Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wear Your Safety Gear!

I was just looking at the Arborist Site, and there is a new post up about a nasty leg cut. The operator was not wearing chainsaw chaps, and cut into the bone, severing the muscle. The saw was a Stihl 026, which is a "baby saw." What you need to realize about a little saw is that the chain runs just as fast as on a big saw, and the light weight allows these saws to kick back easier and quicker than a big saw. Operators are often at fault for running these small saws with one hand, which is a recipe for disaster if you have a kickback. Click over (here) to see what a chainsaw mistake can do, but be warned that it is a very nasty wound. (Update: You have to be signed in on Arborist Site to view the photo. If you have a chainsaw you should sign up!)

The Injuries and Fatalities forum on the Arborist Site is a good reference to look at once in a while if you are going to be running a saw.

Weekend Steam

Fuzzpault posted this fascinating model on his YouTube channel. The Stourbridge Lion was the first locomotive operated in the United States, and was the first to be operated outside of England, according to an article on Widipedia. It was manufactured in 1828, and the parts that remain are on display at the B & O Railroad Museum at Baltimore, MD. Building a model of this quality is truely a labor of love.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Not My Victrola: Weekend Special

VictrolaMan has posted a favorite Al Jolson song that I don't have on shellac. I have "Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go?" on vinyl repros, but this original record sounds better than my copies. That is a nice old Victor Talking Machine, too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crankin' It Up

Sweet Indiana Home was one of nearly 300 recordings made by Aileen Stanley, The Victrola Girl. There is a great article about her on The Jazz Age. This song is a great Fox-Trot, so push the furniture back to the wall and DANCE!

Limber Up Your Hardware!

Mr. Completely has posted the first E-Postal Contest for 2009, and it is a challenging match! It looks like it will be loads of fun to shoot, so click over to Mr. C's site, read the rules, download the target, and go to your range. Take some friends and/or family and start the E-Postal year with a bang.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Buzz Coil Ignition

The box of buzz coils in your Model T makes some mighty happy music as you idle along the backroads, and if a coil starts to misbehave, you can give it a swift kick to jar it back into operation. My Dad's mother would ride next to her dad, and when the engine missed he would say,"Tickle it Toots!", and she would give the coils a kick. This series of pages from Dyke's Ford Supplement tells you everything you need in order to make the Ford ignition fire off your Fliver. As usual, click to enlarge, then save the jpg images to your hard drive. You never know, one of these cars might be in your future.

After you have saved these pages, click on the label for "T's and Other Old Vehicles" to bring up all of the posts with pages from Dyke's Ford Supplement.

Click on each page to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh...My Brain

(Third Try)
This nicely restored gas engine was running at Old Threshers last year. When I saw the brand name on the sign my brain instantly began playing back a favorite old song, and every time I run across this video on my hard drive it starts playing again. I did a search on YouTube and found a copy of the song to share with the True Blue Fan Club, but I must warn you that it is one of those songs that sticks in your head. I hadn't heard it in more than 35 years, and when I saw the Worthington sign it came right back. It has been banging away like this gas engine ever since.

This copy of "Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage" was posted on YouTube by Barndog44. You've been warned.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Big Dog, Many Ponies

Our old Husky, a 272XP model (the one in back) we bought in 1995, was getting a bit weak on compression, and recently the coil died. It has been a good saw, but rather than put more money into an old machine we decided to buy a new saw. Husqvarna replaced the 272XP with the 372XP, but for another $100 we could buy the next size up, a 385XP. It is rated at 6.3 horsepower, a full 1 HP more than the 372XP.
We tried it out on some black locusts that we planted in 1993, and it was exhilarating to drive the saw through one of the hardest woods as if it were butter.

I read the warning sticker while I was installing the bar and chain. I especially noticed the little picture of the saw hitting the operator in the face. The same sticker is on our old 272XP and the 346XP, but with that extra pony under the hood, I paid attention. Lots of people are injured with chainsaws, and it is usually a lack of training or disregarding safety rules that causes operators to be hurt or killed. If you are going to be running a saw, please click on the chainsaw label and read the post on Kickbacks. Be safe out there!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not My Victrola

Here is a great Monday Mornng Mood Lifter posted on YouTube by Pax 41. 'A Cup Of Coffee, A Sandwich, And You' is a song that leaves you feeling really good. Pax apologizes for the crack you hear clicking in the first portion of the record, but that is to be expected when we play these old records.

