Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering a workhorse this week! It is a 2012 production P95 in 9mm, with a Picatinny rail and two 15 round magazines.



This fine pistol is New Old Stock, and has been residing in Ruger's safe since it was built. Click Here to read the entire description and to place your winning bid.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Road King's Got A Maytag!

The Road King is really moving on this project, so we are going to put up several videos here to catch up.










Eclipse 2017, Far From The Madding Crowd

Location is darned important. This is where we would have liked to go:


There's a little cemetery south of Carbondale, near Makanda where we have ancestors. This is Mary A Pollet Morgan, who passed in 1870,  a month after giving birth to Francis Lee Morgan, one of my great-grandfathers. The problem is, Carbondale was the focus of he Eclipse Crowd.  I-57 was going to be jammed on this day, also Hwy 13 that goes to Carbondale from the Interstate, and Makanda was being mobbed.  If we got there, we would also have to get home, and it's a two hour drive when the traffic is easy.

 Click on the photos to enlarge.

We studied the eclipse maps, and we didn't have to go far to get into totality.  We settled on Thompsonville. Good highways there, and we could take off into the country on township roads to get a bit farther south.


We stumbled on the Liberty Methodist Church and graveyard just as the eclipse was beginning. The only other person here was a man mowing the lawn, and he was just ready to leave.


We have witnessed partial eclipses before, so this was quite familiar.  My welding helmets have #10 filters, so I doubled the filters on a helmet to be safe, thus the ghost image.


Susan had some genuine Eclipse Glasses, and they were effective, too.



Susan also made a pinhole camera, and we all had a good time with that.


It's getting closer!


We thought is was supposed to cool down!  Here Susan is fanning her mother.


Pattie could not lean back or raise her head far enough to look directly at the sun, so Susan held her up as totality came on. Everybody tore off their protection and we were amazed to see the corona show. We could see wisps reaching out and coming back to the sun, plus the roughness of the moon, and the diamond ring effect at the beginning and end.


The next one in seven years comes right over little old Belle Prairie, so we won't have to move an inch to watch it!  We got really lucky today.  We could see vertical development in clouds all around us, but it was clear overhead.  The crowd in Carbondale had overcast, and one report we heard said that they got to see 3 seconds of the eclipse.  We got a full 1 minute, 20 seconds at our private showing just out of Thompsonville, IL.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Listen To Those Warning Bells In Your Head...

...especially if your supervisors do not support you!  Being armed probably is not an option if you are working in any kind of government office, so you must come up with alternate plans to be safe and extract yourself from situations like this.  At minimum, keep a Pearl Harbor book.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Pinckneyville Weekend, 2016

Here's a video by Ernest Bontrager showing the waterlogged show in 2016.  S'posed to have good weather this weekend, so pack up and go!




IHC is the featured brand this year, so you should see lots of Famous (Video below), Titan, and Mogul engines, plus a boatload of red tractors.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pinckneyville, This Weekend, Be There!

The American Thresherman Show starts today and goes through Sunday.  Steam, gas, and more!  Pick up the babies, grab the old ladies, and everyone goes!  Click Here for information.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


Ruger is selling another 25th Anniversay .44 Magnum Carbine this week.  It seems like everybody wants one of these, and Ruger hasn't made them for more than thirty years, so the bidding always goes up. As I post this, there have been twenty bids and it is up to $1525. This beauty sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 26, 2017, so CLICK HERE, read all about it and place your bid. $1875

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mass Shootings Being Ignored By The Media

Tuesday Torque: Restoring A Basket-Case Fairbanks 10 HP

Gary Bahre has graciously allowed us to post his photos here so you all can see some of the steps one has to go through in restoring an engine. Gary picked up this Fairbanks at an auction last February. It had been disassembled and left outside for forty years. Everything was rusted and stuck, and he has it running now.


This is how it looked upon arriving at Gary's shop. Everything has to come apart to have the rust cleaned off.



The cylinder was open to the weather on one end, so the piston was stuck tight. A charcoal fire was used to crack the rust loose before sending this assembly off to a shop.


Pressing the piston out is risky, but it must be done. If these parts had been destroyed, they could be replaced since Fairbanks engines are fairly common. Other makes are often irreplaceable.


The fellow who pressed it apart also bored the cylinder 0.060" oversize because of pitting. Rather than press in a sleeve, the piston was built up and turned to fit the bore. It is now a 7.060" bore by 9" stroke. 352 Cubic Inches! The rings available today are 1/2 the width of the original rings, so two were fitted per groove.

Gary began reassembly of the block while he was waiting on the cylinder to be completed. One of the main bearing shells was missing, so Gary poured new babbit for that. The cart is a Witte factory cart, and it looks like it was made for this Fairbanks.


And here it is, ready for a test run! But first, a little break-in time so it will roll over a bit easier.  Gary belted up one of his 6 HP IHC M engines to spin the Fairbanks for half an hour.







