Wednesday, June 27, 2018

And the trees came down...

Since the tractor was up, the next thing was to transplant two bushes that were in the way of the future greenhouse

Look, I still fit in to my old Airforce work dress, and no belt required :-)

Done. Yard clean up, ready to make a mess...

Next up to plate was cutting down some trees. Some diseased, some in the way, some barely alive.
This operation should had taken me a week at least, but thankfully I had help.
Today we had Jean's brother Dennis over for the day to cut down some trees around our property.

We had a few in mind but for now, the priority are the ones in the way of my fencing and the new deck.

The first to come down was that poor tortuous white birch by the old deck

Then if we had time, the plan was to cut down a couple trees that are either sick or in pretty sad shape. At the rate he was cutting and bucking, it took no time at all to get it all done...
It only took him a few hours, I always enjoy watching experience at work.
Where is my I.C. helmet ? :-)

I think I need a bigger fire pit :-)

That poor tree is sick and in the way of a future driveway

Down it went

That spruce get damaged every winter, loosing limbs to high winds.
Down it went. It will also let more sun on the small maple to its right

That tree was loaded with cones at the top

 As we cleared the tree line in the back of my property, we salvaged this old orchard tree

The post on the left is my property line 
I can almost see through 200 ft away, well almost

I salvaged a few trunks for turning into lumber, hopefully.  I wanted to have a mementoes of these trees.  Now I need a friend with a saw mill, hopefully portable :-)

On this site a future archway and picket fence

The two logs I kept, both maple.
Rudy in pics for scale :-)

Now I have room for my future shed. 
Property line is tree line in background

On this site future outdoor dining room

But for now, my priorities are to clean up the yard, once more...

The scene tonite

Meanwhile we are still getting temps in the single low digits at night but no more frost warnings... yet...

Bob, tired but happy with progress. A big thank you to Dennis

Monday, June 25, 2018

Rust removal

A constant battle in our wet/dry climate, and if you are into vintage tools, you know you are gonna have to address it somehow.

As I often said before, when I consider a vintage lump of rust, my first question to myself is always: Can I restore this tool to be a working tool again?

I also tend to treat my tool with the respect they deserved for I am only their temporary caretaker.
All that to say I tend to approach rust removal like anything else I do to the tools, only as necessary.

Years ago I discovered Electrolysis as a rust removal process. It works great but has a couple drawback.  It is messy, potentially dangerous (Hydrogen gas released can cause an explosion)

I tried other chemicals solution, Naval jelly, white vinegar and etc, but I long settled on Evaporust.
It’s non toxic and kind to my septic tank (yes, I live in the country side, town sewer and water does not come to my street).

It is also reusable, but of course unless you strained it each time, it can get messy, dirty and work less effectively...

And since I now use Crud buster to degrease and clean the rusty object first, my Evaporust last longer, go figure :-)

But perhaps the biggest negative about Evaporust, like all other chemicals that works by chelation, is that the metal is left with a dull grey surface and if you did not soaked entirely the object, it will be left with a quasi-permanent tell tale line of demarcation.
Some tools like a saw blade require a long shallow container

On the plus side it is relatively gentle, does no harm and is very thorough.  But you have to make sure to rinse it properly to stop the chemical action and dry it quickly before flash rust appears.  At this stage, it is very vulnerable to new rust.  After a few years of this routine, my heat gun recently gave up in a shower of sparks and then fume...

R.I.P. Need a new and better one

So far my usual treatment after Evaporust has been to wiped it with WD40 if it is going into storage or rubbed it with Autosol to impart some of the shine back and leave a protective layer behind, if I am to used it sooner.

Yes, of course I have also used various forms of scraping and sanding, but...
Lately after seeing some works done by Jonathan at the Bench Blog  and more recently Ralph at the Accidental Woodworker  I decided to up my game and try more in depth restoration, E.G. stripping, painting etc. My first attempt was my Beam Boring Machine (BBM)

I long wanted to try a wire wheel in a grinder, but always disliked the over used of such wheels on vintage tools.  But maybe used in moderation it should be OK??
I bought a few wire brush wheels, steel and brass, to give it a try on my grinder and or drill press.

For my first trial I used the drill press at a medium speed. My first specimen was a Scottish brace, I got last year from Patrick.
He had previously buffed away a part of the chuck to reveal the Mathieson & Son name, and the remainder of the tool was a darker brown /black.  Did not care for the resulting look, but how am I going to blend in those areas??.

The brace as received

The end has two facets buffed shiny to reveal the name.

