In the Lydiard Tregoze, Wilts, Mansion, the final straw was trying to modify the rotary lawn mower on the dining table. I thought I would need at least 5.5 hp as a prototype until we could get Ruaidhri's steam powered design up and built Herself had other ideas and I have been banned from engineering for the rest of the weekend.
I usually berate and bribe my son into mowing our miniscule backyard lawn on Sunday mornings.
When I moved into this house I bought him an electric lawn mower to keep him from playing with gas, oil, and other flammables. SWMBO is in Kansas City for the weekend and the son is off in camp.
That gave me the opportunity to actually implement the rotary mower pen centrifuge. Electric Mowers are much less messy upended on the dining room table. I was able to affix the pen, a green Phileas (not yet ready to try this with the green Pelikan Souverain 1000) on the presumption that the grass might stain the pen but if it were green I would hardly notice.
I strapped the pen to the blade with 3 of those plastic tie thingies and went out to mow the lawn. Took me about 30 minutes, but the actual mower-on time is about 8 minutes (the other 22 minutes spent wiping brow, sipping iced tea, and getting the power cord out of the way of the mower blades).
There was no noticible impact on the grass (I did a lousy job, as usual) and when I upended the mower on the dining room table again and cut the plastic tie thingies I learned that while it is effective removing ink from the pen, I now face the chore of figuring the best way to remove grass from the pen. I dumped the whole thing in a cup of tepid water and it quickly turned to green soup.
After 10 minutes of soak time I fished the pen out and rinsed it and set it to dry. While drying I thought about the green soup and decided to see if chlorophyll is a good dye for ink. I boiled down th soup to a few ounces, strained the soup through a coffee filter and admired my green ink.
I usually fill the green Phileas with Levenger's Always Greener so I found a spare converter, a sheaffer school pen (yellow, if you must know) and sucked up some ink.
Yup, it wrote. :bunny1:
Here are some of the things I learned:
Chlorophyll based green ink realy stains. Not pens, shirts.
Chlorophyll based green ink has nice yellow highlihts
Chlorophyll based green ink fades as it dries.
It is really hard to clean the dining room after upending a lawn mower on the table, twice.
Multitasking is a good thing (mowing and pen cleaning).
Boiling grass soup stains aluminum pots.
Boiling grass smells like overcooked cabbage.
Use a mulching mower. If your fixation system fails, you destroy the evidence.
The mower is not affected by the imbalace in blade weight when you affix the pen.
I have other speedy rotary devices that might be susceptable to use for cleaning pens:
String Trimmer from Lawn
clothes washing machine (spin cycle, only)
old LP turntable (really old; remember 78's?)
Kitchenaid stand mixer
Hubcap attached to my Chrysler Concorde
Computer Hard Disc Drive (if I could figure out how to get it open)
Hmmmmmmmmm there is really some dissertation material here.
All good wishes,
Andy (4/01 on my calendar)