Tom Dually 1.3 and 1.4

BY DAN ROGERS - DIAMOND LAKE, WASHINGTON - USA

Tom Dually 1.3

Sara Ann Dippidy.

I was just leaving the transfer station.  Somehow, I managed to discard 680 pounds of that Trex decking that had been holding Tom closer to the road than he might otherwise stand.  Six-hundred-eighty pounds!   Anyhow, I was on my way to the lumber yard for some more stuff to bring this project on line.  Utility trailer bouncing along, behind, and now unburdened.  It’s kind of a twisty-turney road, not the most well-travelled way to town.

There was this guy walking along the guard rail.  Not actively hitch hiking.  But, a long way from just about anywhere.  I stopped and asked him if he was walking for pleasure, or necessity.  He answered, “necessity.”  I offered to take him where he needed to get, and dropped him, a few miles later, at a corner there on the “back side” of town.  On to the lumber yard.

The design guys here at Frankenwerke are not really too enthused with this, yet another, trailer overhaul project.  And, I do get that.  There’s a whole lot of unk unk’s involved.  Especially where the curved bunks are concerned.  The supports differ in distance apart from one trailer frame to the other.  And, it’s really like trying to break into jail getting past all those struts and supports and frame longitudinal to even sort of imagine how to create the same support points.  Measuring—and actually seeing—the distances from hull to reference points is pretty scattershot.

I figured that I could sort of build it “progressively.”  You know.  One layer at a time, until it “looks about right.”  Nothing new around here, in that.  I had this notion that I could cap the on-edge treated 2 x 10’s with cedar 2×6’s that could then be shaped with a Sawzall and angle grinder.

I figured that I’d need about four 8-foot 2×6’s.  So, when I got to the counter, I said, “Gimme eight, eight-footers…”  The estimator on this job has been a bit too conservative in buying the nuts and bolts and stuff.  More trips back to town.  So, I just doubled it.  Kinda’ like wholesale to retail.

Originally, I had intended to turn off for the storage lot after my stop at the dump.  But, instead, I sort of ended up “someplace else,” and picked up the guy who needed a ride.  No big deal.  But, I did have to stop at the storage lot and put the tarp back on Gypsy Wagon. Seems that a nice lady drives by there on her way home and has been thinking she’d like to buy GW.  So, the nice lady at the storage lot gave the other nice lady my number.  And, GW sort of hasn’t had a mission yet, so the idea wasn’t all bad.  I met that nice lady who wanted to buy GW, and she said she was a psychic reader and wanted a floating gypsy wagon for her crystal ball stuff.  Now, I gotta’ admit I never had that idea myself, but who knows, huh?

I explained that I had gotten the hull originally from a guy up the road from the storage lot several years ago.  Whereupon, she told me that she lived across the road from his place.  That’s kinda’ cool, I think.  This was all on a day when the lot is normally closed; so I had to ask the nice lady who runs the lot to make a special dispensation, to come and open the place up for me.  She did, but immediately said she’s just gotten a call from her daughter who was having a medical emergency, and hadda’ go.  Anyhow, after taking GW down to the lake and doing a float test for the psychic reader lady, I didn’t have time to put the tarp back on—a royal pain to do alone with that high coach roof, and all.

So, today after I went to the lumber yard, I was headed for the storage lot on my way home.  Different route altogether than the one into town.  Whereupon, the same guy that I had brought with me about an hour or more before was walking outa’ town on that same highway that I was now on.  Of course, I pulled over and picked him up.  I said, “I’ll give you a ride home, but I could sure use some help pulling a tarp over my boat in the storage lot up the highway.”  Now, I have to say, there are about five storage lots within shouting distance of each other along this same highway.  The guy said, “Is yours that cute little one that looks like a gypsy wagon?”  I told him yes.  “Oh, I really like that one, my wife and I were looking at it just the other day…”

As we pulled up to the gate the nice lady who runs the storage lot came over to be sociable.  She thanked me for dropping by the ER the day before.  I did, in fact, stop by the hospital after putting GW away.  Of course, the nice lady at the desk couldn’t tell me who was being taken care of, to a non-relative.  So, I just said, “I know you can’t tell me, but wouldja’ just tell ‘em that Dan dropped by…”  One of those, “I know that you know that I know that you know” kinda’ things.  Anyhow, I told the nice lady who runs the storage yard that I had picked up a total stranger whom I was going to take home after we went inside the fenced area to put the tarp on.  She, said, “Oh, I know all about him, wanna’ know?”

We got the tarp back on, and headed for “someplace up the road,” to drop off the hitch hiker.  We took the normal assortment of paved and not that we have hereabouts.  The area sort of looked familiar, and I mentioned that I thought my friend Sam’s son, Casey lived around there someplace.  Casey is the guy I got Punkin’ Seed from about 4 years ago.  His grandfather had that boat before him.  His grandpa (Sam’s father-in-law) was a WWII Luftwaffe pilot—probably the only one living in Newport.  Sam’s dad was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, as an American dogface.  The hitch hiker said, “Oh yeah.  I know Casey real well…”

I’m just wondering who Miss Dippidy is gonna’ introduce me to tomorrow.

Tom Dually 1.4

Stiff ‘n sore.

I stuck around for the whole night shift, last night.  And, I gotta’ say that nobody, including me, at this morning’s staff meeting was all that enthusiastic about progress.  The engineering guys sold me on this pretty innovative bunk system with the old mantra, “It’ll be a piece a’ cake…all ya’ gotta’ do is cut it out with the Sawzall and finish it with the angle grinder…”  And, I bought that line.  I also bought a package of blades for both metal and wood to go into the veteran Sawzall.  Therein the rub.

It appears that the last blade I wore out and broke off is still clenched tightly in Mr. Milwaukee’s teeth.  Nothing I could do would dislodge that sucker.  Nothing.

I do take my responsibility as crew leader seriously.  If anything is gonna’ get done, I’m gonna’ have to do my part.  Sooooo, it seems that I spent the whole night shift attempting to shape the bunks with a 60-grit sanding pad on the angle grinder.  I rolledTom into the garage where the lighting is a whole lot better than out under the driveway light that I had attempted to work under.  Yes.  Somebody reminded me to pull Kate’s car outside, just in case.  And, that was a brilliant stroke.  Because the entire garage and adjoining shop is coated in cedar dust.  Ceilings, walls, shelves, tools, floor, boats.  Everything.

I took my goggles and mask off to take this shot, still like a dust storm.  And a lot of grinding to go.  The boat is supposed to be the convex surface nestled into a concave supporting system.

Not, the other way around.  Anyhow, I gotta’ wind up the morning meeting and get back to work.  Winter’s coming.

This is looking like another one of those Tiger-by-the Tail moments.  Sure would be good if the whole crew shows up for the day shift.  I could use some help with this one.

Hope somebody brings a Sawzall.  And, a broom.

Part 1.0Part 1.1 and 1.2 – Part 1.3 and 1.4




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