsaw and do some serious cutting. Today's inside work was finishing the second cabinet, leaving one more to clean and set up. This evening I went and saw Hugo, and was very impressed. Scorcese's use of 3-D is the best I've ever seen. Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz are excellent in the kids' roles, and the wonderful Ben Kingsley is the wonderful Ben Kingsley. Sacha Baron Cohen does  a nice turn as the station inspector. The camera work and the special effects are impressive without being obtrusive, and Howard Shore's score serves the film very well. This was time well spent.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

That forecast of a warm day was on the mark today. I spent the morning in the shop working on the third cabinet, which is the worst. It's structurally OK, but has a lot of peeling paint and surface rust, so I've been applying paint remover and rust remover. I got one end pretty close to done today, which leaves the other end and the top to strip before I repaint the thing. By noon the sun was shining and the temperature was about 45, so I went to the west hedge and turned a lot of dead branches into firewood. I'm cutting a few big pieces to split, but for now I'm gathering a lot of the small branches that are best for laying on a pile of kindling to get a fire started. For kindling I'm using cedar branches that were cut a couple of years ago. They're really dry and have a lot of tiny twigs that are perfect for starting a fire.

Monday, December 12, 2011

With a 60% chance of rain in the forescast for overnight and all day tomorrow, I ended the day on the roof tacking up plastic sheeting and arranging the tarps. I started the day spreading paint stripper on the top of that third cabinet, then took the truck and the chainsaw to the west hedge for some firewood collecting. I cut a big pile of pieces off a big fallen tree,  brought them to the splitter and split them, and stacked all the split pieces in the garage.  They made a stack about five feet long and three feet high, which should be enough to last a couple of weeks.  The other firewood chore of the day was a drive down to the woods for a truckload  of cedar branches for kindling. I stacked those under the carport by the shop where they'll stay dry, so I'm ready to heat  the kitchen and the living room for a good long time, maybe even until January.

Tuesday, December13, 2011

It was nice to see that the plastic and tarps on the house did their job and so far all is dry inside. I spent most of the day in the shop out of the weather. Job one was covering the top of the last cabinet with paper towels soaked in rust remover. While that soaked I started assembling the rear axle for the '23 touring car. Part of that job involves installing a pair of fiber spacers between the two axle shafts. One by itself isn't enough, and two take up too much space to fit. I started trying to thin them by filing, but that was mighty slow going. Finally I hit upon the idea of sandwiching each one between the concrete floor and an orbital sander. That worked much better. I took an afternoon break for grocery shopping, then went back to axle assembly. This is the first time I've done this job, so I'm going slow to make sure I get it right.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My slow rear axle project continues, and I spent almost all day on it. I'd show you a picture of it if I could figure out how to make Kompozer show pictures.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another day started with the rear axle project, and I began final assembly. It was then that I realized I should have repainted the radius rods and their attaching hardware long ago. I need them, so the rear axle went on hold while I got busy on that little chore. I got all the nuts and bolts cleaned up and painted, and have the ends of the rods soaking in rust remover. I'm not happy with one rod, which is bent. It will work as it is, but looks bad. So tomorrow I'll take a little trip up to Iola and see if I can find a better one in the salvage yard at Model T Haven.

Seen along the highway east of Cambidge.

Friday, December 16, 2011

So I spent today driving up to Iola, picking a good radius rod out of the pile, and driving home. It's nice to have a place handy where you can pick out what you want.

Saturday, December 17 2011

While doing laundry and for the rest of the morning I worked on Christmas cards. The ones that have to go the farthest should be ready to go in the mail Monday. This afternoon I took advantage of the warm day (above 50) and sandblasted the radius rods for my touring car, then painted them. I should have the rear axle reassembled and back in the car by the end of the year. Even in January, there will probably be a few days warm enough to take it out for a drive.

