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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Concrete Mixer Update, Sunday Lunch, Ciabatta

Our lunch with friends was scheduled for a 12.30 start encouraging us to both rise early and finish off any last minute tasks.

I was supposed to collect milk yesterday evening but shortly before heading off the neighbours called in to let us know that our three cattle were in their leased paddock. They (the neighbours) are animal lovers and have a huge collection of stray and previously mistreated animals. Our three cattle were eating their purchased hay but they weren't concerned, just wanted to let us know. I was concerned. They had only just been moved to a fresh paddock groaning with green feed. What was going on? While Jean chatted to them I went down to our back paddock to find a wooden fence post snapped off and laying down with our three strays waiting on the other side begging to come back. Standing on the wires to keep them down was enough to encourage their return. An hour later having brought down some steel posts, hammer and wire the repairs were complete and some other weak spots toughened. But too late to get milk. So that was my priority this morning.

Jean continued on in the kitchen with all the last minute preparations. All those little tasks that can't be done too far in advance. We set the table between us. The Biga for the Ciabatta was souring in the Bread Maker and just needed the final ingredients added and set to mix. This time rather than make a full load, everything was halved to make a much smaller batch which worked well. The risings were all planned ahead so that the baking would finish just as the guests arrived.

Fresh Ciabatta

Being well organised for a change we both had plenty of time spare and it meant a trip to the workshop for an hour to spend some quality time with the concrete mixer being refurbished.


Air Compressor

The job has been split into two for ease. The base which includes the electric motor is in progress now. Previously the wheels had been cleaned with a descaler  attachment on the air compressor. Then a wire brush attachment on the drill worked over the surface of the wheels and one of the metal panels. These were then painted with Rust Converter and left overnight.

We purchased the Air Compressor a couple of years ago. Rather than get an inexpensive small handyman unit we waited until we could afford a more versatile large model that would handle all sorts of air tools including a spray painter. It really has been worth the larger investment.

The metal wheels and some of the protective cladding.

Today with the spare hour these three items were cleaned down with a damp cloth to remove the excess Rust Converter and an additional wire brushing. They will be painted eventually but I'll wait until a few more components are ready for painting.

The next item for attention is the electric motor. It works but is in a poor state of maintenance. With the time allowed it was dismantled except for the pulley side which is a bit stubborn and will need more love.

Just needs some love
Lubricant and pressure

Back to the party. A shower and coffee before the guests arrive and we have an enjoyable afternoon eating, drinking and chatting. The visitors leave by 4 pm and after a clean up there is time for me to return to the workshop and work on the project until after dark. Great day.

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