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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Episode 2: The Treasures of Ally Mo

With Ally Mo parked on the East side of the shed I decided to clean up inside a bit. I collected up all the junk that was on the kitchen counter and in the sink in a cement mixing tub and separated the garbage from the potential treasure. After a very thorough scrubbing in the sink of Ally Min I assessed what I sort of artistic improvements I could make to these ordinary items to make them into the kind of vintage treasure worthy of my Etsy shop.

The Cast Iron Candle Sconce:

I wire brushed this rusty cast iron wall decoration and gave it a few coats of Penetrol to seal it. Then I sanded it with emery paper to bring up some highlights and gave it one more coat. It's very attractive now. Now that I think about it, what it really needs is an electric light to go with it. I may have something.

I tried making an aluminum ring to go around the bottom of the electric light by shaping it with PVC pipe on the vise. I was thinking I'd put a buck rivet in it, but I forgot I would need room for the bucking bar on the inside. I used a ball peen hammer to set the rivet and it made a big ol mess. And then the whole thing was just too big. I forgot about pop rivets or I might have done it again.

Next I tried a broken belt Brenna gave me. That didn't work either.

Then I tried another piece of black leather belt and made that work. I used Pop rivets on it, but my iphone battery died and I didn't get video of how pop rivets work. Plenty of time for that later. 

All my life I've known about pop rivets and only recently learned about buck rivets. And then when I was shopping on McMaster for the right kind of rivets to fix the windows in Ally Min I found out that Pop is a BRAND NAME! I had no idea. I thought it was a description, but no, it's like Kleenex is a facial tissue. Pop rivets are actually blind rivets. They were invented in the 1920s.

You can buy this if you would like to support my project. Ally Mo needs new tires!

The Oil Lamp:

There was a bottle of lamp oil and a sooty little oil lamp in Ally Mo. I took out the wick and washed and dried it in the sun so it isn't so flammable anymore and I washed the glass and polished the metal. I wasn't convinced it was a real antique though so I wanted to add something hand made to be sure it was Etsy eligible. And I wanted an excuse to show what a buck rivet it. So I made a little riveted trivet for the lamp. I had a scrap of marine aluminum alloy leftover from Ally Min that I used to make the trivet. I marked the holes with a pencil and an awl then I drilled the holes on my new drill press. I rounded the edges with a file in my vise. I overtightened it I think and deformed the shape a bit. I cut the rivets as short as possible and used the pneumatic alligator squeezers to set them. Then I cut a piece of exterior grade carpet and put it on the bottom with contact cement. The glass lamp wanted to skid around on the metal so I added some sticky corners I cut out of the empty sheets of anti-skid feet I put on my board games.

You can buy the oil lamp too! Ally Mo has FOUR WHEELS!

The Brass Chamberstick Lamp:

This artifact turned treasure was a lot of work. I started a separate timeline to edit it and it turned out to be so long I decided not to paste it into Episode 2 but to let it be it's own video. 

I didn't film myself shoving the wire into the tube that runs up the lamp or the fiddly adjustment of the nuts to get it to line up just exactly right so the cord didn't stick out too far and make it not sit flat. That was pretty hard to do and also impossible to film because it involved me contorting and struggling to get all my core strength into it.

The patina solution is also presented as a complete mystery. If you want to try this at home you're going to have to do the research. The process I used is called rokusho, but it is spelled a lot of different ways. One of my favorite papers is "Japanese irogane alloys and patination – a study of production and application" and you can download the PDF from Sheffield Hallam University. I've already done my experiments for my board games so I have a feel for how the solution should look and act so I can do it by eye. You should start with measurements and work up to that. This is why I started with the evaporate from my previous work. 

The main ingredients are copper sulfate, copper acetate, citric acid, and salt. The water should be really hot.

After all that work on that lamp I looked online for how much brass lamps cost. A lot. The price I put on this lamp on Etsy may seem exorbitant, but think of it as partly paying for the lamp, and partly paying for the entertainment of seeing how I made it look that way. I am footing the bill for shipping! I'm all about service.

