MARCH 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A new month, but not much different. I almost finished cleaning up the filthy parts from that nasty rear axle. Only one axle shaft and the differential carrier still to do. Then I can start on the next axle.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Today I finished cleaning up the rear axle from Hell and used some of the parts to shoot a photographic still life. The title is Ignore That Noise and Just Keep Driving. With that out of the way I did a bit of cleaning up after the clean-up, then got ready for the next chore. In my backyard pile of eight rear axles there was one pre-1921. I brought it into the shop and set it up on the stand. That will be the next one I open up looking for parts. The ones off the trailer yielded only small stuff like bolts, nuts, and grease cups. Maybe this one will have some usable bigger parts.

Monday, January 3, 2014

It wasn't the biggest job of the day, but it was the most important. For kindling I've been taking twigs and little branches off the walnut tree I cut down last fall. But the forecast is for a 100% chance of snow tomorrow, possibly up to eight inches. So this afternoon I brought more than a week's worth of kindling into the garage so it won't be buried in snow. If there really is that much snow, the north wind that brings it will blow big drifts across the road, so I went to town and bought groceries so I won't have to go anywhere tomorrow. I filled up the car too, but I plan to stay home. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The predicted storm arrived in the wee hours of the morning and I awoke to an inch or two of snow.  The forecast was right about snowing all day,  but a lot of the time it was pretty light, and by evening it looked like only about four inches on the ground. On the positive side, that's four inches more than we had before. In the shop I did a little bit of work on rear axle dis- assembly, but I took time out for some fan work. In the kitchen I've been using an antique fan to circulate warm air from the stove. But a couple of times lately it's done a bit of squealing. So this after- noon I did some lubricating and taped a bare wire. I stopped the squeal, and I don't have to worry about getting shocked before I get around to restoring the thing. Meanwhile, I'm glad I laid in plenty of wood. The next couple of days are supposed to bring highs of 12 and 16, and lows of 6 and 8.  Next week we're supposed to warm up above freezing, to the mid-thirties. Maybe after that we'll get up to normal for this time of year, in the mid-forties.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Today's official high was 19 just after midnight. By eight in the morning it was down to 2, and I don't think it ever rose above 10 this afternoon. In this kind of weather Daisy and Miss Kitty seem about as inclined to be indoors as I am. I keep a tub of water for them in the shop because everything outside is frozen. Today I continued dismantling  the rear axle I brought into the shop Sunday.  Ford used a lot of  castle nuts and cotter pins, and removing the old, rusted-in cotter pins can make the job pretty slow going.  When I reassemble things and put in new cotter pins, I cheat and use stainless ones.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another cold day (3 at eight in the morning) had me working inside again. The big job of the day was dismantling that rear axle I started yesterday, and cleaning up the parts. I got most of it done, but a few parts remain to clean. This was the first one where I've found both the original babbitt thrust washers intact. Usually one of them, and often both, have long since disintegrated. But both thrust washers being intact doesn't mean everything inside was good. I've been hoping to find a better spider than the one I took out of my roadster, but the one I found today wasn't as good. I still have to check all the differential pinion gears I've found and see which ones are best.

Sometimes a nut needs a bit of extra leverage.

Use genuine Ford parts.

Some bearings need a little persuasion to come out.

Friday, February 7, 2014

This morning I was up before daylight and off to Wichita for the Sunflower Swap Meet. There's not a lot of Model T stuff at this one, but I usually do find a few things worth bringing home. Today's haul: a two-cylinder brass tire pump which will be an easy restoration, $20; a bunch of small wire brushes in various sizes for cleaning out hard-to-reach places, and a few other small tools, $20; another #1349 hub cap wrench, $1; and a pair of New Day timers, $3 (no, NOT the dreaded "S" type). The next one will be at Chickasha in six weeks, and that one will be crammed with Model T parts.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

