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Saturday, June 1, 2013

This morning I cut a piece out of an old tire, made a spring pad, and installed the spring. My afternoon jobs incuded polishing the block with Nu Finish to turn flat black into something close to satin, bolting the inspection cover to the pan and hoping I used enough Permatex to prevent any leaks, and blowing loose scale out of the water passages.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

It was a good day for sandblasting, but I didn't get a lot done because I got a late start. I found that I'd clipped the blaster when I put the mowing tractor away the other day, and broke an air fitting. I had to go to town and buy a nipple to fix it.




Monday, June 3, 2013

Got an earlier start today, just as the sun reached my blasting area so I could see my work. I spent a couple of hours at it, and finished a few small pieces which I painted. By eleven, even on a day that's not particularly hot, my sand-catching tarp reflects enough heat to stop the blasting.  It gets hard to see out of that hood when it gets sweaty. Weather permitting, tomorrow I'll blast some more and paint some more.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A morning storm  aroused me from my slumber with wind and rain whipping the plastic covering on the front of my bedroom.
  With any more sandblasting out of the question, house cleaning  moved back to the top of the schedule. Some of my favorite people will be staying here for the family reunion next week, so I spent the day mostly upstairs getting a couple of bedrooms ready. I made a pretty good dent in the mess, putting away tools from the house repair project and cleaning up debris, but there's more to do tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another wet night left nice big puddles in the yard, but the rain wasn't strong enough to produce major leaks in the living room. Nice. I spent the morning on more house cleaning. About one I quit for a tick-picking session with Daisy. Frontline doesn't get them all, and she had plenty. At two I took her to town for
booster shots and asked the vet about the tick problem. She recommended a tick collar so I got that, and also some tick shampoo. I'll see if I can get rid of all those little critters. While I was in town I also bought some marigolds and petunias, and when I got home I spent the rest of the day planting them. I hope I can keep them going through the heat of high summer.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

This morning I was off to Wichita for a dental adventure. I've been bothered my an infection that lay dormant most of the time, but every few months would flare up and get sore. My dentist sent me to a specialist who did some root canal work this morning. If I'm lucky, he dug out everything that was causing the problem. While I was in the big city I did a little shopping, then did a little more on the way home. By the time I got home it was after three, and I spent the rest of the afternoon slaughtering Johnson grass. If there was a market for that stuff I'd get my exercise hauling money to the bank. I sprayed along the road by the west field and got done a little more than half of what I need to do. On my way out to spray I found a little turtle in the west drive, but not the painted box turtle that's so common here. This little guy was more like the ones they used to sell in dime stores. 




Friday, June 7, 2013

When I came downstairs this morning Miss Kitty was in the living room showing great interest in the fireplace. She was pawing at the screen, trying to get inside. I knew right away from past experience what caught her interest. One of the swifts had come down the chimney and was too panicked to go back out the way it came in. Fortunately, when these birds get into the house they're not hard to catch. I put the cat outside, cornered the swift in a window, and grabbed it. That may be the only time this year I have to do that, but sometimes it happens more than once. My main activity of the day was more house cleaning. My aunts, Mary and Ernestine, got hooked on romance novels, and I spent a big part of the day boxing up hundreds of them for storage. Sometime in the next year or two I plan to have one of the local auctioneers sell off a bunch of stuff I don't need or want, and the book cases with little shelves for paperbacks will be in that sale. Maybe the books will go on Ebay. I haven't made an exact count, but there are over a thousand of them. There might even be two thousand. I had to make a trip to town for more boxes. By the time I had all the novels in the northeast bedroom boxed up and moved out, it was four in the afternoon and I was ready to work on something else. That something was more weed killing. I did more spraying along the road by the west field, and got most of it done. One more session should finish the job. It may take a week or two for the stuff I sprayed to die, then I can see what I missed and go back to get that. Tomorrow will be more house cleaning, but I also have almost a dozen more petunias I still need to plant. The house and the yard will keep me busy until the reunion next week. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

After my morning three miles I took Daisy in the shower with me and gave her a good lathering with flea and tick shampoo. I've never found fleas on her, but she's a tick magnet. I managed to get her out to the west porch before she could do a major shake in the bathroom and soak the place. Later in the day, after she dried out, I put a tick collar on her. We'll see if that gets rid of the little bloodsuckers. After the dog and I were washed, it was laundry time. Relatives are staying here for next week's family reunion, so it was a bigger load than usual, with sheets for three beds.  After doing laundry, I got back to house cleaning. That kept me busy all afternoon until four, when I stopped to put new plastic sheeting on the upstairs east wall. The old plastic was starting to go to pieces, so it was time for a new covering.  I hope I can finish the living room roof and those upstairs walls this summer, and have no more need for temporary sheeting.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

I finished most of the upstairs cleaning, but early in the afternoon I faced a decision on what to do next. The dilemma was the weather forecast for highs in the nineties during the coming week. With plastic sheeting over the south window openings, air circulation in those rooms would be cut off and it would get too toasty for comfortable sleeping. With family coming soon, the question was whether I could get the new windows installed in just two days. I decided to give it a shot. This afternoon I took down the plastic, and in the morning I'll buy lumber and get started. Fortunatley, along with the heat the forecast calls for no rain this week.







