June 20, 2008
I'm back to digging some pretty coarse gravel.  This is one of the reasons that there is so much welding that needs to be done to keep the bucket functioning.

June 18, 2008
Yesterday I must have disturbed a turtle with the dragline.   At least I saw one like this swimming away from where I was working.  Today it looked like he was in the mood for moving.  When I bent down to take a picture he packed up into his house and just stared back.

June 12, 2008
Sure looked interesting looking out our patio door.  Obviously the sun was shining making for some brilliant colors.  We just saw the rainbow for a few minutes and then the sun went away and it got windy and started to rain.

June 10, 2008
We fixed the travel chains and then tightened up the tracks.   Sure looks good to me.  One down and one track to go.

June 7, 2008
We don't mind visitors.  We just put them to work.  He would of had to move his truck even if we were going to use mine, so we just got him to pull the travel chains into place.

May 30, 2008
Today my truck reached a new milestone.  Only the last 52000 is mine.

May 26, 2008
We put on a new drag cable and then also changed the hoist.  It was showing signs of wear and I had planned to change it before it tore.  We hung the reel of new cable underneath the end of the boom and then pulled it off and over the end of the boom and then along the boom till the machine.  It makes for a good workout.

May 23, 2008
What a lovely way to end the week.  Now I have the whole weekend to look forward to changing cable.  It was a good cable till now.  Some cable this size is rated at 80 tons.  I know the motor was working hard just before the cable snapped.

May 22, 2008
Did some touring around and found out that some people leave their draglines parked at the wrong place.   I guess the water came up over winter or something.   At least at this point the engine is still dry.

May 11, 2008
We celebrated mother's day in our back yard.   Both my mother and my wife's mother were there.   And for those that care note the "recycled" cable reel now serving as a table.

May 9, 2008
Nice new machine setting up next door to our place.  Specially built for this job.  If it has a John Deere engine does that make it farm equipment?

May 7, 2008
After having the bucket in the shop all winter it was time to return it to the pit.  Some extra steel and some welded cracks, new teeth, new pins and it still looks like it could use some more work.

April 30, 2008
I had just quit digging for the day and noticed that the bank was starting to cave in.  I stuck around to take some pictures.  From the size of the wave starting it looks like most of the cave in happened below the water line.

April 24, 2008
Just when we thought winter was over.  At least it looks pretty.

April 14, 2008
Usually when I start in spring the ice is gone.  Here I placed the bucket on the ice and the ice did not break.  This bucket weighs about 5000 lbs.

I ended up dropping the bucket on the ice from about 5 feet up and then pulling it in.  I cut a trench through the ice and then kept going from there.

March 7, 2008
Finally after enough pestering I got around to making a new part to fix the light fixture above the dinning room table.

January 31, 2008
I have started the job of welding the crack full.  Sure hope it lasts for awhile.  I've got one more crack after this one.  It is a bit shorter than this one.

January 30, 2008
The lip on this 3.5 yard bucket was cracked right beside the repair I made on this bucket about 30 years ago. Last time we gouged it out with gouging rods and this time I used air arc to do it.   The lip is made of manganese steel so I will use Stoody 2110 rods to weld it up. Last time we used Allstate 275. That is a good rod but it does not work harden like manganese.  Also the price is out of this world. I think it was about 3 to 4 times the price of 2110. Oh the joys of buying fancy rods.

January 25, 2008
I figured that I was losing a lot of heat out through the chimeny so I set up what I call a heat recovery system.   The water that returns from the pipes in the floor enters the coils at the bottom and returns to the water jacket on the stove from the top.   It seems to work reasonably well.

January 18, 2008
A lot of welding rods are needed to make the corners of this bucket thick enoungh so they won't crack in the summer.   Right at the corner I want to make it at least an inch thicker.

January 11, 2008
Hopefully when this sheave is all fixed up it won't wreck cable anymore.  It was so thin that you could see daylight through it.  Now it's almost finished welding up and then all it needs is to get it on a lathe.  And then no more pinching little wires and breaking them and eventually the cable is wrecked.

January 1, 2008
This pin is due to be replaced.  It's amazing that they haven't snapped.  The full pull of the 1710 cu. in. Cummins engine can be applied to these pins.  They belong where the bucket drag chains attach to the bucket.