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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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Every tool is a hammer!
(except for screwdrivers, they're chisels.)
(, Sun 13 Mar 2011, 16:30, Reply)
Largest Duct tape job ever?
Me and the mrs GTA travelled around Australia in a keenascampers campervan for 6 weeks. On the last leg home, we were gonna camp near sydney. It was a slightly damp day and as we were driving i saw blue lights coming up behind us. I indicated and slowed to a stop. 15 seconds later we were rammed at the back by the new South Wales fire department which caved the whole back end of the bus. It still drove though!

We were escorted to the nearest town where i bought a temporary tailbar with the lights. but....we still had 2 hours to sydney. it was a whit van, so we bought 3 rolls of white duct tape and created a 'false rear' of the van and drove without a hitch into the capital.

When we got back to the hire place, the aussie in charge said it was the most impressive van repair he had ever seen and took many photos.

I uttered the party line. If it cant be fixed with tape, it cant be fixed.
(, Sun 13 Mar 2011, 16:14, 1 reply)
The bodged projector we named the "iTard".
I'm a cheapskate; I have no problem admitting it. I use servers and computer stuff salvaged from skips. That also makes me a bin raider and hoarder. I can't walk past a skip without delving in and sometimes I'll hawk my finds online and sometimes Iíll manufacture and bodge something. This is a tale of one such time.

I had a laptop that was a complete write off. I'd inherited it from someone else. The motherboard had a crack down the middle and there was no screen, having been torn clean off. The first stage was to get this working. Using my autism to great effect and invoking my rain man style soldering skills, the machine was soon working having been screwed to a piece of plastic and the keyboard DUCT-taped to the thing. As it came with a Vista OEM licence (befitting the time) that was transferred to another machine and the hard drive went with it. Enter fellow b3tan epicsnail and his knowledge of Linux distro's and in a flash, the thing was running from a memory stick, with an external monitor. The LCD monitor I had was itself another bodged contraption, and we wondered if this was stripped down and placed onto an old style overhead projector, would it project the image. Within minutes, I was on the phone to the primary schools in my area. I figured that with the advent of interactive white boards, at least one would have one going spare. Turns out the second school I rang were only too willing to help. That afternoon, the projector, and trolley were in my dining room and the LCD was placed over the top having been ripped away from the casing and back-screen. The contraption booted up and projected perfectly. It took a few minor alterations what with being backwards, out of focus and upside down, but we got there in the end. We strung up a bed sheet in my living room and experimented watching films, streaming videos from the server and joining in with pron films!

The project got a little out of hand after that Iíll confess. Custom boot screens, decals and permanent marker designs. We even went for an Apple style proprietary power supply design that involved a power cable made of a three pin plug at each end!
Not wanting to be accused of failing to keeping up with the latest technology, the next stage is the development of 3D. The broad plan is to build another one, find a source video with that has the left eye on the left and the right on the right. Then, using some sort of extended desktop arrangement, display the two images simultaneously and project through some sort of polarising filter and wearing glasses.

I know we took pictures, i'm trying to find a couple to post up.
(, Sun 13 Mar 2011, 14:09, 6 replies)
If it moves when it shouldnt
Then fuck it and eat it

If it doesnt move and it should

Then fuck it and eat it


Anyway when I bought my last house I was wandering around surveying my new kingdom. Deciding to put some stuff in the built in cupboards, I opened the door and it fell off in my hand.
It had been held on with sellotape.
(, Sun 13 Mar 2011, 10:24, 5 replies)
My house
.. is a DIY disaster. The people who lived here before had the enthusiasm - unfortunately not backed by the talent.

To date I have found the following:

Living room door too narrow for the hole, by about 2"
Kitchen units not attached to anything - if you pull out a drawer they overbalance and fall over.
Kitchen work surfaces just balancing on the units.
Kitchen plumbing is that cheap grey stuff you get from Wickes. The joints are only pushed together.
Kitchen plug sockets all wonky.
Downstairs toilet door only able to be locked from the outside with a MASSIVE hook and eye arrangement.
Utility room plug sockets (three of them) all wonky. One hanging off the wall.
Very amateurish and cheap laminate flooring in the hall. None of the edging strips fitted properly, so they move around and fall off with the slightest movement.
All the door frames in the house are crooked, the worst one has one side at least an inch and a half higher than the other.
Replacement bathroom "fitted" by them - again with the cheap crap pipes. The pipe feeding hot water to the basin kinked and only let a dribble of water pass through. The bath panel about half an inch too narrow, so it gapes away from the top of the bath.
Plug sockets in two of the bedrooms hanging off the wall.
Far too many shelves welded to the walls with a combination of screws and No More Nails or whatever the stuff is called.

