What have you crafted made or mended /yesteryear/today from old parts or given new life with new

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  • Its difficult nowadays to make or mend when its so easy to buy/shop/click and collect or have it delivered.


    I was in a funk but i had a perfect little job that been to do for ages, a customer wants a gate re hanging the stone built gate post has crumbled and the wall in crook was rotten.


    Now as i am a technophobe, most normal people would traipse to a garden center, or go to a weld shop,or buy one on amazon but i looked at rotten rusty wall in crook and wanted to see if i could mend it rather than buy some crap flown in from china or some poor labourer abroad.


    I took it to dads shed at home beat the rust off on an anvil and it was knackered, but i ground off the weld and hammered the crook out of the metal, i then got an old piece of scrap metal grinded it up, drilled a hole and welded it all together, a lot of messing about but it was satisfying.


    So maybe this seems utterly boring but has anyone done got and been satified with making something out of scrap/junk/waste and lets face it although i wasted two hours i havent made that amazon mogul a penny.


    So your junkyard highs

  • oh dear sounds tough, when your expected to sort equipment out with old scrap parts.


    Today was more of a laugh to see if i could still weld, and amazing i did four perfect welds, on a welder i bought 2 years ago at a sale for a tenner, its not got much power but it welds lovely. (usually its like a pigeons let rip)


    I ve found i try now to mend say an old tap for customers if there good quality, and serviceable, as i found i ve fitted cheap rubbish that i thought was ok, and there now failing cant believe it.


    If its old british or german its built well

  • I rescued an old alloy vintage B&D Workmate the other week, that a friend gave us when clearing a shed. It needed new top boards, as the - probably original - ply ones were falling to bits. A couple of bits of stout pallet wood cut to size did that part of the job, but the bench had two feet missing at the front, and two rusted-in feet at the back.


    So the O/H, who picks up anything useful in the street, miraculously found some dumped modern furniture with 4 stubby beech legs. These had screwed 8mm rods coming out of the centre, so I cut them down to a decent size, and two of them went through the stubs where the front legs were missing, and were locked in place with a wing nut and s/washer.

    Then I cut off the bench back feet, threaded the remaining rusted-in rods with a die to 8mm, welded a couple of 8mm nuts to little plates, and then screwed the plates to the tops of the new feet. These then spun on easily to the two back feet rods, and job's a good 'un!


    The result is a nice little bench I can store in the shed, and bring out to use in the yard and garden, without having to carry my heavy German Wolf bench down two flights of stairs!

  • dad was the best, he had a bosh drill we ve had at work for years its an 18v li ion battery type but its been knackered for at least 2 years,would only work in 1st gear and kept stopping. he took it apart and now it goes not to bad at all, i was going to get him one from lidl glad i didnt the one he has is far better.

  • Last week I found some old metal-clad electric 1-way SP switched sockets that had been chucked out by someone modernising. They were quite old, some wired together with red/black/green to make 2-way switches on bits of board. (Not done very well, as no switch had the metal case earthed!).

    I cleaned them up and repainted the outsides in silver hammer paint.

    Then I re-wired singles and doubles, mounted on new boards, to HD flexible cable for use as portable leads. All were leak tested before use, of course, as you do.


    Yes, I could have just bought a couple of cheap plastic 2 or 3-ways for £10 or so, but we're trying to recycle here, aren't we?:D

  • Interesting topic to learn, I learned some in evening classes while doing courses on desktop computer repair and maintenance, way back in the 1990's. (The coming thing then, old hat now that everyone has iPhones and very small notebooks).

    In those days you could replace duff components on motherboards by unsoldering them and soldering new ones in. (Motherboards in those days cost ££ hundreds). These days if a notebook plays up it often isn't worth repairing, unless it's your own one, of course. Even then, there's only a few repairs you can make yourself.

    Electronics is a very wide field covering scores of specialties, so probably best to do a basic course or two first to get a broad view, then decide which area you want to study further.

  • I left school to become a underground electrician (nothing cagey, a coal mining electrician) within a year 1982/3 I had surpassed most of the qualified electricians working at the colliery with knowledge of modern electronics. They knew all about cables and switch types. Buzz bars and dangerous voltages, all the heavy stuff, etc. But it was a time of change. On the job diagnostics were becoming redundant. Instead of working out the problem and fixing/bodged job. It was locate panel remove “Slot in circuit board” and place It in a envelope. Send upstairs for replacement. At 18 I went to night school every Wednesday, to learn about computers and the interaction with us humans on the job.


    It’s never too late to learn something, but it takes a lifetime with electronics to learn enough to cover all bases.

  • Still off topic, i guess but always wanted to learn electronics/circuit boards, worst thing i ever did was drop electronics for woodwork..ffs, as in science i was good in 3rd year at basic electronics, all forgotten now, even later at college students where sniffy about electronics, prefering mechanical/ systems, cogs and welding and the electrics side was lacking, now i bet its a lot more electrics.electronics.


    i ve looked online and there is basics on open uni, but would interesting to do maybe evening classes, or something part time.

  • I fixed my telescopic shears. A spring inside the grip broke so I had to forge a new spring from scratch using spring steel wire, pliers and a torch.

