Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monkey Wrench

I have enjoyed the last couple of days off work.   Yesterday we focused on getting the outside of the house decorated for Christmas.  I got up in the attic and Candy took the rake to the flower garden and cleaned it all up.      We did about the same set up as last year.   Candy did make use of the sleds we had bought.   She placed them on the front porch, one with a snowman and another with garland.   I will get you pictures tomorrow.  I mowed up leaves so the front yards looks pretty good, (again).    Between Candy and I, we had another 5 large trash bags full.

Once the outside was done we turned our attentions to the inside.   We have scaled back this year.   We scaled back on the inside.   Instead of the big tree, we did a small table top tree.    We went with a Simpich Santa Christmas and left the Nativity scene in the curio cabinet in the basement.

We did a nice walk on Friday and I need to get out tomorrow and do the same.   The weather has been really nice, so it makes it enjoyable to be outside.   We took Mable and I know she was glad to get out.

I did get a couple of small projects completed.   I was over at the shop this morning cleaning. I    had to move my box of sprockets and I barely could so I figured I need to use a few up.   I dug out some various sizes, found some screws and went to work.    I added the wrench and wow this is done.   I have a few other pieces to use, but less is more.  This is on the backside of our storage shed at the shop.

When I got home I had shown Candy what I created.   She went and got my gold wrench and start placing it around the two sprockets we already had on the wall.   When she held like it is in the picture it looked to me like a bicycle or motorcycle.   So we went ahead and hung it up.  Looks pretty cool!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Where has the year gone?  I can’t believe that today is Thanksgiving.  Boy, the year has flown and is flying by quickly.  Here is wishing you and yours health, wealth and happiness and all the best on this Thanksgiving of 2014.

We have been cooking since about nine this morning.  The plan is to eat around two this afternoon.   The boys will be here and I think Eric is bringing a guest.   It is really starting to smell good.   It is eleven now and Candy is loading the turkey into the oven. So what’s on the Menu?

·        Turkey
·        Dressing
·        Rolls
·        Green bean casserole
·        Ranch Spinach dip
·        Roasted Cauliflower
·        Pumpkin pie
·        Mashed Potatoes
·        Margarita Punch

Should be some pretty good eats!   I know we have a whole lot to be thankful for.

I had yesterday off as well as today and tomorrow so I need to take advantage of it.   I don’t see much happening today.   I checked the weather and tomorrow will be the day to hang the Christmas lights.   Need to get it done now as I will be traveling and super busy the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday I got over to the shop at about 10:30AM and returned home about 4:00PM.   I cleaned, seems like I am always cleaning all the time, from putting tools away to sweeping the floor.   I make some pretty big messes, so it gets dirty quick with my various activities, sandblasting, sawing, sanding, grinding, etc.

I had some croquet balls left from my most recent project.   I was standing in the garage juggling them trying to figure out what to do with them.  Throw them away, store them in a box, whatever.

Then it struck me, I should just make a set of juggling balls.  So that is what I did.  I gave the balls a quick sanding.  Screwed in a small hook into each of them and then hung them from wire.   Shook my spray paints and I away I went.   Between coats and while they were drying I worked on making a wood stand to hold them.

After a couple of coats they came out pretty nice.  I will say it is tough to paint round balls and not get any runs.

I had one of the Williams wrenches blasted and ready to do something with.   I taped off the ends and gave it a coat of primary and gold paint.   Not sure why I chose gold, but it looks pretty good.   Now I need to figure out what I am going to do with them.   I have some smaller wrenches and was thinking about making a tree.   Using one of these wrenches as the trunk and then use the smaller wrenches as top branches and use nuts and washers as leaves.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Made me laugh

1931 Gee Bee Z

It was cold this morning, but I did get off my ass and walk to work.  I think it was about 25 but the wind was blowing and made it feel like it was about 18.    I moved pretty quick with the wind at my back, but when I made the turn into the wind it got cold real quick.  I didn't walk home as it was colder so Clark was kind enough to give me a ride.

