Monday, November 9, 2009

Ready for Winter

Yesterday we loaded the Model T into the trailer for the winter (depending on the weather). I still have a couple more things that I intend to do on it, but plan to leave them until next spring or summer.

Here's the trailer hooked to the blue F-150 and the Model T behind ready to load.

This picture shows Model T going up the ramp into the trailer.

And here it is in the trailer and strapped down.

This will probably be the last post to this blog for quite a while. My plan for next spring is to finish wiring the lights, add a generator, make a new floor mat, and (maybe) make a second set of sideboards to go on top of the existing ones.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And There Was Light ....

Today I managed to get the headlights working. I decided to run them off the battery instead of the magneto, as I couldn't find anywhere to get bulbs to run them off the mag. Also, the replacement switch is wired to use the battery. I still need to figure out how to get the headlights to dim. Right now the lights are bright regardless of which position the switch is in. I figure that's a minor detail. Here's a picture with the lights on.

I've been working on replacing the oilers on the suspension and steering, but ran into a problem with the small ones on the spring shackles. The ones I ordered that are supposed to fit are too big to go in the holes. It seems to be another of those instances where the reproduction parts don't quite fit correctly. I've run into that with several other parts, too. A couple of times I've had to give up on the replacements and make the part from scratch, but don't think I can do that with the oilers. At least it's not a major problem.

The next step is to see how easy it is to load it in the trailer and take it for a short trip to see how it pulls. I'm not sure when I'll get that done. I've got several chores that need to be done before it starts snowing, so those will come first.

The next major project is to build a second set of side boards to go on top of the ones I built. It will probably be a while before I tackle that. I did find a picture of a 1926 TT with a grain bed, complete with the second sideboards and endgate. The endgate looks to be just as Dad remembered it. Here's the picture I found ...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blurry Vision, Floats That Don't and an Other Stuff ...

It's been a long time since I updated this blog. My detached retina is healing nicely. I still have some of the gas bubble in my eye, which is frustrating. It was supposed to take around four weeks to disappear. Yesterday was eight weeks and it's still not gone. I did get to come home after four weeks, though. I'm still on medication to keep the pressure down at this elevation. Most of my vision appears to be returning ok, but I'll have to have a new prescription to adjust to the change made by the detached retina. That can't happen until the bubble is all gone. Meanwhile, the vision in my right eye is pretty blurry.

Ronney and Karen were kind enough to go to Aztec to pick up the trailer for the Model T. I haven't loaded it in the trailer yet, but it should work fine.

The day after I came home from Albuquerque I took the Model T out for a short drive, then parked it in the garage. The next morning all the fuel had run out on the floor. Luckily, it only had a gallon or so in it. I fiddled with the carburetor, but to no avail. Fuel kept running out. I removed the carburetor and cleaned the float valve, thinking that there had to be some foreign material in it that was not letting it close. When I put it back on, still the same problem. After a lot of head scratching, I finally figured out that the float was full of fuel. This was on a newly rebuilt carburetor! I called the supplier and they sent me a new float. It seems that their rebuilder uses the old floats when rebuilding them. After receiving and installing the new float everything's fine again. Now I'm working on the headlights. I have them all rewired, but am going to have to order new bulbs from one of the parts suppliers.

Ronney, Karen and kids stopped by this afternoon on their way home from camping this weekend. I gave them all a ride in the Model T, so have some pictures of that.

Here're Rylee and Chase ...

And Karen ....

And Ronney.

I tried to get Ronney to drive it, but he said he isn't ready just yet.

Galena and I went over to Jemez Springs, then on up to Bandelier National Park yesterday. On the way, we stopped at the Valles Caldera and I took this picture of her by one of the signs. That's really some beautiful country.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Major Setback ....

Well, things took a turn for the worse about a week ago. Last Sunday I woke up with about a third of the vision area in my right eye black. After some calls to doctors, etc., we met the on call doctor at Eye Associates of New Mexico at their facility. Following examination of my eye he determined that I had a detached and torn retina. He called the retina specialist. She confirmed his diagnosis and scheduled me for retina surgery that evening. She repaired my retina with a laser and put a gas bubble in my eye. Everything's going well, but I'm not allowed to go above 7,500 feet, so we're stuck in Albuquerque for a few weeks.

