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.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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

Tuesday Torque: Associated 6 HP, Plus A Yellow Dog Show!

Here's a nice Associated that was idling at Evansville this past June. The dancing yellow dog is no extra charge.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lazybones, Sleepin' In The Shade

How you gonna get your cornmeal made?

Back To The Old Grind!

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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Trumpet Voluntary

Here's One For You!

On IL Hwy 1 between Norris City and Carmi. 38.057970° N, 88.225883° W

Shot on the fly, so I didn't get the phone number.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Look For It Where You Find It

Beauty is everywhere if you just keep your eyes open!

Here's a bonus, just for you, Merle!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Buy this Ruger M77 Magnum Rifle in .375 H & H Magnum and you will be ready to hunt moose or anything else on the continent. This extraordinary rifle was made in 1991 and was returned to the factory by a distributor for unknown reasons. I looked at all the photos on Ruger's website and I can't see any flaws at all. Check it out and place your bid HERE to win this fine hunting rifle. It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. 26 bids, $1820

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Bessemer Powerhouse Engine

 This smooth-running two stroke was on display at the 2017 June Southern Indiana Antique Machinery show at Evansville, Indiana. I saw engines like this one pumping oil in Eastern Kentucky way back in the 1970's, and I doubt there are many that are still working. At that time, electricity was being run to the leases, and rods were being unhooked on the engines, which were then belted to electric motors. The powerhouses were still running the rod-lines to pump oil, but the Chuff-Chuff-Chuff of the old gas engines was disappearing.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Weekend Steam: Steam Tug Hercules!

Merle is the greatest at spotting good steam videos for this blog. He sent the link to me earlier this week, and it makes me want to go to California to see this boat in person.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Had To Look; Don't Want To Go Back!

I have never worked on a water-well spudder, but it all looks familiar and understandable because of my years in the Southern Illinois oilfield. I worked on, under, around, and behind pulling units and spudders and I don't miss it. It's hard, dirty, dangerous work, but most of my job was being a mechanic for a fleet of rigs.

Changing magnetos, sparkplugs, working on fuel systems, changing clutches, that was OK; the bad part is crawling around under trucks to change driveshafts, air lines, wiring, and etc., while the rig is on location, often when it was running.

I changed out a clutch on a doghouse truck one afternoon on the side of a highway down south of Eldorado, Illinois. We took everything out of the cab, lifted the floorboard, ran a pipe through the windows, and used a come-along to hold the transmission and bell housing up. Holy Cow! I think that's where I got my hernia! We got it back on the road, though. That was a '64 International with the 304 engine and a four speed transmission. I called that truck Nightmare Alice because it caused trouble every time it went on the road.

Anyhow, this water-well rig does the same kinds of things an oilfield spudder does, it's just a more dainty machine. It picks up and drops a cable-tool bit to make hole, and it would have had a bailer and a sand pump for bringing out the cuttings.

Whoever it was that fixed this old rig did a nice job. I bet there are a whole lotta people who can't tell you what this machine does, and they used to be all over the country.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Follow Those Rules!

Tam has an important reminder up at Breach, Bang, Clear. The hand looks like it ate a chainsaw, so swallow your coffee before you click.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger's offering this week is a stainless Service Six from 1986. It was returned from a distributor for unknown reasons and is marked Used. It has the heavy 4" barrel and non-adjustable sights. These Rugers are durable, dependable revolvers, and this would be a good one to buy for a shooter. It sells mid-day, Wednesday, July 5, 2017. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.  $765

Patriotic Upload by Pax41!


Monday, July 3, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Fairbanks Eclipse Pumping Engine

One of the jobs that gas engine had on the farm was pumping water. Livestock and the home needed lots of water, and the wind didn't always blow.  Back in the 1960's one of the engine hunting methods was to check old windmills, and once in a while you would find an engine sitting there. This little Eclipse is more than a century old, and the fellow who was showing it at Evansville told me a little bit about it. He had it in his shop for a long time, but didn't fool with it because the carburetor was missing. One day a friend came by and insisted that they start in on restoring it, and they found the carburetor had been sitting in the water hopper all along.

Some Old-Time Patriotic Music For Independence Day

Jefferson and Liberty

Hell On The Wabash

Yankee Doodle

Fife and Drums of Yorktown at Fort Ticonderoga

One Hundred years ago last week the first American Doughboys landed in France. That's worth a few songs today!

Keep The Home Fires Burning


The Makin's of the U.S.A

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Struck By Lightning!

Here is something I preach about regularly. Don't get under these lighting rods if you are caught out in a storm.

I saw this strip of bark and knew immediately what I was going to find.

Then a chunk of wood.

Here it is. A big black cherry tree that was literally blow to pieces by a bolt of lightning.

Nothing to add. These pictures are worth quite a few words.