Hey LeChat, What Are You Working On?

Hey LeChat, What Are You Working On?

Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:44 pm

Ok… The other day, TITWI asked where the 25% more blather was. Well, its right here.



There was a sewing machine in my barn when I got this place. It was sinking into the ground and feeling forgotten. It took me a couple of years of knowing that it was out there to do something, then one day I decided to get it out and fix it up. Through careful restoration and delightful interaction, it has become my beloved little treadle machine that I’ve mentioned time and again here on eplaya.

It has sewed two soft camper tops (which have served me well in the desert), numerous pairs of pants, three kilts, and a bunch of sarongs just to name a few of the items that this small tool has helped to create. This is an example of pretty much how I operate. I’ll sit and think on something for years and then one day I realize that the time has come and I get to work, and at a sometimes-manic pace.

So now I’m working on this thing…

Its sort of crawled out of the back pasture, both literally and figuratively. Like the sewing machine, it all started some time back when I moved to where I am now. I spied these old agricultural implements being consumed by vegetation all around the property. I’d walk by and they’d say,

[i]“Hey mister… do something with me. I meant something once. I helped a family put food on the table and gave the horses a purpose in life. I used to be needed, but now I’m just here. I never hear laughter anymore, or the sounds of an honest day’s work. Nobody sits on my seat and I’ve all but forgotten the way the fresh turned earth felt underneath my wheels. Give me purpose again… don’t let me just rust away into oblivionâ€
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Postby pinemom » Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:49 am

oh ...my...if I had the power of mentally hearing the people of yesturyear that used those. actaully i do, when you said "not hearing the hard days work and the laughter on the farm", I did.

It reminds me of going to my great grandmothers house, and helping her plant seeds out in the garden,

of going through the old family garage and looking for treasures,

of playing with the rabbits and chasing off the mean old grumpy rooster with a stick to try to fetch some eggs and not get spurred bloody(which only happens once then you learn Better!),

of the day my cusin and I decided we would make mud pies with fresh produce out of the garden,
and later getting whooped with a willow branch for waisting precious food,

...and Great Gramma Lula telling us afterwards about how hard the depression was and what they could do with one potatoe, one tomato and a half a loaf of bread for a family of 6,

Of having to read a entire chapture per night of the bible, then before Great Gramma Lula would put us to bed, a ceromonial feet washing, then prayers, then crisp cool white cotton sheets to get into on a hots summers night.

Great Gramma lula died 20 yrs ago, at the age of 94. I wish I could hear some more tales, more so, I wish my kids could have heard them!

Thank you for the memories, LCN, simply Priceless

tear.
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Postby thisisthatwhichis » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:58 am

WOW!.....Now that's Blather!..... :lol:

What a fantastic way to breath life into something that most would simply ignore......I can't wait to see more....
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Postby robotland » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:27 am

Yes, yes! Another 25% more blather, please. And now I have to go dig out the Eric Sloane books again.
My mom's folks, a Baptist minister and his wife, had a farm in Dundee in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. We would come visit and stay in the converted barn, sleeping on insanely deep feather beds under century-old quilts with the smell of sawdust and kerosene in our noses.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:42 am

Wow…

I’m happy to have pulled up all these memories for you guys, seriously. That makes me smile… thanks.

Saw dust and kerosene. That reminds me of working in my granddaddy’s shop as a little boy. And the smell of a coal fire. As much of a severe love/hate relationship as I have with coal right now (current mining practices leading the hate part), when I smelled the coal smoke from the steam traction engine on the playa last year it honestly made the hairs stand up on my arms. This is a visceral thing for a kid from east Kentucky.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:47 am

So After laying these pieces out and thinking on them for a few days, I remembered a fellow who lives out the road from me. He’s got a collection of stuff on the back ridge of his farm that he gave me a tour of once. It was an impressive assemblage of old trucks, cars and industrial parts that he’d been amassing for years. He told me he hated to throw away anything that might be useful one day and that if I ever needed any old rusty junk to give him a call… so I did.

I needed front wheels, specifically big steel wheels similar to the ones on the tobacco setter. I drove out his ridge past the cattle feed lot into the “museumâ€
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:35 am

Damn you people make a person feel old.. That stuff your finding as relics of the past, Are things I use in every day life back on the farm..We did replace bearing with hard wood..The hubs and axles of the hay wagon were wood..It belonged to my grandfather and was still in use in the 60's..It was made of white oak..The axle was shaped then burned to final size..The hubs were burned to size with the right, metal round..Then greased twice a year..