The Rest

I made a little pine needle collar for that jelly jar, but after trying to photograph it I decided not to put it on Etsy. I don't know what it's for? Any ideas?

Then there's this little tea cup. It's cute, but I don't think it's feasible for me to ship it. If anybody wants to pay for shipping I'll happily pack it up for you. But it weighs too much for the value.

The same is true of this coffee cup. Plus there's a defect in the bottom of it. If it was perfect I might put it on Etsy, but like this, nah. If anybody wants it though, let me know. You can have it free if you pay for shipping!

I'm using the green cup, yellow plate, and pyrex dish in my lab for various tasks. I like lots of little empty dishes when I'm working on jewelry and sewing.

I used that dish rack in March when all of a sudden my niece had to get married at my place. My new nephew washed all the champagne and water glasses and put them in that dish rack to drip so I could pick them up and dry them.

I'm going to take a day off tomorrow to sew and then I'm going right back to editing! I'm really excited to edit Episode 6. I have decided I must do all the episodes in order so the progression of my editing skills is smooth.

Thanks for your interest in restoring old junk! 

Go buck yourself.

*** update ***
In this video I speculated that Ally Mo has the original sheet vinyl floor. I was wrong about that. I looked underneath by the front door and I can tell a strip of plywood by the wall has been replaced. They'd have to take up the flooring to do that. This is not the original pattern. I have looked and looked online but I can't find any pictures of what the original floors looked like.

Here's the subtitles for this episode in case it helps find specific info:

01:00:04,967 --> 01:00:07,433
Hi, my name is Barbara.

01:00:07,433 --> 01:00:11,500
I'm a blank builder and a blogger and I'm on a mission to 
rebuild and repurpose 

01:00:11,500 --> 01:00:17,367
this 71 year old aircraft construction aluminum trailer home
 Ally Mo. 

01:00:17,367 --> 01:00:23,200
I want to start cleaning this place up in as small a doses 
as I can handle

01:00:37,200 --> 01:00:41,500
Oh, nope! I'm out

01:00:51,834 --> 01:00:54,834
I got these contractor trash bags at the grocery store

01:00:54,834 --> 01:00:58,700
And they're fucking SCENTED! I'm so angry

01:01:01,033 --> 01:01:04,033
This cup is chipped. It's trash.

01:01:06,033 --> 01:01:09,033
This rack is rusty. It's trash

01:01:13,066 --> 01:01:16,066
This little lid... is fine. I'll save that

01:01:17,900 --> 01:01:20,900
This plastic plate

01:01:24,200 --> 01:01:26,533
This lid, also good

01:01:26,533 --> 01:01:29,533
Anybody need a lantern?

01:01:36,967 --> 01:01:39,967
These are Italian! Treasure

01:01:42,567 --> 01:01:45,567
Pyrex. OK

01:01:47,500 --> 01:01:50,500
That's an unusual jelly jar. I haven't seen one like that in
 a long time

01:01:51,700 --> 01:01:54,700
That's actually a Ball jar. That's good. Save that.

01:01:54,700 --> 01:02:01,533
This little cast iron sconce is fine. Nothin' wrong with 
that. It's a little crooked.

01:02:01,533 --> 01:02:03,867
OK  . Now it's perfect

01:02:06,100 --> 01:02:08,667
This is a can

01:02:08,767 --> 01:02:12,133
Actually I need this. I need a cup just like this so I can 
saw the bottom off

01:02:12,133 --> 01:02:17,934
and use it as a funnel for putting pine needles in bags

01:02:20,433 --> 01:02:23,433
This has mouse pee in it

01:02:24,300 --> 01:02:30,667
It has a mark, and it's not chipped. This could be a 
valuable cup 

01:02:35,400 --> 01:02:44,100
 This says Royal Copenhagen Royal Cumberland. Could be a 
valuable cup. I'll save it

