Kalifornyuh Dreamin’ 1

Since my father-in-law died two days after my mom’s memorial service in January, we have been up to our eyeballs in alligators working to settle his estate and clean out his house.  As Mrs. Barn and I noted last night, even after almost four months it is still a shock to not be making a phone call to him every evening at 7:30.

Fortunately my sister-in-law is the executor and point of contact for all the estate stuff, but we have been actively involved in the house-cleaning-out process, spending almost a month in total on the ground and getting dirty.  It is a humungous task as my father-in-law was a child of the Depression who lived in the same house for sixty years in a SoCal suburb.  So, there’s lots of stuff.

Much of my time over a couple of recent weeks has been to clean out the garage, which had a tunnel for the car but I called the rest the Wall of Voodoo.  It was exhausting work as there were literally tons of junk to move out and stack for the disposal crew to remove, and to also sort through the Wall of Voodoo to separate the treasure from the trash.  In addition to the hundreds of used spark plugs, the dozens of carburetors and alternators, there were tools.  Lots of tools.  Mounds of tools.  He was a mechanical savant and a mechanical engineer, so the inventory of those implements was huge.  Among the treasure were a few things that I was able to ship home to the barn.  Here are a few of them.

A tool I have always wanted was a square broach style thread file.  Now I have one.

I’m so old that when I took drafting classes we had to sharpen our own wooden pencils with a knife and sandpaper.  It was in the “advanced” classes where the students were using retracting-lead pencils with precision sharpeners that could put a needle sharp tip on the lead.  Dick probably had this from when he went to engineering school back in the 50s.  Since I have saved or acquired a half dozen of these pencils, I rejoiced at finding this sharpener in a box of paperwork.

This is the year for bringing all my metalworking capacity on line, including  pair of machinists’ lathes and a horizontal milling machine.  To tune up these machines an indicator gauge in a requirement.  Now I have another, so that each machine can have one permanently.

Though I did not bring this home, I was delighted to find this can of an old, revered varnish.  The contents were still in perfect condition.  I left this at the house in SoCal but may try to figure out how to get it home to my menagerie here.

And, there are still more treasures, some en route from West to East.  I’ll report on them anon.