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Monday, December 1, 2014

The thermometer outside the kitchen window showed 16 this morning, but the north wind made it feel colder. I worked indoors, of course, taking care of a little job that's been waiting while I worked on the roof. When I got my roadster it had a brake rod missing, so I made one to match what was on the car. It worked OK with the old stock brake shoes, but one of those was broken so I installed new lined brake shoes. It turned out that the rods were too short to work with the new shoes. Brake rods are supposed to be 54" long, and these were 53". So today I made them longer. In the afternoon I took time out to do laundry, go to the courthouse and pay the property taxes, and pay the fertilizer and water bills. At the laundry I heard a woman say the Winfield water bill was $80. My rural water district bill is usually $20. There's one of the many reasons I'm glad I don't live in town. When I got home I brought in firewood for the evening, put the laundry away, and then got back to the brake rods. The forecast for tomorrow shows warming up above 40, so I'll get back to work on the roof. 

I added enough thread to a pair of 5/16-24 bolts to match the threads on an original brake rod, cut the heads off, and cut enough off the rods to make each rod & bolt combination 54" long.

Then all I had to do was weld them together...


...grind off the bumps, ...

...smooth the grinding, ...

...and shoot on a couple of coats of paint.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Today I moved one of the shorter scaffolds from the east side of the house to the north side. I had planned to get started on fixing/rebuilding the north edge of the roof, but didn't get much done on that other than moving the tarps out of the way. I had to go to town to buy screws for the job, and get celery, and stop at the lumber yard to order another eighteen-foot 2 x 6. When I got home I got sidetracked on another job, taking down screens and putting up storm windows in the living room. I should have done that a month ago, but kept putting it off in favor of more pressing matters. Tomorrow is supposed to warm up to the forties, so I should get a lot done on that north edge of the roof.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This was the day to get some serious work done on the north end of the roof. I cut a long board to go under the outer ends of the eaves. All the boards will screwed to it to keep them even and the fascia will be nailed to it. I got it on and about half the boards screwed to it until I reached the place where I have to start replacing things. Four of the roof boards are rotten and/or warped at the outer ends, so I have to cut and remove the outer three feet of them and put in replacement pieces. I'm using good parts of other old boards for that. I'm saving as much of the original lumber as I can. A challenge I'm going to face is finding a stain that will make the new lumber look like the original. 

     I have to remove and replace the outer three feet of four boards that are too bad at the ends to keep.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mission accomplished! By eleven the outdoors had warmed up to almost 40. By the time I took out the ashes, laid wood for the evening fires in the kitchen stove and the living room fireplace, and rearranged tools in the tool shed to get them out from underfoot, it was noon and 40, and I got to work on the roof. At 3:37 I drove the last nail, and a few minutes later, after a little touch-up with the sander, I was done with the north end. With that done, I gathered all my tools and equipment and put plastic sheeting over them, and got the tarps back in place on the roof, because weather.com predicts rain tonight and into tomorrow. With the north end of the roof rebuilding done, my last job of the day was to move the scaffold from the north end to the south end so it's ready to use on that last part as soon as the weather permits.



Friday, December 5, 2014

It all started with the intention to install the repaired brake rods in my roadster. But each rod takes a 5/16"-24 nut, so I went looking. There wasn't a single one in the hardware cabinet. That brought my attention to a couple of boxes. Each box contained a jumble of miscellaneous fasteners and other parts. Over the months when I was working on a project and had extra stuff left over, the stuff would go in a box and I'd think, "I'll sort that out later." Well, today was later. I spent a big chunk of my rainy day indoors sorting through both boxes, making piles of various items. A pile of SAE bolts, a pile of NC bolts, a pile of hex nuts, a pile of castle nuts, a pile of flat washers, etc. After sorting, I went through the hex nuts and found twelve of the one I needed. All twelve had been used before, and painted, but the smooth cadmium plating had caused a lot of the paint to flake off. So I wire brushed off what was left of the paint, gave them a bath of muriatic acid to remove the plating, prepped them with a phosphoric acid metal prep, painted them, and put them in the oven to bake. When I went to town for groceries, I also picked up fifty more of those nuts so I'll have plenty on hand the next time I need some.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

