Choosing a kusakariki

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sun May 13, 2018 9:29 am

You can resharpen the carbide teeth if there is anything left of them, there is a special diamond dust coated disc you can get that fits in an angle grinder.

I shipped mine over with all of our household goods so didn't run into any restrictions. Many US Internet sellers will arrange international shipping or you could use a freight forwarder but I'm not sure what the costs would be or you can buy imported combo kits on Rakuten and Yahoo Shopping (currently one is listed at 122,500 here) or there is this listing here on EM Square (they have a whole bunch of imported tools) and if you search for "マキタLXT702" then you can find other listings here.

There are a couple of caveats though, bits for Japanese impact drivers are slightly different you can either grind Japanese ones down to fit foreign impact drivers or order a whole batch of bits from Europe or the US or you can replace the chuck with a Japanese one ordered from a Makita supplier here. Also the grinder disc sizes are different so you have to use 100mm discs instead of 115mm discs.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Tora » Sun May 13, 2018 7:27 pm

Zasso Nouka, thanks for the tip on the cheaper tools from the US. I found a place that claims they'll ship to japan for about 2/3 the cost of the Rakuten options. I just wish they supplied more than 2 batteries for a whole set! I actually have corded versions of most of those tools but there's no electricity at the house yet and cordless options do offer more freedom of motion. And who doesnt need more tools?!

I knew about sharpening the brush cutter blade teeth and did the teeth on the spare spare blade after it started to rain today.

Got most of the immediately needed weed cutting done but am afraid of how often it will need to be done throughout the year after seeing the vast collection of worn out blades and brush cutters left in the sheds by the previous owner.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon May 14, 2018 5:47 am

Tora wrote:Got most of the immediately needed weed cutting done but am afraid of how often it will need to be done throughout the year after seeing the vast collection of worn out blades and brush cutters left in the sheds by the previous owner.
Lets just say you are going to become infinitely familiar with the ways of brush cutters by the end of the summer and will have built your upper body strength up considerably :lol:

Batteries can be bought from Amazon Japan, you are going to need to replace them every 3 - 4 years anyway. You either order genuine Makita batteries or cheaper Chinese ones, I haven't felt adventurous enough yet to risk trying the cheap Chinese ones. You might not need all the tools in the 7 piece combo set, to be honest the torch isn't that bright unless you replace the bulb with an LED one. Then it becomes quite good, not sure how useful the radio is either so you could go for a small set if you don't need those. I also think replacing the reciprocating saw with the jigsaw is a better option as I hardly ever use the reciprocating saw but do use the jigsaw all the time (the UK 7 piece combo kit comes with different tools to the US one)

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Tora » Wed May 16, 2018 10:46 pm

The wife is onto me about buying MORE tools and demanded a detailed accounting of all elements of the renovation process and how the tools will return their value. Guess I'll have to tuck my tail between my legs and drag extension cords around like the cave man I am.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Zasso Nouka » Thu May 17, 2018 5:39 am

She sounds like a sensible woman, sometimes the heat of the moment can cause silly tool purchases that might not be needed and where the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Something that can save you quite a lot of money is thinking about one of these Solar water heater. Payback time is about 3 - 4 years depending on your water usage and after that it's free for the next 20+ years depending on how you look after it. We slashed our gas bill from 8,000 - 10,000 yen a month down to 1,500 - 2,000 yen a month and have already turn the boiler off and don't anticipate turning it back on till late autumn. Unless we get a long stretch of cloudy weather.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Tora » Thu May 17, 2018 8:49 am

The solar water heater looks like a great idea. Thanks for those reference costs. It really helps put things in perspective. The roof faces south and has great exposure for most of the day. But SHE is also skeptical about solar. Maybe the modern technology is too new for some in my cave man family. I'm planning to put together a simple outdoor solar shower for after I've been crawling around in the attic or subfloor crawl space this summer. Maybe she'll warm up to the power of sun when she sees how well my primitive setup works.