Here Comes Monday!

Back To The Old Grind!

Still Snowing

The machine in this video was from 1929, and I bet the stock market crash of 1929 ended development of this concept. It would be interesting to see how modern engineering could make this type of machine work today. EJ had about six inches of snow yesterday in Chicago; maybe I can convince him to do some design work.

Thanks to GSC in CA for the tip on this video.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weekend Steam

Winter is beginning to get a bit old with me, and I need to get out and cut wood again this weekend. It makes me wish for warmer weather and a good steam show. These videos were shot at Rollag, Minnesota, a show I have never attended. I hope to see it someday. I have never seen a big vertical engine like the one from the Pabst Brewery. That is really a beautiful machine. Below is a spark show given by a 40-120 HP Undermounted Avery. That is a big traction engine, and it looks as if the fireman really loaded up the firebox. The sparks start at about 1:15, so be patient.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crankin' It Up

This Friday's selection is Hot Lips, another jazzy fox trot by The Cotton Pickers. Push the furniture back to the wall and dance away the evening with your honey. This record was played on our old Brunswick.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don't Rock Your Saw!

Northeast Oklahoma was hit by a bad ice storm two years ago, and in addition to the inconvenience it caused, and damage to improvements, the ice broke up lots of timber. My uncle's little farm has a stand of young upland timber, with scattered leftovers from previous stands. He has never thinned it, and the closely spaced trees lent support to each other, so even though his timber looks bad, he still has plenty of undamaged trees with the potential to produce sawlogs. He has put in many hours reopening his trails, and cutting downed wood off of his fences. He uses a homeowner size Homelite, and he gets along just fine with the little saw as long as he keeps it out of the rocks.

I first ran chainsaws in Iowa, on black loamy soils where a person could be careless about letting the running chain touch the soil. When I moved to Eastern Kentucky I soon learned not to let the chain touch down. The soils in the area where I worked were sandstone derived, and a chain would be dulled with one little touch. In Southern Illinois our soils are generally classed as silty clay loams, and you can get away with minor touches with the soil when cutting firewood or bucking logs. Click on the above photo and look at the soil around this black oak. You do not let your saw tag the soil here!
The soil on my uncle's Oklahoma acreage is a marvel to look upon. It appears to be mostly chert, so I checked it out on Web Soil Survey to see how it is described. The soil on his hills is Clarksville Stony Silt Loam (Note that Stony comes before Silt.). Parent material is Loamy Colluvium (Soil that has tumbled and slid downhill), over residuum weathered from cherty limestone (That's Chert!). The description says this soil is somewhat excessively drained (It is mostly rock!), with no flooding or ponding. The best part of this soil is the lack of restrictive features (bedrock or fragipan); it has more than 80 inches of this rocky, gravelly, silt mix for trees to grow roots. It's not very good, but there is a lot of it!

The black, white, post, and blackjack oaks growing on this stony mix are making the best of the deep rooting opportunity. Stumps show that the trees can grow with about six rings per inch where the trees have a little room, which is not bad growth at all. My uncle will be 76 this year, so I don't think he is about to go out and thin his timber, but a good thinning would make a huge difference on this site. (This stump was a tree restricted by other trees on three sides, and free to grow on one side. Releasing it from competition would have allowed all four quadrants of the tree to grow well.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Breathing Easy

You are well on your way to being a Model T Ford mechanic if you have been reading these scans from Dyke's Ford Supplement. The lesson this time is Carburetors. The pages are jpg images scanned at 100 lines per inch, so click on each one to enlarge, and save them to your hard drive. Next time we open the book we will look at the Ford ignition system.

