July 1, 2015
Work continued on the upstairs west wall. Taking down old Sheetrock and
Celotex, I filled several trash bags. Next will be removing the old
wood lath in the west end of the ceiling to facilitate putting new
studs in the wall. Another part of this project will be running a new
electric line in the wall to provide outlets at more convenient
locations than the only one that's in the room now. After I get that
wood lath out of the way and remove more siding from the outside, I'll
be able to see where I need new studs. Then I'll buy lumber and start
building. If I get this done in a month I'll be delighted. But being
more realistic, even two months will be pretty good if I can do
July 2, 2015
I didn't die today, but this morning I took a dirt bath. When I started
pulling down old wood lath from the bedroom ceiling I was showered with
a cascade of eighty-year-old dust, dirt, leaves, mouse droppings, and
other miscellaneous debris. So much for last night's shower. I spent
the day feeling itchy and filthy. But I did finish taking down the old
lath next to the wall, removing the siding I needed to remove, and
cleaning up most of the mess. When I went to town for groceries I
stopped at the lumber yard and bought boards for rebuilding the wall,
and I'll get started on that tomorrow.
Friday, July 3, 2015
I never went off the place today, and spent the day replacing and
adding boards. This is slow work, and it may take several days to get
the framing done and be ready to nail on new siding.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
More of the same. I spent the day taking out some more old boards and
putting in a lot more new ones. I made better progress than I expected,
and if I hadn't run short on lumber I would have finished the framing
this weekend. But I came up a couple of boards short of what I need, so
I'll have to wait until the lumber yard is open Monday to get enough to
finish the job.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Being out of sixteen-foot two by fours and the lumber yard being closed
until tomorrow, I did a little on the house, then moved on to the
roadster. The most important thing I did on the house was drilling
holes for an electric line. When the house was electrified in 1935 only
one outlet was installed in this bedroom, and in a most inconvenient
location. So I'll be putting more outlets in the west, south, and
east walls so I don't have to rely on extension cords. After a nice
afternoon siesta, I went to the shop and got busy on that balky car. I
had intended to drive it to town yesterday, but it wouldn't start. It's
been getting harder and harder to start lately, and that was the last
straw. I took off the carburetor, drilled out all the plugs, cleaned
out the passages, and installed set screws in the holes. After putting
the carb back on the car I was able to start several times with just a
pull or two of the crank. Once I even got a free start.
That's what it's commonly called when you turn the switch to BAT and
the car starts on its own without even being cranked. So I am delighted.
Monday, July 6, 2015
My only venture off the place today was a trip to the lumber yard first
thing this morning for a few more boards. Today I finished up the
framing and started putting on the new siding. That's the easy part,
and I should have it done in a day or two.
No, I'm not left-handed. Sometimes it's just easier to reach what
you're doing that way.
Drilling holes for new wiring.
Putting on the new siding is the
easiest part of the job.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
A rainy day brought a break from summer heat and forced a day off from
house reconstruction. In the morning I did laundry. I do that in
Winfield because that's where the Asian market is, so I do the wash and
buy 김치 in one trip. In the afternoon I got started making mounting
hardware to install a bike speedometer in the roadster. Eventually I'll
switch to a proper Model T era speedometer, but this modern one will do
until I get to that.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The good, the bad, and the aggravating happened today. I had an
appointment at the optometrist's office, and decided to go in the
roadster as the forecast showed a 0% chance of rain. The car was
running fine, but suddenly died. After I phoned the doc's office and
rescheduled the appointment for later, I found that the carburetor
drain valve had vibrated open and the gas was going out onto the
street, not into the engine. That was the bad. I closed the valve and
the car started right up with no trouble. The good happened when I
stopped at the market. This mom had her kids pose for pictures with the
car. That happens a lot with a Model T. The aggravating happened when I
got home. I stopped behind the house to unload, but when I tried to
start the car to put it away it refused again. I had to take the
carburetor apart and blow it out to get the car running again. I'm
going to drain the tank and see if I can find what's clogging up the
July 9, 2015
This turned out to be Roadster Day. I worked on the 1915 all day,
doing different jobs. The one that lasted all day and will continue is
gas tank cleaning. I drained the tank, which had about three gallons in
it, strained foreign objects out of the gas and removed the water, and
poured it back in the tank. I did this at least half a dozen times. I'm
not getting bug parts and other little bits of trash anymore, but every
round brings out more water, so I'll keep it up until that stops.
