So far, 2016 has proven itself so far, a year I could finally make much needed repairs to some of my personal things, that needed repair or fixing in one manor or another. Many of which I've waited for nearly a decade to have the chance to do so. Namely because I didn't have the space to either work on them or more importantly, have a dedicated place needed to in which to ship parts to.

That changed this year in part. I finally had a place I could get parts ship to, and a tiny area to work on them. This allowed me to work on new projects, as well as old, to complete some things I started years back or refused to toss out because I knew I could easily fix them once I had the chance.

And there is something to be said about the sense of accomplishment when you do finally make that repair, or replace that part and what was once was a broken item sitting on the shelf, is now a functional item or tool or what ever.

Personally, I don't want to have to fix things all the time. I'd much rather be able to use them with out issue. But when I do, and they work, I get a sense of enjoyment out of it really. And the opportunity to finally be able to work on them, enjoyable as well. Relaxing for the most part.

Some of the things I was able to fix are:

My Kenmore Blue Magic Vacuum which I happen to like as a vacuum. I got it free. There's a place in town that about every 6 months with out fail they would  toss out a vacuum, buy another and 6 months later, toss out that one, buy another... and so on. As well as a dozen or so other places and people that wouldn't fix the vacuum, they'd toss it out and leave it on the curb. Which I thought was ridiculous, especially once an associated made me an offer for one of the vacuums I fixed, which I thought was too much and he pointed out the price of new ones. Seriously vacuums cost that much?!?Why?... at any rate... I found it silly to toss out a vacuum that could be easily fixed and given to someone that could use one for dirt cheap. (pun intended)

So I picked them up, and fixed them. Most were so simple to repair. I'd clean them and sell them for next to nothing.  Heck, I didn't want them, I had no use for a vacuum. But I did get to try them all out.

While most sounded like a shop vac or worse. The Kenmore was quiet, small. It's a little canister vacuum. I liked it, so I kept it for myself. But it was missing a part. It's been over ten years... and all it needed was the small plastic handle part to hold the bag in place. And a spring. I finally got one a month ago and made that repair.  I went through everything on it. Cleaned it up and now I have a great little vacuum. I still don't have a use for it right now, but hey, when I do. I have one that I like and... it works great!

Remember when every one was jumping into digital and selling off all their Pro Photography gear on the cheap. Being a poor boy I took advantage of that, and picked up several film cameras. From Medium format to 4x5 of various kinds. Some Pro, others novice, while others still I just liked how they looked. I redid the seals in many, including the RB67.

Love to shoot film and digital. They both have their merits. I even picked up a small developer station. After a while I wanted a scanner, namely the Epson v4990 since it has a full size transparency area. Couldn't find one used or afford a new one. Those that had one, weren't turning loose of them at the time.

CompUSA had a display model of a Epson v500 for sale for what I felt was a pretty good price. I couldn't scan my 4x5's, but could scan my 35mm and MF. However, the display model was missing everything, The main scanner was all there was. No AC adapter or film holders or manual or software. Just the scanner by itself. And it was unknown if it even worked. I thought... well I can fix that!

That was over ten years ago... it's been sitting waiting, as I was, for the chance to get the parts for it. In fairness to myself, did order an AC adapter once, but it never got delivered thanx to some idiots. Which that whole escapade ended up being what could be a blog post story/event in itself... but I'll spare the idiots involved the embarrassment of disclosure for now.

Fast forward to a last week... I have all the parts now! Plugged it in, connected it to my laptop and it works! It really works! And I have two of each type film holders to go with it.

So I can now finally scan in my film and slides in, as well as a couple old Lantern Slides I bought just because i'd never seen one before. But the point is, is, it's fixed! Finally.

Granted newer better scanners are out there, even ones that will do as I originally wanted. But for now... I'm happy and can't wait to use it.

This also means I'll probably start shooting again now that I have a means to scan it in directly. I love shooting with my RB 67, I really do. The photographs are phenomenal when they come out right. That is, if I can even remember how. There is a learning curve to shooting manual, let alone film or slide. We'll see...

I also managed to get all my outdoor gear re-waterproofed with some high great waterproofing agent. That may not seem like much to you the reader, but that's a chore in unto itself. But it's done.

You may already have read about my Scout X4 project which was something new this year.

