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Old 05-11-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Kids and breaking stuff


Just spent the afternoon, replacing both rear wheels on our ten year old push mower, which is still going strong, and welding a crack on the chassis, at the discharge port on the side.

My son stated that to him it really did not matter, about the fact that he broke it, or will own up that he hit a rock, that cracked the chassis. His statement of course, is that it is old and that it is expected to break. Also him and the wife inquired why don't we just go out and buy a new one. Then I showed her the price of a new one, and that shut her up.

I of course, so wanted to put foot to butt, and say that since I did that, I expected to break him of the smart ass statements, and start respecting stuff, especially when it is dad's stuff to begin with, and only reason he uses the mower, is because he mows a couple of the neighbors yards.

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Old 05-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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Kids and breaking stuff


Is he getting paid to mow the other folks yards? If so then he needs to pay for the repairs out of that money. It might teach him a bit of a business lesson on the costs of doing business and the consequences of damages.

Robyn

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Old 05-11-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Is he getting paid to mow the other folks yards? If so then he needs to pay for the repairs out of that money. It might teach him a bit of a business lesson on the costs of doing business and the consequences of damages.

Robyn
Oh, he is paying for it. I am taking the next two checks that the neighbor next door gives him, to pay for the labor and the welder. Of course, dad needed one for a while, so I got the 70 amp that Harbor freight sells, and it did a good job with the 1/16 sticks.

Now I am probably going to be the go to guy at our church for small jobs like this, since it seems that I am the only one at our church that has a small sized welder, everyone else I called, either did not have one, or too large to do this job.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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Kids and breaking stuff


greg,

that's part of our cultural change ...... when we were kids you learned to fix your bike or you did without. today everything is disposable and kids see that, tv breaks get a new one, relationship has problems get a new one

I had the same issue with my daughter until she had to start paying for things she broke ..... that's money for she had for itunes and the mall! now she asks me if I can show here how to fix things (sometimes you can and sometimes you can't) she really hates the I can't ones! LOL
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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You left out that we also had shop class at high school, so we were able to learn different trades, and how to make stuff with our hands.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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pretty much every guys favorite class ....
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
the wife inquired why don't we just go out and buy a new one. Then I showed her the price of a new one, and that shut her up.
LOL that's funny! she got sticker shock for sure.
I find it hard to imagine hitting a rock would actually crack the steel chassis, it sounds like there's more to how that crack got there than just hitting a rock.

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His statement of course, is that it is old and that it is expected to break
Aside from everything else- the attitude etc, age of something is no excuse unless it's junk made in China, no matter what you do things made in China are designed badly and cheaply made with a wide variance on quality even in the same model. They often use third party boiler room operations to make parts and components for them, and they may use several different ones, or switch them often depending on cost and how many a particular shop can make in a week or month.

Still, son needs an attitude adjustment big time.


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that's part of our cultural change ...... when we were kids you learned to fix your bike or you did without. today everything is disposable and kids see that, tv breaks get a new one, relationship has problems get a new one
Agree there, now it seems about everything is made on a 5 years or less life cycle, especially electronics! within months or a year your new PC is already "outdated", by the time you get used to your new cell phone etc they already discontinued that model and have another one out.

I think the bulk of the blame starts with the auto makers, they managed to run ads starting around in the 60s and 70s to convince you that you HAD to have the latest "style" to keep up with the neighbors, that is why they market the 2013 cars in EARLY 2012, now you'll start seeing ads for the 2014 models.

They have the car buying sheeple sucked into this mindset now that you should expect to buy a $25,000 machine and replace it about every 5 years to get the latest "style" because heaven help you if you are ever seen by your neighbors and friends driving an "out of style" car! As a result, they build the things to last only about 5 years now it seems because they know most people will trade them in before then and get rid of them anyway.

You see it in ads for kitchens or kitchen appliances, where they all but deride and ridicule people for having an "outdated" kitchen style! good grief who decides for me what my STYLE has to be?? Why would I ever feel the need to have a kitchen that looks just like everyone elses' that they bought at Sears or whatever?

It's extended to homes now, how many people buy a home today as, well... a HOME... to live in for the next 30 years? All I ever seem to see are people griping about how their home's VALUE dropped because ______ happened or because the neighbor's house is badly kept up, did they buy the house to LIVE IN, or did they buy it for an INVESTMENT to sell??
I'm definitely different in all that, I will never buy a new car, I drive the same car I bought used from a co-worker 6 years ago for $900, It has over 200,000 miles on it and starts and runs perfectly, never had to do anything to the engine or transmission other than change fluids etc.
I still live in the same house I bought 15 years ago and paid OFF 9 years ago, I have no plans to sell it or move, it's my HOME not an investment portfolio!

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Old 05-11-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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RWolff, actually it was one of the last ones that Sears actually had the company that made the Craftsman series mowers assembled here in the U.S., when I purchased it back in 2004, when I worked for Sears. Most now are made either in China or Mexico for Sears. Personally the next one I buy, may be just a goat, since you just need to let them loose and they eat the grass.

