Sunday, June 08, 2008

Redefining Projekt from Hades....

May I present, for your reading pleasure, a guest blog post from my sister, Jackie (a.k.a. "Esteemed Sister of the Queen" in our Red Hot Sew 'n Sew chapter)! She lives with hubby Tim in Pickens, South Carolina. They have a beautiful home on several acres of property with trees, pasture, and lots of "critters" that visit the pasture that they enjoy watching. She homeschooled three fantastic kids all the way through high school, gardens, takes car engines apart and puts them back together, cans prolifically, sews beautifully, knits when she can find the time, and works full time with hubby Tim in their own business! My hat has been off to her so long my head is sunburned!

However beautiful and peaceful it is, that pasture has to be kept mowed, or as she says, bush-hogged, (otherwise, apparently, the wildlife population gets out of control) and keeping it cut necessitates a bit more of a solution than a normal mower. Here's Jackie to describe her own personal Projekt from Hades! (I sent her a package with an E. Burns book and some fabric I had left over that she had a great use for! Yay, using stash!)

Hello, hello and thank you, thank you!!

What a wonderful day brightener!! A package in the mail box from LA, with lots of interesting goodies!! I fell asleep last night reading the “Quilt in a Day” book – not because I was bored, but because I was pretty tired!!

You have your Projekt from Hades: your cabinets. We have our Projekt from Hades: the farm tractor. Not a little yard tractor, don’t ya know, but a very large go-out-in-the-pasture-and-spend-the-afternoon-bushhogging tractor. (I have attached a picture for your viewing pleasure, and so that you can breathe a sigh of relief that this is not your projekt.)

Said tractor was not running well, and Dr. Tim began an intensive examination. He found that the patient had blown a hole in the manifold gasket. For you lay people, just think, “this is not good” and nod knowingly. :D

First order of business was to remove the huge hunk of cast iron that is the manifold....The doctor and his assistant found that the previous mechanic –uh, doctor – had broken off one of the studs that held it on. (Please, ladies, a “stud” is another word for a bolt, except it has no head on it. You install a nut on it and tighten it down to hold something still.)

Nevertheless, Dr. Tim persevered, and was able to remove it. Now out of a total of seven bolts, there was one broken off, and three that would not come out. Many days went by, while various extraction techniques were tried: oil, heat, oil and heat, oil and heat and get the picture. (You may nod knowingly again, and make “tsk,tsk” noises in sympathy with our plight.)

When the doctor decided to call in an expert, all agreed it was the right move. The plan was now to remove the “head” from the engine, and take it to said expert (a local machine shop) to have them remove the bolts. The only problem with this plan was that it required WAY more work:

Remove the sheet metal from the tractor
Remove the gas tank
Remove the valve cover and admire the rocker arms/tappets
Remove the carburetor
Remove the radiator and sigh at the placement of the petcock, which made the antifreeze dribble all over the shed floor
Remove the generator/starter
Remove the coil
Remove the rocker arm assembly, push rods, etc
Finally (drum roll, please) remove the head


To make this long and probably boring story shorter, we now took the head to the surgeon, who extracted the studs and handed it back to be reinstalled on the patient. We have now got most of the tractor put back together now, and are looking forward to running it long enough to heat the head, and then torque the bolts down again and finish reassembling the thing.

Yesterday we had worked in 100 degree heat to get the aforementioned radiator on, and were headed back from the shed/barn to the house. Dr. Tim was walking, and I was driving the pickup full of tools and supplies, so I magnanimously offered to detour up the hill to check the mail. HURRAY!! I got my package!! I could barely contain my excitement as I parked the truck and dashed inside to clean my oil and dirt encrusted fingernails, and see what it contained! I really appreciate the fabric, and the pattern, too. And I LOVE the book on the Irish Chain pattern. There is one in there that is exactly what I envision for Tyler and Libby (and I have over a year to find the perfect fabrics!!) I figure I will give it to them on their first anniversary, like I did for Preston and Heather.

Anyway, thank you SO much!!

Love you lots, Jackie

I love you too Jackie!! Thanks for the story!


1 comment:

Yvette said...

I am so impressed with Jackie's skills. I don't even know where my dip stick is on my car. LOL!