This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Where are we?

Back Home on Lake Erie, Leamington, Ontario

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

July recap and what have we gotten into?

Blessed with a wonderful summer this year we cannot complain about the weather and I spent lots of time outdoors working on beautifying the garden.  At the beginning of the month we took another trip across the border to Detroit. When we drove to Pittsburgh to purchase Benno’s milling machine last month we had received the wrong tooling and a new set was sent to a UPS store in Detroit for us to pick up. It was easier for the company to ship within the USA and not a problem for us to go and get it, all legal to bring back and we had the opportunity to stop by IKEA in Detroit across the UPS store to get a few items that were on our list to purchase.

There were several of these little fellas hopping through my garden

Our three grandkids with our son and daughter-in-law came visiting for a long weekend in July. That had been the only time our camper had been used other than our short winter getaway this year.  At least we made sure everything was working in it and our two grand daughters had been looking forward to sleeping in it with their daddy to keep them company. Our daughter-in-law we enjoyed having in the guest room together with our youngest grandkid. That was a busy weekend and great fun having all of them here. We should do that more often. It’s just too bad that it is such a long drive to visit each other.  Oh, and I should mention our two dachshunds had the most fun with the kids!

I tagged along with the family to Colasanti's for some fun

Before I forget to mention, the Coast Guard boat I had written about in previous posts is sitting all finished up tied to the dock at the Hike Metal Company. The Coast Guard crew is there now and commission the boat. They will run it to Halifax via the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway where it will be transferred onto a freighter (Lift ship) and sent to Vancouver via the Panama Canal.

And what have we got ourselves into? We live in a neighborhood part of Leamington, which is very close to Wheatley and the Lake Erie is just 400 feet away from our property. It used to be a cottage area for folks from Windsor or Detroit and now the area has slowly changed from seasonal occupation to 12 months a year occupation with a healthy mix of retirees, professionals and artists. Next to our property bordering our easterly fence is an 80 x 120 ft loot owned by some folks from Colorado and California who had inherited it from their family who used to live in Detroit . It is just land with no building on it and these people had been trying to sell this property for a long, long time as it was purchased some decades ago. Interest was there from a few would be buyers but nothing turned into a sale. The Detroit owner had paid the next neighbor, who has been living here for over 40 years, to cut the grass. Unknowingly he’d made the wolf to a Sheppard.  Over time a cloth line running through the middle of the property, cemented 4 feet deep into the ground, was added. A couple of truckloads of mulch had been dropped onto the grass, which is now so overgrown with weeds that it is rotten. A huge pile of rubbish, wood and garden debris is sitting at the end of the lot that will take weeks to clean up. And then there are many trees scattered about one third of the property that started their lives in large flowerpots but the roots found their way through them.  Then there are many items such as large metal things and a couple trailers etc. in the way of keeping the ground clean. But the biggest problem is that this neighbor has his garden junk encroaching 25 feet into this property. Needless to say, it is a problem lot. 

When we built our garage we had inquired to purchase this land or half of it in order to build a larger garage, but the owners wanted more money for the land than what we were willing to pay and thought it was worth.  After all this time we now have come to an acceptable agreement with the heirs and have relented in purchasing this property.  For the most part, we are just sick and tired of looking at it the way it has been for so long, so we are cleaning it up.  This process will take us a long time and perhaps a rental bin will be needed in addition to many trips with our trailer to dispose of yard refuse.  And that my friends, is where we have been spending our time, blood and sweat. Watch for progress reports.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Benno’s Man Cave update

Since I (Benno) had moved all my tools and little machines into the late, last year delivered, and from Marlene and me finished Amish shed, I became a happy trooper enjoying whenever I could my little shop. (See last year 16. Dec. 2017 post here). Slowly over time I customized this little workshop with a couple of shelves, shop chair and other technical toys.

Here is a recap of last year’s shed- workshop pictures, while I prepared the ground for the arrival of the Amish shed, fixed it up and moved into the shed that became my little workshop.

Drilling holes for the posts

Posts for pad frame are set

Mounting 2x8 planks to frame the pad    

Finished gravel pad waiting for the arrival of the Amish shed

Amish shed is being delivered 

Working on the inside, wiring, insulation, wall and ceiling paneling and vinyl flooring, 
all done by us M+B Unlimited or Very Limited. 
M+B stands for Marlene + Benno!