Also, the trailer I ordered for hauling the Model T has been delayed, so it's uncertain whether or not it will arrive in time for the Wichita County Fair. Ronney has offered to pick up the trailer and the Model T and tow them to Leoti, but it depends on how things go time-wise. We'll have to wait and see.

The Model T is all complete and ready for the fair, but I had dismantled the coil box on Saturday to put new wood and insulators in to see if I could prevent it from arcing. I didn't get it all back together, so the coil box is in pieces. If everything else works out, it shouldn't take very long to put it back together.

So, that's the current status. We'll have to wait and see how things work out.

More to follow .....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

(Mostly) Done !!!

Today I finished the last of the major jobs -- the bed. The endgate and front board are all finished and assembled, and the metal trim on top of the sideboards and the front board is installed. There may have been metal trim on the endgate, too, but I don't have that, so it will go without for now. Here's a picture of the whole truck as it looks now.

And here's a front view.

This is a closeup of the bed.

And the end of one of the cross rods, which also shows the trim on the top edge of the sideboard. I still have to trim the ends off of some of the bolts that are too long and then touch up with black paint. Most of the touch up is to the bolt ends and screws that didn't get painted. There are a few chipped area on the body to touch up, too, but they're pretty much areas that will just get worn off again.

It's really rewarding to see it this complete. It has been a long, long project, but seeing the end result makes it definitely worth it.

The next hurdle is to see if the trailer to haul it in gets here in time. As it stands now, it's scheduled to be complete July 17th, and will hopefully be in Aztec for me to pick up the 20th or 21st.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Front Board and Tailgate Built

Today I finished building the front board and the tailgate. Everything appears to fit fine and work as it should. Here's a picture of the tailgate in place in the closed position.

And here's one with the tailgate partially open.

The tailgate is built as dad described it to me, and the latch is my design. I doubt that the latch would hold up for long under harvest use, but for the light duty it will encounter in retirement, it should do fine.

I've dismantled them now and am in the process of applying the finish. Meantime, there are still a few small things to do. Additionally, Galena has a list of honey do's as long as my arm, so maybe I can work a few of them in, too. We're going to Inlow to see the rest of the family for a few days sometime Saturday. Mike, Dana and boys are coming in from Alabama, so everyone is getting together to visit and see them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Today I got the sideboards installed. Now that they're in place and aligned, I can get the measurements for the front and the tailgate. Here's a picture taken down by the windmill.

And here's one from a little closer showing the sideboards.

I miscounted the number of bolts required, so will need to pick up some more the next time we're in town. I'm hoping to get the front piece and the tailgate built this week so I can start putting the finish on them. It takes six or more days to complete the finish, as I put three coats on each side and each coat requires 24 hours drying time. Once that's done and they're installed, all the major work will be complete. As you can see, the hood is off, as I'm working on one of the panels where the paint got cracked. I'm trying to fix it myself, but my paint and body talents are pretty limited. Also, I need to do some touchup in several places, then give it a good cleaning before we'll be ready to hit the road.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Battery Box Built, Bed Floor in Place ....

This has been a pretty productive week. I built and installed the battery box early in the week. Here's a picture of it on the truck.

Yesterday I spent the day screwing the floorboards to the bed frame. Everything went smoothly. The tongue and groove boards Charlie and I made last week worked great. Here's a picture of the bed before finishing. The screw holes are plugged and all the holes are drilled to fasten the sideboards to.

This picture is of the bed after sanding the floor and the first coat of finish. I also glued up the pieces that will be the front and the tailgate.

Galena and I took it out this afternoon for its first drive on the highway. We went up to the top of Senorita Divide and a little way down the other side. The total distance was maybe three miles. It ran well. I think I may need to adjust the coils, as it runs better on the battery than on the mag.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Saw dust and more sawdust .....

The last few days have been spent making sawdust. I've taken three large bags to the dump, and have one more to get rid of after today's work. Today Charlie came over and helped me work the oak lumber into tongue an groove boards for the floor of the bed and the sideboards. That took all day, but now the boards are ready to go.

Here's a picture of the setup we used. The poor little Makita table saw was overworked pretty badly, but made it through. Charlie's help was critical, as I couldn't have worked the eight foot boards by myself. This pile of sawdust is in addition to three bags that came from the thickness planer. I'll also have a sizable pile of oak scraps for kindling next winter, as well as several larger pieces for future projects. I also have a lifetime supply of beautiful sticks for making kites if anyone's interested.