Between tank fillings and drainings, I worked on speedometer mounting
hardware. I've already finished the part that will hold the sensor
beside a front wheel. The part that will mount on the steering column
to hold the computer is a bit more complex, and I'll have to finish it
tomorrow. Once more, and I hope for the last time, I took the
carburetor apart, cleaned out all the passages, reassembled, and put it
back on the car. One other job was shooting videos of the front end to
show me what was happening when I turned the steering wheel. I found
that the sloppy steering isn't in the front end, but is in the steering
gear. I haven't yet opened it up to look, but I expect I'll find some
worn out parts in there. If that's the case, I'll look into some of my
spare steering gears for better parts. My last job of the day was a
drive to Ponca City. I went to Lowe's for a roll of aluminum flashing.
I had to go there because the lumber yards here and in Winfield sell
only galvanized steel, and I wanted aluminum. Even galvanized, steel
will eventually rust.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Another day on the roadster. I finished the gas tank clean-out for now,
and that seems to have cured the hard starting, at least with the car
not having moved. We'll see if that continues after the car has been
driven and the gas has been sloshed around in the tank. Eventually,
probably in the winter, I'll pull the tank out, put some chain in it,
and tumble it to knock loose all the crud inside. A new tank costs
$150+, so I'd rather clean this one than buy a new one.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
This morning I went to Winfield to check out a couple of auctions. I
saw a few items of interest, but they weren't interesting enough to
keep me there when I have so much to do at home. When I got home I
finished and painted my speedometer mounting hardware, then got back to
work on the house. I have most of the new siding on now, and will
finish that up tomorrow.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
As expected, today I finished putting up the new siding. I also cut
four-foot pieces of aluminum flashing and bent them to shape on a sheet
metal brake, so they're ready to install when I start putting up the
shingles. I contacted a friend for some help in nailing up the 30# felt
because that's such a hassle when it's done as a solo performance.
Meanwhile, at the computer, I did some shopping. I had been to a couple
of local stores looking for some bulbs for the roadster's headlights.
Wal-Mart doesn't have them, but O'Reilly can order them. Their price is
about $2 each. I found the same bulbs online listed for $1 but on sale
at 35¢. Even with the cost of shipping, that looks like the deal.
Monday, July 13, 2015
I spent most of the day on installing a bike speedometer in my
roadster. It took up much more of the day than it should have because
of the hours I spent looking for the right wire. The speedometer comes
with a cable only a couple of feet long because that's all that's
needed on a bicycle. When you put the thing in a car, that's too
short. After going to all the local stores that might possibly have
some wire of the same gauge, I went online. The only matches I found
there were too expensive to suit me. So I ended up using some wire I
already had on the shelf. It's a heavier gauge, but it works. I have a
proper 1915 speedometer for the car, but I have to get it in working
condition and I have to wait for my new wheels with the right hubs to
hold a speedometer gear. Until then the $25 bike speedometer will
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I did a little work on the house, replacing broken mortar along the
bottom of that new wall. I'll let it set overnight, and caulk it
tomorrow. After that will come new flashing, then felt and shingles.
Following my mortar work, I turned my attention to the next thing that
needs fixing on the roadster. That's excessive steering wheel play. The
wheel turns an inch and a half without moving anything. I started
taking apart some spare steering columns to see if I could find some
better gears. The first ones I tried had four inches of play! Obviously
they weren't the ones. A set of new gears costs over $55, so I'd rather
find some good used ones if I can.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Today's work was on the house. I caulked the bottom of the new wall,
installed the aluminum flashing, replaced some boards on the front
wall, nailed up some 30# felt on the new wall, and got started nailing
on shingles. Getting all the felt and shingles on will take several
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Back to the roadster. I installed what I thought were the best
steering gears I had, and they seemed to reduce the steering wheel free
play. But when I drove the car I found it was about the same as before.
