repair

ScrapHappy December 2021: Repair, Reuse, REVIEW

As we approach the shortest day and the turning of the year, I thought I would write a quick review of my ScrapHappy activities (and not just because, here at Chez Snail, we are more than halfway through our Solstice calendar which has a small but perfectly drinkable bottle of wine behind every door and therefore means I may not be as creative as normal).

As my regular reader will know, I am not skilled enough to start ScrapHappying with fabrics and other soft scrap, so I go for the hard ScrapHappying. Occasionally, the two overlap as they did in October and November

There was a definite lamp theme by the time I used a bit of one in October. I had already repurposed an old set-top box in January to ensure the Snail’s craft light kept shining, and converted a pair of electrickery-powered lights back to good old candle power in May

Of course, the hugest news in the ScrapHappy Universe, and by that I mean in my head, was the rebirth of Palletgate in July…

There was ScrapHappy component creation going on in June and August

There was a ScrapHappy makeover for the water butt stand in March

Some scrapped telecom cable (retrieved from the side of the road) was used to keep the raspberries off the ground in April

And there was an old scythe to restore in September

oOo

Eh voila! Another ScrapHappy year done with! I hope you all have a very ScrapHappy 2022 and, indeed, a very Happy 2022 in general! See you next year for more ScrapHappiness and maybe even a new ScrapHappy top-of-the-blog post image (maybe)!

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith, and Debbierose

 
 

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sewing, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Mend It Monday: Light Work

One not-very-light light

One not-very-light light

The Snail bought a couple of craft lamps from an online auction the other day, an auction of things that had been returned to catalogues or shops. These are those LED ones, with a magnifying glass built in. With these large online affairs, you can never be sure what you will actually get, there are no guarantees that the things will be fully functional.

Neither of the lamps that arrived worked on switch on, which seemed a bit odd, so I swung into action*.

I checked the power supplies that came with them – you’ll remember I had to replace the one for the Snail’s lamp (see here for the details) – and they both worked fine. It was time to open them up…

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Not many bits to go wrong in fact

It would appear on the first one that the On/Off switch was only interested in the Off position. It was odd, though, because it really looked as if the two bits of metal are touching and making the circuit but they clearly don’t. I did a classic bit of finagling and bent both bits of the switch towards each other, just a tad, and tried it out. Success!

120521_1805_MendItMonda3.jpg

This is not on… literally

The second lamp had the identical problem.

120521_1805_MendItMonda4.jpg

Subtle, I know, but the switch is slightly modified

I wonder how many of these are not returned to the seller, but end up in land fill, all for the want of a bit of simple metal bending? This is probably a common fault with these, so we will be looking out for more of these returns!

oOo

Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

ScrapHappy November 2021: O Brother, where art thy service manual?

He ain't heavy, he's my Brother - well, it is quite heavy and it isn't mine so...

He ain’t heavy, he’s my Brother – well, it is quite heavy and it isn’t mine so…

Last week (or about a thousand years ago if you are an archaeologist and have discovered and managed to figure out how to read the hard drive in the WordPress server), the Snail returned from a friend’s with a broken sewing machine. This is a slight role reversal (I have been known to return from friends with all sorts of scrap with a capital “C”), although this sewing machine did basically work, bar for one tiny annoying thing – the feeder dog* wouldn’t lift up properly. It sounded as if a bit had come loose or fallen off, so I decided that acquiring a service manual for the machine would be a good first step.

Well, it turns out, that Brother no longer appear to supply the service manual, not even as a download. There are sites that sell them for this machine, but they don’t actually have any (which is odd as some claimed it to available as a PDF download). Weird – and not very #righttorepair friendly, either.

Time to figure out how to take the case off…

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Only a few tools needed (!)

The base plate needed to be removed in order to unclip the plastic tag on the actual case without snapping it. The base plate was then held, completely in the way of everything else, by a couple of cables, only one of which could be removed without the aid of either a) a lot of luck or b) a service manual. D’oh! Two screws were cunningly hidden behind the carrying handle so were the last to be removed, once all other possibilities for why the casing still wouldn’t come off were exhausted. In fact, there weren’t too many screws to undo, although they required three different screwdriver heads – yes, you can remove all of them but what’s wrong with one type? Three of them (on the base plate) used a star-shaped screwdriver head and there is no reason I can see for that nonsense.

111121_1118_ScrapHappyN3.jpg

What’s needed to screw it up properly

The mechanism seemed to be that a spring pushes the plastic gizmo back in place once the feeder dog has been lowered. That spring now seems to have about as much energy as me after lunch, so once the dog is lowered, it can’t be raised again (again, a bit like me after lunch). The mechanism makes no sense to me, it doesn’t appear to be missing a part and nothing looks broken, but the raise/lower switch isn’t permanently attached to the rest of the mechanism (hence the assumption that the spring does all the work).

