APRIL 2014

JUNE 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Today Dean Voth came over to help me work on my shop roof. We took off old roofing and replaced boards underneath that were rotten due to leaking. We got new boards installed on about a third of the north slope. Tomorrow we'll put the new roofing on that section, then start on the next two thirds.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Today  we pulled off more old roofing, replaced rotten boards underneath with new ones, and installed the new roofing. We're now a little over two thirds done with the new roofing. All that remains is to replace more of the rotten boards we removed today, put on the rest of the new roofing
, and reinstall the siding at the west end. We had to take that off to remove the old roof. I aim to be out there as soon as there's enough daylight to see what I'm doing. Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty toasty, so I want to do all I can before the heat comes on.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

This morning I was on the roof as soon as there was enough light to see what I was doing. I had some of the old rotten boards off and new ones on when Dean got here about a quarter of eight, and by noon we had all the new roofing installed and the siding at the west end back on. There are still some finishing touches to do, and those will be morning projects while we're having warm weather. Tomorrow's high is predicted to be near 100. The sun reflecting of that shiny roof makes a hot day a lot hotter. In the afternoon I spent a couple of hours with the watering can giving a drink to a lot of little trees and bushes. All 105 counties of Kansas are now officially in drought.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Send ten bucks to the Arbor Day Society for a membership  and they send you ten seedlings.  Mine arrived a few days ago, so today was tree planting day. I chose flowering trees and received
American Redbud, Sargent Crabapple, Washington Hawthorn, and White Dogwood. Will I live to see them bloom? I don't know. I do know that I'm grateful for all the beautiful trees planted by my great grandparents and all the family who were here after them. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

With the new roofing mostly done, I installed more screws in the siding and then moved indoors. Old sheet rock was falling apart from water damage, and today I removed it. Once I get new ceiling Sheetrock in, I'll build shelves to absorb some of the clutter from my shop.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
A little of this, a little of that. With an 80% chance of rain predicted for Thursday, I need to finish up the shop roof project. This morning I started removing the old ridge cap and bought some new to replace it. By eleven the sun glaring off the roof was getting pretty toasty, so I moved on to something else. That was the pile of old roofing on top of the carport. I stacked it there when we took it off last week. Each piece isn't all that heavy, but a stack adds up to a few hundred pounds, and the carport was starting to sag, so I tossed it all in a pile on the ground. Next was a little Model T work. The shop manual says you can install transmission bands through the inspection door, without removing the hogshead. Easier said than done. This is one of those jobs that features a rising level of frustration and irritation, inspiring the enthusiastic recitation of military poetry. I took the time to make a tool that will use baling wire to pull the ends of the band together to make it fit around the drum. I still have more struggle ahead to make it work, but I think I might learn how to do this job
. After welding my new tool, I left it to cool and moved on the the last chore of the day, watering. The drought continues, so I spent the last couple of hours of the afternoon with the watering can, carrying water to the roses I planted about five weeks ago and the seedlings I planted two days ago. At this stage they need daily watering to get them going. I worked a little more on that transmission this evening, and I'm ready to call it a day. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Today's main activity was installing ridge cap on the new roof. That means cleaning out old dirt and new elm seeds, then putting the cap in place and putting in the screws. Pretty simple stuff. The forecast shows a 60% chance of rain tonight, so I needed to get that job done just in case it really does rain.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Today's main project was more of installing those newly relined transmission bands in the touring. Eventually I managed to get all three of them in, but in the end one of the removable ears fell down inside the transmission. Before going any further I'll have to go to town in the morning and get a magnet tool to retrieve it.  I've read of tying a long piece of dental floss on all small parts so they can be pulled out if they fall in. I'll do that from now on. I should have done it today. Except for a trip to the dentist's office for a tooth cleaning and a visit to the clinic for a blood test, I spent all day on the transmission. It's a learning experience. Eventually I'll be able to do the job in less than a day. Ninety years ago Ford mechanics were expected to do the job in forty minutes, but I doubt I'll ever get that good at it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Well, the predicted rain was a bust. There was a lot of noise, but only .05". So today I hooked up a hose and started watering. The first job of the day was painting the Bendix cover off the touring. I removed it so I could move the reverse pedal out of the way while installing bands, and decided I might as well paint it while it's off. With that done I set out the hose, then brought out the mower and spent most of the day mowing.  A lot of the grass is looking pretty poor. Maybe the next storm, predicted for Sunday, will bring enough moisture to do some good.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

