Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Mastercraft 9" Band Saw (055-6748-6) -- Rear Blade Support Bearing Failure

The rear blade support bearings lead a hard life, and both bearings on my machine have lost their outer seals. The lower bearing, showered as it is with sawdust, has all but seized up.

The saw has an upper rear blade support bearing (two views).

And a lower rear blade support bearing (two views).


Replacement Bearings

The bearings are No. 606RS -- 6mm bore x 17mm O.D. x 6mm width, sealed both sides. Replacements are readily available from Amazon.

Lower Bearing Replacement
  • Release blade tension and get the blade out of the way.
  • With a 4mm hex key, loosen off the setscrew securing the bearing's mounting post. (A hole in the front of the saw's frame gives access to the setscrew's head.) Remove the post/bearing assembly.
  • With a 4mm hex key, remove the M5 x 16mm screw fastening the bearing to the post. Mind the flat washers on either side of the bearing.
  • Replace the bearing. Reinstall the post/bearing assembly loosely.
  • Reinstall the blade and spin it manually to reestablish blade tracking. The blade should be just touching the upper rear blade support bearing.
  • Adjust the lower post/bearing assembly so that the blade is just touching the lower rear blade support bearing.
  • Lock the post/bearing assembly in place with the setscrew.
Upper Bearing Replacement

The upper bearing's mounting post is different from that of the lower bearing -- it's not readily removable from the saw's frame with its bearing attached. Proceed as follows.
  • Have the blade tensioned and running true.
  • Swing open the black shield concealing the upper blade guide.
  • With a 4mm hex key, loosen off the screw fastening the bearing's mounting post to the saw's frame.
  • Slide the post/bearing assembly back as far as it will go. The bearing is now fully accessible for removal.
  • With a 4mm hex key, remove the M5 x 16mm screw fastening the bearing to the post. Mind the flat washers on either side of the bearing.
  • Replace the bearing.
  • Move the bearing's mounting post forward so the bearing just contacts the rear of the blade.
  • Lock the post/bearing/assembly in place with the screw.

The saw's Instruction Manual calls for a 0.002" gap between the bearings and the rear of the blade. Such adjustment strikes me as difficult, pointless and needless. I simply adjust the bearings so that they are in contact with the rear of the blade.

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Friday, May 21, 2021

A Tecumseh TVS 90 Catastrophic Failure

 The mower started up fine, then it started to make a clattering noise, then WHACK! A piece of the connecting rod came flying out the right side of the crankcase, leaving a gaping hole.

Here's a view of the connecting rod big end piece that emerged from the engine.

For want of anything better to do, I may open up the engine for a look inside at the damage. We'll see.

* * *

Well, I didn't open up the engine, but I did remove the cylinder head. I extracted the piston, and retrieved another piece of the connecting rod's big end. Here's what I got.

The failure is inexplicable. I'm careful about checking engine oil, and would never let an engine run out of oil. Anyway, that's the end of that engine.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

A Coffee Mill

Loosely based on a design from the book "Woodworking Projects For the Home Workshop" by Rosario Capotosto, here's a view of my completed coffee mill[1].

The grinder is Busy Bee's No. B3962, antique style side crank coffee grinder. Busy Bee also offers a top crank model for less money, but I thought that the side crank version is the superior design.


The base is 6 5/8" square with 3/4" corner radii. The box is 5 1/4" square with a 4 3/8" height. Overall height with the grinder attached is 12 3/16".


I was determined to make the thing out of whatever I had on hand, so aesthetics took a back seat to the limitations of reality.

The base with its radiused corners is 3/4" firply. The firply edges are veneered with birch hot-melt edge veneer (the only item I had no choice but to buy). The firply base contrasts mightily with the pine box and the birch edge veneer, but as I said, aesthetics took a back seat.

The box is made of 1/2" thick pine, as is the drawer front. I had to thickness plane 3/4" material to get the 1/2" material. The drawer's body is made from 1/4" thick poplar plywood (subflooring plywood).


Supplied with the grinder are two 8-32 x 1 1/2" black pan head screws and two 5/16" A/F hex nuts. I added two No. 8 SAE flat washers, and two No. 8 split lockwashers for under the hex nuts. The screws' threads are slightly undersize from true No. 8 stud diameter for some reason. The hex nuts are undersize as well -- standard 8-32 hex nuts are 11/32" A/F.