Tonight after a wonderful dinner, Chicken and Noodles, I headed over to the shop and hung up my Gee Bee.   It looks pretty good hanging from the ceiling of the shop.  After I came home, I actually did a little looking and found the actual plane on the internet.  I can see a few things that I need to fix, now that I have seen the actual.

History of the Gee Bee and the Pilots who flew them:
Maud Tait
Jimmy Doolittle - The Human Bullet

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Awesome deal of the weekend

So I mentioned that I was at the auction this weekend.  I picked up several items and the deals were great.   I bought some pottery, old trains, old matchbox cars and others, but my biggest find was an old Hamilton Printers cabinet.   This cabinet has 18 drawers and is It was nasty, dusty and looked liked shit.   I could see through that though and knew that this is something that I wanted.

I have seen the drawers sale for sixty dollars each.   The drawers were in great shape, even with all the dirt, dust and printer ink that remained.   The story that went with this, is that the Grandparents had bought it in Seattle at a fair in 1936.   It was used at that time, so I am guessing that this piece is over a 100 year old.

It didn't get a lot of bids based on it's appearance but I could see through the dirt and grime and knowing that just a drawer could sell for 30 to 50 dollars, I decided to bid on it.   I got it and I got it for dirt cheap.   I had no idea what we would do with it, but I knew I could clean it up and double, triple. quadruple the value of what I paid for it.

I drug it home and hit it with the air compressor and blew out all the dust and dirt.  I spent a good hour wiping it down with a wet cloth and getting all the dirt off.   Then I took some wood polish and worked on it from top to bottom.

It came out wonderful and looks great.   I check on E-bay and pieces like this sell anywhere from 800 to 1800 dollars.  I didn't pay anywhere near that and after the clean up I think it looks just as good as what they are offering on the net.

After I got it all cleaned up, we put it into the living room, not sure what we will put in it, but it does look good.   It does need some work but it will have to wait to summer, when I can work in the shop.

Up, up and away!

I am always on the look out for cool things to hang from the ceiling of my shop.   This weekend I picked up a pretty cool aircraft item.   I bought a Gee Bee, which is probably one of the most recognized odd aircraft.   It needed some work, but not much.   With a little cleaning and some glue, I have it back in great looking condition.   Looking forward to getting this hung up.

It's missing a prop and one of the cylinders is busted, but for what I paid I can't complain.  The wing span is just over three feet and it must have been a piece that was made for the city of Springfield Massachusetts, according to the stickers that are on it.

Auction Saturday

I am going to break this up into a couple of posts.   On Saturday I headed over to a new auction house that I had not been to before.   I must have been there for six hours, but I got some smoking deals on some stuff, and or junk, just depends on how you look at it.

This first post is going to focus on my new traffic light.   I am guessing that this may have come out of Mr. Biggs or some other amusement park, but I am very happy with it.  The lights flash and goes through the red, yellow and green.  I have looked on the web trying find something like this and have not been able to do so.   That's why I think it must have come from an amusement ride.   It looks great in my shop and really set's off all my automotive memorabilia and decorations I have.  I got a great deal on this, as no one really has a place to put something like this but I do.   Candy and I talked about putting it in our bedroom, with green meaning go, yellow use caution and red back off, but it was to tall.

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

I am so excited, I finished up my Star Wars movie canisters.   Even though this is just Folk Art, I think they look pretty awesome in my office.  Not bad for a 5 dollar investment in the canisters and then some spit and polish with a little decoupage on my part.   I have had several people stop into my office and ask me if these are real.   I let on, that it is just art, but damn they look good.  I know have the first three episodes, which is what most people of my age will remember.   With the poster book that I have I am sure I can come up with some other idea's to use them.  May the force be with you!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I had to travel this week.  Flew out on Sunday the 16th and got back early this morning, arrived just after midnight.   I was up in NYC and New Jersey for business.   Candy also left on Sunday and she drove out to Wichita to
see her sister and deliver a truck load of stuff for my dad.

