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Thread: Fixing Things

  1. #11
    Member SheepDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLatch View Post
    It's so ingrained in me I don't even think about it anymore to take note of special instances. I don't get emotional when things go wrong. Well mostly.
    My spouse gets upset by "things" all the time. To me, they're just things. We're the opposite when it comes to people. Kind of a running joke, the kind that never, ever, ever gets old...

    (And I agree. Garage door springs are scary.)

  2. #12
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I like fixing things. I've fixed my dishwasher a couple times. Pro-tip: watch for bits of loose plastic when loading a dishwasher. Twice now I've missed the tops from a couple otter pops and they clogged the outflow. Could have cost a pretty penny, but instead it was just a couple hours of my life with a satisfying payoff.

    There are three payoffs for me when fixing things:

    1. Money not wasted on repairs or replacement.

    2. The joy of accomplishment/learning.

    3. Feeling clever when I MacGuyver a solution together.

    I now have a turkey baster just for plumbing. I use it to suction blockages out of tubing (as with the aforementioned dishwasher), and I've used it to break up clogs in slow drains by putting baking soda on the clog, then using the baster to force vinegar into it. Granted, just pouring the vinegar in works too, even if there is standing water, but the baster works faster.

    And it's more entertaining.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  3. #13
    I like big buts Sir Caveat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    Do you enjoy tinkering with broken items?
    No. I'd prefer if things didn't break, or if they'd fix themselves. But that's not my world. Somebody needs to fix them or foot the bill for repair or replacement. That's me. Though a successful repair is often very satisfying.

    What was the last thing you repaired?
    I just fixed the apparently common problem of the broken attachment point for the microwave door latch spring .



    Do you have any noteworthy anecdotes of disasters etc while attempting to do so?
    I changed the oil in my car and forgot to put the plug back in the pan before adding new oil, resulting in oil running through the engine and on to my drive way. There must be be something more disastrous that I'm forgetting.

    I've stripped many screw heads and bolts; overtightened and broken brittle material; and dropped parts and tools in almost impossible places to access; all eliciting bouts of angry cursing like the father in "A Christmas Story" - seems the actor is mimicing the guttural sounds of German.



    EDIT: A mishap came to mind. When drilling holes in my wall to hang shelving I drilled into an electric wire resulting in sparks, a puff of black smoke, and the the need to repair the wire. I learned my lesson and now use a wire detector before drilling into walls.
    Last edited by Sir Caveat; 02-23-2016 at 01:00 AM.
    You hide behind caveats and modifiers. - Lurker

  4. #14
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I do enjoy tinkering with broken items, often it's simpler to do it myself than hiring it done. Figuring out how exactly how something works is the key for me and the fun part. Thus, simpler is better when it comes to devices and systems.

    Disaster wise, I was putting in a half bath once and drove a nail through a water line I'd just installed in the wall. F*k. The fix was a total kludge as well.

    I've noticed for a lot of fixing I end up working in a cramped space on my back trying to tighten/loosen/cut whatever something that I can't actually see in a place where my fingers barely fit. Happens all the damn time. My glasses are bifocalish so I have to hold my head just so, which never seems possible. I curse a lot in these situations and end up relying on sense of touch. I'm right handed and much of the time only the left hand can be used, that's gotten better since I switched to a left handed mouse a few years ago to help improve that hand's coordination (it was like a claw before).

    Our project at the moment is replacing the flooring in the kitchen (part of a slow motion remodel). This is only the second tiling job I've done and we're putting down travertine. For doing this we had to figure out the right thinset, spacing, trowel tooth size, grout, tile pattern (3 different sizes of tiles). Like the rest of the slow motion remodel, this is taking longer than expected but so far so good. It is daunting to me to do jobs like this because I know I'm going to fuck it up at least a little and there is always potential to fuck it up a lot. The internet is very helpful here, especially on weird forums where people actually talk about what seem like trivial details (like tile spacing).

  5. #15
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    I don't really like fixing things but I like paying other people to do it even less. Generally, if something can be fixed at my leisure, I'll fix it myself using tips gleaned from internet forums and youtube tutorials. If it's something I need working, like my car or a furnace, and I can't fix it in 10 minutes with the tools I have on hand, I'll hire someone who knows what they're doing. I used to get more into car repairs, but commuting here is bad enough with a working car, I refuse to go without.

  6. #16
    ..you don't know me LordLatch's Avatar
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    Sometimes it seems I only see broken things all day every day. I fix it and the people pay me to go away so I never see it working right long.
    Stand clear of the closing doors, please.

  7. #17
    Member Phreon's Avatar
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    I love fixing and tinkering; I've been doing it since I was four or five. I recently saved several hundred dollars having the gas dryer repaired. Figured out what the problem was, cross referenced the gas valve solenoids to a cheaper part and got my dryer working again for $11. I refuse to pay hundreds for a brake job I can do for $95 in parts. I've repaired my analog synths, build a pneumatic potato canon that was far too powerful to be fun, cobbled up a 900 MHz multi-element cubical quad antenna out of wire, cardboard and a stick when we couldn't find the directional Yagi the day we needed it (at work).

    It's probably why Ive felt bored and uninspired. Haven't built or tinkered in a long while. Which is stupid since both my bikes need work, I have a half built Van De Graaf, ham radio antenna that still needs to be installed, the darkroom is still unbuilt, electronics workbench a shambles, etc...

  8. #18
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Was proud on Tuesday when I figured out the broken dishwasher was caused by a loose connection in a difficult to access outlet inside a cabinet and fixed it. Funny how often it is something simple like that.

  9. #19
    singularity precursor Limes's Avatar
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    I used to enjoy it. I really wanted to start studying electronics as a young teen and would fuck around with a multi meter, trying to figure out the path of voltage and how the different components affected it.
    I actually started repairing Sega Game Gears for a software co called US Gold on the side and I've repaired my beloved Sinclair spectrum at least once.

    Eventually becoming a field service engineer was also probably the most gratifying job I've had. People were always happy to see you, sometimes women were flirty to the point that it was no doubt noticeably obvious and I probably got to work inside more big businesses than most people will ever go to and traveled to just about every town/region of England, NI, Scotland and Wales.
    As soon as things went modular, it was concerning, as I had trained to repair to component level. Eventually the component level turned into a FedEx, whole-box level, so the skill flushed out of the market overnight, to something around the mark of photo copy repair.
    Now, I can't even remember the last time I fixed something. Probably kids PCs. I fixed a Canon C3040 digital camera several years ago and got a lovely shock from the flash capacitors discharging onto my hand, that felt hot. I have a nice photo of myself looking tired but elated "it works!" after I put it back together and pushed the button facing myself.

  10. #20
    Member mthomps's Avatar
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    I make people pay me now if they want me to reinstall windows or run malwarebytes, except for my mother. She gets a pass. I get a good feeling when I fix my girlfriends car. At least on older cars like we drive, replacing things like alternators, belts, and battery cables is easy and saves you money.

    I hate fixing equipment for my hobbies. I feel inferior when I've had to take a tube amplifier out for service knowing I should already know or learn to do it myself. But there's only so much time in the day for play.

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