Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Are They Bugging You?

  This post isn't about customers that are bugging me. On the contrary, I know customers with their broke ass equipment are what help put food on my table. The ones being bugged are the customers themselves and the ones doing the bugging are actual bugs!

 If you've worked with 2 cycle equipment then you may be in tune with the sound an engine that has a plugged spark arrestor makes when its being pulled over. Not running, just during the time the cord is being pulled. What I really mean is the sound its not making. A plugged spark arrestor screen can prevent an engine from starting and makes the engine sound very muffled when pulling it over. I had one of these repairs the other day and this is what the exhaust looked like:

 That area right in the middle of the screen is where the exhaust is supposed to exit but its jammed with mud. The unit didn't just fall down and get mud packed in there.

You can see something was dwelling in there.

 The spark arrestor screen kept them from going any deeper into the engine and turning the whole thing into an insect super condo. A few minutes of cleaning and the machine was running good again. 

 I like puzzles and repairing these machines is like figuring out puzzles all day long. Theres always a reason, and usually a simple one, for the complaint the customer is having. Look over the entire machine and when you find something wrong then determine if its the cause or the result of a problem. Too many guys don't look at the whole picture and then they struggle. Don't be a struggler.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sporty First Ride

  A look at first ride this season and grooming habits of my Sportster.

Check it out:



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Sales Logic

  I was thumbing through a major aftermarket parts suppliers catalog yesterday and noticed it was full of handy tips. OK most of them weren't handy to a guy that already deals with this stuff everyday but whatever. I read a few of them and this one stuck out because I can't wrap my brain around the logic. Now I may be making a fool of myself here by posting this when the answer is obvious to others but I'm gonna just go ahead and take that chance. Here is the tip from a page in the catalog. I added the emoji.

 How can ending the service life of a part increase its life? Sure it will last forever if you don't use it but thats not what we're talking about here. If I leave the old sprocket on when I replace the bar and chain won't that increase its life? If I replaced it I would have ended its life. Yes it is good practice to replace these parts together but doing so only increases the new chains life. The sprocket is just gonna continue to wear till its shot. Am I overlooking something? This was the second dumbest thing I heard yesterday. The first was from a customer looking at new chainsaws. They stated that they never let anyone use their equipment because they like to control the abuse, maintenance and fuel that goes into it. Wonderful. In the next breath they asked about the cost of a second chain in case someone hit a rock or something. If they are the only user then I guess we know who "someone" is.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Old Mac Toolbox

 Todays video talks about an old toolbox I'll be getting back into working shape. We also take a look at an old Williams ratchet that my wife picked up for me and a roll of steampunk pinstriping.

Check it out:


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Speed Bar

  Speed bar is a pretty general term that I suppose could conjure up different images if you don't actually know what a speed bar is. If I say speeder drive handle instead then some may catch on to what I'm referring. Still in the dark? A speed bar is a socket drive tool designed for high speed, low torque operations. Its shaped like a crank and requires two hands to operate. They work fine but in these days of battery powered tools I doubt you'll see many techs actually using one. 

 I recently rediscovered the speed bar while installing my automower this spring. Those long course plastic screws hold the charging pad down to the ground and it turns out a speed bar is the perfect tool for the job. A power tool can easily "strip" the screw in the soil and prevent the screw from holding. The speed bar is as sensitive as your touch and you'd have to purposely overtighten to run into problems. A power tool needs a battery and of course is expensive to leave dedicated to an install kit that doesn't get used every day. Speed bars are like unwanted step children and can be found most anywhere neglected tools gather, and they don't need a battery.

  So there you go. I'm happy to get a speed bar out of my tool box where it was just taking up space and keep it in my mobile automower kit where it will actually be used. Take a look in your tool box at those unused tools. You just might find a new purpose for some of them.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Grandpas Blade Balancer

  Todays video takes a look at an old lawn mower blade balancer that my grandfather had. Ya know, I like to update these reviews every 50 years or so and this one is overdue. I didn't have a camera the first time I saw this tool but it and its owner did leave a lasting impression on me.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

I've Been Egged

  A long time ago my wifes sister Brooke decided she was gonna hide a bunch of Easter eggs in my shop. I was still finding eggs three years later and because of the amount of cleaning and reorganizing I've done here I'm sure I eventually found all of them. This year she did it again but this time she told me that she hid 19 eggs. These are plastic eggs with candy or surprises hidden inside. Thanks Brooke! One of them contained a tasty little treat and after eating it I decided I wanted more. I did find more eggs and some of them had those same candies in them. Yum. Not sure what they are called but they appear in the blue and pink eggs in this pic.

 I'm up to 16 eggs. There are three more hidden in my shop and theres a chance they contain that magic treat. I can't waste time typing, I need to find those eggs!


Sunday, April 4, 2021

My Most Used Tools

  No not the ones that are beat up the most. Todays video is about my most commonly used tools for chainsaw repair.