01:02:45,066 --> 01:02:48,066
I think this is the lid to the can

01:02:49,500 --> 01:02:52,500
And this is oil for the lamp

01:02:56,867 --> 01:02:59,867
Nothing wrong with this. Keep that

01:03:02,300 --> 01:03:04,567
This dish rack is ok

01:03:04,567 --> 01:03:08,834
This is the knob off the stove. Cool 

01:03:11,066 --> 01:03:14,066
This is a stick

01:03:20,333 --> 01:03:23,333
OK, so I'll take this stuff out to the lab and wash it up 
and start my treasure collection  

01:03:31,033 --> 01:03:35,300
OK, the problem with this is the little nurdule is broken

01:03:35,300 --> 01:03:38,300
That's why this doesn't stay on I bet

01:03:39,166 --> 01:03:46,000
This one's broken. I wonder if I can get new ones of these? 
New stem

01:03:48,300 --> 01:03:49,600
That is a project for another day

01:03:49,600 --> 01:03:53,567
I wonder if this lifts up? I bet it does. You ready?

01:03:54,333 --> 01:03:57,333
Ugh! Gross!

01:03:59,000 --> 01:04:02,000
I wonder what that's from? That will be an interesting day

01:06:01,133 --> 01:06:04,133
Let's see what we've got in these drawers?

01:06:04,533 --> 01:06:13,200
Red white and blue grommets. Anodized aluminum grommets

01:06:13,967 --> 01:06:15,467
Mouse trap

01:06:15,467 --> 01:06:21,734
And these are the mirror clips out of that Spartan. 

01:06:21,734 --> 01:06:29,533
Which are a prized collectible for people who are trying to 
do these things original, so I'm going to save these 

01:06:30,600 --> 01:06:36,467
And an original screw, too. And another original screw

01:06:37,233 --> 01:06:42,400
I'll save all this stuff, these original screws

01:06:42,400 --> 01:06:45,667
The original quality of screws in this is really high

01:06:45,667 --> 01:06:48,667
But the rest of this is crap

01:06:51,233 --> 01:06:54,233
These two are stuck

01:06:54,900 --> 01:07:01,233
It's not a bad looking cabinet though. If it was cleaned up 
and whatnot

01:07:04,834 --> 01:07:07,133
The construction is not bad

01:07:07,133 --> 01:07:10,133
I wonder if I can tell why these are stuck?

01:07:12,633 --> 01:07:15,633
This one is coming apart

01:07:16,767 --> 01:07:19,767
There's an interesting detail of this drawer

01:07:19,767 --> 01:07:25,367
When it was original this was meant to be a vanity

01:07:25,367 --> 01:07:29,367
This is where you kept all your makeup in all these little 

01:07:29,367 --> 01:07:35,266
And there was a fold up lid and there was a mirror, so the 
mirror folded up

01:07:35,266 --> 01:07:37,633
So that's why there were mirror clips in here probably

01:07:37,633 --> 01:07:45,033
They probably came off the actual mirror that was on the 
inside of the lid that dropped down into this little drawer

01:07:45,033 --> 01:07:48,033
Which is kind of sweet. I'd kind of like to rebuild that

01:07:48,033 --> 01:07:51,033
Also look at the drawer slides on this

01:07:51,033 --> 01:07:56,000
They're wooden slides that sort of come out because the 
drawer comes out so far

01:07:56,000 --> 01:07:59,700
And here's the dovetails on the edge

01:08:01,066 --> 01:08:04,834
It's kinda damaged. Because it's plywood and it's 

01:08:06,100 --> 01:08:09,100
It would be better remade out of solid wood

01:08:09,900 --> 01:08:13,867
But watch when it slides. How it goes in. 

01:08:15,400 --> 01:08:18,400
Now see how straight it stays?

