Been busy

Well I'm long overdue for an update. I was laid off in mid February. I've been off work for 2.5 months now, and it's amazing how time flies. I will say that having the time off has had a positive effect on my projects. I had also started a workout routine about a month before being layed off and as of now I've lost a total of 40 pounds, which has also been conducive to my projects. So what have I been doing with my time? Well the highlights are:

1. I finished the restoration of my 55 Ford tractor finally and got the mower deck hooked up and mowed for the first time this week. A few minor bugs had to be worked out, but it was a pleasure driving a restored show condition tractor.

2. I fixed my truck finally. After two trips and two $400 bills from what was supposed to be a reputable shop, I still had the same problem with the truck that I took it in for. Not trusting the shop anymore (and they really didn't seem to care about their failures), I had parked the truck until I would have time. Well having time, I ordered a Haynes repair manual, checked the codes on the truck and diagnosed a failing fuel pump. Being a difficult job any way you put it, I chose to pull the bed off to get at the fuel pump which is in the tank. After a number of hours with a torch and an impact wrench, I got the bed off and replace the pump. Problem solved. Still considering pulling truck apart for a chassis restoration.

3. Built my mom a garden toolbox from white oak.
4. Completed Oak door jam reinforcements on the farmhouse where I live and reproduced new trim to match the original along with the shellac finish.
5. Pruned my vineyard and trimmed all trees on the farm and burnt all cuttings.

6. Made a timber wrench/lever to rotate heavy timbers when working on them, and made a commander(big timber hammer for bumping timbers into place).

7. Finally I bought 94 reclaimed Beech wood timbers that are 10"X10", 12 footers, and 16 footers. With transport, I got them for about $.95 a board foot. They came from a 100 year old wearhouse, 40 miles East of Indianapolis. No mortices or defects, virtually no nails, and most pretty straight with only slight crown. Only a handful have some twist. I cherry picked from what the guy had. I bought one semi-load compared to 4 other loads he sold. I am planning to sand them with a floor drum sander after the joinery is cut. The 16 footers weigh about 500 lbs each, and the 12 footers are about 375 lbs, hence the need for the timber strap wrench. With the exception of the sil timbers, and possibly some principal rafter timbers, I now have the majority of what I will need(famous last words) for my house and workshop frames.

Though I still have a handful of projects and chores on my personal tasklist that must be completed, I am anxious to get a design on paper for the workshop so that I can start that frame. Good news is that my cousin is out of school for the summer now and will start to help me next week. Our first task is to enclose the end of my present shop, previously used as the barn for animals, to create needed storage to free up workspace in my workshop.