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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1st 2016 snow blow day

After a night of snow and a LOT of BLOW, the skies cleared, the sun shone and, FINALLY, the wind died down.

It all looked so pretty.  I had nowhere to go, no errands to run.  I could just sit and enjoy the view.


.... I was eager to try the snow blower since I tuned it up in November (previous post).  

All I wanted to do was start it up (new plug), and do a swipe or 2 on the turnaround to see how the paddle (new belt & spring) worked.

They worked.  One thing led to another and before ya know, the turnaround and driveway were cleared.

Yep, the snow blower worked.

About 5" of snow on the deck.  Hmmm.  Yep, the snow shovel worked too.  

This is the first week when we can say winter has finally arrived.  More snow and cold to come, then mid-40s Fri/Sat.  Oh well....  It'll be up and down the rest of the winter.  Keeps ya on yer toes.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

SnoBlower tuneup - new parts

It's been so mild this Fall that I've put off getting the sno-blower back together.  But today was nice and sunny and I was in the mood (always a good thing when dealing with something new).

I collected my new spark plug, belt, tension spring, fuel lines & clips.

First thing, the spark plug. Stick in, turn, tighten.  Success.  LOL

Then I re-attached the gas tank using the new lines & clips.  Clips were a bit of a pain (tight working area), but snugged at last.  Only 1 bolt/nut to hold tank in place.  When I was about to attach the fuel filter I had it turned around.  That was right, I thought.  Wide side toward the carb.  No, said my tiny voice, it's the other way.  Nuh-uh.  Uh huh! I had an argument then decided to go inside and check the pic.  Darn.  Tiny voice won.

Finally, the new belt & tension spring.  Spring no brainer.  Belt - had to remove drive wheel to give me enough slack to thread the belt.  Had some trouble with that square bit of metal that keeps the belt turning the paddle.  Kept dropping it. There.  

No. Oh geez, it was tiny voice again.  Look at it. Pull the bale.  What happens?  Uh, the belt goes slack.  And what is it supposed to do?  Get tight.  Crap.  Back to the backup pics.  Yep, I'd threaded the middle pulley wrong.  Damn that tiny voice.

Okay, all threaded.  Bale was taut at the handle again (for the first time in many years).  I put in some gas and started 'er up.  Vroooom!

Hmmmm.  With the bale relaxed there was still some paddle rotation.  Now what??  Tiny voice didn't have a clue.  LOL  I traced the bale line and found where it was under a pin, pulling it out of its track.  I rethreaded it over the pin and it was now snug in its track.  No paddle rotation in neutral, but really good rotation when bale engaged.  Success!

I played with it a bit, starting with both the pull cord and the electric starter.  Then I put on the hood and then parked the thing on some newspapers for overnight, just to check on the fuel line connections.

Yep, looks like I'm ready for snow.  Knock wood, however, this mild weather may be a sign of an easier winter this year than the last 2.  Fingers crossed. 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fence - 2nd application

With such success with the TWP applications on the benches, the next day I woke up with a brainstorm.  I checked the weather.

Saturday was clear, warm, very little wind.  Night was a bit iffy, but rain was only 20%.  Sunday looked okay....

I take all weather predictions with a large block of salt.  It's the radar and satelite updates.  There was enough data.

I took a chance and decided to put a 2nd application on the privacy fence extention.  It was just a year ago when I put on the 1st, so the planks should take up more sealant.

Thank goodness I discovered that rolling TWP is very effective and takes much less energy and wear and tear on the joints.

Prep:  moved benches, potted plants, etc from the fence; pulled up (and then potted) a 30" tall Japanese maple; used a broom to brush all dust/debris from the planks

Pic 1: the usual materials

Pic 2: 1st 2 panels covered - easy to see how much the year old application had faded

Pic 3: nearing the end; notice how the colorant is changeable depending on the sun's angle and shade, really nice

Took just under 3 hours to TWP all the panels. The sealant wasn't soaking in as quickly as I'd hoped.  By evening I could draw a line on the board with my finger.  Still, I hoped for the best.  There didn't look like there would be much better weatherwise for the rest of the season, nor would I have the inclination.  Nothing ventured but a morning and 2/3 can of sealant.

Next morning the planks weren't as moist.  But the lawn chairs were!!  Dang, we'd gotten a sprinkle.  Fortunately most of the fence was protected by the dogwood and crabapple tree.  Only 2 panels were truly exposed and they didn't look like they'd been affected.  I watched the panels Sunday and they did finally seem to hold all the sealant.  Good thing.  Before dawn on Monday we got .1" of rain.  Then Tuesday it started in the afternoon and rained for 12 hours (1.6").  Honestly, I really lucked out.

The only TWP project I still want to do this season is simple, the top of the deck railings.  There are supposed to be a couple nice days next week.  Hopefully I can get at those. (Update - done! 10/6)  ====>

Next year?  The original curved section of the privacy fence AND the cedar bench back by the shed.  

The one thing I really love about using this sealant is that once you prep the original application (sanding, stripping, whatever you need to get rid of surface paint, etc), TWP soaks into the wood.  You never have to 'prep' to re-apply after that.  All you need is a clean dry surface.  Easy peasy.  And the more you can get the wood to accept, the better it repels weather, and the color just gets deeper.  Yep.  I pay a bit more for the stuff and have it shipped to me from Atlanta, but I wouldn't use anything else.

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