The drawer front is fastened to the drawer sides with 3/4" finishing nails. 1/2" finishing nails are used throughout the remainder of the drawer's construction.

The base is fastened to the box from underneath with nine No. 6 x 1 1/4" flathead wood screws. Attaching the box to the base is a tricky operation.

The Drawer Pull

It's an antiquey, oddball item I had lying around. Most anything would suffice.


One application of tung oil.

Grinder Action

The mill works as advertised, producing quite a fine grind.

It took a lot of cranking to produce the little heap of ground coffee in the above photograph.

In Conclusion

It's a satisfying little woodworking project that delivers the expected result. Be warned that you'll have to enjoy turning a crank if you expect to grind a lot of coffee.

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[1] The terms 'coffee mill' and 'coffee grinder' seem to be used interchangeably. I consider a coffee mill to be a complete unit with grinder and catch vessel; a coffee grinder to be the grinder mechanism only.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Windshield Washer Failure -- 2009 Hyundai Tucson

'Went to use the windshield washer the other day and nothing; the wipers did their thing, and I could hear the pump whirring, but there was no washer fluid emerging from the nozzles. A check under the hood revealed that the washer fluid hose was hanging loose on the driver's side. All the fluid that the pump was providing was coming out of the loose hose end. The failure was a snapped off hose nipple on the driver's side nozzle. Here's a view of the failed nozzle with its broken off nipple that I retrieved from the hose end, along with the new nozzle.

The nozzle's part number is 98630 2E500. (My local Hyundai dealer always asks for a VIN in order to look up a part.) Hyundai parts are not cheap; the new nozzle was $19.14 CDN + HST.

The nozzle is held in place by two claws -- one in front and one in back. The claw in front is easy enough to access to push on with a screwdriver and free. The claw in back calls for a tool that can reach in behind to pull the claw forward. A 90 degree mechanic's scribe like the one pictured below worked for me.

The new part just snaps into place in its opening in the hood. The hose goes on the nipple and you're away.

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Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Murray ELECTRIC 20 Snow Thrower

A roadside find.

Overall from the outside, it looks to be in remarkably good condition. It's a 12A, 20 inch swath single stage machine.

Model No. is 620000X30NA
S/N 735492872S2C050C
D.O.M. 2002.10.14

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Something looks and feels fishy about the 'On' trigger though. There appears to be a missing safety interlock key, and the trigger's action doesn't feel right.

And sure enough, plugging in the snow thrower and trying it results in nothing. 'Time to investigate how the mystery interlock operates.

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It turns out that that hexagon at about the centre of the above photo has to be turned slightly in the CW direction to enable the switch lever. The machine does run with that detail attended to. So, now I know that the machine only needs a replacement key (P/N 583356) in order to be operable. The next question is, "What's the condition of the drive belt?"

If the belt is good, this may be a saleable machine. If belt replacement is called for, a new belt may be too much money. (Belt P/N is 760976MA.) We'll see. 'Time to get the belt cover off for a look see.

Belt Cover Removal

It's quite an array of fasteners that hold the belt cover in place.

  1. At the front there are five 10-24 x 1/2" hex washerhead bolts, 5/16" across flats (A/F) with 3/8" A/F prevailing torque hex nuts.
  2. At the bottom-front, there is one 10-24 x 1/2" hex washerhead bolt, 5/16" A/F with a 3/8" A/F prevailing torque hex nut.
  3. At the upper-rear there are two 1/4" x 3/4" hex washerhead threading screws, 3/8" A/F.
  4. At the lower-rear toward the front, there's a 1/4"-20 x 1/2" hex head screw, 7/16" A/F, with a flat washer. It's important that this 1/2" long screw be reinstalled at its correct location. A longer screw here might interfere with the drive belt.
  5. At the lower-rear toward the rear, there's a 1/4" x 3/4" hex washerhead threading screw, 3/8" A/F, with a flat washer.
And with those ten fasteners removed, one has access to the drive belt, like so.

And as it fortunately turns out, the belt is in fine condition, and all is in good order with its pulleys.

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So, if I can obtain a safety interlock key, I'll have a saleable machine here.

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Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Zippo Lighter Fluid Hack

If you're an incorrigible smoker, and you're buying your lighter fluid in 12 ounce or smaller containers, you're paying way too much. Here's a work-around that saves money.

