Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Actually using them

One of my arguments for why I'm not a hoarder -- at least, not to a pathological degree -- is that I actually use some of the things I save.  They're "spare parts".

If I collected bits and pieces, and then didn't remember what I had -- or remembered what I had, but couldn't find them when I needed them -- then it's no good having them.  But if I **do** remember where there are...  then, good thing I have 'em!

For example:  I'm on a few day's vacation, so I'm doing various useful things around the house.  As I took out our battered (but faithful!) old electric lawnmower, I decided that it was finally time to repair the back flap -- it was just **too** worn:  the rust hole was so large that chunks of grass were spraying out at me.  Plus, it's a safety concern:  hard things could be flung at me as well.

The photo above shows it post-repair -- but you can see how large the hole was.

I figured I should cover up the hole with some sort of sheet good.  Originally, I was going to use plywood -- so I went to my stash of small-to-medium-sized sheet goods.

Aha!  This old plastic cutting board!

I held it up to the inside of the flap; marked a "cut line" (with a trysquare!); and trimmed off the excess -- the section that used to have the carry handle.  I just used a regular backsaw.

Then I drilled a few holes, and attached it to the inside of the flap. 

You'll notice that I have the long sections of the bolts protruding outwards, rather than inwards, towards the blades.  This was an intentional trade-off between aesthetics and functional design:  the relatively smooth bolt heads are facing inwards -- meaning that they'll collect fewer grass clippings than the bolt shafts would, had the bolts been pointing inwards.  And although having the bolts protruding towards my legs is a minor safety concern, it's pretty darned minor:  my legs don't get close enough for me to be in danger.

As a bonus, notice how I've "clocked" the screws:  all of the slots are aligned (the red lines are just for emphasis).

My dad taught me this -- although he didn't have a specific name for it.  I think his own dad taught him this, as well.  It shows pride in one's work, and attention to detail.

Or at least as much pride in one's work as could be expected from someone who re-uses old plastic cutting boards to repair their electric lawn mower.


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