Friday, October 29, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Lawn Mower...It's ALIVE!!!

So I stand here looking at the lawn mower that I've owned for the past decade. Six years of which it sat dormant and unused since we had a service take care of the lawn at our last home. The four years before that it was used and abused at our first home. I got this used from Tasha's uncle, I guess he didn't want it because the self-propelled part of it no longer worked. I was happy to take it since I didn't really mind pushing. I swear never once in the first four years of ownership did I change the oil, the spark plug, the filter or even sharpen the blade. If it ain't broke don't fix it...or maybe I was just too fucking lazy to do it. Whatever the case I never did, then we moved to a big house in an association where the grounds were taken care of. So I  brought along the old mower fully expecting to get rid of it but never did. I always wanted to tear it down just to see how it works and maybe fix the self-propelled issue, you know as a hobby, but with work, family and biking it just took a back seat.

We recently moved and so it came with us because it is once again my responsibility to keep the yard neat and tidy. In a sick and twisted sort of way I am looking forward to this. Guess I like working outside and gardening. Now with Tasha in school full time, she's working less so we have to keep an eye on expenses. We could have certainly afforded a new mover at $300 to $400, but I just could not bring myself to spending that money if I could get this old one running which brings me back to me looking at the mower thinking "there's no fucking way this is gonna start." Of course I said the same thing about the laptop I now use. But this thing looked like hell, caked with dust, dirt, and grass clippings it really looked like one of those old cars that's been sitting in a field for 20 years. I am surprised I didn't find mice living in it.

My Dad was up visiting and helping me out with some of our home projects, the mower being one of them. He certainly has had more experience with them than me so we got started. Pulled the spark plug and cleaned it, pulled the air filter and cleaned it, removed what was left of the gas, drained and refilled the oil, and fixed the self-propelled drive. Turns out the belt had slipped off and the drive was just loaded with grass cuttings, dirt, etc. The blade was also replaced since it had huge chunks missing from it...guess I shouldn't have hit all those rocks huh. Moment of truth...we take it outside, fill the gas tank, prime the carb and a few pulls later the thing roars to life! Unbelievable that after sittings for six years that it would start up so easily. Thank you Briggs and Straton...and of course to my Dad for helping me out. So basically for the cost of some gas ($3), a quart of oil ($2), a new blade ($19), and some elbow grease ($0) we have ourselves a working mower and saved a few hundred bucks. Now for the snowblower...