I'll also have to look at the underside of the roof and see what kind of support is there and how much I'd need to reinforce it.

Do the prices listed on the MMC solar water heater site include installation or is that extra? It may have been in the small print but I did not catch it. Our nearest neighbor is a do anything electrician and great guy that could probably help us get the job done right the first time (as are a couple of other family friends).

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Zasso Nouka » Thu May 17, 2018 8:10 pm

The price is just for the unit, you can either arrange for it to be connected or they have a list of contactors around the country. We spoke to one of the contractors and arranged with him to do the hookup to the gas boiler and we did the rest of the work with him supervising so that reduced costs considerably. Technically you need someone with a gas license to do the actual boiler hookup or with a denki license to connect it to an eco cute, if you are going to connect it to a gas boiler then ideally you need one that has a temperature sensor in the incoming supply and is smart enough to turn the gas off when the incoming water is as warm or warmer than the outgoing water. That way it only fires up when the water from the solar heater is cold.

If you've got the space I'd be inclined to fit it at ground level as close to your boiler/eco cute as possible so that the pipe run is as short as you can make it. That way works out the most efficient so you are not leaving a long pipe run with hot water in it when you turn off the tap.

As for costs you can pretty much say that from May to October your gas bill is going to be greatly reduced and if winters where you are living are sunny then you also won't be paying for much gas. We really only pay for cooking gas now and hardly ever have to pay to heat up hot water unless we have an extended period of cloudy weather.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Tora » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:29 am

Thanks for advice on this. Working hard in muggy weather gave me the beat down.

Update

After battling the weeds for a couple months in a semi squatting position with far too short brush cutter (kusakariki) I ended up buying a used farm grade mower. Couldn't find a kusakariki that looked like it would be long enough for my lanky comfort and the price was definitely right on the push mower. And it's self propelled. Just gotta get it started, install a drink holder and bobs my uncle! Maybe.... it gotta be better thang squatting down with a short kusakariki for hours looking like I'm posing for a Rambo 4 photo shoot.

We decided to put off the solar water heater for now at least. The wife's grand mother had problems with one a million years ago so they're all bad in Her eyes now. Also we are leaving the cement roof tiles and I really did not want to think about installing something on old (fragile?) roof tiles. Did my time working on and repairing tiled roofs long ago and I don't want a roof that might leak in Japan. Man! It's raining a lot here in Japan this week. Hope everyone else is safe where they are.

We are planning to put in a wood fired bath water heater. There are a lot of trees on the property and it will be a good way to deal with limbs and downed/overgrown trees and so on that we'll have to remove. We're going to see how that goes and will consider a solar water heater when we replace the roof some time in the future.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:56 am

Way to go man, lawn mowers work much quicker than a kusakariki at keeping a plot trimmed back.

Those wood fired bath heaters are pretty sweet. Should you ever decide to fit a solar heater later I'd suggest going with a ground mounted one if you are going down the vacuum tube route as it's a whole lot easier and doesn't need to be on the roof as the tank is pressure fed by your water supply.

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Re: Choosing a kusakariki

Post by Tora » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:54 pm

Thought I'd post an update on this as I found what I consider to be a great solution for now.

After much online and soul searching, I ended up buying an agricultural grade (5hp) walk behind mower. I Found a used one local for 2 man and cleaned the carb twice- apparently the previous owner had left it sitting with gas in it for a LONG time or tried to run it on chocolate sauce! Runs like a champ now and mows down knee high weeds smoothly and will even take down waist high weeds if presented with the opportunity. I don't plan on pushing it that hard. Still going to need a rush cutter for hills, around obstacles and taming the head high weeds in the Yabu but it 4 times faster and much easier physically so I can save my energy for other things.

This is the https://www.wadosng.jp/product/vm620.html . Just need to install a drink holder and Bob will be my uncle.

Just wish this heat would subside. It certainly saps your strength....