Repairing Kit - Repair or Throw?

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  • On closer examination, the whole cat-house is in a pretty precarious state. After the last lot of rain, both cats climbed to the top floor, which dried out first in the sun. But their combined weight tilted the whole thing sideways, posts between floors and all. Amusingly, both cats still climb to the top, and sit or sleep at a funny angle, and seem to be blissfully unaware their tower is on its way down. What a scream! I took a picture of it, it's so funny!


    So now I've got the job of renovating the framework of the whole thing.... It's always the same, you go to do a little job and it turns out to be rather more than you expected. Worked on some basic frames for each floor today, so if it's fine tomorrow we shall be dismantling Faulty Cat Towers and hopefully strengthening it all up. I might even be able to put up before and after pictures - what a laugh!

  • Rain stopped play a couple of times today, but we got a fair amount done after dismantling the cat house.


    It's amazing how crappy these expensive cat towers are when you examine them in pieces! The 'posts' which keep up the floors are not wood, as you might think, but rolls of cardboard, nicely covered in cloth, with a plastic insert in each end to take a small bolt. These cardboard rolls are rotting at the bottoms, so it's no wonder the top was falling over. I put some of them back for cosmetic reasons, but used a couple of wooden battens upright to take the weight of each floor.


    The floors are made of the very cheapest sort of fibre-board, the type that breaks up when it gets wet. So we put a frame under each of these to support them a bit more securely.


    With just the top floor to go on, rain stopped play for the second time, and we called it a day. The main lesson to take away from this is don't buy a cat tower, especially if it's going outside. Instead, make one from scratch with scrap wood or other recycled materials. It will be very much stronger than the commercial article, and will withstand the weather much better if it has to go outdoors!

  • It is with great sadness that I have to report that the handle of my old favourite mug, (the handle of which came off about a year or so ago, and which I carefully glued on again to give another year or so of active service:D) has now come unglued, and I am heeding the advice of my O/H to give her the body of the mug as a plant-pot holder. Some things can only be repaired for so long, or for so far, I guess...:(

    The repair has been a small miracle to last this long, of course, with several hot mugs of tea every day, due to the technology of modern glues.


    The good news is that we have many other mugs, most of them given, so I can try a few out for size and comfort....:)

  • Over time, I've been asked to look at several non working petrol generators, to see if they can be fixed. Fearing the prospect of the cost of a new alternator or engine, I was surprised to find that the most common faults were water in the fuel system, and insufficient oil in the engine. Some generators have a device which disables ignition during starting if the oil level is too low. (It doesn't stop an engine which becomes low on oil whilst running) So which bits of "Keep it out of the rain" and "Check oil daily" do so many folk not understand?

  • Sorry to hear your mug is a mug without a handle hun. Steve is often breaking his 'fave at the moment' tea mug. Gorilla glue - I've not tried it myself yet but a few mates, AW included, say its excellent stuff. I use a desk mug as it keeps my morning coffee warm for ages and it doesn't break if I'm a numpty and drop it.


    Cheers hun! :)

  • It is with great sadness that I have to report that the handle of my old favourite mug, (the handle of which came off about a year or so ago, and which I carefully glued on again to give another year or so of active service:D) has now come unglued, and I am heeding the advice of my O/H to give her the body of the mug as a plant-pot holder. Some things can only be repaired for so long, or for so far, I guess...:(

    The repair has been a small miracle to last this long, of course, with several hot mugs of tea every day, due to the technology of modern glues.


    The good news is that we have many other mugs, most of them given, so I can try a few out for size and comfort....:)

    I feel for you mate. Had a lovely fave mug once, big yellow job from Selwood Plant Hire. Absolute belter it was, served me faithfully for ages till my fuckin psycho ex got posses one night on Champagne & Stella & smashed the kitchen up! Was gutted. Never really bonded with another fave mug since.....:cry:

  • I've been repairing my only pair of trainers for a while now. This stuff is OK and literally flexible:- "uhu max repair" . And works much better than superglue for this purpose.


