The Papa Challenge_map reading 2, and a great day

Fathers! A friendly challenge-spend time with your children.

It was probably months ago that I ordered a topographical map of our immediate area, and bought a modern compass to use with it. With my trying to finish the RR coach, my daughter’s wedding, and other things; I haven’t been able to get serious about the map reading lessons shared at the Weapons Man Blog.

We took the map out into the woods and hills a while back, to see if we could spot the terrain features on the map. That was fun, but this was more serious instruction. I ordered the map with magnetic north lines printed on it; so I didn’t have to compensate (azimuth?) 3 degrees for that. In the pictures below is the story of how our first lesson went, and a few other activities.

I thought it was a great first lesson, because it wasn’t too far, but even though we were going in a straight line, we couldn’t see our destination. So we had to remember several landmarks to get us to the next terrain feature. The first picture shows me with the day’s crew (my 4 youngest sons) learning how to align the round part of the clear plastic compass to the magnetic north lines, then point the bigger part of the compass toward our destination.mapRead_1mapRead_2The next picture shows the field we had to cross. We selected a bushy Red Cedar tree at the top of the ridge that was in line with our direction of travel.mapRead_3Below is the crew at the base of the Cedar tree. We took the map along in case we needed it.mapRead_5While at the Cedar tree, I looked down the other side of the hill in the right direction, through the openings in between trees. I saw what I though was a squarish chunk of concrete.mapRead_6We made our way down there, and it was actually a diamond plate tool box. BTW, I first went around to the neighbors and asked if we could do the trek on their property.mapRead_7Behind the tool box you can see the next line of trees we encountered. These were too thick to see through, so I chose a tall Sycamore tree that was above and beyond the others, as a guide. When we came out on the other side of the trees, I saw that we were headed toward the stack of logs in the pasture, but our destination was the house in the right of the picture. So I guess I was about 100 yards off. Not bad for a first time, and a really good lesson for the boys.mapRead_8 I went to the parts store to buy a quart of black lacquer to try a theory I had. On the way back, I saw this Chevy Suburban in a guy’s yard. I’ve driven by his place hundreds of times, but never met the guy, until today. I stopped in, started talking about the vehicle, and he asks if I want to go around the block. I said yes, not realizing that “around the block” meant this big long figure 8 sort of drive, lasting the better part of 20 minutes. That’s OK, I really like an old truck with original gear, that’s running great. We talked cars like we knew each other for years. I guess I made a new friend, I’ll have to show him my old Chevy truck. Here’s his:suburban1 The reason I wanted the black lacquer was to help see flaws in my body work on compound curves. Gloss black is the worst ‘color’ ever for hiding flaws. It exaggerates them very badly, so that’s why it should be perfect for my intentions. A quick dry oil based rattle can would do the same; but it would react with modern topcoats, whick I hope this product does not.

I have two projects to test, a Harley Davidson gas tank which had a dent in it, and a fender on my 1951 Chevy 2 ton truck. I have this idea, which I often forget, but not always. I call it “grab a kid”; it’s where I get one of my children (or even a visitor) involved in one of my projects. So I enlisted the help of my daughter Colleen to paint the Harley tank. Even if she caused runs, well, so what, she’s learning to paint, and this isn’t the final coat anyway. Here she is with the detail gun, spraying on some black:MC_tank_1And the results? DOUBLE BONUS!! Not only did she lay down a nice coat of black, but the body work is great. Ready for gold leaf graphics.MC_tank_2Lastly, I “grabbed” another daughter, Allegra, to help paint a fender on the Chevy truck. By this time it was dark, and we were using a flashlight. My son Theodore helped too. I’ll check the quality of the body work tomorrow.1951_fender