Saturday, September 29, 2012

Moving the Card to its Final Resting Spot

Wednesday morning, we moved the card from outside the shed to its final place inside the shed. After moving, we played around with various implements trying to find the perfect one to clean the wool off of the machinery. A grill brush worked great on the breast and a slicker brush worked best on the card. 

Here's the card outside the shed. Weighing in at an estimated 4-5000 lbs, this was going to be very difficult to move by hand

We tied a pulley to a post in the shed and used my Allis C to pull the card into the shed a few inches at a time

Here's the card moving back into the shed. We then had to move it forward to put it in its final spot

In position! We pulled it forward with the tractor as far as we could. Then we moved it into its final position with Dad pulling and me using a bar under the back of the skid to move it into position. By positioning the metal pipe at different angles, we were able to hit the mark on the floor.

Dad using a slicker brush to clean one of the rollers. This is going to be a month long process!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home Safe and Sound!

Yesterday, we moved the last piece of the card! Hurrah!

I started the morning with a tour of the barn to look at all the stuff we've moved so far:


Batt Roller

A lot of motors, the blower, the rover, etc.

Shields and chains and belts and more motors

 In the afternoon, we moved the card:

Dad and Harlan positioning rollers under the card

Repositioning rollers

Rolling onto the trailer


Ready to drive home

While I ran the winch, I also made a video of the card moving onto the trailer:

Unloading the card

Ms. Bee Haven chooses not to help unload

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Getting the Card Ready to Move

Yesterday, we moved the mid section of the card into position for winching onto the trailer. It was not easy. All three of us had to work in sync to get the steel pipe under the skids, align them to turn the card, and push the card inch by inch into position. Dad used the red bar in the photo by wedging it under a skid and pulling up to move the card just a few inches while Harlan and I pushed. He also had to wedge the bar under the skids and stand on it in order to lift the card just enough so that we could adjust the steel pipes. 

Dad and Harlan with the card in position to winch onto the trailer

In other news, Mom and I moved two horses in the morning. We moved Paco over to the trainer and brought Kisses home from the trainer. Unfortunately, no net change in the number of horses on the farm--still two.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Moving the Breast and Jacking up the Center

Wednesday we spent a few hours working to move the breast and put skids under the center part of the card. 

Dad and Harlan putting rollers under the breast as I operate the winch

We had about two inches of tolerance to load the breast on the trailer. Here, Dad is using a chainsaw to cut off the excess edge of the board

Ahhh, success! Loaded and ready to roll

Dad and Harlan working in tandem to jack up the center piece of the card. We jacked one side up about 4 inches, moved to the other side and jacked it up to 6.5 inches, then returned to the first side and jacked that up to 6.5 inches. The 6x6 timbers fit nicely under the card and we pulled out the cribbing

This is the last piece yet to be moved to its new home. I think it looks like a woman in rollers. See the skids underneath?

Here's the breast unloaded and ready to roll into the shed

Another successful move. Still trying to decide on the final layout of the card in the shed. Should it go crosswise the short way or the long way? The shed is 30x60 but the floor was poured in two separate pieces so there is a split midway making each section 30x30. The card has to be on either side of the crack, it cannot cross it in case the floor heaves or shifts.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grandpa's Allis "C" Finds a New Home

About a month ago, my Dad asked me if I wanted a lawn tractor. I thought he meant a lawnmower without the deck. I said I would love to have a little lawn mower to pull stuff around. Well, we were talking at cross purposes. Finally he said, "Let's go look at it." Well, it wasn't a lawnmower, it was an Allis Chalmers C Tractor. My grandfather bought it new and drove it home from Day, MN.

Needless to say, I said, "Yes."

Today, I brought the tractor home. Dad got it running, repaired the tires, cleaned it up, stitched a new seat cover for it and helped me load it.

Here it is:

Granpa's Allis Chalmers C 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Busy Day Washing and Moving

A busy day today. Dad came over midmorning with a 50 gallon drum of water for powerwashing the feed box. Despite the foaming capacity of the soap, it did not do a very thorough job of cutting through 80 years of grease, grime, lanolin and wool.  We tried picking the wool out from between bearings with wire and pliers with little success.

Later, we headed over to Harlan's to put the breast on skids and to load the "butt" onto the trailer. "Butt" is probably not the technical word for it but since one end of the carder is the breast, it makes sense to me that the other end would be the "butt."

Both jobs went amazingly well. Harlan continues to be a big help. 

At home we unloaded the butt, pushed it into the shed for the night and called it a day. At least, Dad called it a day. I'm still waiting for the people to come to fix the water!

