Oct 26, 2013

Packrattery to the rescue; interim report

Its engine died a few years go, and the  old home-made log splitter* has been a yard decoration ever since while I refined bulky cellulose into fuel with a six-pound maul.

Then, last week, my buddy from down the road, a man who owns an International Harvester M**, stopped by to wonder if we could jury-rig "my"*** splitter to his hydraulics. In theory, a lot of screwing around and head-scratching, but no conceptual problem, just run new hoses from the M's hydraulic pump to the splitter valve.

For one of the few times in my life, "in practice" seems to be hand-in glove with "in theory," better, in fact.  For less money than I expected and after only one trip to the farm supply store for hoses,  I have test-fitted all of the new  plumbing. Result:  we're just a few dabs of pipe-thread compound away from beta testing.

(Or, as the NASA Apollo 13 engineer said, "Looks okay to me, Percival. Let's give her a whirl.")

Packrattery? Yes, because it both dishonorable and a pain in the butt to keep running to town. A man is supposed to have the junk he needs..

There were sundry needful items in the box labeled "misc iron pipe stuff" that worked, topped by a lucky find elsewhere.  I absolutely had to have a 3/4 to 1/2 reducing ell. None in the aforementioned box, but in desperation I checked another one labeled "odd brass crap."  Eureka. (We don't intend to operate it submerged in salt water, so galvanic corrosion should be a minor annoyance at worst.)

If it works I'll post a picture of a big  new woodpile. If it doesn't, I'll deny having written this post.


*Built in the 60s or 70s by my pals K and B, based on a humongous I-beam salvaged from a road grader and allegedly including parts from a B-29.

**For my urban friends, that's a tractor, the cat's meow of high tech agriculture when introduced in 1939.

***Actually, title still rests with the builders, but I have hopes of negotiating a relatively long-term lease.

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