Growing up my father always worked on the family vehicles and was considered a jack of all trades by many friends and family. I was always fascinated with his ability to fix almost anything and learned the value and pride of fixing your own possessions from a very young age. While I wasn’t as interested in working on things as a young boy my Father’s aversion to paying someone for what he could do himself, and often times do it better, reared it’s head when I bought my first home in 2010. This singular purchase brought with it a to-do list that has grown faster than it can be completed.
My house warming present from my father was a Craftsman radial arm saw and a Toro lawnmower, both of which were in need of repair. These two items would be the start of my tinkering adventure and the birth of my work shop as a sanctuary.
Since first acquiring my house warming presents my shop has gone through many iterations and configurations and my projects have run the gamut between simple tasks and month long rebuilds. Through all of this I have spent countless hours scouring forums for clues left by those who have done the project before me and studying exploded view drawings of the things I was fixing. The wealth of knowledge on google is both a blessing and a curse and while it is possible to find almost any part, drawing, or schematic imaginable it can be very difficult to parse this information together into a cohesive thought that allows you to complete a project.
In the past when people asked me how I knew how to repair something I would always say: “I don’t know…I googled it”. Which admittedly, is an oversimplification but it was an easy way to spare the questioner from the depth of the rabbit hole I went down to come out the other side. If you have ever seen two engineers carry on a conversation you will understand more clearly my meaning. We as a collective group have a propensity to go into the weeds and never come out.
This blog is intended to be the answer I should be giving instead of “I googled it”. Staying out of the rabbit hole and providing you the end result of my googling and studying of drawings and specifications. How-To’s that are accessible and understandable by any one who has a desire to work on their own things but doesn’t have the benefit of an engineering degree or a lifetime spent watching and learning from the best.
-R. Schnitzel Jr.