I gave it a try on a small wire wheel on my drill press. Not too fast and easier to approach. If you are starting, strongly recommend getting familiar with the operation on the drill press before moving to a 3450 RPMs bench grinder.  Safer for both the tool and you :-)

The only other equipment used was a pair of soft leather gloves, synthetic scrubber blue, Jig-A-Loo lubricant (for the catch release) and Autosol, in an effort to better blend my work

I did not tried to make it look new, just to even out the finish surface.  Not bad, but could have done better, will revisit later.

Next I tried a badly rusted Irwin bit. Really impressed how it came out of the Evaporust, cleaned the pesky threads and all. Almost sharp coming out, impressive!!

The Irwin rusted bit

Two rusted spoon bits 

Two Irwins out of the Evaporust.
Top one is the familiar dull grey
Bottom one was nickel plated

Both bits after rubbing with a Fine Rust Eraser 

But it still  has that grey surface....
Always thought I should buffed my drilling bits, lets give the wire wheel a try

After a few minutes at the drill press, it really came out looking very shiny, almost look like it is Nickel plated again... WOW!

Looks even better in person

Then I had the brilliant idea of trying my rusty spoons bits which were also previously treated in Evaporust. HUGH!

Does not look as bad on the pic, but look almost aluminum

Look too shiny and phony, never saw a spoon bit that bright before. Sure don't like it, but Heh, if left untreated it will slowly tarnish again.  I will leave that bit alone for a while :-)
But, lesson learned. That bit has been salvaged and the next one wont look so bad

Tried next a metal bit.  It was not covered in rust, did not get an Evaporust bath but had some issues. That one, I like the results. Nice and shiny, with the cutting edges remaining sharp.

Lastly, tried a center bit.  These were traditionally left with a metal oxide finish (black), want to see if I could preserved it.  Based on my earlier experiences with the Scottish brace, I thought it should.
And yes it does but you have to use a light friction, if I was to really pushed it into the brushes I'm sure I would get to shiny metal quickly.

From T to B
Irwin, Metal bit, Spoon bit, and center bit

So, I'm happy with my results so far, much more to be learn but, that method has now its place among the one's I would used.  It has some drawbacks; If too aggressive (coarse wire threads or too much pressure) it can quickly obliterate markings and etc, but with the wheel I used at the speed I was using, with the pressure I used, it came out sharp, no rounded over edges and it even unearthed some markings I did not knew existed.

The tang of the spoon bit is stamped "B&T" or "R&F" ?

Irwin bit turned out to be a British made bit (Gilpin) and has a clear "1" size stamp

Here is more details of the equipment I used.

Bought this set of 4 pcs at my local Canadian Tire

Running the drill press at an intermediate speed
3rd pulley out of 5

I have seen lots of guys on YouTube videos not using any kind of fingers protection, and presumably no other either, but I valued my fingers and wore a pair of leather gloves.
Eye protection is a no brainer either, or if it is, maybe you should consider a different hobby like knitting... NO wait, you could stab yourself in the eyes with the needles, just go for a nap! :-)

Some thing else to be cautiously aware of, is the tendency of the wheel to want to grab and flung your object.

It depends a lot on the rotation speed, the angle of attack, the pressure used, the shape of the object and etc, but be aware. And another good reason to wear eyes and hands protection.

For these reasons, I did not approach the cutting end of the bits too close to the wheel, did not wanted to catch in the cutting spurs or round over their edges.  Other than that, works great and the bits will work better now that they have smooth surfaces  to eject smoothly the chips.

I think I am going to run a bunch of bits thru this wheel ….
Once I get more experiences under my belt, I will revisit that Scottish brace, like I said, the finish could be more even...

Bob, still with 2 eyes and 11 fingers and only 103 brace bits (according to my records) left to do...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Yard work

I was not planning to do it this week end, but got a call from my friend Dave, Saturday morning, to let me know that he was on his way with his tractor.  Some of my friends still works so, you just have to work around whatever opportunity.
When they say, they are coming with their tractor, you just don't turned them down.
So we got to do some earth works in a few spots.

First up was to flatten an area on the side hill in prevision for a greenhouse to be installed at a later date. Was suppose to be this year hence why I previously mentioned it to him, but instead I'm paying the taxman Grrrr...

The top of that hill need to be flattened before I can install a greenhouse on it

This is Big John brother to my smaller John Deere.
And yes they also comes much bigger
Heck of a lot faster than by hands for sure... :-)

Any soil left over got used to back fill a depression in the back of my lot.

Flat enough for a future Greenhouse, I can work with that.