It wasn't rain, but there was enough mist in the air to keep things soaked outside. I installed the "new" brake rods in the roadster and adjusted the brakes. I got the left wheel to lock up solid, but the right one moved a little. Looking a little closer I saw that the hub and drum weren't moving. The spokes were a little loose, letting the rim and felloe move. I took the wheel off the car and found some of the bolts were shot. Fortunately I bought some wheel bolts at Hershey in October, so I painted a set to install tomorrow. I should soon have the car ready to roll whenever weather permits. My other activity of the day was more parts sorting. I even found the box of grease cups I put away last spring and couldn't find when I wanted them. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's OK to work outside in the high thirties if it's a sunny day with little or no wind. If it's 37 and all is wet with mist and fog, I'll pass. So I was indoors again today. I removed the rest of the bolts from that loose wheel and noticed that the hub plate had paint chipped off in several places. So I wire brushed it clean and shot a coat of primer on it. I might as well repaint the thing and make it look pretty while I have it off.


Monday, December 8, 2014

At
last the weather cleared. By eight the fog was burning off, and by nine I was working on the roof in full sunshine. The thermometer in the shade read 43
, but up on the roof in the sun I worked comfortably without a coat. I spent most of my time removing old rusted flashing along the south half of the roof on the west side. I got that done before quitting time, and tomorrow I'll move on to fixing the south edge where I have to replace several rotten boards. Once the south edge is done, I'll be ready for the roofers.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

By eleven it was 37 in the shade but comfortable in the sunshine, and I attacked the roof again. I cut, removed, and replaced rotten boards, and  by 4:30 that part was done. While I was working on the roof the contractor came to take a look. He says he'll be ready to put on the new roofing next week. I expect to finish my part and be ready for him tomorrow.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Killing time in the shop while I waited for the outdoors to warm up, I sanded the hub plate and gave it another coat of primer. I think that's the last primer it will need. One final sanding with 800 grit should have it ready for the finish coat. By eleven the outside temperature was up to 40 and I got busy on the roof. By four I had the new fascia nailed on the south end and a few other jobs done, leaving perhaps one more session before I'm ready for the roofers. With a 20% chance of rain overnight, I took time to spread the tarps and cover up the tools. If I didn't, that 20% would become 80%.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Done! Today I finished getting the living room roof ready for the roofers. I cut the 2" x 4"  boards that will go outside around the layer of insulation. I removed all the broken stubs of old roofing nails I could find sticking up. And I swept and vacuumed up the bits of old hardened roofing tar, sawdust, and leaves. With rain likely over the weekend, I spent the last hour spreading the tarps and plastic for what I hope will be the last time. While all this was going on, my roadster's rear wheel hub plate was in the oven cooking. I sanded and painted it this morning before I started on the roof. Tomorrow I'll put it back on the wheel with new bolts and put the wheel back on the car.
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

This morning I reassembled that wheel I had off the roadster and put it back on the car.  I made a trip to Winfield to replenish my stock of $2 bills at the only bank in the county that keeps a supply on hand.  I like the twos because they use half the space of ones.  I also like to spend them with dollar coins and halves to watch the panic and confusion as the "associates" try to figure out what I've given them.  While I was out I bought a couple of jars of kimchi, a habit I acquired in Korea almost fifty years ago, and stopped at the farm supply and looked at boots, as my old ones are getting pretty worn. It turned out they didn't have any that quite fit, so I may have to shop online. Back at home I finished the afternoon splitting and bringing in enough firewood to last through the weekend, which is supposed to bring rain.  

