Made In The U.S.A.

I am man. I make fire. Fire good.

In Adventures on September 30, 2009 at 12:36 am

1. I like to think of myself as a relatively handy guy. I can swing a hammer and wield a paint brush without causing too much destruction. But one thing I’ve never felt comfortable around is the internal combustion engine.

2. Knowing how to fix stuff is helpful in the quest for not buying excess new stuff.

These two truisms–my vague fear of motors and the need to be handy in order not to resort to buying–butted heads recently. Believe it or not, the DIY side of me won out. I’m thrilled.

Long story short, my lawn mower (purchased used for $85 last year, leaking fuel ever since) conked out on me a couple of weeks ago. I allowed it to sit, thinking that sitting would help fix whatever problem was keeping it from running. Sitting did not in fact help, though, so I hit the Internet for advice. Sounded like a carburetor problem, and the carburetor didn’t seem too difficult to disassemble, clean and replace, so I gave it a shot. And it worked.

I’ll be damned, it worked. I took the carb off the motor, took the bulk of the carb apart, boiled the carb in a mixture of soap and water (in lieu of a $2 bottle of carb cleaner that I did not have on hand), de-gunked by hand the tiny little parts that needed extra de-gunkification, and put the thing back together and back on the mower. Then I pulled the cord and it started. It started!

I fixed my lawn mower. And I’ve never felt quite so proud.

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