A Tinker's Delight

| 3/23/2015 11:36:00 AM

Adventures of Old Nebraska DaveOver the last two years I've been building up quite a brush pile on the northern boundary of Terra Nova Gardens. Originally, I just wanted a barrier to slow down the critters that live in the wooded untamed area to the north. It's a wild and head high weedy area filled with leaking springs in the ground and covered with fallen trees, brush and vines. As time went on and the raised garden beds in Terra Nova Gardens were being developed, a thought came to mind that would give the pathways between the beds some character.

If I could grind up that pile of brush, it would provide enough wood chips to put on the pathways and beautify the look. Yeah, plans are made and a date was set to rent a commercial size chipper to grind up the brush pile.

All through the development of Terra Nova Gardens a relationship with the neighbors had been pursued. Many stop and talk about what I'm doing and how things have changed since I started. One neighbor just across the street with a phenomenal name, Dave (not that I'm partial or any thing), has helped with things over the years to ease the heavy work with his Bobcat and little Ford tractor. While talking to him about my plans to grind up the pile and use it for the pathways, his face lit up and he asked if I was a person who liked to tinker with stuff. Curious about where this was going, I replied that I some times would tinker on my own stuff but not so much on other people's stuff. He indicated that he had something for me over in his garage. Now I'm really curious.

Troy Bilt Chipper Vac

He had tucked away in his garage a Troy-Bilt Chipper Vac. He claimed that it did run and the gas was drained when he put it in the garage so it should be still in good shape. He had purchased it with the intent of using it around his home property, but just didn't have the time to work on it. We loaded it up and I brought it back to the Urban Ranch where I live. Now I've learned any time some one gives something to you not to get too excited because there's a good reason they are getting rid of it for free.

The first thing I noticed was that there was no cap on the gas tank. That's never a good sign. I looked inside to see some kind of liquid in the tank. Hmmm, could be very old gas or water. Neither is a good thing. A sniff of the open gas tank told me that it was gas. Gas when it gets old has a tendency to gum up carburetor jets and orifices inside the carburetor. Next thing to check was the oil. It appeared that the oil was full but black as could be. For now it was good for testing the engine but would need to be changed almost immediately.

2/12/2016 6:42:28 AM

Dave, Since I am horrible with small engines, when a neighbor gave me a 'free' self propelled walk behind mower because they were moving I eagerly accepted. Long story short, thee engine won't hold compression. I know this because that was the outcome from a decent repair shop close tat I trust. Oh, and the $25 bench charge for that tidbit of information just made it even better. I hope to make a froe from the blade and sell the rest for scrap. Keep us posted! Jim (The One Acre Farm)

6/15/2015 7:26:25 AM

Hi Dave! I have a much larger Troy Bilt chipper with issues as well. Perhaps chippers were not their area of expertise. You've given me some leads on how to get my big red monster happy. Thanks. Anyway, although you are obviously a treasure - you are not a tinker - you are a tinkerer! Clumsy word, but accurate.

5/13/2015 11:32:53 AM

Great story about tinkering! We need you around here! My hubster is trying to learn how to work with small engines but like it as not he has to give up and send it to our neighbor who does repair as a side business. Isn't that true about freebies? Well, I hope you get it to running. It sure will come in handy. If I may borrow your way of closing....Have a fun tinkering day! - Renee

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