My dad also had a few items for me.   Some how he picked up a set of first class airline seats.   I had seen them when I visited for the 4th of July.   I thought they were pretty cool when I saw them.  He offered to part with them a few weeks back and I jumped on the chance.   I haven't really ever seen these up for sale and thought they would look cool in my office.

Since our company is focused on consulting, I have spent a lot of time on planes throughout my career.   What better way to show that, then to have a set of airline seats as your guest chairs for visitors.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Almost Done

Tonight I finished my painting and assembly of the clubs for the croquet set.  Hopefully it will warm up enough tomorrow that I can spray them with sealer and I will be done.   I had a lot of fun working on this project and it required several steps.  From blasting, welding, table saw, painting, etc.   This came out looking pretty good and will be a nice display piece.   Just not sure where it will be displayed at.

Maybe I will take it to the office and set it in the corner.  Would be an interesting conversation piece.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's Just to Cold

Maybe you have caught on to this, but my font is larger.  Only reason being is that I can't read the smaller font, so increasing the size makes it easier on me.

It's just to cold to work over at "The Shop" this evening.  When I left work, the temperature was reading 7 degrees.  I did run by and picked up a couple of items, so that I could work from home.

I brought home my mallet heads, but still need another coat of stain on the handles.   Dug out my painting box and found the colors I needed for the mallets so that they would match the balls.

They are looking good.   Will most likely hit them with another coat or two tomorrow and then spray them with a sealer.  I wish it would warm up, so I can finish the handles.   Once they are done, this project will be finished.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back at it......

I got a little work done tonight over at the "The Shop".   

Wow, not change subjects, but the weather changed in a a day.   Started out at 60 degrees yesterday and by 5 pm it was 25 degrees. Today it just as cold and we had about 3 inches of snow.   We are expecting it to be colder tomorrow and more snow.  You have to love Colorado.  I think I have said that before.

So tonight I cleaned up a few more wrenches.  I put another coat of stain on the mallets and handles.   They should be ready for paint in a day or two.  I cleaned up a couple more movie canisters and got them in primer and paint.

I have already gotten a few comments about my Star Wars movie canister, so I am looking forward to finishing the other two episodes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fun in the Shop

I left work a little bit early this evening, just after 4 PM.    I ran over to the shop and put what kerosene I had into the heater.   I plugged it in and got it started and then drove over to Chief Petroleum and refilled my 6 gallon kerosene tank.  Come to think of it, I have about four different types of gas cans around.  Regular for the mowers, oil and gas mix for the weed eater, blower and chain saw and kerosene for the heater, so only three I guess.

I am lying sideways on the bed while writing this and I can hear a bird chirping out back, he must be cold.  The weather made a major change today. It was in the 50’s this morning and around noon everything changed.   The wind picked up, really gusting and the temperature dropped quickly.   When I left work at 4 PM, it was 25 degrees out.

Right now is snowing and blowing!

When I returned to the shop, it had heated up and I went to work.   I pulled out the table saw and made my mallets and handles for the croquet set.   I already knew what I wanted to do, so it went pretty quick.  I finished up with my cuts and headed home.

Nobody was ready to eat when I got home so we decided we would eat about 7:30 PM.   I headed back over to the shop and proceeded to work on getting my mallets and handles stained.  To see them stained gets me excited about what the finished product is going to look like.  Once I add the primary colors and urethane these, they are going to look awesome.

I dug out all my sprockets and tools and laid them out so I could see what I have.  Wow, I have some cool projects in my future.   I am coming up with all kinds of ideas on things I can create with these.  I talked with my neighbor who is a plumber and he said he could hook me up with all the steel pipe and joints I will need.  Offered up his pipe cutter and pipe threader.

While I was working I took a selfie.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Oh Yeah

Oh yeah, Candy cooked us up some stuffed Jalapeno's for dinner and they were awesome!  They looked so pretty I had to take a before and after picture.   You better hurry over though, there is only a couple left.

