August 1, 2013
Another month, another slow day.
Little by little, the car goes back together. Researching the right
fasteners, finding old ones or adapting new ones to look like them,
then cleaning and painting them, it all gobbles up the time. I
think I may have the car ready to drive this month, maybe even in time
to drive it to the tractor show in a couple of weeks. But everything
takes longer than you think it will.
Friday, August 2, 2013
And it continues. I spent all
morning figuring out the six bolts needed for anchoring the body to the
frame. I had them cut, drilled, stripped, prepped, and painted
about 1:30. After an hour's break to check email and websites, I
spent the rest of the afternoon stripping, prepping, and painting nuts
and washers. This
weekend I expect to
use a bit of this hardware I've been painting and do some actual
August is continuing the remarkably tame weather, with highs most
days in the upper eighties or low nineties. Some days are humid enough
for salt spilled on the kitchen table to make little puddles of salt
water, but after the drought we had the last couple of years I'm not
complaining. Most nights are cool enough for me to sleep under a
sheet, and a couple of times I've even had to use a blanket.
August 3, 2013
After all the work on fasteners this week, today I used some of them. I
installed the steering column and the nuts and bolts which hold the
firewall bracket to the frame. Along with bagging and labeling some of
the extra fasteners I did, that took up most of the day. But I still
needed nuts of the right size for the bolts which hold the body on the
frame, so that was the other chore: stripping, prepping, and painting a
dozen of those. I need six of them, and the other six will go in the
drawer for future projects.
While I was town today I bought a roll of plastic
sheeting. I'm going to see if I can use it on the living room
roof to stop the leaks that drip inside when it rains. The
question right now is when the wet weather will let up enough for me to
get up there and work on it. It's temporary, of course. In the coming
weeks I'll get started on roof repair.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Awaking to more rain, with good-sized puddles in the yard, I did my
usual sunday morning sog-down in front of the computer, browsing and
commenting on some of my favorite websites. About eleven the rain quit
and I went up to the roof to inspect the situation. I found that the
leak was where I had used some plastic dropcloth to cover cracks and
the wind had shredded it. It took less than a half hour to replace it
with heavier plastic sheeting that should last until I get to the roof
replacement project. An annoyance I found was the bags of old
roofing and other trash I use for weights to hold parts of the
sheeting in place. The bags don't last long. After a couple
of months in the sunshine and weather they start going to pieces
and I have to rebag the contents. Today's work in the shop was more
roadster assembly, mostly installing front axle and steering parts.
It's great having a very active online Model T forum where I can ask a
question and usually have several answers from experienced T guys,
often within a few minutes. The car continues to come together a piece
at a time.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Today's work on the roadster was putting in the body-to-frame bolts and
partially installing the wishbone. That last part was partial because I
didn't have the two springs that are supposed to hold the cap in place.
Not finding anything even close locally, I got on the phone and ordered
some that should be here in a couple of days. In the afternoon I took
about an hour off for a visit by Bud Holschuh, a fellow Model T guy
who stopped by while traveling from Florida to Colorado.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
This morning I fitted, cleaned, and painted the throttle and timer pull
rods, and cleaned and painted the fender/headlight brackets. In the
afternoon I wasted over two hours trying to buy a compression nut
locally. I finally called Birdhaven Vintage Auto Supply in Iowa and
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
More fasteners. After installing the throttle and timer pull rods, I
spent most of the day drilling, stripping, prepping, and painting
bolts. I'm not sure exactly what length I need so I did some 7/8" and
some 1". The afternoon mail brought the wishbone cap springs I bought
Monday, so installing those will be on tomorrow's schedule.
