Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This photo is innocuous enough; my Singer with the light on. However, it actually represents 5 hours of work. When I bought this machine the light didn't work, and on Sunday I decided to put a new bulb in it. The old bulb had broken off in the holder, so it was a case of getting the pliers and trying to work the base out. About half an hour later I decided I'd better pull it to pieces so I could get at it more easily. An hour later, after ferreting around for the right size screw drivers and memorising each bit as it came apart, I managed to prise the old bulb out. Success!

I put it all back together, feeling quite chuffed, only to have the bakelite casing fall apart in my hands as the last screw went in. Damn! So I hunted through the other 20 machines, to find one with a similar casing. The worst machine, one affectionately nick-named Maggot, was the perfect donor; another half an hour had the casing stripped off, and installed on the newer machine. I plugged her in and flipped the switch; nothing! Grrrr. So I pulled it all to pieces again, and discovered that the switch wasn't making contact with the little copper pins, so I fixed that. And the light worked! Wonderful.

As I was cleaning it up I noticed a lot of yellow dust under the motor; on inspection I saw with horror that all the yellow plastic had crumbled off one lead, and there were bare wires sticking out! We always use Shocksafe cords on our old machines, but bare wires are Bad! I was a bit sick of being an electrician by this time; how can changing a light bulb lead to so many extra chores? I wrapped the wire with electrician's tape, after a trip to the shop to purchase some, and by that time I was so sick of it all that I didn't want to sew any more. Hmphh!

On Monday, after packaging up 6 finished quilts, we ran away for the afternoon. It was the most glorious day, it really felt like Spring, and far too nice to stay inside. We took the dogs and went to Wirrabara Forest for a walk. There are miles of radiata pine forests there, some planted 50 and 60 years ago, and it's a beautiful place to wander. The dogs adore it, Jessie took off like a tiny rocket and never stopped moving for the next two hours. She's such a little busybody.

Matt and I did the 5k walk on the Ipinitchie trail. Along the way we came across this enormous gum tree, absolutely massive. It was very mis-shapen, it must have had a rough and varied life to end up so twisted and convoluted. Mereth did the shorter Nursery walk, to the site where they once raised all the seedlings for the plantations. The photo shows some workers sowing seeds into thousands of bamboo tubes; once they germinated the bamboo tube could be planted out and the seedling just grew happily with no transplanting shock. Pretty clever for 1905.

The ground was carpeted with lots of these tiny gum blossoms, about 1/2" across. They could barely be seen on the trees, but they were pretty on the ground. On the way home we stopped to photograph some almond trees, already smothered in blossom; spring is on the way.Then it was corn on the cob for tea, and a sleep in front of the fire. It was a busy day for these two.


Chookyblue...... 6:24 PM  

wow that tree is massive........what a photo.......love all the others and lucky you are a jack of all trades and can fix you machine but yes I would be worried about exposed wires.........and what are shock safe cords?

meggie 9:10 PM  

I am curious about shock safe cords too.
I can imagine the dogs rocketing around enjoying all those lovely smells.
I used to be pretty handy at maintenance for my machines... now I am just too impatient!

Henrietta 7:28 PM  

Useful trick for removing light bulbs which have lost their glass.

1. Unplug if it is an appliance flip fuse off if a wired light.
2. Cut the end off a potato, jam it into the broken end of the bulb.
3. Unscrew or push and twist as applicable
4. Throw the whole thing away

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