JULY 2013


Thursday, 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 assembly. 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.

Saturday, 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 ordered four.

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.

Thursday, 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 tomorrow.


Friday, 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 70, and at six it was only up to 73. After last year's record number of days over 100, 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. 

Sunday, 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.

Monday, 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 mower 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 stuff.

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.

Friday, August 16, 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 pictures later.

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 favorites and the audience sang along with him on the most familiar ones. It was a great show by one of my favorite musicians.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

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 very good.

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

Spark plug 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 best parts, 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.

Sunday, 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 later.

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 102 and 103. Here it was 93. 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 Earthlink.    



JULY 2013