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Old 11-05-2013, 09:12 AM   #1
xtremek
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Default A trip back from the edge.

I debated whether to post or not, because I don't want to seem proud, but I really enjoy certain threads and thought that some one might feel the same about what the wife and I are going through. She is the mother of 4 girls (all still at home), was divorced about 10 years, and worked the equivalent of 2 full time jobs for most of it(professors have weird schedules).

So the place that was already rough (lazy ex who started everything but stopped when the project was torn down) went to the dogs. The driveway was worthy of the Baja 1000, with several holes roughly 14"-16" deep and longer than my F-150 Supercrew. The barn (30'x40') had so much junk that you couldn't park a motorcycle in it, or get a bicycle out of it. The garden shed still has a 1' hole in the roof and is missing both doors on one end. The house needs a new roof, and the deck has never been treated, there were sevearl holes inthe decking, the railing is falling off the one end, and the steps WERE about to collapse. Piles of rotting fire wood were strewn around the yard and the mounds of clay that had been pulled out when the foundation of the barn ahd been built (15-20years earlier).

And this is where our story begins. The first order of business was to get the barn usuable. 2 days of dragging junk out into a pile and the biggest bonfire I've ever seen. Yes, firetrucks were involved, but no one and nothing were ever in danger, just an over anxious nosey neighbor was worried that his house 2 miles away would burn down.
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File Type: jpg fire.jpg (31.4 KB, 1410 views)
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Last edited by xtremek; 11-18-2013 at 07:52 AM. Reason: grammar/spelling
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

After we finished roasting the wienies and marshmallows, I started making a work bench. We don’t have any spare cash, so I built the bench out of scrap 2x3’s the wife had laying around and some white ash left over from a trailer deck replacement. Last year the wife was able to park her vehicle inside for the time in her life. With creative packaging, we were able to get the 4 SUVs /car/truck into the barn and close the door (a first in 10-15 years). I also started working on the driveway, digging out the soft muck in the bottom of the holes, draining the water out, and filling them in with medium sized rocks (roughly 3”-5”) and broken concrete (cement block and concrete pieces broken up by yours truly and my trusty sledgehammer). I was able to get the first large hole filled, taking roughly 15yards of rubble. That was last year.
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File Type: jpg 2012-05-01_20-50-21_22.jpg (150.0 KB, 877 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-05-01_20-50-45_230.jpg (149.8 KB, 813 views)
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Last edited by xtremek; 11-18-2013 at 07:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

Last fall, the late FIL said I could have his old 9n. It had been sitting outside for the last 20+ years and was buried in the dirt and seized up tight. We drug the old beast home and I proceeded to tear her down. I found the #2 and #3 cylinders stuck tight. I knocked out the slugs, ran a glazing hone through the bores, loosen up the stuck rings and put it back together. At the same time I redid the brakes. The wife tells me that this is the first time the tractor has ever had brakes and the family has had the tractor since before she was born. I also learned how to break down tractor tires (put in 3 new tubes) using a few large chisels, some prybars, and one tire iron. She’s up and running, although it seems the generator is dying. Added some lights and a removable triangle and put “the Old Mule” to work. And she has been worked very hard.
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File Type: jpg Ford 8n.jpg (147.0 KB, 974 views)
File Type: jpg 1348705384679.jpg (19.7 KB, 967 views)
File Type: jpg 1348705369060.jpg (24.2 KB, 1083 views)
File Type: jpg The Mule.jpg (69.1 KB, 1241 views)
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Last edited by xtremek; 11-18-2013 at 07:53 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

Awesome story so far! Keep it coming
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

keep it up!!! i am subscribed!!!
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

Your wife must be glad she got it right this time round!
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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Question Re: A trip back from the edge.

A question, what is that in your avatar ?
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

Quote:
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A question, what is that in your avatar ?
That is "Botzilla", an autonomus navigational robot that I built as part of team while I was earning my Bachelor's degree. I built it, but the smart guys did the programming. It was built for the IGVC competition. Here's a video that one of the guys editted in MatLab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRUGgwn7wVs
Watch it to the very, the last 2-3 minutes are the best
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OU Robot video, make sure you watch to the very end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRUGgwn7wVs
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

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Originally Posted by xtremek View Post
That is "Botzilla", an autonomus navigational robot that I built as part of team while I was earning my Bachelor's degree. I built it, but the smart guys did the programming. It was built for the IGVC competition. Here's a video that one of the guys editted in MatLab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRUGgwn7wVs
Watch it to the very, the last 2-3 minutes are the best
Thanks for the video, loved it!

Very cool stuff
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

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Your wife must be glad she got it right this time round!
Quoted for truth! As well, her dad has to be feeling pretty good, too.

