Monday, June 01, 2009

Plucker Problems

It's been a busy week, this past one.  We (I) have spent most days running around for the all-important parts to our chicken plucker project.  Spending more $$ on the project than I thought was possible.  Last Tuesday our online-ordered parts came in, and the local tool shop worked on a shaft for it, and drilled a bigger hole in a too-small pulley we were going to use.  $110 for the 'right size' was just NOT the 'right price'.  I ordered bearings that were to be delivered to the shop around lunchtime on Friday.

Friday I spent nearly all day in the garage.  I REALLY wanted a pile of dead chickens on Saturday, and REALLY didn't want to hand-pick them, so I had Hubby set up the miter saw for me in the driveway before he left for work at dark-thirty.

There's nothing like the sight of a big pregnant lady wielding power tools in the garage, I tell ya.  Too bad there was no one to take a picture (actually, I'm sure I don't regret that circumstance). I measured and sawed and used my cordless drill and even the drill press.  I found a little ratcheting wrench-y thing (at least, I think that's what it was called) to attach bolts and nuts, and only sometimes had to call Hubby and say, "do the washers go on the bolt side or the nut side?"  It was a good thing I called.

But - I built the frame!  All by myself.  And a few other things, like marking the tub for the fingers (re-re-remarking, I should say).

I went to the local tool place to 'get my bearings' (haha) just before they closed at 5, and guess what... Mr. Delivery Man, who called from 2 hours away that morning to say he'd be there, had NOT shown up.  NO, they were not open Saturday, and NO they didn't have his number so I could go accost him on the freeway.

So I bought another kind, some sideways bearings, for half the price, but double the required brainpower to install.  *sigh*

Hubby got home just before 9 pm, and busied himself for too many hours after HIS brainpower was used up.  That is, the next morning I was surprised to see that he'd (tried to) cut a circle from our HDPE plastic, and mount the shaft in the center.  In the dark.  After working 12+ hours, etc, etc.  It wasn't terrible, but I needed to find a new 'middle' and mark it appropriately, again.  Hubby now needed to figure out how to mount the bearings, shaft/plate, and motor, so we could get this "circle" spinning and whittle down the edges to the right size/shape.  No easy task.

I had mentioned off-hand in an email to a friend, "your husband doesn't happen to have a 14" pulley laying around, does he?"

Turns out he did, and was able to drill a 1" hole in it for the shaft - at a great price (free).  This I got from them on Saturday night, after working alternately with Hubby in the garage (those rubber fingers are SO HARD to install!), and killing myself in the garden.  

I always kill myself in the garden; why is that?  I must be very weak.  Though I did get all of the tomatoes (28ish?) and the rest of the peppers (6) planted, and the rest of my weed-tarp stuff laid out.  It was only about 95 degrees.  Organique joined me for a time, and sullied my warm square-foot-garden water with square-foot-garden dirt (which isn't so bad, since it goes back in there anyway), used a little juice jug to water one particular square foot of potatoes - a lot, drank some of it, scooped a handful of dirt and seedlings from a carrot square :(, dug up a red lettuce (which I found in the same bucket on Sunday and replanted), and sullied the water with regular dirt.  This was bad.  Regular dirt = weed seeds = not going into my SFG.  Then she dipped her head into the mucky mess, just because.

We ended the day still needing a belt for the plucker, a way to keep tension on it, the plate made circular, holes drilled, fingers installed, etc.  And no dead chickens.

Stay tuned for the best part of the story...

1 comment:

MamaJ said...

Wowzers! I am really behind on reading your posts! If you keep writing these long ones, I may never get caught up! Maybe I will rededicate my Summer Reading List to only include your blog... ;-)