£330 mower repair.


Colin

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Hi,

Our neighbours gardener paul is a top class guy; hard working; honest and entirely trustworthy; unfortunately Paul gets taken advantage of especially when it comes to his equipment servicing/repairs. A couple of months ago Paul was charged £145 just to get his petrol mower serviced; I know the service guys need to make a living but Paul was without his mower for three weeks.

Having been told this by Paul I volunteered to do all Pauls equipment servicing free of charge regarding labour with Paul just paying for consumables and spares; I would hand back any original items and invoices. Paul is obviously delighted with this arrangement and I'm happy to potter around in the workshop. Paul spoke to me a couple of days ago asking if I could do anything with one of his petrol mowers; apparently the service guy had installed a wrong control cable which was causing problems so no problem just bring me the mower to have a look at.

Early this afternoon Paul arrived with a petrol mower saying he's sorry but could I please look at this one first because it was the one needing most attention; one side of the handle had snapped it breaking free and the other side was also very loose; Paul had phoned the service guy who told Paul no way could it be repaired and the only option was to spend £330 on a new petrol mower? I asked Paul to leave the mower with me and I got cracking on the repairs this afternoon enjoying myself in the workshop doing a bit of metalwork and welding. Paul was upset regarding his servicing guy and as Paul cannot do any mechanical repairs he was about to buy a new mower. There are other smaller problems to sort out with the mower but the handle repair first.

Hopefully Paul can have his repaired mower back tomorrow in full working order.

Kind regards, Colin.

Mower repairs_001.JPG


Top is a good handle. Middle is the replacement underway; bottom is the broken handle.

Mower repairs_002.JPG


Close up of the replacement I'm making; 7/8" diameter solid bar stock cut three quarters way through to allow bending. By not cutting all the way through the parts hold together if done this way.

Mower repairs_003.JPG


Welding under way building up the joint; not pretty but it soon will be. Run a weld; knock off the slag and run another weld until the joint is filled with weld then fettle the joint with an angle grinder.

Mower repairs_004.JPG


New handle welded ready for mounting holes drilling. I doubt this one will break. I don't have anything to heat up metal otherwise it would have been very easy to heat until red then bend but cutting and welding works for me.

Mower repairs_005.JPG


Drilling mounting holes with my center finder chucked in the big drill press; this center finder ensures holes are drilled correctly.

Mower repairs_006.JPG


The sorry looking mower just needing a bit of TLC and definitely not £330.

Mower repairs_007.JPG


This is the model of the mower. Why can't service guys do such repairs but then if they can't buy new and simply attach it then most are lost; I was taught to make things.
 
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My second son is a car mechanic, or he was. His back is too bad to bend over cars these days so he changed to being the Parts manager. However, when there is old fashioned mechanical things to be done, like welding or other arcane arts, they have to send for him as the modern mechanics are only capable of changing a part for a new one, not mending the old as your friend found out.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks Owdboggy. Most mechanics these days tend to be "Fitters" unlike genuine mechanics who are engineers with ability to make a part then fit it.

I've just completed the mower repair and let Paul know he can collect it; Paul's over the moon and couldn't thank me enough asking how much he owed me? He owes me nothing I looked upon the repair job as an hobby and I've enjoyed tinkering with it. The handle mounting method on this mower is very strange indeed; at the handle mounting points should be plastic inserts but one was completely missing the other no longer up to its job so for the original I inserted a steel bung it being a tight fit then drilled for the mounting hole; the new handle was already solid so didn't need a bung. It's possible these handle bottom sections are available but by the time I could have tracked one down I've already done the job. Just a nice little project for me whilst saving Paul spending £330 on a new mower.

Kind regards, Colin.

Mower repairs_001_01.JPG


The original handle with new steel insert; ready for drilling and cutting to length.

Mower repairs_002_01.JPG


What a strange way in order to mount the handle; plastic insert and outer sleeve; why go to such complication when heavier gauge steel could have been used?

Mower repairs_003_01.JPG


Trimming to length the easy way; I've done my share using an hacksaw so now this metal cutting bandsaw saves wearing my arms out.

Mower repairs_004_01.JPG


One of the two new sleeves being bored out using a boring bar on my Lorch Schmidt engineering lathe; any excuse to use all my toys.
 
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I get all my parts from the town dump. People are always throwing away lawnmowers and other gas tools because they don't start. That doesn't mean that the wheels or the handles or for that matter, even the engines can't be reused,
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks mgmine; yes I too used to enjoy bringing useful items home from our local tip but unfortunately now I'd be faced with a hefty fine and given a police record for stealing here in the UK.

A few years ago someone had placed a set of Whitworth open ended spanners just inside the doors of the scrap metal skip; at the time I had a friend who enjoyed repairing old machinery so I asked in the tip office if I could please have these spanners; I had the spanners in my hand; sorry you can't was the reply; once things are deposited in a skip they become council property and we are monitoring this with CCTV. I politely thanked the tip attendant and walked back to the skip throwing the spanners in.

If anyone shows initiative or wants to do anything here in the UK there is a law or regulation against it? I'm not surprised most people just want to wander around with a mobile phone welded to their ear with absolutely no interest in doing anything remotely useful. The industrial revolution started here and is now almost full circle with little being done other than to keep opening ever more fast food outlets or spending vast amounts of money on sport.

I wonder what law or regulation I've just broken because I've just got my hands dirty adjusting the valve clearances on this mower?

Kind regards, Colin.


Mower repairs_001.JPG


Spark plug and plug lead removed for safety.

Mower repairs_003.JPG


Easy valve clearance adjustment this being an OHV model.
 
