Sunday, June 26, 2022

Glorious Rain!

 We were getting concerned. No rain on the second crop beans, no rain on the corn, and no rain on the garden, but help arrived early this morning. We are now up to 2.3 inches with thunder grumbling around us.

Weekend Steam III: Lewistown PA Steam Motorcycle

 Wouldn't you love to see this thing on a long stretch, opened up and ripping along? Thank You, Merle, for spotting videos for us!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Here's Your Big Chance... start your steam engine collection! Online engine auction ends June 29, so take a good look at the items and figure your best bid. Three traction engines in various states of disrepair, plus a bunch of other old iron.  Many thanks to Merle for spotting this opportunity!  CLICK HERE FOR THE ONLINE BIDDING CATALOG.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Weekend Steam: Muddy Hill...Will He Make It?

 This video is from 2007, and I think I have seen a video shot at the same place of an engine that had to give up and back down. Thank You, Merle!

Dingoes Are The Key In Australian Range Management

 A big part of this system working was moving from sheep to cattle. Dingoes got rid of the feral goats, reduced kangaroos, and  are working on foxes and feral cats. The benefits are amazing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Always Be Aware And Ready

 This is a routine traffic stop recently in Naperville, Illinois. A seventeen year old kid was stopped for blowing a stop sign, and then he had an expired insurance card, so the stop dragged on. A heinous perpetrator rolls up and changes the game, attacking the policeman with a hatchet. That happens beginning at about the 12:30 mark. The cop was on it. If you have ever shot a raccoon with a small caliber rifle you will recognize death throes. A surprise comes at about 15:30, after the dying quiver is done, when a responding officer with his gun trained on the now very still offender commands, "Roll over on your stomach!" Well, that didn't happen. I bet the kid in the car never runs a stop sign again in his life. This all went down right next to the poor guy.   Click Here to see the video. It cannot be embedded, so you have to go to YouTube. Look Quick, it probably will be taken down soon. Needless to say, you may not want to watch, but you should if you care about self defense skills.

Pizza Night...

...when the wife is laid up. (Not Really, but I could get by.)


One Week After Susan's Second Hip Replacement....

 I might have to hobble her to hold her back....

She has her feet up tonight and is keeping that leg iced, but the progress is amazing!

Here's A Wedging Trick That Can Get You Out Of A Jam!

 Have you ever had a tree sit back on the stump so you can't insert a wedge? It has happened to me a few times, and here is the trick to get you out of this jam. After you get it lifted a bit, you can put wedges in your kerf and put that tree on the ground.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Buckeye Oil Engine

Good One, Merle. Many Thanks!  The Buckeye Model L was a two-stroke “hot-cup” semi-diesel, most accurately called a medium compression oil engine. It had a medium pressure fuel injection system that sprayed fuel into a precombustion chamber. The base of that chamber (called the “Ignition bowl”) was heated by a kerosene torch for starting, and because it wasn’t cooled via the water jacket, it heated to a dull red under power and that was enough to sustain combustion after the engine ran a while. With a low compression ratio (by diesel standards) of about 11:1, the fuel needed to be vaporized by heat before it would ignite from heat of compression. The engine had no valves. It breathed through ports and inhaled via the crankcase, where the movement of the piston in a special chamber at the bottom of the cylinder pushed air into the combustion chamber.

Under a maximum 125 hp load, this engine would use six to seven gallons per hour. As a display engine under no load, its operated at half speed, 100 rpm, and is really barely running and uses very little fuel. Compared to modern diesels, oil engines are VERY inefficient. Compared to diesels of the '20s and '30s, they are at least 30-40 percent less efficient. Oil engines had three redeeming characteristics over diesels back in the early days (back into the 1890s):1- They were considerably less expensive than a diesel, 2- They were "omnivorous," and able to operate on a wide variety of fuel oil grades, from what was basically crude oil with the big chunks taken out, to the lightest oils similar to what we now call "diesel fuel." 3- they were portable. Despite being omnivorous, oil engines were subject to having trouble with poor fuel quality. The heavier, less refined oils tend to leave lots of deposits in the vaporizing chamber, on the rings, piston crown and in the fuel injector. This engine came from the beginning of the era when fuel oil began to be of consistent quality. Though this engine runs on modern #2 diesel fuel, it would be happier with something a little heavier like bunker oil, which is about 20 percent heavier than diesel. Up to about 1920-25, diesels had to be very large and complex, most using air injection (fuel injected by high pressure compressed air). Once solid injection (mechanically injected high pressure liquid) was perfected, and demonstrated by the Germans who used solid injection diesels in their successful World War I submarines, it made diesels more practical and portable. Once solid injection was applied to diesels, costs, complexity and size came down and the efficiency of a diesel then started to make diesel cost effective versus oil engines. Oil engines were produced into the late '30s in the first world (later in other parts) and used into the '50s. This engine was built by the Buckeye Machine Company, which started business in 1909 in Lima, Ohio. The Model L, originally called the Buckeye-Barrett oil engine, went into production in 1917 and was manufactured through 1929, with leftover stock sold for many years later. Buckeye would become famous for building a variety of large industrial and marine diesel engines but ceased manufacturing in 1948. Maumee Valley Antique Steam and Gas Association

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Wheat's Out, Beans Are In, Spraying Is Done

 You want those second crop beans in the ground right after wheat harvest, and then you want rain!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

She's Not Hoeing Yet, Just Supervising!


Weekend Steam II: Homebuilt Steam Truck

 Merle found a neat one. This is a homebuilt rig with a lonely boiler and a winch engine put onto a truck frame. This was at National Threshers, Wauseon, OH. It reminds me of Coonrod's undermounted steam truck that I used to see at Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Thank You, Merle!

