Friday, February 24, 2012

Prepping for the Nano Camper

Going out next week to clear out an old garden spot and make it the camper spot for the Nano camper. With the pastures mowed (a top priority), now it's time to move on to other projects before two weeks pass when I have to cut the pastures again. The first growth broomstraw is nearly a foot tall in some places.

It was 84 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday. No wonder the work was a bit tiring on the sunny hill side. Have to get use to the hotter temperatures again early.

Work. Work. Work. I love it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Toro is up and ready for some cutting.

The blades and belt arrived for the Toro. The old belt is still in pretty good shape, so it stays on the cutting deck till it's too old. The blades are wicked sharp and mounted easily. Raised the cutting deck as high as I could because I mainly cut broomstraw with the Toro. Broomstraw is a lot tougher than yard grass. Maintenance wise, it's been a really good day. Tested the upgrade and all worked well.

Mom's therapy is running good, too. She loves all her therapists. They are all very kind and patient with her.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gonna Be a Chainsaw Day

Ordered a new belt and two new blades for the Toro. Ouchers at $135, but it's necessary. At least I don't have to pay a shop to do it for me. Dropping the deck wasn't that hard either.

One day this week heading back to my farm and cut down saplings growing up in the pastures. These saplings are tough on bush hog blades, so the steel blades of a hefty riding mower doesn't have much of a chance.

Laid in bed last night thinking of all the fence work I have to to on my farm. Where do I start? How much is the projected cost? When can I get started? Simply, pick a corner and start there. Work the street side first and work back to the creek. Have got forty years of brush and trees to clear out of the fence line, too. Might have to buy another chainsaw when all this work is done.

Mom has therapy today. She's doing very well for a 93 year old woman. Has lots of upper body strength. Legs and hips are weak though. To be expected. We both take supplements like SAM-e to aid in joint health. Sam-e is a miracle supplement. Takes away the inflammation I use to get when I lifted too much weight on blown knees. Pricey at $30 to $40 a box, but the relief from the aches and pains of middle-age make it worth the price.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rainy Day Plans and Projects

Hadn't counted on this cold, rainy day. My Toro riding mower needs to have the deck dropped so I can get to the belt. It needs replacing. Also having some rear switch problems. Had to unplug a safety switch that cuts off the engine when you back up without turning off the cutting blades. Fortunately, found a wiring diagram online and will study it tonight and draw out my own schematic to get a better grasp of what to look for.

Got the front pasture cut on my farm and it looks so much better. Have half of the the upper pasture cut and will cut the other half next week after making repairs to the mower.

Have about a dozen full grown yuccas to move before I can start to get the tin needed for the Nano camper. That project will start mid-March.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Moving on with Nano camper and farm work

Tore down the Homelite chainsaw and cleaned it up really well. Put the chain back on and it's ready to go. Will have to cut up the fallen mimosa tree and cut up saplings so I can get the tin off the roof for the Nano camper. Tomorrow it's grease the Toro to get it ready for mowing fields.

This month is farm work month. Next month is build the Nano camper. April is maintenance work on all equipment and cutting down and up a tree in the backyard that's dying and shedding huge limbs. I hurry when I have to walk around it.

Mom starts her physical therapy again this week. She's 93, but she's going strong. The therapy keeps her agile and her mind sharper. She's even agreed to get an electric scooter, so she can go shopping again with me or scoot across the farm with. FINALLY!!! YIPPEE!!! We've been trying to get her to get an electric scooter for years.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tin Roofs, Mimosa Trees, and Merciless Chainsaws

The camper is going to have a tin roof. It's stronger than a metal skin made from aluminum sheathing and won't leak like a painted wood roof. The tin is located down on my farm and is currently the porch on the abandoned farm house the tornadoes and termites have pretty much made a meal of.

The mimosa tree had split into three large limbs growing off of one trunk. Decided to cut the main trunk with the notch and cut through. Did that and nothing happened. Tree didn't lean and fall. Seems the middle branch had grown into the tin roof by about three inches. Had to chip at it with the chainsaw, but the sparks let me know I was cutting tin.

Took a break, drank some water, and looked at the situation a bit refreshed. Decided to cut the far left limb first. This would put stress on the tree to pull to the right. As I was cutting up the left limb, I heard a loud CRACK! Dropping the chainsaw, I took off running because I had no idea which way the tree might fall. It fell the other way. Mom was watching and thought it was funny how fast I could run when a tree is falling and I'm not sure where it will land.

Had a brother-n-law killed by a falling tree he was cutting down with a chainsaw. He spent the last months of his life on machines and tubes before finally dying in a comatose state Thanksgiving week of 1980. He was in his mid-twenties with a wife and two small sons. The tree he was cutting split, fell, and took him and the chainsaw down a slope and into a small pond. He was trapped under water long enough to suffer severe brain damage.

Yeah, I think about the terrible day in the late summer of 1980 just about every time I pick up a chain saw. My dad nearly cut off his left hand with a chainsaw when the small limb and brush attached to it slapped backwards after being cut throwing the chainsaw back towards him at an angle. The chainsaw grazed across the top of his left hand he was holding the brush with. He bled terribly before applying a lot of pressure. I drove him to the hospital and it took a lot of stitches to close the chewed flesh. I got "kissed" by a chainsaw on my right leg a couple of years ago. The tree had fallen and I stepped back in such a way that the chainsaw swung on my wrist to the left and grazed my jeans. Nipped a bit of skin and ripped the jeans up. Shook me up, too. Yeah, I'll admit it. Shook me up pretty good. A chainsaw is the most unforgiving piece of equipment you can use.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Got the 15 year old Homelite Super 2 XL chainsaw up and running.

The primer bulb had disintergrated with age, so I rigged up a needleless syringe (for giving cats their liquid medication) with a small, stiff, narrow piece of plastic tubing from a can of carburetor cleaner spray. Stuck the tubing into the end of the syringe so it can pull in a few CCs of fuel from the gas tank to squirt into the primer hose unattached from the fuel cap. Attached the hose back on the cap and screwed the fuel cap back on snug. Half choke, ignition on, pull, pull, pull, and it cranks up. Burned off all the old gas still in the carburetor with a lot of smoke, but it runs great with fresh fuel.

The primer bulb on this one in the video is on the side. Mine is located right on top of the fuel cap. But, they both sound the same.

Also, had to take the old spark plug and using a tiny jeweler's file, scraped off all the dried gunk on the terminal end. A couple of minutes later it is shiny as if it was brand new, I reset the gap to .032" and put a little anti-sieze around the threads and put it back on the chainsaw firmly capped.

The cheapest primer bulb found on the 'Net was around $20 at Amazon (with shipping). I knew there had to be a cheaper way to solve this problem. Took off the fuel cap and looked at the primer tube and asked myself what exactly is going on with the primer bulb, attached tube, and the port in the carburetor anyway? How are they synced? Can there be a work around? YES!

Cut up the remainder of the tree limbs left by the tornado that passed by the house last April with the old Homelite to clear out any remaining old gas with fresh, treated gas. Got a little firepit in the backyard by the tiny work shed and sometimes beans are cooked on it. Camp beans are tasty.

Well, all there needs to be done now is tune the H and L on the CS 370 carburetor and all three chainsaws are running good as new. Thank you, God, for ICS schools back in the 1990s. That little course in small engine repair and the motorcycle repair course has saved me a lot of cash and trips back and forth to small engine shops.

It was a slow morning that turned into a really good afternoon.