Posts Tagged Repairs

Taylor Kitchen Thermometer Dial Cover

Fortunately, it didn’t fall off into the roasting pan:

Taylor meat thermometer - cover failure

Taylor meat thermometer – cover failure

The lens slides right out of that nicely curved and crimped housing, the rim ID of which should be slightly smaller than the lens OD. But it ain’t and I definitely can’t crimp it any further.

Three small dabs of clear epoxy and it should be good forever more…

It’s a simpler replacement for the digital thermometer, when continuous monitoring isn’t needed. I thought it’d be more durable, but … no.

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Cast Iron Pan Electrolysis Stripping

Our cast iron pans need seasoning, so I decided to start with full-metal-jacket electrolysis stripping, rather than soaking them in oven cleaner / smogging the kitchen with the self-cleaning oven / actually doing any work. The electrolysis setup involves the big battery charger and a bucket of sodium carbonate solution:

Cast iron pan electrolysis - setup

Cast iron pan electrolysis – setup

Although the charger has a 40 A capacity, the small pan bubbles along merrily at a self-limited 7 A:

Cast iron pan electrolysis - bucket

Cast iron pan electrolysis – bucket

The anode is a big sheet of steel that was once an EMI shield in a big PC case. The side facing the pan corroded very quickly, but the outside remains in good shape and I think it’ll suffice for the medium and large pans.

After two hours, only the crustiest bits of the crust remained:

Cast iron pan electrolysis - 2 hours

Cast iron pan electrolysis – 2 hours

Those flakes fell right off after a few pokes from my demolition scraper; definite anticlimax, that.

Another hour in the tank cleaned the handle and removed a few other spots; it now sports a layer of flash rust that’ll require another pass after I strip the other two pans…


Miniblind Cord Caps

After smashing one of the cord pulls between the sash and the frame:

Miniblind cord caps - installed

Miniblind cord caps – installed

The glittery PETG looks surprisingly good in the sunlight that will eventually change it into dullness. The black flecks come from optical effects in the plastic, not the usual burned PETG snot.

The solid model is basically a hull around two “spheres”, truncated on top & bottom:

Miniblind cord cap - solid model

Miniblind cord cap – solid model

The interior has a taper to accommodate the knot, but they’re chunky little gadgets:

Miniblind cord cap - solid model - bottom

Miniblind cord cap – solid model – bottom

I thought the facets came out nicely, even if they’re mostly invisible in the picture.

Each pull should build separately to improve the surface finish, so I arranged five copies in sequence from front to back:

Miniblind cord cap - 5 sequential - Slic3r preview

Miniblind cord cap – 5 sequential – Slic3r preview

If you’re using an M2, the fans hanging off the front of the filament drive housing might come a bit too close for comfort, so rotate ’em upward and out of the way.

If you remove the interior features and flip ’em upside down, they’d work well in Spiral Vase mode. You’d have to manually drill the top hole, though, because a hole through the model produces two shells.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:



Epson R380 Printer: Resetting the Waste Ink Counter Again

The Epson R380 printer never gets turned off, so it rarely has a chance to complain. After a powerdown due to refreshing the UPS batteries, it lit up with the dreaded “Service required. Visit your friendly Epson repair center” message that indicates you should just throw the printer out, because replacing the internal ink absorber mats / draining the internal tank is, mmm, economically infeasible when you pay somebody else to do it.

Having done this before, though, it’s almost easy…

  • Pop a PC with a Windows partition off the to-be-recycled stack
  • Boot System Rescue CD
  • Back up the partition to a junk hard drive, just for practice
  • Copy the subdirectory of sketchy utilities to the Windows drive
  • Boot Windows (with no network connection)
  • Run sketchy utility to reset the ink counter
  • Boot SRC, restore partition
  • Return hard drive & PC to their respective piles
  • Declare victory and move on

This time, a sketchy utility that resembled the Official Epson Reset Program actually reset something and the printer started up normally. As before, however, the saved MBR didn’t match the on-disk MBR, suggesting that either I don’t understand how to save / restore the MBR or that something once again meddled with the MBR in between the backup and the restore.

I’ve emptied the waste ink tank maybe three times since the last reset: plenty of ink down the drain. Fortunately, I loves me some good continuous-flow ink supply action…

Sheesh & similar remarks.

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Kenmore Progressive Vacuum Tool Adapters: First Failure

I picked up a horsehair dust brush from eBay as a lightweight substitute for the Electrolux aluminum ball, discovered that an adapter I’d already made fit perfectly, did the happy dance, and printed one for the brush. That worked perfectly for half a year, whereupon:

Dust Brush Adapter - broken parts

Dust Brush Adapter – broken parts

It broke about where I expected, along the layer lines at the cross section where the snout joins the fitting. You can see the three perimeter shells I hoped would strengthen the part:

Dust Brush Adapter - layer separation

Dust Brush Adapter – layer separation

That has the usual 15% 3D Honeycomb infill, although there’s not a lot area for infill.

There’s obviously a stress concentration there and making the wall somewhat thicker (to get more plastic-to-plastic area) might suffice. I’m not convinced the layer bonding would be good enough, even with more wall area, to resist the stress; that’s pretty much a textbook example of how & where 3D printed parts fail.