To top it all, when we moved in we found that all the curtain rails had been removed.

These people need to be lined up against a wall and shot.



Edit: and my contribution to the bodge job that is this house - keeping the living room door shut with an old towel wrapped around the handles to wedge it closed.
(, Sun 13 Mar 2011, 4:37, 9 replies)
Just remembered this one
About 5 houses ago, I was sat in my kitchen looking at my double doors and thinking to myself that something looked wrong. Took me a couple of days to figure that the people who owned the house before me and who 'did up' the house hung the double doors, upside down.

The stripey forrest green paper in the lounge was wonkey, and the conservatory was something that my insurance company wouldn't touch with a long sharp stick.

Never trust a builder's job, when they are or aren't builders.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 23:53, 4 replies)
A cross between indoor lighting and a combination lock.
My flat is structurally sound and generally satisfactory, but the lights on the landing and above the front door have been wired up very oddly.

There are three switches that control these lights. Out of all eight possible combinations, the only ones that will turn on the lights are off-off-on, or on-on-on. No other combinations will work.

I can't even work out how the builder(s) managed that - it's either a spectactular bodge or a cryptic work of genius.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 21:12, 15 replies)
Few years ago, we drilled through a cable high up in the kitchen wall and blew the electrics.
When we reset the meter everything came back on so we shrugged and forgot about it.

Recently when I was decorating I first filled all the small holes in the walls, as you do, including that one. The filler blew out of the hole, tripping the electrics. I reset the meter and refilled the hole, thinking it was one I'd missed.

This happened another few times before I cottoned on. A hint was that when I turned away after slapping on the wallpaper, the hole blew out again, BANG! in my ear'ole.

This time I had a look at it. Blue sparks, fizzing sounds - hmmm. Called the electrician/b3tan nephew, who shot straight round and sucked his teeth at it.

He repaired the cable by mounting a socket over it so that I can have my radio on top of the cupboard. That's what I wanted all along, of course. Yeah.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 20:36, 4 replies)
Where I live, the lectricks are tricksy.
There is a switch in my bedroom, about a foot above the skirting board, in the middle of the wall, which serves no apparent purpose.

The light in the boiler room can't be turned on unless the light for the downstairs bathroom is on.

Sometimes, the power goes out for no apparent reason. My housemate has blamed the following before calling an electrician: the new Waitrose, the new Nursing home, the damp weather, straightening irons (even though they are never in use when the lights go out), the night time and various combinations of oven/washing machine/toaster being on at the same time. When the lectrician came, apparently the trip switch was faulty, and we had been sitting in darkness needlessly for hours at a time.

In the course of the power going out, said housemate, has randomly elected various sockets in the house dangerous, covering them over with red and white "fragile" tape.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 17:59, Reply)
My house.....
to turn on the fan/lights in the conservatory, you must first turn on a switch upstairs in my bedroom. There is a wire plugged into a socket in my son's room that just appears out of the wall at skirting board height... no idea what that powers. A light in the utility room appears to have no means of turning it on whatsoever, there are no switches, and ditto the outside light..

Yes the previous owner was a proper Billy Bodgit.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 16:56, 1 reply)
Alternatively
If it moves and it shouldn't, slather it with WD-40 until the greasy residue drips from its surface like the blend of half-evaporated snakebite, puke and KY jelly that congeals on your thighs when you wake up on a Saturday morning in a strange bed. The shame will freeze the offending object to the spot.