We had a wagon with rubber tires after the war..The horses liked to be hitched to it..It ment they were going get to trot 10 mile to town and back..Beats hell out of just walking back and fourth in a feild all day..They realy felt there oats when us kids would take then out of the barn with just a halter..That ment they going swimming with us..We used them for diving platforms..There size would block up the water to make it deeper..


I ran away from all that hard work when I was 12..The farm lays idle now..In the last 50 years the woods has taken back a lot of the cleared land..I was there frist time in 54 years in 006..I's about the most ahhhh yeah.......
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Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:03 am

Now you guys went and broke my heart!!!

My real treat was as a kids on the grandparent's property in Hawthorne - Grampy was a mechanic, and also had the mine south of town. Back yard full of all kinds of goodies, and, well... The first time I went with them to the property, and they told me I could run the cat (an old D-4)... absolutely and totally ruined me...

Ever since then the smell of grease... diesel... hot metal... rock dust... ahhh... Paradise! Talk about kewl stuff... MAN! :cry:

I heard the property was abandoned after my mom passed on in the early 70's and most of the family moved on... wonder if there's anything still out there... man, if I could only... um... well... You know! :roll:

bb
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:08 am

unjonharley wrote:Damn you people make a person feel old.. That stuff your finding as relics of the past, Are things I use in every day life back on the farm..We did replace bearing with hard wood..The hubs and axles of the hay wagon were wood..It belonged to my grandfather and was still in use in the 60's..It was made of white oak..The axle was shaped then burned to final size..The hubs were burned to size with the right, metal round..Then greased twice a year..


We had a wagon with rubber tires after the war..The horses liked to be hitched to it..It ment they were going get to trot 10 mile to town and back..Beats hell out of just walking back and fourth in a feild all day..They realy felt there oats when us kids would take then out of the barn with just a halter..That ment they going swimming with us..We used them for diving platforms..There size would block up the water to make it deeper..


I ran away from all that hard work when I was 12..The farm lays idle now..In the last 50 years the woods has taken back a lot of the cleared land..I was there frist time in 54 years in 006..I's about the most ahhhh yeah.......


That's terrific, unjon. Thank you for sharing stories. Memories, heritage, and the struggles that used to be day to day are really at the heart of why I'm working on this this machine and I'm sort of figuring that out as I go along.

I bet going back to the old homeplace really brought back some memories, huh?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:12 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:Now you guys went and broke my heart!!!

My real treat was as a kids on the grandparent's property in Hawthorne - Grampy was a mechanic, and also had the mine south of town. Back yard full of all kinds of goodies, and, well... The first time I went with them to the property, and they told me I could run the cat (an old D-4)... absolutely and totally ruined me...

Ever since then the smell of grease... diesel... hot metal... rock dust... ahhh... Paradise! Talk about kewl stuff... MAN! :cry:

I heard the property was abandoned after my mom passed on in the early 70's and most of the family moved on... wonder if there's anything still out there... man, if I could only... um... well... You know! :roll:

bb


As green conscious as I try to be, I cannot deny that I love the smell of diesel and dirt... or freshly cut wood. It smells like getting something done. Now there's a whole 'nother mountaintop detroying side to that smell, mind you, but it still stirs something within me.

Yet another one of the paradoxes that I am made of.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:27 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:
I bet going back to the old homeplace really brought back some memories, huh?


\/
Got a lot of surprises..The best one was: I have a son in his early 50's that I didn't know about..Run acoss a nephew hurting in about 61..A long with him telling me they had indoor plumbing that year,,He mentioned a kid looked a lot like me..So after I was widowed twice I looked his mom up..I have wrote about this in the past on eplaya..But it's a story in my life.. I have been down many of lifes roads..A lot of em were'nt paved..
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Re: Hey LeChat, What Are You Working On?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:27 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Incidentally, when I broke apart the guides that held the axles for the discs, I found that they contained wood bearings. I suspect worn-out babbet bearings were replaced at some time by an industrious farmer who needed to get this thing going again. They were well made, as if turned on a lathe and were built as a two piece assembly complete with holes for oil access.
Count me as another one of those people who gets a sensous, almost erotic, pull from these details.

