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If you can't fix it with a hammer and a roll of duck tape, it's not worth fixing at all, my old mate said minutes before that nasty business with the hammer and a roll of duck tape. Tell us of McGyver-like repairs and whether they were a brilliant success or a health and safety nightmare.

(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 11:58)
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what do you do if you knock a bowl of your housemate's leftover pasta out of the fridge?
pick up all the individual pieces of pasta, put them BACK in the bowl, put the bowl in the kitchen, leave a massive red stain on the floor and recount the experience to said housemate (now hungry and slightly homicidal) as a funny anecdote
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:44, 2 replies)
New mo'bike, new course
Well, 15 year old Kwak Z400 twin, and a 3 month 'training for work' C&G which, I was informed, was only to get me off the dole figures. Still, didn't have to sign on for 3 months so almost felt like I'd got my life back!

The bike had 'character' meaning it was worn out and needed a lot of attention, but was very satisfying once tweaked up. A mate had sold it to me for buttons, the day before I needed it.

My course started first thing (10am) monday morning, and was about 15 miles away. Thankfully I left early. Sitting at some lights on the A30, I heard a muffled 'splut' and the engine started impersonating a sinking ship. Looking down, I saw one of my spark plugs hanging from its HT lead, lying next to the hole that it was supposed to be firmly screwed into. Oh.

Off I got. Grabbing a plug spanner from my trusty bag of rusty old tools, I tried putting the plug back in. It wouldn't tighten up, the thread on the cylinder head had been stripped. Double Oh!

Undeterred, I cast my mind and eyes about until I saw a cherry coke can in a bush. Using some wire cutters, I snipped out a little rectangle of coke can, and rolled it around the spark plug threads so they were just about covered. I stuffed the whole lot into the hole and fuck me it went tight!

With the theme music from the A-team playing in my head, I threw everything back on the bike and headed off. About 5 miles later it went Spluff! again but i reasoned that the theory was sound so I made another shim with my cherry coke can (thinking of it like Tom Hanks thought about his football in Castaway) and that one lasted over 100 miles, getting me to college and back every day until i got it properly fixed.

And the rest is history.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:36, Reply)
Kettle of Death!
In order to plug the microwave, the kettle, the toaster, and the coffee machine in in the tiny office kitchen, we had a 4 plug ganger. The problem was, it wasn't attached to anything and sort of hung in space against the wall, suspended from the various cables running in different directions.

This was a bit dangerous, as accidentally snagging it would likely pull the kettle off the work surface onto the person making tea

First of all, we duct taped it flush against the wall, but it got knocked free. Then we put the kettle on top of the microwave, so the ganger hung down by the microwave and was slightly out of the way. This looked equally cumbersome. Something had to be done.

We called the maintenance guy. He turned up, had a look at it, then simply unplugged the kettle, pulled the microwave out, revealing 2 wall sockets no one had ever noticed, and plugged the kettle into one of them.

Then he looked at us like we were idiots, and walked out. He was kind of right.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:17, 3 replies)
DUCT TAPE.
IT'S. CALLED. DUCT. TAPE.

I don't know why people saying duck tape annoys me so much, but it does.

I once fixed a chillum with some blue tac. Do not try this at home kids. It turns out inhaling blue tac fumes makes you choke and be unable to breath for a good minute.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:11, 33 replies)
Train
My parents recently found my 30+ year old train set in the loft and I took it home. The train didn't work so without much hope I took it to bits to see if anything was obviously wrong. Of course as soon as I opened it all the bits fell out. So I put them together as well as I could and replaced a broken v-shaped springy bit with a paper clip and fuck me it worked.

However, having just admitted I played with a train set at the age of 37 I'll get my coat.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:03, 5 replies)
Wasps...
Last summer we found a wasp nest above our bedroom window, leading up through some random (aerial?) holes in the wood and brick. The nest appeared to be in the loft. It appeared quite sizeable, giving the sheer amount of wasps around - they would on occasion be hundreds of the little buggers crawling around the window. Council wanted 50 quid to get rid of it. I thought 'sod that' and devised my own plan.

Aquarium air hose: free. I have fish tanks, and lots of it.
Bumper sized can of wasp spray: 99p from 99p shop!

