Do fix broken stuff or buy again?

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He’s a famous male hairdresser.

Ooooppppsss!.....You can see how I made the assumption that it was a "She".....I'll have the Woke police after me!
I'm assuming again, but does Nicky Clarke like to be referred to as a "He"......Its very difficult to know these days!
Sorry Nicky!
Good stuff I want to fix.
Cheap stuff I'll open up but unless it's obvious and the parts are cheap to source I'll not waste too much time on.
If it's a poor design or fails repeatedly (not just bearings reahing the end of their design life) then it's either skip it and avoid the brand in future or try to improve it :)
I have a super-special approach… I fix things when it’s worth fixing and not when it isn’t. Which I’m guessing is what people have always done.
You can spend hours working on a tuuuurd but at the end of the day it will always be a tuuuurd, maybe just a polished one but still a tuuuurd.
So here we are up in Yorkshire (well, it's up from where we live). 2 weeks to discover the Dale's having never been here before.
We're in Ripon having just enjoyed a lunchtime concert featuring a few teenagers in singing solo in the cathedral, for the first time I suspect.
Stepping out of the cathedral l hear a clink of something hitting the stone floor. Simultaneously my vision goes blurred.
Oh no, not again. A few weeks ago this happened with the left lens, now the right one had fallen out.
On the first occasion I found that the frame closure screw thread had stripped and the tiny screw had done a runner. My repair solution was to wind a few turns of copper wire through the screw hole and then consolidate it with a good blob of solder.
Now in the middle of Ripon my previous endeavour was not going to be of much use. After a few minutes we had migrated up to the market square where a possible solution presented itself in the form SpecSavers.
So in we went and enquired if SpecSavers could save my specs. 'Let's have a look at it' said the charming lady, 'Oh yes, it just needs a new screw. (Said in her reassuring Yorkshire accent) Take a seat for a few minutes, Luv'
A few minutes pass and she reappears 'Sorry Luv, SpecSavers can't save your specs. The screw is still in there and there's no way I can remove it'
Plan B kicks in. I explain my previous solution to the charming SS lady (I was tempted to type 'frau' there) who directs me across the square to the Yorkshire Trading Co. where I can buy a bit of wire to effect a temporary repair. We search the YTC high and low for wire. Nothing. It's one of those places where you can buy anything, except wire, that is. 20 years ago they would have had a card of fuse wire which would have been ideal, but that's obsolete now.
A possible Plan C comes to mind.
We head for Haberdashery. I ask my wife H to find a reel of strong thread from the extensive range of cottons on display. She chooses a subtle shade of grey, priced at £3.50. That's half the solution. We now locate the glues department, where I feel more at home, and select a cheapo 2 pack of superglue. I convince myself that the 69p outlay is justified on this occasion.
Back out to the square, we sit on a bench and get to work. Having located the lens properly in the frame, we bind half a dozen turns of thread tightly around the joint. While H keeps the thread tension up I drop on a drip of CA.
After a few minutes the CA has cured and one last operation remains. We need to cut the thread off. I try to break it by hand. No chance, I'm move likely to do a cheese cutter job on my fingers. I try biting it but to no avail. Then H comes up with the answer - an emery board out of her handbag. So we file through the thread.
The only downside to this saga is that I managed to drop some CA onto my favoured Craghopper walking trousers. There's no way that is going to come out so I'll always have a reminder of the time we saved my specs in Ripon Square. (Sounds like a cue for a song)
I'll always try to fix stuff but in a lot of cases finding a spare part is nigh on impossible.
I've been known to get bits from Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, particularly for old Hilti drills.
Quite often if parts are available they are part of a much larger assembly and cost more than a replacement machine (Bosch, I'm looking at you here)
I always try to repair and often it’s not too difficult. One notable exception was an AEG (blue) cordless drill that came with a lifetime guarantee. After about 5 years it went up in smoke and, because of the warranty, I dropped it off with the local service agent - supposed to get it back within the week. Got a phone call to say that it was obsolete but the parent company (Milwaukee) would replace it with a new drill kit.
When I was picking up the new drill I found out that Milwaukee, AEG and Ryobi are the same company and share the same service facilities. AEG tools are mid price point but not common, at least in UK. Apparently parts are not normally an issue but this particular (NiCad) drill was manufactured as a short run that was now totally obsolete. Milwaukee stuff is well supported and serviceable. Ryobi, on the other hand, is simply skipped and replaced if under warranty, with an overflowing skip of lime green to prove the point. They don’t even attempt to diagnose or repair Ryobi stuff - it’s truly a throw away item.
Depending on the fault I will check the price of the part to fix then weigh up haw much a new one is, as an Engineer my job is fixing things but I don't waste time fixing it if it doesn't save money unless I can't get it anymore. Case in point was my Band saw, I had a bearing go on it and I could not source the right size bearing anywhere even from the manufacturer so I bought a bearing with the same internal diameter and made a new bearing carrier, after about 10 years it is still working better than the original, ended up costing about £40 and a couple of hours labor on the Lathe.
We had a Ryobi strimmer that stopped working after a month. Getting anything fixed in France under warranty is difficult so I took it apart to find a broken connection on the motor because the wire was too short and it had pulled off.
Spliced in a new length of wire and it's been fine ever since. At the time I did find a source for a new motor had it been needed.
Yup I’ll always fix rather than bin if I can. I do it to help save the planet and because I can’t resist the challenge.
I’m recently retired but like Drifter was an engineer used to fixing stuff a lot of which was obsolete with little or no manufacture support. (I cut my teeth on 1930s industrial plant.)
The family often refer to my workshop as ’The Repair Shop’.
I knew lots the people who follow this site were like me.
If I can I fix. My proudest repair was when I was trying to break the concrete lump at the bottom of an old lamppost in my garden. A flint shard was sucked into the kango. I took it apart and discovered there was a break in continuity in one of the coils in the armature . I could see that one of the strands had been severed. I managed to solder a repair and complete the destruction of the concrete block.
I enjoy the problem solving aspect of fixing things, and I can now afford to waste time fixing something that would be cheaper to replace if I costed my time!

