July 24, 2014

Keep Your Lawn Mower Running Smoothly

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers their advice on maintaining your lawn tools for a greener yard and a greener world. Proper maintenance will also extend the life of your mower, trimmer or tiller.

  • Change your equipment’s oil seasonally and be sure to recycle the old oil.
  • Replace the spark plug and air filter, and check for proper carburetor adjustment … a properly tuned engine helps burn fuel more efficiently, thereby reducing emissions.
  • Be sure to use replacement parts recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid gasoline spillage when you’re refilling the tank. Also, keep fuel tanks and containers sealed tight, leaving room (approx. 3/4 full) for expansion.
  • Tighten loose nuts, bolts and belts so that your mower runs a little quieter, too.
  • For mowers, sharpen cutting blades and keep decks cleared of all grass clippings to further enhance performance.
  • Replace old worn out equipment with the latest models offering low-emission engines that run 70% cleaner than 1990 models. Electric or rechargeable battery power is also available.

Today’s lawn mowers and power equipment are designed for lower emissions, you can help by practicing proper maintenance.

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You can Thank NASA for Your Cordless Drill

If you plan to give Dad a cordless power tool this Father’s Day, you can thank NASA for the great gift idea.

According to Howstuffworks.com, Black and Decker created the cordless idea back in 1961 with battery operated tools, but NASA helped refine the technology that led to lightweight, cordless medical instruments, hand-held vacuum cleaners and other tools.

In the mid-1960s, to prepare for the Apollo missions to the moon, NASA needed a tool that astronauts could use to obtain samples of rocks and soil. The drill had to be lightweight, compact and powerful enough to dig deep into the surface of the moon. Since rigging up a cord to a drill in outer space would be a difficult feat, NASA and Black & Decker invented a battery-powered, magnet-motor drillWorking in the context of a limited space environment, Black & Decker developed a computer program for the tool that reduced the amount of power expended during use to maximize battery life.

After the NASA project, Black & Decker applied the same principles to make other lightweight, battery-powered tools for everyday consumers.