The Flower and the Allen Wrench

Showing my herculean capacity for procrastination, I finally got around to fixing my Sole treadmill. You may recall my saga with the first shipment being messed up, and the second shipment was of a (very lightly) used machine which hadn’t been refurbished, and so had some odd screws and the like missing.

Sole has been great about it and sent me all the missing parts (except lube which they’re supposed to have sent me last week) but the machine was good enough to use, especially with the mild use I put on it. (Yes, it’s in use for long stretches, but at very low speeds. That might be harder on the motor, come to think of it, but it’s doesn’t stress the frame much.)

Anyway, the stars were right today for tightening all the parts up (and fixing the plastic arm pieces) and adding the missing screws and what-not, so once again The Flower helped me out.

At this age (seven), it’s usually a wash when they help, if it’s something they’re good at. They can do a pretty good job, but it’s a bit slow and you spend extra time checking out their work and fixing a few things.

There was a little bit of that, but for the most part, she was a huge help. What she lacks in strength, she also lacks in size, allowing her to get into the corners to put in screws and tighten them without having to roll the treadmill out of its usual resting place.

I explained to her that it was customary after the screws were in place to go and tighten them further. I figured there was no way she’d be able to get them very tight. But after the first one–once she knew I was going to go in and tighten further–she managed to get it so that I could barely get another quarter turn.

Her head is also at eye level with the screw holes in the arms, so she could see how the pieces lined up–or in the case of the right arm fittings, how they didn’t line up. That was our only shortfall in our project. (The plastic coverings fit okay but once they go on the arm, the holes don’t line up.)

She has such a facility for this sort of thing, I’d love to figure out some way to encourage it but can’t figure out what. Any ideas?

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