Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When I took a close look at the old window frames, as I mentioned yesterday, I decided that they had to go. So I spent today removing the old windows and frames, rebuilding the wall around them, and buying lumber for the new frames. With any luck I'll get the new frames built and installed tomorrow, and get back to putting on shingles.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This morning I mostly finished the wall rebuilding. I thought I was done with it about 10:40, and set  about building the frames. When they were done I found that one of them wouldn't quite fit. The board above it was about 1/8" too low. So I took the board out and will replace it with a slightly thinner one. In the afternoon I had a dental appointment, and while I was in town bought vinegar to give the roadster a radiator and cooling system flush. That pretty well finished up the day.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Job One today was to finish the rebuilding on that southeast wall.  When I was done with that, about  9:40,  the thermometer on the front porch was showing 79º.  When I took it up to the roof and set it next to the wall it quickly shot up to 115º and
I decided that putting up shingles would wait until that wall was in the shade.  But I got busy elsewhere and never got back to shingling. I sorted, boxed, and put away my recent auction plunder and some other parts,  then finished a job on the roadster. Last night I drained the cooling system and filled it with vinegar and let it sit until after noon today. Then I started the car and let it warm up and run for half an hour, then drained and flushed, ran it filled with soda water to neutralize the vinegar, drained and flushed again, and filled with 50/50 antifreeze. I'm not worried about freezing anytime soon, but the antifreeze prevents rust.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

In a phone conversation with a long-time Model T guy whose advice has been helpful in the past, I got some driving tips that might help me prevent overheating. After a recent drive the roadster was boiling and steam was shooting out of the overflow. I made a video of this and posted a link on the Model T forum. As usual there were a lot of good suggestions, but most didn't apply in this case. My driving habits, however, could very well be the problem. Over the past eight years I've spent a lot more time working on Model T's than driving them. I'm still pretty much of a novice in that department. My adviser thought I might be retarding the spark too much on hills, and might have the carburetor adjustment too lean. So today I went for a drive of about seven miles. Following the advice not to raise the spark lever unless I heard pinging, and then do it only enough to stop the noise, I never had a ping and never raised the lever. I also had the carb adjustment a bit richer than before. When I got home from the test drive all I heard from the radiator was the normal gurgle. No boiling, and no steam.  For my next test I'll take a drive that includes a couple of steep hills. We'll see how that goes.

This afternoon I attended the township board meeting to discuss shade trees for the cemetery. Some of my cousins have offered to contribute some funds for that, and today the sexton and I talked about what kind of trees would be best. She's going to figure out locations, and I'm going to research what kinds of trees would be best for this use.

In the evening a car transporter came to haul away my brother's old Rolls Royce. Mike left it here when he went home because it had given him some starting problems and he was afraid it would fail on the road and make him miss work. So this evening the transporter loaded it up and it was on its way to California.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Today's first work was nailing up shingles. I did that until about 8:30 when the direct sunlight was starting to make it too steamy to suit me. So I left the shingling for later and worked on the shady end of the house, cutting and installing boards that will hold the new Sheetrock in the southwest bedroom.
In the afternoon I spent a couple of hours in the shop, mostly using a hammer and anvil to pound a running board luggage rack into shape. There's not much luggage room in a roadster, so this rack should help. By three the east upstairs wall was in the shade, and I spent the rest of the afternoon working on that. Maybe I'll have this bit of wall done in a week.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

One of the best things I bought last year at the Hershey swap meet is this folding parts carrier. But with its short handle, it kept tripping me up when I walked. So today I made a handle extension to eliminate that problem. I can fold the handle down by just pulling a couple of pin clips.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Two things.  First was nailing  up more shingles on that southeast upstairs wall. About 8:45 AM the direct sun was making that pretty steamy work, so I called a halt and moved on to the second thing. That was sandblasting, prepping, and painting a running board luggage rack. Sandblasting always takes longer than I think it should, but I had that part done by noon and the painting finished by two.  In the afternoon, with the east side of the house in shade, I went back to putting up shingles.  I'd call that job about ¼ done.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