Here're the boards we produced. The narrower ones on the far left and the narrow stack further right are for the sideboards. The three short boards are for the end gate, and the glued up short wide board is for the front of the bed. The double stack of wider boards on the right are the floor boards. The old bed makes a great work surface.

The next step will be to lay out the floor boards, bottom side up, and apply three coats of finish to them. After that I can start screwing them to the frame of the bed. Of course, the side boards and end gate have to be glued up, the cut to their final size before finishing. I'm also continuing to work on sandblasting and painting the metal parts, and still have to build the battery box.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Bed Frame is (mostly) Complete .....

The main supports for the bed are bolted in place, and the cross supports are nearly done. They need one more coat of finish before I can install them. Here're a couple of pictures:

The next step is to cut the pieces for the floor to width, plane them to the proper thickness, then mill tongues and grooves into the edges. After that I'll finish them, then screw them to the cross pieces. I'm not sure if I'll get all that done this week or not. I need a few more boards, which I plan to pick up on Tuesday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Building a new bed...

This week I started working on the new bed. So far I've cut the boards for the main beams and the four cross supports and planed them to size. The next step is to make the final cuts to shape and drill the holes for the bolts that hold the frame together. Here's a picture of the main beams and the 2x4s that will make the supports.

and here's a picture of the old main beams and one of the original cross supports that I'm using as patterns for the new ones.
Next week's project is to finish these pieces and install them on the truck frame so I can build the floor of the bed on them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Major Step Complete !!!

Today I finished installing the new top. It seems like it took a long time, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I have a few pictures I took along the way. The first two are of the bottom layer of muslin from the inside, then from the outside.

The next layer was chicken wire, but the picture didn't turn out. After that was a layer of foam rubber.

Then I draped the final layer over the top and parked it in the sun to warm up for a while.

The final step was to tack on the molding that covers the staples to finish it off.

The new floorboards are also in place now.

I thought I'd throw in a picture of my new center pivot irrigation system, too.

That's it for now. I struck out last Friday on wood to rebuild the bed. However, I talked to a friend who told me about another source that he uses, so I'm going back this Friday to see what I can find, and to get a haircut, which I need in the worst way.

Friday, May 1, 2009

First round of carpentry is done

I finished the wood work on the top this afternoon. Next, I'll put on three coats of the same finish I used on the spokes, then see how good I am at upholstery. Here's a picture of the top as it looks now.

And here's what it looks like sitting on the cab...

I've been having trouble finding new round head and bevel head slotted screws. All the hardware and home supply stores seem to have only phillips head screws. Next week I'm going to Albuquerque to check at a fastener supply store, and to see if I can find a source for the wood to rebuild the bed. I received the new floorboards this week, so need to finish them and put them in, as well as install a battery box. So far the battery is sitting on the floor on the passenger side of the cab. In addition, I'm still working on cleaning up the metal parts of the bed, so there's plenty to do.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bending Bows ......

It seems like it's been a long time since I updated this blog. I have made some progress, but building the new top is slow work (for me, anyway !!!). Additionally, there have been several other things going on that have taken up some of my time.

The outer frame of the top is complete, assembled and sanded. Here're a couple pictures of just the frame sitting on top of the cab.

Now I'm working on the curved bows that go across from right to left. Each one has to be curved differently. The process I'm using is to soak the bows one at a time, then place them on a simple jig that holds them to the correct amount of curve while they dry. The back one is done and in place on the frame, and the front one is on the jig drying while number three is soaking. Here's a picture of the jig with a bow in place.

and here's one showing a bow being soaked (in the pipe, which is full of water), while another one dries on the jig.
I'm also doing some work on the bed. I've removed some of the metal parts and have been sandblasting them. Here's a small sample of what they look like after blasting.

That's it for now. I'm hoping to have the wood part of the top all assembled and be started finishing it by the end of next week.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Decision Made .....

Well, after looking at the old top and doing some research, I've decided to rebuild the top of the Model T using new wood. I found plans for doing that on the Internet from a fellow in California that has done it. He included measurements for all the wood pieces. I emailed him with some questions and he responded with some suggestions. Thanks, Bob !!!! We're going to Farmington tomorrow for Galena's appointment with the chiropractor, so I'll see if I can find some oak to use at Home Depot or Lowe's.

Here're a couple of pictures of the old top ...