Gary has secured a cooling tank that will look good with this engine. He has to do the plumbing for the fuel and cooling systems, and he will be making a new needle valve for the carburetor. The original one is pitted from sitting out in the weather and does not run well.  This engine will get a new coat of paint because there was no original paint left to save after exposure to forty years of outdoor weather. Gary and other engine men often say that all engines cost the same.  Buy an original or well restored engine, and you have to pay for that.  Buy one that's a wreck and you have plenty of expense making it work again.  If someone gives you an engine, it just may bankrupt you!

Photos and videos by Gary Bahre.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

You Didn't Know You Needed This, Did You?


Back To The Old Grind!

Rescued!


Photo Credit: Sangamon County Animal Control, Springfield, Illinois.

This handsome young Schipperke showed up on the Internet. Communications were made, and Midwest Schipperke Rescue secured him.  The little dog was running loose in Springfield, and was caught by Animal Control. He is not chipped, and after eleven days nobody had come looking for him. I made a flying trip to Springfield, and then to the St. Louis area to leave him in quarantine at Midwest's vet. The staff at the pound named him Skippy, but there are a lot of Skippys out there in the Little Black Dog World, so he has been renamed Titan.

He seems to be a good dog. He is quiet when he travels, he behaves on the leash, sits by your side, and he appears to be healthy. If he gets a clean bill of health from the vet he will go into foster care and then adoption.

P-40 Walkaround and Orientation!

Who doesn't love the P-40?! Here is the only trainer version in the world, and a tour and explanation of all the controls. This is Part 1, and it was just posted yesterday, so I will be watching for Part 2.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Squib Safety Lesson From Hickok45!

Always a timely subject! We keep lengths of weed-whacker cord in our shooting bag for checking the bore, and we have used it a few times. It's better than looking down the bore at the range.


Weekend Steam: Working Out Problems In The Steam Powered Machine Shop

The Road Grader Ain't Gonna Fix This!

Seen on a township road on one of my recon outings:



Yes, this is a township road! The truck is parked way back, and I am hoofing it.


Look at all that water! This is the Embarass River (Pronounced Em-Bra) and the smaller stream is the North Fork of the Embarass. Working in glacial lakebed rivers can be challenging!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dicamba Drift and Damage...

...Be watching for this in the news. The various state ag departments don't want to talk about it. The farm newspapers are trying to play it down. It is damaging crops and timber, and there has been a homicide in Missouri because of it. You do the searches.  I think this is what has been causing cupping and leaf tatters at our place. Your universities that teach ag-related programs should be spreading the word for all to hear, but they get their money from companies that make and market the chemicals, so I am a few years behind the learning curve on this...Here's one I saw in Wayne County, Illinois today. Thirty acres of high quality white oak timber, with all the foliage damaged.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


This is special. It was made in 1988, never in the catalog. It is an ultra-light action in .223, blued, laminate stock, and it comes with Ruger scope rings. It sells mid-day, Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Click Here to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  $1125

Sheba's Been Gone For Eight Weeks Now...

It's still hard just thinking about her.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Weekend Steam: Locomotive Maintenance

Let's crawl under a locomotive and do some serious work on it! Don't forget your jack stands! Well, maybe we don't actually have to get under it, but this is real work on a real machine that any gear head will enjoy. Many Thanks to Merle for spotting this one and sending it in!


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Life's Little Challenges

We are fostering a couple of homeless Schips right now, and they are doing well, but one of them...



...has heartworms, and was just treated this week. He has to be kept quiet for three weeks or more. We are keeping him kenneled in subdued light, and he goes on the leash for his very slow outdoor walks.  This is how he normally is:


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I Hope A Schipperke Comes To Visit Me...

...if I am ever stuck in a nursing home. Our little foster, Barbie is living a good life with Missy and their new Mama.



Thanks, Robin!

Bonus photo: Missy, Barbie, Sheba (R.I.P), and Junior, while we were fostering Missy and Barbie.


Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


You get a chance at a rare one this week.  It is a 1994, .40 cal Double Action Only p-91. No external safety, no full cock hammer position, or decocking lever.  It does have a spurless hammer. Click Here to read the entire desciption and to place that winning bid. It sells mid-day, Wednesday, August 2, 2017, and it looks like the price will be reasonable. $500

Rule #5!

Let It Fall! (Knife or gun) CLICK


The Toughest Question Answered!

Red's little skit is a remake of one he did twenty years ago, but I haven't been able to find the original. The net vs. the bucket pretty well sums it up!


Monday, July 31, 2017

It Fidn't Dit



First time for everything. I was running new brass through the sizer die, and this one wouldn't go into the shell holder. Major brand name.

