MAY 2011

JULY 2011


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My roadster activities of the day were removing the seat springs "adapted" as backrest springs, repairing the splits in another foot of tack strip, and finishing the paint job on the upper floor boards. I finished my shop session cleaning out those two cabinets with all the junk in the drawers. I didn't keep a count, but I think I removed a couple of dozen mud dauber nests.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

If I didn't give the glue until the next day to dry, and if I had more clamps, fixing splits in the tack strip would go faster than a foot per day. Four days to go on this little chore. But that's OK. So far I find being a retired elderly gentleman of leisure very agreeable. Seems I get a lot more done than when I had to go to town every day and work eight hours for The Man, or twelve to sixteen hours when I was The Man. Maybe I'll look for something else to do after I get caught up on a few things here at home, but for now this is great.

While the glue dries I can get other things done, like painting and baking parts.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Yesterday's last job was soldering the plumbing for the newly recoated bathroom sink which I picked up Wednesday afternoon. Most of the joints were good, but one leaked, so this morning I resoldered that one and reinstalled the valve. Success! The second soldering ended the leak, so the sink and its faucets are looking good and nicely ready to use. With the sink done, I got back to the roadster. Today's jobs incuded gluing more of the split tack strip, reinstalling the steering column bracket with its new bushing, and reinstalling the left splash plate. I think sometime next week I should be ready to take the car for a test drive.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

After doing laundry, I went to the fairgrounds to check out an auction. It was a big one, with lots of stuff to sell, so I was there all day. The main thing that attracted me was the offer of refrigerators. With our family reunion coming up in a couple of weeks, I thought a spare refrigerator would be a handy thing to have. Unfortunately, both fridges sold for more than I'm willing to pay. I made bids on several items, but in the end I came away with a bag of sewing stuff that included some good old scissors, for $5, and a six foot aluminum step ladder for $2.50. Otherwise, it was an opportunity to do some catching up on my reading. The remarkable thing about these auctions is how some items sell for much more than I think they're worth, and others go for a tiny fraction of their value.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lots of little odds and ends today, interrupted by a nice afternoon nap on the front porch swing. High summer has arrived early this year, with highs near 100 already. It's been way too dry, and that looks to continue at least for a few more days. The forecast is for a cool-down to the eighties by the weekend.


Monday, June 6, 2011

I spent D-Day morning studying the Model T axle book and inspecting parts from the touring's rear axle to decide what I can keep and what I need to replace. Fortunately a lot of the parts are in good condition. The afternoon was devoted to sorting and putting away things in the shop, clearing a work table where I can reassemble that rear axle.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Everything takes longer than you think it will. I spent most of the day sorting and putting away things in the shop, especially from the work table. I made and installed a fixture to hold rear axle housings for rebuilding, then installed a vise. Tomorrow I'll order parts. I hope to have that car back together and on the road by the end of the month.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This morning I finished cleaning off the work table and set the axle housing in the fixture, ready for rebuilding. When the dealer in California was open, I called and ordered the parts. Then I turned my attention to the roadster. I needed burlap for the backrest springs, so I went to an auto upholstery shop in Winfield to buy burlap, then did some other shopping at the county seat. I ended the day putting burlap on the springs, installing them in the car, and setting the uholstery back in over the springs. Tomorrow I should get the upholstery and the top tacked back in place. That will leave a couple of mechanical chores to do, then I'll be ready to take the car for a test run.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The first job of the day was to finish reinstalling the upholstery enough to use until I can get some longer tacks to attach the top. Soon after I finished that, my cousin Susie showed up with her sixteen-year-old grandson Jason, and he helped me get the car ready for a test run. Jason intalled a washer in the steering connecting rod cap as a shim to tighten up the steering, and took care of some other odds and ends while I installed the brake rods, and then we put on the rear wheels and adjusted the brakes and I put in new ball cap springs. With all that done, I started up the car, ran it out of the shop, and drove it around the yard. Everything seemed to be working OK, so I took Jason for a ride of a couple of miles. After not driving a Model T for over a year, my T driving was a little rusty, and I stalled it at a stop sign. I started it up and we headed for home, but I stopped at Dave Rademacher's to show off the new toy. When we got back I took Susie for a ride around the yard, and that was the end of the T driving for today. Here's the video:



Friday, June 10, 2011

I decided to drive the new 1915 roadster to the water district office a couple of miles away to pay the bill. It was a fairly uneventful trip, though it did reconfirm my opinion that we should have a federal law against washboard.

