Saturday, September 30, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Really Big Pumping Engine At Iron Mountain, Michigan

 I just happened upon this video, and I scrolled through it to see what the marvel was, and it is pretty neat. This is an amateur  travelogue video, and it is entertaining if you like out of the way places. If you don't, scroll over to the 21:30 mark to see the big pumping engine. Five Million gallons per day from 1500 feet is remarkable, I'd say. It was retired in the 1930's, and  a building was installed to protect it fifty years later.  Be sure to read the comments. John in Philly looked up some fascinating information about this big engine.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Weekend Steam: Midwest Central At Old Threshers, 2022

No Guarantees

We wait. We "co-own" Mina with a friend who raises Schips for show. We have been trying to produce a litter for several years without success. Two weeks ago we had semen overnighted from a champion stud in Texas for artificial insemination, and now we are waiting. In two weeks we will have an ultrasound done to see if it took.


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

SUV RVing, Trip And Die....

 ...Tristan gives us all the heebie-jeebies.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Summer's Gone

 The last tomatoes through the canner. A few peppers to go.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Leon Bollee La Voiturette

 Wow, 1897! The engine originally had a hot-tube ignition! Impressive pick, Merle! This little car was in one of the shorts we posted last week. This video has an interview providing useful information.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Farquhar Traction Engine At Tuckahoe, Maryland

We've never been to Tuckahoe, Maryland, Merle, but it looks like it would be worth the drive! Thank You!

Weekend Steam: Unusual Steam Vehicles

Merle found some machines that I have not heard about before. The persons who compiled this collection didn't do a perfect job, but there are some interesting machines. The helicopter series has some shots of gyrocopters flying by, and Jay Leno's fire engine is propelled by a 20 liter four cylinder internal combustion engine. There are some neat things to see, though, so don't let the inconsistencies bother you.  Many Thanks, Merle, for spotting!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Special Techniques?

I keep seeing keyed stumps on Facebook, supposedly to make a tree go where you want, but all of the examples I have seen have been trees with no side lean, and no rot, so I always wonder what the point of fancy cutting is. Cutting dead and rotten trees is something I have had lots of practice doing, and it always comes down to basics and following the rules. Build a good hinge, even if there is just a thin shell to work with. Support the back side of the hinge with wedges if the tree is punky or hollow. Don't fight side lean or back lean. Release it quickly and get away from the stump. Tell your co-workers what your steps are before you crank your saw. You will live long. 


Tuesday, September 19, 2023


 Susan is finishing up in the garden for this year. Today she was canning habanero jelly. Gotta pull posts, tomato cages, and pole bean fence next.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Tuesday Torque: A Couple Early Vehicles

 Thank You, Merle! These are cute little boogers.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Wire Is Excavated!

 Now work can begin in earnest.

                                                               Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam Mystery: Where Is The Number 6 Whistle?

 Number 6 has been a fixture at Midwest Old Threshers since the mid-1960s, and it always had a beautiful chime whistle. Now it has a one note, disappointing whistle on the steam dome. Why on Earth?

The first vid is one I shot in 2007, as Number 6 approached. All the old timers will recognize it.

As Number 6 sounds today.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Engine Room Lullaby

 How often do you see an engine from 1897 being used to power a boat? The Valer that we watch regularly was built in the 1920s and re-engined in the early 30s, so the Valer is just a youngster.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Thinking, Thinking, Of More TSI

We have all kinds of work to do going into Fall. The garden needs to be cleaned off, manured, and tilled. I have a boatload of trees to work up into firewood. I shouldn't even look at doing more thinning right now, but I can't help myself. The little tree planting out our front door could sure use a little help. It will just have to wait a bit.

Out Our Back Door


Monday, September 11, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Hot Bulb Engine

 Courtesy of Merle. Thank You for spotting! This engine runs on crude oil, or Diesel. In this video a check ball is dirty and causes a bit of trouble. Click the link at the end of the description and you will hear it running right.

My friend starts his big engine. It's a huge one cylinder diesel engine with hot bulb ignition. It uses crude oil, or just regular diesel. The torque is enormous from the two big flywheels. In this video there is a problem with the two check valves. After checking them and cleaning them carefully, the engine runs very good. Here is a video after the check valves was fixed, and the engine run as it should:    • One Cylinder 40 HP Hot Bulb Crude Oil...  

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Five Easy Steps In Planning To Fall A Tree

 1. Safety Issues

2. Assess Weight and Lean, from the direction you wish the tree to fall, and again from 90 degrees. Understand lean limits, plan accordingly. Mitigate, and change plans when it is not safe.

3. Design Front Cuts.

4. Design Back Cuts and Release.

5. Escape Stump as soon as tree goes into motion. 

Look critically at the stump and butt end of the log in this video. The lower face cut went beyond where it should be, and severed most of the hinge. You must fix this problem before you advance to the back cuts. The tree was basically severed, allowing gravity to take it where the weight was, 90 degrees to the desired direction. This was totally foreseeable, and anyone trained in tree falling should have been able to do this drop safely, or refuse the job. Tree climbers, cranes, and bucket trucks are all available to handle unsafe situations for dropping a tree.