Tuesday Torque: 6 HP IHC Famous

This one has that barn-fresh appearance, and it runs well, too. This is a hit-and-miss, and it is hard to hear over the other engines around it, especially an oilfield Bessemer you can hear chugging regularly. Watch the rocker and the exhaust push rod. You can watch the cam end of the push rod as it comes of the latch to make the engine fire.





Thursday, July 27, 2017

Remember The Big Sweetgum In Jerry Clower's Story?

It was probably bigger than this, but this gum is certainly a respectable challenge to climb!


"You couldn't reach around this tree." It's 32" diameter at breast height. See the basal area angle gauge hanging on the bark?  Here it is up close, so you can get an idea of the size.



"There wasn't a limb on it, for a while." Now, just imagine pulling off your brogan shoes, hanging your toenails in that bark and climbing up a tree like that. It's a good story, and I like listening to it once in a while. I ran across this big gum the other day and it instantly reminded me of John and the wildcat.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Well, Now You Done Seen The Elephant


If you are ever in little Maunie, Illinois and need entertainment, gazing at the elephant is just about as good as it's going to be.  I stopped right on the main road to get my pictures and didn't even block traffic!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


Ruger's auction this week is a 1975 .357 Blackhawk with a 6 1/2" barrel. It was sold and returned to the factory for unknown reasons. It has been checked out and it works properly  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.  $506.11

Monday, July 24, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Virtual Treasure Show From 805RoadKing

Road King went to a show last weekend, and I am anxiously awaiting the video of his water-cooled Briggs running. In the meantime, here's a video from the King that shows us a silent film-era projector, along with commentary that explains a bit of the century-old technology.


Unwanted Bucket List

These are things that can really make you kick the bucket! Right now I am being treated for erlichiosis,which is spread by ticks, a critter that bites me regularly. I picked up several last week on an outing in Jefferson County, so I actually know right where I caught this bug. Our little Skipper had erlichiosis a couple years ago, and he caught it right here at home. You can run a high fever with erlichiosis, and organ failure followed by death is one of the symptoms. Read and be aware of this one!

I've had Lyme disease three times and caught it in the initial infection stage each time. If you miss that, you will have a second set of signs and symptoms, and a chance to cure it. If you miss that, it is a disease that keeps on giving the rest of your life.  We have deer ticks, Lone Star ticks, and dog ticks in abundance all over Southern Illinois, so it pays to use Deet and Permethrin when you are afield. Get Tick Twisters to keep at home, in your purse, in your car, and have tape to wrap the tick in so you don't have to contaminate your pocket knife killing him. Mark dates on your calendar when you think you have been bitten.

Back in '93 I went on a river trip in Big Bend country and got sick soon after coming home. Darn near died from that one. Hantavirus is what the doctor figured out. You don't want this one either. You either wear it out, or it wears you out. I used to run before I had hantavirus; never could get that going again. After I thought I was healed up sufficiently, I donated blood and got a letter from the Red Cross telling me to Never Donate Again! Never give a mouse an even break, because those little suckers can kill you.

Suffering From A Ruger Revolver Shortage At Your House?

Here's a deal. Stainless, 4 5/8' .45 Blackhawk, $450, Today Only. $10 shipping fee, no transfer fee if shipped to a Rural King store. GO

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


You can't go wrong with this one! Ruger is auctioning a 1993 7 1/2" Redhawk this week, and these guns are incredible shooters.  You won't believe the shots you can pull off with a Redhawk. It has the NRA logo rolled into the top strap, and it will sell at 4:57 PM Eastern, July 19, 2017. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place that winning bid. $932.99

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Frozen Mogul

Our friend Gary Bahre went over to Rosebud, MO for an engine show and shot a nice video to a tank-cooled 8 HP Mogul. He reported that this engine had a very broken and patched water jacket, but it seemed to be watertight. Antifreeze has us all spoiled. When these engines were a new thing there was many a proud owner who learned the hard way what a freeze could do to a water jacket.

You have to click over to Facebook to see it; Gary didn't make the upload public off of his Facebook page.  CLICK

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stroh's Fan...



Back in my younger days I found that if I bought Stroh's or Falls City, others left my stash alone. Of course, the bootleggers in Eastern Kentucky back then stocked only Schlitz, so many folks were not picky about the brand in hand.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Triple Expansion Steam Again This Week

We looked at a tug last week that is more than a century old. This week we are looking at the engine of a Liberty Ship, built to carry materiel across the Atlantic in WW II. Turbines were preferred by then, but wartime production demands made that impractical. Turbine powered boats needed gearboxes, and that wasn't going to happen with all the factories gearing up for warships, airplanes, trucks, tanks, etc. The triple expansion engines could be built by numerous vendors, and they were all built for the Liberty Ships so they were interchangeable. They could run at 76 RPM, and pushed a boat along at 11 knots. 2710 Liberty Ships were built, and only a few are left today. Read all about them HERE.