Friday, February 5, 2016

Tractor Time - Cockshutt!!!

Sorry I had to work today and this post had originally been scheduled to go out late this morning but of course with the lovely blogger it didn't go at all.

I searched and searched but could only find one suitable picture of a Cockshutt tractor for a tractor time post.

Another Canadian tractor and implement company Cockshutt started off selling Allis-Chalmers model 20 - 35 tractors but eventually purchased Oliver tractors to market as their own (the second greatest tractor ever made behind Fords). Cockshutt eventually produced many great tractors of their own design that are collectors items today and hard to find. Eventually Cockshutt was bought out by White Motor Company, which had also bought the Oliver line and so Cockshutt and Oliver tractors of the 1960's are pretty much the same with just different paint jobs.

Since the Cockshutt pictures were so scarce I decided to add a few more pictures of other tractors to appease the tractor enthusiast out there. Enjoy!!!

At least they are mostly red eh?

And White!!!

As usual click for a larger image!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Another Hive Move

This morning dawned bright, clear and cold. The thermometer read about 21 degrees and the rain that had been predicted for us on Tuesday never really made an appearance so the ground was not only frozen but mostly dry as well. More importantly I didn't have to work today either.

The perfect morning for moving a bee hive.

The only dowside being that the sun was out in full force and no wind to speak of at all for a change which means it won't be long until the bees will be out.

We had about an one hour window with perfect hive moving conditions and we jumped on it this morning. We started just as it got light enough outside to see clearly.

First task besides taping over the entrance holes was getting the bee hive all strapped up in the carrier.

This is a picture from the hive we moved a little over a year ago. It was still too dark to take a good one this morning. You can see how the home made mover system comes together and why I use the type of hive stands I use in this picture. The board under the bottom slides through the sides with the handles and the entire thing is then tightened down with ratchet straps.

Incidentally I think ratchet straps are also one of those things invented by the devil for torture that also is useful and needed in real life. I hate adjusting ratchet straps but they do a good job of holding things tight once ya get em all set up right.

It's then just a matter of one person in back and one in front loading the hive into the truck and securing it down for the move.

This hive was being moved about three or so miles away to the garden apiary. It's a lovely spot nestled behind a small peach orchard with a nice old stand of hardwoods behind it to the North, several small ponds within easy flight distance and a cow pasture on two sides. A pretty good sized subdivision nearby and several large fields that are mowed all Summer but not sprayed for plenty of Dutch clover forage as well.

I typically don't put smaller hives this close to well established hives, especially in spots I cannot check daily because of the opportunities for robbing it creates. If robbing gets started and I am not around to deal with it I will end up losing the smaller hives. That's why I like to keep new hives close to the house and move them out to their permanent locations during their first Winter.

Hopefully we will have at least one more good bee hive moving morning before it really starts to warm up in March or so. As you can see I have room for three more hives in this location before needing another stand set up but I doubt I will get it filled this year. I will sometimes place a newly captured swarm in an out lying yard if it is big enough to protect itself though so perhaps this apiary yard will be filled by mid-Summer.

As I said it's a very pretty spot and should be the perfect bee forage area with plenty of water for the hot periods and lots of diverse season long nectar sources to choose from. The two older hives that have been down there about a year now started producing late last Summer so I am hoping for some good honey production from them this year.

As soon as I get this tractor project out of the way it will be time to start building new hives for this years expansion goals. Seven more hives to go to get to my goal of 25 hives provided I don't lose any this Winter. March is just around the corner now and that's the big danger period for losing hives around here.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Final Scramble of the Tractor Rebuild

Well I hit another snag. I looked and asked all around if the hood from the 100 series and 01 series tractors were the same and was assured they were. Which they are more or less. There are some variations in nose cones but by and large that isn't important. However there was a miss communication in what I called the front hood assembly and what some of the experts were calling it. Come to find out the side pieces were not part of the hood assembly and were different on the row crop models.