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Colin I feel your pain. They try that stuff all over the world but it doesn't stop me. I actually called and complained to the town supervisor when they put up a sign saying no taking the metal. He agreed with me that you should be able to take small things and admitted that he did the same. The next week the sigh was gone and the guard looks the other way. Maybe the supervisor was afraid he was going to lose votes. Last week I found three Dewalt sanders in the bin. Two random orbital and one pad. Why would anyone throw sanders out? Speaking of throwing out my neighbor was going to burn over 400 BF of 6/4 oak lumber because she was tired of moving it around. She asked if I wanted it and delivered it to the door in her truck. Her deceased husband cut and had it milled about 5 years ago. The only problem is now I have to move it around and each board is really heavy. So heavy that I can only comfortably carry one at a time.
 
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Colin

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Hi,

Thanks mgmine. It's truly amazing what gets thrown away these days in fact we now live in a throw away society; we are now creating cars with so many electronics in them these cars won't be in service as long as the old cars were; once the electronics start to fail it will be cheaper to scrap the car even though most likely all the mechanicals and bodywork remain in excellent condition; our Yeti has fuel saving automatic stop/start installed and I hate this always switching it off for every journey however short the journey is; how many years will the starter motor last or the flywheel ring gear?

White goods are disposable because a circuit board for a cheap washing machine can easily cost £100 just for the board whereas a brand new complete machine can be bought for £180; so many people are now obese because little physical effort is put into anything right down to having fast food delivered directly to their door; I'm of a very old generation when we worked hard and repaired everything including the clothes we were wearing; poverty these days is a lot different to the poverty we lived in.

Paul collected the mower this afternoon and he's truly amazed that I repaired it so easily; he's over the moon and a bit of interesting work by me has saved him £330. Paul never uses a computer so I took the time to show him how useful my computer is and the money I can save by browsing the web also the new skills and knowledge that can be picked up through YouTube; Paul's in a little world of his own but he gets taken advantage of so if he does decide to learn how to use a computer it will make him more "streetwise". Bron and I were happy to show Paul what we have done to make our home special to us from making furniture to Bron's crafts; he told us he couldn't do the same so I asked Paul if he'd ever tried? I'm sure Paul left with a new outlook on life; he's a decent hard working guy but no one has ever encouraged him to leave his comfort zone before. The only encouragement Bron and I have ever received was having no money for many years forcing us to make do and mend so we picked up lots of new skills but now we're criticized because we can do anything.

6/4 oak; I'm old fashioned being taught to use feet and inches also I'm pretty smart because I can also use metric so why not complicate things and introduce 6/4 so I've something else to learn? ;) WOW though mgmine; if only someone would dump a lot of oak on me I'd think it was Christmas.

54203


I'm nosy and like to learn so I did a quick browse as seen above. Searching as seen for 6/4 timber brings up clothe sizes? I understand 400 BF though (board feet) so I'm not totally lost. (y)

It's been a miserable wet day again today but the forecast is for it to improve as the week progresses; hopefully it will be warm and dry for Saturday morning because It's Rufforth Auto Jumble once again and I'm attending; Rufforth to me is like a candy store to a child. I'm sure you'd love Rufforth mgmine;

http://www.rufforthautojumble.com/

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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I believe 6/4 would be 38 MM . 4/4 =1" so 6/4 is an inch and a half, rough wood is measured that way. So if you get 4/4 lumber and surface it, you usually end up with 3/4. You got to start using English it's so much easier:)
 

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Hi,

Many thanks mgmine for your explanation; English is such a rich language so I don't understand why it is being changed in America especially with spelling? Our UK measuring system is initially very hard to understand for anyone starting school as a child; I found it to be so; area and weight measurements took a while before I grasped the basics but years ago metrication was introduced so I use both measurements but when I see timber in the timber yard marked as metric I convert in my head to feet and inches; old habits die hard; I've visited local timber yards where the assistants are young guys and when I ask for 4" x 2" they look at me as though I am an alien they being taught only metric;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_the_United_Kingdom

I have both imperial and metric micrometers but I mostly use the imperial unless I'm measuring bearings which can be either imperial or metric. I'f I'm turning a new shaft for a metric bearing I always convert the size to imperial using the web then I don't make a silly mistake whilst taking micrometer readings; I have a digital vernier calliper I use a lot this reading in both scales but it reads two thou out (0.002") so for very accurate turning I use my micrometer which reads down to half a thou; (0.0005") Yes it gets complicated but for fine work it pays to stick with only one measuring system. Then as you say if you buy sawn timber this is full size but planed timber is reduced size; anyone new to DIY will find everything at first to be a nightmare.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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As they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose. So an inch by any other name is still an inch. Metric vs. imperial comes up every now and then on a woodworking forum I'm on. I guess the argument will never be settled which is best. I used to say that metric was for scientists to use but then I saw a documentary on sending the first man to the moon and NASA didn't use the metric system. So I guess if since what I'm doing isn't rocket science I'll stick with imperial. And if I do decide to get into rocket science I'll still use imperial. As far as going to the lumber yard how would I ask for a 2x6 six and a half feet long? I'm getting a head ache trying to divide 12 inches by 2= 6 using metric.
 
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Colin

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Hi,

Thanks mgmine. I mostly use imperial measurements but if I'm working on modern things like electric motors then these tend to have metric bearings; it can prove difficult; obviously bearings are stamped with identification but the problem then arises if I want to turn a new shaft or spindle; for this kind of accurate work I convert from metric to imperial then I can use my trusty imperial micrometer; trying to work in both metric and imperial on the same job is asking for trouble.

2x6 six and a half feet long in a lumber yard; behave yourself; are you trying to give me an headache too? :D :D I notice quite a number of differences between English and American an example is SOLDER; in English this is pronounced with the "L" but in America it is now SODDER? My poor head.

Life can be so complicated at times.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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