Fixing odd ball stuff


Old 08-17-15, 06:25 PM
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Fixing odd ball stuff

Lately it seems that I have been fixing some things that are kind of different, things that most people would just toss in the trash and buy a new one. Best part is I am giving these "tools" a 2nd chance and I get the chance to see how some of the stuff works. I also get to fix them which I love to do. Things that I recently fixed are:

Beard trimmer - Battery was failing (Nicad) which was soldered in. Bought a new two pack for $5 off Ebay. Good as new.

Milwaukee Saws All - Boss gave it to me to see if I could fix it. He replaced the switch thinking it was bad. After some fair amount of trouble shooting it turned out to be the speed control "chip"? Ordered a new one ($20) and it is good as slightly used.

Milwaukee 12v impact driver - This was my fault, I accidentally left it outside while working on my gutter and it got rained on. Thought "well bummer, lets see how a bare tool is". Yeah, they are about $90! So, back to searching online for the part. Found one with the new circuit board I needed and it only set me back $40. I might try to sell the handle part on eBay since I didn't need it.

Patio chairs - My MiL asked me to check out her patio chairs, said one rocker rocked way more then the other one, almost to the point of tipping over. Check it out and found there are two black fiberglass springs that do the rocking and they were starting to crack. Looked around and found a set of 4 for $32. I had to drill the holes, but that was NBD on the drill press.

So this is not just a brag post, I want to hear some of the simple/not normal stuff you have fixed lately. Got the electric toothbrush humming again? Lets hear it!
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Old 08-17-15, 06:41 PM
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Just finished rebuilding the tongue jack for my BBQ cooker (on wheels). Fire ants had made nest in jack and then the rains wet it. (several years worth)
That was the most rusted bolt/nut combo I had ever tackled. 3/4" X 8 Acme threads. Split nut with abrasive cutoff wheel on right angle die grinder. Had to do some lathe work on bolt. When I reassembled it I used never seize on the threads.
Should still be working fine when I get planted.

Old 08-17-15, 07:12 PM
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Similar to RR, my stainless grill was fine on the outside, but the burners and tepees were crap, and the back tepee holder was eaten away. One piece of angle riveted in the proper place and $40 for burners, tepees AND new grates, like new.

AT&T was the worst waster of money in my book. I had an uncle working for them and they would periodically just cut the cords on power tools and cast them out. I got several really good drills, put new cords on them and changed switches, and sold them for a right nice return.

They also were notorious for doing the same to WaveTek multimeters. Back then they cost probably $300, True RMS. Theory was it cost more to have a technician take the rubber cover off, pull the battery out and replace it than it was to buy a new one. In my pouch right now $1 for a battery.
Old 08-17-15, 08:27 PM
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Need to repair the gas burner on my old Okeef & Merritt gas stove. Made of solid cast iron. The assembly cracked about 30 years ago and I have repaired it twice with JB Weld and a hose clamp. Hose clamp holds the crack together and the JB Weld seals it for ten or so years then it needs to be redone.
Old 08-18-15, 03:00 AM
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I only use my whirlpool bathtub about once every four to six weeks. The last few times I thought the water was cooling off way quicker than it should so I pulled the skirt and the idiot light on the heater was glowing. I eventually split the power cord and used the clamp-on ammeter and found that it was not drawing any current even though the indicator was lit. Took it apart and tested the element, okay and the pressure switch and that also was okay. Put it back together but without the cover and filled the tub.

Eureka, it works! I then found out that it would ONLY work until it reached the set temperature and once it shut off it would not come on again until the water temperature dropped to about 70 or lower. It's all electronic sensing and no adjustment so I bought an inexpensive PID controller, DC current-operated switch and solid state relay (all Ebay) for about $35 and cut out the circuit board from the heater substituting the new parts. I now have a heater that controls to within one degree (far tighter control than necessary considering the amount of water) that works fine. A new heater would have been over $200 and as I recall just the circuit board would have been over $100.

