Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Graders, little tractors, snow & wet paint

It may not be here to stay but then again it may be.  We woke up to about 8 inches of white crap on the ground this morning and its still there at dark.  The roads have sort of burned off but there were some bad accidents on the roads today including a woman killed about 20 miles from here.  If we really didn’t want to live in a winter climate nobody is holding a gun to our heads but its a jolt every fall nonetheless.

I finally got the little 444 that I use to pull the estate sprayer put away this afternoon.  Its got a soft front tire that never goes completely flat but always needs air and this afternoon was no different.  With all the wet snow and a soft tire I had a hell of a time getting it to even move.  The soft tire refused to turn but the snow was slimy enough that I finally got it skidding and went round the block that way.  By the time I got it to the garage door it was turning intermittently and it worked just fine once it was aired up.  Its tucked away in the barn behind the little house now. 

I also got the blade mounted on the 446 and used it to clear the sidewalk in front of our place and Keith’s.  Some Catholic doozer had already been around to shovel God’s sidewalk so I didn’t need to do it.

The mayor has had me working on the grader again so that took up some time yesterday and today.  One of the big cylinders that raises the circle was leaking.  He thought we could put a seal kit in it but I was sceptical.  It turned out that we were both more or less right.  I was arguing for removing the cylinder and taking it to Ram Industries in Yorkton.  That’s the business founded by Ray Malinowski that built hydraulic cylinders, initially for his brother Leon who built front end loaders but eventually both brothers branched out further.  I’m not sure what all they are building now but they still do cylinder repairs.  Gary thought we could pull the piston and shaft, leave the barrel on the grader and do the repair ourselves. 

The advantage of that plan was that the shaft and piston can be (just barely) handled by one person while removing the entire cylinder would have involved heavy lift equipment.  The problem with any repairs on our part was that we would have to remove the big nut holding the piston to the shaft.  We got the shaft assembly out of the barrel without much drama and mounted it in the vise at the town shop.  Then I put my 4 foot 3/4 swing handle on the nut and pulled the vise clear off the workbench. 

At that point I suggested that maybe it was time to take the shaft and piston to Yorkton and the mayor agreed.  We made one more attempt with my 3/4 air impact but when that failed to budge the nut Gary loaded the assembly up and took it to Yorkton.  They rebuilt it pretty much immediately and this afternoon we stuck it back together.  I don’t think we spent a total of 2 hours on disassembly and re-assembly combined so it was a lot less onerous than our grader adventures last fall. 

This morning we finally got started painting our ceilings.  Marilyn has been prepping the walls and ceiling for over a year now.  We’re starting at the ceiling and working down.  Unless they turn gravity off, the paint will drip down first on the walls and then on the floor so we’ll get the ceilings done, then paint the walls and finally replace the floor covering.  Our goal is to have the ceiling and walls finished before we leave for the boat. 

Our ceiling treatment dates back to our house on the first acreage in Nipawin.  I can’t remember the local guy’s name who did the marble effect on our ceiling but he was locally famous and we loved that ceiling.  The marble effect comes from a high gloss white paint that has smoke from a coal oil lantern absorbed into the wet paint.  When its finished it has a high gloss marble appearance that cleans up easily and doesn’t show dirt.  We were in Pinkney’s house this summer which is the ceiling we originally copied 20 some years ago and it still looks great.

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The kind of dirty looking smudges on the ceiling are the aftereffects of smoke from the lantern below.20151111_111126


My phone doesn’t do justice to how good it really looks.

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