So I am back to square one on the hood and now forced to completely restore the old extremely beat up hood that was originally on the 861-D. Either that or find a good body man to switch the side panels which will take more effort than it seems as they have been spot welded on to both hoods. The other thing I don't like is someone cut a flap out of the old hood panel to accommodate the more modern taller batteries to.

Nothing to be done at this point but dive in even though the temps have dropped considerably. I am about a third of the way done removing the old rust but my new deadline is Saturday and I have to work a 12 hour shift on Friday. The rapis temperature drop we been getting today isn't helping my motivation any either.

Still I can't complain too much. It was my oversight and if these are the only two (The hood and balancer) set backs we encounter in this job we are getting off lucky.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iowa, Politics and the Upcoming Election

I like Iowa. Oh it's a bit too cold for my tastes in Winter sure but not much worse than we get down here in Missouri. I have met and dealt with plenty of people from and in Iowa and they are always nice and polite. They have some damn fine farmland and clean towns with some rich history. Their trees are kinda puny though by and large.

When it comes to politics however Iowan's are about as smart as a box of rocks most of the time. This isn't a new phenomenon either. In fact I did a post about it back in 2012 if I remember right. See the trouble with Iowa in general is they are the most susceptible group of sheltered White people on the entire planet. There is just enough of them to matter, unlike some other plains states that have much lower populations, but they have never really had a taste of the true diversity and craziness the Femocrats and RINOs push off on the rest of America and they have enough residual civil-war abolitionist/Germanic liberalism left in them to believe the multi-cult propaganda to boot.

If Iowa existed in a vacuum it would almost be Heaven.

So all that being said Trump supporters don't take this Iowa thing as something of any real importance. Iowa is NOT a political indicator by any stretch of the imagination except to show how insidious the multi-cult propaganda arm is doing with those who are unable to see the real world. Remember Reagan lost the Iowa caucus as well.

I like Trump, I will admit that. Not so much because I feel he can do anything to stop the train wreck we have coming but because he at least sends a message that I think needs sending. I doubt, as I said, he can stop anything but maybe he at least won't make it worse before it get's here.

I will say though the Republican's have a chance this time around. The Femocrats are running the two worst possible choices they could think of. If they had been smart they would have found them another Negro front man to run and gotten the stupid, vapid White Female entertainer types to hype him up like they did with Obummer. Either that or run the false-Injun nutjob Senator but instead they chose an old Hag that too many love to hate and a washed up old White Male Socialist with negative sex-appeal.

Perhaps they are counting on their routine voter fraud to carry this election like they did the last though?

Whatever the case the Iowa caucus is a non-starter. I am actually surprised Trump did as well as he did there.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Stupid Birds and Bad Paint Jobs

Today I got the beat up old brush guard and the air filter pipe and canister assembly painted. I also got the hood about halfway finished as well.

This would go a lot faster if I could.... 1. Paint for shit and 2. had some tape that would stick worth a damn.

Truth is if I had ever tried to be a body and paint man I would have starved years ago. It's funny too since I am really a pretty good artist and even made a living sculpting miniatures for various historical and fantasy games for a few years. Problem is there is more of a science to getting the paint on metal evenly than art or at least that's my excuse. Not saying good paint guys aren't artist by any means because they are, it's just they understand the science they must do first to get to the art I think.

Here's what that air filter canister and pipe looked like while I was cleaning and getting the rust off it. It actually turned out looking pretty good and the clear plastic top cleaned up nice and I painted the band that holds the oil reservoir gray for contrast.

Where I really suck at painting though are the larger pieces like the hood. I had to start with it flipped over and got many runs. Runs in my paint is my biggest issue usually and why I hate painting sheet metal.

If you look closely you can see the evil runs. My other issue is that even though it is really warm for February the paint is still taking forever to dry and harden properly and I am running out of space. I had to paint the hood in the shop and I really didn't have room to get a good paint spread while painting it.

I am going to paint the center red section of the hood with a brush so it's going to take a few coats to get the brush marks out of it as well.

The stupid chicken antics continue to follow this project around like midget clowns running after a small car.