Click on the T's label to bring up all of the pages posted thus far.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Looking For George

One of the activities on our trip to Oklahoma was a recon at Independence, Kansas. My mother's great-grandfather, George Hunt is buried in an unmarked grave next to a son somewhere in Montgomery County, Kansas. George was born in Blount County, Tennessee, and moved to Iowa with his bride, Sarah Alexandar, before the Civil War. He fought with the 25th Iowa Infantry during the war, and in 1867 he moved to Kansas and homesteaded on Osage Indian land. Lots of settlers did, and we have found that the records for those homesteaders are not easy to find. George died in 1870 due to an infected wound he suffered during the Civil War, and his widow left Kansas for Iowa about 1873. George is buried on the homestead.

We visited the courthouse to see what records might be available, and found that the land records are indexed only by legal description. Sarah sold the farm before she left Kansas, but we know only the approximate time and not the location. There are lots of very thick books that have to be scanned line by line to find an unknown land sale.

The Independence Public Library has a very good historical and genealogical section, but most material is dated after George died. Independence was founded in 1870, the year that George passed away. Our next step will be to look for information online for the Osage area of Kansas. We do not expect to get lucky with this, but we can do it from home. A visit of several days to look through the old record books in the courthouse will be our best bet to find George and the son buried next to him.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Milestone of Sorts

This little blog has passed 12,000 page loads since I started in the fall of 2007, and it is doing much better than when I started, with a solid fan base of, OH three or four people besides family. It is lots of fun, though. I started a YouTube account for posting my old records about the same time I started blogging, and now with over 160 YouTube postings, my hits are piling up over there. On October 11 of 2008, my account hit 100,000, and on February 14 it hit 200,000. I have to check comments on YouTube regularly to delete ones with bad words, but most feedback is pleasant. 200,000 hits on YouTube; 12,000 hits on Blogger; funny thing is the pay is the same.


We took along some pistols for recreation and serious practice on our trip to see Mom's brother. Mom burnt up over a brick of .22 ammo in her Walther P22 and Ruger Single-Six. This target is 30 shots, each fired by cocking her revolver at a low ready position, bringing the sights onto the target, and firing without hesitation. Every bullet hit in the target. Mom moved up to shooting centerfire during our second range session, shooting .38 special loads in my Ruger Blackhawk. It is quite a bit heavier than a Single-Six, and she can't hold it up for long, so she cocked it at low ready each time, and brought it up to fire, hitting the target every time. All of her shooting was done from 7 yards.

Uncle Chuck's neighbor, Becky came over to practice with us, and she can put us all to shame. This target is 30 rounds from Mom's Walther at 7 yards, and was the first time Becky had fired this pistol.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not My Victrola

I hope all of you had a better Valentine weekend than Marion Harris. Thanks to Mickey Clark for posting this great blues number.

Here Comes Monday!

Back To The Old Grind!

Perfect Health

I've been to Oklahoma to visit an uncle, and just got back to Southern Illinois last night. I went by way of Iowa and took Mom along to see her brother, and we had a great trip. One of the highlights was checking out this old F-14 my uncle fixed up. He bought it from the original owner after the son of the owner alerted my uncle that it could be purchased, "Probably for $25 or $30." My uncle visited the old boy and at the right time in the conversation brought up the tractor and offered $30. The old boy said, " I couldn't do that.....I'd have to get at least $35."
The motor has new sleeves, pistons, and bearings, and the head has been rebuilt. Driving it is a punishing experience on the cherty soils around my uncle's place, so it rests in the barn dreaming of the Iowa corn fields where it used to earn a living.
I am back to live blogging now. My uncle has no internet at his place, so I have been away from e-mail and the blog. Blogger lets you post ahead, so I loaded up before my trip to keep the blog fresh. Boxes of chainsaw parts arrived while I was gone, so I am going to do some rehabbing on my saws, and go cut some wood.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Looks Like.....

Christmas to me. The Groundhog was right.

Weekend Steam

When I found last week's video I looked at G1Trains' channel and was amazed by this clip. It is a radio-controlled,steam powered truck. That is a neat mix of technologies! This little rig has steering, throttle, and forward-reverse. I didn't know such a toy existed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crankin' It Up

'A Gay Gossoon' is a great banjo song from our Edison collection. It's pre-Bluegrass, and not country, so I guess you could call it a novelty song. It was well liked by my great-grandfather, because the wear is obvious, and there are some skips near the end. I can edit out repeats, but a skip can't be fixed. It's still a good one to listen to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crankin' It Up: Hint, Hint

This mid-week crank up is a reminder for those guys who have not yet planned for Saturday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Chainsaw Class!

