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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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Friday, September 25, 2015

Benched again

September continued to be warm and dry and I'd pretty much caught up to where I wanted to be plant-purge and veg-garden wise to date, so I had some playtime available.

I had not sanded/sealed the one off-the-deck bench sporting those 4 big pots of geraniums back in July with the others.  Time to tackle that leftover project.

Now here's a tip with TWP sealant.  I've NEVER, not once since 2009, cleaned any brush or roller that I've used.  The applicator is rolled or brushed as dry as possible and then sealed in plastic with clips.  They have never dried out and always ready for action at a moment's notice.   (Remember, I use the same color on everything around here.)

Now to the bench. I managed to get the heavy pots off without hurting myself and hauled the bench out to the blacktop so it would dry for a couple days.

It sanded waaaaay easier than it's twin even though it had more of the old paint on it.  And the sanded wood took up more sealant than the other one too.  It looked good!  I wondered if the one done in July would take any more sealant after 3 very dry months.  I tried.  It did.  Both looked good and ready for winter.

Then I considered the heavy bench back by the swing.  Would it take another application?  Sure did.  The silver lining of a very dry summer.

At that point I didn't hesitate to do the other little benches on the deck.  Easy peasy.

I was all wound up then it was inevitable that I headed back out and apply sealer to the swing.  I was on a roll (or, at that point, brush).

The weather held (it was iffy at this point) and within 24 hours everything had absorbed the sealant.

What a great end-of-season bonus accomplishment.  Only the planter bench had been on the list, but things went so well it was easy to overachieve.  Yay me!

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