Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another freebie & sweat and sawdust don't mix

Last week I responded to a Freecycle ad for a free pushmower. I needed one so I could do some small trim cutting and mow inside the dogs area, so free was perfect...or so I thought. The e-mail said something like "1 year old Poulon Pro pushmower, free, ran last year but won't now, no idea what is wrong with it." I responded to the email and got a response, "its all yours", yippee! I ened up picking it up late so I didnt get to look at it at all.

The next morning, after everyone was fed and watered, I decided to see what was wrong with it. Usually push mowers are something really simple, like a bad spark plug or fuel line, so this can't be hard to get running. I pulled the rope, and watched the motor flop around like a trout,hmmm, motor loose? I pulled again, only to notice only HALF of the motor was moving.......what the??????? I got down for a closer look and saw the cause. Nope, not a bad plug, nope, not a fuel line, nope. not even a loose motor. The engine block was completely split in half along one side. ARRRGGHH, no wonder it was free! lol

I got ahold of the neighbor who is always working on these things, and sure enough, 2 days later he has a freebie motor for me. The one on it was a 6hp and this one is only a 4.5, but who cares as long as it cuts grass. 20 minutes after I brought the motor home, I was in front of the garage cutting grass. Of course, as my luck seems to fall, I made one single 4 foot pass and ran out of gas. (sound familiar?????) Ah well, at least I know it runs. I got gas this morning and used it, and it ran like a charm. Ahhhhhhhh, I do love my freebies.

Yesterday was a long long tough day. My uncle called me on Sunday and asked if I could come help him take down the tree next to his garage since his neighbor loaned him a lift for a day. (it sure pays to have the guy next door own an equiptment rental!) I didnt get there till after noon since Lisa needed the car for a work meeting, and I was floored when I got there. We had full use of a 60 foot 4wd boom lift. YEEHAW these things are fun. That 50 foot maple looked intimidating, but we got it handled no problem. Limb by limb, it was on the ground to nothing but a 4 foot stump in 4 hours. 4 grueling hot hours in 86 degree heat, direct sun, and high humidity. Add that to 2 cycle exaust and sawdust covering both of us, and we were sweaty, sticky, itchy messes. (reminded me wayyyy too much of walking behind a hay bailer)I ran the lift and tossed the heavy stuff while my uncle did all the cutting. I gotta hand it to him, for 74 years old, he worked his ass off out there. He felt every minute of it, but he loved it. He used to repair traffic signals and cut trees for the county, so it was like old times for him.

Last year I took him to a civil war reinactment at Hale Farm & Village. This place is a museum of sorts, but an actual working farm and village all mid-1800's era, its a really cool place to visit. He asked where the big church was, and we went to see it. He stood there pointing and told me "yep, thats where I sat". It turns out that this 150 year old church was moved to this location from about 30 miles away, in one piece on a trailer. He rode ahead of its 5mph journey in a bucket truck, cutting limbs that were in the way for the whole 30 miles. When it was almost in place, he jumped onto the roof for a good viewpoint, right the the spot he pointed out. He told the story to one of the directors that happened to be there, and she was ecstatic. They had never met anyone that was on that crew before. He was supposed to go up there again for an interview and have an article written about him in their newsletter, but he never went. I suppose I'll have to take him there again someday so they can do that. With a story like that to tell, I suppose I would have enjoyed a day in a boom lift too.

Today I didnt do anything here other than mow. I started some projects that Lisa's work hired me to do. They wanted to clear out some small pea gravel and plants on either side of the sidewalk and replace it with softball sized stones. I took a wheelbarrow, maddock,and shovel and hit it hard. I got about 75% of it done, but WOW was it a lot to move by hand. The areas are both 30 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 10 inches deep. Let me tell ya, that was a LOT of gravel to move and dump with a wheelbarrow! Tomorrow I'll finish the last of it, then wait till the larger stones get delivered so I can reverse the whole process. After that, its just a bit of painting and trimming, so it won't be as bad. I'll do that last little bit tomorrow afternoon, then list out the paint I will need. Of course it's all gonna depend on weather since the forecast calls for thunderstorms on Thursday......figures, lol. If it doesn't rain, something always runs out of gas, hahahahaha.


Happy Days said...

You always amaze me! Taking something that's nothing and turning it into something...and a freeby makes it all the better. Fun post as always!...debbie

scoutinlife said...

Chris that was need about the old church and your uncle! Have a great weekend!

Persa said...

Wow, I love your solar dehydrator! i live in Wooster and would love to see more photos of it. Does it work well in Ohio? Which Springfield Twp are you in, near Akron? I was looking at an old Roland Press book for plans. What plans did you use to build yours?

Chris W said...

LOL thanks for the comments as always Debbie.

Thanks Scout, I really loved that story too.

Persa, yep, I'm in Springfield twp just outside Akron. I know your area a bit, I installed the fire sprinklers in the BW3-Tractor Supply shopping center.
I really didn't have any set plans to work from on that dehydrator. I saw similar plans online made from a cardboard box and clear plastic. I just used some scrap lumber and old windows I had left over from making cold frames. The plywood behind the glass is painted black and collects the heat, while the area is open to allow the warm air to travel to the top drying area. It worked really well last year in a late season trial run making apple chips, and this year we are using it for drying herbs. I picked a spot that gets sun all day until around 6-7pm, so I don't have to move it at all. I just have to bring everything inside at night, or the cool air and dew defeat the whole purpose of using it. I can take and send you more pictures if you would like.

Chandra said...

Love the Hale Farm story, I work there and love hearing things like that!

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