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DIY repairs - sometimes better than the original  RSS feed

 
steward
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The plastic handle on my crockpot lid broke while the darn thing was practically new. I searched online for a replacement and found many, many other owners searching for a new handle, too, though not many options. Grrr.

Then, Paul made me a handle out of a branch from a maple tree. It has lasted over three years. I think I was lucky to get a year out of the plastic original.

I would love to see other pics of what folks have fixed and made better in the process.

crockpot-handle.jpg
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crockpot handle by Paul
 
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That is very romantic. I like the idea of fixing a thing for someone in a way that they can not help but be reminded of you when they use the object. Most repairs try to blend in as much as possible, it is very "Paul" to make a repair that stands out so intentionally.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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nathan luedtke wrote:That is very romantic. I like the idea of fixing a thing for someone in a way that they can not help but be reminded of you when they use the object. Most repairs try to blend in as much as possible, it is very "Paul" to make a repair that stands out so intentionally.



Shhh! Don't tell Paul he did something romantic!
 
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Nice fix! I have a sprayer just like that. I was gonna have my buddy 3D print me a new handle, but i like the hardwood version. I just need some black locust wood!
 
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There is a Japanese tradition called Kintsugi, where you take a broken piece of pottery and repair it with gold. It saves the pottery from being discarded and makes it even more valuable. I love how you have taken mundane broken items and made them into functional art. I'm inspired.
 
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Nice handles Paul! It looks like you have a severed foot laying around in the shop, careful with those saws!

I have often used wooden dowels to act like corks for old glass bottles (old medicine bottles) that don't have a lid. If you get a dowel about the right size it doesn't require much sanding (if any). It seals very nicely and looks great.

 
pollinator
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I don't know how many times when a bona-fide, brand new thingie just doesn't work right, needs tweaking, or breaks either in the process of installation or shortly afterward.
Plumbing and electric stuff seem particularly bad at this, to the point where I begin to suspect a cabal or conspiracy whose purpose is to frustrate the DIY'er into giving up and blowing money calling in a professional. Time and again, my jerry-rigged fixit outperforms and outlasts what I buy new.
Example: ANY plumbing leak, splice, or joint, between similar or dissimilar pipe materials, carrying whatever (water, steam, gas, etc.) can be fixed with one thing: long strips of bike inner tube....wrapped tightly round and round the joint or leak. If the splice is in a hose or something else outside, follow the innertube with a wrap of duct tape, which resists sun much better....sun is the enemy of rubber.
 
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Ryan Workman wrote:I have often used wooden dowels to act like corks for old glass bottles (old medicine bottles) that don't have a lid. If you get a dowel about the right size it doesn't require much sanding (if any). It seals very nicely and looks great.



Sounds great! But how do you prevent the dowel from falling inside the bottle? I was thinking of doing something like this but I thought I'd have to whittle or sand it to make a little thinner at one end and a little too thick to fall in at the other.
 
nathan luedtke
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Via this article in nytimes about a design exposition focused on "fixing things" I was reminded of this thread. Has anyone else come across or created interesting or attractive repairs recently?

The article mentions the Japanese art of Tsukoroi which translates as "darning, mending, fixing".



One notable version of Tsukoroi is Kintsugi- the mending of broken pottery using precious metal inlays. This was mentioned earlier in the thread, here's a representative image:

 
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I re manufacture most demolition tools. The tips are never ground properly. Often the angle of the foot of pry bars is set so that when used, the other end hits the floor or wall before prying a very large gap. I beat it with a sledgehammer to get a nice sweep to the handle. Fire hardening and oil quenching finishes the job.

I often salvage nice clear mahogany boards from 50s vintage houses. They are typically painted on one face and on both edges. Old dressers with stained and gouged tops come up regularly. I nail the boards painted side down to the dresser top. Cut off the ends and round corners with a belt sander. That's the extent of my furniture building skills. Lots of bang for the buck with this trick.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Had to add these pictures of the mailbox handle Fred made for the base camp mailbox. Thanks Fred!!

I'm not sure that my second quick pic this morning is the best to show how he even carved it to snap perfectly and snugly under the latch at top. Beauty!!

basecamp-mailbox-wood-handle-20161017.jpg
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base camp mailbox replacement wood handle
basecamp-mailbox-wood-handle-notched-20161017.jpg
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sweet detail at top allows handle to snap under the top part of the latch
 
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