40: Boraxo Soap

Boraxo Soap is a Godsend

This is not a paid advertisement... though I wouldn't mind if the company 
sent me a crate of hand soap as a thank you.

Wagons for the 20 Mule Team
TD introduced me to it decades ago. He swears by it. I totally understand why because this stuff works. Coming from a garage mechanic's standpoint he says nothing gets automotive grime off hands better than Boraxo. I view it from a gardener's viewpoint and say the exact same thing: Nothing beats it either...pardon the grammar.

A vintage staple
Remember these old vintage Borax dispensers in the bathrooms? I'd love to have one in my laundry room. Instead, I have the little cardboard canister. It's a staple at the clean-up sink. 

A Little Factoid: 

As cardboard shaker cans became available for public purchase, the company made the canister with a heavy coated wax overlay so that wet hands wouldn't sog down the cardboard. Genious. These coated cardboard cans are still available today but sometimes a little hard to find.

Easier to procure are the large boxes, thus my wish to find a vintage canister to hang on the wall by the sink! 

The shaker cans are much better to use than grabbing the large box because of the special outer wax coating. The big boxes don't have it and break down faster with wet hands. 

I'm going to presume anyone who gets their hands dirty already knows about this product but in the off chance I reach just one person and make them a believer I will be happy. 

One of the best sites for information on Boraxo comes from a Blog (no kidding!)  Written by a man known only as "Kevin," it is entertaining as well as informative. 

The blog can be found here: Boraxo Soap 

I've attempted to grab pieces and post directly below for those too lazy to visit Kevin's site.

Notes from Kevin's blog:

The company began with Francis Marion Smith who established the first successful borax mining operation in 1872 at Teel's Marsh, Nevada. At the age of 21, Francis left Wisconsin for the West to prospect for minerals. He staked his claim with his brother Julius to a borax mine at the edge of a marsh. The borax works separated impurities from the borax crystals. The brothers shipped their product by mule train, the origin of the now famous 20 mule team that is the symbol of Boraxo and other Borax-based products to this day. One of the routes led them across the Mojave Desert through what is now known as Death Valley. Francis worked several other borax operations, hauling the mineral by mule train until it was possible to transport by train. Today, the Borax company and Boraxo powdered hand soap are owned by Dial.
20 Mule Team Ready to Go!

Reasons to Use Boraxo Soap:

Reason #1: Boraxo powdered hand soap is environmentally safe
It is made from all natural ingredients that will not pollute the environment.

Reason #2: Boraxo exfoliates
Boraxo is a fantastic skin exfoliate. It's affordable and leaves your skin feeling great - and yes, even your face will love it. 

Reason #3: Boraxo cleans where other powdered hand soaps fail
Grease and grime is a real problem for regular hand soaps, but Boraxo scrubs your hands clean and carries away all of that grit and grime. 

Reason #4: Boraxo has a great history
It's not often that you get a chance to use a product that has changed little in over 100 years. 

Reason #5: Boraxo is unusual
There really isn't anything quite like Boraxo soap on the market today. While it can be a little difficult to find in the store, it is well worth ordering online. 

So there you have it.

Boraxo rocks. Go get some. 

And send me some!


39: I Love You in Pieces

TD surprised me and bought a 1952 Chevy 3100 truck front axle assembly. It has 6-lug wheel hubs. This means we use it on Abbey and have more options for things like wheels and disc brakes.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine 
getting excited over this.

He also bought the rear axle assembly of the same vehicle because it gives us better wheel options for the back end. It also allows us to change the differential ratio. This allows us to go faster or slower at less engine revolution. 

(Truly, I only partially get this lingo but just nod and smile when he explains).

Note: "Merry Christmas" was also mentioned. I just thank the stars that those car pieces are too big to actually fit under the tree.

Basically speaking...we will be able to go over 35mph when all is done.

The parts are sheltered in the (sadly) non-heated garage and tucked under and around Abbey during her winter hibernation. 

Waiting for warmer weather
The truck will still look the same but drive like a normal one instead of a shake-rattle-and-roll very slow heavy-duty farm vehicle.

Remember her wheels issue? These new changes allow us to get wheels and wheel covers that we like and not worry about being killed by our current "widow maker" ones... 

...because death-by-tire was never really a great mental image or personal preference.

We will be able to drive her longer distances than right around town and even take her on the highway and visit places farther away.

*gasp* … at this point I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

There is something to be said about keeping a vehicle stock with the matching numbers engine, transmission, wheels and whatever else makes a thing stock…but there is ALSO something to be said for having a vehicle that you can rely on and use as a daily driver without ruining what it looks like. This is what we want for Abbey.

Even with these new changes and expenses, what we bought her for and what we may someday sell her for would still give us money in our pocket.

Let the record state that I have NO plans to sell.

There is fun in this old gal (I’m talking about Abbey here) and THIS old gal (meaning me) wants to have fun with her. 


38: Winter Hibernation for a Vehicle

Leaves fell and those that didn't were knocked off by tornadic storms that hit the Midwest. Fields were plowed and overnight frost killed any vegetation left in the garden. These are all signs that point to hibernation for vintage vehicles.

Abbey's brand new (albeit wrinkled) cover was gently placed over her clean robust body and while she rests during the cold months, we plot the changes in her future.
Last night's conversation with TD revealed how much he wants to do and how much he wants to farm out. Bottom line discussions were concurrent in that we both want to feel safe when we take old Abbey out on the road for distances longer than 10 minutes away.
TD would appreciate not bouncing so hard that he hits his head, and that means a softer ride. A softer ride means more than just a new engine.

I've mentioned wanting a straight H-pattern feel with the gear shift instead of a "stirring soup" feel when changing gears.

We both would like to rid ourselves of the Widow-Maker wheels.

In the spring when things warm up I foresee a garage being used primarily for Abbey and not the other vehicles generally housed there. This could potentially be a large project.

In the future I also foresee a heated garage.

I used to scoff at heated garages but I totally get them now. Do the automotive  projects during winter when yard work and other outside projects cease and you actually have the time to do them - then when spring and warmer weather hits just go out and enjoy the dang vehicle.