Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Broken appliances

Your appliances are the lifeblood of various aspects of your life. Clean clothes, clean dishes, cooked food, they help to simplify so many aspects compared to years in the past.
The main problem with appliances is they can and will break down eventually. You have options, replacing them is the most expensive option, hiring a repairman is the second most expensive, the final option is conducting the repair yourself.

I have repaired the dryer since moving in and now the washer needs to be repaired. the problem was a noise that I initially thought was a slipping drive belt in the machine but it turned into a complete tear down and replacing the bearings on the drum. this repair may last another 5 years which is probably well past the life cycle of this model of washer. but it gives me a window of time to save enough money to buy another machine that meets the requirements for my small house.

To make this repair I started off at a website that specializes in repairing appliances, Repair clinic. You find the model number of the appliance and it gives you a list of symptoms and the most commonly fault components related to that symptom. from there I will cross reference the parts on amazon to see which is cheaper, this coupled with an amazon prime account will usually yield the best possible price and two day shipping on qualifying orders.  after I find all of the potentially faulty parts I will tear down the appliance using you tube in conjunction with the model number to ensure I don't take anything extra off in the process. after the tear down I can inspect some of the components and replace what is needed
The next problem I encountered was they wanted me to buy the full rear drum section at $250. It was not happening in any way shape or form so I went with plan B: directly referencing the serial numbers on the bearings and seal. This cut the total price down to $40 enabling me to cheaply repair a critical appliance until I can replace it with a unit that meets my criteria. the total cost of the repair thus far is under $100


The downside of most home repairs is that you have to  be confident enough to disassemble you broken appliance. I always say if its already broke you cant break it more, for the most part this is true. the second down side is you have to have at least basic hand tools. I am a mechanic by trade, so I have numerous and various tools at my disposal. If you want to tackle these sort of projects I would recommend buying a medium grade tool kit from craftsman or even harbor freight(anything marked pitsburg pro is usually decent), normally you can get a reasonable set of tools for around $100 bucks that will have 75% of what you need for most repairs, the rest you can piece together as you need it. the best part of owning your own tools is that you can tackle more and more repairs as your confidence grows and possibly make some money off your expertise by tackling repair jobs for friends or selling individual components from curb side appliances on ebay.

This concludes this post, As always if you have questions, comments or suggestions leave them in the comments section. please subscribe, share and +1 this post, I like knowing that people are reading my posts and hopefully enjoying the content I publish. I hope to get on track to continually publish high quality content chock full of helpful references, the science behind why things work, inexpensive ways to repair, rebuild and build a variety of things you would normally spend a bunch of money on for an inferior product.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Honest tool reviews, Ryobi 18 volt chainsaw

I have been running chainsaws since I was right around 12 years old. Back then, it was all gas saws and the cordless tool craze hadn't caught on.

I had quite a few trees on my property when I first moved in. Being in colorado where wild fires are common, I knew I needed to get rid of some of them. I was fresh out of the army, I had mostly my mechanics tools and a hand full of carpentry tools my wife had.

We started out clear the brush by hand with an array of tools we picked up at a low price. The smaller trees and the scrub oak brush was easy to clean this way. After that was taken care of we were left with several massive pines that needed varying degrees of  limbing and one which was standing dead after a beetle infestation.

Long story short we needed a chainsaw. We had little money so a quality gas saw was out of the question. We picked up the ryobi 18 volt electric saw for a bit over $100. It only had a 10 inch bar, but I was confident in my skills with a saw.

It performed flawlessly for an electric saw.  That being said I would like to emphasize that IT IS AN ELECTRIC SAW, you can't compare apples to oranges when it comes to tools. This saw will cut far past it's bar length If you know what you are doing. It operates at constant speed so it will take longer to chew through  larger pieces. If the blade gets pinched the saw will stop until it is freed.

Overall, the value to price is well worth it for small scale limbing operations in the hands of a layman and can work miracles in seasoned hands. It's light weight even with the large batteries ( which I think are essential). A great deal of the time I operated it with one hand while in the top of a 40 foot pine. It hand enough power to gnaw through a 12 inch section off the top of one of the pines. Harder wood presents more of and issue for it but for the price you can't expect it to plow through a huge oak.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cloning update

My cloning project has been an enjoyable one.  The results showed a variety of out comes. For the most part any failures were the result of poor attention on my part and factors such as harmful molds and poor drainage.

With that being said, most of my clones were given away systematically. I have a tomato plant that has been growing slowly over the winter months and is about 1 1/2 feet tall after being pruned back a few times and a clone of the same plant that is still attempting to grow roots. With tomatoes, if you trim off the blossoms before the turn into tomatoes, you can continue to grow the plant as if it had never blossomed. I am experimenting with pruning to add more mass to the plant itself, in conjunction with dropping it lower into the soil as I up plant it.

We are forgoing an official garden this year. We have a great deal of landscaping that needs to be attended to and a tentative plan to put in some fenced in raised beds. We have a ton of wild life that passes through our yard and need to rethink the tactical aspect of our gardening.

That is it for this cloning update, please leave a comment if you have questions. Don't forget to Follow this blog to stay on top of posts, in addition +1 the posts to show me that you like the content

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Adventures in homemade laundry soap

Saving money on everyday household goods is important. The less money you spend the more you will have in the long run. My older sister has already done a write up on this at her blog (insert link). However, multiple verifications of a process will ensure that the process works across a wider spectrum.

The recipe I used was:

One cup washing soda
One cup borax
One cup oxiclean
Two bars fels naptha soap (grated)

Use caution when mixing, washing soda is somewhat caustic and may dry your hands out. Gloves and a dust mask are recommended. But you are you and I am me, do whatever you want.

The process was fairly straight forward. Mix the powders 1 cup at a time until the smaller container is empty. Grate the soap bars into the container and mix all of the ingredients together.

Upon further reading, the oxiclean is redundant, the combination of washing soda and borax create the same reaction as oxiclean which forms hydrogen perioxide.

At one to two tablespoons per load. The price of roughly 18 bucks for roughly 10 lbs and one tablespoon it is 6 cents for a total if 320 loads in a batch at one tablespoon per load.

I will post a review of how effective it is after testing. I do alot of tinkering on machinery so If it can effectively clean my work clothing then it should be able to clean anyones clothing.