Wednesday, January 27, 2021



We didn't get all that much snow Monday night/Tuesday morning - maybe 1-1/2" to 2". The wind died down down over night and it was right at 32 degrees so the snow was heavy and wet. I shoveled the porch and walk and didn't have to fire up the tractor. It made for a lovely winter scene around the farm.

I got a call from my neighbor yesterday morning. He dropped the winch he was mounting on his trailer and broke the end bell. And he did a right fine job of it, I might add. The view from the inside only tells part of the story. There were a bunch of spider cracks visible from the outside.

He had sorta prepped it for me by sand blasting and grinding some of the cracks but he made the vee groove wider than it needed to be. The casting had a lot of zinc in it, some remaining oil and sand in the cracks along with oil that seeped out of the casting. It was an absolute bitch to weld. The zinc bubbles up out of the weld puddle and creates a lot of porosity. You have to run the arc along the crack, watch it turn all black, clean it, then attempt to weld it, grind it a little with the die grinder, and then run another bead over the top of it at a slow pace allowing the zinc to bubble out and be replaced by the aluminum filler, and maybe repeat the process once more. And when you get all done it still looks crappy.

On a good grade of aluminum, as long as it's clean and your amperage is correct, the weld bead will look nice and shiny. With the stuff laden with zinc, as you move along, the edge of the puddle will melt the base metal and cause more zinc to bubble out and leave a hole next to the edge of the bead. Not fun at all. However, this was the first time I tried welding with the new bionic eyes. I wore my new reading glasses under my helmet and at least I could see what I was doing. Quite clearly in fact.

I was on my way to drop it off at the neighbors and I stopped to get the mail. He was just heading home and stopped at the end of the lane and we made the exchange and then shot the bull for a while - long enough that my feet got cold so I didn't go back into the shop and work on the jitney. I made a big pot of minestrone soup instead. Definitely soup weather.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Whip It - Whip It Good!


Whip it - into shape! And that's exactly what I've been doing the last few days. This is the kind of progress I really like to see. Not too much time, but yet, big results. Exhibit A:

Rolled up the second sheet for the jitney cab. Went pretty much lickety-split. The new roller I made works well but I get a bit of deflection of the rolls, so the middle of the sheet doesn't roll quite the same radius as the ends. The cab sheets were full width and the aluminum is pretty springy but overall I'm quite pleased with how it works. If the pipe rollers were a true schedule 40 instead of whatever odd ball size I ended up with, that would have been better but for working on cars and bikes it should serve me well.

I dug out the print for the jitney so I could see what I need for the rear of the frame. It's been a while since I did the frame layout and I thought I remembered the rear of the frame being longer. The pattern is only 23 inches long so I don't need to buy any tubing. I've got material on hand to make both of the rails by cutting out the side plates and bending up the top and bottom strips. I've already got those cut to width, I'll just have to cut them to length, bend them and then weld every thing together. The rear of the pattern is 1-1/2" in diameter. I'll weld a piece of roll bar tube between the two rails as a stretcher. Eventually, I'll make the boat tail and then cover the open area around the tail with a sheet that comes to the edge of the frame rails.

Don't know what I'll get done today. We've got snow and wind, so I might have to get the old Allis out. I put it on the charger the other day so it should fire up, but if not, I'll have some fiddlin' to do along with some shoveling. I would like to get some more done on the car - have to see how the old back holds up from shoveling. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Cab Sheet


I got the second half of the dash hood made up on Saturday. I need to tweak the fit just a bit and then I can trim the pieces where they overlap and weld up the seam.

I made the first half of the back of the cab yesterday. That was pretty straight forward since I had the pattern made up already. I'll see about making the other half today. I'm planning on fastening the back cab to the dash hood using Dzus fasteners - three on a side should do it. I'll put a joggle in the cab sheet so the outer surface is smooth. I'm planning on joining the cab halves with rivets. I've got "real" aluminum rivets rather than pop rivets to use. 

The plan then is to roll a bead along the outer edge of the cab and part way up the side of the dash hood. I'll then bend up a piece of aluminum round bar to fit inside the bead and then hammer over a bit of the side sheets to hold the bar in place. That will stiffen up the edge of the sheets and give me a nice round edge rather than one that's likely to slice me open in the event of an accident. Fitting the bar to the sheet is going to be rather time consuming but I've done tougher. The biggest problem is the bender is in the back half of the shop that isn't heated but if I get the two halves of the cab riveted together, I can set the cab on some horses and work on it a little while I'm waiting on the front part of the shop to warm up after I turn on the heater for my daily jitney session.

I can't go any farther back on the car since I've run out of frame. I've got plenty of work left up front yet, so it's not like I'll have to stop work. I can get started hanging the front suspension or get some more tubing and start making the rear frame. I'm thinking get a little closer to having the cab and dash hood finished and then decide what I want to tackle next. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Takin' Shape


I got the first half of the dash hood fit-up yesterday. It actually looks better than what it looks like in the photo but I wanted a shot of the whole car, at least what I've got done so far. I cut out the piece for the other side and annealed it like I did for this piece. I'll see about getting that one fit up today depending on how much it warms up. I did pick up my material for the side hustle and a piece of stock to make the side plates for the SR500 engine stand head. Next time I get the plasma cutter out I'll get those cutout. It won't take much to make the head other wise I wouldn't even fiddle with it. I do want to get things sorted at the storage space - get the engine stand set up and maybe get some shelves to get the cardboard boxes off the floor. 

