JUNE 2017


Saturday, July 1, 2017

With time out for a noon siesta, I mostly sprayed Johnson grass. With all the rain this spring, it's been growing like crazy. Before starting I had to make a trip to the co-op to buy a new sprayer. The one I've been using got worse and worse, and finally wouldn't spray at all. I think I sprayed all the Johnson grass across the road, but I'll find out in a few days. If any isn't dying, I'll hit it again.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

After a couple of hours pulling weeds in the cool of the morning, I installed a new starting crank bushing in the pan for my 1923 touring car's engine. I use bronze bushings instead of steel because I'd rather wear out the bushing than the crank. The biggest part of my day was hardware. I painted castle nuts and hung them in the oven to bake, then picked out sixty original 3/8"capscrews, cleaned out the cotter pin holes of the 43 that had them, and started chasing the threads. I'll have enough to finish the current engine project, plus the next one.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The first job of the day was to finish chasing threads on those old bolts. Then I spent the rest of the morning sandblasting them, a couple of transmission drums, and an engine inspection cover. Before going to town for groceries, I painted the cover and the heads of the bolts. I'll bake them all overnight, then tomorrow I'll paint the rest of the bolts.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

And that's what I did. Most of my work today was finishing up all the hardware reconditioning. I set it all to bake, and will take it all out in the mornng to take with me when I head for Tulsa. This afternoon I shot the roadster's annual Independence Day portrait. In the evening I drove it to town for the band concert and the fireworks show. Here's the video.      

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I was off to T
ulsa early in the morning, and spent the day in Mike Bender's shop working on my engine. We estimate that two more sessions should finish it up, then I can bring it home and put  it back in the car.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Most of the day I rested up from yesterday's Tulsa trip. I finished editing the Fourth of July photos. Here are some of them.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Big day. At 6 AM I was on the road to Tulsa for a work day at
Mike Bender's. We balanced the fly wheel and the transmission drums and assembled the magneto and transmission. I got home after 7:30 PM and was pretty well pooped. Our next work day is next week, and we should get most of the engine/transmission rebuild done then. After that, I expect one wrap-up session will finish the thing and I'll bring it home.

Meanwhile, my recovery from that tumble off a ladder two weeks ago is slow. It is getting better, but the occasional aching back makes me wish it was faster. I'm just glad I didn't break anything.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Lay-zee! I did get a little work done, but mostly fooled around on the internet, did a little reading, and took a nap. I'll blame it on my
aching back, although that was no worse than most other days. Maybe I'll be more ambitious tomorrow.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Well, I was a bit more ambitious today. I did some sandblasting on an axle housing and almost finished it before I ran out of sand. It should be done with one morte blasting session. I also mowed a path out to the barn and mowed the lawn by the west drive. There's a lot more mowing to do, but I don't have to do it all at once.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Well, this is not good. Returning from a roadster drive last night  I turned into the driveway, stepped on the low pedal,  pulled back the hand lever, and the car stalled and died. When I tried to restart it, pulling the crank made it want to roll forward. With the lever in neutral, the car was still in gear. Stuck clutch. So this morning I jacked up the rear, pulled off the wheels and removed the keys to let the hubs turn on the axles, greased the tapers, and put the wheels back on so the car would roll. My friends the Moores were due to arrive in the afternoon, and when they did Johnnie helped me roll the car into the shop where I can work on it.

