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flintgreasewood

Life At The Bottom Of A 64' Shaft

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It's almost summer, though it still doesn't feel like it.  I prepared well for spring run off by removing snow from all around the shaft area, tons and tons of snow and all by hand.  It was good to get my body ready for mucking pay.  I've had reasonable success thawing gravel with my heat rods and I'm getting more efficient with the drilling apparatus.  But just when things were clicking along, my generator died on me mid way in a thaw.  I tried repairing it but had no immediate success so I decided to have another try at getting my 8K Lister running.  I've had the Lister for over a year and never been able to get it started.  So I removed the injectors and tubes, checked for good fuel pressure, tightened all connections, adjusted valve lash and made as sure as I could all the air was removed from the system and gave it a crank.  It fired up.  Yessss.  And I had good voltage off the generator.  Now the job was to get it down to the shaft.  I strung a log chain between two trees on either side of the generator, raised it off the ground with a come along and dropped it into my Otter sled which I then pulled down the hill to the shaft with the wheeler.   Since there were no trees there to work with I rigged up a tripod tall enough to do the same hoist procedure out of the sled.  The final 20 feet were accomplished with a chain saw winch.  I fabbed an outlet junction box from an old generator, mounted it in the hoist shack and ran a power cord from the Lister to the box.  All was in place for power down in the shaft.  Couldn't get it started again.  I had replaced all the filters and found the main fuel filter had a second gasket that was not supposed to be there, so I took that out.  Air must have been getting through at that point.  Also I discovered the former owner had incorrectly plumbed the water separator.  I re bled the system and hooked up a brand new battery.  It started and ran just like it came from the factory.  Praise God.  I now had power.  I could get down to the bottom of the shaft and see what headaches were awaiting me from the rain and melting shaft ice that had accumulated over the two weeks I was without power..  It was a mess, but I got my deep well pump running and removed what water had not yet frozen (a considerable amount).  Loose ice was shoveled into the hoisting bucket and the remainder I busted up with the jack hammer and hoisted it out.  A number of tools were coated with ice and had to be knocked clean and or thawed out up top.  Now I can get back to the incomplete thaw I began three or four weeks ago; the rods are still in place.  It will take an additional 20 hours to complete, but at least I'm back in business.

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