….. fortunately my little Case started like a trooper. I did have to fiddle fart around with the choke to keep it running. We’ve got spoiled by computerized ignitions and fuel injection on gas vehicles. When a diesel starts it generally just runs but a carbureted gas engine can be a temperamental bitch, as those of us of a certain age can well remember. I can remember many frigid mornings bent over the open engine bay on one of father’s vehicles trying to coax it into life. My earliest memory of that was when mother’s ‘58 wagon burned my eyebrows off after it coughed a fireball up through the carb. I can also remember one bitterly cold day in Regina when the radiator in the ‘66 Montclair slushed up and we had to run it with a blanket over the hood until it generated enough heat to thaw itself out. It had a 390 with an early automatic choke. Those auto-chokes pretty well never worked.
Its remarkable what the little 446 will push, as this photo should attest ….
That was early going – as I got better at managing the controls I managed to push a lot higher. I’ve got about 200 pounds of weight on, maybe a little more, plus the tire chains and it handles remarkably well. I’ve driven full size tractors with blades that handled a lot worse. Its sometimes a little light on the front end with the blade down but that’s normal too – with the blade on an angle it will tend to steer the tractor but its really quite manageable. All in all I’m very impressed with how the project turned out. The only incident this morning was minor. At one point I started to lose steering control but it turned out that I had failed to tighten the steering wheel nut sufficiently. It held together long enough to get me back to the garage where a couple of turns with a wrench solved the problem.
Other than last night’s snowfall our week was pretty uneventful. We made a trip to Nipawin on Wed/Thurs so that I could attend a 3rd degree – actually a 3 candidate 3rd degree. I haven’t sat in Lodge in Nipawin for years – we couldn’t remember exactly how long it had been. The degree team from Grand Lodge was in attendance so that brought out a large crowd. There were close to 30 of us showed up for supper prior to the meeting. We worked in a visit with Grace and Al which ended up keeping Gracie up until after 2:00 AM. I expect she was wishing we had stayed home by the quitting time the next day.
Marilyn has been sanding up a storm getting ready for paint. We had a good look at the Pinkney ceiling to confirm how we want to paint the ceiling here. There was a guy in Nipawin who was (locally) famous for the effect he created on ceilings. We had him do the ceiling on the 1st acreage as well as most of the house in town. What he did was paint the ceiling with a high gloss oil paint and then, while the paint was still wet, he waved a coal oil lantern around over his head, turning the wick in and out as he did. Those of you who have used a kerosene lamp know how much soot they can produce. As that smoke comes out of the top of the chimney it creates a marble effect in the wet paint. The paint stays glossy but absorbs the soot. You end up with a very unique ceiling effect that is dead simple to keep clean. We were pretty sure we wanted to do it again and seeing Pinkney’s ceiling just confirmed that. Their ceiling is probably over 40 years old now and still looks wonderful. If this one lasts even half that long it won’t matter to either of us anymore. The biggest problem now is finding a decent oil based gloss white paint but its out there, we just have to buy it and put it on. I bought a kerosene lamp off eBay. We’ll be painting before Christmas.