You can see the Coonrod engine at Mt. Pleasant by pulling the slider over to 18:35. It is pulling a wagon with a calliope. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Susan Is Home Again...

 ...with both axles replaced! She had her right hip done yesterday, six weeks after the left one. Using a walker for a few days.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Thinning Again, Plus, Wolf Trees!

 We are thinning one of our tree planting projects, and found a nice little lesson to share with you all. The trick to doing your TSI (Timber Stand Improvement) is to always be looking for your good trees. You want them vigorous, well formed, not forked, good branch angles, and a strong crown.

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Kraut Is Crocked!

 We just made our first batch of kraut this year. It is one of the easiest foods that you can make and preserve. It will sit in the basement working for a few weeks and then we will can most of it, and eat some of it fresh. It is a joy.

Tuesday Torque: Starting A 22 HP Diesel...

 ...the hard way, I would say. The old term, Armstrong Starter comes to mind. It makes me hurt to watch! Thanks, Merle!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Crunch That Cabbage!

Monday we will be cutting and crunching up a batch of kraut. Good times for sure! Our special kraut rock will be going back to work.

77 Grist Mill


Back To The Old Grind!

Voices Of Music, Alan Youseffian...

 ...performs Antonio Bertali's Ciacona. Guaranteed to make your week run better.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Friday, June 10, 2022

Weekend Steam: Amazing Restoration!

 This video is a fascinating look at  the restoration of a toy locomotive. I think these were called piddlers back when they were popular because the oscillating engine makes little puddles all over. Many Thanks to Merle for spotting good videos like this one. The vid cannot be embedded, so click on the photo to go over to YouTube to watch.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Deutz Otto 6 HP Engine, 1924

 We had a guest in our driveway today, a 6 horsepower Deutz Otto engine built in 1924. Our friend, ILEngineGuy bought this engine at auction, and every part was stuck. He had it running in five weeks with no broken or stripped parts. This engine was built in Germany, and shipped to Argentina. It still has original black paint. This is a rare and remarkable engine! If you want to see this engine up close and personal, go to the SIAM show at Evansville, Indiana Friday or Saturday, June 10 and 11. It will also be at the American Thresherman Show at Pinckneyville, Illinois in August 2022.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Enjoying Sunny Days

 Little Jack and Vinnie making the most of a perfect day. Next week they will be hunting shade.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022


 Sooner or later, there is going to be a busted head, a saw in a femur or forehead, and someone backed over by the loader. The Mrs was at the County Seat and saw this action after a big old decadent pin oak was taken down.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

A Couple Of Good, Cold PBRs,

 ...then get up on that wagon and start pitching bundles. Sounds like a plan!

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, June 3, 2022

Weekend Steam: Let's Look At Some Little Engines

 I love model locomotives, Merle! Thank You for the links!

Susan's Garden Update

 Susan provides a pleasant tour of our garden. Cabbage moths have been flitting around, so this morning she was up early, applying Sevin dust to kill the little blighters. We had three tenths inch of rain the other day, and rain is forecast, so we are not having to water. We tilled up a squash patch out by the road and will be planting that today.  We also worked up and planted our wildlife food plot this week, and finished that just before it rained. We will be making kraut and canning beets before Susan has her other hip done.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Chestnut Surprise

 We had some leftover chestnuts in the extra fridge, and I just noticed them about three weeks ago. We forked up a little bed, stuck some nuts in and put mushroom mulch over the top. I didn't expect any to sprout, but we have a nice Chinese chestnut coming up in the garden now. We will have to find a good spot to move it this Fall. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Great War Rotary Engines

 Engineering Johnson posted a photo of a World War I biplane engine and a commenter called it a radial engine. It does look like a radial, but radial engines  have a rotating crankshaft. The engines on early biplanes were often what is called a rotary engine. The crankshaft is stationary and the engine spins around it. They are a different sort of beast, and they packed a lot of power in a light package. Here are some videos that show a little bit about them. Pilots were subjected to castor oil that exhausted from the engine. The Germans used mineral oil, and that caused fouling problems with the sparkplugs, so they moved away from the rotary designs.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Cover Them Over...

 Cover them over with beautiful flowers, Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours, Lying so silent by night and by day Sleeping the years of their manhood away. Give them the meed they have won in the past; Give them the honors their future forcast; Give them the chaplets they won in the strife; Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

Weekend Steam II: Elevated Garden Railroad Construction

 Thank You, Merle! This is a good one to watch if you are thinking about a project like this. Shortcuts will bite you, and sooner than later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Calculated Risks In Tree Work

 We have been enjoying August Hunicke's videos. He is an arborist out west, and he has great skills, a great crew, and a full complement of equipment. He also sells his own line of arborist rigging at Monkey Beaver. Pour a cup of coffee and watch him take down this ash piece by piece. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Occupy The Den Trees

 We had a pair of barred owls denning in the dog yard, and they disappeared. We have visual confirmation, of the reason, and it is just as we suspected. The U.S. govt. was shooting barred owls out west, because they thought that barred owls were killing spotted owls. My money is on the trash pandas being the problem.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Tuesday Torque: General Motors Diesel Locomotives, 1937

 Tjos week's post was suggested by Zeke, who is a lifelong train enthusiast. He wrote, "General Motors filmed this in 37 and released in 38.  It has some good shots of streamliners and early switch engines.  I think most of the Burlington locos were shot around Chicago as I see the Western Ave coal tower appear in some of the footage.  There’s even a cameo by 3007 on a turntable, presumably in Aurora.  O.T. rode behind that at least once.  It’s preserved at Union IL.  Click to video 1.  Thanks for the links, Zeke!

GM did an updated version of this in 42 that has a lot more engine related material and an eye toward the war effort."   Click to video 2. Hmmm, the second video will embed, so here it is.