After doing laundry, I went to check out an auction in Winfield. The only thing that interested me there was a box of wrenches. It turned out that somebody was willing to pay more for them than I was, so I came home. My work in the shop today was pulling the axle bearings out of four housings and beginning the clean-up on them. Two were easy to clean. The other two will sit in the solvent bucket overnight and I'll work on them some more tomorrow.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Most of my morning was wasted playing online. In the afternoon I measured  spiders and differential gears and marked the sizes on them. So far the best ones I've found, the ones with the least wear, are the ones I took out of the roadster. I have another five rear axles to open up, and at this point I'm wondering whether to do that or just use the parts that came out of the car. Those could be better, but they're good enough to use. On the other hand, if there are better parts in one of those rear axles I'd hate to pass them up. I'll think about that tomorrow, back at Tara. This evening I went back to parts cleaning, finishing up the bearings and other pieces that I left soaking in a bucket overnight. The next chore in that department will be measuring all the bearings and putting a tag on each one showing how much wear it has. Meanwhile, in the larger world, the forecast predicts highs in the fifties by next weekend, and we have only forty days left until spring and the Chickasha pre-war swap meet.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Another day of real winter saw a high here of about 19. The official number was in the twenties, but that wasn't right here. My main shop project was measuring Hyatt rear axle bearings. After measuring I tied tags on them showing how much wear each one has, then soaked them in motor oil and sealed them in snack bags. Eventually I'll set aside the best ones for myself and sell the rest. I won't have enough stuff ready to sell for this year's Chickasha swap meet in March, so maybe I can have a pile of goods ready to go next year. This year Chickasha coincides with the first day of spring, so it's just thirty-nine days away.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Upstairs it was 28 when I got out of bed this morning. The thermometer outside the kitchen window said 8.  But after that the thaw was on. The high was in the low twenties, but brilliant sunshine got the melting started. Starting Saturday we're supposed to have several days in the sixties with lows above freezing, so that will pretty well finish off the snow. It's been around for a week now, which is unusual. We don't normally get a whole week when the temperature never gets above the low twenties. While the melting was getting started, I was in the shop doing more rear axle parts reclaiming. I oiled and bagged more bearings and pulled the bearing sleeves out of some axle housings, and did a little tidying up.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life is all the stuff that happens to you while you're making other plans. Yesterday my Canon A640 digital camera went haywire. When I contacted Canon I learned that they no longer have repair parts for it, so I'll have to replace it. One option is their "Loyalty Program", in which they send me a current model camera at a reduced price and I send them my dead one. But looking up the replacement cameras they offer and studying the reviews, I'm leaning more towards another option. That's to buy another A640 on eBay. Given the relatively low prices either way, I may do both.  Meanwhile, I had some house repair to do. The light switch in the bathroom went bad, so I had to install another one. I thought while I had the electricity off I'd also replace some of the old ungrounded outlets so I wouldn't have to hunt up an adapter whenever I wanted to plug in a grounded cord. But the least expensive outlets were only available in white. So that will wait until Saturday when I'm in Ponca City and I'll get the ones I want at Lowe's.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Today's main activity was going to be more rear axle parts mining, and I did get some of that done, but then my bearing sleeve puller was damaged by a stubborn sleeve. So fixing that became the project of the day. While that was going on, the great thaw was underway outside. Most of last week's snow has disappeared in the last two days, and tomorrow should just about finish it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Good progress on rear axles today. I finished salvaging parts off the twelfth housing. There are another six axles (containing twelve housings) out in the yard that I still want to do. If I could get through all of them in a week I'd be delighted, but that's unlikely. After several decades some pieces are pretty well stuck together and getting them apart is slow going.  Anyway,  I'm halfway through, and this afternoon I brought the next  patient around to the south door of the shop.  Tomorrow I'll bring it in and operate. This evening I bought another camera off eBay. It should be here in a week.  Until then, no new pictures here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

This morning I brought the next rear axle into the shop and spent the day taking it apart. This is a stubborn one.  The radius rod nuts were stuck so tight I had to fire up the welding torch and turn them red to loosen them up.  One axle shaft still refuses to come out of its housing.  Tomorrow I'll try my biggest three-jaw puller on it and see if that does any good.
The way this one's going, I'll be happy if I can get it done in two days.

February 16, 2014

With warmer weather making outdoor work more comfortable, today I did something completely different. The antique lathe I bought in September has been sitting on my trailer under a tarp ever since, so today I started unloading it. The first part of the job was making space for it in the barn, which means moving some things and doing a lot of sweeping. Then I had to get the Suburban back in action. That means removing all the dead leaves that had piled up on top of the vents, and putting in transmission fluid so the car would move. Next was airing up a low trailer tire and strapping the lathe down on the trailer. I had removed the straps to get at all those rear axles and housings I've been mining for parts. Next came clearing a road, which means pulling a small forest of dead weeds in front of the barn. With all that done, I drove around the house to get headed in the right direction and backed the trailer into the barn
just far enough to get a hoist above the lathe. That's as far as I got today. I need to remove a shaft from the side of the lathe so it doesn't get crushed by the chain when the lathe is lifted, so I've squirted some penetrant on the attaching bolt to soak overnight. I'll apply some more in the morning so maybe it will come undone without too much drama. With the lathe off the trailer and in the barn, I'll unhitch the trailer so I can unload the several hundred pounds of Model T parts still sitting in the Suburban. That means I'll have to make space in the east end of the shop for all that stuff. It's a good thing the weather is warming up for all this. That unheated end of the building has been too chilly for a cold weather sissy like me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Done. I got the lathe lifted with a hoist and drove the trailer out from under it, and now it sits just inside the barn door waiting to be put away. Maybe I could wrestle it into position, but I called a friend's phone and left a message for help. I figure two of us can move it easier and with less risk of breaking something. So the trailer is empty and the Suburban awaits unloading. The hardest part of that job is figuring out where to put everything. Meanwhile, on the rear axle dismantling front, I tried my biggest three jaw puller on that axle shaft that doesn't want to come out of the housing. It moved the shaft a little, but then started bending the housing. So I applied lots of penetrant to the rusted bearing that's holding it. I'll let that soak overnight, then I'll try it again tomorrow.  This evening I conducted another session of picture filing. I finished all the September photos, so that leaves October through December since 2007 yet to do.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