Lots of Model T parts.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Most of my time was spent on writing Christmas cards today. I took some time this afternoon to tack some more plastic sheeting on the roof and make sure it's ready for the 100% chance of rain that's in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. I should finish the cards in the morning and get them in the mail, then I can get busy on something else.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The rain was a steady, gentle, soaking one that went on all day, mostly light and occasionally heavy. I had intended to write and address Christmas cards to the most distant folks today and do the closer ones later, but I decided instead to finish them all. I had them finished by three. When I went to town to mail the cards, I took along those two radius rods I painted Saturday. I took them to the sign factory to cook for a couple of days in the big walk-in oven along with the signs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another rainy day had me in the shop again. I finished stripping and derusting that last storage cabinet, and plan to get some paint on it tomorrow. Then I took care of a little chore that looked like it hadn't been done in decades. I took the cover off the steering gear in the touring car, cleaned out the hardened old grease, and packed it with new grease. The guys who did the restoration on this car did a pretty good job on the body, but neglected a lot of the mechanical stuff. Little by little, I'm getting it in  better shape.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter. Ninety days to spring. I spent the first half of the day sewing a Ford patch on my shop coat. I spent about four hours on it, with minimal blood spillage, and got it on almost straight. This afternoon I took the truck down to the woods and harvested firewood, then split it. That splitter was a good investment.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snow! It came down off and on most of the day, but we stayed above freezing, so it all melted. That's OK with me. I spent most of the day researching Model T parts. Specifically, what set screw was originally used to keep the cover on the steering gear? I have a pretty good idea what's correct, but I'll need to find a cover with the original screw to know the size for sure. This afternoon I went to the sign factory and fetched the radius rods for the touring. I should have the rebuilt rear axle back in the car by the end of the year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The rain/snow ended in the night and the day was clear but chilly, getting up to the mid forties. A good deal of my day was spent with more research on the steering gear cover set screw. I finally determined the correct thread and set about making one, which I'll finish tomorrow. This afternoon I took time for a job that should have been done over a month ago. I took down the screen on the back porch door and installed the storm window in its place. I did the same on half the front door, and will do the other half tomorrow. I still need to take down the screens and put up the storm windows in the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Today I finished making my little set screw, taking pictures of it to post on the Model T forum, and installed it. I cleaned and put up the other front door storm window. I installed an outlet strip on my work table in the shop so I won't have to string extension cords across the room. And I took the chainsaw out and started turning the old tree I pulled down in June into firewood. It was a big tree and will provide a lot of wood.

Sunday, December, 25, 2011

I welcomed Christmas morning by getting that rear axle mostly reassembled. But when I started to install the radius rods, I found that the one I got last week was an inch too short because it was for a 1926-27 car which takes a shorter rod than my 1923. With that job on hold until I can get the right rod, I spent a big chunk of the afternoon trying to find out how to post pictures on my website with the new computer. The program I've been using for twelve years won't work on it, so I have to learn something new. The day ended with a session at the splitter, getting yesterday's load of firewood ready to stack in the garage.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Most of the day was spent driving to Iola to exchange that wrong radius rod for the right one. Maybe tomorrow I can get the replacement sandblasted and painted.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

That's how I started the day, sandblasting and painting. The rod has been stripped and painted, and is hanging in the shop to dry. After it's dried enough to handle, I'll take it to the sign factory and put it in the big walk-in oven to cook with the signs. The next activity was in one of my least favorite places, Cyberworld. Since I got this new computer I haven't been able to post pictures on this website. For twelve years I used Adobe PageMill, a very easy program for making web pages. But it won't work on the new computer, so at the suggestion of a sales guy at the Apple store I tried Kompozer. That works well enough except for one little problem. So far I haven't been able to get it to post pictures. I've tried iWeb, which came with the computer. It's the Kodak Instamatic of web design. It won't even import links from other pages. So next I'm trying out Adobe Muse. The Adobe website has a video that waxes ecstatic over Muse. We'll see. While I experiment with that, I'll keep using Kompozer to post my pages. At least it works for that bare minimum function.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This morning I spent a couple of hours in the shop putting away hardware. I went through several bags of nuts and bolts that have been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years, sorting them into cabinet drawers. My afternoon job was more cutting on the big dead tree that's been lying on the east lawn since June. I got a nice pile of pieces in the truck and will split them tomorrow. I ended the day with a three-mile jog, covering the course in 34:34. That's what I get for being too much of a cold weather sissy to run since November. In spring, summer, and fall I do my running early in the morning to miss the heat of the day. During winter I need to make myself set aside time on warm afternoons when it's over 40 to get out and run. Otherwise I become Mr. Flabby.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

After breakfast, reading the paper, and paying a couple of bills, I fired up the splitter and split that wood I cut yesterday. After stacking all that, I took some time to feed my addiction—online forums. Then I spent the afternoon cutting and splitting another load of wood and stacking it in the garage. At this point I may have enough to last the winter, depending on how much cold weather we get. If it turns out that I need more, there are plenty of dead trees to cut up.

Friday, December 30, 2011

This morning I went to town and got the cooked radius rod out of the oven at the sign factory. I brought it home and didn't do anything with it because I got busy on more wood cutting. I finished sawing up the big dead tree on the east lawn, loaded the chunks in the truck, and drove the load to the splitter. I didn't do any splitting because I had an appointment with the doc for my annual checkup. He didn't find anything wrong, so apparently I'm in good health.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

After doing laundry, I spent most of the day on my rear axle rebuilding project. It's almost finished, and I should have it back in the car tomorrow. I think the next job on that car will be building and installing a new top.