@treetimber_baby #HomeOwner+#Car #Jack = #Tree #Fail Cheapest bid just became really expensive !!!! #HireAPro #Call #TreeTimberBaby 386-601-4155 #Viral #viralvideo #viraltiktok #virall #epic #Fail #oops #messup #accident #tree #Chainsaw #Stihl #volusiacounty #Florida #daytona #beach #deltona #Cheap #Landlord #Customer #client #Home #deltonahighschool #treeguy #Arborist ♬ original sound - TreeTimber Baby

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Fireless Steam Locomotive, Germany

 New one for me, Merle! I wish more info was with this vid, but I can pretty well figure out how it works.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Bore Cut Basics (Repeat)

 We're going back a few years for this one. Bore cutting is essential to me to cut trees safely, but you would be amazed at the hate it brings out on logging sites. Many loggers are still stuck on methods that were used with axes and crosscut saws.  Chainsaws freed us to use different techniques, and learning them makes you safer and more productive. Anyhow, here are the basics.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Down In The Dog Yard

Buster is our current foster Schipperke. He is a quiet old boy at 15 years old. He goes to see our vet this week, and then we will be evaluating him to see if he should be adopted out or become a permanent foster. He is a sweet natured old boy.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Our TSI (Timber Stand Improvement) Projects Are Done!

 I made fifteen excursions into Bull Springs for the thinning in that tree planting. There was a huge difference from the planting at Belle Prairie. The rows of dead ash at Bull Springs lessened the work load considerably. I made 24 forays for thinning at Belle Prairie, for about the same number of acres. I had one screwup on the final day. I took down a cypress spacer that had overtopped a walnut, and the cypress branches caught it and made the top half horizontal. I will go back in February or March and whack that walnut so it can resprout and make a good tree. I wish I had decided that before I expended a great deal of effort trying to extract it from the predicament. Oh well. I'm all done. Thanks for watching this little series. It has been fun for Susan and me sharing it with all of you.

Tuesday Torque: World's Biggest Diesel Engine

 Thank You, Merle! This is a good one! Start up of the 8-cylinder double-acting, two-stroke diesel engine B&W 2000 at Diesel House in Denmark (opposed-piston engine). Since 1933 it was the world's largest diesel engine for more than 30 years. The engine is started every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month:

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Rebel Canners Visits Superb Industries

 We don't often get to see presses working in manufacturing. Canning lids are an essential item that we use, and we have been using Superb lids this year. It's not high speed, so you can actually figure out what is going on. 

John in Philly did some experimentation that will help all of you home canners out there. "A few moments after posting my comment to your blog, the part of my brain that just sits there and idly thinks about stuff nudged the other part of my brain and said, "I don't think it would be that hard to make a jar lid torque measuring device, and I have a plan."

About 20 minutes later I had assembled this. 

Ignore the reading because I did not push the zero calibration button yet. 
I used an electronic torque gauge that has been sitting in the toolbox ever since I splurged on a nicer torque wrench. 
The little bit of blue you see at the top is a piece of grippy silicone used to open jars. 

The test.
I stood on a step stool to get the same height as I would have been at when we are working on the kitchen counter and turned the band with slight downward pressure until the bottom of the eight ounce jar turned on the grippy pad. 

The torque was less than one foot pound and  when I removed the jar from the test stand I could easily turn the band a few more degrees with moderate pressure. 
The next time I leaned pretty hard on the jar lid while turning, and when the jar bottom started to slide, the torque was around 1.3 foot pounds. This time I was only able to move the band a tiny bit more when I tested the tightness. 

While canning I use a pair of neoprene dipped gloves from Harbor Freight to grip more easily, provide some degree of protection in the event of a jar breaking, and also to provide some amount of protection against the heat.
These are the gloves.
And I turned that band pretty darn tight. 

I wondered how to get a better feeling for the maximum torque we were putting on the jar lid without hurting myself. 
I put some grip tape on the glass, and used a hose clamp to hold some wooden scraps against the grip tape. 
I tightened the hose clamp until I could not make the blocks slip. Next time I will don those Kevlar gloves I wear when using the food mandolin. (That kitchen tool frightens me) But I was making progress and forgot. 
This time I set the blocks against the clamps so that the blocks acted as anti-rotation keys and we set up another test.

When I twisted the band about as hard as I would have twisted it when canning, I got 4.2 foot pounds of torque. 

We then broke down the test rig and put everything away. 

When we do the next batch of canning I will 
snug up the band to just a tiny bit more than fingertip tight.
Old dogs can learn lots of new tricks if they want too!

Thank you for posting the information. 

John and Sharon"

Many Thanks, John and Sharon! This is information that will be helpful. University Extension offices used to teach home canning, test pressure gauges, etc., but those services have disappeared in Illinois. Learning how to can your produce requires careful research nowadays. Susan has become somewhat of an expert in canning the output of our garden.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Cruiser Olympia

 Olympia is one of our favorite memories from family vacations. It's always pleasant to have another look, even by long distance.

And finally, a tourist video of the engine room tour.

Jimmy Buffet Favorite

 It was bad news this morning when we got up. This is one of my favorite videos.

Here's one for Merle!

Friday, September 1, 2023