Fixit Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
SavingWithBabies
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Success! I have to admit it had me beat for a while after getting that gear in. I just didn't want to go fiddle with it again and the repair manual I have talks about some gauges that I think are factory tools for setting the timing. However, I used the 2.45mm (in range of 2.3-2.6mm) as the "offset from lowest needle point when advancing in the standard direction". It took a bunch of attempts to get the hook aligned correctly but in the end, it's working correctly on all the needle offset positions and with zig zag and all that. Now I know what all the levers do.

I did break the presser bar lever (foot lever?) -- I cracked the end off when replacing the gear earlier. Still possible to operate with the knub but I'll have to fix that. I can probably 3d print something. I think it's this part:

https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/press ... 20-10.aspx

But at least my wife can get back to using it. There were grumblings of buying another machine if I didn't get it fixed soon :).

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

That’s great! I knew you’d get it.

Yes that lever is plastic. But I think the one in your link is the wrong one. Maybe. :?: My recollection is it is more like a flat plate with a little dog leg bend in it. I was tempted to just trace mine out on a piece of aluminum plate or plexiglass sheet and cut it out with a saw and file. Then grind it smooth with a sander. Let me see if I can find it.

https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/press ... 61-10.aspx

I could be wrong but I think it’s actually this one. Several available on eBay. Our machines could be slightly different.

I’ve never broken one but it is considered to be a weak point on these machines. 3d printing is an interesting option. Worth a try. I bet it would print out strong enough lying flat on the build plate. Then you can put the dog leg in with some heat.

Good job and good luck.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

You're right -- it's that part. I made a replacement one and 3d printed it in PLA. Hopefully, it will not get too hot with the incandescent light bulb next to it. If so, I might just upgrade the lighting (or reprint in ABS). But it'll probably work just fine. I debated using heat for the bend but decided to just design it in and use supports for that part of the arm.

horsewoman
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by horsewoman »

:shock: Last Sunday the seat of my beloved beach lounger ripped. I've been lounging on it for quite a few years, so the material got worn out. Luckily this is a pretty quick fix.

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I've had some sturdy fabric left over from sewing a baby sling (the baby I used to lug around in the sling is now 170 cm tall, so I suppose it was high time to find some use for it :oops:)

After measuring out the seating I serged the raw edges and attached the fabric with hand stitches to the lounger. 20 minutes later:

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The only downside is that this fabric won't dry as fast as the original material, but I don't like to go into water anyway, so it will get wet not very often.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

@horsewoman - that is an interesting lounger design. Why does it have wheels? Does it double as a cart?

I have a couple of new fixes today. Face mask repairs and bread machine seal. I recall you had a bad seal in your bread pan so I thought I'd post up this fix. I started getting dark greasy streaks in my kneaded dough and it freaked me out. I traced it to the shaft seal in my bread maker's pan. The seal leaked and was allowing oil to get on my bread dough. I've had trouble with these in the past and when they really go bad, water leaks into the bearing and destroys it. I decided to tear mine apart to see what is going on. Used bread machines are quite a hot commodity in my area due to the pandemic. I am unable to locate another one for $10. I could get an Oster online for $90 but I really like the model I'm using for its power and programming.

Undo the snapring on the bottom and remove the shaft, seal and bearing spacers. It just pushes out the top once the snap ring is off.
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Everything is out and you can see the bearing in the bottom of the pan. Bearing survived.
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Here is the shaft and spacers. You can see the seal at 12 o'clock which is the gray rubber doughnut. It is destroyed. Some hair fell in there somehow and it tangled around the shaft and destroyed the seal. It helps to have good snap ring pliers to get the retainer off.
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Measure the inner diameter of the seal (shaft) and the outer diameter and height. That's how shaft oil seals seem to be sold on ebay. I got a food grade one made of viton rubber. Here it is pressed in.
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After that I just reassemble the shaft, spacers and retaining rings after oiling the bearing with some baby oil. Hopefully it won't put oil on my bread in the future.

