Friday, July 13, 2018

Adding a receiver hitch to the skidder post

Found a twelve dollar receiver for a tow hitch at Mardens Discount a couple weeks ago, so I figured it might come in handy for the SKIDDER POST I built for the tractor in May .
So I brought the post back home and went at it with the angle grinder .
Cut out a two and a half inch section out of the bottom of the post .
And welded in the receiver .
My welds are nothing to write home about , but all in all not half bad for a hack .
Hit it with some rust converter and a can of orange spray paint I had on hand .
Ran it back up to Mom's and bolted it back on the three point hitch on the old Ford yesterday.
Looks spiffy , but beyond that , it will allow me to . . .
. . . build something like this next .
So that I can back right up to a log and lift it and chain it up without having to go through the trouble of digging under the log .

Saturday, July 7, 2018

We are carnivores . . .

. . . and we need to satisfy the primal urge .

The ingredients . . . the cut is inch and a quarter thick "chuck eye" with good marbling , far superior and more flavorful than any other . Dust it with Adobo.
The tool . . .  accept no substitute other than cast iron . A #10 Griswold at rip roaring full-tilt-boogie flame . Get your oven hot and broiler ready with the rack on its highest setting . Extractor hood on max setting .
Three to four minutes on one side , and then flip for another minute or two on the second side . Then in to the broiler for about five minutes .
That's what it looks like when it comes out
Remove steak and let rest for a couple minutes , meanwhile . . .
Throw a big chunk of butter in the pan
And a half cup of red wine . . .  de-glaze and reduce .
Pour over steak and serve with baked potato and salad .

Sunday, July 1, 2018


We went to a wedding yesterday .
Maria , my wife's niece , and Dominic , her long time sweetheart , were married .
Mia and her dad Gilles "walk down the isle", even I was a little overcome
Trouble is that when I think of Mia , it's that little nine year old girl with the long brown hair in this photo taken sixteen years ago at my wedding that comes to mind .
And these two pretty ladies . . .
 . . . are these two children  . . .  Mia's sister Abby , and cousin Kaylee . . . and for a jaded old cuss like me it's difficult to wrap my brain around this time-warp .
OK that's about as much soupiness as I can handle . .  Here is a photo of the background scenery . Tall ship booze cruises on Casco Bay . The center console powerboat that drove past just before the vows with the beer swilling crew hollering "RUN AWAY", made for some good laughs .
As this was one of the rare occasions when we are all together we did manage a family photo, though Gilles is missing as he went to find Abby for the official family portrait . The young fellow on the far left was not even born when we were married .The young man second from the right . . .
 is the little boy in the photo of the children at our wedding .
. . .  there that looks better without the riffraff  obstructing the view .
And our gift to the couple was some needle-point Annie had made .

Friday, June 22, 2018

Getting thrashed like a rented mule in the hot sun

A project came to me recently that apparently no one else would tackle .
The cedar clapboards on south facing wall of this house built in the early nineties were having some issues . A lot of the siding was curling off the wall , and needed replacing . Seems that the original builder did not bother to nail the siding in to the studs , and most of the nails were simply in the sheathing . So twenty five years of weather were taking their toll on it . So after coming up with a price estimate , I got roped in to doing the job . So last Monday I bought and delivered eighteen hundred dollars worth of new premium grade pre-primed cedar clapboards .
 By the Tuesday we had the bottom stripped off and resided . It was about ninety degrees and about sixty five percent humidity. Not fun at all . Got burned to a crisp too , as I forgot to bring any suntan lotion .
Wednesday was also a slow going and we did not get that far . Got the pump staging set up and made it to just above the first story windows .
By Thursday afternoon we got above the second story windows .
Friday we got beyond the use of the pump staging , so I took it down first thing in the morning , and used the ladders instead . By noontime I got the peak on the gable end done . That's my friend and helper for the week , Jonathan filling in a clapboard we had left out for the pump staging braces .
Friday afternoon we tackled the dormer side . Did I mention I hate heights ? That's me about twenty eight feet in the air . I had to struggle real hard to overcome my sense of vertigo and keep pounding away in the blazing sun while the occasional horse fly  tried to bore a hole in my leg .
It don't seem that high from down below , but I can assure you , from up above , it looks like a long way down to the ground .
By four thirty we had it all done and cleaned up . Someone please kick some sense in to me the next time I agree to take on such a project . I am way too old for this sort of monkey business . And right  now I am sore all over and my body aches like a thrashed rented mule .

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Went to see a man about a tractor

My friend Benjamin has been looking for a tractor to mow the eight acres of fields he has . Since I have been playing with dad's old 1952 Ford 8N he sought my advice on the matter . After a week of perusing Craig's List we narrowed it down to a couple and agreed to go look at the closest one in Freeport on Saturday .
This one is a  1948 model
Ben gave it the once over while I discussed the particulars of the brush hog with the sellers .
Took it for a spin after unhooking the PTO drive shaft  so I could work the three point hitch without flinging rocks at the audience .
Sure seemed light on the front end compared to ours with the muck bucket
I asked the boys if they had a means to deliver it up to Richmond for Ben and they agreed to throw in the delivery for the $2500.00 asking price along with a three point hitch skidder post and some additional accoutrements . Trading tall stories and shooting the breeze with the sellers , we learned the tractor actually used to belong to Charlie DeGrandpre at Wolfe's Neck Farm just down the road from mom and dad's . Thus making it the exact tractor that inspired my dad to buy ours . With that sign , and given I could find nothing wrong with it , I knew this was The One , and advised Ben that he should buy it .  But he wanted to go look at a Farmall up in Phipsburg next so we left without an agreement , and after swinging by mom's place for a short lesson on ours , Ben went off to Phipsburg .
But by next morning I had an email in my inbox with this photo of it sitting in front of Ben's house .

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

New Log Skidder Post for the Ford 8N Tractor

After my struggles moving the trees that fell at my parents' property from last October's storm , I had some ideas on how to improve the use of the old Ford tractor . . .
A proper log skidder post allows us to use the power of the three point hitch on the back of the tractor to pick up logs and move them where they can be parked and worked on .
So after some surfing on the web for some ideas , and a scrounge through the scrap steel pile  . . .
. . . and a bit of cutting and grinding the idea starts to come together .
Some drilling .
And some more serious drilling with a three quarter inch drill bit .
 A few tack welds to square it all up .
After a solid day of grinding and welding we arrive at this . . .
Sometimes I even amaze myself . . . yea I know , it don't take much .
And it even fits on the tractor like it was meant to . . . .
It works too . . .
 . . .  almost like I knew what I was doing
That log is about fourteen feet long and about thirty six inches in diameter at the base . If my contraption did not bend or break under that load , I am pretty sure it can hold up to normal abuse . The three point hitch could just barely lift the log about four inches off the ground and it maxed out .
I love it when a plan comes together .