If you have a Bissell carpet cleaner that won’t spray, the heater core might be clogged up. Start removing screws and parts (you can probably find a video on YouTube for your model) until you find a rectangular metal part with wires and hoses connected. For this model it turned out I didn’t need to take the handle pieces apart.
After you remove the wires and hoses, you should be able to pull the heater core out.
Then you can pop off the cover and clean out the inside. I should have taken a picture of the junk that was caked in the channels, but this is what it looked like after I did a quick cleaning.
Then comes the fun part of trying to fit everything back together. 🙂 I had to do it twice because I didn’t route some of the hoses properly. The unit works again though!
My brother gave me this reel, which I think he got from an estate sale.
My garage only has an outlet on the wall by the house and one in the ceiling by the garage door opener, so this will come in handy as a quick way to get power anywhere in the garage. There really wasn’t much to restoring it. I cleaned it up, gave it some paint, and put a new grounding cord outlet on it.
I love bringing things like this back to life because we’ve become too quick to discard things. Taking stuff apart also allows me to learn. I’ve often wondered how the wiring worked in a retractable mechanism like this. It’s pretty cool. I bet if I took apart my small wet/dry floor vacuum, the retractable cord in there would be built similar to this. Now I’m curious how retractable air hoses work!
There’s always a risk of breaking something when taking it apart though and that’s exactly what happened to me. The spring snapped when I would it up in the wrong direction. I was able to fix it by cutting the spring, drilling a new hole, and using a nail as a rivet. Hopefully it lasts.
I put everything back together and hung it in the garage.
I have a 3-tier dumbbell rack, which works well, except for one key piece of the design. The lips that hold the top of each dumbbell aren’t really tall enough for the heavier dumbbells. Here’s a rough video showing the problem.
A 50 pound dumbbell only has to slip once or twice smashing your fingers on the bottom bracket before it’s time to come up with a fix. My solution was to cut a couple strips of plywood, notch them out to mate up with the the current lip, drill some holes, and bolt it together.
Didn’t need much extra height really. Here’s another rough video showing the improvement.
I also added a shelf for the smaller dumbbells because all of my sets don’t fit on the rack. I left space for two remaining pairs; the eights to match everything in my set from five to 40 pounds and some 60s (ordered today).
I glued and screwed two pieces of 3/4″ plywood together. Then I found the center of the block, center punched it to make drilling easy later, and drew a circle to match the size of the working wheel.
On the band saw I cut close to the line.
Then I took it over to the disc sander and sanded right up to the line.
On the drill press I made a hole the center with a bit slightly larger than the trash bin’s shaft.
Time for a test fit. It was perfect!
Back over to the sander, where I added a chamfer to the edges.
Sprayed a couple of coats of paint.
Then I used epoxy to attach a washer to each side of my wheel, which would sort of act as bearings.
The final step was to find something to hold the wheel on the shaft. In one of my junk boxes I found a plastic piece, which fit on the shaft after using a file to make the hole a little larger. I used more epoxy to attach this to the shaft.
I’m not sure how the plywood will hold up to the rain and snow, but I’m sure I’ll find out over the next few months.
One end of the cable on this cheap charger had worn out to the point where it would only work if held in the exact right position. Or so I thought. After a little rewiring and heat-shrink tubing I found out that it’s actually something on the inside portion of the connector. I’ll have to see if I can open up the case.
This is the entry feed roller I took out of Dad’s Craftsman 351.233831 Planer. Looks like the wood pieces took the name “feed roller” quite literal and were chewing on it! Pretty sure this wasn’t safe, so glad to be replacing it before giving the machine back to him.
My Dad got an old Craftsman 351.233831 Planer (manual) from one of his friends for $75 after it stopped working.
When turning it on the motor would hum for a second and then the breaker (or power strip) would trip. He left the machine with me to fix. The motor shaft wouldn’t turn at all so I had to take a bunch of the machine apart (and cut the belt off) to get the motor out. I ended up using a screwdriver and hammer against the fan to free up the motor. It didn’t want to move, but slowly some hardened gunk broke up and the shaft was spinning. Since I had it in pieces I cleaned out the gear box and applied new grease to the gears.
That’s not what the title of this post is about. Since I had the machine I thought it would be nice to build some dust collection for it; these machines create one hell of a mess. Here’s a step by step of the dust collection build.
I think it turned out pretty good and the paint is a nice touch. I might have to paint the one on my Delta dust collector.
After putting the new belt on and testing it out I noticed the feed rollers were in really bad shape so ordered a new set. The machine is an absolute beast, so I mounted it on one of the Harbor Freight stands, made a plywood base for the bottom, and put on some castors.
I still need to figure out how to replace the feed rollers and will swap out some of the knives that are nicked up. Then it should be running like a brand new planer! It’s cool to see my Dad getting excited about a new hobby; he already has a bunch of pallets collected to tear apart.
My Mom’s bedroom lamp was malfunctioning so I told her to send it down with my Dad and I’d take a look at it.
The lamp uses a very common TA-306A touch control unit and the BT134 thyristor on the board often gets fried. I think this might have been my bedroom lamp when I lived with my parents 20 years ago, so there is no sense buying parts for it. I replaced the touch controls with a switch I salvaged from a different lamp.
WordPress has properly redirected posts when you change the slug for a long time. For example, earlier this month I published a post a day earlier than planned. I forgot to change the date I was using in the post’s title though, so the original URL was:
Notice link-dump-2018-01-05 there, but the publish date was 2018/01/04. When I corrected the post’s title and updated the post slug, WordPress saved the info and properly redirected that URL to the new one:
Now imagine the date a post is published is important to your site though or some scenario where you change the date of a post after it’s already out there on the Internet. My example above is a little confusing for this since I’m also using a date in the post title. Continuing with it though, what if I really wanted the post to be associated with January 5th as the publish date (and I had left the title the same as it was originally)? The post’s new URL would be:
Which is fine right? Not quite. All of the links already pointing to the original URL that had /2018/01/04/ would be broken and 404. There was a WordPress bug ticket opened about this 7 years ago! Well, as of yesterday, with the WordPress 4.9.3 Maintenance Release, this issue finally has a fix. When you change the date of a published post, WordPress will save meta data so it can properly redirect the old date’s URL to the new one. 💥💥
Big thanks to Gary for helping me with this fix. It’s been years since I received props in a WordPress release and I need to make sure the next isn’t so far away.
It was late in 2016 when I started getting into electronics and this summer I started buying more tools and converted most of my basement into a workshop. Here’s a recap of my 2017 posts related to making or fixing things.
Wow, I did a lot of experimenting, failing, learning, and accomplishing in my “free time” last year! 2018 should be even better when I combine the new skills I’m acquiring with my list of project ideas.