I had some parts from the air filter assembly soaking in a pan of kerosene and one of the Red sexlink hens came up and decided to take a drink. This morning I used a paint stick to stir up the rad paint and then dropped it on the ground only to come back and find one of the Red Sexlink hens attempting to eat the stick.

She now has a red beak.

We got three or four of these Red Sexlink hens that have zero survival sense. They come out from the protected barn lot and just wander around any old where completely oblivious to the world around them. We already lost one who walked right out in front of a car and this morning when I got back from buying tape the neighbor's dog had one in his mouth.

He didn't hurt it though as he is a big old stupid lab and was just trying to take it home I think. I honked the horn at him and he dropped the bird and came over to me with a stick. The bird appears to be fine I checked her over for injuries and found none and she is still eating every time I go out to check again.

When the other hens see a dog or hear a car any where near them they run/fly to the barn lot but not these couple of Sexlinks.

Last night Mrs. PP asked me if Turkeys would get along with chickens. I didn't think much about it at the time but the fact she asked that has been bugging me all day. I got a feeling she is up to something.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunday Reading - New Paint, Orange Cleaner and Flying Bees Don't Mix Well

Since more often than not my new posts don't want to update until the wee hours of the morning anyway and I am so pressed for every minute of daylight I can get. I decided to skip the Saturday post and just do a Sunday reading tonight for tomorrow.

Sorry about my more limited web and blog presence lately but I need to get this done in time to get everything put on the tractor when the engine is finished and these Spring-like days we been having are perfect for getting everything painted.

Remember the above parts? One is the new (salvaged) grill that will go on the old girl and the other is an under cover that fits below the grill and behind the brush guard.

Here they are this evening.... The bottom piece is a bit beat up but at least it is painted now. I wasn't going to spend the time trying to reshape it.

This Tractor Supply Ford Red we are using is turning out a bit more glossy than I wanted and the Gray is much lighter too but oh well use what ya got.

I got the Radiator cleaned and repainted as well. I either used a wire brush or 60 grit sandpaper to start, then switched to 80 grit and finished up with 140 grit. I really think the 140 grit was a bit of overkill considering she is going to be a working tractor and not a garage or barn queen. But why not?

And the new front end. I sanded the inside down and left the surface rust in there then hit it with that primer that oxidizes the rust instead of painting the inside the same color as the outside the way it usually is done. Not sure if I will like it as well this way but I think it will be alright. Once it's on the tractor you can't really see in there anyway.

This hood is actually one off a 900 tractor that the guy was parting out. It's dimensions are exactly the same as the old rusted hood off the 861-D but the 100 series hoods had that raised Ford emblem on the side. One thing Ford did back then was use up the old sheet metal and such from the previous models on the new ones however and I have seen many 01 series tractors with 100 series sheet metal. My early 861-D actually had a 100 series front grill. Basically most of the sheet metal is interchangeable and the same size. All I will have to do is change the decal placement a bit to incorporate the raised Ford logo. As you can see the inside is all primed and ready while I am still sanding and prepping the outside. I have a little welding work to do on it as well.

The best part about this hood? It only cost me $75.00. Even one from a salvage yard will run ya $250.00 or more and not be in much better shape than my old one. All this one required was a bit of sanding to be ready for a new paint job.

The biggest issue I had all day besides the chickens constantly under foot was keeping the bees off the new paint. The combination of the orange cleaner smell I used to degrease everything and the bright red brought them over left and right and they kept landing on the fresh paint. I hadn't planned on anyway to deal with this unexpected problem.

I still have to paint the air filter stack and get the brush guard I am going to put on her off the 850. It's a but bent and beat up but in much better shape than the one that was on the 861-D.

After we get these pieces in place she is still going to look funny. The front will be looking new while the rear half and the front rims will be rusty and ratty looking still. The rear fenders also need replacing so I will have a lot of work to do even once these parts are in place but half the battle will be won.