Pulled the lid off the can, modified it using the attachments for lighter fluid cans, taped on the aquarium hose, fed it up through the hole in the wall. And sprayed. The whole damn 500ml can. Stung once when first inserting the hose, but remained sting free throughout the spraying. Wasp nest gone. Total cost: 99p and a single wasp sting. Saving me 49.01.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:02, 1 reply)
not spam, promise. I just love the stuff.
This stuff is really useful. it can sit in a draw and you will never know why you might need it but when you do my god its brilliant.

sugru.com/
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 9:34, 20 replies)
Everything's getting worse
I recently need a bit of stout wire for a bodge job, and like a million times before, thought “I know what’d be perfect for that, a bit of wire coat hanger” had a quick look in the wardrobe…and nothing. Not a single wire coat hanger, my dry cleaner uses plastic ones.

How the fuck is this country going to continue any semblance of normality if we don’t have wire coat hangers on standby. First Concord, then the space shuttle, now this.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 9:27, 6 replies)
improvised security
A guy I know had his fuel nicked from his car by someone cutting the fuel line and draining the tank. (It was an old car). He referred to the culprits as fucking cunty shit cunts, replaced the line and thought that was that.

A week or so later, it happened again. This time it was fucking bastard cunty cunting arseholes. He replaced the line once more, but this time mixed a load of swarf and metal turnings with evostick and painted it on.

A week later or so, he went out in the morning and noticed blood under his car and a trail of splashes leading off up the road and across the field.

Sometimes you need to supplement a cheap car alarm.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 8:56, 6 replies)
Defacing the Queen
I've got one of those 5 ring cookers, the ones with a wok burner in the middle. This burner has 2 caps: a big ring for the outer flame, and a small one less than an inch across for the centre flame.

We lost the small one, and when I found out it would cost SIXTY EARTH POUNDS to replace, I decided to improvise. So I defaced a £2 coin thus: measure for the locator groove on the underside by comparing the studs on the burner, and then clamp the £2 into my mate's lathe and score the groove in with a tungsten bit. Because I'm of a republican bent, and also because the £2 is a handsome coin, I gouged through Her Maj's face.

Sorted, as long as I don't get nicked for treason. And the copper means the flames are pretty.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 8:15, 9 replies)
I love fixing stuff
Whenever my daughter asked if I could fix one of her toys I'd always say "I can fix anything".

One day my girl turned up at the front door with a friend clutching a broken doll. "Can you fix this please daddy?". I could have, but I was busy and just one my way out, so I gave it a quick look and said "sorry no, it can't be fixed" and headed off.

It wasn't til I was a mile away that I replayed the incident in my head and saw the look of disappointment on the girls faces, particularly my daughter's. I was no longer the 'dad who could fix anything' and never would be again..... :(
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 7:39, 4 replies)
My stepdad used to keep a rubber band in the glovebox
"In case we need to stop the car from falling apart." He was dead serious too.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 6:04, 1 reply)
The Buick Clamp
I made a nice entertainment center of found timber and driftwood. Because the materials were unusual, and I wanted maximum strength, I opted to both mortise and glue the joints before drilling and pinning.

The problem was, I don't have clamps large enogh to hold everything in place. So I set the assembly on the floor of the garage, and drove my Buick onto it as a clamp.

I call it "coarse woodworking".
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 2:20, 4 replies)
The Shame.
I was invited to a party by a record producer.

There were supermodels and lots of drugs.

My own car had been clamped so I had to drive there in a Honda Civic.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 2:01, Reply)
Knobs
We have a barbeque with round knobs on the front. But after many years of use, they have all broken at the back. We’ve bought the cheap ones at the local ‘ardware store, but they break at the turn of a knob, and the original ones are quite costly. Currently, we’re using a pair of pliers to turn the burners on and off.
Any suggestions?
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 1:56, 19 replies)
Chaos Theory
I think I was about 14 at he time when there was a bit of a mini craze for CB radios in my school, in that I knew about about 5 other people that had them, so I thought I should get one too. The problem was they were quite expensive and I had very little money.
However, fortune shone on me one day when I heard a guy in one of my classes was selling one for £5 or £10, which if I just scrounged cigs behind the bike sheds, rather than buying them, I could probably scrape together in short order

It turns out that he was selling it cheap as he didn’t have the ac adaptor for it, so it sat around in my room while he was supposedly searching for it. I got tired of waiting for him to find it, so in a moment of what can only be desribed as pure genius, I decided to wire it directly to a plug, sans adaptor, figuring that if I didn’t work, or on the slight chance that I blew it up, I could return it, saying it was useless without the adaptor.

You’re probably thinking, I know how this is going to end and/or what a silly twat, but wait, it gets better.

Already resigned to the fact that it wouldn’t work but forging ahead anyway, I figured I’d save myself the very few seconds it would’ve taken me to screw the back of the plug on, because I was only going to have to take it back off again, so I left it off.

