Friday, June 17, 2016

Mid Century Two Tier Lamp

Here's something you'll really like!.. A while a go I bought this lamp shade off of Craigslist.  I drove all the way across town to get it and that's quite a long way to go.  I thought it was a large shade but when I got there it was small and just for a night stand lamp or something like that.  The gal wanted a large lamp shade price for it and didn't realize it was small.  At least thats what she tried to tell me, but of course Iknow better..  So I talked her down, she wasn't that happy but she sold it to me.  Even so I paid more than I wanted to for it.  So I've been on the hunt for a lamp that would work with it.  I found this lamp outside in the rain at an antique store in Canada.  Got it for $5.  And I think I paid $30 for the shade.  But now this will be a nice lamp for my side of the bed in the Gochenour cabin.  Looks like something out of a 1950s motel.  Love that stuff..  Now just got to hunt down a small blonde dresser to go with it.  Also notice the kitchen tins behind the lamp.  Got those for $6 I think it was.  There are three of them, Tea was the small one.  Coffee the medium sized one and Sugar was the large one.  They didn't have one for lard..

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Amana Radarange

Here's how the new Amana Radarange microwave looks in the Gochenour kitchen.  It's one of the newest things we have in there. That and the Mr. Coffee.  Modern convenience, what can I say.. (it's the thing on the left counter top with two knobs on it.  The upper knob goes to 5 minutes and the lower knob goes up to 30 minutes of radar cooking. The knobs light up when turned on. 

I found out that the polarity of the microwave gets reversed back and forth and that creates friction in the food which heats and cooks it.  Early models of these had an issue of the door leaking microwaves, but that was resolved in 1971 and this is a 1975 model.  A good rule of thumb is if you feel like you are getting hot next to a microwave, then stand back away from it.

From what I understand, Raytheon built a microwave oven in 1947 called the Radarange, then a consumer microwave oven came out under the Tapan brand in the mid 50s but they were expensive and not very common.  In the late 1960s they produced a model like this branded Amana Radarange and had a campaign to introduce them to the public.  At that point they  became affordable and popular and the rest is history. The main difference between this one and the late 60s one is the door leak has been fixed and it has a defrost switch.  Other than that they look the same from what I can tell.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Steyr Clubman

So I needed a road bike so I could keep up with Queenie while riding with her in Canada.  She is quite speedy on her new bike and it was all I could do to keep up with her on a loaner mountain bike.  So I've had this old Austrian Steyr Clubman from the early 70s in my basement for several years which I got at a yard sale for next to nothing.  It doesn't have any braze on cable stops so I figured I'd convert it into a single speed.  However, that would have required me to hunt down some new wheels and that would have been expensive while I had plenty of 10 speed wheels and fittings.  

So I went to Fred Meyers and bought a cheap cable set that included brake and gear cables and housings.  They weren't the best as they don't have the nylon tube inserts, but I remembered to lube the cables when inserting them into the housings and that works pretty well.  Old school technique using cycle lube or something like that.  Not having cable stops presented another challenge.  They used to have these little tin bands you'd use to fix the housing to the frame, but those things were never that solid so I used black zip ties and it worked better and looks pretty good too.

I have boxes of old bike parts in my basement.  I had everything I needed pretty much.  At first I wanted to have a simplex rear derailleur as that's what came on the bike, and I had a pretty good body but the pulleys kept breaking teeth off so I installed an old Campagnolo Valentino rear.  It looked cool but they never worked that great when they were new.  So I found an old Shimano Eagle rear derailleur which was missing a pulley but I found a pulley and it worked well.  An Eagle was the first rear derailleur I ever had experience with on my first road bike.  It wasn't the best either as it fell apart on a century ride and I ended up riding 50 miles in my middle gear on the back wheel.  For a long time after that I had no confidence in Shimano parts and my next road bike was french with Simplex and Mafac and those parts were solid as rocks back in the 70s when Shimano really hadn't figured things out yet. But now the Eagle works better and it will do fine.

The last thing I might change is the shift levers.  The bike came with the old Simplex plastic levers.  I had two sets and built one working set out of the two.  But I think I might switch that to a Shimano set too as it has more purchase and should work better with the Eagle rear derailleur. And I have a bottle cage and some clamps to hold it onto the frame as once again there are no braze-ons for that either.

My friend gave me some green cello tape.  And I had my choice of the dual position brake levers that were so popular in the 70s or just the single brake levers.  I went with the dual position just for that retro look and also the convenience of being able to brake from the top of the bar.  I also had some nice toe clips and straps.  It has a totally cool hard plastic saddle exactly like I used to use back in the 70s.  I totally love that thing and despite how it looks it is really comfy at least for me.  I wish I could find a few more of those.

Then to finish things off I'm going to put a rear rack on the bike and I might even add fenders.  I have a couple of nice sets of fenders but we will see on that.

One of the things I love about this bike is the cottered crank.  I was getting a little bit of play on that but I tightened up the cotter bolts and it took the slop out I think.  I'll know for sure when I test ride it.    The other thing I love is it rides like a steel bike.  It has that springy feel that you don't get out of other more modern frames.  Can be a little punishing on long rides but on short rides steel bikes are great in my opinion.  Nothing like them.  I'll shake this bike down riding to work a bit.  After I know it is sorted I'll pack the wheel bearings the derailleur pulleys and treat the chain.  Then it should be good to go.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

New and Used

Been hitting the back roads of Alberta with Queenie for cool old things to add to the Gochenour collection.
Picked up a mid century pole lamp at a thrift store in Lacombe I think it was for $10.  It was hard  to see the potential the way they had it in the store but it really came to life and I'm loving it.  These things are a lot cooler than people think.  You can have 1, 2 or all three lights on, and divide the space in a room.  Pretty nice.
And we saw this Amana Radarange on Craigslist.  Got a killer deal and it will look great in our retro kitchen.  I love everything about this.  Now gotta hunt down a retro cart for it.