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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:01 pm

When I first saw the hayrake wheels, I found that they were actually about three inches in diameter larger than the tobacco setter wheels. I started to wonder about putting them on the rear of The Contraption instead.

The wheels from the tobacco setter had two different diameter races for the inner and outer bearing locations and I was having a terrible time finding ball bearings to replace the worn out bronze bushings that were in it. As luck would have it, the spindles for the front, however, were of a size that I could find bearings to work. And the hayrake had five inch long roller bearings that were in very good shape. so I now had good wheels, bearings and an axle for the rear and wheels and bearings for the front.

And to boot, putting the hayrake wheels on the rear solved another problem I’d been having: How to accommodate for the difference in speed of the drive wheels when making a turn. I’d thought about sending power to only one wheel, but worried about the vehicle pulling to one side a little more than the other. I’d have preferred some type of differential if possible and these wheels fit that bill.

They contained a one-way clutch mechanism within the hubs. This allowed the rake to be backed up and freewheel, then begin to drive again when pulled forward. I could simply reverse the sides these hubs were on and it could now receive power, rather then send it.

Below are a couple of pics of the hayrake wheels. Note the repair on the outside of the hub. The teeth were even welded back in. And those are new springs, by the way.

Image

Image
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Postby robotland » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:48 pm

Keep those updates comin', brother....And thanks for proving that time travel IS possible.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:56 pm

Not just time travel...

Quantum leaping to the retro-future that never was!!!
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:15 pm

The ratchets in the wheels were attached to a rod to a foot lever..
As the operator passes the last row of raked hay, He/she would kick the lever..This would set the ratchet and rise the rake tines..Making nice rows..

The rows were set apart far enough to allow a wagon between..The loose hay was forked onto the wagon where a person would stomp it down..This made the load stable..

If it rained between wind rowing and pick up..The hay had to be turned to dry it..

The baler come to that part of the country after I left..

Then a side rake/wind rower came along..With that you circle the feild in ever tightening circle..The side rake kick out a continuing row for the baler..
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Postby karine » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:31 pm

When I was younger, my Dad had me sit on the back of the tiller, and plant the trees for him (I grew up on a Xmas tree farm). I would sit on the implement behind the tractor, and drop the seedlings between where the till would lay the earth over and where the earth would naturally fall back down. I would drop the young trees in the freshly tilled ground, and then my older brothers, who had more "weight", would stomp the ground behind me. It was an important job, to stomp the ground so that the young trees roots wouldn't have air pockets, and they could actually take hold in the soil.

I had a bucket a young saplings in front me. I will always remember the smell.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:45 pm

Here's a pic of the same style, but an earlier model, rake like the one I gleaned parts from. You'll note that these wheels in the photo are steel only and the one's I've obtained are actually rims for tires.

And yes, I've found new tires and tubes to fit them believe it or not.


Image

Somewhere I ran across some great pics of the very same rake that a fellow had restored, but I can't find them now.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:50 pm

Found it!!

This is the very same rake I made use of:

Image

from this page:

http://www.retiredtractors.com/Implements/Raking1.html
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Postby karine » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:51 pm

Okay different implement. Same emotion.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:53 pm

It's all rooted in the earth...

That lovely, moist earth.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:57 pm

And unjon, you're right about that engage/disengage. I'd thought it was only for strictly driving, but I remembered otherwise after you mentioned that. Only on this one it was a small hand lever that would slide a gear along the axle and engage the drive unit (which also made it into the art project as well). This thing had some monster beveled gears on it. I tried to find a way to make use of them, but the bearings were blasted out of one of them. I suspect this thing had been crashed a time or two.

More to come...
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Postby gyre » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:22 am

Can you make this thread normal width, except for the photos?
Scrolling makes me crossed up.

Tilling a field is how Farnsworth invented the tv you are all looking at now.
He got the idea from the rows.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:23 am

I've been keeping them small to try and avoid that problem. Is the the B&W one that's throwin you off?

I'll try and resize it and save it in the same location. Hopefully it will still post it in the thread.

And gyre... you never cease to amaze me with your depth of knowledge into things.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:32 am

Hey it worked!!

Now you should be able to see this thread without having to scroll. If this is still too big, it time to invest in a larger screen, man...
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:53 am

The rakes in the photos are side delivery rake..The one I wrote of is much older..It was a trip rake.. The ratchets in the side rakes wheel were for backing and turning..