01:08:19,700 --> 01:08:22,700
And here's the side of it that holds this slide

01:08:23,767 --> 01:08:26,767
It's kinda cool

01:08:28,867 --> 01:08:31,867
I'm still trying to figure out why this drawer won't open

01:08:31,867 --> 01:08:34,867
It gets that far and stops

01:08:35,700 --> 01:08:39,333
I can't see anything interfering with it

01:08:41,233 --> 01:08:44,233
Oh! You have to lift up, ok

01:08:44,233 --> 01:08:47,500
So it doesn't come out when you're driving. I see

01:08:47,500 --> 01:08:52,700
Yeah that's why. That would stop it from sliding open when 
you were driving

01:08:52,700 --> 01:08:55,700
The bottom is delaminated

01:09:07,934 --> 01:09:13,300
These are original Spartan screws

01:09:13,300 --> 01:09:16,834
This is probably modern day mouse droppings though

01:09:21,567 --> 01:09:26,033
All these drawers the glue has completely dried and come 

01:09:27,200 --> 01:09:32,567
Which makes it actually easy to fix em. You can just reglue 

01:09:33,333 --> 01:09:36,333
Sand them and reglue it

01:09:38,500 --> 01:09:41,500
It's in pretty good shape

01:10:03,467 --> 01:10:06,467
I wonder why the top part of this badge is cut off?

01:10:06,934 --> 01:10:11,000
Anyway, Spartan put their serial numbers in the door frame 

01:10:11,000 --> 01:10:19,233
The first number is the length, 33 feet. They also made a 
24, 25, and 30.

01:10:19,233 --> 01:10:21,100
The middle number is the year

01:10:21,100 --> 01:10:26,800
Ally Mo was built in 1949. 4 years after the end of World 
War II.

01:10:26,800 --> 01:10:35,934
435 is the actual serial number. They started with 33-48-1 
the year before

01:10:35,934 --> 01:10:41,133
I wonder what these patents are for? I will look them up

01:10:41,133 --> 01:10:43,967
<font color='#000000'>All four of these patents are for combination furniture </font>
<font color='#000000'>invented by G.R. Shutes</font>

01:10:43,967 --> 01:10:46,867
<font color='#000000'>All four of these patents are for combination furniture </font>
<font color='#000000'>invented by G.R. Shutes</font>

01:10:46,867 --> 01:10:49,734
<font color='#000000'>The first is a table and cabinet</font>

01:10:49,734 --> 01:10:57,600
<font color='#000000'>The second patent is 4 pieces of furniture in one. Vanity, </font>
<font color='#000000'>writing desk, laundry hamper, and seat.</font>

01:10:57,600 --> 01:10:59,066
<font color='#000000'>Get it, Grr Schutes! </font>

01:10:59,066 --> 01:11:03,700
<font color='#060606'>The third design patent is for a chair and magazine rack in </font>
<font color='#060606'>one.</font>
<font color='#060606'> </font>

01:11:03,700 --> 01:11:09,834
<font color='#040404'>And finally another table/cabinet combo. This drawing shows </font>
<font color='#040404'>a curve like the back of the trailer.</font>

01:11:09,834 --> 01:11:17,367
<font color='#000000'>Were these inventions licensed by Spartan Aircraft and never</font>
<font color='#000000'> implemented? None of these are present in this trailer</font>

01:11:17,367 --> 01:11:26,500
<font color='#000000'>I guess that vanity cabinet bookshelf was also a writing </font>
<font color='#000000'>desk. Grr Schutes's prior art must've applied to that design</font>

01:13:44,800 --> 01:13:48,266
Check out this 71 year old vinyl flooring

01:13:48,266 --> 01:13:55,066
I misspoke before. Real linoleum is ground up cork mixed 
with linseed oil and pressed into a woven jute backing. 