That was something that took some doing since I didn't know anything about quads really, let alone one this advanced. That was a hair puller from time to time I will admit. But, I got the GCS finally working this month, and replaced one of the gimbal arms last week. One more gimbal arm and she's like new again.

The Geeetech I3 Pro B 3D printer... completely taken apart and rebuilt works like a charm.

Though I love my printer, I'll just say for the record, Don't buy Geeetech. If you didn't buy direct they want nothing to do with you. They don't back up their products. Made worse the fact they'll try and lie their way out of fixing, replacing or even sending missing parts. Especially if you purchased from one of their retailers. Even their retailers/resellers don't want to deal with them any more. Just saying....

At any rate... I fixed it. And it does work nicely.

I finally got a chance to fix a 24inch HD monitor I bought a couple years back as well. It was missing the stand. I found another stand that could hold it and after drilling a couple holes in the stand... wha la! One 24 inch HD monitor with stand I can now use in combination with my other 24inch HD monitor for Dual Monitor action... Not 4k, but, I don't have a computer yet. lol

I finally put together to a Hot Foam Cutter for the power supply I made a couple years back for just that purpose. Another small project but a project just the same completed this year so far.

Something else I've waited a looong time to repair were my Monsoon Planar 9 Desktop Speakers.

The controller ruined by a careless room mate I loaned them to the first week of ownership, I simply boxed them up, stuck them in storage till now. Having received my Hot Air Work Station, this gave me the opportunity to not only test out the station, but repair my Planar 9's. And man, they sound as good as I remember them! They really do sound good!

Another set of speakers I repaired was a Samsung HW-F550 2:1 Sound Bar I picked up at Goodwill this year pretty cheap.

It required a new DC barrel connector in the main bar as well as a number of other items such as a the remote, the wall mount, and AC adapter.

Though the replacement parts were a little more than I planned on spending on them. The people over at Samsung parts were really nice in helping me get the correct part not only for the repair, but all that should have come with it originally.

I have to say, it's extremely well made from what I saw of the interior. Even the wires are insulated with foam to prevent vibration noise. It's very compact inside. And I don't know what they used to solder the components but what should have been a 5 minute quick and easy rework to remove and replace the barrel connector took me over an hour. I couldn't melt whatever solder they used. Even setting my hot air to 420°C! But... I eventually got it out and the new one installed and....
It sounds great as well.

Another item I picked up at Goodwill was a little 4 cup Cuisinart Coffee maker. For a 4 cup coffee maker this thing is expensive new. Almost $40! It had been allowed to rust and pit the warming plate. The pot was just ugly. As was the inside of the water fill area.

I'll tell yah, I'd hate to see whoever's house this thing came out of that it was donated by if this is any indicator of their life style. It was freaking nasty! What came out of the water holding area was gross!

It was in such bad condition that the sales clerk looked at it and me and asked if I was sure that I wanted that one. They had others the same size in better condition. And reminded me if it didn't work, I could bring it back for store credit. Yeah... It was pretty bad.

But I had tested it to see if it would heat up and work while in the store. And I knew I could bring it back to life. And I did just that.... See...

I chose to use Silver HT Paint in resurfacing the warming plate itself. It was black... I like the contrast of the silver plate against the black. Plus, with silver, you can see better for cleaning drips or spills that inadvertently happen onto the plate.

Overall, my little Cuisinart 4 cupper cleaned up real nice. Though it took a bit of work it was worth it in my opinion. A little TLC and and paint is all it needed.

I've only used it once since reconditioning it and making this post but I'm happy I decided to get it and refurbish this one over others I had a choice of. I like the auto shut off after 30 minutes, and the Coffee pot is like a little thermos. It really does keep the coffee hot for a while after the machine turns off.

If you're planning on doing this kind of restoration. Be mindful of a couple things. There's a very small and somewhat fragile silicone seal inside between the plate and the body of the coffee maker. Don't break it and make sure you get it back in the groove properly. Also make sure to reapply the thermal paste on the heating element. And most important.

