Saturday, December 1, 2012

After doing laundry, I drove over to Wellington to check out an auction. This turned out to be  interesting enough for me to stay. It was one of those huge collections of junk with some good items mixed in. The main attractions were old tractors and tractor parts, but there were a lot of primitive tools and other ancient relics. Among the sea of stuff there were some Model T tools and parts, but I passed on most of them because others wanted them more than I did. I might have bought some rear axles, but I didn't want to buy anything that would require coming back with a trailer to get it. But after passing on all that other stuff, I ended up buying a Model T frame and engine with transmission, so I'll have to go back with a trailer after all.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Before I could go and fetch my auction prizes, I needed a trailer. So my first job of the day was making a place for all the stuff that's been sitting on the trailer since last spring, and putting all of it there. Then I had to take the dead battery out of the Suburban and go to town for a replacement. With a new battery installed and all the tires aired up, I went to Wellington. When I arrived at the auction site I found that somebody had piled all the stuff he bought in front of the shed containing my frame and engine, so before I could load up my treasures I had to move that pile out of the way and back the trailer into the shed. Moving the pile took over an hour, and loading up was slow work, so by the time I got home I was driving in the dark. That was my weekend.

Monday, December 3, 2012

This morning I observed my new engine by daylight, checked the serial number, and did a little historical research on what I bought. After class this afternoon I noticed the breeze was from the north, so I brought in firewood for the next cool weather. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon getting started on making an engine stand for that new engine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No post yesterday because I was on a two and a half day project. I spent all day yesterday working on that new engine stand, and finished it up today. I'll blast and paint it later. Right now the goal is to get my new 1922 engine off the trailer and inside before weather happens.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

A morning trip to town included a visit to the dentist's office. I thought a bit of food stuck between teeth was making a sore gum, but no debris was there, so I knew it was an infection. An X-ray confirmed my diagnosis, so I was given a prescription for an antibiotic and a pain killer. After a bit of shopping, I came home and put that new engine stand to work. Getting the engine off the trailer and into the shop didn't take all that long, but cleaning up and making space for it used up most of the afternoon.    

Friday, December 7, 2012

This was my day to manufacture nuts in my machine shop class. The nuts used on Model T coil boxes until 1922 were 10-32 thread, but 7/16" across the flats. Nobody makes those now, so I intend to make my own. But I spent so much time setting up the lathe and gathering all the proper tools that I only had time to make one nut. It's usable, but rough. Monday I'm going to try a different cutting tool to see if I can get a smoother cut. I'll also see if I can get a better picture of whatever I come up with.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Today's first project was making a cutter for those nuts. The one I used yesterday not only didn't provide a smooth enough cut; it also took too wide a cut, wasting a lot of material. So today I made one that uses a piece of hacksaw blade. The package was labeled "smooth cut",  so we'll see how it does. Another of today's activities was to finish unloading. At last week's auction I paid $20 for the head and foot of an old iron bed and the foot of another to go with a head I already had. They should sandblast and paint up nicely, and friends and relatives who come to visit will sleep in style. The last chore of the day was to use the Suburban and a chain to pull my dead truck onto a sheet of plywood so I could jack up the rear without the jack sinking into the ground. I recall having a broken axle shaft about twenty years ago, and I think I ended up replacing the entire rear end as a unit. If I'm remembering correctly, and if I still have the old rear end, I may already have whatever parts I need to fix the current problem. I'll have to conduct a search and see what I have


Sunday, December 9, 2012

A cold north wind mdae it a good day to stay inside. I checked out a couple of auctions, in Oxford and Winfield, and found nothing to keep me at either one, so I came home and spent the afternoon mostly in my workshop. I did a little organizing, putting various washers into drawers, and cleaned up some grease cups and a carburetor and put them to soak in rust remover. I looked in the barn and found what I think are some Dodge rear end parts, but I have no idea whether they're anything I'll need for the truck. That will wait for another day. I wasn't about to go out and tear into it in today's cold wind.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A morning in the low teens inspired me to stay inside. I spent most of the morning in my workshop organizing, putting hardware into drawers. In my class this afternoon I made nuts. I think I did OK for a beginner.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's always nice to learn a better way.
On another freezing morning I stayed inside and worked on the carburetor that came with the engine I brought home last week. It took a long time to free the throttle and choke shafts that were stuck in rust, but eventually I got the thing dismantled. It's taking a bath in carburetor cleaner until tomorrow, then I'll move it to a bath of rust remover. After the carburetor work I finished the morning with grocery shopping, then moved on to my afternoon chore: firewood.  The better way I learned was chain saw sharpening. Doing it by hand with a file has never been enjoyable, so I figured out how to do the job with a little hand grinder. One of life's pleasures is cutting firewood with a sharp saw, so I was delighted with the results of my effort. I cut and split enough wood for a couple of days, and I hope to get more done tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More organizing in the workshop was the order of the morning. I got a lot of nuts and bolts and other small hardware sorted into drawers. Today was the last day of my afternoon shop class, and I spent almost all of it making more nuts. I made thirty-three before time ran out. I still have plenty of material, and as an alumnus I'll be able to use the equipment, so after classes start in January I'll go back and make a lot more. The best comment on those nuts so far was from one of the Model T guys who said if I sell them for $10 each I might make minimum wage. He's probably right.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not wanting to waste my class time, all I did on the lathe yesterday was drill, chamfer, and cut off those thirty-three nuts. I spent this morning in my workshop removing the burrs off the backs and threading them. That used up all the morning. This afternoon I enjoyed harvesting firewood with my newly sharpened chainsaw. In about an hour I cut and split enough wood for at least two or three evenings. The last of the afternoon was deovted to health. Being too much of a cold weather sissy to run in the morning when the temperature is in the twenties or thirties, today I did my three miles late in the day when it was almost 60. I thought my time of 31:42 was pretty good after a ten day layoff. As long as we're having these warm highs over 50, I think I'll keep up the afternoon runs and see if I can get my time under thirty minutes.