    



Saturday, December 13, 2014

In the morning I did laundry. By the time I had it put away it was time
to hit the road for Eureka for a Model T club meeting. That's a two hour drive.
So the two hour meeting and the driving to and from Eureka used up my day. Maybe tomorrow I can get something done.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

No major
projects today, just a few minor chores.
I removed some Phillips screws from the touring car and replaced them with correct slotted screws. I removed the wrong bolts that were holding up the steering column support, and hunted up some correct ones to replace them, and put the replacements to soak in some rust remover. Eventually I'll replate some steering gear cases and covers, so I started researching which covers were used in different years. Meanwhile, outside, the storm that brought so much rain to California was a bust when it got here. We got a few drops, but not enough to get everything wet. I don't expect to find much, if anything, in the gauge.            




Monday,  December 15, 2014

Busy, busy, busy. Outside it was a windy and chilly 40, but inside the barn it was a balmy 45, and I spent a few hours rearranging and cleaning out. That immediate chore was part of my long term goal of overall organizing. My ultimate aim is to have my shop clean and organized. To do that I need to get the clutter of spare parts out of there. I need a place to store all those spare parts, so I plan to build shelves in the old dairy barn part of my shop building. Before I build the shelves in there I need to replace the leak-damaged ceiling I tore out last summer. The Sheetrock for the new ceiling is in the barn and had line shafts and bedsteads stacked on it. So today I moved things, filled a couple of trash bags, and set aside old boxes and other burnable trash that will feed the fireplace for a couple of evenings. I got the line shafts and bedsteads and other items off the Sheetrock, and I hope to get that new ceiling up within the next week or two. I also reinstalled the window in that middle room of the shop building so the wintry blast won't be blowing in when I replace the ceiling and build the shelves. Meanwhile, the east room of the shop building is crammed with a jumble of stuff I have to sort out. A lot of it is auction extras. When you buy something at an auction it's often part of a pile, and a lot of those piles have accumulated for me to sort out. Some of the stuff I will keep, and some of it will go away when I have my own auction to make some space. I have an old gas heater I'll move into that east room so I can work in there this winter and sort the piles. I would like to have the sorting done this spring and have the auction when nice weather arrives, but that's a tall order with so much stuff to go though. We shall see. I did check the rain gauge today, and found that the recent few days of mist and drizzle amounted to .77"  of moisture.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A little of this, a little of that. I went to the barn and moved smaller pieces of Sheetrock off the full sheet I'll be using. In the middle room of the shop I got rid of a few inches of the old ceiling that was in the way, so that's ready for the new Sheetrock to go up. I'll need to recruit a helper when I do that job. A four by eight foot piece of that stuff is just too clumsy for one person to handle easily. I finished painting those correct machine screws for the  steering column support in the touring, and I used the air grinder to smooth the rough inside of a New Day timer I bought for $2 at Hershey.  



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another day of variety. I decided to fire up the splitter for the first time this season and split enough wood for a week or two. I got the thing running and had done about three evenings' worth when the ram quit working and hydraulic fluid started barfing out the top of the tank. Its milky appearance leads me to suspect that it's somehow become contaminated with water. I'll drain the tank and see what I get. I took the wood I had split into the house, laid wood in the stove for this evening's fire, then got started on an indoor chore. With new boards in the roof/ceiling around the chimney I'll need to reset some of the facing stones with new mortar, cut new molding to go around them, and paint. So I got busy boxing up the souvenirs and relics displayed on the mantel to make way for doing the work. Sometime this winter I want to run an air hose into the house from the shop, set up a plastic sheeting containment tent around the fireplace, and sandblast off the soot that's built up on it over the years.  I didn't have a fire going,  so the living room was in the forties and my toes started getting frosted, so I decided to continue the boxing this evening with a fire in the fireplace.  I retreated to my heated shop where I installed those newly painted fasteners for the
steering column support in the touring and put away some tools where they belong.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yet another cold and wet day had me inside the shop again. I did some rummaging and found some stuff I forgot I had, and spent some time online researching parts. Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy but dry and above freezing, so maybe I can get the Sheetrock cut for that patch of new ceiling in the middle room of my shop building, and perhaps even move it there from the barn.


