Mechanical Disadvantage – Fulcrums, Chinese Steel and Gorilla Glue

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

The project outdoors seems simple enough.  Clearing the intrusive cedars from under the oaks. 

Establishing a gentle downhill grade across slopes.

Creating a series of rock and brush berms to intercept the runoff and direct it across the slope to slow the concentration times during heavy rainfall runoff.

I followed the grades with a carpenter-level and board, mainly, keeping it to about a quarter-bubble.

Filling the deep ruts in the road with brush to rob the water of the siltation load.

Even the tools are uncomplicated.  But of course, a person has to find a wheel barrow tire that isn’t flat.

I eventually found this solid rubber one – bought the wheel barrow from a garage sale for the solid rubber tire.

I was a long while getting to it.

But a solid rubber wheel barrow tire beats a dozen Chinese flat ones.

The arms on the loppers you see in the green wheel barrow don’t provide a lot of mechanical advantage and require a lot of stoop labor.  Naturally, I was elated when I found this one in a thrift store with telescoping arms.  $8 US bucks.  Cheap at twice the price.

When I got home I broke the first arm off in about 20 minutes.  After I cut off the break and put it back together I broke the other one off 20 minutes later.

Chinese steel rears its ugly head.

This was obviously going to require some modifications.  A sleeve to go over that weak point, something to fill in the space between the sleeve and the joint/handle.  Nothing to it.

I was going to melt down some old shower shoes to pour into the space, but Gale suggested silicone caulk. 

But my tube of caulk was dried out, so I decided on Gorilla Glue instead.

Here’s how long it took to discover the next weak point in the design.

The culprit.

Who but the Chinese could produce a bolt a man could spang break in half?

Well, Mister Commie, you might think this is over, but it ain’t.  I’ve got another dance or two left in me.

Old Jules

15 responses to “Mechanical Disadvantage – Fulcrums, Chinese Steel and Gorilla Glue

  1. sedimentandsuch

    Eastern Red Cedar?? Those seem to be heading north too…I cut away at these while out conducting fieldwork along the KS River. They are truly a nuisance….I may take your approach next time 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • Sedimenandsuch: It’s labor intensive, but at least it makes use of the lopped cedar as a resource. And there’s something to be said for the satisfaction of forcing water to give up what it thought it had a claim on. Thanks for coming by. J

  2. Why is it that every time i put a BIG load of manure in the wheelbarrow, it just happens to have a flat tire?

  3. Morning Jules,
    You did a lot of good work to improve your land in case it rains, or to prevent erosion, rather. Let’s now hope these much needed rains materialize.
    Best regards,
    P.S.: Maybe we’ll become “neighbours” of sorts as we’re really thinking of relocating to the Hill Country [very likely Fredericksburg and area around] since the oil boom hereaboauts has made living here less desirable.

    • Hi Pit. I’m obliged for the visit. There’s 190 acres here, cedar on every acre of it. Seems likely it will rain somewhere on it sometime. Good luck finding a place in the Fredericksburg area. Good country over that direction. Gracias, J

  4. When using a wheelbarrow, one is usually experience heavy labor, right? And the last thing one needs is to have problems with the tire. Until I was able to replace the inflatable tire, the hand pump was close by. Yes, the solid tire is the only way to go. In the end, a man is only as good as his tools!

  5. Looks like a lot of hard labour. After all that, I’m sure you’ve got more than a dance or two left in you.

  6. Did someone give you that limb trimmer or did YOU actually pay good money ( no matter how little) for it? And you didn’t see the made in China lable? What you expect from them?
    Sorry son, IMHO for what it’s worth you got what you deserved with those . Wannta bet that tire is China made also?

    • Ben: I bought it in a thrift store for $8. It earned its keep just with the cedar I cut after I repaired it yesterday … robbed a bolt off something else. Seems to have managed to become a worthwhile tool for the job at hand, thanks to the alterations, and the US isn’t in the bidness of making anything anymore. Naturally I could have just sat inside and let the fan blow on me, or tried to break off those limbs with my hands, but Chinese steel is sharper. Thanks for the visit. J

  7. I love loppers, and I keep a couple pairs of bypass and at least one anvil type, but a really old pair of bolt cutters for hardened dry oak.

  8. Linda La Plante

    Ha ha ha! I love your stories, this one is my favorite so far, but I have a question for you… have you ever thrown anything away? 🙂

    (Another “Thrill of the Chase” seeker.)

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