Notes from Windward: #68


Fixing the Mixer

bringing the mortar mixer on line

  May 10:

     Sustainability is capital intensive undertaking, and one way we stretch our economic resources involves reuse which is where we fix up and repair some tool so that it can be returned to service. Our mortar mixer is a good example. Last fall Monique did the initial work on getting it ready to mix the dirt and cement needed to form rammed earth bricks. She made new rubber scrapers out of the side walls of some used tires, and got the engagement mechanism (the setup that functions as a sort of clutch) working, but the bearings that allow the body of the mixer to rotate so that the mixed material can fall out into a wheelbarrow were frozen. It quickly became appearent that the only way to free them was involved disassembling the main body of the mixer.

Monica works the hoist that lifts the mixer assembly

     Once the mixer barrel was separated from the frame, Orly pried on the bearing while Walt tapped on it with a hammer. It was slow going, but each bit of movement made the next just that much easier, and eventually the bearing collar slipped free.

Prying the bearing housing loose

     The bearing on the other end was more involved since the huge gear had to be removed in order to get to the bearing. Fortunately our tool set includes a full set of pully pullers, and once the puller was in place, Orly was able to make short work of removing the gear.

using a pully puller to remove the main gear

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68