Next I was having trouble with this dust respirator. I've been wearing this on my shopping trips during the pandemic and it is starting to show wear. I've used it a few years mowing lawns, cleaning dusty homes and for brake jobs. The elastic is just dying. And it isn't comfortable when I tighten in down to make a good seal. The head harness portion is melted directly to the elastic bands and isn't easy to rebuild with new elastic.
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The mask is still good. I just need new elastic.

You can see where the elastic attaches to the head piece. It just got fused on at the factory. I'll need to fasten new elastic at this point after I cut away the old stuff. The old stuff is just dead elastic. Over stretched. Soaked and destroyed by sweat, sunscreen and bug repellent.
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My idea was to replace the flat elastic band with shock cord. One because I have a lifetime supply now (got 100m for $12 on ebay for fabric masks). Two because I think it will last longer than the flat band which seems not durable. For this I needed a loop of tough material to attach to the head harness. I chose plastic from a peroxide bottle.
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Harvest.
Image, on Flickr

Form into loops from the brown bottle material and rivet to the existing harness as anchor points for my new shock cord. Some trimming, drilling and riveting required. Basic tools used like scissors, drill and cheap rivet gun.
Image, on Flickr

Much nicer. I found out that I needed some metal backing like a washer behind the rivet to give it a base to hold on to. The shock cord threads through the loop.
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And here it is fixed. The shock cords even work with the existing friction ratcheting buckles on the mask so I can tighten on the go. Well I'm almost done. One gotcha.
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While I riveted the loops I didn't notice I'd cracked the head piece. See photos above. I put nice cracks in each side from the rivet pressure. I recall from a few posts ago Jacob mentioned you could use a soldering iron to melt plastic. I watched a few good youtube videos about plastic welding with zip ties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8gZjw1Bkeo This is brilliant. How many times have we had some cracked piece of plastic that needed a strong yet flexible fix along a crack? This is just the solution. I was able to use my soldering iron to melt the plastic and fuse a zip tie into the cracks and repair the head harness. The junction is about as tough as a zip tie and that is just perfect. Easy and cheap. Soldering iron + zip tie.
The technique is like soldering mixed with painting. It took about one minute to master. The iron seems to be the perfect temperature to fuse and melt yet not destroy the plastic.

Superior to glue because this joint needs to flex regularly. Very strong repair. Now I can get some more life out of this mask. I like it and they are difficult to buy right now. Do this outdoors because the fumes may not be healthy. I wore a charcoal canister mask while I did it.

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That's all folks.

horsewoman
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by horsewoman »

@sclass, yes it is a cart as well - very handy to wheel stuff to the lake shore!

My cut-up silicon muffin mold still works as a seal in my bread maker, I'm happy to report.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

The plastic welding with soldering iron and zip tie is a cool idea.

There are actual plastic welders that are used with plastic on a spool if you need to repair something bigger like a car bumper.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

I actually bought the cheap plastic welder from Harbor Freight years ago. I plugged it in without hooking up and air supply and burned it out. I suspect I tripped a one time thermal fuse inside of it. I recall seeing a tag on the cord saying “Do not plug this in without airflow”.

It occurred to me if I reduce the airflow on my hot air soldering station I can get a similar effect. I tried once and ended up hopelessly destroying a plastic part. I couldn’t keep the heat isolated to the crack and the part deformed. I suspect if I readjust the settings and go a bit slower it’ll work.

The soldering iron trick was just too easy. Anyone can do it. I repaired three cracks on the mask and it is about the same flexibility and toughness as a zip tie. It’s an ugly repair but it seems to work. I’ll try it on some other things when the opportunity comes up. It has some advantages over glue. Mostly flexibility.

basuragomi
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by basuragomi »

An alternative to plastic welders is stitching it together.

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I drill/dremel a hole at the end of the crack to spread out mechanical stresses, then use a heated embroidery needle to make the holes. Fishing line lockstitch ties it together, though I added an additional twist to each stitch to guard against the whole thing unraveling in case of failure.

This works really well for thinner flexible plastic, which would break quickly with thicker/stiffer interstitial material:
Image

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This can be covered with a thin layer of flexible food-grade silicone to isolate the repair from food. The fishing line and holes would allow the silicone to anchor itself in place along the crack.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Your stitching looks like a great repair. You can also stitch with zip ties instead of thread. You see this method used a lot with motorcycle fairings and car bumpers.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Nice repair! I like the stress relief holes.

