Friday, August 18, 2006

I Don't Know How Much Mow I Can Take!

If you recall, the McQueens have had a terrible time trying to get a working lawnmower. As I mentioned in Don't Mow My Lawn, they finally got a working lawnmower.
They used it this summer. After I had come home from house sitting I was told that the lawn mower was broken.

Huhh?!?! How did that happen so fast?! They just got it?!

Apparently, someone had gone over a root whilst mowing the lawn. This bent the blade a little.

Well, there's more to the story than that. It turns out that Bruce is really fortunate he still has all his fingers.

He decided he'd take it upon himself to fix the blade. He put something below the blade, something to act as an anvil. He got something to act as a hammer to hammer the blad back to it's original shape. Tap tap tap. I believe he got the blade back to it's original shape. Job well done, right?

But then the mower didn't run smothly. Or even at all. I'm not certain as to the exact state of the mower.

When Bruce told me this story, Pastor Jack said "I think all that tapping on the blade sent the vibrations up the crank-shaft, and that may have distorted it."

I sighed saying "Not the crank-shaft! You don't want to ruin that. That's the most expensive part of the engine!"

But then something occured to me. "Wait a sec. You mean you didn't take the blade out of the moter?"


"Oh boy! Please please tell me you disconnected the spark plug while doing this."

"No. The engine was off."

I started feeling faint. "Oh boy. Bruce, count yourself fortunate you still have all your fingers! You always disconnect the spark plug when working on the engine." In fact, you should disconnect the spark plug when the lawn mower is not in use, and when filling the gas tank with fuel.

Pastor Jack insisted that the engine was off. I explained to him that that didn't matter. "Look, when you start the engine what are you doing? You're pulling on that cord. That cord is wrapped around the flywheel. The flywheel is on the cranshaft. You pull on the cord and it starts the cycle. Part of that cycle is the spark, which ignites the fuel and gets the engine started.

"That's how they used to start airplanes. By turning the propellor. It's the same principle. In fact, at Sault College we were charged a $10 fine for leaving the key in the ignition when we weren't in the airplane because if we did, and someone went to move the plane, and they moved the propellor enough, they could start the engine, and that would bad: for their hands, the airplane, and anything it happened to drive itself into.

Always, always disconnect the spark plug when working on the engine!"

Of couse, ever since the Slippery Pete incident it has been assumed I know nothing of mechanical devices work. So I had to insist that, not only had I studied this in aviation, but I had taken a small engine repair class in high school.

Now the mower doesn't work like it's supposed to.

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