Son of a bitch.

The day did not go as planned:

Forecast was for clear skies, high in the upper 50’s. Perfect weather to split and stack wood. Not too hot, not too humid, and a gentle breeze to keep me comfortable. (woulda been a nice day to fly too, but no joy there for another few MONTHS…)

So I pulled the woodsplitter up to where I was gonna stack it, tried to fire it up. No joy. the 15+ year old (and it was used and discarded then) old car battery finally gave up the ghost. Not a big deal, I had another (used, but serviceable) battery ready to go. I had kinda expected this to happen…..

Changed that out and tried to fire up the engine. No joy. Had spark, and it would fire on Carb Cleaner, so….fuel. Changed the filter (it should have been changed a long time ago)….but I had a spare on the shelf for just this eventuality, took less than 5 minutes. Again, not unexpected.

Ok, the engine on the splitter fired, and I took the tractor and got a round of dead and dried hickory about 20″ in diameter and hauled it over to the splitter. first piece split wonderfully. Second one ditto…..then the return line from the valve split wide open. Sprayed hydraulic fluid everywhere. .

Shit. That I don’t have a spare for….  and the only decent hydraulic shop is closed on Saturday.

So I pulled the hose off and capped the port and and will wait until Monday.

I cannot really complain, this hose is one that was on the splitter when I bought it 2 engines ago (something like 17 years, I dunno for sure) and it was old and hard then.

There is a part of me that says that I can afford the 1500-2000 dollars for a decent 20 ton splitter, but this one will do closer to 40 tons what with the really big ram on it. Plus I am as cheap as a man can be. (“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” has been the way I lived , the way my parents taught me….)

Now, in case you don’t remember, I bought this at an auction 17 or 20 years ago. It was a project that someone had made. Built “Hell For Stout”….likely with parts “sourced” from industry….like maybe the Steel Mills in Gary. I dunno, but it is really overbuilt. I’ve put two used engines on it (it came with an 11 HP vertical shaft Briggs….used in a lot of mowers and I’ve put a 14HP and a 15HP used engine ( same engine “family”) on it as they are all the same size and the bolts line up) and have used it many times over the years. It will split Oak and Hickory like nothing. Even Hedge doesn’t give it trouble. So I am loathe to try and replace it with a modern unit with a 5 or 10 HP engine…. but the thought is tempting…..

But no splitting today.

I guess I can start my Saturday Drinking early…..

Maybe I will see if I can get a plane to rent for an hour or two….

8 thoughts on “Son of a bitch.

  1. The man with a 340 says he’s as cheap as can be. That’s a good one.

    As you are now finding out, 340s ain’t cheap. Even among light twins.

    That Hickory makes a fine fire. But when I hear Hickory, my first thoughts are tool handles and furniture.

    • I really am cheap. That’s how I can afford the 340…..

      How much hickory do you want? I got lots of it. It was standing deadwood for a year or so. You pay shipping I will send it.

      • I much appreciate the offer. Thank you but I decline for now. I’ll be moving soon.

  2. Yes, the last 8 or 10 days have been fine flying weather. Across the whole nation, with one or two local exceptions, the country has had excellent weather.
    Go up, commit aviation.

  3. Welp, you knew it was going to let go sooner or later, just turned out to be ‘sooner’ in relative terms…

  4. Hickory? Oak?

    Child’s play. Let us know how it does with Sycamore and Locust.

    In any event, a timely reminder to rummage through All My Junk and see what spare parts I do not have but should get. (Pro Tip: In the absence of airtight nitrogen-filled packaging, vacuum sealing with a Food Saver or similar device is worthwhile for long term spare parts storage. I need to do more of it.)

    • Dude, it will cut oak cross grain….Locust is no issue. Never tried sycamore, not much around here.

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