It looks like this week is shaping up to be pretty busy. Galena's off work Thursday, Friday and Monday, and we've already got Thursday, Saturday, and Monday filled up with errands, etc. Also, we're going to Karen and Ronney's Sunday afternoon, and I need to take the bike to Farmington for the 1000 mile service. I'm not sure how we will fit all that in !!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Looking Better !!!

This week I finished installing the hood, the windshields, the back glass, the doors and the headlights. The hood still doesn't fit as good as I would like, and I can't get the movable portion of the windshield to go completely closed, but I'll work on them more later. Here are some pictures of it as it looks now....
These first two are outside the garage. I try to take it for a short drive every day so the engine will get broken in.

This is a front view inside the garage....

and this is Sophiah after a hard day of hunting mice (or maybe just lying around the house).

Next week's project is to work on the top. I'll get it down tomorrow so I can assess what I need to do to the wood. I have new padding and top material to put on it waiting. I'm hoping I can use at least the main wood parts by sanding and painting them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Brrrrr !!!!

This week's efforts included finishing up the back of the seat and installing the fenders and running boards. Those went well. However, I'm having trouble getting the hood to fit right. I'm not sure if the radiator is a little out of square or just what. Here's a picture showing the results to date....
The next picture shows my helper for the week posing with the truck. Ronney, Karen and kids are at Roosevelt Lake in Arizona for spring break fishing and visiting with Ronney's family, so I have a garage dog for a little while. It was pretty cold yesterday and today, so work was minimal. The low last night was 3 degrees, and we got five inches of snow. The moisture is certainly welcome, but I wouldn't mind if it was a little warmer.

Next week I plan to install the windshields and rear glass and finish installing the hood.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It Lives ! ! ! !

Rossi came up this morning, and after installing the bendix cover and a little fiddling with various things, it fired up. It took a little doing, but with his knowledge of Model Ts and my mostly watching him work, the engine smoothed out and began to purr. We tightened up the screws and bolts to stop the worst of the oil leaks, and greased the fan, which was making a lot of noise. We probably ran it on and off for an hour or so. Then we took it for a spin. He drove first to show me how it's done, then I drove it with him instructing me. After that, he left for home. I'm sure glad he came up to help me, as I would have been in trouble otherwise.

After Galena got off work, she took a couple of videos. They're really big files, so it may take a while to download them. The first one is of starting the engine.... I think I'll keep the starter. It sure makes it a lot easier to start.

And the second is of the Model T coming up the driveway.

Next week I'll work on the hood, try to fix the back of the seat, and maybe put on the fenders and running boards.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More to Come .....

Rossi came up this morning. We installed the starter, but he forgot to bring the cover that goes over the starter bendix, so we couldn't start the engine without it running oil all over everywhere. However, we did turn the engine over enough to get oil flowing and everything lubed. It was pretty dry from sitting so long. We checked the coils to make sure they are working. Everything appears to be a go. He's coming back Friday morning with a cover so we can start it up. I have to go to Albuquerque tomorrow, and will be gone all day.

I had an enjoyable time visiting with Rossi. It turns out that he knew some of the same people I did back in the sixties. He was into super modified racing, so knew Charlie Strance and some of the others that had race cars.

I did work some on the bed. I'm trying to decide whether to rebuild the whole thing or just fix it up enough that I can paint it for now.

I'll update the blog Friday afternoon to let you know how it went. It looks like it ought to go fine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Musical Chairs

Rossi is coming tomorrow to help me get the engine started. Meanwhile, I've been sandblasting some of the tools that we found in the old garage on the farm last week. I need to put together another parts order so I can put the windshield and the back glass in. I need new gaskets for the glass as well as the "h" rubber that goes between the upper and lower panes of the windshield. I need a number of new screws that go in the door hinges and latches, too. Some of them I can find locally, but a few are odd shaped, so I'll have to get them from one of the Model T parts suppliers. Here's a picture of the tools I've cleaned so far.

This afternoon I spent shuffling things around. I loaded the Model T grain bed onto my trailer with the tractor, then put it on some saw horses under the leanto on the side of the garage. I spent more time hooking up and moving trailers than moving the bed. Here's a picture of the bed loaded on the trailer and strapped down.

This is the bed on the sawhorses. Now I'll be able to take off the metal parts of the bed to sandblast and paint them.

Here's a picture of the rear of the bed with the Kansas antique plate. ELRJ stands for "Earl, Evelyn, Larry, Robert and Joann.

I hope I have time to update the blog tomorrow to report how it went starting the engine.