On moving day I used the ceiling eyelet for the chain hoist

The chain hoist can lift 1/4 ton and the ceiling eyelet can hold 1300 lbs. and did I ever use the eyelet and the hoist! Last year while moving into the shed I used the hoist to lift my lathe (166 Ibs.) onto the lathe cabinet. A few weeks ago when that lathe was sold the hoist did its magic again in lowering the lathe from the cabinet onto a moving dolly, when the buyer picked up the lathe. The newer lathe (360 Ibs.) got lifted up with the hoist too and the other day the hoist was used again to lift the bench top milling machine (285 Ibs.) up as well.

In the meantime, since last year, the little shop got more equipment, as you will notice in the pictures. Below are the updated pictures, including the new lathe, a step up from the smaller lathe, which I had posted on Kijiji for sale and it sold in less than 24 hrs. The new lathe is bigger and additionally to the longitudinal-feed it has a cross-feed, which I really like and missed on the other lathe. To top up the last father’s day present (lathe), the new lathe now got a companion in form of a bench top milling machine that we just picked up in Pittsburgh a few days ago. Now I am a happy camper so to speak. I can watch the soccer world cup from the shop TV while drilling a few holes at the same time J

Her a picture of my pride who helped me to make it happen

The new workshop in the corner of our property

When you open the entrance door, this is what you see

Workbench from Cosco, but the 5 inch Rekord Vise was purchased at RONA, Leamington

A small bench style hydraulic press from the famous Canadian Tire Store
below it you see the newer style very quiet 6 gal. air compressor called Californian Air
The nice looking press table frame was made up by Paul Klingenschmitt, an in the neighbourhood living metal craft artist.

A tool cabinet with mounted drill press and tool grinder

View of rear wall

The TV came with our travel trailer and serves us during winter travel
in the trailer's bedroom and here during the summer in the workshop

The new bench top milling machine

The mounted bench top mill on its cabinet

View of the left wall with bench top milling machine, storage cabinet and new lathe

Bench top lathe purchased at Busy Bee in London, Ont. this Father's Day

Lathe is mounted on a cabinet from Canadian Tire's Workshop collection
please note the grey cutting tool shelf just above the lathe is my own fabrication

View toward the shed's entrance door

Amazing that all this equipment fit into a 9x12 ft Amish shed, isn't it? In Germany they would call it "Raumwunder."

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Coast Guard Vessel Rollover

What happened here since the last update? Not much but today was the rollover test of the by Leamington’s Hike Metal Canadian built Coast Guard vessel as announced in my previous post. Rains had stopped around 10:30 but it stayed overcast all day. The newspaper article stated the test to be conducted at 1 p.m. at the Leamington Marina. Benno and I were at the Leamington lakefront promenade next to the marina at 11 a.m. with our dogs to find out where exactly this Coast Guard boat and the extra equipment would be situated.
You could not miss the huge crane at the end of the pier from where the Peele Island Ferry leaves. However, there is no pedestrian entrance to that area. The only viewing point was the promenade from the marina to the ferry and that is where we, including a bunch of onlookers, shipyard workers and Government types hung around.

Because of the distance, I had to mount on my Canon EOS camera the big tele lens and to try my best to get some decent shots of the action.  At about 12:30 we noticed some activity at the crane and workers getting busy around the vessel as well the standby tugboat moved into a safe distance, so we sat down on the stone ledge of the flower gardens to observe the happenings.

At 12:35 p.m. and without much fanfare the Coast Guard vessel was untied from its mooring lines and slowly being pulled from the dock away by the crane’s cable and  as the crane operator applied some power the vessel started to roll in slow motion on its side as we watched her being further and further rolled with the help of the slings from the crane. Then when she was totally upside down it only took a few more seconds and she rolled with a big plash around on her own into a normal level position as the slings released. It was over before we knew it. The whole thing from start to finish took 9 minutes.  Now it was up to the standby tugboat to get her and bring her back to the dock.

If you look closely at my pictures you will notice a drone to the left of the pictures. I guess that viewpoint would have been the best and I am looking forward to tonight’s Windsor TV news to see if they will broadcast a clip of the rollover from a closer distance. 

You can be sure the Canadian Coast Guard is getting a fine new and safe patrol vessel built right here in Leamington, Canada and I hope you liked the little show as much as we did. Although a short event, most likely there won't be another one like this again and we appreciate that the public had a chance to observe this test.