If it doesn't move and it should, capture enough ducks to surround the object entirely and tie them together loosely around the object using heavy-duty adhesive tape. The circular downdraft created by the angry flapping of a flock of mallards will blast the object from all sides and create a vortex of momentum (harnessing the power of duck-duct tape) and before long the object will be wrenched from its moorings. Or possibly moorhens.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 14:13, 8 replies)

Many moons ago, I had an ancient, rusting 1000cc BMW bike, with rotting twin exhausts. Off for a weekend of alcohol-fuelled debauchery in the middle of nowhere at a mate's. Nearly there, then the end of one of the rotting exhaust pipes disintegrated and fell off. Arrived with bike sounding like a pneumatic drill. Mate looks at exhaust, strokes beard, disappears into garage. Much drilling and hammering ensues, then he emerges with a Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney pudding tin with a hole cut in the base and three holes drilled around the rim. Coats with inner of the tin with exhaust paste, this then slides perfectly over the jagged end of the exhaust, drills thro the three holes into the pipe, then screws tin to pipe. I started the bike, sounded like normal, all good. It was still on, with the writing clearly visible, when I took the bike for its MOT 6 months later, and it passed. The tester told me he'd only passed it mainly because of the hilarity it had caused at the testing centre, altho it was apparently techically legal.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 12:52, 1 reply)

If you can't fix it with a hammer, then it is an electrical problem.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 12:48, 1 reply)
Hard Drives! Power! Fail! Resuscitation! Phew!
I have about 1.5TB of photo files on several FireWire HDDs. A couple of weeks ago, 2 of them (very un-cheap LaCie drives, too) suffered failure of their power supplies.

FuckFuckFuckFuc thinks I. 5 years of work down the shitter.

After I stopped panicking, I pulled the drives apart. Internal IDE. No sweat. Although SATA would have been easier.

I have a very old FW400 HDD enclosure. So I swap one of the newer drives into the enclosure. The drive mounts up, all good so far. So I go to copy files across to a spare internal HDD. Gets to about 50MB, then a disk error.

FuckFuckFuckFuckFucketyFuckFuckFuckFuck

So, after my sphincter stops puckering, and I start thinking of panicked plan Bs, I start to reason: Well, the old enclosure is very old. It only had an 80GB drive in there before. Maybe the firmware in that enclosure doesn't recognise drives much larger (the ones I was trying to transfer are 250GB and 320GB).

So in the end, I had a flash of divine inspiration: The power supply is the only thing totally fucked in the new enclosures. So I reconnected the drives to their original drive enclosure data ribbons, and the power supply from the old HDD enclosure.

Hey, Presto! It worked, and I was able to copy all my files across.

If someone replies and tells me how to post pics, I'll post a pic of the ugly frankendrive I created.

And yes, I understand I'm a numpty for not having some form of backup plan in case of this very sort of thing.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 11:29, 5 replies)
The Bodge repairman's code
There are only two things you need to fix anything, Gaffer Tape and WD-40.

If it moves and it shouldn't, use the Gaff.

If it doesn't move and it's supposed to, use the WD.


That is all
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 11:00, 15 replies)
Wiring and weetabix
Wife once asked for me to put up a coat rack.
I duly started drilling with an old handdrill and managed to drill through the earth and live wires embedded in the wall.

BANG, off the chair I went. When I recovered I found the drill welded to the wires in the wall and the main fuse blown.
One quick call to the leccy people who told me "£65 for each 15 minutes it takes to fix" followed by my "Feck off you money grabbing bastards."
So I made sure the electric was off, chisled out th plaster with an old screwdriver, wrapped electrical tape round the two wires and hey presto it all worked again.

Slight problem, no plaster, no money.
So I made up my favourite breakfast cereal, weetabix 3 tablespoons of sugar and warm milk. Only this time I only used a little milk.
Spooned it into the hole in the wall and it set like cement.
Bit of paint the next day andno problems with it 20 years later.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 10:07, 6 replies)
An old friend...
Many years ago I had a mate who owned one of the worst cars ever produced. This was a Citroen Visa. The 1970s equivalent of a 2CV with a similar engine and less styling.

Now his uncle had replaced said engine with the 4 cylinder block from an AX but apart from that the car was a total bodge job.

The clutch was so badly fucked it was smoother to just change gear without it. In fact, it was possible to go up the box with your foot on the throttle flat out. Like the worst F1 car ever. As a result of this, the gearbox was so mashed up that to put it in reverse you had to literally put the gear stick horizontal between the seats, no word of a lie.

The fuel gauge didn't work. Which left us in the middle of a main road junction at rush hour, pushing the damn thing.

The starter motor failed one day and for some reason he pushed bits of blue tack into it... which worked.! Don't ask me how but it did.

