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· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we use our trucks to gather a lot of the materials and such...and many spend a lot of time maintaining and fixing up their yards and homes...thought it would be fun to create a thread to share.

I recently did some sprucing up of the front beds and re-mulched them. This time around instead of getting a big load delivered which always seems to sit just long enough for some rains to hit and turn my entire driveway brown...I got some bags of mulch. Ended up making two runs and picking up 20 bags each time. I estimated they are about 30 lbs each so that was about 600 lbs in the truck.







 

· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Last night when it had cooled of some here...(like in the upper 80's and 90 something % humidity :roll: ) I ran out and tried to mow the yard real quick. I had the three kiddos my myself so was trying to hurry and keep an eye on them. I finished up the back yard and moved to the front having them all follow me. The youngest in here little pink push toy.

Since I was in a hurry...after to passes across the front section between the road and the sidewalk...I was zipping around the hydrant that is on the corner between my property and the neighbors...and somehow hooked the cable that connects to the engine shut off safety bar. So the mower stalled and would not crank back up. Dripping with sweat...trying to look it over and having three kiddos tired of sitting around in the heat...it was apparent I had botched up something and would have to do some heavier disassembly to see what the deal was.

Did not get the front yard finished...but after my wife came home...was able to start into more exploring. It seems I stretched the cable some so that the kill switch was activating all the time (grounding out) and not allowing it to be ungrounded and the engine to run. Looking up on youtube and whatnot...it seemed like a fairly straightforward job to just wire in a kill switch (run stop) and just do away with the bar thing all together. This is basically how they used to be anyway...before some nitwit decided they could walk around with it running and grab the deck to pick it up and prune bushes with it...and lopping off fingers and suing the mower company...and winning...and now all sorts of safety stuff and warning stickers on everything...anywho...

I remembered I had a SPST toggle switch somewhere and began to rummage for it. Located it and it was a nice sealed one that was perfect for this. Did not take a pic..but it seems these are pretty pricey... https://ebay.com/itm/Taylor-Cable-1026- ... 0005.m1851

The mechanism is pretty extensive just to connect and disconnect the ground to the coil on this thing...so got rid of a lot of clutter on the side.

I also found just the perfect length of scrap wire that had two strands of 18 GA individually encased in some semi-rigid outer casing that seemed perfect for the mower to help prevent abrasions and whatnot. i have some wire loom...but it is cheap stuff and soft and really not ideal so this stuff was perfect.

I soldered in a spade lug to connect to the flat spade on back of the coil...and a loop to connect to the side as a ground. Did not take a lot of detailed pics of all this due to the late hour and i was trying to hurry.

Here is the after's with the switch mounted up near the handle for ease of turning off quickly if I need to. The toggle did not come with a plate...so looking around for an on off one. Run Stop would be more accurate...but the other is super common and low cost.









 

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20 bags spread on sunday, need about 15 more....the dog will dig out at least 3.......laid down 20 or so slabs of zoysia at some bare spots in the yard yesterday....it's ugly and i didn't get pictures.....the wife was appreciative of the work though and i got lucky
 

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My dad was fascinated with Easter Island and the Moai statues. He made this statue (about 42" tall) in 1963 (right before he died) and put in the back yard of the brand new house that he had just built for our family. We moved away a few years later, leaving the statue behind, because the place was just too much for my mom and us kids to take care of and my mom just didn't like living there without my dad. (My mom never remarried.)

Now, 55 years later, our old home is vacant, foreclosed on, and on the verge of being condemned due to extreme neglect. Parts of the roof have caved-in. I contacted the proper people and inquired about the statue. I was told it was mine if I could retrieve it.
So my two sons and I drove nearly an hour away to dig it up. It was all the three of us big men could do to get it up into my trailer. We guestimate it weighs about 900-1,000 lbs. We lugged it about a foot at a time with mover's straps. It was bowing the steel floor of my trailer.

Back home, I hooked the trailer up to my Deere garden tractor to move it to the back corner of my yard. The 16 hp tractor struggled to pull it. When we slid the statue toward the end of the trailer to unload it, it teeter-tottered and lifted the back of my tractor four feet off the ground until the coupler came off the hitch ball. (Pretty nasty damage to the back fender of my tractor.) VERY glad no one got hurt. I should have put jack stands under the ass end of the trailer.