I'll hang on to those 1915 gears which didn't fit (center) and use them
when I install a proper 1915 steering column. Maybe that will turn out
to be a little tighter fit. I drove the car into town when I went for
groceries and other stuff. In the parking lot at the hardware
store a dad and son were looking over the car and had a lot of
questions about it, so I took Dad for a ride around the lot, then Son
got his turn. I'm going to start carrying cards listing Model T
websites, and give them out to people who show any interest.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Not much accomplished today.
First thing was a bit of surgery. The doc carved off a bit of scalp
that had some cancer in it. The forecast showed 0% chance of rain, but
when I got home the first drops were falling. I got my tools under
shelter and put a tarp over my stack of new shingles. By the time I did
that it was really raining. The storm got heavy at times, and left an
inch in the gauge. It was a pretty wet 0%. Not able to work outside and
not feeling very ambitious, I took a nice nap for a couple of hours. In
the afternoon I attempted a bit of radiator repair on the roadster. A
little bit of coolant leaks out of a seam along the top front of the
tank. I laid a little bead of caulk along there and tried to squeeze it
into the seam. I'll let it cure for 24 hours, then go for a drive and
see if it did any good.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Laundry led off the day. After that I checked out auctions in Winfield
and Wellington. Neither one had anything I'd give 2¢ for, so I came
home. After a noon siesta, I got back to work on the house and spent
the afternoon putting up shingles and adding some boards to the framing
under the windows. There's a lot more to do, so that story will be
continued, and continued, and continued.
July 19, 2015
Taking advantage of soft ground
after Friday's surprise rain, I pulled grass and weeds west of the
garage and in front of the house. I don't know if it's the hot weather
or what, but I'm feeling distinctly unenergetic these days. I pooped
out on the front
porch swing for another nap
today before a trip to town for some groceries. I also stopped at
the "super center" for some insect repellant, and found the shelf
empty. It's not a very super center, because they seem to run out every
year. I need to remember next spring to stock up early.
Monday, July 20, 2015
I went back to work on the roadster, which had become hard to start and
then impossible to start. Again, I drained water from the bottom of the
gas tank, removed the carburetor and blew out the passages, checked the
timer and installed a new brush in it, checked the timing, and gapped
all the plugs. Now the car
starts easily on battery, but not on magneto. That has me stumped. Both
should be easy.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Today's first activity was a visit to the eye doc for my annual
checkup. It turns out that I can still see, almost as well as last
year. A cataract on the
right side will have to be removed eventually, but it hasn't reached
that point yet and may take several years to get there. The main job of
the day was putting up more new shingles on the house. This wall is
about ¼ to ⅓ done. Finishing the bottom will be relatively simple, but
before doing the part above the windows I'll need to make and install
the window frames and the flashing that goes above them.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
With recent rains the grass has really taken off, and I have to mow
before it gets completely out of hand. But before I started mowing I
spent about forty minutes with the clippers and Tordon, cutting off and
poisoning the little mystery trees that come up in the front lawn every
summer. I didn't do all of them, just in the area of heaviest
infestation. If those don't come back I'll do more. I got a good start
on the mowing before the tractor stalled. I'll come back to it tomorrow
and get more done.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
A nice overnight storm left big puddles in the driveway and 1.85"
in the rain gauge. With everything sopping wet outside, I spent
the morning in the shop. Annoyed by not being able to start the
roadster on magneto, I worked on that. The first thing I checked was the mag post. I
found bits of fuzz from transmission band linings on it. This can be a
problem because the fuzz collects tiny bits of iron and steel from
engine and transmission wear, turning it into a conductor which grounds
the magneto enough to reduce its output. Sure enough, after cleaning
the mag post I was able to start on magneto again. Sometimes.