After doing laundry I  checked out an auction in Winfield.  There were some Model T manifolds, both intake and exhaust, but I have all of those I need, and there was nothing else of interest. It was a different story at the auction a mile east of my house. There were a lot of useful items, and a lot of things sold cheap, so I spent the day at it. I spent $1 each for a drill and a saber saw, 50 for a box of scrapers and putty knives, 50 for a set of roadside reflectors, 50 for a roll of foam rubber and a couple of air mattresses, $1 for a pair of power strips, 50 for a handful of broom handles, and $1 for a box of clamps. The big buys of the day were $2 for a box of a few dozen miscellaneous screwdrivers and $2 for some brass welding rod.  Along  with  those things  there were  three gallons of antifreeze, a couple of jugs of motor oil,  several other  small tools, and a few mystery items.  I spent a total of $16.  As usual, the things I bought because I wanted them came with extra items I don't need. Eventually I'll have an auction too, and get rid of all the extra stuff.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lazy Sunday. I worked on the transmission bands a little bit, getting them in position to install the pedals, springs, washers, and nuts. I played online, then carried water to some of the recently planted seedlings. I took a nice afternoon nap on the front porch swing, then did more watering.  Maybe I'll feel more ambitious tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2014

After yesterday's high around 90, today's afternoon in the fifties felt pretty cool. The predicted rain was another disappointment, less than a tenth of an inch. I spent most of the day cleaning up and moving stuff in the east part of my shop building, getting ready to install new sheet rock in the ceiling and build some shelves.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Somebody at the IRS decided that I needed to fill out another form and send more money, so I spent way too much time on that today. The bizarre complexity of the tax system is exquisitely annoying.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today I went back to work on those transmission bands. I finally managed to get the reverse band where it belongs by moving
the other two back to make room for it. After that the big hurdle is getting the low and brake bands back where they belong. I spent a couple of hours on the transmission, and that's the limit I've set to preserve my alleged sanity. The old Ford shop manual said the job should take forty minutes. I'll be happy if it takes me only forty hours. In the afternoon I moved on to yard work, pulling some weeds and grass, cutting some little trees and poisoning the stumps, doing a little mowing, and watering the dirt where I filled in the gas line ditch. With no rain I have to water that soil to get the grass growing there.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cool weather continued. In fact, I slept under two blankets and a comforter last night. This morning I did yard work wearing a coat. In the afternoon I went back to work on the transmission band job. I'm learning what works and what doesn't, so the next time I have to do this job it will be easier. But I stopped this evening after hitting a major snag. I was very careful to stuff rags in around the reverse shaft so I wouldn't drop a washer or nut into the transmission. I got the washer and nut on the shaft with no trouble. Then I took the rags out to move the low band into position and promptly dropped the spring for it down the rabbit hole. I'll return to attempting spring recovery after I get some sleep.

Friday, May 16, 2014

After a morning trip to town for a doctor's appointment and grocery shopping, I spent the afternoon on yard work. I picked up trash and mowed along the road, pulled grass and weeds east of the house, and watered seedlings. It takes about ten minutes to fill the two-gallon can, walk to the seedlings, water them, and walk back for more water. I spent over an hour doing that. Maybe I'll find time tomorrow or Sunday for attempting spring retrieval.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I know it's chilly when I open a door to the house or shop and Daisy goes running past me to get inside. This morning at seven it was 42. Something unexpected in the middle of May. It would be OK if it brought some rain, but the drought continues.

