This morning after we got up and had breakfast, we happened to notice that the forecast was calling for 12-18″ of snow starting in the late morning. Surprise! Va was planning to get a perm in the afternoon, so she moved that up a couple of hours and got there as soon as they opened.

Meanwhile, I had not started my latest snow blower repair job. So I ambled out to the garage and quickly realized that the approach I had settled on was not exactly workable. The handle bar bends out away from the snow blower right at the point where it attaches to the transmission. I feared that if I bent the angle iron, it would weaken it unacceptably. Reassessing the situation, I decided that it might not be too difficult to simply make a new piece to replace the old one. So I went to Lowes.

I needed some one inch steel tubing, but the closest thing they had to that was conduit – both EMT and rigid. I briefly considered going with rigid, but didn’t think I possessed the necessary tools or skill to shape it as required. So I bought the EMT.

Step one was to cut a chunk off 29.5 inches long. That was easy enough. Step two was to flatten 4.5 inches of one end where it would attach to the transmission. Step three was to smash the other end flat and then into a semi-circle so it would nest against another piece of one inch tubing. That was the hard part.

I did have a piece of one-inch black pipe, and I was able to lay the EMT on that and whack at it with a ball peen hammer (which I bought at Lowes when I picked up the EMT). That was slow going though. I eventually found that I could clamp the pipe and the EMT in my bench vice and work it a little more effectively. After about two hours of hammering on it, it was acceptably rounded.

Step four was to drill holes in it. I needed a couple of 3/8″ holes where it mounts to the transmission, and I didn’t have a 3/8 bit. So… back to the hardware store. This time I went to the old hardware store in Tilton, and Beth came with me. She noticed several things in the store that I had not, including the work of a taxidermist – a stuffed black bear. Then we had some lunch and hightailed it back home. It had already started snowing at that point.

Then it was time to drill some holes. I did use a punch first so the bit wouldn’t slip around on me, and that was quite effective. The holes lined up exactly where I needed them to be. So I mounted the new piece to the snow blower, and it looks pretty good. I think I’m back in business.