That cross section should look like this:

Dust Brush Adapter - Snout infill - Slic3r preview

Dust Brush Adapter – Snout infill – Slic3r preview

Anyhow, I buttered the snout’s broken end with JB Kwik epoxy, aligned the parts, and clamped them overnight:

Dust Brush Adapter - clamping

Dust Brush Adapter – clamping

The source code now has a separate solid model for the dust brush featuring a slightly shorter snout; if when the epoxy fails, we’ll see how that changes the results. I could add ribs and suchlike along the outside, none of which seem worth the effort right now. Fairing the joint between those two straight sections would achieve the same end, with even more effort, because OpenSCAD.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:


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Michelin Protek Max Tubes

Within the space of four days, we had three rear-tire flats:

  • A tire liner wear-through, after which I didn’t replace the liner
  • Four miles later, a blowout through a tread gash previously covered by the tire liner
  • A puncture flat directly through the tread

Basically, erosion from the (last remaining, I think) liner in the rear tire of Mary’s bike caused the first flat; I patched the tube and didn’t notice the gash. After the blowout, I patched the tube again, booted the gash (with a snippet from a roll of PET bottle plastic I carry around for exactly that purpose), stuck an ordinary patch atop the boot to cover its edges, and the whole mess has held air just fine for the last week. I’m reluctant to mess with success.

Not having a tire liner caused the third flat, this time on my bike. The wound looked like a nail or glass shard punched directly through the Kevlar armor behind the tread. Fortunately, it happened (or, more exactly, I realized I had a flat) half a mile from home, so I fired a CO2 cartridge into the tube and pedaled like crazy, which got me halfway to the goal and I rolled the rest of the way on a dead-flat tire.

Ya can’t win.

So I picked up a pair of Michelin Protek Max tubes, the weirdest things I’ve ever stuffed into a bike tire:

Michelin Protek Max Tube - carton

Michelin Protek Max Tube – carton

The bumps along the tread surface are much larger and uglier than shown in that picture:

Michelin Protek Max tube

Michelin Protek Max tube

The rubber forming the protrusions has the same thickness as the rest of the tube, so you’re looking at soft, flexible shapes, rather than thick bumps.

The “liquid” inside must be a thin film over the inner surface. I’ve never been a big fan of tire sealants, mostly because they’re reputed to ooze to the bottom of the tire into off-balance puddles.

For future reference, the Official Quasi-Instruction Manual / Blurb (clicky for more dots):

Michelin Protek Max Tube - instructions

Michelin Protek Max Tube – instructions

We’ll see how well these work…



BOB Yak Fender Fracture: Fixed

We agreed that repairing the failed flag ferrule made the trailer much quieter, but it still seemed far more rattly than we remembered. It just had to be the fender, somehow, and eventually this appeared:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - fractures

BOB Yak Fender Mount – fractures

The obviously missing piece of the fender fell out in my hand; the similar chunk just beyond the wire arch fell out after I took the pictures. Yes, the wire has indented the fender.

The arch supports the aluminum fender, with a pair of (flat) steel plates clamping the wire to the fender:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - screw plates and pads

BOB Yak Fender Mount – screw plates and pads

The cardboard scraps show I fixed a rattle in the distant past.

Being aluminum, the fender can’t have a replacement piece brazed in place and, given the compound curves, I wasn’t up for the requisite fancy sheet metal work.

Instead, a bit of math produces a pair of shapes:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - solid model

BOB Yak Fender Mount – solid model

In this case, we know the curve radii, so the chord equation gives the depth of the curve across the (known) width & length of the plates; the maximum of those values sets the additional thickness required for the plates. The curves turn out to be rather steep, given the usual layer thickness and plate sizes, which gives them a weird angular look that absolutely doesn’t matter when pressed firmly against the fender:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - Slic3r preview

BOB Yak Fender Mount – Slic3r preview

The computations required to fit Hilbert Curve surface infill into those small exposed areas took basically forever; given that nobody will ever see them, I used the traditional linear infill pattern. A 15% 3D Honeycomb interior infill turned them into rigid parts.

The notch in the outer plate (top left, seen notch-side-down) accommodates the support wire:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - outer

BOB Yak Fender Mount – outer

The upper surface would look better with chamfered edges, but that’s in the nature of fine tuning. That part must print with its top surface downward: an unsupported (shallow) chamfer would produce horrible surface finish and life is too short for fussing with support. Given the surrounding rust & dings, worrying about aesthetics seems bootless.

The original screws weren’t quite long enough to reach through the plastic plates, so I dipped into my shiny-new assortment of stainless steel socket head cap screws. Although the (uncut) M5x16 screws seem to protrude dangerously far from the inner plate, there’s another inch of air between those screws and the tire tread:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - inner

BOB Yak Fender Mount – inner

Given the increase in bearing area, that part of the fender shouldn’t fracture for another decade or two.

I loves me my M2 3D printer …

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

The original dimension measurement and design doodle:

BOB Yak Fender Mount - doodles

BOB Yak Fender Mount – doodles