    Sadly these scruffy yet comfy old trainers did not survive the tumble dryer effect. I may yet reglue them but should really now throw them and smarten myself up a little.


    I don't know what a grocers is old Keith.



    Gorilla brand is impressive. I use the tape quite excessively and won't buy/use any other brand. I didn't get around to using the glue because it leaked into a small tool box: tools and glue were inseparable and all was thrown....


    I bought a bamboo mug. Apparently, once crushed, it is compost able but fuck only knows what horrific processes were required to make bamboo into a mug.

  • 🤗


    Any luck?


    I succumbed and bought new....I don't like them much but got wide fit that don't totally dork me out for less than £30.


    Fat feet are a bain. I see plenty of footwear I'd like but wide, wide feet mean it's usually £80 quid minimum for shoes and £120 for boots and none are styles that I'd like to wear.


    Effective motivation to fix and not throw though.

  • I like a wide-ish fit too, feet seem to have got bigger and wider as I get older. (Not everything does!).

    I bought a pair of Dickies safety boots last year online at ebay (10's), at only £20-odd quid, taking a bit of a chance on the fit, but they are quite roomy and wide, so okay if your feet swell in the heat, and good for thicker socks in winter, too.

    One of my pet hates is shoes etc with narrow toes - even some trainers have them!:cursing:

  • Yes, I have a couple of pairs of ex-army boots, nicely worn-in.

    One British pair which are excellent except for the heels and soles breaking up from the dreaded polyurethane rot. Can still wear them, but bits continue to fall off...

    The other pair are Austrian Army, a bit like classic fell-walking boots, but calf-length instead. Well-made, lined, with proper rubber heels and soles. Warm in Winter and very very warm in Summer, so mostly cold-weather wear. I have always preferred boots to shoes, generally.


    This time of year I wear trainers or sandals, depending on what I'm doing, and what sort of weather is going on. Trainers are the hardest to repair, as zendaze has pointed out.

  • I don't even like footwear and overall resent feeling/knowing that I have to use it.


    Easier to repair footwear than feet generally speaking I guess.


    I checked over my clarks wide fit work shoes and waterproofed boots after posting: both are separating from the edging welt because of my fat feet.


    I've glued them with uhu max repair but I'm miffed at the split and repair because from new both pairs felt wide enough.... The uppers have plenty of wear time left. The soles and upper to sole joints not so much.

  • Don't seem able to get even reasonable quality boots now without spending three figure sums. Last pair of boots I actually wore out are still being talked about now! Most just separate & end up being fuckin useless even though the leather uppers are usually still very good & most times the soles aren't even badly worn, just flapping about. Fed up buying sub standard footwear, surely a 50quid pair of leather boots should be expected to last more than 12 weeks for fucks sake?

  • So far as 'proper' boots are concerned I still tend to buy ex-army, but even there you have to be careful, because those with polyurethane soles & heels start to crumble underneath at 4 or 5 years, even if they have been in storage and never used. So German or Dutch or Scandinavian might be better, but take a good look at the specs and the reviews first. Anything with polyurethane soles & heels will disintegrate over a few years.


    Some years back workmen's boots were generally okay for a few years, but now many of these seem to be made of leather and cloth patchwork, even the safety varieties, and these can soon starting shredding the uppers in rough conditions, quite apart from many having polyurethane bottoms.

  • Hello again. I'm still in Cornwall, but on my own now and terrified of the future. Which is apparently a sensible thing to feel, but I prefer to try and do something.

    I've been doing volunteering at a local repair café, sponsored by the council. I sew and do clothing and textile repairs, 90% of my clothes are made by me or from charity shops. Other repairers do small electrics, computers, bikes. At the café, the person with the repair is shown how to do it, they don't just drop it off. "Teach a man to fish" or in my case, put in a zipper or hem trousers.