So I decided to drive the car three miles into town to take care of various errands. I stopped at Orscheln to buy some pin clips and found Dave Rademacher's '26 roadster in the parking lot. So there were a couple of T's parked side by side, but neither of us had a camera to record the occasion. It's been more than a year since I drove a T, and I managed to stall it a couple of times, but otherwise things were going OK.

But at the penultimate stop I looked at the left rear wheel and found it was falling apart. Most of the bolt heads were sticking out from the hub and one bolt was missing. Fortunately I was able to get to a downtown garage where I could borrow a floor jack and some tools and cobble the thing together enough to get home. One of the bolts was gone, and one was too bent to use, so I got home on four bolts out of six.

One of the interesting things about getting a new vehicle is finding and removing all the bugs.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Didn't get much done. I went to check out auctions at the fairgrounds and at Belle Plaine. The first had some good chairs, but a sea of junk to sell before they'd get to the furniture. Belle Plaine had nothing interesting except a couple of visible gas pumps. An antique dealer was there, so I knew the pumps would sell for more than I'd be willing to pay. So I went and took care of some shopping, then came home and watered. There's been no measurable rain for a long time, and a lot of hot weather, and things are starting to wilt. So I set a hose running on a few of the drooping trees and shrubs. About 1:30 I went back to the fairgrounds to see if the auctioneers had got to the furniture yet, and they had just sold the chairs. Oh well, there will be others.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Relief arrived, and I caused it. The early morning hours brought much needed rain, enough to soak the gound and make nice puddles. It happened because last night I went and bought a sprinkler which now won't be needed, at least not right away. This soaking will soften the gound for weed pulling, also much needed.


Monday, June 13, 2011

My cousin Jo and her grandsons Chad and Tyler came and helped me attack the yard. We cleaned up junk, pulled weeds, trimmed trees and shrubs, and hauled a truckload of trimmings to the dump pile. Tomorrow we mow.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It was a long and busy day. The first job was to attach chains and cable to the old TV antenna mast that stood east of the house and pull it down with a tractor. Then I brought out the tanks and cutting torch and cut it into pieces light enough to move to the scrap pile. When Jo and the boys came I used the cable and chains to pull down a big dead tree, then the boys and I cleared the debris off the lawn while Jo weeded around the house. The next job was using the loader to haul a pile of dirt from behind the house to fill holes in the front drive. Next Tyler and I cut off a lot of little trees that were in the way, and poisoned the stumps. After we put all the trimmings in the truck and hauled them to the dump pile, I showed Chad how to run the Model B and Tyler how to run the Dixon mower, and the boys mowed. The last activity was taking each of the boys for a ride in the roadster. We put in a full day and got a lot done.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This was the day for house cleaning. Pete came over and helped me get the upstairs under control. She vacuumed while I hauled out trash and moved things. There's a little more to do to the house tomorrow, but it's mostly done. This evening Elizabeth and the kids arrived from Wisconsin. They started at seven this morning and got to the farm around nine this evening, so there was no dawdling along the way. They're a good bunch, and it's fun to have them here.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

We finished up house cleaning and a little more yard work, and I shopped for the Friday night cookout. The kids kept busy playing with kittens and exploring the place. In the evening we went to a band concert at Wilson Park. The Arkansas City Municipal Band, now in its 140th year, played the first part of the program, and the excellent Kansas National Guard band played the second half. After the concert I spent the evening making potato salad for Friday night.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Various relatives arrived at different times all day. One brought salad, pies, and cobblers she had made. A couple of us went to town and got tables, and picked up drinks and ice. Others brought chairs out of the shed. We set up the tables and chairs where we thought the shade would be in the afternoon, and folks who hadn't seen each other for a long time did some catching up. In the afternoon some of us took a driving tour to visit four of the country schools where my aunts taught eighty to ninety years ago. We ended the day with an evening feast of burgers and hot dogs and other customary picnic fare. Some of the people who usually come weren't able to make it this time, but some others are here for the first time in several years, and it's great to see them.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

The big day brought a turnout of about thirty-five people who enjoyed a tasty feast out under the trees. Many made the traditional trip to the cemetery to visit the old timers. The kids played hide & seek, and some cooled off with a hose and sprinkler. A lot of folks took a Model T ride and had their pictures taken in the roadster. A few more who hadn't attended for several years were able to make it this time, so it was good to see them again.