Felt good to get back in the shop yesterday. The bionic eyes are working out real well.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Jitney Dash Hood


A little bit of a warm up yesterday but it's not going to last. I took advantage of the warmer temperatures to make some progress on the jitney. Since my bead roller and shear are in the back part of the shop that isn't heated, figured it would be a good time to take care of a couple of things that needed to be done back there. I rolled the offset/joggle on the remaining edge of the grill shell and knocked the tab loose that didn't line up quite right. I also filed a slight slot in the bolt holes to make it easier to bolt up as well as deburring them.

After I got that done I drilled holes in the firewall for some Clecos. I was planning on working on the dash hood so I needed to get the clamps out of the way. I already had a pattern made up for the dash hood but I double checked everything, made a couple of small changes and then cut out the sheet. I'm planning on rolling up a curved edge along the top to deflect the wind so I annealed that section. I doubt that edge actually does much to deflect the wind but a car without it just doesn't look proper to my eye.

Since I had to wait until the sheet cooled off, I called it a day but I'm hoping to get that first piece of the dash hood fit-up today. I also got a text from the boss at the side gig and he needs parts made up. These are different than the last batch I made. I've got patterns already but no material so I'll pick some up today and get started on them either this weekend or next week. But I think the first piece of the dash hood is going to have priority.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Sing it Brother Ray! 

I heard this on the radio yesterday - I'm thinking the disc jockey is a Biden fan or maybe he was just glad to see Trump go. Personally, I think we've gone from the frying pan into the fire. With 26 or 27 trillion in debt and who knows what the real number is when you try to add up all the unfunded liabilities. Regardless of what the future holds, I'm about as prepared as one man can reasonably be expected to be - other than the concertina wire around the perimeter and it might yet come to that. 

There's nothing I can do to change the way things are or will be anyway. I've voted in every election since I came of age and yet here we are at the end days of the empire. I doubt that I'll vote again. Most all of the local candidates are all from the same party so not much choice there. I don't know how much truth there is about the actual outcome of the presidential election but I didn't vote for either Trump or Biden. Neither party seems to be concerned about being fiscally responsible so they'll keep taxing us, and pissing our money away. And if there isn't enough tax money they'll just keep running up the deficit and printing more money out of thin air. There is one good thing to come out of the new administration, The meme posting will be awesome:

Just the beginning

It was cold yesterday - only about 19 when I left the house in the morning to fetch some more vittles. It was actually pretty nice out with a lot of sunshine for a change but it was still going to be cold in the shop, so I didn't do much out there. I drilled the holes in the bottom of the grill shell. One of the little tabs needs to be moved, however. It's only got a couple of small tacks holding it in place so it'll be easy to fix. I've got fender washers under the screws holding the bottom of the grill shell in place now but those will be replaced with something similar out of brass - maybe round, maybe star shaped or something.

It's supposed to warm up some today, so I'll try to get back after it. I definitely need some shop therapy time. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ain't That The Truth!


From Here

There's certainly more than a little bit of truth to that. Shortly after my heart attack I had to have an ultrasound test. Prior to the test I had already read several books about heart disease and how it was possible to reverse the process with diet and exercise. Since the lady administering the test would see first-hand what was happening inside cardiac patients, I figured she'd be a good one to ask if it was in fact true that you could arrest and even reverse the effects of heart disease. Her response? "We don't really do that here."

I mentioned recently having read a couple of books by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, one about Super Immunity and one about ending diabetes. I don't have any definitive proof that I'm currently building any super immunity by following his diet program but I can definitely state that it's had a tremendous effect on lowering my blood sugar level. I haven't been exercising due to the cataract surgery but I'll be able to start up again soon. That will probably help keep the numbers where they should be, will contribute to a bit more weight loss and my overall general health. I don't take much medication now but I'm thinking I should be able to quit taking all of it in another couple of months except maybe a baby aspirin daily. Dr. Fuhrman has a book on heart disease that's available at the local library that I plan on reading as soon as I finish a couple off my own shelves. 

I would imagine most people don't want to eat the "nutritarian" diet Dr. Fuhrman recommends and wouldn't even if their life depends on it, which ironically enough, it does. I personally would like to be given the option of choosing diet and exercise rather than medication when consulting with my physician. The information has been around for quite some time. Absolutely no reason for doctors not to make this information available to their patients. The family doctor I went to prior to my heart attack when discussing my cholesterol numbers told me don't eat the skin on the fried chicken. He could have just as easily told me to spit the damn chicken out and eat more veggies. That might have set me on the right track to not have an infarto cardiaco.

Remember, your body's a temple. Unfortunately for me, temples aren't built from cheap sandwich cookies and pork tenderloins or mine would be a dandy. But beans and greens? They will do it.