APRIL 2016

JUNE 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The new month began with a busy day. Job one was getting the Suburban ready to go fetch the lathe I bought yesterday. That meant charging the battery, adding transmission fluid, and unloading tables into the barn. The tables have been in there since last summer, and to get them to the barn I needed to pick up fallen branches in the way and mow east of the barn. I took some time for shooting some spring pictures, then went to pick up my new dog. I've been dogless since last September and decided it was time to dog up again, so I went online and found one for the perfect price. Nala is a Great Pyrenees about two years old. The folks who had her aren't home a lot, and didn't like having to leave her alone all day, so they wanted her to go to somebody who would be with her more.  She's a friendly thing with a good attitude. It seems she will get along with the cats OK.

The wheat will soon start to ripen, and in June the combines will roll.

I found this little guy in the engine compartment when I was working on the Suburban.

At mealtime she was definitely ready to eat.

Clyde chills while Nala explores.

He was on the alert when she came close, but I think they'll get along alright when they get acquainted..

Monday, May 2, 2016

After devoting the first part of the morning to getting the blog caught up, I spent the rest of the day driving up to Reno County to get the lathe and valve machine I bought Saturday. It took about an hour to take parts off the lathe to make it a bit easier to handle, and some parts were still pretty heavy. The question I'm puzzling over is who I'll get to help me unload. Most of my local relatives are in no shape for it, and neither are most of my friends who are half my age. But I have some time to think about that. Before I unload, I have to clear some space in my shop.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Outside chores again today. Preparing to get back to work on the house to finish the back wall, I removed some small trees to get them out if the way before setting up the ladder.  I pulled them out with a chain, roots and all.  Other activities included putting more dirt in the hole I filled last week, which had settled a lot with the last rain, cutting off little trees in the yard and poisoning the stumps, loading a pile of branches in the truck, and mowing. 

A yank with the tractor, and out they go.

The chain goes over a wheel so it pulls upward.

Watch dog watching.

Wednesday,  May 4, 2016

After my morning three mile jog, breakfast, and a shower, plus the usual checking of email and websites, I didn't get outside until noon. The main job of the day was planting four little redbud plants that I dug up yesterday. Transplanting is best done in the fall or winter, after the plants have gone to sleep, so if two out of these four survive that will be pretty good. The last job of the day was a trip to town to get Nala's rabies shot, buy some port and some fertilizer, and gas up the  car. My passenger took her first Model T ride well, and quickly learned how to get in and out. With its new Berg's radiator, the T not only didn't get hot, it didn't even gurgle.

In 1926 the First Ward School building in town, built in 1874, was being demolished. My grandfather salvaged this staircase for the house.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

In the morning I drove the truck to the south brush pile and unloaded the branches that have been in it since Tuesday, then hunted up a couple of five gallon pails and hauled water to all my new transplants along the lane. Most of them seem to be doing OK, but one looks like it won't survive and another may or may not.  I finished up the yard work at noon with a bit of branch trimming along the lane.  In the afternoon I shot three pictures of the staircase in the house and this evening I photostitched them to make one view of the whole thing.  I got back to work on the house after taking the winter off. To finish the upstairs outside I have to rebuild the wall around the windows in the northeast bedroom, then shingle the back wall. 

I have to rebuild the wall around these windows.

Decades of leaking has rotted the studs.

Friday, May 6, 2016

All morning I worked on the house, removing more rotten boards. In the afternoon I went to the barrel factory and picked up a new barrel for burning trash, and stopped at the lumber yard to buy more boards. Back at home I worked on the house some more and finished removing all the rotten parts except one stud.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Another day on the house. I finished removing old boards and got a good start on the new framing. In the next session I should finish the framing and get a start on putting up the new siding.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weather tag was the name of the game.  The forecast claimed there was a high chance of rain,  and a couple of times I
stopped work and put up the tarp, but the moist interruptions turned out to be minor and I spent most of my time working on the wall. I finished the new framing and started putting up new siding. By quitting time I had most of the siding up, but I'll need to buy more boards to do the rest of it. If weather permits, I'll do that tomorrow. Then I can start putting up shingles. 

Yesterday: Installing new framing.

Today: Nailing on new siding.

Today: Going to put up the tarp for a weather interruption.