    If only I could find people as good at fixing things as in this thread, I'd be made up. We can't find enough repairers although it's only one day a month.



    Semi-related - some areas have had successful tool-sharing schemes, "tool libraries". I do understand keeping your own tools used regularly, but things only used a couple times a year, or for big one-off projects, should be shared if possible. Storage space and finding a monitor is hard but worth trying? I would definitely have donated one of my sewing machines to a tool library if there was one, I sold it for a tenner instead. :-(


    I'll dig up links on the repair café, to start your own, if there's any interest. I am really touched this site has been going on so long and with such good heart. <3

  • That's a great idea, Maragold.:thumbup:

    Up here (Northampton, East Midlands) we have what started out as a Men's Shed, and has now become, over a few years, a Community Shed.


    We do much the same sort of things you mention, like showing people how to repair things, a skill that seems to be lost or never taught in many younger people, who have grown up in a society that uses something until it goes wrong, then bins it and buys another.


    We have quite a number of lady members now, and an important factor here is that many women never learn anything like simple carpentry skills, or even wiring a plug, because in all their lifetime it is their partner who has been doing this. If the partner is a male, and dies earlier (often the case), the woman is left with very few DIY skills. This is something we try to remedy, and the gals are keen to learn.


    We encourage a friendly and inclusive atmosphere, and now have several semi-disabled people who have joined us. We have Stewards who keep an eye on things, give advice, and help set out jobs and distribute tools, and chat encouragingly with those who need it.


    Some of our members come in every week, and some only occasionally, when they can use - or get someone to use - the wood machines to cut pieces up quickly and efficiently, ready to take home and assemble. Not everyone has space and money for a big workshop or shed with machinery at home.


    Our local council is thinking of starting a 'repair cafe' locally, so we are looking at this with interest.

  • Sounds a great idea Maragold. Anything that saves on resources should be encouraged not to mention bringing people together too. Wish we had something like that round here, most of my clothes need some sort of repair! (Or possibly burning😝)

  • Cheers, kind people! I took wood shop in school (girls were not allowed to take metal shop in the mid 70s, grr), and also did technical theatre for ten years in pre-computer days, so I can manage saws and paint, wind cords properly, and know my epoxy from my gorilla snot. What I don't have is hand strength, I have teeny weeny fingers and with age, duff joints - my little Bosch electric screwdriver is my BFF. I don't even try to fix things anymore, because I can't get a safe grip, but I usually know what's wrong. And as we all noted, it's usually something minor!


    This is the Amsterdam model for repair cafés: https://repaircafe.org


    The Sheddies do good work, there was one just starting up in Reading about six years ago. Although I'm not supposed to run a business out of my flat, I don't think the landlord will be terribly fussed if I start taking in hemming and patching. Very scared about what Halloween might bring to my area, e.g. high food and utility prices. I'll need to use every skill I've got to stay afloat! :-)

  • I am the proud owner of a Renault Kangoo (popemobile) as my kids call it.

    It has an exhaust leak on the back box where it connects to the main pipe,i took it to Quick Fit for repair where I was told it's not a stock item because the car has been adapted it's a special they contacted the company that done the conversion to try to get a back box for me,the company have my contact details saying they would be in touch with a price if they have one.,so far no news.It seems crazy to scrap an otherwise perfectly good car because of a blow on the exhaust.

  • It has an exhaust leak on the back box where it connects to the main pipe,i took it to Quick Fit for repair...


    Firstly, avoid Kwik Fit like the plague.


    Try an independent garage, if its not totally rusted out they should be able to weld it up for you. Or find someone local with a mig set who would do it for a couple of beers.


    Or as a last resort, ive used screwfix high temperature flue sealant which comes in a silicone gun tube to repair exhausts before.


    https://www.screwfix.com/p/geo…ilicone-black-310ml/66373