This morning I checked out an auction in town. A lot of the stuff was junk, and the few items I wouldn't mind having weren't enough to make me spend my day there.
I stopped at the Cherokee Strip Museum  to arrange for our October Model T tour to stop there, then I gassed up the car and came home. I spent the afternoon removing the barbed wire from the old fence across the road so I can mow the bank on that side of the road. I got all the old wire off, and started on the mowing. I'll remove the posts later. The important thing today was just getting the wire out of the way so I could mow.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

When I was in town Friday I picked up a magnet on a flexible stem. This morning I used it to retrieve that dropped spring out of the transmission. I got very lucky. It pulled out the spring on the first attempt, in less than ten seconds. After that I went ahead and finished installing the bands and adjusted them. That took until after noon, and with that job out of the way I went back to bank mowing. I made good progress on that, and should be able to finish it up tomorrow morning. The mowing is slowed by interruptions to pick up glass from broken bottles. Some lush is in the habit of throwing his empty Heineken bottles out in the grass. I've picked up several dozen of them, but I missed a few and the mower has hit a couple.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I was back at bank mowing first thing in the morning, and had it done about a quarter after twelve. By three I had all the old fence posts out.  I ended up with more than two dozen beer bottles I picked out of the grass.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pick-up and clean-up day. Job one was rolling up all the old barbed wire I had laid out on the ground. There was a lot of it, and that took a couple of hours. Then I hauled away beer bottles, fence posts, and other leftovers. I hauled up firewood I had cut earlier, stacked the big pieces by the splitter, and the small pieces in the garage wood pile. I spent the last part of the day carrying water to seedlings that are too far from the house for a hose to reach them. During all this I had the hose running on several plants west of the house. The drought is beginning to stress some of the established older plants, not just seedlings. The fading forecasts continue. The ten day forecast will often show a 100% chance of rain a week or more away. Then, the next day, it shows 90%. Then 80%, 70%, and by the time you reach the actual day it's another dry one with a 10% or 0% chance of any moisture.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The day started with yard work in the cool of the morning. While the water was running on various thirsty plants, I cut down little trees behind the house and poisoned the stumps, picked up trash and mowed along the road by the west field, and hauled yard waste to the dump pile. In the afternoon I built a little table to hold a small fridge in my shop so I can have cold liquids handy when I'm working in there. My evening activity was an old hot weather favorite, a nice nap on the front porch swing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Today's big news was RAIN! It began a little after four in the afternoon and lasted until almost five. It was steady and pretty heavy for over a half hour. As the picture shows, it was a good soaking that made big puddles. It will be a big help to some of the plants that were withering. But it soaked in quickly and all the puddles were gone in an hour. The forecast shows a 40% chance of more tomorrow and Saturday, and 60% on Monday, so maybe we'll get lucky again. In the morning after a three mile run, breakfast, and a shower, my first job of the day was planting a little redbud I took out of the ground next to the house yesterday. I put it down by the lane to my woodlot, where I've planted several others. In a few years those, along with the ones that are already there, will make a pretty display in the early spring. With the planting done, I moved on to the next big deal of the day, figuring out what parts I need to fix my mowing tractor. After some study, I think I know how to get the final drive apart, so I'll tackle that in the cool of the morning.

Friday, May 23, 2014

And so I did. My project for the day was the mowing tractor. It took a big chunk of the morning to set up the hoist to hold it, then get a jack under it and drop the mower. Then I had to consult a manual and post an inquiry on the Allis Chalmers discussion forum for guidance on how to remove the axle and the pinion shaft. The axle and pinion bearings are all wrecked and will have to be replaced. It doesn't look like this repair will be terribly complicated or difficult, but it will take some time.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