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Spring has not sprung

So, what makes this a ScrapHappy post rather than a Mend It Monday missive? It turns out that the owner of this machine doesn’t want to be able to lower the feeder dog – indeed, this may well be what has caused the problem, as the spring has been held in the same position for many years. So, what we want to do is effectively disable the control that would knock the mechanism out of place. Easy! The fix comes in the guise of a piece of sheathing from a scrapped piece of mains cabling. The sheathing is easy to cut and, in such a short length, is not compressible at all. Perfect!

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Scrappy sheath

Now to fit the piece of sheathing into the mechanism…

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In a jam (and not the yummy kind)

Eh, voila! Better put the machine back together again…

Everything seems to work, and they are no screws left so that’s a bonus. Hopefully the fix will remain in place for years to come.

oOo

* A thing that feeds the dog, er, fabric through. So I’m told…

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

 
 
Categories: repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 25 Comments

Mend It Monday: Achieving Speedweaving

Holey sock, Batman!

Holey sock, Batman!

I know that I don’t treat my socks well, they have a hard life and then go to pieces or, like Cobbler Bob*, end up with a hole in their sole. The Snail tried out one of the new-fangled** Speedweve devices a while ago (see here for the gory details) and it worked very well.

With another inevitable hole or two appearing in one of my socks, it was time to see if the idea that “any fool can use it” was true.

Enter one fool…

The Snail showed me the ropes, well, the yarn and the hooks.

The Snail showed me the ropes, well, the yarn and the hooks.

Now it was my turn... gulp...

Now it was my turn… gulp…

First hole woven closed

First hole woven closed

So, now it was time to go it alone… tea was definitely required…

So, now it was time to go it alone… tea was definitely required…

Here we go, no help (The Snail had fled the building), no safety net...

Here we go, no help (The Snail had fled the building), no safety net…

All done!

Both holes mended and there was no swearing! IS this a DIY first?

Both holes mended and there was no swearing! IS this a DIY first?

So, yes, a Speedweve IS so easy, a fool can use it.

Did I just darn my first sock ever? Yes, I did!

Am I ridiculously pleased with myself for having done it? Yes. Yes, I am.

oOo

* Comedian Adam Buxton did a Lego reconstruction (and the voices) of David Bowie planning his next character after Ziggy Stardust. It’s here and it’s brilliant.

** Actually old-fangled.

Categories: repair, Sewing | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

Mend it Monday: Bog Standard

Unhinged

Unhinged

This is a short Mend it Monday about a toilet so there will be no sniggering at the back…*

A day or two ago, one of the hinges on the toilet seat broke. I believe that this is the toilet seat that the house was built with (well, I think they used the usual gamut of tools to actually build the house but you know what I mean), making it 30 years old. Although I can’t complain, I will, because it meant some DIY for me.

I wasn’t about to replace the whole seat, or toilet, or indeed house, so looked for toilet seat hinges online. Someone asked the perfectly sage question: “Are they a standard size?” The answer? “Yes, probably, unless there’re not, in which case no, not at all.”

Terrific.

Finding a set of hinges that looked like they might fit, I took the plunge (not something I would normally do in relation to a toilet, but there we are) and ordered them. A day later, I was ready for a mend that really should be straightforward, right?

This new seat is rubbish, it seems to be missing something.... actually, it is an old shelf to ensure I end up with the same number of screwdrivers as I started with

This new seat is rubbish, it seems to be missing something…. actually, it is an old shelf to ensure I end up with the same number of screwdrivers as I started with

Undo eight screws. Well, seven unscrewed. The eighth no longer seemed to have a screwhead that conformed to the normal laws of screwdrivers, or indeed physics in general. Eventually, after ten minutes of potty-mouthed poetry, I ended up prising the thing out, leaving the hole the screw used to occupy a bit larger.

There's always one

There’s always one

Now remove the two bolts that hold the hinges onto the toilet itself. Ah, well, there’s only one as the other became brittle and shattered about six months ago. I could not find a sensible way of obtaining another bolt of the same size (without buying a whole set of hinges) and so improvised: I used sugru (pink, no less!) to hold the fixing on. Now, I had to gouge away at the self-same sugru to remove it. It felt like the god of toilet hinge bolts was laughing hard at me.

Finally, after all that, I could attach new hinges. Guess what?

THEY FITTED.

Ooh! Shiny new hinges!

Ooh! Shiny new hinges!

The screw going into the enlarged hole went in at an angle but seems to be holding OK.

I’ve even ended up with a replacement bolt thing in case one of the replacements shatters (in about 30 years’ time).

You could say I’m flus… but you’re not going to.

Even the Ducktor seems happy with the leftovers (well, there's always something with DIY, isn't there?)

Even the Ducktor seems happy with the leftovers (well, there’s always something with DIY, isn’t there?)

oOo

* Yeah, there will be, I just know it. It’ll be me.

Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 11 Comments

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