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Sclass
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Fixed Blower Motor in car

Post by Sclass »

Hey I nailed a good one today. My air conditioner in my car has gotten into this nasty habit of quitting just when it starts getting really hot outside. I run the blower, then poof! it shuts down while I'm roasting in traffic. I recently rebuilt the entire AC system with a new compressor, hoses and a parallel flow condenser so it is ice cold...but no airflow now.

I took the car home and checked the voltage at the plug on the back of the blower motor. 12V. Fine. Checked it with a 12V automotive lightbulb as well to see how it ran under load and it lit up the bulb just fine. So now I know my issue is in the motor and not in the HVAC control system. Prior to today it would quit intermittently which made it very hard to diagnose using a meter. But today I got lucky and it quit for good. This made it very easy to zero in on the faulty contact.

I pulled the motor and measured the resistance across the positive and negative terminals. 15 kohm. I'm no motor expert but I think it is supposed to be a few ohms, not a few kohms. A DC brushed motor is a special case of an electromagnet...at least that's what my sixth grade science teacher told me. I started tracing the wires and connections in the motor and isolated the bad connection to this little crimp that had some corrosion inside it. I cleaned and resoldered the connection and the fan works properly now.

I just looked up the motor. Mercedes Benz wants $350 for it. A cheap Chinese knockoff motor costs $120 which is probably the one I would have bought. Time to go out and spend the money I saved on pizza and beer...takeout of course with social distancing.

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I reflected a little on my frugal behavior of fixing things cheap instead of replacing parts today while I visited my local ACE hardware store. They are closing. All my favorite hardware stores close. I love these places because I can buy a $4 tube of glue there, or a $0.24 fastener or $0.50 gasket there to cheaply fix my stuff without spending a ton of money. I'm running out of places to buy cheap fixit parts in small quantities locally. I talked to the management and they said they couldn't pay the new rent anymore given what they make. I realized I'm the problem buying little bags of nuts and bolts for $0.50 once a month and not buying high profit items like BBQ grills, Garden Gnomes or power tools there. There's this trend surrounding me...a lot of stores and restaurants I enjoy end up closing. Too bad, ordering hardware online and waiting days for it to arrive is a pain.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

ohh man, if this pandemic lockdown keeps up I'm going to run out of things to fix. I was sewing more masks (I'm trying some variations) and I broke my machine. I was winding a bobbin on my Elna Lotus TSP and I heard the dreaded freewheeling whine with no bobbin thread takeup. This happens when this birdcage plastic part disintegrates. The part is like an extremely dished wagon wheel and it is extremely delicate. Fifty year old plastic just gets brittle and the thing shatters.

Then no bobbin winder action. Worse, the part is no longer made. Old Elnas are mostly metal, and the few plastic parts are still sold online, except this one. This is an inevitable failure for Lotus owners and it is usually solved with big blobs of epoxy. I opened my machine knowing exactly what had happened and gathered up all the fragments. I reassembled them with super glue. It felt like I was gluing together instant ramen noodles.

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Together at last.

But not as a fix. I wanted to measure the dimensions of the thing. I'm going to make a new part on my 3D printer. The critical measurements are the axle hole on top, overall height and the diameter of the bottom rim as well as its radiused profile on the lower lip. It runs up against a conical rubber wheel inside the machine that gets pushed around when you turn a knob selecting bobbin wind, neutral and stitch. I measured it up with a cheap set of calipers and started plugging data into Tinkercad.

I came up with this on the first cut.

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I realized that I printed in the wrong direction and the print instantly delaminated. The little spokes just snapped as they twisted against the machine. So back to the drawing board. I made one twenty minutes later without spokes. Solid.

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This one was a lot tougher. It worked however the axle hole was a little too small. So I printed another. These iterations literally take twenty minutes in front of the PC and twenty minutes on the printer while I'm watching COVID news. I realized that I needed to print the bell shape upside down because the surface finish on the bottom of the bell needed to be very uniform. Here it is in place. Machine works again. Pretty good for a machine that was made the year I was born.