Monday, May 9, 2016

I went to town and bought more lumber, and finished the new siding around the windows. There's other siding I'll need to replace, but I didn't want to take down the tarps until after the rain predicted for tonight. Tomorrow the tarps will come down and I'll start replacing some old boards.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Took off and replaced some old siding, went to town for groceries, and took off more bad old siding. Fortunately, less of it was bad than I first thought. I made a little video  of going to town.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I had to go back to town this morning to buy more nails, and Nala rode along. The first time she went for a ride in the touring car, last week, she didn't want to get in. When we got home today, I opened the door and she stayed in the car for half an hour, waiting to go again. I think she's hooked. The rest of the day I worked on the house, taking old siding off the west end of the back wall.  That included removing old insulation from inside the wall. It wasn't the roll type generally used today, but loose chunks. The dust flew, and a lot of itching followed. When I redo the inside of the room with new sheet rock
, I'll install new roll insulation.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I took the morning off from the house and worked in the shop, putting the roadster engine on a low stand and filling its water passages with vinegar for a clean out. In the afternoon I went to town in the touring car to buy paint and a few other items and had a bit of car trouble. A distinctive chuffing sound told me a spark plug had gone bad and I was running on three cylinders. Unfortunately I didn't have a spare plug with me, so I had to phone my cousin for a ride home to get one, and back to town to get the car. The afternoon mail brought a new sweet gum tree to replace one that didn't survive the winter, so after dinner I planted it. I hope I'll remember to keep this one watered until it's well established.

Friday, May 13, 2016

On a busy Friday the major job was flushing the vinegar and debris out of the roadster engine. I also cleaned and oiled some transmission adjusting wrenches. In the afternoon Nala and I went to town in the touring to pick up some medicine at the clinic, buy celery, and get some clear tubing to use as oil sight gauges. With a high chance of rain in the forecast, I spent the last half hour putting up tarps on the back of the house.

Block the inlet to fill the block and head with water...

...then hit the air to blow it all out.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

On a chilly day I worked in the shop, putting an outside oil line on my roadster engine and putting the engine back in the car. I also made a new timer brush. It fits in the rotor, but the big test will be installing a retaining peg in the brush without breaking it.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

With a couple of rainy days in the forecast and the grass getting rather shaggy, I mowed today. I did everything except the banks along the road and the lane down to the woodlot. I left those places alone to let the johnson grass grow up a bit so I can spray it and kill it when we have a few more dry days. This evening I took advantage of the cool evening to burn trash in the fireplace, probably for the last time until next fall.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Body bolts, said the paper tag in the little plastic bag. I held them in my hand, this very day. But I wasn't ready for them yet. So I set them down and worked on other things, spending the rainy day inside the shop, reassembling the roadster. It was slow going, reaching those hard-to-reach places to put in bolts and get nuts started on them, and dropping them, and starting over. But eventually I was ready to install those body bolts. Now, where did I put them? They seem to have evaporated off the planet. Will I ever find them? Probably, after I hunt up other ones, and strip and paint and install them. This kind of thing drives me nuts. Absolutely infuriating.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spent the day on the roadster.
I found the body bolts and installed them. Installed manifolds, carb, and fuel line. Connected exhaust pipe and steering. Installed throttle rod, timer, timing lever, timer rod, fan, and steering wheel. May be ready to start it up later this week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

With time out
to go to town for a dental appointment, I spent another day on the roadster. I installed the engine pans, hood shelves and latches, radiator, and coil box. In a colossally stupid move, while I was installing the coil box I dropped a nut.  Where did it go? Right into the #3 spark plug hole, of course. I was afraid I might have to pull the head to get it out. Fortunately, I was able to fish it out with a magnet on a wire. Then I made sure there were spark plugs in the holes before I finished installing the coil box. From now on I'll make sure those holes are plugged when there's a chance of anything falling into them.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

In the morning I installed the coils in the roadster and hooked up all the wiring. In the afternoon I did laundry, and that pretty much  killed the rest of the day.

