Snow fun (metal content)

The Minnesota November snowstorm of 2010:
We were right in the thick of it. Only got about a foot but the
stuff was heavy as cement, not our usual powder. Heaviest November
snow since the Hallowe'en blizzard of '91.
I managed to get it removed from the driveway, but I was exhausted
when I finished. The chains on the snowblower wheels fell off and
are history and the tires wouldn't grip slush that's slicker than
molebdynum loonshit, so I had to push the damned thing back up the
hill after every pass. Fell down twice. I'm too old for that kind of
foolishness! When I was within 10 feet of the back door to put it
away, I noticed that the sheetmetal shroud enclosing the carburetor
was falling clear off. Ye gods! I pushed it in the shop and went
in the house to rest while the snow melted off it. Later I found
that some bolts had vibrated out and there were fatigue cracks around
the holes. Then on further examination, I noted that a major piece
of metal on the bottom was flapping loose. More missing bolts and
fatigue failures. Geez, the thing is self-destructing after only 25
But it's repairable if one has the time, skills and inclination. I
have all three. Not headed for the dump quite yet.
So my activities today included making a sheetmetal patch with nice
new holes to weld onto the shroud, repairing the bottom pan with a
bit of welding (butt welding 18 gage steel), a couple of new bolts,
and repairing a bracket by welding it. The skills I developed and
tools I accquired when I was keeping our fleet going came in handy.
The little Lincoln SP125+ is a magic box with sheetmetal. I
zinc-plated the bracket because it mounts to the muffler (!) so I
didn't think paint would last long there. It was probably zinc-plated
when new. There was a little rust, but not bad at all. The failure
was from vibration fatigue right at the bend. I got good penetration
and a nice convex fillet on the back side, so that bracket will
probably now outlast me and/or the machine.
Now the paint is drying, I'll reassemble tomorrow. Oh, and I found
new chains on the internet. The dork at the dealer said they're no
longer available and for some reason I believed him. I mentioned it
to my bud Fitch in PA and he said hogwash, somebody must offer them
-- and he was right. He found me one source. They didn't have exactly
what I need, but another did. They're on order.
I was worried about how I was going to deal with a big berm at the end
of the driveway after the plow went thru. Mr. Toro has always been
able to cope with those, but I've never seen snow this heavy and wet.
Snowballs made with this snow would be deadly weapons!
Turned out I didn't need to worry. The street was clear this morning,
and no berm. When I went out to buy paint 'n bolts this afternoon,
I noticed some piles of snow beside the driveway with what I'll call
"blade prints" in them: perfect negative molded replicas of a blade.
This is snow sculpture snow for sure! Ooooohhhhhh! Neighbor Con
must have come over with his 4-wheeler with a blade on it and
dispatched that berm, and we didn't even know it. What a guy!
Mary sold him that 4-wheeler (and blade) for a song a few years ago.
It had belonged to her deceased brother. Con wanted it, I didn't
want to store it and Mary likes Con so he got a very good deal. And
now he's giving back a little! He wouldn't have to do that, but
he's the sort of fellow and neighbor that does anyway. Like that
about him. Tellya whut, he loves riding/driving that machine. I
foresee a big batch of peanut butter cookies coming from Mary's oven
in the near future.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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Don It sure is a blessing to have good neighbors. There is a couple of guys near me that help me out when I am in a pinch. We got about 1/4" of snow out of this storm. I used to live in your neighborhood back in the late 70's before I got tired of the city life. I lived in an apartment building near the corner of University and 61st . I was stuck in traffic on a Friday afternoon on a 95 degree day when I made my decision to move back up north. Steve
Reply to
Up North
I've got a Craftsman 10/32 with a Tecumseh Snow King engine that I've been trying to keep from rattling apart too. The worst thing on it is the clutch cable. I'm always jury rigging it after it breaks and I've been meaning to find something to replace it with (parts are no longer available). For now it works, but it's moving closer to the top of my roundtoit list. We haven't seen snow here yet in SE WI.
Reply to
Denis G.
Traffic is considerably worse now than it was back in the late 70's. We're retired, so traffic is a non-issue for us. During the last years of our employment, we were only 4.6 miles from work and traffic wasn't an issue: East River Road from a bit south of Osborne Rd down to Camden (42d) and west half a block.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Two things, Don. First, hope that Mary is on the mend, and secondly, thank you for reminding me to thank God that as my life has shaken out, I didn't land somewhere it snows a lot. I got cold in church yesterday (they had the frickin AC on for some reason), and started having angina. I wouldn't be able to snow blow or shovel.
Reply to
Steve B
Mary's had some good days lately, even with the chemo. She's now done with chemo for this month and things are lookin' good. A Dr. from Mayo called today with results from lab work done here in town just this morning. This team is amazing, particularly the young woman that is the oncologist. It would be impossible not to like her. I think she likes Mary too, fancy that. When Dr. Chee calls they sound like they've known each other forever and are planning their next adventure with cheer and enthusiasm.
Edema has gone down quite nicely, BP hangin' in there. We're getting pretty good at putting the high-compression stockings on turbo-Nana. First couple of times would have looked (and sounded) like a Frick 'n Frack comedy routine but we're getting pretty good at it now. Life is far too short to be taken too seriously when it's possible to make fun of it.
Rather than walk today, I shovelled. I didn't need to do that, Dr. B said I can do anything I want, which I think means that significant discomfort will precede any risk, and the idea is aerobic exercise every day, so I shovelled snow that I didn't get with the blower. It was aerobic, all right, like shovelling cement with a wide shovel. I didn't do a full hour but I was puffing pretty good so I checked the box for today. Got all the snow today so I'll walk tomorrow.
Reply to
Don Foreman
My 1964 Airens snow thrower is still running well, and the chains I put on it about 25 years ago haven't given up yet.
It's got a line voltage starter motor on it, but the recoil starter will start it in a couple of pulls.
They don't make 'em like that anymore for sure.
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