As for the chassis, I can guarantee it was a large piece of concrete that cracked it, not normal wear and tear, due to where the location is that it cracked at the discharge.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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Most now are made either in China or Mexico for Sears. Personally the next one I buy, may be just a goat, since you just need to let them loose and they eat the grass.
Yeah Sears went cheap I guess, though they have always been good on honoring warrantees in the past, still, most mowers come with a lousy 2 year warrantee which might sound good, but it's not when you figure most people are only going to run it maybe an hour a week 3-5 months out of the year anyway, the rest of the time it sits in the shed. In 2 years you might only have about 50 actual running hours on the stupid thing. In relative terms that's the same as driving your car 60 mph on the highway for 50 hours which would only put about 3,000 miles on it.

Imagine a new car with a 2 year / 3,000 mile whichever comes first- warrantee.

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As for the chassis, I can guarantee it was a large piece of concrete that cracked it, not normal wear and tear, due to where the location is that it cracked at the discharge.
Well you know, I've had an old push mower I bought used, cheap from the local hardware store when I first bought the house, ran fine for I guess about 8 years, but the plastic wheels wore out and wobbled, then the steel deck cracked, the crack started near the discharge where it's cut out for that, so basically it was a metal fatigue crack from the heavy engine flexing the deck while being pushed over bumpy grass. Over time that small flexing cracked the steel.
So I know they can crack that way from just metal fatigue.

Post a picture of the crack if you can get one.

When I was a kid I had a new Rupp go-kart, a friend and I used to double ride it, one day the tube steel frame cracked on one side- like the mower- it was from small amounts of flexing causing metal fatigue over about 6 month's time.
Like the mower- poor design since two 8-9 year old kids don't weigh more than one large adult man.
It seems in your case, maybe there was similar fatigue in the metal and it just took a good thwap to finally do it in.
I just had to weld my chair in fact, the backrest caused a crack in the metal support under the seat where the machine screw holds it, welded the crack and welded on a 1/4" thick strap of steel over it.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:20 PM   #10
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The crack is fixed now. It was at the lower left corner of the discharge. I would give my weld job at least a C+, since it has been around 28 years since shop class, but I would say that I did a pretty good job fixing it. The wheels got replaced last year with new ones, made the mistake of being in a hurry, and grabbing one set of the plastic, and one set of the metal hubbed ones, and those ended up getting replaced this year, due to the bearings on them started to fall out, so a new set of plastic wheels on the rear.

The plastic discharge flap is gone, going on about three years now, but the chute guard is still there, fixed with some #10 wire to hold it on place. Change the oil about every year or other year. So far at running it about 3 hours a week, with the exception of last Summer, where it just sat for around three months due to the drought, this year it is getting a workout.

I do need to go get a new blade for it this year, since the blade is getting past being worth putting an edge on it, but will see what I can do to keep the blade going until fall.

I would say for a ten year old mower, it is still running strong with the maintenance and upkeep on it. Now if I can get at least two more years out of it, I can replace it with one that only Dad will be using, since the son will be off to a university in the fall of 2014, so no more having him tear it up when he mows the three neighbors yards.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:42 AM   #11
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The crack is fixed now. It was at the lower left corner of the discharge. I would give my weld job at least a C+, since it has been around 28 years since shop class, but I would say that I did a pretty good job fixing it. .
That's one thing I like about the welder at work, it's a good sized Lincoln wire feed with argon, pretty much point and weld, the argon helps get a good clean weld, I've even welded cast iron with it, it doesn't get a lot of use and I've had to learn by doing on it, mostly I use it for personal projects now and then, and rarely for something at work.

Sheet metal like the mower deck is harder to deal with because it's so easy to melt a hole right through with a large welder if you aren't carefull and also forget to turn the power down a bit.

I don't in any way consider myself a welder, I don't use it frequently enough or on different types of projects to know all the ins and outs, but with the wirefeed it's a pretty easy one handed deal to weld.
I do like the oxy-acetylene and have done a lot of cutting with one and some brazing as well as bending, but the one at work scares me- it's old, not maintained at all, difficult to light and I don't trust it or the gages. It's very rarely ever used, I think in 15 years I've been there I've seen it used by others MAYBE 3 times mostly for heating/bending.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:47 AM   #12
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Actually the decks on mowers are not sheet metal, but mild low gauge steel. They basically run sheets through a line, that first cuts out a large piece, then a press creates the mower deck. The better the mower, the thicker the steel frame, along with not as malleable. Welding is just basically taking your time, and starting out low and slow, or in the case like mine, you want to tack a bead, the 70 amp setting is great for that, with the fact that it uses the 1/16 to 3/32 rods.

A larger unit, I would have had to really crank the power down on it, along with being quick on the draw to not burn a hole, which can always be fixed with the stick, by building back up metal to close the hole.

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