I should mention that the power sockets in my room didn’t have switches, so they were always live. So, when the fateful moment came when I pushed the plug into the socket, the palm of my hand touching pretty much everything inside the plug, I was met by a big blue flash, quite a sizeable bang and a pain in my arm never experienced before. I’m not sure how far I was thrown, but given the size of my room, it couldn’t have been far.

The pain, disorientation and the fact that my watch was showing a few minutes later had me convinced I had discovered the secrets of time travel.
Despite this knowledge I never persued quantum physics, worm holes and chaos theory, deciding it was best to leave that to the “other” men in white coats.

I’m pretty sure I havn’t done anything that stupid since, but I’m sure I’ve come close.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 0:08, 2 replies)
Inventive
I don't know if they count as bodges, but I fix problems in odd ways.

I made an aquarium snail trap out of a kinder egg by poking it full of holes with a hot needle.

In our last flat I fixed all the door catches (they didn't stay shut) by padding them out with cardboard.

I mended my husband's wing mirror with fimo (although it didn't survive the car wash).

When I was 16 I installed a second dimmer switch in my bedroom using an elaborate and indiscreet pulley system.

I reheeled my boots, re-sewed the zips and glued the buckles back on so many times that towards the end they were held together with superglue and hope.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 0:00, Reply)
all these stories are bullshit
fucking liars
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 23:21, 12 replies)
Hm.

-Current halls of residence: We're not allowed posters on their cheap white plaster walls. Obviously, we ignore this rule. The problem is that the plaster flakes off, leaving grey patches. So every year, before inspection, every single student will smear over the grey patches with white tac.
This leads to the problem of putting your poster up in a new room and having the terrifying experience of the entire wall coming unstuck from itself and apparently attaching itself to the back of the poster.

-When learning how to draw with charcoal I ran out of art supplies, so I burned some incense sticks and drew with them. I had to keep setting them on fire to keep the burned bits coming. Fire+paper=not good.

-My grandad once tried to make "cheaper" reeds for my mum's clarinet playing... out of pine. This is like making a guitar string out of dental floss.

-In high school we had a drum kit snare so often repaired with tape that the actual drum skin had completely disintegrated under it. When you hit it, it went "dooomp...th"
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 22:26, 7 replies)
Rats
I get rats (an old house). Found they were coming in through a gap in the kitchen floor. So I shoved a tea towel in the gap. Job done!
No.
Tea towel is not a good rat keeper-outer, however stuffed in it is. So for some reason I emptied a can of febreeze in to the gap and covered it with stones. No vermin since. I think it was the spray what did it.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 22:18, 6 replies)
Windscreen wiper linnkage
Wiper linkage to spindle type piece that wiper blade is attached to breaks. Wipers flapping around like insane Italan traffic controllers.
Genuine replacement part £230.
You can't just buy the linkages, have to buy the whole lot with motor and everything.
£230 Fuck that !
One tube of Araldite and a jubilee clip, about a fiver.
Two hours and a piece of string (to hold everything in place while the araldite sets) later.
Windscreen wipers better than brand new.
£225 beer tokens in credit to me.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 22:15, Reply)
A school trip.
Wavy lines to 1980. A coach driver I know had taken a school party over to France. On the journey back to Calais he found he had a fuel leak. Rather than risk missing the ferry he bought a load of chewing gum, got the kids chewing away and using that to plug the leak made it home.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 21:42, 1 reply)
My last motorbike....
The glass in the speedometer had shattered, so I placed the plastic lid from some 'Johnsons cotton buds' over it, and wrapped electrical tape around it. Job done, and lasted 2 years before I finally fixed it properly prior to selling the bike.
The same bike also had a piece of wiring from the AC lead of a kettle in the ignition system for almost the same length of time, due to the original wire splitting. This too was fixed properly due to being sold.
The current bike is well on it's way to being called a 'rat' bike, it was a cheap £400 from ebay that needed work..and all the work so far has been bodges. Mechanically sound, but it looks like a heap of shite. The only new parts were the handlebars (existing ones were bent due to an accident, which was why I got it so cheaply :P) and a new battery (the old one died last week due to the cold)
Actually with the new battery it's running better than at any point since I have owned it..so the old one had obviously been under par for some time!
I've finally sourced a side panel to cover the side that's been missing one since I got it too...alas a different colour, I think I'll just spray it black and do the same with the existing one to make them match...
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 20:56, 6 replies)
Curtains...
...when we moved to our latest abode, we found that the bedroom to be occupied by our infant son had a curtain rail but no rail ends, thus making closing the curtains an exciting and precarious adventure. Off we went to B&Q to purchase some curtain rail ends....