    In case someone cares, and very summarily, here's my quick howto about forging springs:

    1. cut a length of spring steel wire of appropriate size
    2. heat it until red and let cool off slowly. This will allow you to bend it with ease removing all the quenching
    3. now give shape to your spring, apply heat as needed. If you're manufacturing a helical spring you can use a low rpm drill to roll up the coils over a bar of the right thickness.
    4. time to give the piece full quenching: bring it to red heat and cool it down quickly in cold water. At this point the piece is VERY fragile (don't try and bend it, will promptly break)
    5. now take some sandpaper and clean the piece: it is essential to the last step. It must come out very shiny. The cleaner, the easier your task
    6. this is the tricky part: apply heat again, but this time bring the steel to the BLUE colour (first turns yellow, then blue) and DON'T let it turn red. Try to apply equal heat to all the piece at once and work in good lighting. As soon as it turns to a deep dark blue, quench it in cold water. The spring has now regained its elasticity: if it breaks, you screwed up this last step. Oil or grease the piece to prevent rust and put it to work.

    This way one can spare a lot of money. Spring steel is cheap while spare parts are usually crazy expensive, if available, and the same applies to professional fixers.

    Salute, o Satana, / O ribellione,
    O forza vindice / De la ragione !


    (G.Carducci)



    The post was edited 1 time, last by cangaceiro ().

  • I had a friend years ago called Pat, ( I hope he is still alive).

    Anyway he always was messing around with electrical stuff and one fine day decided to get on and fix the washing machine his wife had bemoaned for many weeks would not run. There was a piece of the cover missing on the top. Instead of leaning over and wiggling it out. He naturally put his hand inside at the front and tugged on it.

    He don't remember much else. But whatever he did touch was bare, DC and live.

    AC throws you, DC holds you.

    And the DC high voltage did quite a good job of chewing through his hand. He does not remember much, just coming round on the floor and in agony after the old farm electrics finally tripped out. I was always double careful about DC and especially capacitors after that.

  • the main electrical training teacher where i did my plumbing training had blown his hand off, with high powered electrics, (dont know how he did it) he had it stitched back on it looked weird like a plastic hand, the reason was i think he had no feeling of hot and cold and i think he burnt his hand on a cooker or something and his misus had put a bag of frozen pees on it while he slept, or something, not wrapping it in a towel, and then he got frostbite in it.


    Weird thing was he was a sensible bloke it just sounded like aa disaster area though.

  • I blew the cutter blades off of my mates favourite electricians pliers. We were wiring up a ring main power supply in a farmhouse we lived in. My mate was making off the ends of the 2.5mm twin & earth cable before screwing into a double plug socket. My mate shouted for me to isolate the power supply. Which I did. An old cast iron isolator which also threw the power supply to the redundant dairy and outbuildings. I was yards away from him when the pliers “exploded.” He looked at me with death in his eyes. He wasn’t the sort of electrician to use his teeth to strip wire insulation luckily. On later inspection of the main power isolator. Clearly marked “ON. OFF”. The design required the large operating lever to be pulled down - then pushed back wards, way past the OFF symbol.


    My fault. Me bad. This is often the way we learn on the “job.” :whistle:

  • Your mate should still have tested after you had told him you had switched off....

    We were taught this as absolutely essential, especially because in some places, like old buildings, there may be several different isolator units for different circuits, some of them not always obvious.

  • Your mate should still have tested after you had told him you had switched off....

    We were taught this as absolutely essential, especially because in some places, like old buildings, there may be several different isolator units for different circuits, some of them not always obvious.

    True but we were restoring this farm building/s. This was in the final stages of refit. we knew well where and what the supply system was By this time.
    weeks later (after whitewashing the consumer unit/power room walls) I shouted my mate as the old turning wheel type electric meter fell off the wall in my hands. The locating screws which were fitted from the rear of a ply board sheet on the wall had rotted away. The meter was dangling on ancient tails. My mate told me to “hold still” he noticed the wheel didn’t turn when the meter was horizontal. But the lights were still on! Oh fk he said “ we just got free electricity” I was living there for two further years. He stayed much longer. We had a system where we ran the clock to give say a £20 quarterly electricity meter reading bill, then hung/suspended the meter off of a metal bracket and chain. Whe heated our farmhouse kitchen with the 4 rings of the electric cooker. Lights, heating, and woodwork shop/business running on free electricity. Score.!

  • it’s highly illegal to tamper with meters. Once sealed, access to the mounting screws can’t be got at usually.


    I wouldn’t do it these days unless in a squat and babysitting a grow room or two. :D

    Those seals turn out to be surprisingly easy to get hold of! I wanted a couple for my main fuse and meter when i rewired my house, guy gave me a bag full. Used 2, kept a couple and sold the rest on for a tidy profit 😁

  • sure, but back in the 1980’s you needed to know a domestic supply electrician in order to get hold of them. No ebay back then. We were both mining electricians and we certainly didn’t come by them through work. Same goes for gas meter seals.


    I’ve still got a few PAT test labels for portable electrical equipment. Handy if I want to charge my 10years old electric wheelchair up at festivals etc Using site electrical supply.

  • gas meters are the easiest ,aslong as you have some spare washers incase they split .its allways good to have a spare gas meter that you robbed from another property .lol,aslong as you remember that when changing a gas meter ,that you have to purge the air out the pipework ,usually through a gas cooker ring