Hustler Raptor Zero Turn Mower

After spending all day Saturday trying to fix the troy bilt mower with briggs engine. And then doing some more research and trying again today to fix it, I decided it is time I give up on the fix em ups and get a real mower.

This mower mows so fast I will have more time to fix other things that need fixing around here, like my tractor. It has a 52″ cutting deck and goes 6.5MPH. 6.5 may not seem that fast, but it is cruising right along, especially when you are constantly doing a slalom course with trees and fence posts.

After mowing a few times I will have the hang of it start letting the kids mow. They are excited about it.

Tractor progress

Tommy and I have been working on the tractor off an on. We played with the exhaust system quite a bit to get it to fit on the tractor. I cut, bent, welded, cut, rewelded, bent, etc and finally got the new exhaust system on. I bought it thinking it would be a simple bolt together system. It did not quite fit together so smoothly and needed some modification.

It looks good now tho.

So we changed the oil. We put new oil in the air filter chamber. Charged the battery and cranked it. It spun freely enough, but did not start. Yes we put gas in it. I bought a new screen and gasket for the fuel filter.

We tried starter fluid and still nothing. We did not have time to test the spark.

Getting closer I hope.


Stock Trailer Lights

I have put trailer lights on a number of times already. Somehow or other they have all gotten broken. I have been using magnetic trailer lights in the interim. They don’t always stick on like they should. I have a number of broken pairs.

We have friends from church that needed to borrow the trailer. I also needed to use the trailer on Monday night. So I decided to put on a pair of trailer lights that were actually attached to the trailer.

I found some angles to mount the lights to. Tommy, Benja, and I fished the wire through the trailer frame.Tommy and I mounted the lights.

Monday night came around and Katie was not feeling well so we did not go to horsemanship. So I guess my friend will get to use the trailer before me. I hope they don’t get broke before I get a chance to use them once.


New Fridge = Kitchen Remodel

Our old fridge had been leaking water on the floor for over a year. I had tried adjusting the ice maker many times but could never get it to stop. The other day I turned off the ice maker and it continued to leak days later. So I decided it was time to get a new fridge. I had been looking for a while. Before Christmas I was at Lowe’s and saw a big Samsung SS Fridge on clearance for $900. I went home and told Molly about it. It would not fit in the existing fridge location. She figured we could put it in the corner of the eating area where I was supposed to put some new cabinets. I called Lowe’s but it was sold already. On new year’s eve I was at Lowe’s again. A similar fridge was on clearance but was marked $1798. It was originally $2899. It said it had a dent, left door damaged, and vibrates. I had them plug it in, no vibration was detected. The dent was small and on the left side panel that would most likely be hidden by the cabinet. The door needed to be raised a little to get it to operate correctly. So I thought it would be great. I asked the manager if he would take $900. He said he would come down to $1400. I said no thanks and left. About 3 weeks later I went in Lowe’s specifically to see if they had any fridges on clearance. That same fridge was still there, now marked $1498. So I went to speak to the manager. This time it was a different guy. I took him over to the Samsung that was marked $1498 and said, “Would you sell this to me for $900 if I take it home myself?”. His response was “$900!” with dropped jaw. I responded “you have had it on clearance for 3 weeks”. He was amazed that I knew that. So he said he was in a good mood and sure he would sell it for $900. So I go up to the register to pay for it and am bummed by the $54 of tax they add on to my purchase, but then I find out it qualifies for an $80 rebate too. So the net was $874 for the $2900 fridge.

So I get it home and measure it just to make sure I know how much I have to modify the cabinets to get it to fit in the fridge space. Yeah, I knew it would not fit when I bought it. The owners manual in the door said it needed 35″. Which meant I would have to get another 1/2″ from the cabinets in order for it to fit. Now you may think trimming 1/2″ from the cabinet edge is no big deal, but in order to fit the last fridge I already took 1 1/2″ off the left cabinet frame, upper and lowers. Which means this time I have to take ti from the full size pantry cabinet on the right side. The best part is that when I measure the fridge it is actually 35 3/4″ wide. So I need to take 1 1/4″ off. So I have to rip the pantry cabinet out, which is connected to the shelf above the fridge and the railing across the top and cut it down and rebuild it. Then make the old part and new dimension fit back together.

Once I rip out the cabinet I am reminded of the fiasco it was to tile the kitchen before we moved in. When I took out the lower cabinets in the kitchen to tile before we moved in, I found that they had replaced the subflooring in the kitchen in the areas not under the cabinets because they had had water damage. So when I tiled I had to rip up the rotten subfloor, replace any moldy insulation, clean the mold off the joists and put new subflooring down, then start the tile job. Well, I did not rip out that big cabinet at that time, so I get to patch in some subflooring and tile before I can put the cabinet back now.

So since I was tiling anyways, I finished the tile by the back door that was caused by replacing the sliding door with the french doors. I also fixed a loose tile by the carpet going into the family room and some missing grout since I had all the tiling stuff out anyways.

All in all, it took about 2 days since I had to wait for mortar and then grout to dry.

I still have a little bit of work to make it look perfect, but Molly wanted the fridge back in its spot before the TN Move anniversary party.

Oregon PowerNow Chainsaw Handbrake repair

You are probably here because the handbrake on your saw will not stay in the engage position. I figured since I had to rip my whole saw apart to find the solution, I would post it here so that you will only have to remove 8 screws. It is a very easy fix and should be part of the maintenance schedule of this saw and included in the owner’s manual. As always, repair at your own risk or take it to an authorized repair shop.


It is not very safe to try and hold the brake while you saw. So let’s get it fixed.

Hand Brake Cover Removed. Dirt inside.

First remove the side cover that covers the bar, chain, and powersharp feature by loosening the large black hand screw. Take off the bar and chain. It should now look like this.SAM_2106 The powersharp red lever will need to be removed. Take note of how the spring is before removal so that you can reassemble it correctly. There is a bolt and washer that holds the powersharp feature on at the pivot point of it. Remove this screw. There is a screw at the bottom of the powersharp feature to hold the bottom end, remove this screw. Now SAM_2107it will look like this. There are 6 screws that hold the metal plate onto the saw. This plate covers the spring mechanism for the hand brake. 5 of the screws are the same, one is shorter and has different threads. Take note of which hole this odd ball screw goes in. Remove all 6 screws.



Hand Brake Cover Removed. Dirt inside.

Hand Brake Cover Removed. Dirt inside.

Now it should look like this. Clean out the dirt and debris. An air compressor may help remove it. Notice the short screw on the table. It goes in the middle bottom hole.  Now you may notice in the picture that more things are missing from my saw than what I have told you to remove. That is because no one had written these instructions out before so I took my saw apart from the other side to begin with and then found that the metal plate was all I had to remove.

Your welcome :) .

Put it back together in reverse order. Make sure the brake operates correctly. Now you can start having fun with your saw again.

For my full review of this saw go here.

Helping next door

Yesterday my neighbor asked if I could look at his stove when I got a chance. So I went down there and found the wire for one of the electric burners had shorted and burned through. I took some of the kids to the appliance store and got some replacement wire. The kit did not include two pieces of heat shrink, so I had to come back today to finish. We also picked up some screw in anchors to tie his pump house cover down with. The last storm blew it over and broke some of his pipes in it. Now there is a chain held by the anchors. A tornado might get it now, but short of that it should be fine. Tommy and I also got up on the roof of one of the outbuildings that is over 100 years old and screwed down some of the metal that the windstorm had loosened up. So I think his outbuilding roof should be good for another decade.

We have been blessed with great neighbors, so it is a joy to go help them.