...Have you seen how much curtain rail ends cost these days? Shit the bed, they're only supposed to stop the curtains falling off!

so instead we bought two hose clamps at about 50p each; they work a dream, and it's not like the baby really gave a shit about the curtains anyway.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 20:36, 2 replies)
Full speed ahead, captain
I have a kit car, which means sunny summer sunday breakdowns are not so much commonplace as compulsory. One time, it was a snapped throttle cable, and I had popped out with next to no tools. Everything on the car is pretty basic and exposed, so I could straight away see it had snapped off right where it connected to the carbs. After some rummaging around, I managed to come up with an electrical block connector. Removing the plastic cover, I was able to use it to bridge the snapped cable without shortening it, effecting a temporary repair worthy of McGyver.

It was alright at first, on the slow roads, but when I got on the duel carriage way it all went horribly wrong. The bodge got hooked up in this hoop thing on the carb and jammed the throttle wide open and sent me screaming off down the road like a mad idiot.

Luckily, what with it being a duel carriage way and the car all made up of old technology, I just let it go until I found some space, put it in neutral, turned the engine off and coasted into a side road. I unhooked the cable, then sat for a minute while all the traffic I had just roared past at an indecent speed ambled by.

Then I crept home. I may have slunk a bit too.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 20:14, 7 replies)
Not me but my dad
My old man briefly had a catering van which was stored overnight in the garden. In order to keep the fridge/freezer running it required an electricity supply.

The solution came thusly:

www.vendingbox.net/viewprod_0d26e844-2347-a0cb-6980-813f11a33835_2711

Ran through a vent-brick-dealy in the wall to a plug socket in the kitchen and then connected using the correct type of outdoor plug. Fantastic.

My dad then fitted a security light to the house in order to protect the catering van (how??). This is where the trouble starts.

Rather than fitting a switch inside the house, and running the cable through the wall and to the light, he chose to smash open the above linky’d outdoor plug (because it is already outside) take his power supply from inside and run the cable to the light.

But that was absolutely fine, because he then filled the gaping hole with silicone…..

Don’t worry, the house was knocked down.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 20:06, 2 replies)
A friend of mine
recently took a job with the BBC. they were quite cagey at the interview, they wouldn't tell him very much at all except to ask him if he liked working with animals and if he was allergic to vegetables. a strange combination, thought my friend, though he needed the work and the BBC needed the staff, the previous post holder having resigned somewhat abruptly to say the least by all accounts.

It turned out he'd got Bodger's job.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 20:05, 6 replies)
building a golf course in an afternoon
I worked at a mine in the western australian desert. The head of the earth moving contractors, a great fat bastard like most of his ilk, had a certain aversion to capsicum. he hated the stuff but the caterers continued to serve it in their one item menus. the head caterer liked golf, so he struck a deal with him. If he stopped putting capsicum in the food he'd build him a golf course on the next shift change. true to his word, using the diggers, dozers and graders at his disposal, along with a complete disregard for environmental protection, built an 18 hole golf course in an afternoon, hacked out of the bush. It wasn't a bad one either. the greens were termite mounds they'd crushed and rolled, the bunkers had proper sand, and the tee-off areas were raised platforms. everything except grass, really. One hole ran along the edge of a 500m deep open pit, a hazard if ever there was one. We only had one set of clubs for the first week until the plane came, which I managed to fuck up. after we lost the balls, I took to hitting lumps of quartz and buckled a few of them. the mine closed a few years ago, the second time the place had become a ghost town.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 19:53, Reply)
I ordered some specialist flourescent lights for my kitchen
They are similar to photographic lighting in that they have the same spectrum as daylight so don't alter the colours in photos (unlike standard household lighting which gives a red or blue hue). I wanted them so that I could photograph my metal detecting finds in the kitchen without needing to point a lamp at them (too much shadow) or wait until daylight (a bit of a pain in December if you have a job). They duly arrived:


I assume that they wouldn't fit into a particular space so some bright spark decided to fold them in half. It took 3 attempts before I got a delivery in one piece. The second delivery looked OK but rattled. The third was strapped to a plank of wood and buried in a six inch deep wrap of bubble.

Having finally got them, I installed them only to find that the flourescent lamp starter thingery was on the blink and buggered (for want of a better word) one of the tubes within days. "Fuck it" I muttered to myself as I bought a bog standard replacement tube in B&Q.

The lighting gods do not want me to have "daylight balance" in my kitchen*.

*Ignore the postcode as I've moved twice since so no longer my kitchen.
(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 19:27, 6 replies)

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