One of our other friends used to drive a Pug 309 which was so prone to overheating he used to have to leave the heater on. Full. During a summer notorious for high air temperatures. It was like climbing into an arson attack.

And finally, when fitting 6x9 speakers into the back of another friends Fiat Panda (don't even ask) we had no where to attach them until we found we could screw them into the body support frames next to the back seat. I swear they functioned more to hold the car together than to allow sound to issue forth.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 10:01, 5 replies)
Longest lasting bodge ever
In 1976 I moved in with my girlfriend. We didn't have a lot of money as she was fresh out of university and looking for work and my job at Pye Records wasn't that well paid.

The handle fell of a saucepan and I couldn't afford a new one until next pay day. So I cut the end off a mop handle, drilled a series of holes to form a slot. Next I mixed up some Araldite and rammed the tong of the original handle firmly in the slot.

The saucepan is still going strong today!
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 8:56, 1 reply)
Godzilla
He missed Tokyo.
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 7:50, Reply)
Picture the scene...
On a boat at sea in some rather atrocious weather the captain emerges from his cabin and addresses us;
"Guys, the toilet seat has broken again. Do something about it will you."
The Captain departs.
We look at each other.
"I'll go." He says...

Less than five minutes later...
"Job done."




(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 7:33, 2 replies)
if Stella did cable repairs..
I was supposed to be taking part in a 25man raid in world of warcraft and for some reason I decided to move things around on my desk and have a bit of a tidy just before we were due to start. When I plugged the monitor back in there was no picture, I took the lead out again and had a look ...one of the prongs on the DVI plug had pulled out and it wouldn't stay back in place. So I drained my beer grabbed some scissors cut out a new prong and stuffed it in the vacant hole. When I plugged the cable in it...sort of worked. THe screen was all green ARSE! I unplugged made a new prong of a doubled thickness of Stella can roughed up with an emery board. Plugged it back in and TADA! it worked and it's still there.

I must get round to getting that new cable
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 7:23, Reply)
Titanic...
...Chernobyl, did I win?
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 2:18, Reply)
Few years ago I was showing a young English bloke around our lovely state.
Paul was his name. (If he's on here you may hear him have a chuckle @ the following story.)
I decided to take him down to a friends house in Busso on the coast for some sun-soaked days of hard drinking and smoking ourselves silly. I had the time off work, some readdies, a big bag-o-green and my trusty baby-poo yellow "fastback" Corolla to get us there.
Off we go waving goodbye to the missus. A couple of minutes after getting on the freeway headed south there is an almighty bang from under the bonnet. Over I pull, pop the hood and there is oil everywhere and no more pop in cap on the rocker cover. Fuck.
Paul seems a bit dismayed and appears to be think that we'll be limping home. Bugger that!
Now undue pressure in the rocker cover ain't good - even I know that. But I would not be dettered. Here's the bodge - I got some towel, soaked it in oil and fastened it to the rocker cover with an o-ring. My theory being that the oil on the rag would form a seal due to surface tension. Paul watched on a little nervously as I said "Nah, she'll be right" and gunned the engine. Tada - it worked. No oil and I think the engine even breathed a bit better!
When we got to Busselton I found another rocker cover @ a wreckers (with a screw on cap) for $20, swapped them over, fixed the problem - the breather tube from the airfilter to the rocker cover was a blocked as my arteries then Paul & I got stuck into a week of inebriated and stoned hedonism - drank every pub dry and glutted ourselves at many restaurants. From memory we even ate @ MickeyDs!
Loved that Corolla and apart from a battery change that was the only grief I had from it - not bad for a car that was older than me!
(, Sat 12 Mar 2011, 1:12, Reply)
I once got called out
to do a job in a hotel in Torquay. The owner and his wife wanted a doorway knocking through from reception to the kitchen and the drawing room door blocking off, but I, being such a fuckwit, blocked up the dining room doorway and put a door at the bottom of the stairs. Well, when the owner came back and saw what I'd done, he phoned me up and said he was going to insert a garden gnome up my arse.

Anyway, I went back to the hotel and I admitted that I'd made a mistake and attempted to lighten the situation with a little humour but the owners wife laid into me with her umbrella!
I'm never going there again, I can tell you.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 23:57, 6 replies)
Car bodge
A former colleague's fix for the 'check engine' light coming on in his Audi A4.....

