Tire Removal/Replacement Ideas
Here is how to hold a tire iron(s) in place using a 3-1/2″ piece of 1″ PVC pipe and a length of 3/8″ threaded rod. I also added a short piece of 3/8″ PEX pipe on one end of the threaded rod to protect painted and alloy surfaces.
Small beam clamps are very useful to hold the tire bead far below the rim level by adding a second 3/8″ bolt to the beam clamp. More so than using locking pliers. Simply squeeze the tire sides together by hand and then extend the bolt to hold the tire bead in the valley of the rim. Use two or more opposing beam clamps to really squeeze the tire sides closer together.
When you have a difficult tire bead that refuses to seat and other mechanical seating methods fail, try my non-flammable solution.
Use a slip knot to hold the inside of the tire bead tight against the inner rim so you can easily seat the bead with a lower volume of compressed air. This technique minimizes the air gap leakage around the circumference of the tire bead and rim. After the bead is seated, reduce the tire pressure and release and remove the slip knot by pulling against the slip side of the slip knot. Make a set using 3 foot and 6 foot lengths of paracord. The longer length is used to tie and securely hold it and a second shorter length in place. For example, use this on the bottom side of the wheel and tire while you work on securing the top side with a single length.
The slip knot tightens when pulled from one end of the paracord and releases when pulled from the opposite end. Tie a fixed loop at each end to pull the paracord from. Tie a single fixed knot by one loop to identify the loop end to pull to tighten the slip knot and pull up the tire bead with. Depending upon the severity of the air gap you are trying to minimize, one length of paracord alone may suffice.
The Vine Lance
I made the Vine Lance so I didn’t have to bend or kneel down to cut vines at ground level using traditional pruning shears or branch loppers and to reach, sever and pull out vines growing deep within shrubbery and on trees.
I attached an old kitchen knife to a wooden pole using the existing holes in the knife tang. I used a small grinder (Dremel tool) to cut a notch in the knife’s blade near the tip. The Vine Lance is lightweight (15 oz.) and very effective at cutting and chopping vines and light brush at ground level or up to 10 feet or more above ground. The thin blade easily slides between the vine and the tree branch or trunk that it is attached to.
Spare Trimmer Line Holder
Your almost done trimming the lawn and you run out of trimmer line! At this point you’re tired, hot and really don’t want to walk back to the garage to refill the trimmer spool. Yes, it has happened to me all too often so this is what I’ve come up with to save some time:
I attach a spare roll of pre-cut trimmer line to my trimmers using two 1-1/2″ PVC pipe clips.
Cut 3/4″ pieces of the PVC pipe and then cut an open slit on one side. Sand or file the sharp corners in the slit. The clips are weatherproof and never get lost.
Attach the clips on the shaft above and below the handle, or, on each side of the handle if you prefer. Open each clip slightly and squeeze the trimmer line roll into the clip. To remove the trimmer line roll just pull it out of each clip through the slit.
Wrap a 15 to 20 foot length of trimmer line in a 6 inch roll and tape it tightly with electrical or painters tape. Fold over one end of the tape to make it easier to remove. While you are making the roll you can mark the middle of the string with an indelible marker or bend the middle point to kink the line. This saves you from having to find the middle during re-spooling. In addition, the clips have the capacity to hold two spare rolls of .095″ trimmer line should you be in the professional lawn care business.
You can store the trimmer line roll inside the handle or below it. Or, use one clip above the handle on the shaft to suspend the roll. Use what works best for you!
Extension Cord Strain Relief/ Holder
It is very frustrating when you pull too hard on the extension cord while you are working and it becomes unplugged, or worse, damaged. So this is how I solved the problem using a weatherproof 2″ PVC electrical conduit coupler. Drill two 7/16″ holes and two smaller, opposing holes for the mounting screws and mount it about 3-1/2″ below or beside your outdoor outlet boxes.
You can also hold a coiled extension cord with the plug end of the cord. Run the plug end through the coil and place the plug into the top of the PVC coupler.
The PVC coupler is also useful to hold a shop rag/towel, to temporarily hang an air hose or battery charger terminal clips from.
Long Reach Deck Scraper Tool
Use a 2 foot piece of 1-1/4″ PVC pipe and a round cap to make a powerful non-scratching deck scraper. Cut a 45 degree angle to make the scraper end. The angled, cylindrical scraper end lets you easily clean inside corners and crevices. Hold the angled end flat against the deck surfaces and scrape from side to side to remove bulk clippings.
Drill a hole in it to store it on a wall or keep it with your mower or trailer so you always have it in the field to safely clear a clogged deck chute and remove clippings. To keep it sharp file, sand or re-cut the angled as needed.
No more sweltering in the blazing sun for me while servicing the cars, mowers or cooking on the barbie. I made this using the frame of an old Ariens riding lawn mower, some scrap PVC pipe, angle iron, electrical conduit and a muffler clamp. It it really nice to have shade anywhere and a place to rest your hand tools, chainsaw, etc. above ground level.
Cleaning Tool Ideas for Small Engines
Make a strong, hard plastic scraping tool to help safely remove crud from carburetor bowls, exhaust ports, carbon buildup in heads and gasket removal. Custom make them to conform to your particular needs. I cut the 1/2″ PVC pipe using a band saw but a handsaw or small grinder with a cutting wheel will work.
Use different size and shaped string trimmer line to probe or clean hoses, tubes and passages. Put one end on a drill to spin the line within the opening for a good cleaning. Cut a blunt or pointed end on the line for the cleaning application. Use care so you don’t damage screens, seats or check valves.
To clean concave surfaces or wide openings use a looped piece of twisted string trimmer line in a drill. I’m using a 9 inch piece of 0.095″ Echo Black Diamond string trimmer line in this example. It behaves like a cylinder honing tool and conforms to the shape of the inside surface when it is spinning.
Small Engine Oil Cap Wrench
I’m sure you are familiar with the awkward routine of using a screwdriver or other tool held side ways to loosen and tighten this type of Briggs and Stratton oil cap in tight spaces. This is my homemade, inexpensive solution. I made this tool using a 4- 1/2″ piece of 1″ copper pipe, one 1-1/4″ X 1/4″ and one 3″ X 1/4″ roll pin. The inside diameter of the pipe fits over the oil cap top keeping the tool centered and the leverage applied against the raised posts equal, preventing slippage and damage.
The copper pipe will distort if you try to press or pound the roll pins in place so put a roll pin in a drill chuck and drill it through one side of the pipe using the roll pin as a drill bit. Then use a hammer to drive the roll pin tight in the other hole.