Unsexy Spending

If it were only solar...
If it were only solar...

I swear I made every effort to avoid a gummed up carburetor–a recurrent small engine nightmare already experienced once on this very saw. I bought small volumes of gas, mixed it in 50 ounce batches and used it quickly. Even so, it was going to cost me $220 to repair a $300 saw.

Powerzone will sell the old one for parts on eBay, which will help recoup some of the “investment” of the replacement. I was tempted to say t’ell wittem and buy wood and use the bow saw. But that doesn’t make sense where and how we live.

The only bright moment while I waited for my saw extras (not even a cap this time around) was the guy who came in with a Homelite.

“This thing worked great for a while, but now it won’t cut a darned thing” he complained. I watched from the string-trimmer accessories rack. The guy behind the counter grinned briefly before growing serious and business-like.

“It’s your chain. It’s on backwards.” I bit my lip.

I’ve done it myself, but figured it out before even cranking the saw–much less having it become part of the PowerZone book of Homeowner’s Dumb-it-Yourself Moments.

SO: I’m hearing about Sea-Foam–a Stabil-like additive. And maybe I’ll keep the saw in the bedroom with us over the winter. And play classical music for it. And give a term of endearment. Maybe we can stay friends for a while before the next great divorce and remarriage. Dunno.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. $220 to rebuild a carburator! It’s $50 in the Ozarks last time I had it done.
    Fred that’s an awesome B&W portrait (self-portrait, I’ll assume).

  2. Seafoam is excellent stuff. We sold the heck out of it when I worked at NAPA and I know they still do. Joey even uses it at the shop. Drop off the chainsaw next time and let Joey look at it. Ya never know. He’s worked on generators for people….same small engine principle.

  3. Hmmm …. would it help to run it out of gas when you use it? I’ve never had a problem with gummed up carburetors before, even with gas left in the tank. Could it be the oil/gas mixture or the type of oil that you are using?