Monday, April 26, 2010

Archive from 4_6_07 - Notes on the weekend

Spend best part of a day (spread over Saturday and Sunday) feeding greenwaste through the shredder. Nice little tool. Built by Ryobi. (Note to self - do some sort of re-design on their shredder internals) The most frustrating part of the shredder is the process you need to go through to clear the blades when they get jammed. It involves undoing a threaded bolt. This takes 30 second or so. Then you can open the top and clear the blades etc. There is a safety cutout with a little flange built into the top that must be engaged with the engine body before the thing will start again. However the slot is in the bottom part so it gets full of chips and grit as soon as you open the top.
Now the reason the blades are getting jammed is because the guides that help feed the material to the blades are in two pieces and have a little shelf beside the blades. This allows material to instead be guided into the gap between the two guides. Its only a little gap, but bits of twig and bark get jammed in there. Would it have been so hard to cast the pieces into a single unit? Would it be so hard to eliminate that little extra shelf bit?
Once the jam has been cleared its time to put it back together. This seems simple. Close the lid and screw up the bolt closure. However the bolt is in a bit of an awkward location and it is certainly not self guiding, so after some fiddling and lots of turning it closes tight. Would some sort of obvious catch not be more use? I get that it should be hard to undo until the blades have stopped.. but a more usable design seems easy enough.
Anyway, suffice to say I am having to clear the blades about every 5-10 minutes. This is probably due to what I am trying to shove through the shredder but even so, every time I need to spend a couple of minutes opening, cleaning, un-jamming and then screwing around to get back to work. Not its best feature.
Otherwise I am quite happy with the little bugger. Its turned a huge mound of branches into a much more manageable pile of chunks and shreds. Now if only the garden bed was that easy.
The garden bed....
Imagine a mound of Jasmin vine about two meters high. Imagine it about 5 meters long by about 3 meters wide.... now imagine what could be in it.
On the first excavation with secateurs, I appeared there was only more Jasmin. On the second exploration with a rake handle it turned out to hold lumps and objects of metal and wood.

On returning with the whipper snipper and a whole lot of patience... it was revealed that we were the proud owners of a fairly aged compost bin and a huge willow stump. (Which upon being given a slight push promptly fell over onto one of the walls of the compost bin and crushing it.)
Two weeks later, I have returned with more tools to try to break up the Jasmine remaining and make some headway into digging a garden bed. The Jasmine is laborious and takes a lot of pulling but is being beaten back. I keep finding hundreds of runners have taken off under the leaf litter and are working their way into every other part of the garden...anyway, I have establised a scorched earth policy around the former compost bin and am negotiating with the remaining Jasmine to respect my request. So onto the digging...
Concrete! you must be f$&*%ing joking. There is an old slab right where I wanted to dig up a vege patch. No one knows what the slab was for. Even my neighbour who has been here longer than the house we bought. Anyway, its there, so I have to make the best of it. My guess was the base for a compost bin or incinerator. Anyway, I will use it for a worm farm or something. Its handy being right in the garden... so it will work out. I just have to dig up more of the lawn to replace the lost space.
Why doesn't anyone sell long handled garden forks anymore? Whats with all the spade handled forks? Why in hell would I want to be that close to the ground when trying to lever my way through a mat of roots? Boggles the mind.
Otherwise, fixed a few things, did some house work, watched the young-un and a couple of movies.

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