After doing laundry I checked out an auction at the fairgrounds. Not enough to keep me there, so I came home and got a little work done. I took advantage of the wet ground that makes weed-pulling easy and removed a weed patch south of the barn. With the ground so soft, I could grab bunches of weeds and pull them all together. I worked on the tractor some more, but I stopped short of unbolting the final drive. I'm glad I did. I asked about weight on the Allis Chalmers forum, and one guy said it weighs 150 to 200 pounds. I don't like the idea of trying to lift something that weighs more than I do, so I have to figure out some way to  use a hoist. This afternoon I did a little transplanting, taking a redbud from east of the house and putting it down by the lane to the woodlot. I have my doubts about digging up and transplanting that big a plant, over a foot high, but maybe it will survive.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wow! What a gully washer! I was on my way to town for some celery this afternoon when it hit. By the time I got to town the underpass was starting to flood, so after shopping I came home a different way.  Here at home it was a little over an inch in about an hour. The way it was raining in town, it may have been more there.  Am I complaining? Absolutely not. I'm glad at last to be getting some of the rain that we should be getting this time of year.
So what did I do today? Yard work. I did a lot of weed pulling, and I finally moved some tulip bulbs that were in the wrong place. I've been meaning to move them for a few years, but never did get around to it when there were still leaves to show exactly where they were. And the redbud I transplanted yesterday? Looking good. If it's still doing OK in a couple of days, I'll move some more.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Yard work and shop work today. I did a little more weed pulling and a little more small tree cutting and poisoning.  I mowed in back, where the grass was getting out of hand, but had to interrupt the mowing to fix a broken drive chain on the mower. I'm like a farmer, having to stop work to fix the equipment. My shop work was installing the Bendix cover on the touring car.  Sometime this week I'll put the transmission cover back on,  put in some new oil, and try out those new bands. Another chore today was working on a shopping list. Bob's Antique Auto Parts will be closing soon and having a liquidation sale, so I'll stock up on some parts I'm likely to need.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today's main project was finishing up the work on the touring.  I put  a transmission cover on, put away the tools,
wiped off some of the dust, put in oil, aired up the tires, and went for a test run. It was pretty good, but I was too conservative in adjusting the bands. The brake and low bands were still loose enough for the pedals to go to the floor, and there was some slipping in low.  So I took off the transmission cover again and took up more of the slack in the brake and low bands,  put the  cover back on, and went for another run. This time I drove around the block (two miles) and the car was back to normal. It took the hills without bogging down as it did last year with the rotten band lining wrapped around the brake drum. I was delighted. Tomorrow I'll wash the car and use it when I go to town to buy groceries and pay bills. Still on the agenda for that car is a new radiator sometime this year, and maybe I'll even get around to restoring some top bows and installing the top. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Today I paid bills and went to town for shopping. One item I had to get was a new battery for the touring. The old one expired after five and a half years. I also had to get a new battery for the speedometer.  Buying and fixing a real speedometer for this car would be pretty expensive, so I'm using a Velo 5 bike speedometer.  Putting a new battery in it was the easy part. Figuring out how to set it took forever because the manual  has almost no words, and is  mostly drawings and symbols.  After  another test drive of a couple of miles with the car and the speedometer both working well, I washed off the dust.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

It was a Model T morning. I spent most of it polishing the touring, adjusting the rear brakes, and making a video of starting with the hand crank. In the afternoon I drove it to town for some shopping.

Friday, May 30, 2014

This morning I readjusted the touring's transmission bands. New linings always require some readjustment after the car is driven. Again I drove the car when I went to town for groceries, and it was not a good drive. There was a lot of vibration, more than what's normal for a Model T, and a regular knock/ding that did not sound nice. Coming up the hill from the river, where I could normally accelerate up the hill, today I had to use the low pedal to get to the top. This car is grounded until further notice. Fortunately it has an engine/transmission rebuild scheduled for this summer. My last chore of the day was the pile of old scrap lumber in front of the house. I pulled all the nails and cut it into firewood for next winter. With the pile out of the way, now I can mow there.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The day began with a drive to Ponca City to check out a pair of auctions. Neither one had enough items of interest to keep me there, so I came home to get some work done. Regular readers may recall my big adventure in a previous episode, back in February, when I attempted to cut the scaffold on the west side of the house from twelve feet down to eight feet. I was through working on the upper roof and needed it lower to work on the windows and wall. My attempt to cut four feet off the bottom and lower it with a jack ended up with the whole thing toppling over and pretty much coming apart. Since then the mangled carcass has languished on the ground waiting for me to get back to it. Today I did. My main project of the day was rebuilding the thing and tipping it up to stand next to the house. It took a hi-lift jack to get it started and a bit of muscle to finish, but all it needs now is the boards on top and I'll be ready to go to work on that upstairs wall. That means installing the new windows, making the frames for them, and shingling the wall.  


APRIL 2014

JUNE 2014