a fun, productive Saturday afternoon

23 02 2011

Last weekend I took apart an old, dead commando (Victa mower that is) and enjoyed getting dirty and learning about carburettors. This broken mower had been disposed of at a rubbish recycling depot and salvaged to be sold at their shop for $15. I was after a mower the same as an old one we have and thought it would be useful for parts. It still had compression when I pulled on the rope so thought it might be worth getting.

Victa commando

On getting it home it actually seemed in better nick (wheels & frame) than my other one, so thought I should have a go at cleaning it up and seeing if I could get it going. I thought I might see if there was an online manual for the mower so I’d be able to get it all back together if I pulled it apart. I actually found a couple of videos on youtube where a young fellow (geoff390) had recorded his attempts at dismantling and reassembling one of these mowers. Watching this helped me understand what would need doing to return the¬†carburettor back to working condition.

So, pulling everything apart was easy enough, and I worked out what parts I’d need to get it back into working order. It seemed that things were a little clogged up with gunk so I needed to clean the parts in petrol and to find an air filter, an o ring, some fuel line, and a set of blades. A couple of hours later I had it all back together (thanks to John for the parts) and tentatively pulled the rope. It started first go! There was a metallic click from the blades as it was running though, and I discovered I’d put the platter & blades on upside-down (a Murphy’s Law design problem) but fixed that easily enough. After parts, I now have a $31 mower that’ll go for a few years yet…

A wonderful (and successful) learning experience that’s got me thinking about purpose, intention, & passion in education. I’ll blog somewhere else about that…