I didn’t know I was that crazy

I suspect that none of those reading this blog post have ever mowed their lawn with a 10 inch carbide-tipped radial saw blade.  Well, I did.  Sort of…

Our lawn mower is a very faithful gasoline push-mower close to 20 years old and has needed very few repairs.  This summer, however, I noticed that a couple of the wheels were starting to get loose.  I figured they would need changing some time or other.  I didn’t think, however, when I went out to mow the lawn last time, that it would break quite yet.  Well, the weather forecast was for a chance of thunderstorms starting early in the afternoon.  It generally takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to mow our lawn, so when I started around 10:00/10:30, I thought I was leaving just about enough time before lunch.  You can probably guess what happened.

A 20 year old mower starts to need repairs

Yes, the wheel came right off after about 5 minutes of mowing.  To make a temporary fix, all I needed was a washer at least 2 inches wide with a ½ inch hole in the centre.  I don’t know about you, but we don’t stock that kind of thing in our workroom.  I did go to see what we did have in stock, however.  Nothing I found would do the job – except an old 10 inch carbide-tipped radial saw blade that had unintentionally been used to cut into a piece of metal.

An old radial saw blade A rather odd looking lawnmower wheel

By the way, I don’t recommend this method for several reasons.  First, it wouldn’t be good for your feet if you don’t have steel-shanked boots.  (I did.)  It also isn’t great for the lawn if you have a really nice lawn.  (We don’t.)  Finally, it takes about twice as much energy to push the mower when one of the wheels is going several inches into the ground. 

What can be learned from an experience such as this?  (Besides creativity… Smile
–    Don’t put things off until the last minute.  If I had started the lawn earlier (which I could have done), I would not have had so much time pressure on me to get everything done before the thunderstorm.
–    Learn to think ahead. – If I had thought ahead and bought a “spare tire” when I realized that I would need one, I would have been all ready when this happened.  I would have finished the lawn a decent amount sooner, too.
–    The value of mechanical skills. – Thanks to my father’s insisting that all of us learn to use a wrench (and even encouraging us to take apart old broken appliances), none of us would have any difficulty changing a wheel on a lawnmower.  Paying a mechanic to fix a lawnmower wheel just isn’t worthwhile.
–    Maybe you can think of more lessons that can be learned!

Learning from your mistakes is often the most effective way of learning, but it is normally the hardest way, too.  The worst of it is that sometimes we don’t learn.  Also, try writing out the lessons you learn from your mistakes.  This has often helped me see things from a new perspective, even if it doesn’t come out quite right on paper (or the screen).

Proverbs 24:16 “…a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…”

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