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Tractor Talk Discussion Board

Solving the impossible problems...what have you done?

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Posted by NCWayne on October 18, 2013 at 19:52:39 from (

I was cleaning out a B/S carb tonight for a friend of mine and after soaking everything down I was blowing out all the ports with compressed air. I hit one port and felt something hit my finger rather hard and wondered what had hit me. When I got done I realized that a welch plug had blown out. The bad thing is the hole it went in wasn"t but .350 in diameter, and the smallest plug I had, that was saved from an old carb kit, was too small, and the next size I had was a engine freeze plug that was WAY too big. Called around and no one had anything smaller than 3/4", nor could they find a source for anything sized that small. Basically I was out of least for a minute or two that is.

I had called Dad to see if he knew anywhere to get a plug that small and as I was talking to him I was looking trough a bin full of misc junk, and ran across an old thumb tack. That"s when the idea struck. It was the right shape, but how to make it smaller? My lathe is currently down, but even in operation isn"t precise enough to turn the tack from .500 plus to the right size...not to mention I don"t have a chuck capable of holding something that small.

What I wound up doing was chucking the tack into a small drill chuck, that will handle bits down to 0" using the nail portion of the tack. I then put the chuck in my milling machine where I could spin it at high speed. To cut it I put a bit off of the lathe in the vice and then used it to machine the tack down to the correct size. I had to take it slow but in the end I got the head of the tack to the correct size to allow just a slight interference fit. Once in the hole I took a punch and gave it a light tap to flatten it out and tighten it up.

When I first saw the plug missing I thought I was screwed up royally, but with a little "redneck ingenuity" I got the carb back together without any problem, and hopefully will have it back on the engine and working tomorrow.

So, what kinds of impossible problems have ya"ll solved by "redneck ingenuity"?


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