Monday, September 21, 2009

Yesterday, hot and sunny;

right now, the air has that feel of a front coming and it's clouding over.

Yesterday I needed to mow, my front and friends' front & back. Slight problem: Friday night I'd believed the weather weenies that there was only a 10-15% chance of rain, and didn't put the mower in the shed. And it rained like hell that night, so now the mower wouldn't start. Drained the gas and put in fresh, still wouldn't. Sometimes, when it gets moisture in the system, the only way to clear it is to keep it turning until it's all blown out. Only my shoulder was saying "Hell, NO" to ten minutes of yanking a cord, so... Pull the starter housing, and there's a nice big nut on the end of the crankshaft. Do I, yes, I DO have a socket to fit. I needed a way to chuck it in the drill*, so got a piece of 3/8" square stock and ground the corners off about 1/2" on one end(3/8" square stock will NOT fit into a 3/8" drill chuck), stuck that in the drill, stuck the socket on the fitting and that on the nut and start it turning. After about ten seconds it coughed(the mower), then again, then at about fifteen starting coughing steadily, then it caught; yank off the drill and after about a minute of idling it cleaned out all the way and ran fine. So I got both yards mowed.

Right now, it turned out the house guests were not as well housebroken as advertised, so I hauled the rug out this morning and hit it with some soap and then blasted the whole thing with the hose, and got it hung up on the back of the truck to drip. It's mostly done dripping but not nearly dry, so I have the choice of leaving it out on the line to get an extra rinsing when the storms come through, or finding a place for it to dry. And there's no place big enough. Looks like rinse it is.

Couple of weeks ago I finally remembered to ask Dad for his method of cooking beans in a pressure cooker(had it once and lost it), and made a pot. Which came out damn good, if I do say so. I've got the beans sitting after the first boil and just picked some bell and sweet peppers, some green beans and a couple of small habaneros to put in with them**. So I'll have that tonight, with leftovers for lunches or dinners the next few days. When the cool is moving in, there just something comforting about a pot of beans, and corn meal for bread if I want to add some in.

*Yes, I know there are adapters for that; I HAVE a set. Somewhere. They weren't where I remembered them last, dammit.

**The garden took off after the hot & dry spell ended, but the squash still isn't doing worth a damn.


Anonymous said...

Remeber that cool tool you just bought, the lathe? If you'd centered that piece of square stock in the 4-jaw with about an inch or so sticking out you could have turned a perfectly round shank on it.

You can still clean it up and make it look all por-pheshi-nul.

Each time you center something in the 4-jaw it gets faster.

I was very proud (and full of myself) when I finally got to where I could center a piece in my 4-jaw faster than I could change chucks. Now the 4-jaw lives on the headstock and the self centering 3-jaw scroll chuck lives on a shelf.

Gerry N.

Anonymous said...

Feh. Too much work. When my mower is in a bad mood a squirt or two of starter fluid seems to clear things right up...

Vinnie said...

pull the plug. dip it in gas. pull the crank. The old Man couldn't stand a hard starting engine. 3 cranks. MAX. then we fixed it.

Firehand said...

I'm going to try cleaning it up; being mild steel, should be as easy a turning as I'll get with steel. I know with wood you round the corners off before hitting the lathe, so figured that'd be the things to do here, too.

I'm getting better with that chuck.

Anony, I've tried it; makes no difference when the damn thing is feeling put upon.

Hmm, never heard of dipping the plug that way. If it happens again, I'll try it.