Friday, May 20, 2016

One more day on the roadster.  I polished the radiator, made a new cork gasket for it, tightened/replaced bolts on a loose front wheel, polished the hubcaps, spliced the speedometer wires back together, put in gas, oil, and antifreeze, and started it up. The car ran OK, but after about a minute the fan belt came off the crank pulley. So I need to fix that before I go for a drive.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Well, I fixed the fan and went for a test drive, taking the time to make a little video of it. A couple of the pedals were too low, so I had to adjust the low and reverse bands before I set out. In the first drive around the block (two miles) I heard the telltale sound of a leaking spark plug, accompanied by a loss of power. I drove home on three cylinders and checked the plugs, and found that #2 had a broken insulator. This is a recurring problem I've been having with the old Champion X plugs. I replaced the insulator and installed a new washer in that plug and went for another drive around the block. Again I got home on three cylinders with a leaking #2 plug. This time the insulator wasn't broken, just loose. Tired of fighting spark plug troubles, I went to town in the touring and bought a set of Autolite 3095 plugs. Those are a modern plug that doesn't come apart, and I won't have to deal with loose insulators. I'll run those and perhaps experiment with the old Champions one at a time until I figure out what I've been doing wrong with them. I gapped and installed the Autolites and went for another drive. This time the plugs were no problem, but the car wasn't running as smoothly as it should. I suspect the carbon brush I made for the timer may be at fault, so I'll look into that tomorrow. In the evening I followed my usual Saturday ritual of dinner in town and a movie. Dinner at La Fiesta was one of my favorite meals: tamal, burrito de chorizo, and frijoles refritos. Delicious stuff. The movie was The Nice Guys, and a lot of fun. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are wonderful in a very funny show.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

That new timer brush was a little too long. It was pushing so hard against the cover that it would rotate the cover from advanced toward retarded. So I took it out and filed it a little shorter. That was one problem solved. The only remaining glitch is a noise that sounds like an exhaust leak. I tightened the exhaust pipe nut a little more, and that seemd to help, but I suspect I may not have used enough RTV on the exhaust manifold. For now I'm going to just live with it. As the nephew in Tobacco Road said, "It don't hurt the runnin' of it none." I did a little sorting and putting away in the shop, but there's plenty more of that to do. There always is.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fellow Model T afficionado Andrew, from Sydney, is visiting the USA for a couple of weeks, and dropped in for a visit today. I gave him a grand tour of the junk pile while we chewed the fat. He was up for a Model T ride, but we were having pretty heavy rainfall. Eventually, around two in the afternoon, the rain let up enough for us to take the roadster out for a spin. When we got back he shot this picture of me driving the wet Ford.

Before and after my visitor came, I spent the day in the shop sorting, putting away, and cleaning up. I am the king of clutter, so there's always stuff to put away.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Except for a drive to town for groceries, I spent the day working on a running board can carrier. Making it takes a lot longer than thinking about it. Everything takes longer than you think it will. When I was driving the roadster, there was plenty of noise from an exhaust leak. Upon advice from more experienced hands, I'll fix it before I do any more driving in that car.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Busy day. In the morning I finished up my new can carrier, and in the afternoon sand blasted it and painted it. Then I got busy on the roadster and fixed the exhaust leak. The manifold was slightly misaligned, so I reinstalled it correctly. Problem solved, and it took less than an hour.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Today I installed the new can carrier and glued strips of inner tube on the lid to kill rattles. When I went to town for dog food I filled the cans, so with an extra seven gallons of fuel on board I'm ready for a trip.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The main project of the day was making a handle holder to bolt onto my shop hoist. When the thing isn't being used the handle can easily be misplaced, so I want a place to keep it right on the hoist. With that done, I installed a correct 1915 dash shield in the roadster and screwed a temporary additional piece on the floorboard to fit against it. Eventually I'll make a new board that fits correctly.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

In more than eight years since I seriously got into the Model T thing
, I don't think I ever drove a T more than twenty miles in a day. Now that I'm getting a car in shape for long drives, I decided to make my first one today. Here's the story with still pictures, and here's the video.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

All morning and part of the afternoon I edited photos and videos to post online. In the afternoon I put the Camry up on ramps and drained the oil, then realized I didn't have any new oil to put in. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, May 30, 2016

I inspected the roadster top, figuring how I might make repairs following Saturday's unfortunate incident. I sorted and put away several dozen castle nuts that have been waiting over a year for me to get to them. In the evening I took Nala for a ride. She's used to riding in the touring, but this was her first roadster ride.

Before we left she didn't want to get in...

...but when we got back she didn't want to get out.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This wet May ended with a morning gully washer. I don't think it lasted more than an hour, but it poured 1.80" into the rain gauge. The plants are loving it. With its unfortunate damage, my roadster needs to keep its top down when I drive it. So today, using an original kindly lent by Gary Paulsen as a pattern,  I finished and installed my new top straps.

I need to drive with the top down until this is fixed.



APRIL 2016

JUNE 2016