Sunday, February 22, 2015

Grandfather Clock Repair

Julie has an Urgos Grandfather clock that has been sitting idle/inoperable for 10+ years.  Over three weekends I took it apart, cleaned it, re-lubed it, bent the pendulum back into shape, made some other adjustments and got it working.  

It is a "weight driven" grandfather clock.  You will see 3 long gold tubes, those are the weights.  

Here are some pictures of the project:

Weights, pendulum, flashlight and a butter knife. 

Top cover off - a look at innards of clock

Another shot of the clock "movement."

I realized the clock needs to be perfectly level to function.  

Clock "movement" 

Side shot of clock "movement"

I had this degreaser to clean my bike chain.  I used it to clean and free up the clock movement.  That will probably make true clock nerds cringe, but it worked and it was free.  

According to the internet, this is the premium clock lube.  $15 for 8 oz.  

Clock face and dials

Clock put back together
Here is a video of me manually manipulating the movement to make it chime.  This is before I did any repairs.

Here is the movement working by itself post repairs.  (I know both videos look similar, but this is the finished product).

That's all!

Sunday, December 7, 2014


People on Pinterest check under their bed for me when they go to sleep at night...

I have a box of about 50 wine crates from good friend Henny (not Youngman) and a box of 50-75 old license plates from my dad/grandpa.  I decided to up-cycle/ re-purpose them into birdhouses.

A couple of miscellaneous pieces. 

Starting to brainstorm a layout

First couple being dry fitted.  

Side shot

Nailing the roof with micro pinner and wood glue. 

Shop dog guarding against possible theft. 

Ready for Spar Varnish
One coat of Spar Varnish on

A look at the mess in my garage.  I kept pulling tools out.  Notice my kitty litter paniers and bike trailer (previous projects) in the background.  

 My only major purchases were two pieces of cedar.  The wine crate birdhouse were made out of wine crates.  However, I needed some material to make birdhouses with license plate roofs.  Thus the cedar.

 A look at the line-up:

Summary of 3 types of birdhouses

1) These 4 are made entirely of wine crates.  Two will be donated to a silent auction for Make a Wish Foundation at my school and 2 are gifts for neighbors.    

Notice the variety of perches - crescent wrench is my favorite.  
2) Over the summer my parents moved and I found this box in their garage when we cleaned out.  I thought it would make a good birdhouse for Julie's brother who resides in Oregon.  

I delicately removed the sides.  One side split anyways.  These pieces were fragile as they were old and 1/8" thick.  

I glued and micro-pinned the pieces to a thicker piece of cedar.  I made the pieces a bit longer and then cut the angle on the Harbor, OR piece on the table saw as it was attached to the cedar with angle already cut (see piece standing on edge in left of picture).  

Finished product.  Love the hex bolt perch.  

3) I made 3 birdhouses with license plate roofs.  The license plates have significance.  JUL 15 was my grandpa's plates (his name was Julias).  22 715 has been in our family since the 1940s, passed down from my grandpa to my dad and one day I will rock 22 715 on my vehicle.  The birdhouse on the far right is actually a Chicago Bears colored birdhouse I made in Boy Scouts.   It is in rough shape, so I attached some Orange license plates to hide the fraying roof and to go with the Chicago Bears colors.  

The JUL 15 birdhouse is going on the balcony of my parent's new apartment.  I am keeping the other two.  

A look at my Boy Scout birdhouse and its rough condition. 

22 715 from 1957!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rafting Piers Gorge on Menominee River

Here is a set of photos from a friendly rafting trip with family.  There are a lot of pictures, but not a lot of reading.  Follow the sequence of events...

That's me front left in picture.  Phil (Laurie's bf) is front right in the picture. 
Feel free to comment on my tan lines.

A good look at our guide Forrest.  Yes that is his real name. 

Where is everyone?

Forrest warned us about a rock they call "Volkswagen."  I guess this is it.  I didn't see it coming.  


Down goes Phil...

Regretting my choice of mesh shorts over a swimsuit.  Mesh is really form fitting when wet evidently...

First and last handstand of my life (kinda)

Phil's arm and my legs.  

Me on left

Still under water...

My head on left, still under water...

These safety guys on the rocks were not doing much except yelling "get him in the boat!"

....and Forrest dropped his paddle.

That's Phil laying across the boat as Forrest reaches for his paddle. 

Forrest got the paddle and everyone got in the boat. 

The funny thing about this trip was that we started by towing an empty boat.  We dropped that empty boat off up river before running through these rapids.  After the above debacle, we hiked back and did the same rapids AGAIN.  

We changed positions and no body fell out...

Bill, Sara and Julie in the front.  Sara is sans paddle because we lost a paddle in the chaos above. 

Forrest standing up to show off.
And a great smile on my niece Sara...

Check out the facial expressions on Bill and Will (father & son). 

BOOM, same rock that launched me...

Phil saves Julie.  What a man's man.  

Random lady is dress on the bank?!?!?!

All good, happily paddling home...