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Love this machine. Isn't it cute?

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plow_2
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by plow_2 »

An alternative to the soldering iron/zip tie would be PTEX like used for ski repair.
https://youtu.be/NA0vDNmNAEA

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Hey that’s good to know because I have a lot of p tex candles left over from when I was a kid. I can still hear that funny sound it makes when it burns. I’ll dig some out next time and try it.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

The sewing machine fix is great. You could probably make a batch and sell them if no one else is, though I suppose the demand is very low.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Yes, I considered selling but the demand is low. A friend of mine collects these machines. She got me into it. I called her because she has 3 and offered the part and she said "huh?" mine all work. "Yeah but it'll break eventually" "No Sclass, they all work, what will break again?" "Where is this part?" So I basically threw my hands up and said when they break and the repairman says he cannot replace the part, call me back. After that I realized I'd just waste a bunch of time trying to sell it. I will post it up on Thingiverse for free download and call it a day.

Today I have a good one. My wife is cleaning up and filling the recycling box with interesting stuff. We have this deal, things go in the recycling bin for a week and I get to go through the stuff before it goes to the curb. Today it was this Instant Pot box. She had been saving it in the closet. I noticed it had a really nice thick plastic carrying handle that went through a rectangular hole on the lid. You see these on boxes that monitors come in too.

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I realized it might just fit the 40 year old battery charger I just picked up for free at my parents' junk heap in LA. The charger originally came with a strap (at least it had one when I was a small child). It had decayed and broken away long ago. Looked just like this strap so why not give it a go.

Open it up. Whoa...selenium diodes. Still works. Put the strap in the slotted holes on top.

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Pull through the T shaped tabs on the ends to secure. It needed some force from a pair of pliers but it is a good fit.

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From the top. Looks pretty good.

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Wow that came out nice. Secure feel. I even put on some new copper clips to finish it off.

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

If I wanted to sell 3d prints, I'd try this way: put on Thingiverse but under CC non-commercial license. Then list on eBay and update Thingiverse entry to have a link to eBay. Something like that -- basically, give it away but offer the option to buy a print. Not 100% sure Thingiverse allows this. Oh, and you could enable the tip jar on Thingiverse too. Someone tried to tip me once but my info there was not right so it didn't happen. Doesn't seem like a realistic revenue stream but worth a shot?

I like the fix too on the sewing machine and the handle on the charger is a nice reuse. It does seem like a shame to throw away those nice handles. With the 3D print, it's fun initially cloning a design but then redoing it to take advantage of not having the limitations of injection molding and/or the strength of the material (ie using more plastic to make up for lower strength) seems to be where making 3D printed replacement parts gets interesting. It's also interesting seeing the designs for things that are optimized around the limitations of 3D printing. Anyway, just thinking out loud, nice redo to a stronger part.

George the original one
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by George the original one »

I have that exact same battery charger except the handle is still intact, LOL!

CDR
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by CDR »

I've enjoyed reading about your fixes @Sclass. My interest in contributing to this thread pushed me over the edge to make an account. I thought I would mention a few things that I fixed this weekend:
  • Hand sewed hole in collar of a PJ Shirt
  • Machine and hand sewed holes and rips in boxer shorts
  • Hand sewed hole in a summer dress my wife purchased second hand
  • Trying to nicely machine sew a strap back into a shirt after doing a hatchet job manually, it is for resale
I learned how to better lock my stitches (hand and machine) with these videos here, as well as updated my hand-stitching technique. The way I learned in home economics is not the way it should be done:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDVpPC5z1mQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guyKWC2km9o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvzMMcKHVR4

I am trying to focus on sharpening three skills in September. One of them is sewing and specifically using my sewing machine. I picked it up at a second-hand store before COVID-19 hit. I have been considering asking friends if they have anything that needs fixing, or if they've always wanted something created, and try to create an arrangement where they purchase the materials and I sew it together for them, this way I can practice sewing without shedding a lot of money, or creating things I don't have a need for (pillowcases, aprons, etc), and seem unlikely to sell.
Last edited by CDR on Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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