Greek Goddess Of Glue

I have a new religion. I’ve spurned millennia of popular belief and fallen for the sister of Aphrodite: the plainer, but much more practical, Araldite.

My wife has a couple of pieces from the Demdaco Willow Tree ornament collection – one of them is the Sisters by Heart duo. If you follow the link notice that it is two figurines, designed so their hands nestle closely together when artistically arranged on your sideboard.

Anyway, Lucy decided our positioning wasn’t artistic enough and tried to add her input – this unfortunately snapped the hand of one of the sisters making things look pretty daft.

Snapped hand

So on to a repair job. I wasn’t sure what the figure was made from (it seemed to be some sort of plastic), so I sent an e-mail to their customer service department and got a quick response suggesting I should use an epoxy glue, rather than superglue (which wouldn’t stick) or polystyrene cement (which would just melt everything and cause more damage).

A trip to B&Q on Friday turned up trumps with some Araldite Rapid – a two-part epoxy resin adhesive that cures in 5 minutes. With some trepidation, tonight I began to glue.

I started with something easy – a fridge magnet where the front bit had separated from the magnet itself. I made up a quick batch (a pea-sized gloop of resin and hardener), mixed for 45 seconds, then applied sparingly to both surfaces. Being paranoid about sticking my fingers together, I held the magnet steady with a metal object (a pair of scissors) and put the two surfaces together and squeezed. Checking none had leaked out of the sides I held this for about 90 seconds and then put it down. What a good fix that was.

Now onto the main show. I mixed up another batch of glue and carefully applied a smidge to both the wrist and the hand, carefully lined things up and held it steady for about 2 minutes. Putting the ornament down gently and the hand had appeared to stick. Leaving that to cure for another 10 minutes, I came back and everything seems rock-solid.

Neat repair 

Now I think that repair looks pretty neat, don’t you? There is a slight ridge of adhesive which has leaked out around the joint, but nothing which is noticeable.

What is currently lacking is any indication of the scale of things here. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a small fibre on the arm in the first picture and deduced some sort of size from that. Well for reference, the photo below was taken with the figuring holding a 10p piece, giving you some idea of the size.

20090329_9743

 

Now that’s a repair I’m proud of – I’m in love.

Ust a Nimute!

Hurrah! I’ve got the keyboard fixed on my work laptop today.

When I’m working at home, Lucy often wants to come and say hello to me while I’m sitting in the kitchen. She likes to sit on my knee and watch me working on the computer. Unfortunately, she also likes to play with the keyboard.

Somehow, the other day she managed to flick the cap off the letter “J” on my keyboard. I’ve done this myself many times: if your nail gets caught underneath the key it can jump off. Normally quite easily fixed, but for some reason this time it broke one of the plastic mounting, rendering it unrepairable.

This meant that, while the ‘J’ key was functional, you touched the bare membrane underneath, rather than pressing a proper key. This was a bit of a pain, because one of the main passwords that I use several times a day at work contains a j character. I promptly changed that password, because it was becoming annoying to try and type quickly when you can’t even feel the key you’re pressing.

Normally my ThinkPad T42p would now be classed as beyond economic repair (it’s over 4 years old) and a new one would be ordered. Three or four years ago, I would have jumped at the chance of a new machine, but age has provided me with great wisdom and has demonstrated that shiny kit syndrome does not always pay dividends. I decided to try and hold out for a fix, otherwise I need to go through the pain of getting a whole new machine setup from scratch, not to mention the problems which had been reported with some of the newer laptops which were becoming standard issue.

Thankfully, one of the very kind people in our local tech support department managed to source a used keyboard from a dead machine and I fitted it myself in about 5 minutes. Three screws in the bottom, shove the keyboard at the top, pop it out and remove the ribbon cable. Swap keyboard, reverse the instructions and done.

The only problem is the type on the ‘N’ and ‘M’ keys are worn off, but that’s only a problem if you don’t know your way around a keyboard. Mow where’s that buttom for creating a mew post?

Single Protection at Double the Price

Every now and again, I get junk mail from Domestic & General about our Hotpoint kitchen appliances. D&G are the people who provide the maintenance contracts on everything in your kitchen – it’s what you end up with if you say yes to the “extended warranty” offer in Currys.

I’ve never bothered in the past, and certainly won’t in the future, given my out-laws’ recent experience. Their fridge failed and invoked the service, only to find themselves having to borrow a fridge from a neighbour while the service company sorted things out. For six weeks. Being without a fridge in 1932 was seen as normal. Being without a fridge in 2008 in just appalling.

Normally I just recognise the typeface and return address on the envelope and bin/recycle it immediately. For some reason, I’ve opened all three envelopes tonight to see what was in them. The first one was offering me protection on my “refrigeration unit”, which will cost £65 for the year.

No thanks.

Next envelope I opened, was offering me protection on my fridge freezer, which will cost £74 for the year.

Hang on a sec.

So what’s my “refrigeration unit” then if the second envelope was for the fridge freezer? We have Hotpoint pretty much throughout our kitchen: oven, hob, extractor hood, washing machine, and fridge freezer. We certainly don’t have more than one unit which provides refrigeration facilities though.

So what would happen if I just blindly sent off the card details without thinking? What would I get for the extra £74 a year?

Bugger

I’ve been driving for 13 years, driven over 100,000 miles and never hit anything (not even a kerbed alloy) – until today. It was in Winchester Brookes car park and I managed to scrape the rear wheel arch on one of their many concrete pillars.

I was trying to find a place where we can all get out of the car easily – obviously with Lucy in her car seat, it’s hard finding space to swing the door open anyway, but the Brookes car park is particularly narrow and the supporting concrete pillars are over a foot wide. I tried to expertly put the car into a space, only to find I ran out of talent and succumbed to a wheel arch which I only now realise actually flares.

Before

After some gentle rubbing with soap and water, I managed to establish things weren’t as bad as they initially looked, but it will still need some professional help.

After

That wash also only confirmed how scruffy the rest of the car is. 🙁