More shingling started the day. Again, direct sun made that too toasty by nine. That was my cue to head for town, where I bought a sack of Structolite insulating plaster to fill some empty spaces behind the chimney. I mixed up some plaster and did the filling, then nailed up the aluminum flashing that goes between the shingled wall and the chimney. I ended the afternoon with more shingling, but had to quit when sprinkles started a little after four. I'd call the shingling on that wall about ⅓  done now. A little before six the real rain came on, and for over half an hour was a real gully washer. I haven't looked at the rain gauge, but I expect it will show well over an inch. Some of the plants were withering, so it was good to have a soaking rain.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An early start, as soon as there was enough daylight to see what I was doing, had me taking a big bite of the shingling project. But even on a cooler day,  that east roof got too hot to suit me
when the overcast broke up about eleven. So during the middle of the day I worked in the shop, mostly repairing or replacing spark plugs in the roadster. I also finished painting the luggage rack I started Monday. By about three the east side of the house was in shade and I finished the day with more shingling. That wall is now more than half done.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Again, the first job of the day was shingling. And again, about nine the heat on the roof drove me away. The difference today was that I never got back to it in the afternoon. After getting spark plugs in order yesterday, today it was the carburetor. The roadster has been starting fairly well, but not as well as it should. I've had the carb off and cleaned it out, but it never has quite worked the way I want. So I went through another carb, cleaning out all the passages, and put it on the car. Much better! The car started easily on battery, and almost as easily on magneto. I was so delighted I shot some video to show it starting. Maybe I can get that edited and posted tomorrow. Next came the unexpected glitch that ate up my afternoon. For the past few days the radiator petcock has had a little drip, drip, drip. So I decided to replace it. But it turned out that it wouldn't turn out. It was stuck so tight that it broke off in the hole. So I spent the rest of the afternoon drilling out the stub, tapping the hole, installing another petcock, and refilling the radiator. Tomorrow when I go to town for groceries I'll drive the roadster with its four working spark plugs and improved carburetor and see how it does. Maybe I can get more shingles put up too.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Yes, I got more shingles up, but not very many. I spent most of the morning finishing that video. Then I unpacked my three new wheels from Stuzman's wheel shop. I'll need to build a rotisserie to turn them during painting. In the afternoon I drove the roadster to town for groceries. It was easy-starting when I set out, but got harder at each stop. By the time I got home it was losing power.  When I got it in the shop and shut it off I found that the #3 spark plug had worked loose and wasn't firing.  I left it  alone to let it and me cool down.  Tomorrow I'll check all the plugs again and see if there are any other problems.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I did a few other odd jobs, but spent the most time putting up shingles. The end is in sight. One more session should finish this southeast wall, then I'll move on the the northeast one. It will go faster because it's smaller and has no roof angle to require a lot of cutting to fit.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

It was mostly a day off from work. After a late start I spent the morning catching up online. In the afternoon I did laundry and went grocery shopping. That left time for putting up just one more row of shingles, and my "one more session" became two. So I'll finish that tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Done! This morning I nailed the last shingles on the southeast wall. I took a half hour off to cut down the dead hollyhock stems in the yard and put them all in a trash barrel which I put in my office. One of my projects this winter will be to harvest the seeds from them for planting next spring. With the hollyhock chore done, I got back to the house and started on the northeast wall. After taking down the plastic sheeting I had to decide what to do about the windows. Should I leave the old framing which looks like it will last a few more years, or should I rebuild it?  I decided to do it right, so out came the windows and out came the old framing.  I had to quit for a 2:00 PM dental appointment, after which I stopped at the lumber yard  and bought some boards for the house. When I got home I had enough time to get started on installing new window framing. I had one sill cut and nailed in by quitting time. To be continued.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It was a good day.  I finished  rebuilding the wall around the northeast windows, nailed up new siding, and screwed on wafer board over most of the wall. I have to put up just two more small pieces, then I'll be ready to put on the felt and start nailing on shingles. I may actually finish the upstairs outside before winter hits.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

By the time I finished wafer board on the east wall it was getting hot in the direct sun, so I moved to the north side of the house and spent the rest of the day in the shade, taking down old shingles. Some were still good after eighty years, but most were in bad shape and needed to go. Some of the studs in the north wall are rotten and will need to be replaced. I'll find out how many when I get all the old shingles off and can remove a bit of siding to see what's inside.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another day on the house. I got a start nailing up shingles on the east wall. A nice overcast and a breeze delayed the heat until about eleven, then I moved to the north wall and finished stripping off the old shingles and stuffing them in boxes for winter kindling. I'll get a little more done on the east wall in the morning, but I'll probably spend more time putting up tarps to prepare for rain. The forecast says 50% chance. If I don't prepare, it will rain for sure.

