Monday, February 13, 2023

New Phone: The Farm Report 02-13-2023

  The Farm Report

New Phone 


Oakdale Farm has a new phone! Well, it isn't really a new phone; it's actually a very old phone. But we have one anyway. This one had been rolling around in my shop archives for years, and this winter I decided it was time to polish it up a little and hang it in The Manor House Kitchen where I remember there being one just like it when I was a little tyke. Our ring was 2 longs and one short. Somebody had converted this one to a radio along the line in the past. That is all gone now, and the front opens to show a key cabinet inside. I like it.

I also added a new fireplace to the joint. This one sits exactly where the architects had specified a fireplace in 1900 when they drew up the blueprints. My great grandmother nixed the fireplace because she didn't want anything to do with soot, ashes and mess. They got as far as building the brick foundation underneath it down in the basement though. This one is totally fake. But, it is so totally fake it looks like a real one. The literature says the guy who figured out this fireplace also did special effects for the Harry Potter movies. You'd swear it was a real 'un. I have it so it even crackles for me in the mornings while I read the news. You can't roast your weenie in it though.

I've not posted in awhile, because it has been winter, and there just hasn't been much going on you'd be interested in knowing about. I made new tool bar for the Ranger. Annie wasn't sure it was a good add.

"Really, Tim? Is this something we need? We were doing just fine without it before." Well, Annie, it will help keep me from running over my chainsaw - again.... Motivation comes from various sources.

The winter has been pretty mild, so we've been cutting logs, sliding them into Picnic Point to link them up and split them. This is work Annie loves to supervise. If I make 25 trips down into the timber after logs (about 1/2 mile round trip both ways) she will make all 25 trips with me - and be ready for trip 26. These dogs have amazing, amazing energy and endurance!

I have everything I can think of put on wheels inside my shop. This wood cart is an example. Once filled, I can roll it anywhere for storage so I'll have nice dry wood to burn while I'm working in the shop.

Neighbor Ron has once again obtained some giant turkey legs for the smoker. We both think they look more like dinosaur legs!

"Oh my, Oh my! I'm your friend for life, Ronnie!" Annie gets the spoils but she is ever hopeful she might one day win the big jackpot. 

One of our local grocery chains sells Duroc pork bellies. They make the world's best bacon! So, since we had the smoker out for the Disney Knockoff Smoked Turkey Leg project, why not be makin' some bacon? I like mine splattered with all the black pepper that will stick. Ummmmmmmmm.

The Oakdale Mini Walled Rose Garden project is still going. My roses in grow-bags seem to be happy as clams so far. Spring isn't too far away, so we'll know how they did soon. I'm hopeful!

I have done absolutely nothing since fall dormancy set in. On purpose. My theory is that the protection they have from the North Winds shielded by the greenhouse, and the other winds shielded by the snow fenced panels is at least one climate zone improvement; maybe two. Next week or so, I think I'll move a couple inside the greenhouse to see if I can force them to start growing a little sooner. 

We haven't totally escaped winter. This scene is just beautiful. Hoar frost is a thing. You have to see it quick, because just as soon as the wind picks up or the sun starts shinning, it goes away.

Even Annie seemed to enjoy the special sights.

How can you not love this? No mosquitoes, no sweat, Nature's beauty.

My camera just wouldn't stop clicking.

Deep down in the timber it was just as pretty, but SILENT. You've never heard silence like this anywhere else. The frost kills all the sounds trying to push their way into the woods and it is just you and silence there together to (not) hear  on mornings like this.

"Cut the baloney, Tim. It's cold out here and we've had enough of your arty photographs. We need to get busy doing stuff." Annie is a driver. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not! She isn't happy unless I'm doing something. She is especially happier when I'm doing something she thought of and pushed me into doing it. Yes, she's that smart. I'm not kidding! (Alternatively, yes - I'm dumb enough to let her get away with it!)

Several dear readers have asked why I never put pictures of myself in the Farm Report. Here's the reason why. How many mug shots of an old guy do you need to see. Yes, that's me. No, that's not a model I hired for the shoot. See ya!

So it has been cold and it is winter. Inside, I've been having fun converting an old 1872 W.F. Barnes Velocipede lathe into an ornamental lathe. Mine is a #5. A real Holtzapffel Ornamental Lathe recently sold for $188,500 plus shipping and auctioneer's fees. At that price, I decided it was time to do a little handy work and convert the old pedal lathe I already had on hand. OSHA? Who need OSHA with a lathe like this. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the bearing could go wrong for one thing! These lathes were made long before ball bearings. One of my turning mentors, the late Bill Jones, shunned ball bearing lathes anyway. His opinion - which I also hold to - was that ball bearings chatter, whereas bronze or Babbitt bearings don't. My old Barnes used both on the main headstock arbor. The lathe hadn't been run in over 20 years. When I tried to turn it, they were frozen. I now know the intricacies of taking the shaft and arbor bearings apart, reaming them to fit, and getting it all back together to run again. I'm using an electric motor on mine. The pedals are gone.

For the work I want to do (guilloche patterns primarily - think Spiro Graph) I needed to invent a way to install a rotary milling table onto the cross feed tool rest. A trip to the junk pile and some engineering cannoodling, and we're in business.

A hardware store bolt, a little cherry wood from the furniture stockpile, and some time at the lathe - and we have a new stud chuck ready to mount.

Some Dykem Blue layout fluid and a day or two of patience, and the new stud chuck is Exactly centered and ready to use. The antler in the background will show up as ornament in the lids of fancy boxes yet to be turned. Hang on, I'll show you later.

Other than that, not much to report. I made a cherry pie for the Super bowl Game - and fell asleep before the game was over, so I missed the pie for desert. I did snap awake in time to see the final few minutes of the game though. Go Chiefs! (Next year, them Packers better get going!!!)

All is well at Oakdale Farm. Spring is coming, and I'm ready to start some seeds. Cheers!