Vardo day after a week off in Michigan reunions. I got up a little early and headed for the farmers market looking for pickle stock. Wow, a whole box of mixed small cucumbers at $2 a pound and many gherkin sized. I like the gherkins for cornichons, tart french pickles, garlic, thyme, bay and better with tarragon, canned short so they stay crispy, so much vinegar keeps well. I started picking out the little ones and the guy (Lou) came over, “Make you a deal for quantity”, “Ok, what kind of deal?”, “$15 for all of them.” I pulled out my cash and picked $15, “deal.” Bagged in my nylon pocket pouch bag. They weighed in at 14 lbs when I got home. A melon for a buck, $2 left, “How many onions can I get for two dollars?”, scored five. A stop at the store for seasonings and the hardware store, jars on sale, perfect, 24 pint jars. Headed home.
Raven showed shortly after, she wants to try a Parmesan chicken recipe, prepped that, then started painting. Meanwhile, I jacked up the vardo, one wheel at a time with Gary’s old floor jack, blocking it with the old steps blocks sideways and some 2x and 3/4 plywood. After a few tries the wheels were off the ground. Checking forward, uh oh, the blocks are leaning forward barely holding and the swing jack is off its 2×4 footing. I pulled the floor jack, not high enough, added a large 4×6 block on end above the jack. Uh oh, it started moving sideways, oh no, pulled hard and let it down. Re positioned it the other way and raised it, still wanted to move but got the swing jack to hold and released the leaning blocks. I set them all flat stacked and solid under the Y of the tang, using the car scissor jack, secure.
The two back braces aren’t secure enough for my comfort. I pulled an old 2×6 from out back and cut it to 5 feet. That and the 2×12 porch stock nailed front and back to the old step blocks secured it better. A couple shoves on the vardo, it’s holding.
Lunch time, chicken Parmesan, ratatouille, cheese rolls, perfect, thanks Raven.
After lunch I proceeded to loosen the old springs, crown nuts, I straightened the cotter pins with difficulty as they are inside blind. The nuts moved loose OK but the bolts are rusted tight, pulled out the BFH (brute force hammer) and whacked it hard with the nuts still on to take the blow and a piece of wood to prevent deforming the metal. The front came loose OK, but the back swing arm wouldn’t let loose, had to remove both cotter pins and move the swing plate. Finally got it all loose. I’ll leave it in place for now, wheels in the air in case.
I loosened the nuts on the driver side tire so it can come off fast to get the axle out. I’m beat, tired muscles, it’ll wait until next week for the change. I did get the measurements for the drill holes for the new 3.5 Klb springs.
Raven finished painting the side window frames and the door frame black (a lot) after sanding prep.
It looks so good finished.
I washed and scrubbed all the pickles with a soft veggie brush, that took some time, 5 1/2 pounds of gerkins, the rest for dills, salted, to be canned tomorrow.
A fine day indeed.