Depression filled. Left over soil will be put to use somewhere else.
Maybe we will use this patch as a garden plot, lots of top soil in there.

Once done, the last thing was to flatten another area in the yard for a future cabin.

Flattening an area for an outdoor dining room/gabbing area. 
Was quite a slope, don't want to build on still !!!

This is what we have in mind for that spot.
About 14 ft X 14 ft.
Make it with removable panels to close it in the winter.

All the while I was supervising outside sweating buckets, I felt like I should be wearing a white hard hat. You know the one that identified the one I.C. (Insane Certified, or In Charge) on the work site?
Meanwhile poor Dave was sitting inside an air conditioned cabin, with stereo sounds.
He says in the winter he snow blow in T-shirt inside the heated cabin :-)
So yes, that definitively make me the Insane Certified :-)

And done. Got two flatten surface and a depression filled 

Ok so we are a bit early, but when a friend says he is coming over with his tractor, you make room in your busy retirement's agenda and social calendar :-)

Next, soon, will be the removal of a few big trees, either in the way or infected by some virus.  Not to worry, they will be replaced.
Norway maple (Silver maple) are not native to our region, they have been introduced as a decorative tree. Unfortunately, here in Nova Scotia they are all currently affected by the same virus, courtesy of Juan Hurricane a few years back.

This Norway maple is getting too big, too close to the house. 
Will be replaced by an arbour entrance way and a fence.

That one is near the forest line and growing outwardly toward the open space.

They look fine right now, as they do every year at the start, then by mid summer they will be totally infected by the tar spot virus.  It does not seems to harm the tree except, it cut shorter its life span :-(

Probably will replaced them with a hardier Sugar maple.  (Maple syrup anyone :-) but in slightly different locations

Now, just have to wait finish paying the tax man grumble, grumble...

That tree by the deck has to go.  In the way of a bigger deck.

I would had cut it years ago, but Heather was adamant we save it. The poor thing had a very torturous life, and it shows. In the winter, it bend down to touch the deck, then spring back up as the snow load melt.

The tree in question, this past March

Probably because it had a rough life, Heather got attached to it.  I have been wondering how I could work around that dilemma until a good friend of Heather and I, suggested that I grew a sapling's from that tree.  Once established, I could then cut down that tree with peace of mind, knowing that it survived.

So Jean and I did just that, transplanted a sapling last year.
It survived the frost and is doing well

Thanks to its protectors
Angel Heather holding Rudy

Once those trees are gone, the deck and fencing could go on. Oh, and I need a side road on my land to reach the back yard with construction material. Yeah, all that to say, not cheap. Will take me a little while, in between tax bills.
There goes a big hole in my tool budget, Oh Well!!
Thankfully I have a few tools in reserve to go over that period of drought :-)

I know... Still considered myself lucky to be retired and doing my things.

Meanwhile the garden is recovering nicely.
Should be able to deploy my drip irrigation system soon.
 Surely, we are done with frost warnings??

Bob, whose great life plan is to moved out of our house in about 10 years when our landscape is mature and go to some sort of independent retirement community... near an hospital :-)

Cause as you get older and the grands kids grow up,  to be nearer to an hospital, becomes more important than being near your love ones :-)

Bob, back from doing a plumbing job at Dave.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I got the numbers of physical planes and computer records to be within two extra (records), down from 6, and a few still unregistered tools in various category. Getting there...

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pondering away....

Ah, the life of a retiree...

It finally looks like Mother nature made up her mind and summer is finally here.
And with that comes lots of yard work and less clothing changes for Rudy thru the days, good thing he wears layered clothing.

Set up our hammock in a different spot this year.  We put it up were I had my “exploding chair” last year.  Works great, good location, good coverage from the sun.....

My last year exploding chair, All the pent up stress was released in one loud crack...!!!

As the sun was making its way west,  I also set up an umbrella to gave us more shade coverage.

Here in amazing techno colour (colour, cause it's Canadian, Heh!) is the view around our hammock, rotating counter clockwise.

Rudy wondering what are these two up to now??

But apparently after 5 years in the sun the fabric of the hammock has somewhat been weakened....
We were both enjoying a refreshment inside, when suddenly, it gave out under us....Oups!

The umbrella went down first then 
we quickly touched the ground ourselves in a loud ripping noise. 
Rip stop fabric my ass  :-)

Perhaps gyrating my big ass around for the amazing techno colour shots was the straw that broke the hammock?? Who knew? :-)  For the record, let me state that the crack in the fabric started under my big ass, so there, that's explain it, now that I think of it!

