Here in the Summer, at the Bon Odori festival, one of the more popular booths is the Shaved Ice, booth, I guess you might call it snow cones? Well the local community guys rent the machine that shaves the ice, they rent two of them, they cost about $50 each for the weekend not huge money, but still, it does cost. This local festival is put on as a money making event for the local community association. We run it ourselves and it is all staffed by neighbourhood people as volunteers. We sell beer at the festival, basically at cost, it is a lot of work and a real pain in the back, but hey community spirit and all that.....
As I'm one of about three guys who help out who is under 65 years old, I'm usually tasked with loading and unloading the heavy stuff from the trucks, not a problem, I don't mind. This year, when we were putting stuff away, one of the guys grabbed a grubby old cardboard box and said "We should just toss this thing, it is taking up space..." the others agreed but I'm always curious, and I said "Toss what...?" it turns out they bought a shaved ice machine 15 or so years ago and it stopped working, that is why they rent the other machines. Well at first blush it looked all there so I said, "What's wrong with it...?" no one knew, they just knew it did not work.
Well dang it, that is not right, let's see what's wrong with it FIRST then if it is cooked, yeah, toss it.
I took it home, turned it on and it seemed to work ??? I called one of the guys that works the shaved ice booth and said "What is wrong with this unit exactly...?" he told me that it had been at least five years, but he thought that when you try to shave the ice, the machine stalls and after a few minutes it starts to smoke and then the breaker trips....
I took it apart, the problem....?
The belt was dry and cracked and it was loose....
About $4.80 later I had a new belt. I then checked the machine over, and aside from it being a bit grungy from sitting in a box for 5; years in a storehouse, it was fine The blade was duller than a butter knife that was used for scraping glue off concrete......
I sharpened up the blade REAL sharp, and I adjusted it, I also shined up the brass plate that the ice spins on as it is being shaved, new belt and a fresh chunk of ice, and boy we were making snow cones
It was then suggested that I box it back up in the crappy old cardboard box......
Ah NO, I don't think so....
I made a new box for it.....
The basic box
The box and the ice shaver on the base, you get the idea.
The machine will be placed on the base and then the box will be placed over the machine and secured to the base.
Here you can see the base with the clamp that holds the machine to the base and the side pieces that the knobs go through to secure the base to the box top.
Here it is assembled. I put the handles on the box, and not too high up either. Most of the guys, like I said, are older gents and lifting heavy stuff is not something they do a lot. I made the handles generous so that one guy on each side can lift. I can easily carry the whole deal myself, it is not THAT heavy, but I'm a lot younger and larger than most of the other guys.
I'll put a few coats of some WB urethane on it, and call it good.
This will be the last project out of the Dungeon for a while until I heal up from my surgery next Wednesday.
Oh, I'm also going to put some rubber feet on it, as I don't think sitting on cold damp concrete in the store house for 11 months and 28 days a year can be good for it.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the ice shaver that they wanted to throw out, would cost about $1300 to replace
This on the heels of a really big screw up on the head of the local community association, we also do "Yakkitori" basically chicken chunks roasted on a stick. We have two large Yakkitori roasting machines, they are large stainless steel deals with what is essentially two radiant heaters fueled by LPG that sit in the top of the unit. The racks of yakkitori are roasted below it. When we are busy, they crank out a LOT of Yakkitori and it is a good money maker. Last year, on one of the machines, one of the two burners would often not stay lit, this was a big problem. The head of the group decided, by himself, without consulting anyone else, to just buy one new machine, he made an "Executive" decision.
Yes, he paid list price and yes that price was STOOPID expensive, how much you ask....?
$2500 or just short of that
Now the first I heard of this was when we were cleaning up after the weekend festival, we were loading stuff and I noticed the shiny new yakkitori machine, and they were going to toss the old one, that did not work right. I again said.... "What is wrong with it...?" they told me that one of the two burners would go out.... I said.... "Did you clean the jets...?"
They all looked at me like I was speaking Greek or something. Really people, these are VERY simple machine
Took the offending burner out, removed the one cover from where the jet is located, and took it out, I could see it was covered in carbon and stuff. One good puff of air from the lungs and it was clean.... and it worked just fine......
I tell you, the community association leader guy now HATES my guts