Monday, June 10, 2013

I thought if I could get the first window installed by noon, I'd be a happy camper. I started gathering tools early, and I was at the lumber yard just as they were opening at 7:30. I spent the morning cutting and assembling the first frame, and had it installed by eleven. The second frame went faster, and I had it installed by two, and by three both windows were in. The only hard part of the project was lugging the windows out of the garage and up the stairs, as they're pretty heavy. As for the windows themselves, I'd like them better if they would open farther to let more air circulate, but I suppose it's unrealistic to expect today's products to measure up to what was available fifty years ago.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I thought I'd have the other two windows in by noon,  but the rule still applies: everyhting takes
longer than you think it will. Especially when you screw up your measurements and cut boards too short, and have to go to town for more. Add to that the fact that very few things on this old house are straight or square, and there's a lot of fitting and improvising to do, and instead of noon you finish at almost five. I was going to clean the kitchen this afternoon, so that awaits in the morning. 


Make a frame.

Prepare the opening.

Install the frame.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I was just finishing up the kitchen about 8:30 when Elizabeth and the kids arrived for this week's family reunion. Austin helped me pull weeds and drove the Dixon mower with trailer attached, hauling yard trash to the dump pile. We kept busy all day, then went to the pool in town for a couple of hours this evening. I forgot to take any pictures. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Forgot pictures again. It was another busy day of yard work and celanup interspersed with visiting. Some more cousins arrived, and a couple of them volunteered for mowing duty. More folks will arrive tomorrow.


Friday, June 14, 2013

I was up a little before the sun, finishing with the weeding. I see no advantage in lying in bed while daylight burns, when I can be getting things done in the cool of the morning. More cousins arrived, some of them took my list and did the shopping, and a couple of us went to town to get tables. I was sad to see some of my favorite folks leave early, pleading heat exhaustion. It didn't feel all that hot to me, about 91, but I guess
some people are more bothered by the heat than others. In the evening we had our hamburger and brats cookout in the yard. Daisy got along OK with the two visiting dogs, but she ended up at the end of a chain anyway, after making a pest of herself over food. I did find the answer to a mystery today. In recent weeks Miss Kitty became huge, and a few days ago suddenly slimmed down. I thought I heard kittens in the garage, but only once, then no more. Yesterday I was standing by a big old hollow tree in the back yard and heard mewing from inside, so now I know where they went.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

But apparently they didn't stay there. Maybe she didn't like the crowd that was gathered in the yard, and moved them to a more secluded spot.
Anyway, I never heard them today. The crowd, of course, was for the family reunion. I don't have any pictures yet, because I need to get the film developed. Yes, actual film, shot with a real camera. This time I decided to skip digital and concentrate on pictures I have confidence will outlive me. The weather was perfect today, warming up to the mid eighties, then in the afternoon we had a thunderstorm that cooled things down into the seventies. The thunderstorm was a novel and entertaining experience for some of the Californians. I got to do a lot of blathering, explaining to the young folks who those people we visited in the cemetery were, and showing and telling them about the old vehicles and other relics in my junk collection. The catered barbecue was a hit, and I'm putting the place that provided it on my rotating list of places to eat. This reunion included some folks who haven't been here for many years, and a few who had never been here. It was  fun visitng with those little kids I remember from long ago who are now fine men, and watching and listening to them I was struck by how much I heard and saw their dad in them. It was a good day. I missed the folks who couldn't be here, but I enjoyed my time with those who could.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

On a lazy Sunday I didn't work much. I did some post-reunion cleaning up and putting away, spent some time online, and got started on Model T bolts. I'm adapting some modern bolts to look like old ones, so today I made a drill guide and set up the drill press to make the holes for cotter pins. It got toasty enough in the barn that I did only a few. I'll drill the rest in the cool of the morning.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Except for going to town to pay bills and do other errands, I spent the day on that hardware project. I quit drilling when I got to the last dozen bolts because my guide was worn out. Maybe I can finish tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nope, not finished. I worked on the bolts in the morning, but this afternoon I sprayed Johnson grass. I sprayed what I missed last week along the road by the west field, then I did the lane down to the wood lot. I still have to spray along the road to the east. The stuff sure spreads if you give it a chance.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not much done today. A doctor's appointment in Wichita used up my morning, and shopping in town burned up some of the afternoon, so the only real work I got done was a little more on my new old bolts.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Under doctor's orders to do no heavy lifting or anything strenuous for 24 hours, I worked on making/restoring Model T fasteners and masking the engine & transmission for repainting. This evening I went to the concert of the Arkansas City Municipal Band, now in its 142nd year, at Wilson Park rotunda, now 100 years old.