As a kid I alway got the horse dawn stuff..boring..

But again so was the first tractor..A Johnny Poper (John Deer) G top speed of 3mph with steel wheels..Plow 20 acre a day..

First cat was something else..The starter was a Briggs and Stration that hung outside the frame..To start: first rope start the B&G.. It had a flat belt that run around the fly wheel of the cat..Then you would open a petcock on each cylinder to releave the compresson..Then slowly push down on the B&S to engage the flywheel of the cat..WIth one hand on the small motor the other hand would slowly close the petcocks as the cat engine started..

Later the cats used an air starter then electric.

There were no hydraulics.. Everything run off of power take off,drums, pullies and cable..You put in a full day runing one of these
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Postby Lassen Forge » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:20 pm

In trying to make me feel *really* old, unjonharley wrote:
First cat was something else..The starter was a Briggs and Stration that hung outside the frame..To start: first rope start the B&G.. It had a flat belt that run around the fly wheel of the cat..Then you would open a petcock on each cylinder to releave the compresson..Then slowly push down on the B&S to engage the flywheel of the cat..WIth one hand on the small motor the other hand would slowly close the petcocks as the cat engine started..

Later the cats used an air starter then electric.

There were no hydraulics.. Everything run off of power take off,drums, pullies and cable..You put in a full day runing one of these


My D-4!!!!! My baby!!! I miss that tracklayer! My very first thing I drove all by myself (blocks on the pedals and all!!!)... WHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Had a direct drive rockdrill on the back... it looked like a whiz-bang Rube Goldberg Whirleygig, no guards, no nothing... Used the weight of the drill head for down pressure or slipped the clutch for innies (Horizontal bores). Punched *many* a borehole with that thing... before the ripe old age of 12. (You wanna bet OSHA would *shoot* my family for letting me run that??) Unca steve or dad or grampy would mark where they wanted the hole, tape off how deep on a long stick, and set me to it. FUN... but my ears still rang, even with earmuffs...

Also had a hydraulic system on it which ran a simple blade... used it to cut access, level tail, and to play on when I was bored.

And NOW you know why I turned out so boringly normal... (heh heh heh)
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:59 pm

That's awesome, Sue. I love it.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:24 pm

So the next step was to work out the front end and steering. In typical Burning Man synchronous fashion, it just so happened that there was this piece of some unidentified vehicle lying out behind the barn. It was the front axle of some small automobile (perhaps or a type of wagon?), complete with tie-rods and a v-shaped yoke that had a ball (presumably for a ball joint) at the apex of the two arms.

There was a tree, probably ten years old or so, growing up through the yoke arms. But one of the rivots that attached it to the axle was broken and gone, allowing me to swing the arms up and open it enough to get it off the tree without having to cut it down.

Again, I wish Karine had been around to be the smart one and take photos of where these things were in the field.

Below is a photo of this axle and yoke assembly, now straightened with a little bit of heating and bending. It's lying on the frame of the disc harrow (all upside down on the sawhorses). I was pleased to find that the steering mechanisms freed up pretty easily and the bronze bushings were stil in decent shape. The only thing I added was grease fittings for each side.

Image

I also put suspension under the front end, so that it would have a nice bouncy ride. The spring is off of an old decaying bread truck that I had cut up and prepared to haul away a few weeks earlier. Specifically a "Bunny Bread" truck. I saved them just for this project. Had to forge the ends over (shown on ends of spring) to allow them to be retained by the hangers (not shown), which I also forged out and mounted. I had to fab up a spacer block to make sure the frame would sit level, since the rear wheels were larger than the font wheels. You can see that between the axle and the Bunny Bread spring.
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Philo T. Farnsworth-What will LeChat invent?

Postby gyre » Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:53 pm

Shucks, Le Chat, everyone who uses this glorified typewriter or watches a film at home should know who to thank when they are watching the Farnsworth.
The tale of Gardner, who assisted, is a life lesson too.

I can now scroll over and see the whole text at once.
Most boards I'm on are wide for photos and then default to normal width.
Eplaya seems to lock in wide.
I have a good 19 inch multisync so until I can make a big step up, I won't be replacing it anytime soon.
Got a spare widescreen?
I want a vidikron projector with a line quadrupler next.
Triple gun of course.

There are some places like Hemmings that love photos of cars found in place.
I forget the phrase they use for it.
Survivors is one.
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