The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

I get the new lawnmower stuck, I attempt to paint a tractor, general complaints

Due to weather cycles that us puny humans do not understand man made global climate change Oregon is having the wettest spring in years.
Mowing lawns is a bit of a challenge to say the least.
As my loyal readers may remember, I have been transferred to mowing athletic fields. I have suggested sheep and or a herd of goats as being sustainable and wonderful but the sheep guy says the school is worried he does not provide a barn for the sheep and the school is worried about sheep poop and electric fences.
Also, they worry about the oppression of transgenders (transphobia- I think its called now-a-days) which I suspect is related to a lack of access to sheep but I can't prove that point...
But, I digress...
The mechanic wanted me to try out the new mower. It is the last replacement for mowers that got damp in last years, weather cycles that us puny humans do not understand man-made global climate change inspired flood.
It is hydrostatically driven and has a bit of a counter-intuitive control system. When things start to go wrong they go wrong fast.
I promptly go it stuck.
I am really glad I installed my own winch on my Mule.

Note the thin cable between the Mule and the mower. The winch control is remote wireless so I can run the mower and the winch at the same time. $49.99 from Harbor Freight.

In other news...
We actually competed out tax returns a day ahead of schedule. I can report with confidence that Turbo-Tax is worse than worthless. Put that $80 you would spend on Turbo-Tax home business towards either an accountant or just blow it on good booze and get the tax forms at the post office.

A side note: I like to think I have a good relationship with Jesus, at work... Sometimes he takes me for the free coffee at the dining hall. He helped me get ready for the tennis tournament. Meaning-he did all the work whilst I mowed. He lectured me about Tequila. I didn't understand all of it. It would seem that the stuff with the Stag on the front is good. The bottle with the Goat on the front is crap that is a cheap knock off on the Stag. This is funny for some reason and I suspect has to do with "goat love." 
Jesus says a good way to drink Tequila is to take a bottle of Corona Beer, pour the Tequila into the space between the beer and the top of the bottle. This is the correct measurement for a shot. Do not mix the beer and the Tequila, "Because then it will taste like shit!" (say that with a heavy Mexican accent to fully appreciate the experience and bear in mind that Jesus almost never uses "bad" language."
I kind of think you are then supposed to chug it. 
Have not tried it as I suspect suffering will follow. As in singing songs about fighting with Chickens and a broken heart and land which Pancho stole from father long ago.
He also told me how to bet on the horses and how to bet on Cock Fighting. You never put your bet on the best looking Rooster because the scrappy one always wins. Never bet on the favorite horse either for the same reasons. I asked him if this applied to women as well and the consensus was that a little "Gordo" is good. I assume this means she is a good cook.

But, I digress...

I am attempting to repaint a White 2-135 Series Three tractor. I forgot the first rule of Farm Implement restoring. Never trust the paint codes. While you can get a lot of personal enjoyment out of looking up the paint codes the best thing to do with the codes when you find them is post them on New Ag Talk so people can argue about it.

Find a section of unfaded sheet metal and take it to your local autoparts store. They have a scanner and can then match the paint. When you get a match, try to find an industrial color that is close to the match, or just use a chart of industrial paint chips. If that fails use automotive paint chips to match. Stop a moment to think hate towards the regulators who have enacted insane VOC standards that have resulted in $75 a gallon paint now costing $375 a gallon. Remember that hardener and thinner will also set you back $150.
Now look at your tractor again. Do you really want to paint it?
It might be that using the above mentioned of theory espoused by Jesus on how you should drink Tequila will help with your decision.
In the end, I suggest spending the money. You only want to do it once. Knowing you are spending your life essence on paint will motivate you to do better prep work. Prep work is the key.
Don't forget to buy a good rust resistant primer. You can't buy DP-40 anymore. Thank you Al Gore...
We bought cheap paint for the sheetmetal and used a code to match paint for the engine and frame.
I think it is now going to be a Series I White 2-135. Unfortantly you cannot buy decals for a White Series I. Having a White painted as a Series one and putting Series III decals just drives me nuts. I also got a really bad sag above the door where I will see it every time I get into the tractor.
However, I seem to have lost the decals anyway so I guess it will just be a silver and not-exactly-black tractor...
I really hate not having the correct paint color or the correct paint scheme with the proper decals.
Plus, I am a terrible painter. Orange Peel abounds. I've never painted metallics before.

I can't find my old HVLP paint gun and so I bought a Harbor Frieght special for $15.
I took it apart and rebuilt it according to info I found online. However, the fit and finish of the parts lead to some problems. It won't stay in adjustment.
I dug around until I found my Sharpe 75. It was an awesome gun but it is not a high volume, low pressure model and I quit using it because the HVLP guns made less overspray. It is in perfect condition as I always cleaned it and it cost me a lot of money at the time. The cup is missing... I suspect it is with my old HVLP gun that I use for painted balers and home built sprayer projects that I never use after building...
So back to the Harbor Frieght special.
I went back to Harbor Frieght and bought a cleaning kit with small brushes. I took the POS apart again and cleaned it. I also put another filter and regulator on the air compressor and reduced air pressure to the cheap Harbor Frieght regulator on the gun.
This sort of helped.
The paint on the hood started bubbling after setting a week for some reason. I used aircraft paint remover to strip it. (Hint, if the paint you bought from the tractor supply store says you should use mineral spirits you have cheap paint. 
Find out exactly the type of paint you have and then get thinner and hardener from your local autoparts store. It will be worth it...)
I put primer on but it orange peeled badly. I can't seem to get the airflow and paint flow balanced. I followed the directions for thinning but it appears I have to add quite a bit of extra thinner to get the gun to work properly. This causes its own problems.

In other news...
My workstudy student wants to be a farmer. She is into "permaculture."
I bought her the Farmer-Stockman's handbook by Ensminger for a graduation present.

It came with the owner's notes.

I'm thinking of keeping the notes, but that is what makes it really cool. I have not decided if she is really sincere or just a modern college student.

An Apology...
I'd blog more but there always seems to be something to do. My iPhone is not a good blogging tool. I'm a lazy former farmer. Also, when ever I'm setting with a computer I find there is always something else that I should be doing...

I bought a Kinks Greatest hits CD for my daughter for reasons too odd and confusing to be related in this blog post.
I have this song stuck in my head...

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