Logger and Game of Logging chainsaw instructor Joe Glenn is coming to Illinois for another four day class! This one will be at the University of Illinois' Dixon Springs Ag Center, which is in deep southern Illinois, south of Harrisburg. The class will be held March 7 - 10, and the focus will be on taking down damaged and problem trees, due to the recent ice damage.

Above, Joe Glenn is wedging over a back-weighted tree.

Here, Joe demonstrates using a wedge to buck a log and not putting your chain in the dirt.

This stump is a perfect 10! You can do this, too, if you take this course. Slots are limited, so E-mail soon to: sbrown63 (at) shawneelink (dot) net for more information and to sign up.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sure It's Ugly....

but this flea market bargain gets the job done. I picked up this slightly altered rocket box for $10.00, and it comes in handy for locking up guns and ammo when we are on the road. We drive an SUV, which has no trunk to secure our hardware when we travel, and this bad boy solved our problem. I promise to paint it when the weather warms up.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not My Victrola

RReady555 has posted Paul Whiteman's recording of 'Valencia,' which was the first electric recording made by Paul Whiteman. This song was very popular, as was Paul Whiteman, who was considered to be the Jazz King. Anyway, it's a good song to put a bounce in your step. Have a great week!

Monday Again!

We saw this litte kitchen gadget at a flea market last fall. These things can be used to make flour or corn meal, but they are very popular with home brewers who need to crack malted barley to make their mash. When we had time to home brew, we belted up our stone buhr mill to the John Deere to crack our malt. That was much more fun than hand cranking out a bushel of malt, and it was part of the heritage of our mill, which used to crack malted corn in Eastern Kentucky for moonshiners in the Beaver Creek area in Floyd County. Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekend Steam

This week we will take a look at the Kettle Valley Railway, courtesy of G1Trains, a fellow YouTuber. You will enjoy listening to the whistle talk.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Crankin' It Up

This week's Crank It Up is genuine longhair music from the drawer of our Edison. This selection is 'Dream Of The Tyrolienne' by the Venetian Instrumental Quartet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Stash Is Replenished!

My private stock of smokey tea almost ran out, but the Walnut Street Tea Company came through for me again. Walnut Street Tea is not a mail order store, but we began buying from them when EJ was going to school in Champaign, so they take care of us now when I send a check with a plea for more Souchong. This is a particularly good batch; it smells just like a burning pine stump. If you are passing by Champaign, IL, it is well worth the trip into town to visit this shop.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What A Load

This is what nine inches of a snow-sleet mix can do to a clear span building. There are several buildings with this problem in the Fairfield, Illinois area, and we had it easy compared to the deep southern end of the state.

Food When They Need It

This house finch is chowing down with gusto, when most foods are covered with a blanket of snow. This is one of the ash trees in our yard, and though it is little known as a food source for wildlife, ash provides valuable sustenance for birds during the winter when snow is on the ground. Our trees typically shed their seed in January, but if you look closely, you will see many clipped wings, because they have been picked off the trees by our feathered friends.

Catalpa is an under-appreciated tree, and the cigar-like seed pods contain hundreds and hundreds of winged seeds that fall in late winter. They have just begun to fall in Southern Illinois. I saw the first seed on January 31, and today they seem to be everywhere I look.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Grumbling Groundhogs!

Our personal prognosticator has been out of his den checking things out, and I imagine he is not too happy with what he sees. The January Thaw came on the very last day of the month, and the sleet/snow mix on the ground makes for hard going.
It looks pretty bleak for a sun and clover loving critter. I hope he gives us a break.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Not My Victrola

Pax41 has posted a great dance version of 'I Wanna Be Loved By You', recorded by Nat Shilkret's orchestra in 1928. This is a great song to practice your Charleston moves, and will really get your circulation going to start the week. Click on his name to go over to his channel if you would like to hear more of his collection.

Here Comes Monday!

Back To The Old Grind!