Archive for October 2008

the good life

Last summer someone was telling how they drove up from Phoenix in two days. I asked them why, the reply was their was nothing worth seeing in between. This bothered me, as I have always enjoyed the back roads and side streets of America. Recently My bride and I drove out to Pagosa Springs over Wolf Creek Pass. ( No! I wasn’t driving a 47 Peterbuilt with a load of Road Island Reds.) We took the back roads, stopping often, and taking pictures. It was anything but dull. We visited a High School buddy of mine, (Willmar class of 1959) Sid did the right thing, became an engineer at Intel, now has a beautiful summer home in the mountains in addition to a home in Phoenix. We had a great time and I hope I didn’t drive them too crazy.

At one of the first of the many Garage sales a lady was selling her brother-in-laws CD of his original songs about Nebraska for $1.00 each. It wasn’t near as good as her home made brownies for the same price, but then you don’t win every time and the trunk was full when I arrived back home I enjoyed the Ford show room in Nebraska with a model train display and I looked at many nice old cars along the way. I saw a lot of project cars and more potential ones and visited with many old car lovers. Their was the old style gas station the owner refused to destroy even tho he could no longer sell gas. The owner wasn’t around, but I was told he works on his collector cars here and often has one parked in the driveway. They say he likes to visit with people that stop in so if you ever close to Norton Kansas check it out. I’ve included a few photos I took along the way.

New in the shop

As most of you know a good supply of compressed air is essential in the shop. The compressor I have been using I purchased new in 1975. It was a made in USA, a Sandborn 6.5 CFM with a 30 gallon air tank on wheels. It was the biggest 110 volt compressor I could buy and even had a pressure regulater so you could dial down the pressure for paint spraying. The unit has served me well over the years, I have painted cars and tractors and run many different air tools. I even got used to waiting for the air tank to catch up.

The last couple of years I have had trouble with small air leaks that were increasingly difficult to solve. That meant keeping the compressor shut off unless you were actually using air. At my wife’s urging ( she tired of my complaints) we priced new bigger compressors. I figured I needed close to 15 CFM to handled my sand blaster and paint gun. I priced compressors and found they were much higher priced than I had anticipated. I than called Greg at Surplus Warehouse in Willmar, (actually my wife dialed the phone and handed it to me). (

Greg had a 14 CfM with a 90 Gallon tank by Sanborn MFD. listed at $729.00. Now I have known and done business with Greg since the 1980’s. I have great respect for him, He is a person you can do business with on a handshake without fear. Now Greg did cut me a deal and I won’t brag as you have to do your own bargaining.

The nicest thing was when I discovered it wouldn’t fit in my van or enclosed trailer Greg offered the use of his truck to haul it the 15 miles to the farm, then went along to help unload it. When asked about payment for his efforts, he just smiled and said he needed to get away from the office for a few minutes, then asked when I was going to start on a Rat Rod.

It sure is nice to have plenty of air on hand again. The tank stays pumped up for days with compressor shut off. Its nice to be able to blow the dirt off something without waiting and I’m sure I am saving money on electricity. Below is a picture of the unit.