The Viking

I’ve been wondering lately if I should get back into writing. When I saw that Facebook was piloting subscription groups, I even thought about resurrection the old ‘Creative Writers’ group from the dead. If I could collect a small subscription fee from each member it would help make up for the time and effort I would put into running the group. However, I don’t really have the time.

I had another idea. A way to get back into writing without taking time and focus away from the odd-job business. Tool and equipment reviews! Ideally I’d be using a wearable camera to record a first-person view as I’m working. For right now, I’ll have to make do with using my phone. 

Also, I have a new logo!

I’m going to talk to businesses, most likely starting with the local Builders Merchant, Travis Perkins, and ask them if they have any tools they’d like me to review. Perhaps even tell them what jobs I’ve got coming up so we can pick products that would fit with what I’m doing. Even if they don’t offer to pay me from their marketing budget, having some free tools to use in exchange for a review would certainly help my bottom line.

First, I think I need to write a few sample reviews, based on equipment I get to use already, so they can see exactly what I have to offer. Hopefully you can help me get my readership numbers up by sharing this and subsequent review articles to anyone and everyone you think might be interested. Don’t just spam everyone. That’s just annoying. Be selective 🙂

So here comes my first ever non-geeky review article ever (unless you geek out about garden equipment). It’ll be shorter than future ones, since I’ve already blathered on for quite some time now just introducing you to the idea.

The Viking!

Today I got to use a Viking GE 355 wood chipper. I first tried using it in the summer to get rid of some hedge trimmings, but I hadn’t been able to figure out how to turn it on. No amount of poking the switch was working. It had been sitting in the client’s garage for quite some time and I was worried that it was in need of repair. I put it back in the garage until I could get around to tinkering with it.

Thankfully, it was only the well-used extension cord that was faulty. I plugged it in directly to the electric socket and it worked right away. There was quite a pile of garden waste built up over the summer. A lot of it had been burned, but it’s been too damp lately to get the fire to catch, so I thought I would give the Viking a try to get rid of the rest, making use of a new power extension lead.

I discovered that it dealt with the smaller twigs and sticks with no problem, but it got choked up and stopped if it was over-filled. Particularly if there was anything over an inch thick being fed through along with the lighter stuff. Luckily the two black knobs at the top of the base are bolts that allow you to easily remove the feed hopper from the base and get to the blade. Making clearing any bits of wood that are jamming up the works super easy.

I’d highly recommend making sure the blades spin freely before you put it all back together. It’s a little frustrating to think you’ve cleared the blockage, only to have the motor stall again. You can’t test the motor before you put it back together. The blades won’t turn without the bolts screwed back in. A good safety feature really, but having to take it apart again because you weren’t thorough is annoying. 

All in all it’s a good bit of kit. It will even chew up the thicker pieces if you don’t put anything else in with it, and just let it chew. I have trouble maintaining the patience for this. It’s really helpful that you can open it up so easily. 🙂

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