August 8, 2013
The main job of the morning was buying a spare 3/8-16 tap, grinding off
the taper to make it a bottoming tap, using it to clean out the stud
holes on the bottom of the oil pan, and installing the studs, cap,
springs, nuts, and safety wire. With that little chore out of the way I
spent a couple of hours paying bills and grocery shopping, then
finished the day polishing the roadster's radiator. More car assembly
August 9, 2013
Another rain in the wee hours brought a wet morning which I spent in my
workshop. The day began well. I used some of those bolts I
prepared Wednesday and installed headlight/fender brackets. Each one
took two of the 7/8" bolts and one of the 1", and everything fit
together perfectly. Next I finished polishing the radiator, which I
started yesterday afternoon, and began to install it. That's where I
hit a major snag. The water inlet at the top of the radiator is about
an inch higher than the outlet from the engine. That pretty much ate up
the rest of the day, which I spent studying the Model T encyclopedia,
taking pictures and posting them on the online forum seeking advice,
and trying to figure out the reason for the problem. I'll have to sleep
on it. I may do that sleeping under a blanket, too. At noon the
thermometer behind the house read 70º, and at six it was only up to
73º. After last year's record number of days over 100º, this summer is
amazing. It's hard to believe this is August.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
After my three mile run, breakfast, shower, etc., I drove up to
Winfield to check out an auction. There were a few minor items of
interest, but not enough to make me stay for hours waiting for them to
come up. I came home and did yard work. I sprayed Johnson grass I had
missed, or that was making a comeback, then I mowed. I got most of the
place done, and should finish it tomorrow.
August 11, 2013
That kind of thing just drives me
nuts. After a typical slow and lazy Sunday morning start, about 9:30 I
got outside and started pulling weeds along the road by the west field.
That work in direct sunshine soon gets pretty sweaty, so after about
half an hour I decided it was time to switch to tree trimming, a lot of
which is done in the shade. That's where the maddening part happened:
trying to find my clippers. I wasted a half hour going to all the
places I could remember using them, some places more than once. No
luck. Should I make it a habit to put tools away where they belong
whenever I finish using them? Yes, I should. Sometimes I do.
Unfortunately sometimes I forget. I'd be a little concerned about
oncoming demetia, but I've always been this way, so in my case it
probably has nothing to do with age. Anyway, when I went to town for
groceries I bought new clippers, getting some that claim to be good for
branches up to two inches. I believe that's better than the missing
ones. I got some good tree trimming done, then got sidetracked when I
took a break and found some interesting local history online and spent
the last of the afternoon on that. Later, a little before eight, I took
advantage of the evening cool to do some more weed pulling along the
road by the west field. That uncovered more Johnson grass that was
hiding among the tall weeds, so I need to do some more spraying in the
morning. I still need to finish the mowing, too.
August 12, 2013
A rainy morning put a stop to any outdoor work, and I was back in the
shop working on the roadster. The task at hand was radiator
installation, and trying to figure out the reason for a mismatch and
what to do about it. Most of it was a good fit, but the head outlet and
the radiator inlet were an inch out of alignment vertically. I finally
took several pictures and emailed them to the shop that recored the
radiator, to see if I could get any idea of how to fix the problem.
Maybe an experienced radiator man will have a simple solution.
Meanwhile, the rain has quit and things are drying out, so maybe I'll
get a chance to finish the mowing tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
More rain! There was about a half inch overnight. The wet morning had
me working inside again. This morning's project was making and
installing a new fuel line in the roadster. By afternoon it was dry
enough outside for me to get more of the mowing done, and it's a good
thing I got most of it finished today. This evening about six a real
gullywasher came along and gave everything a good soaking. The
storm dropped more than an inch of rain in about twenty minutes.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Today's first chore was
repair. Yesterday I noticed that one of the casters on the Woods mower
was broken, and the wheel was dragging sideways, digging a furrow in
the grass. So this morning I took it off, took it apart, cleaned it up,
and fixed it. This isn't the prettiest job of welding I've ever seen,
but if it stays together pretty doesn't matter. With that out of the
way, I brought out the chain saw and went to work on the old dead tree
branch that fell down last Saturday. I got it partly cut up, but
there's more to do. Rotten wood, when it's soaked, is heavy
Thursday, August 15, 2013
This morning I was off to town for a relaxing hour in the dentist's
chair (just a cleaning), and grocery shopping. In the afternoon I
brought out the ladder and the lopper and the chain saw and attacked
the face-grabbers, those low-hanging branches that make mowing more of
an adventure than it should be.
