Friday, April 29, 2016

Using Old Strap Hinges and Pintles

My first guest post! My husband Alan has been the brains and brawn of the construction around here. He is building the doors for the end bay of the garage and has started with the hinges.

We're committed to using old hardware when we can during the construction and renovation of our buildings. The latest project is putting doors on the tractor shed attached to the house. While salvaged strap hinges are plentiful in our area, due to all the German barns being torn down, the pintles are not. They are so difficult to retrieve from the old timber frames that they often get destroyed or buried with the rubble. When you can find matching sets of hinges and pintles, you grab them whether you need them or not. As old pintles were made for thick timber frames they do not adapt to today's standard construction. So time to make old technology fit new technique.

The old hand forged iron pintle

In the image below the 2"x8" board represents the new door frame jack studs.  The smaller 3/4" board on the left is the exterior siding. The old pintle is too long, the threads are buggered, and the hole to be drilled to accept the square shank needed to be to large and could weaken the jack studs.

First thing is to cut of the shank from the hinge pin.

Next cut the new 3/4" threaded rod to the proper length

Mocking it up to make sure we're on the right track. Note the remaining length of square shank on the pin will be sunk into the siding, so a square hole will need to be chiseled into the board after the 3/4" hole is drilled through the jack studs. This square "socket" will help keep the hinge pin plumb and not rotate out of alignment from the weight of the door over time.

Set up for welding

The welded threaded rod and pin next to the old shank. We'll keep the hand forged shank and square nut for future unknown projects or perhaps give it to an iron smith to be reworked for another purpose.

The complete assembly with the 30" heavy iron hinge. These will be used for a set of 48" wide wood plank carriage house style doors to close an 8' opening.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Last But Certainly Not Least

Ruthie finally lambed just after midnight this morning. As she was pushing I saw little black feet and got excited that we might finally have a lamb that wasn't white. Then she pushed out this extremely adorable little fellow.
(Apparently "red eye reduction" doesn't work if the reflection is green.)
He looks more light gray on his neck and belly. Ruthie was very attentive and could not leave him alone. He nursed well and has a fat little belly this morning.
Now it's time to tally up all the lambing stats and start sleeping through the night again!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Tractor Parade?

We were sitting inside and saw a tractor pulling a hay wagon full of people.
Following were four other tractors with flags.
My pictures are pretty poor since they were moving away from us by the time I got my camera and got outside. We don't know of anything special going on in the area, but Alan loves to see tractors driving by the house. It reminds him of his childhood.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Finally, Back in the Garden

This past week was the first week of some real garden work. First things first; I bought a nice weed mat for the large paths and put that down. I always battle with the weeds in the paths; and last year was the first year where I actually came out slightly ahead after putting down a high grade landscape fabric. Now I found a really heavy duty mat that should work even better.
Then I transplanted most of my onion seedlings,
planted some snap peas,
and transplanted and mulched a lot of cauliflower and broccoli plants.
The rhubarb and garlic are looking very nice this year.

I now have seven rhubarb plants. Maybe this year I will have enough to do everything I want with rhubarb.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Oh Mercer!

Poor Mercer got his head stuck in the cattle panel wall of his pen yesterday. I found him being rammed by Elwood while he was trying to get himself free. We got Elwood preoccupied with some hay and tried to get Mercer unstuck, but every time we tried to push his head back he pushed against us. So next we tried giving him some time without Elwood ramming him. After half an hour he had made no progress. All the other sheep have heads small enough to get easily in and out of the cattle panel. Mercer has a much larger head and must have really worked hard to get through. We ended up having to cut the cattle panel to get him out. Then Alan did a nifty job weaving a repair.
As a treat we let the rams out to graze on the lawn today. It was time Elwood was reminded about electric rope and Mercer had never experienced it. They each got a little zap then kept their distance from the rope. They were very well behaved and ate grass for over an hour. But they were still happy to get back in their pen for a grain treat.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Little Sprouts

Earlier this week I took the sheep for a walk to check on the newly seeded area in the upper pasture. The sheep had a blast, especially the lambs.
The lambs took off over the hill and the ewes freaked out a little!

But the clover is starting to sprout. The weather is perfect for new seeds. We've been having nice showers every few days. I can't wait for more green.