...If using Rust-Oleum Ultra High Temp Paint. Do not waste your time by trying out your new painted warming plate prior to letting the paint cure several days and heating it several times. Or you may find you'll have to redo your paint job. Others have stated they waited 24hrs, I waited 36hrs and the paint still stuck to the coffee pot. And after repainting it once more waited 7 days and it still stuck. After calling Rust-Oleum their tech support assured me, this was not suppose to happen and offered me a refund. I have seen a video claiming you must bake it, again Rust-Oleum stated this was untrue and said it should have been well cured after 7 days.

That said... I went the route of getting a small piece of 14 gauge 316 SS sheeting. A 6"x6" piece was plenty big enough. Cut a circle, installed it and now it is better than new.

And while I was at it, I picked up a few more Coffee makers and made various repairs to them as well. These include a Mr. Coffee DR-X5 4 cup programmable, another Cuisinart, the Extreme Brew DCC-2750 and a Keurig Vue V700.

The Keurig Vue V700 pictured above is pretty cool and has plenty of features I like as a coffee maker on a whole. Though I must say the little single serve pods for these type coffee makers are not cost effective if you like coffee. Even the reusable pods are insanely overpriced for what they are. Still, this type coffee maker has its merits. They all do really. If I could combine all the features I like into one unit, I'd have the perfect coffee maker.

Another item I've been waiting quite a while to fix is my AIE 300 Impulse Heat sealer made by American International Electric.

It's like new now all the OEM parts are installed. And I even have spare OEM parts to boot. I really like Impulse Heat Sealers. I think they are an indispensable tool to have. I think everyone should have one of these... everywhere! Every office, Parts house, Hobbyist, Housewife, Husband, Man, Woman and even child should have ready access to an Impulse Heat Sealer. They're just handy to have.

Think the last time you bought something in a baggy that didn't have a zip lock on it and you only needed one out of it... Now you have to find something to put the other ones in. Or tape it closed and hope none escape out of the little hole left. No worries with an Impulse Heat sealer. Just walk over, seal it up again. Takes just a second or two. And if careful when you open it, you can keep resealing quite a number of times.

Or how about you have a bunch of small items or something you just want in a poly bag. Or the Zip Lock on a Ziploc baggy won't zip after a few open and closes. Answer -  Impulse Heat Sealer! Two seconds - done and sealed.

This isn't a vacuum sealer but the heat sealing process is the same. And AIE is a good brand. They've made this same model for decades. I always have use for one. Always.

Enough said... go get one! Even a small one. You'll wonder how you ever made it with out it. You'll cut down on poly bags tossed in the trash once the seal is opened which helps the environment. And it's a green tool. No energy is used till you actually trigger the heat seal.
And if you like, you can get Poly bags in umteen different sizes. Go buy one, be happy!


There have been other fixes and repairs and mods to things I did this year as well. It's been a joy if nothing else to finally say they are working again or been made better than new.  Even if just an added part completes what's needed in using the item and getting it to be a functional item, there's some joy to be had. What was once possibly ready for the trash, now something that can be used again. And by just taking care of it properly, used for several years to come.

With all this fixing came the need for additional tools. And after getting several, I'm now I'm better prepared to fix even more stuff! Though I'll be honest... I'm not eager to add on a bunch of new projects. I'd like to take the time to enjoy what I've completed thus far. Many of which not only have a learning curve I need to go through. I don't want to just use them, I want to master them! With the exception of the vacuum of ! I think I've got how that works.

Many will remain to some degree a continual work in progress. As such is a hobby I suppose...

In looking around me at some of these projects now completed and boxes of forgotten contents. The need for more space now that things have been repaired is definitely an issue that needs addressing. I need to spread out a little in order to be able to use them let alone enjoy them. I'm quite literally doing all the work on my projects, including typing this blog post out in a 6 foot by 4 foot area. Which is home to a 4x2 foot table and a chair. The table, which is home to my 3D printer and some stack-able drawers that have parts and tools in, leaving me little to no room to work on! With everything once completed, being carefully stacked around me. Yes..., I can certainly see the need for more room... lol

I certainly hope you enjoyed my babble this post... it's been a while since I just babbled about nothing.

-  If you yourself finally fixed something you've been working on, or repaired something that has been sitting on a shelf or in storage just begging to be repaired. And you finally were able to get around to fixing it this year and it works again. Post your accomplishment in the comments. A link to a picture or video of it if you like.

Most of all, feel good that you did good in doing so.
Great job!

Till next time...
Keep being creative and thinking outside the box,

- chase -

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