I took the girls to see Santa this weekend. We held off of other Santa events so that they could go with their cousin. This was the first time their little cousin got to Visit Santa. It was a special moment the look on her face when he came in and said HO HO HO was priceless. I wish I had gotten a picture of it. Along with getting to see Santa they got to make reindeer food, and Gift for a parent. I had to close my eyes while they built it.
Yesterday was the first day I've had a chance to get into the shop and do some serious work. We pulled the cab and bed off the 53 so that I could weld in some major components of the build. We used the gantry crane to make lifting the cab off easier and safer than trying to carry it with just two people. We now have it set up on blocks and jack stands so that its safe and secure. Its also blocked up so I can get in and do some finish welding and body work. The bed has been disassembled for media blasting and body work. It has one small dent on the rail that needs to be pulled out with a couple studs and the puller. The frame is coming along, we are at the point where I can finish up some welding and we can get it sand blasted and painted.
I had two major components to get welded the motor mounts and the transmission cross member that we modified to fit the new LS1 engine. We originally bought a set of dirty dingo engine mounts for a LS1 we were told these particular ones fit the frame of a 53. Turns out that they don't fit and instead of spending more money on something different I simply used my welding abilities and a chop saw and made them work. In this hobby its all about modification. So here are the lower engine mounts and the modified transmission cross member. This is the stock transmission cross member. It needed to be doped a couple inches to work with the new transmission. The original is made of a box tubing. I used the chop saw to cut out a section that was just deep enough to lower the transmission the correct amount. Then I used some heavy plate to box in the area that I cut out. I bolted it back in the frame and welded up the modifications.
This is the back wall of the shop we have added a few more signs and posters to the wall. Its really starting to look good. We still have room for a few more Led signs.
This is Mary Lou the 48 she is getting a new front end and a rear end upgrade. Every girls dream right.
Back at the beginning of fall I talked about me and the girls marking maple trees. Our hole jungle adventure was for this review. We discovered a company called Tap My Trees if you have maple trees on your property you are going to want to check them out. Tap My Trees is a company that offers maple sugaring supplies. They have books on how to get started. They have kits with everything you need to tap your first maple tree. They even offer pictures and directions on how to identify different types of maple trees. This is our winter science project so you will see a few post on it between now and the time the sap stops flowing. Maple Sugaring is a science experiment that taste yummy.
The basic idea of sugaring is turning sap into a yummy syrup you can eat. You must do this during a specific time of year. The night time temperatures must be below 32 degrees and the day time temperatures must be above 32 degrees. Sap generally flows for around 4-6 weeks. You drill a hole in a Maple tree (you can tap several varieties of trees) In this hole you insert a spile and hang a bucket from it to collect the sap. The sap will run out of the tree into the bucket once you collect a large amount of sap it must be boiled down. Sap has a lot of water in it and you must remove this extra water from the sugary part of the sap.
3 Aluminum 2 gallon buckets to collect the sap as it drips from the spile.
3 metal lids to prevent leaves and bugs from falling into your sap once it has left the tree.
3 spiles or taps that you put into the tree so that the sap may exit the tree into your bucket.
3 hooks so that you can hang the bucket from the spile.
1 drill bit that is 7/16 so that you can drill the perfect size hole for your spile
Cheesecloth: for filtering any solids you use this when you transfer your sap to the storage container.
1 Maple Sugaring at Home book: this little gem tells you everything you need to know including identifying maple trees and how to boil down the sap to turn it into maple sugar.
It has almost everything you need to get started. It has enough buckets and spiles to tap three trees. In addition to the kit you will need a cordless drill and some clean empty food safe jugs to put the sap in when your buckets need to be emptied. You will also need a large pan to boil your sap down in. You will want to boil the sap down out side. Boiling the sap produces a large amount of moisture and it can peel the wall paper off your walls. So its best to do it out side.
The weather is not quite right for tapping trees yet but I want everyone to say tuned because me and the girls will be documenting our sugaring experiment as soon as the weather is right to begin tapping our trees.
I am very pleased with the kit from Tap My Trees. The buckets are nice and heavy, and they came with lids to help keep leaves etc out. I also love that it includes the correct size drill bit for the spiles. I never can find the bit I need and I spend 20 minute digging in my giant bucket of bits looking for the right one. The Maple Sugaring at Home book is great! It helped us to identify the correct trees easily. It also has great directions for tapping the trees and it leaves nothing to be confused about. It is really a great book to have around if you are going to try maple sugaring. Just about everything in the kits is reusable for years and years as long you take care of it. The only thing you might need to replace is the cheese cloth and after a while the drill bit as those do get dull after a while. Both things are affordable and easily replaced when needed.
The only thing I think is missing from the kit is bottles, to bottle you syrup after you have boiled it. We are planning on processing it in mason jars.
Now we wait for sugar snow. For us that's typically mid January to late February. Stay Tuned to Updates!
For some reason after my my grandma passed away my girls begun to see sun sets in a new way. They would look out the window and declare "Grandma is painting something beautiful for us tonight" I think in a way it helped them cope with the loss of someone they loved so dearly.
She must be thinking of us again tonight. Hear is the start of another beautiful painting.