Howard’s Way

Wire coil inserted into chamber, central spring and nut balanced & ready… now for the tricky bit!

Victory! After many, many, many expletives, cussings and general sulking and temper-losing, I managed to re-fit the pull-start chamber on my Howard 300 rotovator! This looked extremely unlikey however at midday today, after a couple of hours’ work trying to recoil the spring, fit one end through the chamber plate with the rest of the spring lying inside the chamber, re-wind the pull rope around the pulley, then put the other end of the coil spring into the pulley chamber – whilst at the same time trying to balance it on top of a nut which is on top of another small spring in the middle of the chamber. In a very small space. And without the coiled spring bursting up and out of the chamber while you’re messing about pulling one end of it into the pulley. Argh!

It helped having a look on YouTube beforehand, to get an idea of where to start. This video was pretty useful, although his Briggs Stratton engine is a bit different to mine – he didn’t have to deal with the extra small spring and nut issue for a start. I also love how he didn’t film the crucial bit of squeezing the end of the wire coil into the pullet wheel!

Rotovated tunnel with central woodchip path

So, at last my first piece of DIY mechanics is done! Yippee! And best still, once I’d fiddled with the choke a bit on the rotovator, I also got it going, and rotovated the whole of 5-penny tunnel. I then drilled 2 rows of Alvro Mono beetroot, 2 rows of Palco spinach, a row of mixed radishes, a row of rocket, and planted out a row of land cress which has been sitting patiently in the module tunnel since November. Success! Let’s just hope the seeds and plants like the conditions in the tunnel enough to get going. A pair of robins love it in there, and pretty much hopped around me while I was in there. As long as they’re eating the bad guys…


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