Humm,  I think we need a new one :-). Like the frame, very sturdy, but we will need to find a new hammock.  Lee Valley has replacements, but not cheap, Ouch...

Minutes before we both went down, the umbrella came down also in the wind.  Pretty wimpy base for the size of it, but it is intend to be used in the middle of a table, were it would have sufficient support.

Ok so back to square one  on that resting spot....
Have a few more spots to set up, similar to last year, but we will changed it up a bit this year.

Our gardens have rebound, and our veggies are coming up.  we are about one month behind compared to last year, but better late than never...

Wood working wise, finished up her necklace hanging frame.  She has to paint it then attach a bunch of small eye hooks to string braided steel wire to hang earrings in the bottom rectangle.

Spend a lots of time trying to update my tools inventory data base.  Normally I try to keep  on top of it as new tools comes in the house, but I have been slack in this regard.
Now im left scratching my heads (yap, got two, military and civilian :- )

Getting there slowly.  Taking pics of tools and updating Database.  For the first time in a long time, got all my wooden planes layout together and accounted for... Went from 4 short, to 4 over according to my records... probably in my moulders selection???
Finally got the bench planes selection sorted out, turns out I have more jointer, fore planes than I thought. Good, should have enough to make up 3 kits for my sons with spares :-)

And talking of shop, got it  straigthen up , just to end up  with woodies everywhere as I sort them out and accounted for each one in my Database records.  We will end up soon with the grand kids for a week each as they both goes to different summer camps. The shop will be ready for them to  play in  with Grampa :-)

Almost got all my H&R lined up and most of my Beaders on the same shelf, 
almost... got some overspill 

Isn't amazing how fast empty flat surface can get covered.
Law of gravity or something like that 

And the reason for the ladder in the view from our hammock?
Well since Dec 31st, I cut off my satellite TV service. Tired of paying too much for something I rarely watch. Since we had been relying on our Kudo box to stream from the computer to the TV. Think Netflix which I re-instated and others such apps.

Pretty good, very clear picture, recently upgraded the "dumb" TV downstairs  (2010 state of the art Samsung ultra thin Plasma TV), gorgeous picture can stream up to 4K but of course that TV tops out at full 1080P resolution.

Meanwhile we both been missing on local news, or we get to watch our news broadcast next day via YouTube. OK, but could be better.

We did trialled an older indoor rabbit antenna (anyone remember these :-)

Got one channel, local ATV news from Halifax, but kinda snowy.
Still, encouraged with these meager results tried the biggest local available antenna I could find, at Walmart.
an outdoor Yagi antenna good to 70 miles (that's about 110 kms), getting in the suburbs of Halifax.
Should get something decent..??

Directional antenna, may have to rotate it for various channels?

Got all the parts accounted for

Fully assembled ready to go.
Humm something look odd on it :-)

OK so that kind of work. If I stand up and point toward the window I get colour, yeah..

So of course being an outdoor antenna, Its gotta go outside, and a cable has to be run from somewhere. Did not really felt like doing like the cable or Sat guy and simply ran yet another cable. Instead used the cabling left behind by Bell.
That antenna got updated a few times during its service, one of them necessitated 4 wires and that last one drove the inside network directly, the mixer, amplifier etc, are all built in from the antenna, removing a few electronics inside.
So I just removed the ant to access the wires and used one to drive my TV in the living room.
Now, with 4 wires, the chances of getting the right one on the first try was... no but took only two tries :-)

At that bring us to this view from the hammock, the ladder still in place cause pic is not much improved and cannot rotate behind the house.

Will relocate bracket at the house roof eave top to be able to rotate 360.
And while I'm up there (need to drag out extension ladder) and repaint the eaves

Yeah well its colour, but it sure reminds me of my youth :_)

Good enough for us old folks, but not good enough for the grand peanuts I'm afraid :-)

Will have to try better. I did check out on line and found a site that maps out your geographic location in relation to the broadcasters locations using google map data with topography.  The resulting plot give you an idea of where the signal strength would be at you r coordinates and stated altitude for the antenna. If I bring it up to 100 ft I should get 5-6 stations, hum right across from an active military runways with often low fliers (choppers) don't think this is going to happens!

OK so there goes Plan A

Plan B, at least I know there are signals out there, would no doubts need some active amplification.

And that is why I was sitting up in my hammock with my lovely, when came crashing down.
Obviously needs more pondering, so I managed to did a burn and cleared the yard while I sip and ponder at it some more for a while

Bob, pondering away