JULY 2006




Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Today I finished setting up my rust removal experiment. I found instructions online for using electric current to remove rust, and decide to give it a try. The process is pretty simple: hang the rusty object in a container of soda water and use a battery charger to run an electric current through it to pieces of rebar. The current is supposed to remove the rust from the object and deposit it on the rebar. I'm trying it on some cast iron stove parts. If the process works, I expect I'll use it quite a bit.


Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The rust removal seems to be working. I had it set at six volts. I'll switch it up to twelve volts and check it again tomorrow.


Thursday, August 3, 2006

Today I started work on refinishing kitchen cabinets. After several decades some of them look pretty nasty, with plenty of rust and peeled paint. I spent part of the afternoon grinding paint and rust off a part of the sink cabinet.


Saturday, August 5, 2006

There are a lot of great guitarists, but none greater than the amazing Django Reinhardt. Django and the wonderful violinist Stephane Grappelly made the Quintette of the Hot Club of France such a memorable group that people are still listening to their recordings after seventy years. Grappelly took more solos, and they are wonderful. But when Django solos, the result is remarkable on more than one level. First, he swings mightily, as one would expect with this group. Along with the swing comes astonishing virtuosity. Some of his licks leave the listener astonished that anybody could play a guitar like that. When you consider that Reinhardt was playng with a hand disfigured in a fire, unable to use some fingers, his playing is even more incredible. But the virtuosity of Reinhardt and Grappelly is only part of the story. The full quintette plays with great swing, musicality, and precision. In this collection they apply their talents to some classics of the Great American Song Book: Night and Day, Sweet Georgia Brown, Honeysuckle Rose, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, The Man I Love, Undecided, and several other familiar tunes from the golden age of American popular music.

This morning I got outside before sunup to take advantage of the morning cool and cut up the tree which fell down behind the house. I guess it's a good thing that it fell toward the east, and not on the house. It did wipe out the old swing in the back yard, but that was already in serious disrepair. Actually, I bought new boards for the seat a couple of years ago because the old ones were rotting. Now that the whole works has been squashed, I'll need to build a new A-frame, as well as sand and finish the boards, to bring back the old swing everybody remembers.

I used the heat of the day to take a nap on the front porch swing, then went to Ponca City to buy appliance epoxy enamel. I have to go that far to get it in black, which I need for some parts of the kitchen cabinets. One bank sign in Ponca read 107º, so I went to a movie to sit in a cool place for a couple of hours. I ate at the Royal China Buffet, which is quite a treat. They have a good selection of very tasty dishes. The price of a dinner has gone up to $8.10, but it's still a good deal.


Sunday, August 6, 2006

Last week my cousin Shane came over and helped me roll the Model C Allis outside for pictures. Before starting a restoration project, it's always best to take a lot of pictures. Then, as you take the project apart, you take a lot more pictures to show how it was put together. This is a big help when you get to reassembly. So here's the "before" view. The old machine doesn't look too bad in this picture, but it has a pretty sorry paint job, or actually several pretty sorry paint jobs, and some other things that need to be corrected. If I can have it ready to take to some of next year's tractor shows, I'll be delighted that I got through the project so fast.

After another hot day, I went out and mowed about 8:00 PM. The Model B with the Woods mower had the job mostly done by 8:45. I'll finish tomorrow night. Going on 9:00 PM, it's 94º outside and 100º upstairs. Another good night to sleep out on the front porch.


Monday, August 7, 2006

After I got home I spent most of the afternoon on the phone with Apple support, getting this infernal contraption over its case of Super Slow Everything. Things seem to be working normally now. After sundown I took a ride on the Model B and finished the mowing.


Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Too hot to do much. 102º to 105º in town, and about 98º here. I painted a couple more pieces of the kitchen wood stove. Last fall I used stove polish on it. The only polish that seems to be available these days is water-based. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what you get when you put water on cast iron, and so this stove has developed a lovely coating of rust. Some polish! Now I'm stripping the rust and painting the parts with 1200º stove paint.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The stove project continues. I fished more pieces out of the deruster this afternoon and painted them. The stove should be finished sometime next week.