August 16, 2013
Sunday, August 18, 2013
This morning I did my customary little job of helping with registration
at the local gas and steam engine show. After a couple of hours at the
registration desk I spent most of the rest of the day enjoying the show
and buying a few Model T parts I found for sale there. I may post some
Saturday, August 17, 2013
After doing laundry, this morning I returned to the tractor show. I
spent most of the morning looking at the old stuff, including
some nice antique vehicles. I also bought a 1915-1917 Model T steering
column. Eventually, after cleaning up and painting, it will
go in my roadster. In the afternoon I drove to Salina for an evening
concert by Joan Sebasitan. He opened the show entering the arena on
horseback, singing as the horse danced in time to the
music. He spent about half the show on three different
dancing horses and about half onstage, singing many of his hits. There
are too many of those to fit into one show, but he sang a lot of
and the audience sang along with him on the most familiar ones. It was
a great show by one of my favorite musicians.
In Salina I stayed with my cousin
DorisAnn and her husband Cary. We spent a relaxing day feeding the koi
in their backyard pond and visiting. In the afternoon I drove over to
Topeka through the beautiful Flint Hills. In the capital city I had
dinner and took in a movie, the latest Star Trek adventure. I thought
the performances of the young actors in the familiar old roles were
Monday, August 19, 2013
This morning I drove up to Tom's Radiator Service in Sabetha, just
seven miles this side of Nebraska. I arrived a little after eight, and
Tom had the radiator ready to go in a couple of hours. He melted the
solder holding the inlet spout in place, repositioned it and
resoldered. He did the same to straighten the support rod socket. I
headed for home a little after ten and got back five hours later. When
I tried the radiator on the roadster it wasn't perfect but I was
delighted to find that it was close enough for the hoses to fit, and
that's all that's necessary. With that fixed, now I can get on the the
next step, making a new dash shield.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I spent most of the morning slaving over a hot computer. I bought the
laptop to take on trips so I wouldn't have to be home to work on my
website. I've been less than delighted with the results. On most trips
the thing has defeated me one way or another and I've had to wait until
I got home and could do the work on my iMac. So today I braved the
clunky Microsoft world and tried to remedy that. I managed to install
the Kompozer software and set up the FTP so it will work. That's a good
start, but there's more I need to do before the thing works properly
and I'm comfortable with it. In the afternoon I went to work on making
a new dash shield for the roadster. That involved printing out a
diagram, so I was on the phone with Kodak support a couple of times to
get the printer working properly. I'd get more done if I didn't spend
so much time fixing the tools.
Wednesday August 21, 2013
This morning I started making a 1915-1917 dash shield for the roadster,
to replace the 1919-1922 one that was in it. From noon to three I
attended the first day of machine class at the junior college. After
school I finished the dash shield, but I'm not thrilled with the paint
job. I think I'll sand it and repaint.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Today was a series of little jobs. I sanded and repainted the dash
shield; polished the radiator on the roadster; turned out the manifold
studs that were screwed in too far; hunted through old hardware to find
carburetor mounting bolts and nuts, then wire brushed and painted them;
started looking through my
spark plug supply for a set to use on the roadster.
Friday, August 23, 2013
day. I spent the morning sorting through my spark plug stash, looking
for the four I want to use on the roadster. In my afternoon shop class
I made a rivet punch for installing transmission band linings, then
started getting a lathe set up to make more brass nuts. The machine
shop is just like home. I spend a lot of time looking for tools.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Spark plug day two. I spent most of the day picking out the
cleaning them, and assembling the set of four to go in my roadster.
Model T Fords used mostly Champion X plugs. But while they
kept the same name, the plugs changed a few times during the years of
Model T production. These particular X's are the ones which were used
until about 1921, so they're the right ones for this 1915 car. They're
considerably harder to come by than the later versions of the plug.
August 25, 2013
Hardly a lick of work done today. I went to an auction and waited a
couple of hours for two books to come up for sale. If you're young they
would mean nothing to you. If you're a very mature person who once
marched around the breakfast table, you'll know what I'm talking about
when I say they're the 1947 and 1948 yearbooks from Don McNeill's Breakfast Club. I bought them for
$1 each. When I got home I painted some T parts, and that was my day.
