JUNE 2015


Wednesday, 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 it. 

Thursday, 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 works.


Thursday, 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 do.

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 days.

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.

Sunday, 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 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 shingles. 

Friday, 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.  

Saturday July 25, 2015

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.  

Tuesday, 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."

Wednesday, 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. 



JUNE 2015