Tuesday, July 11,  2017

It was swell having Johnnie, Trina, and Solomon here for a visit. Last night we dined at La Fiesta, then came back to the place and watched the lighning bugs.  This morniing we drove down to the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve to visit the bison herd, then this afternoon the Moores were on their way to visit friends and relatives in Saint Louis, Arkansas, and Texas.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You can't fix the roof while it's raining, and when it's not raining it doesn't leak, so you don't need to. Despite that old gag, this afternoon I went up to the roof and applied some caulk. There's been a leak in the southeast bedroom, and I hope what I did today will put a stop to it. I was going to do the same over a window on the north end of my office, but the ladder won't reach it. I'll have to bring a scaffold around to get the ladder eight feet higher. In the cool of the morning I finished sandblasting the rear axle housing I was working on Sunday. This afternoon I ordered new brake cams and bushings, and when those are installed I'll be ready to paint the housings.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hot dry weather has made the ground solid enough for me to drive the truck to my north brush piles without getting stuck. I don't think the south roads are safe yet. This morning I emptied the yard trimmings out of the truck and used it to haul my big 2 x 12 boards up to the shop. I set them up on sawhorses, then set up the scaffolds and ladders and got back to the job I started months ago in December and never finished: installing steel siding between the eaves to keep squirrels out of the attic. Getting set up and gathering the tools took over an hour. I got about six feet of siding installed but I'll get more done tomorrow, being already set up.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Today's job was the squirrel wars project. I was at it all day until about 4:30, when my back said it was time to quit. Sometimes that feels much improved, and I think I'm recovering nicely. At other times, like this afternoon, it aches enough to be really annoying. I guess over all it is improving,  but at 76 I think it's slower than it would have been at 16, or 36 , or 56.

They get in through places like this.

I didn't count how many times I was up and down those ladders today, but it was a lot.

I hope this will be squirrel proof.

Mike Parker's 1927 TT on the front cover makes me want to get busy on my own TT project.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

There was one thing I wanted at the auction this morning. On one of the trailers was an air tank. Just the thing I could adapt as a moisture trap for sandblasting. So I waited, and waited, and waited.  Very rarely does anything I want come up early in an auction. Usually they spend hours peddling all the stuff you'd have to pay me to haul away. Such was the case today. While I waited I read the new Model T Times which arrived in yesterday's mail. By two in the afternoon I had read the magazine from beautiful cover to beautiful cover and the auctioneer announced the order for the rest of the sale. The trailer full of stuff that included the air tank was to be at the end, still a couple of hours away. I quit. Another air tank will come up at another auction. I came home and took a nice nap.

Tim Wrenn's 1912 commercial roadster pickup on the back cover is a lovely thing.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I put up a little more steel siding, finishing all I could reach on the south side of the big tree, then moved the scaffold around to the north side of the tree. The little bit behind that dead tree will have to wait until it's gone.

Monday: Installing rods & pistons. Mostly finished today.
Monday, July 17, 2017

It was a long day, with another trip to Tulsa for a work session at Mike's.  We got a lot done on the engine, and it should be ready to go tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Another long day, unexpectedly so. This being the day to bring the engine home, I drove the Suburban. I noticed a vibration that got progressively worse, and the left front wheel was hot and smoking. A stuck brake had burned up the pads, rotor, and caliper. I spent a couple of hours in Hominy, and $265, getting that fixed. With a traffic tie-up in Tulsa, I didn't arrive at Mike's shop until four. We loiaded up the engine and I headed for home at five. I got here at 7:55. As I said, it was another long day.

Ruined.  New hub & brake.

Tuesday: Engine pick-up day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hot, hot, hot. I collected a few piles of yard trimmings in the truck and did some mowing, but only in the shade. This is the time of year to do outdoor work early in the morning before the heat comes on. When I was in town for shopping between three and four one of the bank signs claimed 100, but out here it's always cooler. The thermometer here said 93. There was enough humidity to make you feel it, but not enough to keep salt fom coming out of the shaker. Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be hotter.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

As soon as there was enough daylight for me to see what I was doing, I set up the blasting equipment and sandblasted a couple of intake manifolds, one to use now on the 1923 touring and another as a spare for another project. I prepped them, and after breakfast and a shower I painted them. They will hang out in the sun for a couple of days, and in the summer heat it will be like baking them overnight in an oven.  Being out of clean sox, this afternoon I did laundry. The last time I used  the  dryers at the laundry they were a waste of money, so today I spent $3.76 for a solar clothes dryer and hung the laundry outside. With a temperature in the nineties and a breeze blowing it didn't take long for everything to dry, and I didn't spend a penny on gas or electricity.

Friday, July 21, 2017

On nights like this, when it's 90 at 9:00 PM, I have serious thoughts of running off to the mountains for a couple of weeks. I think I may do that in August. Today I mowed for a couple of hours in the cool of the morning. Then I unloaded the "new" engine I brought home Tuesday. Mike noticed something about it I had missed. The lower end of my home made AC brake pedal was interfering with the low
pedal linkage. So I spent the rest of the day fixing the pedal so it will miss the linkage. I'll give the thing until Sunday for its new paint to dry, then I'll install it and proceed with getting the engine back in the car.