Get yourself a Yankee gallon (3.780 ml) of Coleman camp fuel, and you'll have plenty of lighter fluid for way less[1] than you've been paying for the little bottles of Ronsonol or Zippo lighter fluid.

You will need a small Ronsonol bottle for the sake of its convenient cap/spout. The Ronsonol bottle pictured above is the 341 ml size. Its cap can be pried off with a suitable plain slot screwdriver. Then, with a suitable small funnel,[2] the Ronsonol bottle can be refilled from the big can of camp fuel. Snap the cap/spout back on the Ronsonol bottle and you're away.

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[1] I won't bore the reader with the math, but the camp fuel is less than half the price of the lighter fluid.

[2] The funnel pictured is an elderly Coleman No. 0, which I don't believe is available anymore. Try a dollar store or a hardware outlet for funnels.

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Toro Power Curve 1800 Snow Thrower

Someone brought me an electric snow thrower to repair. It's a Toro model No. 38025, S/N 290008995 -- an 18" swath, 12 amp machine.

It's missing its final drive belt, and the toothed primary drive belt is looking a bit frayed. Here's a view of the left side of the unit, where the belts reside.

Final drive belt replacement looks like it should be a breeze. Primary drive belt replacement will involve removing a pulley.

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Intermediate Pulley Removal

That 9/16" A/F (across flats) hex is the head of the intermediate pulley's spindle. It has a left-hand thread, so it's CW to remove it. Removing the spindle with its pulley gets you to here.

The toothed belt's Toro P/N is 73-0160. Belt width is 19mm. On close inspection, the belt appears to be in good condition, and needn't be replaced.

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Final Drive Belt

It's Toro P/N 61-8802; a five-ribbed belt. The belt is a tight fit -- it takes a bit of doing to get it on its pulleys. You may want to unspring the tension idler to make installation a little easier. Belt tension seems excessive to me, but it is the correct belt.

Here's a view of the installed belt.

Left Side Cover

The cover was missing its three fastening screws, and an associated skid plate. I replaced the screws with No. 8 x 3/4" hex washerhead sheet metal screws, GC Electronics P/N 11-206-C. The machine will have to do without its left side skid plate, unless the owner can find what's become of it. Here's a view of the left side cover installed with its replacement screws

Discharge Chute

The upper deflector portion of the chute is loose on its pivots.

The 5/16" x 1" carriage bolts aren't seated in their square recesses, and the prevailing torque of the nyloc nuts is too great for the plastic material to resist. Trying to tighten the nyloc nuts only causes the bolts to turn. The bolts' shanks won't seat in the square recesses. The pivoting/tensioning scheme cannot work as designed.

I replaced the carriage bolts with 1" hex head bolts with 5/16" plate washers under the heads. That makes it possible to snug up the bolts so the deflector is properly tensioned.

In Conclusion

A worthwhile repair, I suppose, although the price of the replacement final drive belt struck me as outrageous -- $46.46 CDN + HST came to $52.50! A new replacement machine, same make and model, is $449.00 CDN + HST at the Home Depot, so repair cost here was within reason.

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Missing Left Side Skid Plate Dealt With -- WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019

That missing left side skid was bothering me, so I came up with a fix. Here's a view of the skid that's on the right side leading edge of the auger housing.

Note the two tabs that employ two right side cover screws to fasten the skid in place.

I could see no practicable way to fabricate a truly equivalent part.[1] So, I fabricated a skid with a different fastening scheme. Here's a view of what I came up with for the left side.

That's a 5" length of 1/8" x 1/2" steel flat, rolled to conform to the auger housing's profile. Three countersunk holes accept No. 5 x 1/2" flat head wood screws. It looks to me like a sound arrangement -- I'm quite pleased with it.

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Addendum -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2019 -- Get The Idler Tension Spring Hooked On Right!

You want the idler tension spring to be securely hooked. Here's how it ought to look.

If the spring is hooked the other way around, the hooking won't be nearly as secure.

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[1] "So why not just obtain an OEM replacement for the missing skid?", you may ask.

Too much aggravation and expense is why. Another trip out to the small engines place in Pickering, where they'd be unlikely to stock such an item. Then, if the part were available to be ordered, another trip out to Pickering to collect it, plus the cost of the part itself.

By fabricating a functionally equivalent part from material I had on hand, I bypassed all that and I now have a truly finished repair that I can return to the customer right now. An outcome well worth the effort of part fabrication.

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