Friday, September 18, 2015

It was mostly a day off from working on the house. I did get more shingles nailed up, then spent an hour getting all the tools inside and putting up tarps, then headed for Ponca City. I had to go there for another roll of aluminum flashing, which nobody sells here. While there I got an oil change in the Camry. That's the second change of oil in the year I've had the car. It goes 5000 miles between changes and I've never had to add a drop of oil. Very nice. When I got home I took the Suburban down to the casino to get gas for a drive to the auction in Cleveland tomorrow. The price of gas in Oklahoma is low enough to make the five mile drive down there worth the trip. Oklahoma's lower tax makes the price usually 5¢ to 10¢ less than here. On the way home I decided to do something about the slap, slap, slap sound one of the tires was making. An inspection at the tire shop found both front tires had flat spots. Experience has taught me that those will lead to separation and tire failure, so I bit the bullet and blew a couple of Benjamins on two new front tires. As little as I drive that vehicle, they should last a long time.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I set out for a day at the auction,  but I had my doubts because the auction company had nothing about it on their website. I left a message for a friend who had helped with sorting the goods, and he called me back when I was just west of Pawhuska. It turned out that the auctioneer had decided the job was too big for him, and canceled. So I turned north at Pawhuska and headed for home by way of the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.

When I got home I didn't receive my usual greeting. Normally Daisy runs around and barks when I drive in, but today she was nowhere to be seen. I didn't see her the rest of the day. I took down the tarps on the east side of the house and got back to putting up shingles.  I was doing the bottom row, which is slow going because the shingles all have to be measured and cut at an angle to fit the slope of the living room roof. I'm getting down toward the end of my shingle supply, so for the past week I've been trying to buy more. Nobody has them in Arkansas City, Winfield, Wellington, or Ponca City, so I started calling around in Wichita. I finally found them at Star Lumber. So at 3:30 I headed for Wichita and got to the lumber yard about fifteen minutes before their 5:00 PM closing time. I bought three bundles, plus some square molding for making some Model T gas gauges. I'm so old that I remember buying shingles for $3 a bundle, so the current price of $84.25 came as quite a shock. That's probably less than it would have been elsewhere, because the molding was about half the price I've seen other places. While in Wichita I tried a new restaurant, Mexico Viejo. I'd call the food good but not great. After dinner I went to the Warren theater, a modern version of the old time ornate movie palaces, and saw Everest in iMax and 3-D.  It was a very good show,  and  dissuaded  me from any thoughts I might ever have  entertained of making such a trip.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I am dogless. My long Saturday ended at almost one this morning. I left my office over the shop and headed for the house, and found Daisy lying in the driveway. She had obviously been mauled by the pack of neighbor dogs across the road. She flopped her tail, but didn't try to get up. This morning I was able to see in the daylight that she was in a bad way, so I called the vet and we met at the clinic. Daisy died in the clinic and I buried her this afternoon. I'm going to miss her. She was a good one.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good progress. Except for a trip to town to pay a couple of bills, I spent the day putting up shingles on the northeast upstairs wall. By quitting time I had most of it done. A couple more rows will finish the shingling on that wall, then I can make and install the new window frames. I may even have the windows back in before winter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Another step done. A little before ten this morning I nailed the last shingle on the east wall. During the warm part of the day I worked in my office, adding two new Model T pages to the website, a buyers' guide and a price guide. That took almost three hours, then I made a trip to town for lumber to make new window frames. While in town I looked for a new burner element to replace the one that burned out on my kitchen range. The only place in town that had one was the hardware store. I didn't want to pay the Ace price of thirty bucks, so I went online and ordered one for $12.64.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

