Turkey Day weekend Saturday, I woke up late preparing to head for town in the car. Wow, Raven’s truck is out front, she’s in the vardo waking up. “Coffee?”, “Give me five minutes.” We head for town in my car, she tells me of her Mom and relatives on the way, a good holiday. She also went to see the Dicken’s Christmas at Cow Palace, interesting that.

Starbucks for coffee, we head for the last Healdsburg farmers market of the season for “Something hot” for lunch. Carrots, a parsnip, hmm some cauliflower, and a rack of lamb ribs for a stew. The guavas are done, next year. I have O onions and potatoes home. A stop at Shelton’s for curry herbs as I’m low. Garret’s hardware for Velcro, skid tape for the stairs and Christmas lights on sale. To home.

I split the lamb ribs with the cleaver freezing half and prep the parsnip separate to par boil away with a large pat of butter to take over when the water boils off. That’s how my Mom made it, sweet. Raven cooks the rest as I work on the axle.

The axle extensions are ready for assembly, painted last week. I insert the long grade 8 bolts and tap them gently into place with a hammer not to strip the threads. Nuts and lock washers into place and wrenched tight. Add the shorter bolts on the ends and wrench down, both sides. I’m using the wood backed boat mattress to keep dry as it rained last night. I attached the spring to the left side with a bolt as lunch was ready. So tasty, lamb soup with parsnip fries on the side, perfect, wow lamb.

Back to work, the other spring front one bolt, add the axle bracket loose on the center bolt. Raven helps me carry the new axle and slide it under into place loosely in the brackets. I got it, raising the spring and sliding the other bolt into place. It has ridges to secure it, I use the hammer to whack it in tight, then bolt down the nut with the ratchet wrench, springs in both sides.

The new axle needs to be welded to the brackets, I measure 5 5/16″ on each side even to center the axle. Masking tape works to mark the axle around the bracket.  Raven and I spin the axle and I scrape the paint off, again to get the undercoat, then sand it to bare metal. Removing the tape and shipping stickers, I spin it back into place with the axle arched on top for toe in. Adding the U bolts and flat plates I secure the axle to the springs wrenched tight.

Everything is in place. Raven comes out from sewing the snaps on the new egg mattress cover to check it out.


We add a tire to see the clearance the right way out, 2 inches plenty clearance. I measure the fender width, 15″, the stock from the river find is 15 3/4, perfect, enough for a fold down.

Oh shucks, I forgot to clear the paint from the main frame to weld the new extensions. I use a screw driver to scrape the thin paint then sand paper to reach metal. Removed the fender well metal to dose the wood with water for the weld.  It’s ready for welding.


I need to talk to Luis. Do we want to attach the wheels and drive it to his place or weld it here. Everything is ready, add the wheels and drop the blocks and she’ll move, though better to be welded solid. But ready. I still need to modify the front trailer hitch for the added weight as we’re 200 lbs over but I have the parts. One trip of welds or two.

So close to a stable platform. The roof isn’t this wide, barely. Fenders and she’s ready for the DMV.

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