Dad power washing the feed box

Frankie taking a break from all the hard work cats are required to do every day of their busy lives

Dad trying to pick out wool and gunk from between the bearings and bushings

Dad and Harlan cutting a freshly milled white oak 4x5 into a skid for the breast

Success! The "butt" is on the trailer

Here we are at home unloading the "butt"

The butt sitting on the concrete pad halfway into the shed for the night

It may seem from the photos that I don't do much work. But honest, I've got my hands and feet in helping out, putting in lag screws, stacking cribbing, working the winch, giving advice and taking pictures.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bringing the Second Feed Box Home

Today, I started out the morning hosing down the floor in the shed in preparation for bringing the remaining pieces of the carder home. About an hour after hosing down the shed I noticed that there was no water in the house, none in the sheds, none in the waterers, no water flow anywhere. Dang! Called the well drillers who worked on the pump last winter. They will be out tomorrow. In the meantime, I searched and searched but was unable to find a reset switch on the pump. Bummer!

We spent the afternoon loading, hauling and unloading the second scotch feed box. This one is used to feed the carder. I don't think I will use it but....

The plan was to use a pressure washer to wash it off when we got home. But, alas, alack, no water at home. Dad will bring a 50 gallon barrel full of water over in the a.m. to use for washing. I just wish he would show up early enough for me to make coffee. Can't go without my morning coffee. Where or where am I going to get water for coffee? The creek? The swamp? The reserve tank on the toilet? 

Harlan and dad placing rollers under the skids

The box rolling onto the trailer with Harlan supervising

Loaded! This box went on smoothly, much more quickly and easily than the first feed box

Dad and I used the electric winch on the trailer to control the box as we let gravity slide it down the trailer. The trailer tips down which made it very easy to load and unload the box. Here it is tucked into the shed awaiting its morning bath

Only three more pieces to move! The front back and center of the card. We plan to move the back piece tomorrow and maybe the front piece (the breast) if we can get skids under it. Then its just the biggest piece last.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shearing, Worming, Skirting and Fencing

Today was a busy day. We started with shearing 17 sheep and three pygora goats. The goats are not mine. Mom and I wormed the sheep, coated the Romeldales and put up some fencing so that the animals could not get into the pasture--its over grazed from this very dry summer.

Jim, the shearer also delivered 500 lbs of wool for me to play with. I skirted just enough to put in the washer. Boy, it looks like a lot of wool! Not to mention that there is probably and additional 125 pounds from shearing today.

Finished off the day with a beer, a nap in the hammock swing and a horror movie.

I wanted to take photos of shearing but I was too busy worming the sheep and stuffing fleeces in bags.

Making good use of the skirting table I made

Here's the bags of wool from shearing today; not a very exciting photo, I know

This is what 500 lbs of raw wool looks like. These bags are about 5 foot long.

Jacking up the Breast and Cleaning the Card

On Sept. 13, we spent a little bit of time working to jack up the breast, get some cribbing under it and ready to place on skids. While Dad and I were doing that, Harlan was cleaning the back of the card with a slicker brush!

Here's Dad using a hydraulic jack to lift up the breast of the card while I slide cribbing under it

Meanwhile, at the back end of the card, Harlan is cleaning the drum with a slicker brush

Good news! The shed is now cleaned out. I just need to wash the floor and we are ready to move the rest of the machinery! Hopefully this coming week we will get the rest moved. Now I just need to decide how to place the card in the shed--should I run it the long way or the short way? Or, what the heck, run it diagonally--NO!

Monday, September 3, 2012

More Prep for Moving

On Friday, August 31st, we were again working on the mill in preparation for moving the last few, but very large, pieces.

Today's goal was to put the back piece on skids

Dad, cutting a skid with a chainsaw to angle the end

Dad drilling a hole through the cast iron so that we could bolt the skid in place

Success! Despite the very tippy nature of this piece, we were able to get skids under both sides and move it out and away from the carder

Here's Harlan looking for holes in the central piece to attach skids to

After getting the back piece on skids, we once again had lunch at Pine Brook. It feels strange to go work on the mill but not haul anything home. Progress continues to be made by the tenant of the shed to get his stuff out by the September 15th deadline.

In other news, September 15th is shearing day at the farm. All of the karakuls and my 1/2 karakul lambs will be shorn. The CVM/Romeldale sheep will not be shorn until February (when all the sheep will be shorn).

I also made a deal with a local commercial breeder to buy 500 lbs of raw wool from her. That should arrive on September 15 and will keep me busy skirting and washing.

School starts tomorrow! Haven't gotten any sub jobs yet but expect to start working next week. Wow! Summer went fast!