I'll be following along. Keep up the great work.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

4 girls? did i read that right? ugg dude you are either a saint or a glutton for punishment. LOL just kidding. sort of. Looks like you got a project that is going to be awesome when you are finished. Keep up the good work
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #13
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4 girls? did i read that right? ugg dude you are either a saint or a glutton for punishment. LOL just kidding. sort of. Looks like you got a project that is going to be awesome when you are finished. Keep up the good work
I'm definitely not a saint. But I do have a crazy streak a mile wide. We have 6 kids between us. My son is married and stationed at Ft. Hood Texas, is married and has three kids of his own. And when my daughter comes over, that's 6 women in one house. Don't walk around the south east corner of the barn, the ground is almost always wet and soft. And as far as her finally getting it right, the jury is still out on that. But I definitely did. She puts up with me and that should be an instant nomination for sainthood. I've made more than my fair share of mistakes and I'm just trying to make amends to the Good Lord and do right by her and our kids. And along the way have some fun and enjoy a little adventure.
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Last edited by xtremek; 11-18-2013 at 07:55 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

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Originally Posted by xtremek View Post
... I found the #2 and #3 cylinders stuck tight. I knocked out the slugs, ran a glazing hone through the bores, loosen up the stuck rings and put it back together. ... She’s up and running,
Ahh ... what kind of compression do you have and how oil does it drink ? !!!


I graduated from OU ... a LOOOOONNNGGG time ago !
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:14 PM   #15
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Subscribed!
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:39 AM   #16
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Thumbs up Re: A trip back from the edge.

Keep on posting, I for 1 am glad you decided to share
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:19 AM   #17
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Ahh ... what kind of compression do you have and how oil does it drink ? !!!


I graduated from OU ... a LOOOOONNNGGG time ago !
When did you graduate? I started there in 1980 and took 25years to finish.

I didn't check the compression, the tractor had a fresh rebuild just before it was parked. It's gone about 100-125hrs? and drank about a quart and a half.

I'm glad you're enjoying this thread. I know I really appreciate the guys like NuttsGT, bczygan, Fergus, allinon72, dlenkewich, hondakilla98, and Mr360. They motivate, educate and inspire me, keeping me waiting with baited breath for every detail of their incredible garages/barns/journeys. God didn't give me their talent, but he did give me a huge silly/crazy vein.
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OU Robot video, make sure you watch to the very end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRUGgwn7wVs
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

The main problem was that the driveway was the lower than the surrounding areas. I spent the rest of this past summer digging ditches along 75% of the driveway. This included pulling hundreds of yards of Russian olives, dropping dozens of small trees, and bi-weekly trips to the urgent care (they know my face enough they don’t ask why I’m there anymore) to refill my prescription for steroids (our place is actually a poison ivy farm). If you look close at the pictures, you can see the scrub and the berm at the end of the driveway.
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File Type: jpg 2012-01-13_05-37-13_993.jpg (149.5 KB, 585 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-01-13_05-37-32_265.jpg (146.8 KB, 560 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-04-07_14-04-12_50.jpg (146.4 KB, 621 views)
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

Here are some more pictures of the excavation on the end of the driveway and the biggest hole. One of my helpers busy helping me dig big holes with the Old Mule. The sign was pulled up so I could knock over 2’ off of it to let the water would drain into the front ditch. If you look in the background of the pic with the wife, you can see that next year I need to recontour the front ditch as well.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Princess Palace and the Queen.jpg (66.5 KB, 1186 views)
File Type: jpg the long hole.jpg (68.3 KB, 892 views)
File Type: jpg Ready for the dumping.jpg (84.2 KB, 1012 views)
File Type: jpg almost done digging the drive.jpg (72.7 KB, 1039 views)
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Last edited by xtremek; 11-18-2013 at 07:58 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:25 AM   #20
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Default Re: A trip back from the edge.

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Originally Posted by xtremek View Post
When did you graduate? I started there in 1980 and took 25years to finish.

I didn't check the compression, the tractor had a fresh rebuild just before it was parked. It's gone about 100-125hrs? and drank about a quart and a half.

I'm glad you're enjoying this thread. I know I really appreciate the guys like NuttsGT, bczygan, Fergus, allinon72, dlenkewich, hondakilla98, and Mr360. They motivate, educate and inspire me, keeping me waiting with baited breath for every detail of their incredible garages/barns/journeys. God didn't give me their talent, but he did give me a huge silly/crazy vein.
xtremek,
Guys like YOU are the inspiration! Guys like me are the ones who spent a career in the office doing design work. Guys like you, take that and make it actually work, by putting it into practice. You are the guys who get stuff done.
My wife went the other way than yours. She had a husband who did it all. But he was dour and negative. After 18 years and 4 kids, she left. Now she has me. I'm the husband who never finishes a project, forgets anniversaries, generally f'...s up. But we see the beauty in the world and have fun together. 28 years so far.
Beautiful tractor!
What part of Lansing are you in? We go through there 3 or 4 times a year on the way to and from Ludington, but never stop.
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