Tumble dryer power switch just broke (again). I took it apart to find I had mended it before. Ordered new part and found I had bought same part just over 2 years ago. From the look of the failed repair, it looks as if I fixed it while waiting for part to arrive then didn’t need to fit new part because repair held up. So I have the replacement part somewhere but now I have a second and I have made some preemptive ’repairs’ with CA and bicarbonate so it will last a bit longer when I get around to needing to fit it (when current repair fails). Part certainly seems to be designed to fail!

Now I just need to put it somewhere where I will be able to find it in a year or two from now!


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I currently have a Stihl strimmer in bits, awaiting new piston and cylinder head.
Easier with hand tools, but worth trying even with mech / electrical kit.
I always find that Makita spare parts are reasonably cheap and readily available, so far I have rebuilt a HN111C SDS MAX demolition drill and a 1214L compound mitre saw, plus new motors on a dualvac Numatic vacuum for a lot less than their replacements.

Easily done and worth doing on the older and well made Japanese Makita stuff.

Another example I had of a repair was to my large Axminster bandsaw about 18 months ago.

The NVR switch failed and would not stay latched once I took my finger off the ON button.....I knew they could be a bit temperamental but ordered a replacement anyway......Out of stock for 3 weeks at the time, so decided to have a go at finding out why the original was playing up/had failed.
After a good clean up with a fine paint brush and an airline, cleaned the contacts on the relay with a contact cleaning spray, reconnected it and Bob's your Uncle, it worked fine...!👍 and continues to do so.

The replacement duly turned up, and I've still got it sitting in my spares drawer for when the original finally fails.
Weird! Last night tried to switch off the computer extension lead via the rocker switch on top, now it only rocks not click off. Spent a long time googling a spare. Made by Masterplug, so not a cheap copy. Replacemet of the whole thing is around £30 for a minor item. The body of the switch is curved to match the top of the device, so won't be easy to find a suitable switch that would install safely. Next step is to try contacting manufacturer!

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