Friday, April 11, 2008

Vlad land

Vlad land
Originally uploaded by stevepack
Lindsey and I are in Biloxi for Coastcon and are staying with our
friend Vlad who sells WWII collectables and happens to have a great
and twisted sense of humor. This was what greeted us when we brought
our bags in.

I'm hoping to get the chance to take a look around the city to see how
things are developing. Rossana is in NC to finish the last weekend of
the fair. Maybe she'll get lucky and get at least one sunny day.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dangerocity + Tools

I think that it is necessary to come up with a new scale for measuring projects. I humbly suggest this new scale be called something like "TheTool/Dangerocity Scale" or simply the TDS

You see, it doesn't matter how complex a project is. It's how many tools you use to complete it, how much danger was involved and how badly you hurt yourself doing it. Changing your oil is fairly simple. You only need a new tools and the risks aren't that high. And yet many people still manage to injure themselves or break parts of the car. But you still did it yourself and you deserve credit for it. It was far harder and more dangerous than you had guessed and there should be some way to quantify that.

Yesterdays project seemed simple. In preparation for Spring I wanted to sharpen the blades on my lawn mover. Of course I called up Grimm, because he's done this before.

Or not.

After staring at the mower for a bit and poking it with a stick we decided to jack up the front end rather than figure out how to disconnect the deck.

Tools used: Jack, board, bricks

Once the front of the mower was precariously balanced atop some bricks we crawled under the deck with a grinder to get at the blades.

Tools used: Body grinder, carpet, scraper, extension cord, safety glasses.

We set to work but after the first blade we could see that one of the blades was pretty chewed up from being used as an impromptu mulcher during regular mowing operations. After some more grunting we thought we'd try to take the blades off the deck so we could work on them without constantly being remonded that we were old and fat.

Tools used: Compressor, air wrench, socket.

Indeed one of the blades was gouged pretty bad. One might consider simply getting a new blade but Grimm is well known for his 'frugalocity'.

"Why drive into town and spend money. You've got a welder! Weld a new bead along the edge and then grind it down." This seemed like an almost sane idea at first. We pulled off the blades and set up the welding rig.

Tools used: Stick welder (gloves, mask, hammer, rods), 2 saw horses, slab of marble to weld on

With new material added to the edge of the blade we then ground it to shape and generally cleaned up our previous work. We reinstalled the blades and I decided to grease the fittings.

Tools used: Grease gun, needle nosed pliers to remove old grease tube, paper towels and gunk remover to clean up the grease which went everywhere.

In the end I used a crapload of tools to achieve a pretty simple task. I would give this job a 7 out of 10. It would have been a 8 but neither of us injured ourselves during the proceedings.

Next week I may dig a hole. It will take some work but I'm sure I can jack that TDS up to 9 somehow.