.. black insulating tape over the offending light.


He's a Mechatronic Engineer (half mechanical, half electronic), so I presume he knew what he was doing.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 23:53, 2 replies)
Working in IT...
I often have to remove hard disks to image them etc. Most manufacturers put screws / lug thingys on the edge to hold them in place when in the computer. These 'thingys' impede my progress as they don't fit in a USB caddy (unless first unscrewed)...

I've hacksawed the edges off mine, so drives just plop in nicely without the hassle of removing the screws first.

Before: www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=382971

After:

My boss has also copied this as it makes our nerdy tinkerings so much easier :D
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 23:18, 9 replies)
When I first moved in with mictogirl
we rented the world's tiniest flat. In TWTF the ubend for the 'kitchen' sink was mummified in many, many layers of shiny sliver duct tape. We soon figured out that this was an attempt to stop the thing leaking.
A failed attempt.
After a few weeks of putting up with the drip and not being able to use the under-sink cupboard, I resolved to sort it.
at least 45 minutes of sawing and hacking the tape off with various blades and swearing profusely was followed by about 2 minutes work unscrewing the plug hole, applying a dab of plumber's mait and screwing the plug hole back in.
Fuck knows how long it had taken to apply all the tape, and the cupboard shelf was completely rotten from the damp.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 22:18, 3 replies)
Sort of on topic
This QOTW reminds me of a small misadventure of mine about three of four years ago. Picture the scene: Me and my other half just bought a new house, it's the pits a real 'doer-upper', needs shitloads of work. One Friday afternoon finds me painting the bathroom walls. No-one else is in the house (I cant remember why I didnt have a proper job at the time). Anyhoo, ours is the sort of bathroom with no windows, just a vent thing, so to counteract the paint fumes I had opened all the windows in the upstairs of the house. One huge gust of wind and the bathroom door slams shut, with me inside. Oh, and no door handle on the door, as these hadnt been fitted yet. Balls, think I, I'm bloody stuck here. I didnt have my phone and as i said, there are no windows to summon help from. I banged on the wall incase my neighbour was in, and tried shouting Help for a bit through the vent hole in the wall. No joy. I tried to break the door down, it was surprisingly resilient, not like in the movies. I started to feel quite claustrophobic, and as I was painting the room dark red it probably made me feel like i was in the womb or something. I digress. After about an hour drifting between blind panic (no-one due home for hours) and chilled relaxation (paint fumes) I decided action was required and resolved to escape from the room, A team style. Raiding the only possible source (bathroom cabinet) for potential escape tools I had laid before me my toothbrush, a sponge, a soap dish, some dental floss, a few tubes of various cream, and some cotton wool buds. Using all my ingeniuity I carefully fashioned myself a 'key', which when stuck in the hole where a door knob should be, would turn the catch and grant me freedom! The tool was a work of art, 5 cotton buds, loosely 'glued' together with bonjela and tied firmly with dental floss, and it bloody worked!
On freeing myself, I rang everyone I thought might care and told them my tale. Not one person failed to complete piss themselves laughing, and I was the toast of my friends' offices for the rest of the day
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 21:52, 2 replies)
this reminds me, I need to buy some duct tape
We once had a leaking pipe at my old uni crib, and since the owner dodged fixing it we decided we'd repair it ourselves. So the six of us girls started frantically chewing gum. After it was soft enough we'd just spit and apply...disgusting but fun. 20 chewing gums later we reinforced it with a roll of duct tape. It still holds, they say.
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 21:04, Reply)
Bastard Plumbers
This time the bodger is not me!

Our boiler died just before Christmas last year, A plumber recommended by a local shop came around and said the boiler was beyond repair. i wasn't that surprised as the boiler had been fitted way back in the mists of wavy lines.

The boiler fitter left our flat covered in inches of brick dust from drilling new flue holes through brickwork. The daft twat also ran pipes around both sides of the boiler instead of just in between the space 'twixt the end cupboard and the boiler!!

I was so pissed off with the original plumber that I got a local plumber to move two pipes to the right hand side of the boiler. The guy seemed to know what he was doing, but the new neater plumbing caused the boiler much distress and fault codes started being displayed every half an hour!

It turned out the local plumber had managed to connect the inlet to the outlet and vice-versa!!
(, Fri 11 Mar 2011, 20:53, 3 replies)

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