For the last 3 months I've been bogged down with many small maintenance and repair jobs so I haven't had anything really noteworthy for the blog. I've repainted and finished caulking the basement windows on the house, cleaned the glass and getting some new ones made. I've completed some jobs for my mom - new brackets for canopy bed to lower the matress height, new brakets for a picture window shade, Net frames to keep leaves out of her koi pond. I've installed the white oak trim which also reinforces the door jam (security measure) at my place but have to make plugs for the screw holes and stain and finish the pieces. Most immediately I need to do 3 repairs to my car, and get the mower off the tractor and get the snow blade on. I also need to start fixing my truck which is totally down now with a fuel, timing, or vacuum issue that I haven't trouble shot yet. When oh when will I get started on timberframing?!


Lift finished!

We finished the lift last night and I'm really glad I painted it white! It's much brighter and reflects light better. I'll paint the other one someday when I move shops and dissassemble it. As you can see we finished it outside and lowered it on the caster wheels and then wheeled it in the shop, made some adjustments and pulled my 62 Impala on it. The one GTO body shell went on the bottom for now, but when winter comes, I'll put my 55 chevy under there and the shell out in the barn, which I plan to close in, insulate and heat next.


Update on summer projects...

Ok, I was way overdue for an update. I have been working on projects all summer. In the last two months my cousin Mike K. has been working with me. What a great help he has been! I would be so far bogged down if it weren' t his help. He picks up things quickly and thinks about what he's doing. We've managed to rebuild the farmhouse stormdoor and it's frame, paint it all, he's painted all the window ledges. We've caulked all the house windows (remoing the old caulk was the hard part, but finally found the best method was heating a putty knife with a propane torch). We then caulked all the soffit trim, and now are caulking the basement windows. We also installed a new water heater last weekend. I've also got the tractor ready to start, but am not getting spark at the plugs so I'm going to trouble shoot that.

This last weekend I received the second car storage lift. We unpacked it on Saturday morning and dissassembled everything in preparation to repaint it. It came powder coated black, but I want things like this bright white in my shop to help with lighting. We had to sand every face of the lift parts, prime them and paint them. In two days we will start reassembling the lift. That should be enough drying time. Here are some pics of the process:

My next post will show the assembled lift.


Second system installed

Well last weekend (actually by Tuesday night) , I finally finished the installation of the iron filter and water softener at my place in the farmhouse. I replaced all the incoming piping which was PVC, which exits to various spigots or shop buildings on the farm, as well as to the well tank and now to the iron filter. Again I upped the pipe size to 1 inch all the way up to where it runs to the rest of the house. Several threaded and union connections gave me a hard time leaking and I worked on them until they were leak free. I had to replace one union(that I got from Ace hardware) with another Menards one like the rest are. I found that the best way to prevent a threaded connection leak was to wrap it three times with 3/4" PTFE tape and maybe add a little PTFE paste to the first few threads. Here are some pics:

In the morning I will prep the mower and mow. (I've been sick the last couple days and unable to think about doing it). It really needs it as it's starting to look like a hillbilly joint with all the dandelions. The rest of the weekend I can dedicate to more small cleanup projects like the addition to my welder cart to make more floor space etc.


Getting my head above water finally!

I'm no longer feeling so mired. Two weeks ago I installed the new softener and iron filter as well as a new well pressure switch, at my mom's place. I also upped the pipe size through all this equipment to 1 inch to reduce any flow restriction. It transitions to 3/4 inch as it exits to all the runs above. I spent a lot of time researching softeners and understanding how to size them and what equipment to buy, and looking for a good price. 4 of my co-workers and I did all of ours at the same time to get a savings on equipment and support eachother.

I've also finished up a bunch of small tasks like pruning of trees, burning the waste, woodworking some brackets and a hanger rod for a closet in my mom's house, Urethaning a bunch of plywood pieces that sit on furnature moving dollies, also some tool handles and making wood saw covers for all of my and my mom's hand saws. Yesterday I did a bunch of clean up in the shop and I feel like I am making good progress. I think by about the beginning of June I will buy the second auto storage lift I need. Next major tasks - install water softener and iron filter in the farmhouse I'm living in, prep the mower deck and mowing tractor for mowing, build a framework on my welder cart to accomodate my small mig welder on top of the TIG to save more floorspace.


Still mired...

Sorry, no new pics. Still mired in plumbing issues. Got my mom's pluming rearranged, but didn't get the softener and iron filter installed yet. I haven't even started installing the softener and iron filter at my place yet. I did experiment last weekend with removing old pegs from a timber. I drilled the center of the peg and instalalled a 1/4 inch timberloc screw. I then tried a slide hammer on the screw to bang it out. It works, but not all that well. I then tried with a curved pry bar and block of oak to rest it one. It give a big lever arm and works well, however you have to keep raising the blocking to gain additional travel on the pry bar. I also sketched up a puller tool to use with an impact wrench. I wonder if I will ever find time to make it? I need to get the softeners installed at the two places before I can get back on projects.