Friday, December 14, 2012

One of my most unfavorite things happened today. With a high chance of rain in the forecast, I spent most of the day clearing scrap lumber and other construction debris off the porch roof. In the afternoon, with most of the clearing done, I nailed up thirty pound felt where the wall will evenutually be shingled. Then came that unfavorite thing, putting up plastic sheeting while a strong wind tries to turn it into a sail.
After a bit of a struggle I finally got the sheeting in place, covering the open spaces where the windows will be. So now I'm as ready as I can be if a south wind blows any rain against the house. I also sent an email to the roofers to see when they'll be available to do the porch roof. I want to have that done before I finish the wall and install the windows.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

After laundry, today's magnum opus was to finish getting all the scrap lumber and other construction debris off the porch roof. With that all finished I spent the end of the afternoon taking nails out of boards. Some will be firewood, and others will be good enough to keep for other uses. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Today demonstrated that 45 is colder on a gray day than it is on a sunny day. I was inside most of the day, working on a couple of carburetors that need rebuiilding. So far all I'm doing is taking them apart, then cleaning and derusting the bodies. That taking apart doesn't include all parts, because I still have to make tools to get the spray nozzles and valve seats out without wrecking them. This afternoon I ventured out to the west hedge and enjoyed more woodcutting. I split and stacked enough to last for a few days, and I want to keep doing that until I have a good supply in the garage so I don't have to go out and gather any during bad weather. I think the big old dead tree I've been cutting up contains enough wood to last for a couple of weeks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another morning in my workshop. I put more
small fasteners into drawers, then went to work cleaning up a lantern I picked up at an auction for $2. Removing dirt and rust, I found a patent date of 1905 or 1906. The last digit is a little hard to make out. When I pulled out the old wick I found that it's rotten and going to pieces. So when I went grocery shopping I stopped at the hardware store for a wick. Naturally, they had only one size, the wrong one. Online I found some dealers in lamp parts in the Wichita area, so maybe I can get the right size semi-locally.

Tuesday, December  18, 2012

I spent most of the day on an expedition to Wichita. I had a dental apppointment in the afternoon, so I took care of some shopping while I was at it.  Some things are available in a city that you can't get here, like slide film or pocket protectors.  I also went to see Anna Karenina, the kind of movie that will never play here in Podunk. The movie was good, and seeing it at a Warren theater was a treat. The Warren theaters are today's version of the old time movie palaces, decorated with lots of artwork and neon. A very classy operation.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Part of the morning was devoted to resurrecting a hundred-year-old kerosene lamp I got at an auction for a few dollars, cleaning it up and hammering out a dent, and going online to buy a chimney and some wicks. The rest of the day went to Christmas cards. I shot a picture of the house, made up this year's card, printed it out, and set about addressing envelopes. I ended up addressing the envelopes by hand because the so-called Easy Share printer is a worthless piece of crap. No wonder Kodak went bankrupt. Today I sent the cards for the people farthest away, and tomorrow I'll do the rest. Then I'll get back to harvesting firewood and taking care of some other chores.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A freezing day with a strong northwest wind persuaded me to spend the day inside. I finished addressing Christmas cards, then I went to work to make a jig for straightening warped Model T exhaust manifolds. I have a manifold for my Fordor that looks like new, but it's not quite straight. If this jig works the way it should, I'll fix that. Cutting, grinding, and drilling took all day.  I went back out in the shop and worked on the jig some more this evening, and I should be able to finish it up in the morning and try it out.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Everything takes longer than you think it will. The more I worked on that jig and studied it, the more
I thought of improvements to add. Making those took time, of course, so I worked on the thing until two, went to town for shopping, then came home and spent the rest of the afternoon cutting and splitting firewood. There's cold weather coming, so I expect I'll cut more wood tomorrow.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This morning I finished up the manifold jig, then put it to work. I had a manifold that looked new but was warped. I put it in the jig, heated it red, and bent it back in shape. Unfortunately, not being able to see the underneath side where I was heating it, I burned a hole in it. So now it's straight, but I'll have to take it to a shop that repairs cast iron to get the hole plugged.
I finished the day with another trip out to the west hedge to cut more firewood. Looks like I'll need it. The forecast shows a high of 23 on Christmas day. Happily, this far south that kind of thing doesn't last long. In a few days we'll be back to having highs in the forties.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another chilly day with air moving from the north kept me inside most of the time. One project was to finish cleaning up the old Rayo lamp I picked up at an auction for $4, which also happened to be its price in 1911. These nickel-plated brass lamps were given away free by Standard Oil with the purchase of fifteen gallons of kerosene. They're considered fuel hogs, a trait that worked in favor of the Standard Oil Company. They take a chimney with a slightly smaller base than today's lamps, so I didn't have a prayer of finding one here in Podunk. I bought a chimney online, and with shipping it was only four times what I paid for the lamp. I don't use kerosene lamps much, but they come in handy when there's a power outage.