A lot of sanding and painting left to go though.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Reader Asks a Question, More Tractor Parts and Blogger Still Not Working

Another nice day today if  a bit on the windy side. I been working on prepping the old tractor's sheet metal parts for a re-painting. It ain't going to be some super slick high gloss job though. Just brightening up the colors a bit and removing some rust. She is going to go right back to work and going to get all dinged and scratched up anyway.

Between that and needing to split another load of firewood that's about all I got done today. Still not feeling enough like Spring to get me jump started into full motivation mode.

I had a reader email me and ask why I was wasting so much time on tractors if I felt an economic collapse would eventually leave us liquid fuel free?

A fair question I must say. The answer lies in the length of time it takes us to get from the point we have reached now to whatever point we finally level out at. This has been one slow, grinding decline I don't think anyone can deny that and as things wind down technology that was once thought of as obsolete often times comes back into fashion as it is a better choice. In the case of these old tractors they get smaller jobs done with much less energy consumption than the larger ones. I bet all told I didn't even use 25 gallons of fuel (either diesel or gas) all Summer last year. They are much simpler to maintain (Ok as long as you aren't rebuilding a diesel engine anyway) and were definitely made to last.

Of course when the fuel and lubricants run out they stop working no denying that but I figure I could still get a year or two's work out of them even after a full collapse just with the fuel I store on site. If things continue on the slow grind down for a few more years I might even have them for another decade before fuel runs out.

After that I can park em in the front yard and use em as props to tell my great grandchildren about the good old days and how man had machines to do all the hard work for him.

We aren't talking big money here anyway. Even with a two year window in a post collapse situation they would more than pay for themselves and the return on the investment in time to adapt would be priceless in my opinion.

As for blogger well nothing has gotten any better. I made a post yesterday at 4:00 PM and it never updated to other blog rolls until sometime after 2:00 AM this morning. That's at least 8 hours it sat there. Almost all my posts now refuse to update until sometime in the wee hours of the morning.

In other blogger related glitches.  I have noticed I jumped up to 156 followers yesterday morning than fell to 148 by that afternoon and lost an additional two this morning to 146. Yet I don't see where any are gone now. Who knows? I also noticed that when I click on comments that my silver and oil price widgets disappear and the only way to bring them back is to reload the blog manually.

Not sure what's up with any of these issues but I guess there is nothing I can do about them right now but continue on and hope it gets straightened out. I put in a thread about it on the help forums and got one reply asking questions and then just crickets chirping.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Bee Flight Day and The Tractor Part

It was warm enough for the working girls to take some cleansing flights today. All the hives were flying and active so no Winter losses yet. Of course most Winter losses happen in March so my plan is to get around and get all the hives fed some dry sugar this week. We are suppose to be back up into the 60's by Saturday.

I spent the better part of the morning going through a small pile of Ford Diesel balancer assemblies. I finally found one that had a casting number B9NN-6A308-D. If you remember the one I had that I was trying to replace was a -C. While of course the assembly housing still would not work the gears did measure out as near as my amateur eye and calipers could tell.

The real issue is not so much the shape of the housing but the fact that the center main inside the block only has those four corner bolt holes to attach the thing with.

You can see where this part fits. Even if I tried not using the four corner bolts there is no center hole to attach the housing opposite the oil pump hole. We have to have those four bolt holes or replace the main center gear housing (least I think that's what it's called) and then have the engine crank rebore lined.

The other issue is the oil pump. The tube that goes into the balancer assembly and into the block wall is not long enough if we use the -D housing. I would have to dig up a new oil pump tube.

The good news is though that the gears inside the -D housing are different than the other ones I looked at and are held in by hex head screws into the inner shaft not pressed in with the little ball housing. It means we can remove the gears and move them into the -C housing much easier.

Of course that is simply a theory right now but it's what we are truing next.

I know one thing now though. If this engine ever blows up or if the crank/balancer goes out I am putting a gas engine on the old girl. Not enough of these old Ford diesels still around to keep em in parts.

Here's a side view of the engine so far.

Should have the old girl back together by next week now it looks like.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!