Friday, December 19, 2014

This morning I researched the 1915-1916 Ford horn button, shot pictures, and posted them on the Model T forums. This afternoon I went to the barn and moved the partial pieces of Sheetrock covering the full sheet I want to use, and cut it to fit. Then I went to the room where it will go and got the tools and screws ready. I hope to get it in there tomorrow.  Then I got back to the splitter. I drained out all the hydraulic fluid and it was fine. No water contamination at all. So I refilled the hydraulic tank and fired up the engine. I did enough splitting for a couple more evenings, but again hydraulic fluid started barfing out of the tank and the ram quit working. Apparently the pump has gone haywire. I'll take it apart and see if I can figure out what's wrong with it.






Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today I installed the new ceiling in the middle room of the shop building. I worked on it most of the day, with occasional breaks in the heated end of the building to warm up and wipe my nose. Eventually I'll have heat in the rest of the building, but for now the middle and east rooms are just a few degrees warmer than outdoors. Saturday is my eat-in-town night, so while I was in town I bought some spackling compound to fill the cracks. I hope to finish the ceiling during the coming week and get started building some shelves in there. By the new year I should be shelving some of the stuff that's now cluttering my shop.
    


Sunday, December 21, 2014

I thought I might fix the splitter today, but it was not to be. I took off the pump and opened it up, but didn't find what's wrong with it. I tried to look up a manual online, but didn't have a model number to look for. The manufacturer's website suggested places to look, but I found no number. So I sent them an email with pictures of the pump and the splitter. Maybe they can identify it and I can then find a manual. Meanwhile, my firewood splitting is done the old way, with a wedge and a big hammer.




Monday, December 22, 2014

In the morning I got busy on the old heater that's been acting as a desk/table/catchall in my shop for a couple of years. I sorted, filed, put away, and tossed. It's going to move to the unheated east room of the building to provide some warmth in there. In the afternoon I moved to the aforementioned east room and started cleaning, sorting, and organizing in there to make room for the heater. Once that end of the building has some heat I'll get in there on cold days and sort through the mountain of stuff. Some of it I'll keep, and some will go to an auction in the spring or summer to bring a few dollars and make some space.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Old people should get flu shots, they say, so I did that when I went to town today. I haven't had flu for decades, but I may as well lower the risk of getting it again. At home I worked
some more on cleaning up the east room of my shop building. What makes it slow work is trying to decide where to put things. I should have another building just for the stuff I want to auction off.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Enough with the snot fountain! I did more cleanup in the east end of the shop building today, but the temperature never warmed up past 40 and by a quarter to three I'd had enough nose wiping for one day. The forecast claims we'll warm up the the mid-fifties tomorrow, so maybe I'll get more done. I went to work on indexing pictures, listing digital photos by date, number, and subject so I can find them. The last time I did this was last March 3, so today I did the rest of March. If I can get through two months' pictures every day, I'll be caught up by January.


Thursday, December 25, 2014


Tractor fenders, boomers, scrap metal, and a lot of other things, out.

I have a lot of sorting and clearing out to do.

I found that one of the cats had enjoyed a meal of squirrel sushi in here.

I spent most of the day cleaning up in that east room. I moved out tractor fenders, oil dispensers, an antique drill press, and lots of other stuff that will go to the barn and other places. I got up in the attic and removed the gas line that went to the southwest corner of the room, and used a pipe from that line to extend the line along the east wall where I'll hook up the heater. Once I have heat in here, I can spend some of the coming cold days sorting through the mountain of junk that's piled up in the last few years. When I buy something at an auction, it's often part of a lot of other items that come with it. I aim to keep part of this pile, but in the spring or summer I want to have an auction and get rid of most of it.


