Sunday, April 09, 2006

$5 Lawnmower

About a month ago I received a lawnmover from "freecycle" that the owner was trashing. He said it ran last year but needed a starter rope. I picked it up and it looked like it had seen better days. I took the spark plug out and it had compression and would turn over so I purchased a new starter rope and a quart of oil for about $5. Cleaned and regapped the spark plug, changed oil, and installed the new starter rope.
After adding fresh gas, prime and it started on the second pull. Ran great after a little carb adjustment. I sharpened the blade and set out about doing something about the worn out wheels. The center of the plastic wheels were wallowed out. New wheels would cost about $16 and since I was just tinkering with this mower for the fun of it, I did not want to spend the money.

After taking off one wheel I realized I could use some conduit to shim the wheel. The size of the bolt holding the wheel was 1/2" and the conduit was 3/4", so I cut a section out longways and it pulled down to 1/2". In two of the wheels the shim tapped in easily and the other two I had to drive then in cutting out a little of the plastic wheel as it went. The end result was shimmed wheels with no more slack than new ones. All in all a very respectable little lawn mower.

Today I took the mower to Hot Springs and gave it to my step-daughter.

"Freecycle" is a great tool to pass along things that still have use but you no longer want. Last year I fixed up several bicycles ( one of my hobbies) off freecycle and gave them on freecycle when someone asked for one.

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