That's nice. I like it when the humidity gets low enough for salt to come out of the shaker, and a few grains spilled on the table don't turn to little puddles of salt water. I spent the day making and fitting new frames for the northeast windows. Maybe I can get them installed and the windows back in them this week. I also showed the neighbors photos of what their dogs did to Daisy so they can deal with the guilty parties. Wednesday is freezer day for me. On Wednesday evening I use up something out of the freezer. Tonight it was one of the steaks left over from the family reunion in June.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I took a day off from everything else and worked on Model T coils. My ignorance of the subject was almost complete, so I had a lot to learn. Using a borrowed ECCT, I checked each coil for capacitor condition, dwell time, and consistent firing. I stuck a piece of tape on each one and marked the test results on it. I checked over a dozen, and learned the testing part pretty well. Learning how to make the necessary adjustments to make them test well is another story. That's going to take a good deal more study and practice.  After spending most of the day on coils,  I took the last hour before chow time to deal with a flooding carburetor. It was sopping wet with leaked gas. I pulled it off the car, installed a new float valve, and adjusted the float. If I got it right, I hope it will stay that way.

Friday, September 25, 2015

In the morning I worked on coils some more so I could have a full set to use in the roadster. After I had the coils back in the car, I took off the carburetor and fixed a leak around the shut-off valve.  With the carburetor reinstalled I choked twice, turned on the ignition, and the car was running immediately. I didn't even have to pull the crank. It seems that having four good coils makes a big difference. I drove the car into town when I went shopping, and it ran well until one spark plug went south on me. Fortunately I was carrying spare plugs in the car. I stopped at one of the parts stores and ordered some new plugs which I'll try out and carry for spares if they're OK. When I got home I noticed that the monarchs, on their way to Michoacán, are still here.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Well, that was a surprise. I went to an auction in Winfield this morning to look for a few small things, and came home with one big thing. There were several cases of motor oil, but I didn't bid because they were selling at retail. There were a few other things I did bid on, but others wanted them more than I did. What I did buy was an 8 HP 28 ton log splitter. It was almost six hundred bucks, but that's a lot less than it would have been new. So I'm set for firewood season. By the time I came home and got the Suburban to go and fetch the splitter, the day was spent. I celebrated my find with enchladas blancas
, one of my favorite meals, at La Fiesta.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Today I used the borrowed ECCT to test the roadster's magneto. Since I recharged the magnets and Mike Bender rebuilt the engine and transmission, it was no surprise that the mag tested Good. I didn't do much else today except go to town for groceries.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Back to coils. I retested and readjusted the ones that were in the roadster. I should say I readjusted a couple of them. The others didn't need it. I wasn't satisfied with the gap gauge I was using, so I drove the roadster into town to get one I like better.  The car  is running very nicely now with its fresh coils, but I'm mystified by its magneto start. A few weeks ago the car was a hard start on MAG when cold, but fired easily on the first pull when warm. Now the car is fairly easy to start on MAG when cold,  but  needs the battery when warm.  I don't know what's behind that.

Tuesday, September  29, 2015

Researching and copying some Model T history ate up the morning, and a little more work on coils took up part of the afternoon, then I finished the day doing laundry. During all of that I was thinking of all the other things I need to get done. Some I will, and some I won't. You do what you can. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A little of this, a little of that.  I tested more coils. I checked the roadster's tires for correct pressure, and I did the 200 mile lube job. Model T's take frequent oiling and greasing. I went to town to mail a package, buy apples, and ask my cousin Wally to feed the precious adorable kitties while I'm gone.  When I got home I fired up my new splitter and tried it out. I spent a bout a half hour splitting some of the wood stacked behind the shop. It's in the shade most of the time, so some of it is too moist. I need to get it under a roof so it will be dry enough to burn by the time the good weather goes south. I took the truck to the brush pile and emptied out the yard trimmings so I can haul wood with it tomorrow. I experimented with the roadster, trying to figure out the best starting procedures. Magneto or battery?  One pull on choke, or two, or none? Throttle lever down two notches? Three? Four? It seems every one of these cars is different, and what works best for one may not be best for another