I have built a reinforced cement piling and footing for it to sit on. Just waiting to coordinate a time when my boys can come help me put on it's new mount in my yard. It will be a nice little reminder of my dad plus the memory of a fun project with my boys.
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Thanks, Neil. My dad died at 40. I was 7. He had an irregular heart beat his whole life. It didn't keep him out of WWII or the Korean war (he was the Navigator on B-29's in both wars) but it ultimately killed him. If he were alive today, they could fix it with a pacemaker or ablation. No such thing in the early 60's. My mom is now 94 and going strong. (EDIT: my mom died at 95 in 2019. She lived alone until her last few days.)

My dad made the Moai out of solid reinforced concrete using a two-piece mold that he and a friend hand sculpted. He and one of my uncles used a forklift to place it in our yard. He was going to eventually have two or three of them. It's a little weathered but has actually held-up really well over all these years.
 

· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This was a fun little project I did a year or so ago. I had really wanted to dress up the font of the house since so much of it was garage door...it made sense to make that look better and not the standard tan painted metal door it was. I looked into a true wood door but stopped quickly when it seemed the cost would be over $3000 for one. I ran across some internet stuff about faux painting and decided to give it a try. I also picked up some faux windows that were black opaque that you just bolt over the top and treated them the same way.

Even got the attention of the HOA who immediately wanted me to turn in documents because I had installed a new door! haha

This is the before and after:





I really liked how it turned out.



Some during stages:



Up close of the technique. You actually use a chip brush and try and do a bad job of painting in a wood grain direction....allowing the base coat to show through some...that gives it the depth and effect of wood.

 

· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You seem to be trying to change the spelling of my name Gary! Haha

I submitting the paperwork showing it was just painted ( which also has to be approved) and they approved it with a wrist slap and to be sure and request changes prior to doing the work the next time.
 

· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks. All the builder grade stuff just was not working well. It has changed a bit over time. I don't do much planting of perennials as it is just annoying to keep re-doing those. So I try and plant things that will stay the size I want and add some color. We had a hard freeze for our area that got a few of them...but most stuff weathered pretty well.
 

· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Recently got a home weather station that I had on my Amazon wish list. Came with two displays...though I am struggling where to put the second one. Wife is less impressed with gadget stuff around the house than I am! haha
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016CZKJUM/?c ... _lig_dp_it


Installed the sensor unit up on the shed in the back.




Was up on the 90's for a good part of the day...when I was out working on the truck...then got a nice little shower...and brought the temps down considerably.
 

· Member Extraordinaire, SilveradoSierra Guru
2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 LC9 211k mi
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
GBSierraSLE said:
That looks awesome, Neil. What did your HOA say when you told them it was just a paint treatment? :lol:
Missed this Gary. They did not care...just sent me an approval letter and said to ask first next time. I have had some neighbors impressed by it. But no way was I offering to do it...a lot of work!!

I am sort of wanting to add some insulation to cut down on the heat in there. The sun bears down on the door directly during the morning until mid day...then it is shaded. Also considering upgrading the lift motor to a nicer non-chain one.
 

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We finally coordinated a time when my two sons could meet at the house and help set the Moai on the footing I poured a couple of weeks ago.
We set it in wet cement on top of the footing then mixed and poured the base around the bottom of the statue. I'm going to do one more finish coat around the base and slope it so water runs off, hence the bolts sticking out of the cement which will give the final layer something to grab on to.
It's been 24 hours and the base is already set-up but I'm going to leave the ratchet straps and posts in place for another day or two just to be safe.
Then all I'll need to do is re-do the landscaping in that corner of my yard, which is about 125' from the back of my house, and maybe add a solar light of some kind (?).
 

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nealinator said:
GBSierraSLE said:
That looks awesome, Neil. What did your HOA say when you told them it was just a paint treatment? :lol:
Missed this Gary. They did not care...just sent me an approval letter and said to ask first next time. I have had some neighbors impressed by it. But no way was I offering to do it...a lot of work!!

I am sort of wanting to add some insulation to cut down on the heat in there. The sun bears down on the door directly during the morning until mid day...then it is shaded. Also considering upgrading the lift motor to a nicer non-chain one.
I put foam board on the inside of my garage door. I got the kind of foam board that has a silver backing to it.
Make good measurements and the boards will snuggly fit inside the door panels. It cools my west facing garage door down.
 
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