Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Keeping that Barn-Fresh look on a restored gas engine is an important trend in the hobby. When I first took a liking to these engines back in the 60's, everyone wanted to make them look like new, and there was a lot of patina rubbed out forever. Fortunately, some engines still are found hidden away that show their age very respectably when they are put back into operation. This Cray engine was on display last summer at Evansville.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
EMGColonel has posted a stack of Frank Crumit records! Ukulele Lady is one of my favorites ever since I first heard the song on Arlo Guthrie's album Hobo's Lullaby. We have posted this song as performed by Vaughan DeLeath, and somewhere in my stack is a dance version by Paul Whiteman. Down below is Arlo in his 1972 version, courtesy of kph38. UPDATE!! You can't cheat on unexpired copyrights. YouTube has pulled the Arlo Guthrie version of Ukulele Lady, and that is no surprise. Click on the link (above) for Hobo's Lullaby and you can still buy this record.
One of my landowners needed a chainsaw lesson recently, and this stump turned out good enough to share with you. The first cut aims the tree, and this cut should end when the length is 80% or more of the tree's diameter at breast height. The tree will fall at a right angle to the front of the hinge, and there is a line on your saw's power unit for you to use as a sight.
The second cut should match up exactly to the first cut, and there should be 70 to 90 degrees between the two cuts so the hinge will not be broken until the tree rotates to the ground.
Cut number three is a bore cut to build the hinge. You can punch through parallel to the front face if you are good, but it is safer to angle back slightly so you don't accidentally blow out your hinge.
Press the dogs into the bark, lean around the tree so you can see the end of the bar, and carefully rotate the saw until the far end of the hinge is the same thickness as the near end.
After you have the hinge completed, cut toward the back of the tree, but stop before cutting the backstrap and have a look around for safety. This cut can be done in halves on larger trees. Cut out on the heavy side of the tree first to avoid having the tree sit down on your bar. If the tree is balanced, or has back lean or weight, you will need to pound in a wedge before you release the tree.
Cut number 6 can be done in various ways to fit the situation. For trees with forward weight I usually continue straight out the back and make my escape. A downward cut through the slab wood, or a root swell prevents your bar from being trapped if the tree sits down on the stump when you cut the back strap. If you are going to be wedging, make cut number 6 horizontally a couple inches below the stump level. This will leave a tab hanging down off the log which keeps your wedge from coming out sideways as you pound it in.
These steps do not constitute a complete falling plan, but this is the part that puts the tree on the ground.
More Info: Click 1, 2, 3, 4.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Bidone 1967 lives across the pond, and does a very professional job of posting videos of steam and gas engines. He put this one up a few days ago, and it is well worth watching.
Bidone leaves nice comments on my engine videos, and I wish I could tell you more about him, but I don't speak German. Here is info from his profile on YouTube: Im Sommer besuche ich viele Stationärmotoren-, Oldtimer- und Landmaschinentreffen. Im Winter geht es in den Zoo.Nebenbei bin ich noch Geocacher.Immer ist meine Kamera dabei und hier seht ihr meine Filme.
-Geocaching-Oldtimer-alte Traktoren und Standmotoren-natürlich Videofilmen und Schnitt
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Dr. Ruffner is conducting the final briefing before we ignite a prescribed burn on private land near Marion, Illinois. The fire program at SIU prepares these students like no other program in this country. Many of the students use their training to fight western fires during the summer in order to finance their schooling.
One of the Fire Dawgs patrolling the fire line.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
You have one more weekend available to shoot Mr. Completely's April contest, so print out your targets and schedule time for a family outing to the range. Remember, some lucky person will win a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt just for entering; and you get bragging rights for shooting with the likes of Mr. C, Merle, Sailor Curt, and a host of others. The only way you lose is if you don't enter.
PS: I should have gone for the easy points. I threw away points by trying for the 12 and 13, plus I missed the 9 on the first try for that circle.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The True Blue Studio recorded and posted "The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane" a couple years ago, but Pax41 has much better equipment than the TBS Brunswick, so it is well worth listening to again. Pax also includes some nice photos of Alma Gluck, and the young lad must be Efrem Zimbalist Junior. I remember him from "77 Sunset Strip," but the younger visitors here will probably associate him with his daughter rather than a prehistoric TV show.
The Mrs. and I were invited to the annual FFA banquet in Cisne last week, and we were surprised with an honorary FFA degree for promoting forestry education with the agriculture students in our area. This will be a great wall-hanger, and now we can wear those sharp looking blue jackets with the corncob, plow, and owl.
Many years ago we took some high school students from McLeansboro to a forest soils conference in Kentucky. One of the students was a senior girl who was all set to go into forestry when she entered college. At the conference our students met forestry students from the University of Kentucky, and they were a bit on the rough side. On our return trip to Illinois the girl announced that "I'm not like those people." She ditched her forestry plans and went into Pre-Med, and now she is a reconstructive surgeon. You never know how your work will pay off.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Most steam traction engines have no braking system at all, but they can be stopped quickly by closing the throttle, reversing the engine, and re-opening the throttle momentarily. This video shows the technique being demonstrated at the Wisconsin Histroical Steam Engine Association Steam School. Their next class is scheduled for September, and they only have room for fifty people, so don't delay in signing up if you need to learn how to operate a steamer.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Spring tree planting season can run from February clear to July in Southern Illinois. The field being planted in this video was underwater until June last year, and success is not guaranteed when the trees go in the ground on a site like this one. The soil here has a high clay content, and it is chunking some as the planter runs, leaving air gaps in the top of the planting slit. We need dry weather to finish the job, but we want rain right away when we are done to seal the trees in. We have seen flooding do an excellent job of sealing the planting slit, too, in years past. This project is 165 acres, so it will take about ten days to complete; we probably will have a rain delay before it's done, and that will be okay. I had a nice comment on YouTube after I posted this video. I was surprised, because I figured watching a tree planter would seem about as exciting as watching paint dry for most people. We'll see if we can post something a little more dramatic tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
This news video was posted by Xavier, and after you watch it, be sure to watch the second one, too. Criminals don't fight fair, and they intentionally seek out those who they think are safe targets. Elderly, infirm, or impaired people need to be able to defend themselves against thugs, and I am glad to see in the news that more law abiding folks are arming themselves.
This video was posted on No Quarters Blog, and the news guy quoted a good point made by the victim that "owning a gun is a good idea, particularly for elderly people." Anyone can be a victim of crime, and preparing yourself before you are a victim is necessary if you want to survive encounters with thugs like this lady met.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
This YouTube video was shot at the 2009 Pawnee, Oklahoma show*, and it shows us a time honored game of steam shows, the Slow Race. The winner is an unusual engine, a return flue Minneapolis with a tandem compound engine. One of these is pictured in the slide show for this year's National Threshers Association Reunion, which happens in June at Wauseon, Ohio. I might have to schedule a weekend and go over there to see that beauty.
*The Oklahoma Steam & Gas Engine Show
All roads lead to Pawnee the first full weekend in May for three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) for one of the largest displays of the giant machines at work in the country ... The largest in the southwest.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Pumping units are all over the Southern Illinois oilfield, so this is a common sight for me. Much of the country does not have oil wells putting away, so I thought it would be good to share one with the True Blue vistiors. That is a Fairbanks-Morse 208 engine, and it burns gas from the well head. These engines have a closed crankcase, with a splash oil system, and Timken roller bearings instead of the plain babbit bearings you see at antique engine shows. The radiator on top of the cooling tank serves as a condenser for the coolant that boils off. The pumper (person who checks the well every day) checks the oil and antifreeze as part of his routine every day.