She stuffed them with creme cheese and Jimmy Dean sausage.  They cooked at 350 for 40 minutes.

Crank my bolt

As I mentioned earlier, I was given some large Williams wrenches.   Best I can tell this wrench was made between 1947 to 1955.  This is based on the logo and information I found on the J.H Williams site.  All together I think I got about 10 of these wrenches and four of them are the size that is pictured. In looking on eBay they sell for about three to six dollars on eBay.

The picture above on the right is what I started with.  I ran it through the sand blaster to get all the rust removed.   Then I hit it with my wire sander and polished it back up.   It looked good just polished but I have another idea for this piece so I went ahead and painted the handle black.

I am either going to turn this into coat rack or it will be the base for a coffee table that I am getting ready to build.  Either way I will be welding a sprocket to each end and possibly running a chain around the sprockets.     I think it will look pretty cool when I am done.   I placed the wrench on a couple of sprockets trying to get an idea of what it might look like.

Just for fun

I picked up some old film canisters a few weeks back at the auction.  I have been slowly working on one and I finished it up this evening.   I guess I am going to go with a Star Wars theme for this project.  I picked up a Star Wars poster book at a garage sell, thinking I would use it for decoupage and now I have.

I blasted the original canister in the sand blaster and then cleaned it off with some 220 sanding paper. Wiped it down and cleaned it up, hit it with a coat of primer and painted it with chrome paint.  I think this little project cam out pretty decent.   Since I have the poster book and two more canisters I should be able to do the first three Star War movies.  I am planning to hang these in my office and think they will be some good conversation pieces.


If you have been keeping up, you know that I am rebuilding an old croquet set that I had found.   I spent some time trying to get a name of the maker and year built from Mother Google.   All I was able to find was a this picture on the right.   I am assuming this must be original and is selling on eBay for $89,99 or BO.

So I guess this won't be a high value restoration, but it has been a good learning process for me.   This little project has required metal working, painting as well as building all new clubs and handles which I still have to get to.

Since I found the picture above with the name on the side, I figured I had better do the same.  Candy dug a stencil set out of our craft drawer, so that is what I used.  It's not original but it looks good.  I did get the handles for the clubs cut and drilled the hole in the club head to attach them.

I need to work on the handles and clubs and do some shaping.   This will require me to dig out the table saw.  Its on the list for later this week.

La Junta

On Saturday I made a run down to La Junta, CO. and I am glad I did.   I needed to help my Dad pick-up some items that he had purchased and while I was in town I picked up a few items as well.   Not sure what I am going to do with the stuff I got, but I am sure I can find a use.

I bought three Model A transmissions and three Model A motors, and old AT&SF oil can and a wheel for a Model A.   Like I said not sure what I will do with them yet, but I am sure I can find something, plus wouldn't hurt to have a few extra parts around should I need them when the Zombie apocalypse takes place.   I wasn't able to bring the motors home yet, as they are heavy and we didn't have a way to load them.  I will have to head back down in a few months when I figure out what I am going to do to load them.

I also hauled back a bunch of stuff for my dad.   I got back late in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day unloading and cleaning up all the mice shit.   Most of this stuff had been sitting in a barn for years.

I also picked up some old tools that my Dad brought with him.  Most I believe are from his days at the Railroad.   I do have some ideas on what I am going to be able to do with them.   I struggle on if I want to leave them rusty or clean them up.  

After I finished up with my Dad and he headed home, I did a drive through my old hometown and look around.   I stopped by the only motor cycle shop in town.  It was there when I was a kid and it is still there today.   I inquired with the owner to see if he had a scrap pile.  At first he was a little stand offish, but then I introduced myself and he remembered me and parents from back in the day.   He pointed me at the junk pile and I loaded up.   I got a bunch of sprockets, piston heads, chains, starters, etc.   All the stuff I need to get me started with my Steampunk projects.