My other project of the day was making a video. I had an email from one of the Model T guys asking for instructions on how to load an FR daylight film developing tank. I decided the easiest way to explain it was to demonstrate it, so I showed in a video how it's done.

Tank Loading Video

I never did get around to splitting the wood I cut yesterday, so that will be an item on tomorrow's agenda.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The morning found me out in the workshop doing a little more organizing and working on a couple of minor projects. At noon I went to town and helped my cousin Wally move his new stone counter tops into the house. That took about an hour and a half. When I got home I started to split yesterday's wood, but the splitter started popping, then quit. I wanted to get that wood split and inside before tomorrow's snow arrives so I put the gas cans in the Suburban and went to get
gas. I filled six cans, which makes thirty gallons. That should last me well into the mowing season. With the splitter tank filled, I finished splitting all the wood and stacked it in the garage. So now I'm ready for tonight's storm.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What a disappointment! Last night on TV there was a weather map showing a big pink blob covering this area, labeled "Up to 6 inches". But the day passed with no snow. Not one flake. So the drought continues. It was plenty cold, 8 when I got up at eight, and I worked in the shop doing more cleaning and organizing. I even found some Model T hardware I bought at a swap meet last summer and forgot about.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another cold day, but it warmed up to almost 30. I spent a good part of the day running errands. I took that damaged exhaust manifold to a shop that repairs cast iron, where I learned that repairing it would cost more than getting another manifold. I went grocery shopping and took a defunct TV tuner to the cable office to swap for a new one. In my shop I continued derusting an old lantern. It's too large to dip in a gallon of rust remover, so it has to soak partially submerged, then I turn it and soak another part.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Today I helped Wally install new tile in his kitchen. I guess we earned our keep. We started a little after nine this morning, and finished a little after nine this evening.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Supposedly we
got up to freezing today, but I never saw a temperature on the thermometer here higher than 27. The average high this time of year is 43, so currently we're colder than normal. I did more shop work on various small chores that included more cleaning up and organizing. I suppose I need to start getting a little done on at least one of the big projects that await my attention, but there's a lot more organizing to do, too.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The main job
of the day was getting a start on an engine stand. Actually I already have the stand, which I bought at an auction several years ago. But it came without any adapter to hold the engine. I have a couple of engines I want to pull out of their vehicles for some work
, so the immediate job is making the adapter. Today I went through my scrap pile finding and cutting pieces. Other little chores of the day included taking apart a differential with axle shafts that's been leaning against my work table for several months.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

This was going to be my day to finish the engine stand, and I made
good progress on it.
  I got pieces measured and cut, holes drilled, and a couple of parts welded. Then I ran out of oxygen.  That was the end my welding until I get more. Of course it always seems to run out on a weekend when there's no welding supply open. My other shop project was finishing up the old lantern I've been working on. This is another auction treasure I bought for a couple of dollars a few years ago. For about a week I've been soaking it in rust remover a little at a time, turning it each day to submerge another part. This morning I finished cleaning it up and painted it. I'll let the paint dry for a few days, then try it out. The final job of the day was cutting and splitting firewood. The forecast includes possible rain or snow tomorrow, so I want to have enough dry wood to last at least a few days.

Monday, December 31, 2012

On the last day of the year I finished a couple of projects. I completed the Model T engine stand, and I put the chimney in the newly painted Liberty lantern and tried it out. It's nice to actually get an occasional job finished. Two in one day is even better.