Sunday, June 19, 2011

After breakfast with a few reunion departees, I did a little picking up and relaxed. Three of the cousins came and helped to put away the chairs, and load the tables in the truck to be returned tomorrow. I did a lot of lying about and relaxing, and got a little done on Model T projects. It was a very laid-back day. I even took a nap.


Monday, June 20, 2011

My lazy phase continued, with a little minor shopping and a little minor cleanup of reunion debris. I took the rental tables back to town, then I spent part of the day editing and posting reunion photos online, and emailing links to all the relatives.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Job One on the first day of summer was doing laundry. While I was at it I went to the courthouse and paid taxes. I was still feeling lackadaisical, and after tending to a few minor chores I took another nap. I dined on reunion leftovers, and expect that will continue for at least another week.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The main project of the day was getting back to the touring car rear axle rebuild. I replaced all the thrust plate pins. I also flushed out the roadster's radiator and block, put it back together, and took it for a three mile test drive. Still works up a boil. I may have to spring for a new radiator.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Today's first project was more of the touring car rear axle rebuild. I drove the new bushing into the drive shaft housing and slid the shaft into it. The front end of the shaft has .090" wear, but I was hoping that driving in the bushing would squeeze it enough to make it tight on the shaft. No such luck. The front end of the shaft with that much wear on it rattles around in the bushing like a pebble in a tin can. I can imagine the thing vibrating enough to wear out the U-joint, so it looks like time for a new drive shaft. That's $140 I didn't want to spend. I spent the afternoon researching carburetors, trying to decide which one to use on the roadster, and looking through catalogues for available parts. So the whole day was devoted to old Fords.


Friday, June 24, 2011

I spent the morning on more research, and ordering Model T parts. After a trip to town for some shopping and a trip to the county seat to renew the registration on the Camry, I devoted a couple hours of the afternoon to paying bills and writing some letters. I think I now have all the parts here or ordered to start reassembling that dismantled rear axle. Sometime this summer I should have that touring car back on the road.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

I drove up to a farm six miles east of Rock this morning for an auction, and spent the day there. I made bids on several items, all of which sold for more than I was willing to pay. My only purchase of the day was a sixteen ton splitter. I paid too much for it: $600. That's 86% of the retail price. I might have found one for less if I'd waited, but I wanted to have one before next winter so I could be ready to use it when firewood season starts. By the time I came home and got the Suburban and trailer, went back and got the splitter, and stopped at the filling station to gas up, the day was spent.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Most of today I studied and worked on carburetors. Some of what I wanted to do will have to wait until tomorrow when I can buy steel to make a couple of needed tools.


Monday, June 27, 2011

High summer has arrived early for sure. When I did my morning three miles it felt warmer than most mornings. After I got back I checked the thermometer and found it was 85! The ten day forecast shows highs mostly in the high nineties, with a few days of 100 or more. Today was comparatively cool, not much over 90. I spent the day making a puller to remove the sleeve from a drive shaft. It's a slow job, but I should finish it tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The big day came and went, and being seventy feels about the same as being sixty or forty or twenty. I thought I finished the sleeve puller, but it didn't work, so I spent the rest of the day working on the revised version. Maybe I'll finish it for real tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today I worked on carburetor repair while the electric saw worked on a one inch thick piece of steel for the puller. I made a video showing how to fix a damaged carburetor spray needle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTiStUTU9IE. After the big chunk of steel was cut, I drilled it and tapped one of the holes, almost finishing the puller. I have to make one more piece in the morning, then I can try it out.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Well, I finished the puller. It was a bust. No amount of force and heat would loosen that sleeve. The shaft is toast anyway, too worn to use, so I'll just cut it to free the good thrust bearing that's being held on by the sleeve. A new shaft and sleeve are on their way from California.




MAY 2011

JULY 2011