Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger has a beautiful M77 Express Rifle on the auction block this week.  French Walnut, Express Sights, and 7mm Magnum, together make an irresistable package!  It is New In Box in Ruger's vault, just waiting to be shipped to the winner's FFL.  This fine rifle sells mid-day, August 30, 2017.  Click Here to read the full description and to place your winning bid.  $1375

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Old Threshers Starts Thursday!

Flyboyslc1 posted this video from Old Threshers in 2013, the last year I made it up to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I spotted a few remarkable things to look for. From the 38 to 48 second mark you will see a couple of Gade engines; one of my favorite makes. At 1:07 his camera glides by what looks to be a 3 HP Falk engine; a very rare bird. At 2:21 you see the inverted Master Workman engine, made by Temple Pump Company in Chicago, Illinois. I first saw that engine at Mt. Pleasant in 1965. I hope it is still being shown. At the 1:55 mark you get a glimpse of a barn fresh IHC. I think it is a Famous, and it is maybe a 6 HP model.

The Saloon Girls have been embarassing unsuspecting guys for decades. I know better than to go in there while a show is going on!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Let The World Know You're Working

Just try to sound a little better than a Maytag engine!  They are loud little critters!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Happy National Dog Day!

We certainly had a good time today on National Dog Day.  We have our two Schipperkes, plus Koda and Bear (fosters), and now we have Titan, a young male Schip that was running astray in Springfield, IL.  He was quarantined for two weeks by a vet, and now he is relearning how to be a house pet at our house.

He walks well on leash, he knows sit and down; so we think that someone is broken-hearted over losing a pet they had obviously worked with.  Titan is very high in energy.  Turn him loose in the dog yard and he really rips.  Show him a kibble and he comes right to you.  He knows "Inside", and is easy to get back into his kennel.  He nearly starved to death while he was living on the streets, and he is still pretty bony.  He is going to be a good companion for some lucky family.  Don't contact us at this blog's email address.  If you are interested in adopting a homeless Schipperke, fill out an adoption application with Midwest Schipperke Rescue.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Got Locomotive Helper?

What do you do when you have to pick up a 200 ton loco and put it back on the rails? Watch the crew at Fort Wayne Railroad as they wrestle frogs down in the ballast, in the rain! These guys are good!


Thanks To Merle for spotting this great video!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Getting Past Your Education

Did a teacher ever tell you wrong?  Have you figured out all the mistakes your teachers made?  My favorite was my fifth grade teacher, a lady I actually argued with one day.  She told us that if we ate the same thing every day we would get tired of it.  I spoke up and told her that I would never get tired of hamburgers, and that ticked her off a little bit.  I look at the overweight people in the various burger shops and think of her once in a while.  Millions of obese Americans prove that gal wrong every day.

The picture is a nice black walnut we are growing.  They will teach you in forestry schools that when you have multiple stems you should cut off the smaller one if there is a U transition.  If it's a V you should leave it alone.  I still hear that being given as advice.  You can see above that I cut two sprouts off the base of the dominant walnut.  One wound sprouted back and is making an unmerchantable stem, but it did heal over the wound.  The wound closer to the main stem did not heal over; it barely has a callous ridge around it twenty years after I made those cuts.  The open wound allowed rot to enter, so the stump has decay; we just don't know how much.  My advice, from experience, is to leave these extra stems alone, unless you can catch them when they are just an inch or two in diameter.  We don't prune off limbs after they reach two inches on timber trees, and I now apply that standard to multiple stems.  Here's a big clue that tells you what I should have figured out sooner.  When we prune live limbs off the trunk of a tree we leave the callous ridge at the base of the limb.  That is fast growing tissue, and it allows the tree to close the wound quickly.  There is no such ridge at the base of a sprout growing from the stump.  It might heal, it might not.  There is no need to take that risk.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Crime And Punishment In Illinois

Got Some Live Ones For You!

Coming home through Dahlgren, IL the other day I saw some good ones to share with you!

Area Code 618.

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.  $525

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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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!


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

Tuesday Torque: Economy Engines at Evansville

Hercules and Economy engines were made at Evansville, so you must stop and watch a few while you are there!

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:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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!