Monday, August 26, 2013
This was mowing day, and longer than I expected. First I had to clear
away the branches left from tree trimming a couple of weeks ago. I was
using the Dixon mower and a little trailer to haul the trimmings to the
dump pile when a belt fell off the mower. The belt was
broken, and the cause was the plastic idler pulley that had gone to
pieces, got stuck, and worn out the belt. I had machine shop class this
afternoon, and after class I bought a new belt and a steel pulley to
replace the plastic one. With the interrupton over, I mowed until after
seven and finished all the front lawns. I'll get to the back yard
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Well, that was stupid. I was scheduled for surgery in Wichita today.
Instructions from the hospital were to eat no solid food yesterday and
have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. I followed the
instructions, but this morning I made the mistake of going out for my
usual three mile run. Bad idea. Within a few minutes after I got back I
found myself breathing hard, hyperventillating, and passing out.
Regaining consciousness, I'd try to stand up and I'd pass out again.
Soon I was on the phone making a 911 call. After a semi-conscious
ambulance ride to the hospital, I spent about three hours in the
emergency room getting warmed up, rehydrated, and back up to
normal blood pressure. When my cousin arrived at my house to haul
me to Wichita, she found my clothes and boots, and my glasses on the
floor where they came off during a fall. Putting two and two together
she tracked me down at the hospital and brought me home when I was
ready to leave. At home I phoned the doctor's office and rescheduled
the surgery, probably sometime next week. I had a late breakfast and
spent the rest of the day lying around recovering. Next time I'll
skip the run.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Recovering from yesterday's misadventure, I went to see my doc this
morning. He confirmed my guess that the problem was running on empty,
dehydration. I'm scheduled for another check Saturday to be sure it's
nothing more serious. This afternoon I went to my machine shop
class, where I made more brass nuts for coil box terminals. A bit
of grocery shopping and gassing up the car finished up the day.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Not feeling bad but also not full of energy, I puttered on minor
chores. I did some shopping online for tools and supplies, but
didn't buy anything because of the high shipping costs. I did find the
tap and die I want at the Big Tool Store in Derby, so I'll get them
there. I researched spark plug thumb nuts to see what they should look
like. I can buy them at $18 for a set of four ($4.50 each!), plus
shipping, so I'll make my own.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Feeling a bit more ambitious this morning, I was out setting up the
sandblasting equipment at sunup. I had to blast and paint a rear radius
rod to replace one on the roadster that has stripped threads. Mission
accomplished. I had it blasted and painted by 9:30, well ahead of the
predicted heat. I went online and researched lathes that are advertised
in an upcoming auction, so I could have an idea what I'm bidding on and
how much I want to spend. In my afternoon machine shop class I started
working on tools for rebuilding carburetors. When I got home I spent
the rest of the day working on the roadster, tightening nuts and
installing cotter pins. In town the time and temperature signs were
showing 102º and 103º. Here it was 93º. One of the many reasons I'm
glad I don't live in town.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
What a revoltin' development dis is!
~ Chester A. Riley
That old line from the days or real radio comes to mind
after my infuriating morning adventure. This week I phoned the Big Tool
Store in Derby to ask about some tools. They have what I want. Great!
Will you be open Monday? Nope. Closed for Labor Day. Still open until
noon on Saturday? Yes, we are. Great! I'll see
you Saturday. So
this morning after doing laundry I drove up to Derby and found the
store closed. Wonderful. Two hours of driving and a few gallons of gas
wasted. Grrrrr. I suppose I should have bought the stuff online. I
probably wasted more on gas than what I would have spent on shipping.
The next adventure of the day was at the hospital. After my Tuesday
collapse my doc wanted to check my heart and arteries, so I spent about
an hour lying on a table for ultasound. In the afternoon I went to work
on something I should have done long ago. In 1999 when I bought my
first iMac and went online, my isp was a little local company that
provided dial-up service. Over the years, through corporate mergers and
buy-outs, I ended up with email service with EarthLink. I kept it
because it was a simple address and I never seemed to have the time to
change it. Procrastination and inertia kept me paying a monthly bill.
This week I received a new bill that finally got me busy. They raised
the price for an email address that now brings me mostly spam. So I
spent the afternoon deleting hundred of old messages and saving a few.
I'll be sure I send my current email address to the folks I want to
have it, then it will be Adios to