01:13:55,066 --> 01:14:01,700
But a vinyl substitute was invented in the 1930s and 
production ramped up after World War II

01:14:01,700 --> 01:14:06,600
It became hugely popular, and rightly so

01:14:06,600 --> 01:14:14,000
It seems indestructible. But, not gonna lie, this pattern is
 not for me

01:14:16,900 --> 01:14:23,333
My childhood home burned down in 1984, leaving behind this 
patch of vinyl flooring

01:14:23,333 --> 01:14:26,333
I think I'll clean it too

01:14:27,100 --> 01:14:31,166
When I was little I knocked a drinking bird off the bathroom

01:14:31,166 --> 01:14:34,700
It made a bad red stain, my constant shame

01:14:34,700 --> 01:14:39,667
Whenever I found a new cleaning product I would scrub it 
again, which must've affected the adhesive

01:14:39,667 --> 01:14:45,000
The house completely burned down and the vinyl just mellowed
 there under the ashes for 20 years

01:14:45,000 --> 01:14:50,600
Then I came along and cleaned it off and for another 15 
years its been in the weather

01:14:51,467 --> 01:14:56,934
Sheet vinyl, for when you want your floor to look like 
chewed gum. Mmm, fruity!

01:16:33,200 --> 01:16:36,200
This is a buck rivet

01:16:36,200 --> 01:16:39,200
Typically you put them through holes in two sheets of 

01:16:39,734 --> 01:16:42,734
One person holds a bucking bar on the inside

01:16:42,734 --> 01:16:45,734
And somebody else uses this air hammer on the outside

01:16:45,734 --> 01:16:50,500
As you can see it's is problematic to even demonstrate the 
process alone

01:16:50,500 --> 01:16:55,667
But I'm just making this buck rivet trivet as a decoration, 
there is no inside and outside

01:16:57,767 --> 01:17:01,967
There's only edges, and  I have a better way

01:17:07,934 --> 01:17:12,200
Without the bucking bar the hammer doesn't expand the rivet,
 the hole is just a tight fit

01:17:58,600 --> 01:18:01,600
I need more air

01:18:14,567 --> 01:18:20,600
A properly set rivet doesn't just squash out in the back, it
expands inside the hole

01:18:20,600 --> 01:18:26,934
So the connection is truly airtight and water tight. 
Remember, this is aircraft technology

01:18:27,633 --> 01:18:31,867
This tool is called an alligator squeezer

01:18:31,867 --> 01:18:36,066
I got it used on ebay to rebuild the doors on Ally Min.

01:18:36,100 --> 01:18:42,333
You can pick out my new larger rivets. The original ones are

01:18:42,333 --> 01:18:47,767
People restoring old Airstreams seem to constantly deal with
leaks, but not me

01:18:47,767 --> 01:18:54,266
Maybe since my Spartans were made right after World War II 
the riveters really had their skills dialed in

01:20:09,266 --> 01:20:13,767
See this lamp on the floor that looks like a candlestick?

01:20:13,767 --> 01:20:17,266
Let's see if it's junk, or if it's treasure

01:20:28,900 --> 01:20:33,800
Ceramic and brass? Nickel knob? I think this is a quality 

01:22:30,500 --> 01:22:34,600
I'm working on photos for the Treasures of Ally Mo for my 
Etsy shop

01:22:35,734 --> 01:22:40,133
and I was working on this wall sconce and it didn't look 
right that I didn't have a picture of it in place

01:22:40,133 --> 01:22:45,100
So I decided to hang it on the wall here in Ally Min to 
demonstrate it

01:22:45,100 --> 01:22:53,266
And then I remembered I have this electric candle that can 
go in a wall sconce like this

01:22:56,333 --> 01:22:58,600

01:22:58,600 --> 01:23:03,700
This works pretty good, but this rubber part sticks out

01:23:03,700 --> 01:23:08,333
So I could just cut it off so that it goes all the way in

01:23:08,600 --> 01:23:13,333
But what I could do is make a little aluminum trim piece 
that goes around the bottom

01:23:24,066 --> 01:23:27,066
I made this too big. Fuck it. Next idea!

01:24:35,633 --> 01:24:39,467
And that's the treasures of Ally Mo. Go buck yourself