Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Lawn mowers have feelings too

Summer time is lawn-mowing time.  I hate the water- and labour-intensive green areas that really should be operating as vegetable gardens.  But Grandma likes her lawn.  So I mow it for her.

As I did yesterday.
Memories: that evil pull cord and the rusted exhaust pipe

20 years ago Grandma had had enough of an old Briggs & Stratton motor mower.  You could pull on that bloody starter cord for half an hour and the motor still wouldn't start.  It wasn't the chore of mowing the lawn that everyone dreaded; it was getting that evil mower started.  So Grandma bought a Black&Decker electric mower.

I had finished the front lawn and was about 60% through the rear lawn when I noticed that there were individual blades of grass still standing where I had just mowed.  That's what you get when you don't sharpen the blade for 20 years !

I called up to Grandma, who was watching me from her balcony "It doesn't mow that well any more !"  I didn't even have time to explain to Grandma what was lacking in the mower's performance, when the noise of the blade on grass died down and I noticed black smoke coming out of the top cover.

I had heard that overheating and the consequent burning of the varnish insulation between the wiring can cause a burn-out, but no one ever mentioned bruised feelings as a cause.
Where electric motors go when they die

As an afterthought:  Maybe that old Briggs & Straton would have started right away if we had given it a friendly pat on the back before we pulled that starter cord?

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