It's wonderful what a storm can do. When I was in town this afternoon it was 107º or 109º, depending on which sign you believe. Here at home it was 104º. Then a storm blew in, and in fifteen minutes the temperature dropped to 85º. After all the 100º+ highs recently, 85º feels pretty cool.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

David Sarnoff knew he wouldn't make a nickel on this deal. In fact, it would cost him money. Sarnoff had established the National Broadcasting Company in 1926, and its two networks, the Red and the Blue, brought programming like the Grand Old Opry and Amos & Andy to radio listeners across the nation. Hit commercial programs like that would bring in the money, of course, but Sarnoff believed there's more to life than making money. So he established the NBC Symphony in 1937 because it was a classy thing to do. Sarnoff coaxed the world's most famous conductor, Arturo Toscanini, out of retirement to lead the orchestra, and staffed it with many of the best players from orchestras across the country. The Symphony's first broadcast was on Christmas day, 1937. Weekly broadcasts aired on the NBC Red and Blue networks, usually with Ben Grauer announcing. In addition to broadcasting, the orchestra also made many recordings. After seventeen years, Toscanini retired in the spring of 1954, and to his great disappointment, NBC disbanded the orchestra. This CD is one of a series containing both broadcasts and recording sessions. This one is a typically wonderful program of diverse pieces: Waldteufel's Skaters Waltz, recorded June 28, 1945, in Carnegie Hall; Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony, broadcast February 15, 1941 from NBC studio 8-H; Tritsch-Tratsch Polka and On the Beautiful Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II, recorded December 11, 1941, and March 19, 1942 in Carnegie Hall; Suppé's Poet and Peasant Overture, broadcast July 18, 1943 from 8-H; Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours, recorded July 29, 1952, in Carnegie Hall; Paganini's Moto Perpetuo, recorded April 17, 1939 in 8-H; J. S. Bach's Suite Number 3:Air, recorded April 8, 1946 in Carnegie Hall; Weber's Invitation to the Dance, recorded September 28, 1951, in Carnegie Hall; and Glinka's Spanish Overture No. 1, broadcast March 4, 1950 from 8-H. Toscanini was famous for a reason. His legendary devotion to the music, his desire to do justice to the composer, sometimes led to outbursts of temper. But when he scolded the musicians his attitude wasn't "You're making me look bad." It was "How could you do that to Beethoven?" These monaural recordings of course are not digital, or even high fidelity, but the sound quality is excellent, and Tocanini and his great musicians make listening to these recordings a pleasure.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Yesterday my friend Mark came and helped me carry out the kitchen sink. Acutally, it's the sink and the steel cabinet where it sits. The whole unit was made by Geneva Modern Kitchens in Geneva, Illinois, in the fifties, or maybe the late forties. The poor old thing is showing its age, with a lot of rusty areas and peeling paint, so it's due for a repainting. Getting the sink off the top was the easiest part of the job, as all it required was removing four wing nuts. Removing the doors was another story. The eight hinges were attached to the doors and the cabinet by 32 machine screws. All but five screws came out without too much trouble. Those last five were murder. With many attempts over several hours and repeated application of Liquid Wrench, I managed eventually to get four of them out. That at least got the doors off. That last machine screw, keeping one hinge attached to the cabinet, is so solidly rusted in place that I doubt that I can ever unscrew it. In theory, I could drill it out, but I'm afraid these screws are too hard for drilling without some special kind of bit. I'll go to an online discussion forum and ask for suggestions. Maybe somebody will suggest an easy solution.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not much blather here lately, due to running errands after work and other stuff to distract the author. Last night I went to look at a 1937 Allis Chalmers WC that's for sale. It runs well and is mostly there, so I'll add it to the collection. The exhaust manifold needs gaskets, the tractor needs a muffler, and the bowl is missing from the air cleaner. Other than those few items, all it needs are a couple of cosmetic improvements: a new steering wheel and a couple of matching front tires. I'm off to fetch it home this evening.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sorry, music fans, there's no musical feature today. I'm getting ready to head west. It's been a few years since I went to California to see my brother and friends who are still sweltering in the urban jungle. So in response to many repetitions of "When are you coming out?", here I go. I'll head out of here in the morning, and aim to be back sometime Labor Day weekend. Until then, the blog is on vacation.




JULY 2006