The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
Small mechanical tidbits that you probably already know:
-tighten a lock collar onto a bearing in the direction the shaft will rotate.
-the closed end of the retaining clip on master links on roller chains should be toward the direction the chain will travel. The split end of the clip should "trail" when the chain is in motion.
-any half-links in roller chains should have their narrow end "leading" when the chain is in motion. The wide end of half-links should "trail".
-the idler or tensioner pulley or sprocket on any belt or chain should contact the "slack" run of the belt or chain. The powered run of a belt or chain should always be straight and direct from the powered pulley/sprocket to the driven pulley/sprocket.
-when shutting off an acetylene torch at the cutting handle, close the acetylene knob first, the oxygen knob last. That way oxygen clears any remaining acetylene from the mixing chamber and tip, reducing the chance of a flame burning back into the tip or handle.
Like I said, you probably already knew this stuff, but...you'd be surprised how often equipment comes to the shop with lock collars loose because they were tightened the wrong direction, master links missing clips because they were installed backwards, and belts or chains goofed up because somebody put the idler on their "driven" run.
And, yes, I've done all those things myself because I didn't know better at the time. Some would say I still don't know better...
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