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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Small Engine Repair

There are some good reasons to consider repairing your own small engine. Most repair shops charge a fee just to look at your machine. At fifty dollars or more per hour of labor plus the cost of parts, your bill can quickly add up. During busy seasons a repair shop may take weeks to repair your machine. Before any of that you must load the heavy equipment into your car or pay expensive pickup/delivery charges. Will they fix it right the first time?

With some basic mechanical ability and a few common tools you can often do the job yourself, saving money and time. Start by reading the machine’s owner’s manual. There you’ll find important safety and warranty information, operating instructions and maintenance procedures. If the solution to your problem isn’t found there then find the machine’s make and model number. Often these numbers are stamped directly into the engine’s cover, or they may be located on a sticker or tag attached to the engine. There may be separate model numbers for the engine and for the chassis or “body” of the machine.

Use your machine’s make and model number to obtain the correct service manual. Many of the same service manuals that professional small engine mechanics use are readily available via the Internet and are quite inexpensive. Some online stores offer a wide selection of service manuals in a number of formats including paper, downloadable electronic PDF, VHS video and CD-ROM. These manuals are quite detailed yet are written at a fairly basic level. They contain important safety information, adjustment procedures, troubleshooting tips and specifications in addition to step-by-step repair instructions. The service manual will easily pay for itself on the first job.

After using the service manual to diagnose your machine’s problem, decide if it is something that you can repair yourself. Some problems require specials tools or are covered under the machine’s warranty and these repairs are best left to a professional. Many common problems however are easy to fix yourself. Replacing a clogged air filter for example is quite simple and takes just minutes. Replacement parts are available online and at local dealers that support your brand of equipment.

Double Sided Foam Tapes

All these combinations of foams are available in varying thicknesses and adhesive types, therefore satisfying a multitude of end user applications.

Many foams have high specification flame retardant characteristics which are essential for the electrical switchgear, aviation and automotive industries.

Single and double sided foam tapes are generally supplied in sheet, strip, roll, or gasket formats.

The adhesive type plays a significant role in the overall performance of the product. Pure acrylic, solvent acrylic and synthetic rubbers are standard adhesives for double and single sided foam tape products.

Single and double sided foam tapes are constructed from either low, medium or high density foam. This density rating determines the level of compression of the foam and in turn the application it may be used for. Some single sided foam tapes are supplied pre-compressed in their roll format, and so on unwind, will expand to its designated width. These types of single sided foam tapes are particularly useful for sealing smooth or irregular joints. The primary functions for single sided foam tapes are to create a seal which prevents air, dust and moisture contaminants.

Double sided foam tapes are generally of a higher specification than the single sided foams. This is because of how and where the foams are expected to perform. Foam density combined with high performance adhesives ensures excellent tack, peel and holding power. Industrial mounting and anti vibration applications are typical uses for double sided foam tapes. A particular range of double sided foam tapes are used in industry for a direct replacement for mechanical fixings. These double sided foam tapes are known
as VHB or foamed acrylics.

Build a Trebuchet

The first question you will need to ask yourself is whether you want to build a “historically accurate” traction trebuchet, or it’s simpler and easier to design and build cousin, the counterweight trebuchet.

If you’re building a trebuchet for the sole purpose of your high school physics teacher’s amusement, then you should probably consider one of the counterweight variety. If, on the other hand, you are building a trebuchet for fun or self education, the traction trebuchet may be something to seriously consider. (Keep in mind that at least three-fourths of the “free” plans on the web are of the counterweight flavor.)

Once you have determined your design plan, you probably want to decide on a suitable size. If your looking to launch bowling balls the length of a football field, you will want a much larger trebuchet than if your intending to launch eggs at incoming traffic. Which, of course, is a BAD thing to do. (Based on personal experience most drivers won’t enjoy chipping dried egg off their windshield.) Another point of interest is whether or not to buy premade trebuchet kits or design plans for your trebuchet. If you are just a beginner, kits are excellent to use. Plans also will help you out immensely if you are just a beginner.

Now, the next step is construction of your trebuchet. For most people, I would suggest using 1″x2″ pine for all of the pieces. But, if your going to be building a 10ft tall trebuchet, stretch for the 2×4’s. Once you have completed your trebuchet structure-wise, you will need to construct a sling and if used, a suitable counterweight. I prefer cutting up any kind of old cloth and attaching both ends to lengths of string.

Suitable counterweights can be anything from a box/bottle full of lead shot, to a sock full of rocks, or a dumbbell weight. After you have all of that stuff sorted out, you should attach the trigger mechanism and release pin. There are plans and pictures of these on most sites, but the only advice I can give you is that the release pin is the trickiest part of constructing a trebuchet. It should be angled so that the sling releases the projectile at an angle of somewhere around 45 degrees.

Final word: Building a trebuchet can be lots of fun and be a great learning experience. (Or sometimes an unbelievable chore for those unlucky physics students such as myself). Construct your trebuchet with quality and take care to add support where needed and it will last you a long time.

Install A Curbside Mailbox

Installing your mailbox is not a difficult task. Select a location that allows you to safely retrieve your mail. Postal regulations require that the mailbox door be located between 6 to 8 inches from the curb. Measure from the center point where the mailbox is attached to the post out to the front door then add 6 to 8 inches to that figure. Using that figure measure from the curb to find the center of your hole.

Postal regulations require the bottom of the door be located between 40 to 44 inches from the ground. When digging your hole it is recommended to dig a 12 inches diameter hole and the depth of around 20″. Cover the bottom of the hole with about 2 inches of gravel then place the post on the gravel. Check with your local post office for requirements some localities do not allow a mailbox post to be cemented in the ground. Using a level make sure the post is straight on all four sides and secure it with wood strips above the ground. Next either back fill the hole with dirt or cement keeping the post level.

Many mailboxes have decorative posts that slide over the 4X4 post. Finally attach the mailbox to the post (if using cement you will want to wait till the cement has cured. Now you can start receiving your junk mail and bills!