Friday, December 26, 2014

The old saying that everything takes longer than you think it will was in full effect today. When I set about moving the old heater from the west room of the shop building to the east room, I found that the dolly had a flat tire. And it wasn't from a slow leak or a puncture. There was a big gash in both the tire and the tube. I have no idea how that happened. So I had to go to town for a new tire and tube, and while I was at it I went shopping for a gas connector of the right size for the fittings on the heater and the valve feeding it. Not only were the prices shocking, but any connectors that would fit were in a "kit" with a bunch of extra parts I didn't need, and definitely didn't need to pay for. Instead of using a 5/8" connector, I decided to go with a 1/2" I already have, and change the pipe fittings to match it. That will call for just one fitting I don't already have, at a fraction of what one of those new connectors and its unneeded extra parts would cost. When  got home I put the new tire on the dolly and moved the heater, and upon inspecting it I found that the control valve was stuck solid. I squirted some penetrant on it and left it to soak while I moved some of the stuff out of that east room to the barn. I took about a half hour to bag up some of the old roofing piled behind the house, then brought in wood for the evening, and the day was spent.  Colder weather is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I'll see if I can get that heater hooked up and working in the morning.



Costly to replace.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

After doing laundry I stopped at the hardware store and picked up the one pipe fitting I needed.  I installed it and  did the rest of the plumbing, then went online and looked for replacements for a couple of broken ceramic radiants. After seeing the prices, I'll get some ceramic cement and try to fix the broken ones. Until then the heater will get along with six pairs instead of seven. Tomorrow I'll hook up the heater and try it out.  This evening after dinner at the local Chinese buffet I went to see Unbroken.  It's a well-made movie, and I was very impressed by the convincing aerial combat scenes. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Success! This morning I finished the plumbing, finished putting the heater back together, installed the connector, and fired it up. It was 45 in the room when I lit the heater at eleven. By noon it was 80. Next I rigged up a hanger and hung a fan in the doorway to blow warm air into the unheated middle room of the shop. I left the fan blowing while I went to town for groceries, and when I got back the middle room was up to 60. That's well above the 50 minimum for spackling, so that's what I did for the rest of the afternoon until I ran out of spackle. I filled only a little over a third of the cracks and screw holes, so I'll have to get a larger can of the stuff tomorrow.


Monday, December 29, 2014

This morning I got on the phone to the company that made the valve on my splitter, trying to get a model number and look up repair information. I talked to one of the head guys and got his email address so I could send him pictures, and eventually he figured out which valve it is. But who made the pump and the rest of the splitter remains a mystery. Finally he gave me contact info for a repair service in Tulsa, so I'll talk to them tomorrow and see if they can be of any help.  I made a trip to town and bought more spackle, but it occurred to me that with some arctic entertainment expected to blow in here tomorrow and bring single-digit temperatures, I'd better build up the wood supply enough to last a few evenings.  Splitting firewood the old way, with a hammer and wedge, is a lot slower than using the splitter, so that used up the rest of my afternoon. Maybe I can get the rest of the spackling done tomorrow.

 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014


With a morning start at 18 and a high of only about 24, I decided to skip spackling until the weather warms up. I doubt that I could have got the temperature in that middle room up to the required 50 minimum, and I didn't want to burn up the gas trying. Instead I read the new Vintage Ford that arrived in yesterday's mail, did some sorting and putting away in the shop, shot some pictures for a Model T pal who is making parts drawings, and improved the jack adapter I made for lifting rear axles. I cut rubber from an old inner tube and glued it onto the adapter as padding to keep it from scratching the paint when lifting. I never went off the place today, but I'll have to go into town tomorrow for some bill paying.    



Wednesday, January 31, 2014

Single digits usually come a little later in the winter, but the thermometer outside the kitchen window read 8 this morning. The highest reading I saw in the afternon was 20. I stayed in the shop  but didn't get a lot done, mostly playing online. I did take time to contact a hydraulic equipment company and email them pictures of my pump, in hopes of getting it fixed or at least identified. And I did a little parts research. I guess my new year's resolution should be to actually get some work done on some projects.


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