With the weather warming up, it's time to get back to work on the house. I spent the morning on more parts cleaning and putting away in the shop. By noon the outdoors had reached over 50 and I set about dismantling the short scaffold that was on top of the tall scaffold on the west side of the house. With the upper roof finished, I don't need the extra height added by the short scaffold, and I don't need the full height of the taller one. So after the small one was gone, the next step was to set about shortening the taller one from twelve feet high to eight feet. I took off the braces, shortened them, and nailed them back on, and marked the legs where I'll cut them. I got most of the job done today, so just about all that remains to do is cutting four feet off the bottom of each of the six legs. That will make the scaffold just the right height for working on the upstairs west wall. The biggest part of that job will be removing the old windows, which are falling apart, and installing the new ones.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It seemed like a good idea, raising the twelve foot scaffold with a high lift jack and cutting off enough of the legs to make it eight feet, and letting it back down to the ground. Unfortunately, when it was jacked up gravity and physics had another idea. I was able to scamper out of the way when it fell over, so I missed the big adventure of having it land on me.  So now the project is to rebuild it as it lies on its side, then tip it up to stand beside the house. That may take awhile. The weather forecast says normal winter temperatures will soon return.  This afternoon I started the rebuilding.

Thursday,  February 20, 2014

All the morning and part of the afternoon was taken up by a trip to Wichita for a medical appointment.  The doc said my low PSA level indicates no return of cancer, so I may be around awhile longer. Maybe I'll even finish a project or two before I have to check out. After a bit of grocery shoppng, I spent the rest of the day finishing a sewing job, installing a Ford patch on a new shop coat. The old coat, after a couple of years, is getting pretty ragged. Fortunately these coats cost only about $9.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Another one of those days without a lot accomplished. I did a few little mundane chores like gathering a box of kindling and shopping for groceries, and a fairly long session of researching parts. This evening I removed the rear spring from the roadster because it's the wrong one (1917 & later). I'll replace it with the one I have that's right for 1915. But first I'll have to sandblast the clips and the clip bars and nuts, then paint them. A lot of the time required for restoration is spent on fasteners and other small items.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Job one was laundry, and while in Winfield I checked out an auction. There was absolutely nothing I wanted. At home I worked on those spring parts. I bent the clips to the proper width so the bars would fit them, then I set up the sandblaster and removed rust and old paint. I treated all the clips, bars, and nuts with metal prep, and painted them. I have to wait until Monday when the leather shop is open, then I'll make a proper spring pad and install the "new" spring.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The ten day forecast is for more cold, with the highs some days ten to twenty degrees below normal for this time of year. So this afternoon I put on my winter gear, took the chain saw out to the wood lot, and cut some firewood. That will last a few days, and I'll cut some more.   

Monday, February 24, 2014

I spent a big chunk of the morning making a drawing of the 1909-1917 rear spring pad. I scanned it, added captions and measurements, and printed it out. This afternon I took that copy to town and dropped it off at the leather shop to have the pieces made. In a day or two I'll pick up the pieces, rivet them together and install that "new" rear spring. When I got home I made up some Model T cards to carry in the T's when I'm out and about in them. People who show any interest will get a card. After designing cards, I got back to filing pictures. If I keep at that job, eventually I'll finish it.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This morning I finished filing all the October pictures up through 2010. The last three Octobers, 2011-2013, will take longer because there are a lot more pictures. This afternoon I fired up the splitter and split all the larger pieces of firewood I cut Sunday.  Work outside on a freezing day wouldn't be bad if there was no wind, but I hate being out in it when the arctic breeze turns my nose into a snot fountain. I'm ready for some warm weather.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lots of computer time today. After the usual checking of websites and forums, I went to work on updating my website. The page where I recommend references for new Model T owners had some outdated links on it, so I corrected those and added a picture of one of the books.  I moved  my paper cutter from the unheated darkroom in the east end of the building up to my office, cut some tag to fit the printer, and printed about forty of the cards I designed Monday. In the evening I got back to indexing pictures, and finished everything up through last October. That leaves just November and December since 2007 yet to do.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The morning job was more picture indexing. This afternoon I went up on the roof on the east part of my shop building and took measurements. This is the year I'm going to replace the old roof. It's over sixty years old and getting leaky. That's one of many chores waiting for warmer weather.

Friday, February 28, 2014

I finished all my digital photo indexing up through November. That leaves only December pictures from 2007 through 2013 to do, plus the past two months. I took a couple of hours off in the afternoon for shopping, but the photo index took up the rest of the day and evening. While working in the evenings I've taken to listening online to various stations. Last night it was Dismuke Radio, with music from 1925 to 1935. Tonight I listened to XENU in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. They played some songs from the Grupo Pesado albums, Desde La Cantina. I enjoy that old style music much more than Pesado's contemporary arrangements.




MARCH 2014