  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Today's main project was installing  a bunch of those new bolts to replace oil pan bolts that were just a bit too short,  then applying a coat of satin finish Rusoleum to the engine.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

After laundry,  I checked out the Defore Auction in Winfield.  There wasn't enough of interest to keep me there, so I went to the Bellew Auction south of Arkansas City.
  I stayed there long enough to spend six bucks for an electric motor,  a pair of Model T wrenches, and a John W. Davis campaign button. I wanted to get some work done today, so I came home and installed new freeze plugs in my roadster engine. This evening, after delicious enchiladas rancheras at La Fiesta, I went to see the new superman movie. An all-star cast does a nice job of injecting some humanity into all the CGI goings-on. This version gives us a lot of the Krypton backstory with Jorel and Lara, and some nice flashbacks of Clark Kent growing up in Smallville. I wouldn't consider it an instant classic, but good entertainment.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Today's first project was finishing up those freeze plugs. After letting them set overnight, I cleaned off the excess sealant around the edges to make them look nice. Having read about old timers using nickels for this job, I had to try  it myself. With that job out of the way I turned to literature, writing a little piece for the Vintage Ford and sending it off to the editor. Otherwise it was a pretty lazy Sunday. I even took a nice afternoon nap on the front porch swing.




Monday, June 24, 2013

Spray day. This morning I launched a major new attack in my war against the Johnson grass. I went back and sprayed some survivors that escaped slaughter in previous operations, and sprayed both sides along the road east of the house for the first time this year. While I was at it I sprayed smilax and poison ivy too. Smilax is an aggressive vine with lots of sharp thorns, so I'm always happy to give it a nice dose of poison wherever I find it. Poison ivy has never affected me, so I have less of a grudge against it. I just kill it because it's bad for other folks. I spent all morning with the sprayer, and didn't finish until almost one. This afternoon I shopped for and mailed a couple of cards, then installed  a tube for reading the oil level on my touring car.  I think tomorrow may be a sandblasting day.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Success! I had the equipment set up and blasting started by seven. By nine, when direct sun was starting to reach my blasting area, I had finished a few pieces and had the equipment put away.  It's a good thing I quit when I did. A few minutes later a big dark cloud moved in and sprinkled. That's not good for sandblasting. More tomorrow, perhaps. I spent the rest of the day painting parts, buying groceries,  and hunting up more parts to paint. I think I may have this roadster back together and ready to drive a little in a month or so.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Front axle, wishbone, five manifold clamps, perch nut, spindle arm, and crank pulley all sandblasted this morning. After a trip to town for a checkup by the optometrist, I spent the rest of the day repairing a crack in the pulley, prepping all the parts, and painting.
Little by little, the old car is coming together.  




Thursday, June 27, 2013

The forecast was for a high of 104, so I didn't take on anything strenuous.  Of course it's always cooler here than in town, but the high nineties are hot enough for me. I spent the morning rebuilding a sawhorse I made over 25 years ago. It's one of the two I use to hold items I'm sandblasting. It's been getting worse and worse, and finally fell apart completely. So today it got three new legs, and will probably outlast me. After a trip to town for a few errands, I spent the aftenoon making a Model T oil check rod. I spent $2.57 on materials instead of buying one for $6 plus shipping. You check the oil in a Model T by opening a petcock under the car. With the rod you can reach the petcock without having to crawl under the vehicle.
 


Friday, June 28, 2013

So now I'm 72. We'll see if I make it to 73. I celebrated by having some Cheezits with dinner this evening. The day began with sandblasting some T parts in the cool of the morning. The rest of the day was a variety of little chores like cutting up some fallen branches in front of my workshop, watering some plants, and putting away some clutter in the shop. In the afternoon I started up the touring car for the first time in several months and drove it around the yard. I found that the foot brake was down to almost nothing, so I need to look into that. The day ended with a trip to town for half a dozen bags of blasting sand, so I'm ready to get a lot of restoration work done.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

This morning I went to an auction and spent $6 for a tripod and a brief case, a five gallon gas can, and a box of miscellaneous drill bits. This afternoon I painted more parts for my roadster, then went to work on the touring car. Looking into the transmission I found that the lining on the brake band had worn out and come loose. I removed that band, and tomorrow I'll pull out the low and reverse bands. Monday I'll order parts.


Sunday, June 30, 2013 


Today I finished taking out those transmission bands. The brake band was the worst, but all three will get new linings. I also reamed the new bushings in a pair of spindles for the bolts to fit. Another job was preparing castle nuts for Model T use. The slots on the nuts Ford used have round bottoms, so I used a small grinder to round the square-bottom slots on a dozen nuts, then I painted them. A couple of them will go on those new spindle bolts.  




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