Thursday, August 18, 2011

What a difference a year makes

Back to Buchanan.  Last Friday I tracked down John-the-welder and got him to cut off the remains of the dead bearing on the tag axle.  John’s eyesight is not so good anymore – I’m pretty sure I could have done a better job cutting the bearing and I KNOW I’m no damn good.  But it was his torch and I didn’t have a whole lot of options so I kept my mouth shut.  He blew away most of the spacer behind the bearing and nicked the axle in a couple of places but I think everything is still usable.  I should have ordered the spacer along with the rest of the parts anyway so its really my own fault that I was stuck for a few more days waiting for that to arrive.

Even after John had cut through the bearing in three places it was still about a 4 hour job to get the 3 pieces beat off the axle.  Actually I damn near gave up and gave the whole mess to Lecuyers in Nipawin.  I had visions of them having to cut off the spindle, build a new one and weld it back on.  I saw them build a new stub for the end of the axle on one of our floaters one night so I know they could have done it.  In that case we lost a bearing and the weight of the unit ground the axle completely away on one side.  Kevin showed up at the shop with a micrometer, measured the axle on the good side and headed back to their shop.  We got busy and pulled the axle out from under the truck overnight and delivered it to Lecuyers’ shop in the morning.  By then they had built a new stub about 18” long.  I still don’t know how they kept it straight while they welded it back on but they had the axle assembly back to us by mid-morning and we had the truck back together and in the field that same afternoon.  In that case it was the drive axle so the piece they added had to be hollow.  So I’m certain that sticking one little solid spindle back onto my tag axle would have been child’s play. 

Marilyn has been busy painting the hovel.  Just having the primer coat on it has made a huge difference in it’s appearance.  Its still a miserable little hovel but at least it is no longer a bohunk yellow hovel. 

We’ve been hooked up to town water since we bought the place but all we had was a connection for the bus.  While I was waiting for the axle spacer to arrive I got us cold water hooked up in the house so we can use the bathroom there now.  That’s no great advantage except for Marilyn’s cleanup while she is painting.  Now the paint mess doesn’t have to come into the bus. 

We figure we’ll probably hire a pro to put the top coat on the hovel.  Not because we think it needs such a level of expertise – we just won’t be here to get it done.  That won’t be as easy as it sounds though.  Yesterday I had a long phone conversation with a Ukrainian fool (is “ukrainian” redundant in that situation?).  Getting a painter lined up may take longer than actually doing the work ourselves.  Marilyn talked to someone with a functioning brain last night so perhaps we have that problem solved.


Melbo said...

I would like you to know that I have Ukrainian ancestors and I might just like to be offended today. I would like you to know that you have done a sufficient job. THANK YOU


P.S. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner but being of Ukrainian decent I am a VERY slow reader.

Jorgito's dad said...

Careful - I'll post pictures next time. When we had our branch at Albertville we had Ukrainians on one side of the road and Frenchmen on the other side. I never was sure which was worse.