Saturday, July 22,

There, you see?
I told you so. Last week I said there would be more auctions and more air tanks. This morning I went to a Patterson auction in Blackwell and bought two air tanks for $3 each and an air hose for $4. I left at noon and was home by one. The heat sucked most of the ambition out of me, and I hit the front porch swing for a nice afternoon siesta. This evening I went to see Dunkirk. I thought it was exceptionally well done. Despite the length, it doesn't drag. It kept my interest all the way.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Where are the skeeters? I'm certainly not complaining about the mosquito shortage. It just seems rather strange to be approaching the end of July without being plagued by the little devils. Somethig that's not the least bit strange is fighting Johnson grass. All the spraying I did last
month didn't have much effect.
So today I mixed up a batch of weed killer with a higher percentage of Cornerstone Plus, and hit the weeds again. I didn't bother with more than one batch.  If that works, I'll do more of the same. If not, I'll try a stronger mix.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Today's main job was getting parts ready for sandblasting tomorrow. I took time out for a walk down in the woodlot, and found that the road has dried almost enough for me to take the truck there without getting bogged down in mud. Another week of this heat should make it all perfectly drivable.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

One more day. The Wednesday forecast is for another hot one, then we're supposed to cool down to highs in the low nineties and lows in the sixties. I may even have to sleep under a sheet. I was up at six today, and had the blasting equipment set up and operating at 6:40. I finished the blasting at 8:20, well before the heat of the day. After breakfast and a shower I
worked on a Parker family history for the city of Parkerfield. That kept me busy most of the day. Late in the afternoon I prepped the parts I sandblasted this morning, and this evening got started painting them. I'll continue that tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Five weeks ago today I took my famous spill off a ladder.  The sore back has improved so much that I hardly ever notice it and most of the time I skip the acetaminophen tablets. At the present rate of recovery,  pretty soon I won't feel any trace of soreness. This morning I noticed that the Johnson grass I sprayed Sunday is becoming dead, so I'll mix up more of the same formula and attack the rest of it. Today's main activity was little jobs on my touring engine. I finished painting the small parts I started yesterday and put them in the oven to bake, and set the newly painted starter out in the sun for the same reason, and installed the nickels.  They're commonly called freeze plugs, but they're actually casting hole plugs. The nickels won't rust like steel plugs, and cost less than the brass ones. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Spray day. As expected, I spent the morning with the sprayer, assassinating Johnson grass and other inconvenient vegetation. By 1:00 PM the day became steamy enough for me to call it quits on the spraying. As before, I'll wait a few days for the stuff I sprayed today to start dying, then I'll attack any that I missed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

After an hour or so of mowing, I took care of a little chore that's been waiting for a few years. I made a couple of wooden boxes for welding clamps and other tools that have just been piled on a shelf (and spilling off). In the afternoon I did a few things on my new 1923 engine: painting the timer clamp and bolt, adding threads and brass nuts to the valve cover studs, and reaming the hand crank bushing. I expect to put the engine back in the car sometime soon.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Another couple of hours mowing led off the day, then I went to town and bought some bolts. The braces I'm installing on my engine/transmission need longer bolts than what I had, so I had to get new ones and adapt them for Model T use. That means grinding off the modern markings, prepping, and painting. Those will bake in the oven overnight, then I'll install the braces and the starter.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mostly I worked on the new engine, fitting the starting crank, installing the braces and the starter, adding the water inlet and outlet, and other little jobs. In the afternoon I had a nice visit from Kevin and Wendy Weeds, who are visiting the USA from New Zealand.

July 31, 2017

To see a noon temperature of 78 on the last day of July is remarkable. Fifteen or twenty degress higher would be more normal. I'm certainly not complaining. Today was the deadline for vehicle taxes, so this morning I visited the courthouse and took care of that little chore. I did a little
more work on the engine, but I won't put it back in the car until I receive the parts I ordered this morning. They should arrive Wednesday afternoon. I could do it now, but installing the Bendix is easier with the engine out of the car.  


JUNE 2017