Unfortunately there's still something not quite right, and often I have
to give up the MAG start and use the battery to get going. There's
nothing wrong with starting on BAT, but it annoys me that I can't
figure out why the car doesn't start on MAG every time. In the
afternoon I went to town for groceries, then went back to putting up
shingles. That turned out to be far too exciting to suit me. Apparently
my hammering stirred a nest of something, and I suddenly felt a painful
sting on my left hand. I was too occupied with mashing the bug to pay
any attention to what it was, and I'm still not sure whether it was a
wasp or a hornet or some kind of bee. I got a can of bug spray and
tried to clear the area of any more flying danger. I hope I got
them all, but I'll find out tomorrow when I put up more
July 24, 2015
Today's first activity was a trip to the clinic to have the
stitches from last week's surgery removed. The piece of scalp the
doc carved off a week ago had basal cell carcinoma. The lab report says
there's still some there, so in six weeks he'll do some more cutting. I
asked the PA what are the odds of this developing into something more
serious, and she said only about 1%, so that was reassuring.
After I finished at the clinic I stopped at the lumber yard and got
boards for making window frames. When I got home I returned to
putting up shingles, and spent the rest of the day on that. It looks
like about ⅔ of that job is done. I should finish it up this weekend
and with any luck have the windows finished sometime next week. Then
I'll move on to rebuilding the upstairs north wall.
Just in case there might be something worthwhile, I went to check out
an auction this morning. A couple of minor tools weren't worth waiting
for hours until they came up for sale. I came home and went back to
shingling. I got a couple more rows put up, and should have the job
finished in a day or two.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
After breakfast and a check of email, I got out the sprayer and
launched another attack on Johnson grass. My last previous spraying was
over a month ago. That killed off most of the stuff, and what escaped
my attention then has since grown up to be easy to spot. I hope if I
keep spraying I can eradicate enough of it to permit little or no
spraying next year. After a trip to town for groceries, I spent the
afternoon nailing up more shingles. I now have most of that job done. I
should be able to finish it in the morning, then I'll get started
making the new window frames.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Best laid plans... I never got around to shingling today. After my
three mile run, breakfast, and a shower, I was going to drive the
roadster into town for shopping. It started once, for two seconds, and
quit. After that it refused to start at all. Not even a cough. I spent
the rest of the day working on that. I took off the carburetor, took it
apart, and blew out all the passages. I drained some gas from the tank
and found water in it, so I set about adding a glass bowl to the fuel
line. That job is almost done, but I'll have to go to town in the
morning for some pack nut gaskets to finish it.
July 28, 2015
The rule that everything takes longer than you think it will was in
full force today. I spent the whole day working on the roadster, mostly
just installing a glass bowl so I'll be able to see trouble coming if I
get more dirty water, or even clean water, in my gas. A big part of my
day was spent just trying to find fuel fittings that would fit
together. In one of the parts stores a guy I've known for years
facetiously asked, "Why do you work on old cars?" I told him, "Because
I like going into stores and getting blank stares."
July 29, 2015
Variety was the order of the day. I did a bit more of the mowing for
about an hour, then moved indoors. In the shop I experimented with a
timer brush. The knock on New Day timers, which are otherwise
excellent, is that the bronze brush is too hard and wears out the case.
I've heard of using generator brushes as replacements, so I spent a
couple of hours giving that a try. After I cut, filed, and drilled a
piece to the right size and shape, it cracked right down the middle.
Like Edison, I had successfully discovered what didn't work. I'll try
again with a different kind of spring.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
A morning rain became a real gullywasher for awhile. I won't have to do
any watering for awhile. While the rain fell I got busy with the brass
polish and cleaned up the radiator on the roadster. Then I got
out a box of old negatives and started looking for the ones I wanted to
scan. I was amazed to find them in the first envelope I took out of the
box. While I was at it I found some 1961 pictures I had forgotten
taking. In the afternoon I drove the roadster to town for grocery
shopping. Something still isn't quite right. Two days ago the car
started easily several times, but today it took a lot of cranking to
get it going at all three stops. It's getting really annoying to think
I have the problem solved and then find out I haven't.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Taking advantage of soft ground after yesterday's 1.4" of rain, I did
a bit of weed pulling. I did some mowing too, but bogged down a lot in
wet grass, so I'll wait for some drying before I do more. I did some
more experimenting with starting the roadster, and I suspect that some
of my starting difficulty has been because I still need to figure out
the best adjustments for starting this particular car. Every T is
different, and needs different adjustments. In the afternoon I got back
to putting up new shingles, and finished that west wall. I'll begin the
new month making and installing the new window frames.