After catching up and leaving the cycle shop, I stopped into a small antique shop and did some looking around.   I found a few more old wrenches and some electrical insulators.   All good stuff that I can use.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Having a blast

So as I mentioned I have several projects in play.  This week I have made a real effort to make something happen, plus, the items I ordered on eBay arrived.   So let's kick this off and will go in order of the project.

A month back or so, I was coming home from the shop and came across a garage sale.    It was late in the afternoon, 4:30 PM or so.  I stopped and went up to take a look.  Not much left to pick from.   Two older Mennonite women were sitting outside and we chatted it up.  Turns out they were selling the parent belongings and  home.  The father had just passed away and the mother had passed before that.

In a small shed out back I spotted a couple of croquet sets, I inquired with the women on the price and she said I could have both for five dollars.  So I paid her the money, loaded them and headed out.

I am not an avid croquet player, but for five bucks it was an easy decision.   So now, what the hell am I going to do with them.   The balls are in decent shape but the mallets are shot.  One of them had a decent stand that I thought I could do something with and I did.

I straitened some of the metal and welded back two pieces that had broke loose.  Then I sand blasted
it to remove all the old paint.  Cleaned it up and then hit it with a coat of primer and blue paint.   It was originally blue when I bought it.  I think it looks pretty good.  Now I am working on making new mallets and you can see the mallet heads I have already cut.  Hopefully this week I can get this completed.   I am looking to give it as a gift for our white elephant game that we play at our holiday party.

I have been interested in steam-punk art and thinking about what I could do with this medium.  I mentioned that I had bought some sprockets and chain online.  Today the first lot of sprockets showed up.  There is twenty five of them and I also received 10 full length motor cycle chains. I am expecting about 30 more sprockets this week.   I am so excited and have a bunch of ideas on what I can do with them.  The chains are used and need some cleaning, so they will need to be de-greased before I can use them.

Since I had the sand blaster out for the croquet set, I have been going to town.  I blasted another radial engine cylinder head and ten of the sprockets that arrived.

I welded two of the sprockets together and the ground down any high spots.  Ran it one more time through the blast cabinet and then blew and wiped it off.  Shot it with some primer and then painted it red, to match the cylinder head that I am using at the office as a door stop.  I thought this would make a nice color matching paper weight to keep on my desk.

Being that I had time, I blasted, primed and painted another cylinder head.  I painted this one black and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate a sprocket or two and gas pipe to make a lamp.  I already have a few ideas and looking forward to seeing what I can come up with.  I am thinking gas pipe, copper tubing, spark plugs and electrical insulators.  I happen to have these items already

Monday, November 3, 2014

Up Coming Projects

I have so many things to do.  I picked up a few items these last couple of weeks that I thought I could do something with .  Some of the items came from the auction and others from eBay.   

I picked up three large film canisters and three small ones.  

I am cleaning them up and plan to polish or paint them chrome in color.  They are stamped in the front, made by Eastman Kodak.  So they look cool to begin with.  After they are cleaned up I thought I would paste a movie label on them. This way people looking at it on the wall, may think it is the actual move canister, even though it is not.  For me it is just cool artwork.

On the right are the images from the movies I am looking to use. Not sure why I chose the Sound of Music, but everyone does know it.

I also picked up some old electrical insulators at the auction and have plans to make a lamp.   

Over the last two weeks I have been trying to come up with an idea for some steam-punk art.   My first project is a lamp that I plan on building.  I have found the plans an several images online.  I am not sure where I will use it yet, but I think people would be interested in buying them.

Now I have all kinds of ideas for using steel pipe.   Even to the point where I have drawn up the plans to build a steam-punk entry way at the shop.  So serious that I have ordered up some sprockets and motorcycle chain.  

I should have about 50 sprockets arriving and 10 full size motor cycle chains.   I just searched on eBay for a "lot Sprockets".  I found two people selling lots of 20+ used sprockets and I goth them for cheap, as they can't be re-used.

Pretty excited to see what I can come up with.  This project will require me to hone my welding skills, which need work on and I need to educate myself on what I am doing.