I also got a digital temperature meter and probe that I connected to the pump suction strainer and added an LED indicator that is on when the heater is actually drawing power (the reason for the current-operated switch) so now I can relax in the tub, watch the temperature and know for a fact if the heater is cycling. Only problem is that I have to keep lowering the set point on the PID controller because NOW the heater doesn't just slow the rate the water cools but actually can heat the water.

Over the last six weeks I have bought two battery-operated lawnmowers ($25 each) off of Craig's List. Both were owned by women that didn't want to mess with the battery replacement. I really only wanted the 24 volt DC motors but the first one was a "new, but not improved" model of my existing mower. Since my mower had the bottom developing holes in the plastic I decided to cannibalize that mower and use the parts on the newer machine. The battery in the "new" machine was indeed shot but I got ten cents a pound for it at the metal recycler. I fitted the original battery from my "old" mower and put it back together with stainless steel screws to eliminate (at least reduce) the problem of rusted screws making it difficult to remove the shroud.

The other mower at least would run, sort of, but the battery indicator showed it to be dead. I charged the battery and then connected the "desulphator" I bought (again, Ebay) for the riding mower and let it do its thing for about four weeks. Well, I think I mentioned this in the electric riding mower thread that the batteries were swollen and I didn't have much hope of resurrecting them and sure enough, although the indicator showed full charge when idle it dropped to the red when I energized the motor. Of course I could have just replaced the batteries in each mower, for a cost of about $70 per mower but all I wanted was the motors. I'll still get a refund from the batteries and the second mower had a steel shell so I will receive a few pennies for that as well.

This one goes back a few years but the window A/C in my bedroom would do a lousy job of cooling, shut off for a long period of time and then run for just a few minutes before shutting down again. I added a 90[SUP]o[/SUP] floor boot and a 90[SUP]o[/SUP] elbow to the discharge grille as well as relocating the thermostat bulb from directly mounted on the evaporator coil to just outside the plastic grille. Now rather than the cooled air dropping out of the discharge grille to be immediately sucked into the intake grille it discharges the air up and over towards the bed, giving the air a slight "twist" to cause it it circulate throughout the room. The thermostat is now more sensitive to the room temperature and less sensitive to the evaporator temperature while still preventing evaporator freeze-up.

What else? My old Weedeater (model 509) stopped feeding string due to a broken head. It's at least thirty-five years old and no parts are available. I bought a "Renegade" blade (100 tooth carbide brushcutter blade) and fitted it. The idea of it scares me so I welded up a heavy duty guard out of 1/8 inch steel. I haven't mounted the guard yet but taking my ankles into my hands I tried the thing out and it definitely cuts the grass,English Ivy and the stumps of the old privett hedge. It seems to bog down though and thinking it is because of the long and lightweight extension cord I used, I bought some 10-3 type SJOOW cable. The cable should be here Thursday afternoon so I can affix plug and connector caps and test this monster out without a serious voltage drop. At the very least I will get a fifty foot very flexible extension cord out of the deal.
Old 08-18-15, 04:04 AM
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The hitch on my tandem axle trailer failed last week. You'd think it would be an easy fix since there are only 6 bolts holding it in place. I bought a new one to fit the 3" tongue and while the old one fit so tight it had to be beat off, the replacement needed washers on the side to make it fit and then none of the holes lined up What should have been a 15 minute fix wound up taking over an hour I guess a lot changed since that trailer was built 30+ yrs ago
Old 08-18-15, 04:34 AM
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Not oddball, but.....

Helped my sister move from one apt complex to another a few weeks back. She tossed her old sofa & chair and was trying to decide what to do with a dresser and matching nightstand that weren't going - either leave at dumpster or give to Goodwill. I snagged both (after asking if she's lost her mind). Here's the nightstand after some work - it's solid oak:

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Old 08-18-15, 06:21 AM
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All great stuff guys!
Old 08-18-15, 07:04 AM
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The van I had that got totaled had replacement seats from a road side heavy trash pile waiting for pick up. My old seats were duct taped. These had no rips. Of course they wouldn't fit my Chevy but i removed the bases from my old ones and swapped out bases with a few new holes for bolts drilled.

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