DIY Technique


Old 03-08-13, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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DIY Technique

Do-it-yourself repair
This is a technique for disassembly and reassembling anything you wish to fix or repair. Following this technique will avoid that horrifying situation when you get the item all back together and discover an extra part or screw. If you happen to be taking apart and putting back together the same day your memory is probably adequate to remember the steps. However often the case arises that after you get everything torn apart you learn that there is one item that has to be replaced and itís not going to show up for 2 or 3 weeks. It is in this instance that this technique pays off big. As you get older and your memory isnít what it was and you have so many other things to think about using this technique will regain your confidence and capability.

The technique is simple. Before you start tearing into anything equip yourself with a notepad and pen. As you take off each part write a short description of the part and list the number of screws, clips, fasteners, etc. that you had to remove to get the part off. As soon as you learn that 2 types of screws are involved go back to the 1st item that had screws and describe the screws, size, length, head type, color, thread type etc. Whatever it takes to be able to re-identify the screws. Add this information to each following step. Make notes at each step to identify any unusual process or item required, such as, remove black tape, cut tag tie, etc. Take special care to note the presence and order of washers, spacers, E clips, etc. When it comes time to reassemble simply go backwards through your list and reverse the process. This technique works whether you are repairing an airplane, a steam engine, or just the old lawnmower. Remember this only works if you make the notes during disassembly. After disassembly itís too late and you are sure to forget something. If itís a big project taking pictures can also be extremely valuable. If you are going to bury it having a picture of what you did 20 years ago is a great asset.

If you remove screws that are threaded into plastic, use this trick to avoid stripping out the threads. Using light pressure, usually the weight of the screwdriver, turn the screw backwards until you feel it drop slightly. Then turn the screw forwards and it will thread itself into the old threads.

Dale Fausett
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Old 03-08-13, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,649
Welcome to the forums Dale !

Some real helpful tips there.
You're right on the money with the screws into plastic.

As an electronics technician I had to come up with ways to keep track of parts too. I had a stack of small plastic parts containers with numbers on each section. I'd put the screws in the slots based on the order I removed them.

For short term repairs I would use miniature muffin pans.

Hope to see you around the forums.

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