Repair Weekend

This weekend, I tackle several machines that needed repair.

IMG_0010I was without kids, so I buckled down and tried to get some things done. Spring had sprung and (while I had mowed twice already) a couple of my tools were in bad shape. And by ‘bad’ I mean not usable for their intended purpose.

I started with the weed eater. The one my dad gave me was stolen in the move, as I had left it at the old house for trimming. Fortunately, I had horded my previous one, a Stihl FS38, the entry-level model. Unfortunately, I was unable to remove the head, as I had bashed the nut & shaft so much, that they were pretty well fused together. Last weekend, however, I found an FS85 at a second-hand shop. They had about half a dozen there, but they hadn’t tested any of them yet. With good compression, and a flexible primer bulb, I bought it AS-IS for $20. (Don’t worry, I paused so I could pretend to contemplate that price.)IMG_0030

I bought a new spark plug & air filters, and got a fuel pickup filter on its way. Tearing it apart, it was missing the pre-air filter, full of nastiness, and I broke the fuel line. All told, I spent about $17 on parts. Since they were a dealer, I went to see what the new equivalent model was going for these days. Typically, when I consider used versus new, I figure it should be half the cost or less. If something’s 80% the cost of new, I’ll just wait for a sale. You can imagine by glee to find that new, this model was $349! It was a lower-end “Pro” series trimmer. (This explained the strap, comfort throttle, clutch, and extra easy head.) Now my $37 weed eater runs like a champ!

IMG_0014Next was a ‘quick’ upgrade for my circular “Skil” saw. I had picked up a worm-drive ‘special’ gold edition for $50, and my Dad just happened to have a custom handle for it, which allows it to stand on-end. This handy little feature allows you to set it on the floor between cuts, and scoop it back up easily. The new IMG_0018one was painted up real nice, so it would be 4 quick screws.

After finding the right size, I thoroughly bent my hex wrench trying to free them. I soaked the screws with more WD-40, and headed to the ACE for some better wrenches. I cashed in a $10 off coupon, and came home with a full set of Craftsman hex wrenches. These broke the screws free, and I got them all out without further trouble. I cleaned the surfaces with my handy-dandy sanding brush, then put the new handle on. Two IMG_0026down, one to go!

I’ve stated that I’ve mowed twice this spring. However, both times were utilizing my John Deere riding mower. It has it’s “character” like a lot of my stuff, but it does the job… most days… after persuasion. Anyway, last season my push mower broke. The throttle cable snapped clean in two. I had been getting by using a zip-tie each time I mowed, to hold the throttle in place. I had vowed to fix it before using again, as this isn’t very safe or “cool looking.” I was tempted to buy new, but this one does run pretty good.IMG_0036

Unable to find replacement parts locally, and not wanting to spend $30 for a new one, I decided to engineer my own solution. Hmm, I’ve started parting out my old bike, so it doesn’t need brakes anymore… Rescuing it from the weeds, I made it work. The trick on my model was that the cable doesn’t actually move the throttle. The act of tightening the cable pushes the sleeve against the throttle. A couple clamps and some bailing wire, and I was in business.IMG_0037

Since I had it up on the table anyway, I thought I’d give the underside some loves. Woah, that was bad. I removed the blade and much of the caked-on grass clumps. Taking the blade to the vise, I tried to bend the flaps back into place. It was no use, this thing was done! FortunatelyIMG_0042, another trip to ACE meant another coupon… $10 off, please!

The next day I fired that thing up and (with the new blade) it works better than ever. I had gotten 5 years out of the $50 mower, so I guess it had earned a new blade.

Anyway, it stopped raining again, so I guess I’ll go whack some more weeds!

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One response to “Repair Weekend

  1. Enjoyed as usual.   You are becoming quite talented. !!!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”Josh ‘n’ More” Date:Sun, May 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm Subject:[New post] Repair Weekend

    joshnfamily posted: “This weekend, I tackle several machines that needed repair.I was without kids, so I buckled down and tried to get some things done. Spring had sprung and (while I had mowed twice already) a couple of my tools were in bad shape. And by ‘bad’ I mean not usa”

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