House maintenance

The last two weeks I've been mired down in non timberframe related activities. I locked myself out of the house last weekend and had to kick the back door in. It broke the door and didn't hurt the jam that I had reinforced from a previous break in before I lived here. I spent last weekend repairing the door and installing a deadbolt and metal lock covers as well. If I get locked out again I will not be able to kick the door in. I'd have to break a window or something. I also did a few other maintenance activities as well like burning brush, and cleaning in the shop. Then this past wekeend my well pressure tank sprung a few leaks so I had to order a new one and install it this last weekend. It wouldn't have been bad had I not had a leak in the bottom of the tank at the new fitting. I had to redo it 4 times before I got is sealed right. I also had to do a hydrogen peroxide treatment on my water heater. At work I got a group of guys together and we all wanted new water softeners. Together we've learned to test water, research and understand water softeners, rust filters, chlorine injectors etc. I am becoming knowlegeable in water treatment in the home. I still haven't finished enough in the shop to make room for the new auto lift. This week I will be working on project after work to try to catch up. I need to finish assembling the 55 Ford tractor, prune trees and grape vines, and try to get more done on my power tool cabinets and build two more smaller ones that I've started. I promise pics with next update.


Power tool storage cabinets

The last three weekends have not been as productive as I would have liked. I have been building power tool storage cabinets. The plans are from a magazine article and use 2X4's, pegboard and MDF. The frames are nicely done by rabbiting all the joints and glueing and screwing. The sides are Pegboard dado'd into the frame. The shelves are MDF. I'm makeing a specific place for every tool, and that is what's taking time and why I am not done yet. As you can see in the pic below, my circ saws sit on shelves with slots for the blade and guard. This allows them to rest on their bases nicely. The real casters should arrive this week. They temporarily sit on furnature dollies. My Delta Unisaw was the major tool used to make all the pieces, including ripping, rabbiting, and dado-ing.

I also visited Indy this last weekend to look at another auto lift I will buy. I wanted to see if it was built well enough and they had a showroom at their Indy dealer. It also gave me a day to hang out with my neices and their parent and grand parents. I decided that the lift is up to par and the price is right. I was going to order it this week, but realized that I need to make space in my shop to assemble the lift. This means I have to finish a couple projects, namely the power tool cabinets, the assembly of my tractor, and get the John deer tractor fixed as it suddenly has decided to have an electrical problem and not start.


Cribbing Ponies

This weekend I managed to build my cribbing ponies. Cribbing ponies are little stool like saw horses used to support each end of a cribbing timber. With a parallel pair of cribbing timbers set up on the ponies, a multiple number of timbers are laid across the cribbing timbers to work on them, adding mortises and tennons. I didn't have time to build my two power tool cabinets, so look for those in an upcoming post next week or so.


Beech beams

Here's a quick pic of the Beech beams I got from Amish John in Southeast Indiana a few weeks ago. They are pretty beefy. Top two are 16 footers, the rest (14) are 12 footers.

This weekend I cut the parts for Timber Cribbing ponies(on my new 1953 Delta unisaw), which I plan to assemble during the next week. I also went and looked at a barn that I could potentially help dismantle in exchange for the beams, but the largest are only 6X6 and it's all pine. I don't think it's worth doing, given all I need to focus on, though I thought it was a really neat barn. Besides the Cribbing ponies, this week I am going to buy the materials and begin cutting the parts to build my power tool storage cabinet. Right now I have power tools laying all over my bench and on the floor. I can't stand it. All the new tools need a proper, organized home.


Got through the holidays..

Well the holidays were stressful with all that needed to be done. We prepared the family party for 41 people and it all went well. I ate too much! I got a cold right after Christmas day, probably from stress and physical fatigue. So I lost a few of my vacation days to laying on the couch. It was not cool as I already felt like crap from not being able to work in my shop for almost 2 months. It was just one thing after another... I changed jobs and visited relatives for a few days while between jobs. I had to start preparing for Thanksgiving a few weekends prior. I did go get the Indiana timbers one weekend. Then it was time to prepare to Christmas.

So, I'm finally recovered. I fixed the plumbing problems in the farm house finally- got rid of the odor in the hot water with a bleach treatment to the water heater and a good flush. I somehow got the water softener working again. I got the new(used) dishwasher installed, and took care of some other cleaning and putting away of things in the house, plus all the holiday reciept paperwork is done now.

The last two days I have worked in my shop. I jockeyed all the cars around and used the forklift to move my new(used) car storage lift into the shop and I mounted the caster kit I bought on ebay. It took half a day to install plus finish reassembling and prepping the lift. One pulley needed to be removed and cleaned/blasted/lubed and reassembled. Well here's my lift with the cars stored. Now I need a second lift.

My next plans are:

1. Close in end of the barn/shop that used to be used for animals. Install overhead doors, and extend alarm system. This way I can store more in there.

2. Buy a second lift to make more shop space.

3. Finish assembling 1955 ford tractor restoration (4 days work?). and move it into the paint booth or into the end of barn.

4. Draw up timberframe plans for the shop and start to solidify dimensions. Find Illinois liscened Engineer that can stamp plans. Produce final prints and get stamped off.