In my previous posts here and here I have referred to product called Chair-Loc. This is is labeled on my bottle as “rosin triethanolamide”. My bottle was made by The Chair-Loc Company of Lakehurst, NJ.
I have not been able to find Chair-Loc in local stores. I found that it might be available at Contantines Wood Center. Either a 2oz bottle alone ($4.25) or a 3oz bottle in a kit with syringe and tips to inject the joint ($11.95). Also at Western Wood Doctor with similar but different pricing.
Google search and Amazon provide a number of false leads and alternatives.
Wonderlokking Tite Chair glue is a cyanoacrylate glue which may work well at repairing chairs. The problem is that is really is a glue. If you have to disassemble the chair to repair the wood, covering, or as a result of refinishing, the glue will stick to the wood fibers and tear them apart. My theory is that if you want to repair furniture, you want to do it with glues that fill, swell, tighten, but do not stick. CA glue is sticky, particularly if you get it on your fingers.
Behlin Swel-Lock (scroll to page 16) may work, I have not tried it. The MSDS says that it is dipropylene glycol. I see information on the web that antifreeze (ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol) is a traditional fix for loose ax handles. I have not used it and cannot comment on how well it works or how long it lasts.
Briwax ChaiRX is a self-crosslinking vinyl acrylic polymer emulsion. While the MSDS states that the emulsion contains a large amount of water, if, on drying, the vinyl acrylic polymer remains in the wood fibers and joint, the joint should remain tight some time. This may be the best replacement available today for my favorite chair repair.
Briwax MTD, a wood sweller for mortice and tenon joints appears to be similar and may work as well.
When I get time, I will update the links to Chair-Loc in other posts to point to this info page.
Several years ago, I published a American Girl Doll: Leg Repair. I recently had the opportunity to do another repair and need to make a few revisions to my notes.
The dolls are now 17 years old. The doll in question is the oldest of the bunch. American Girl still provides a repair service and will re-attach arms and legs for a fee. They also return the doll with some “hospital visit” accessories such as a wrist band and a gown. There are doll hospitals in most large cities and individuals in smaller towns that provide doll repair. If you wish to attempt it yourself, here is one way to do it. Here is what I did this time.
Undress the doll. This will avoid soil and glue problems. When I examined the doll patient, I noted that the detached leg had a ball-joint that mated with a socket sewn into the cloth torso. An elastic cord is retained in the ball and holds the two parts together. The leg appears to be one piece with a hole molded in the hip-joint. There is what could be a mold-parting-line but I theorized that it was glued or sonicly welded at assembly time. I marked a small index mark on the inside of the thigh at the line with a Sharpie and carefully cut off the top of the leg with and X-acto knife. The socket in the torso does not require alignment. Just carefully cut the threads where the socket is stitched in. Inside the leg there was a plastic cup loose and a piece of elastic with an eyelet squished onto it as a retainer. In the stuffing in the torso, was a similar cup and piece of elastic. I believe that the cups are to make the elastic long enough so that it can be tensioned but still stretch far enough that the leg can be worked on.
The original elastic is heavy-duty shock cord about 4mm (1/8 inch) diameter. I did not have any like it but had some flat dress-makers elastic about 13 mm (1/2 inch) wide. I used piece of elastic about 70 mm long (2 1/2 inches) and slipped on an eyelet with the flange away from the bitter end, drew it close and squashed the eyelet with a pliers to make a “knot”. I pushed the elastic through one of the cups so it came out the cup side. The cup should face the other way. The through the large hole in the severed leg-top. Next through the large hole in the socket, through the other cup and out the bottom. Last another eyelet is slipped on. Using another leg, estimate the tension required and pull the elastic up until the ball-to-socket tension is similar to a good joint. Mash the second eyelet to complete the assembly.
Place the socket in the torso with the alignment correct. Use hemostats or other small nosed clamps to hold the edge of the cloth aligned with the edge of the socket. The original socket was machine stitched but I used a glover’s needle and an overhand stitch to rejoin the socket and torso. A pair of pliers may be required to force the needle through the existing holes and draw it out the other side.
Separate the top of the leg from the socket with a hemostat, clothespin, or a pair of pliers. Put a small amount of gel type cyanoacrylate glue (CA or super glue) on the leg top where it was cut. Carefully replace the leg top matching the index you marked before cutting. Hold until set. The glue I was using remained sticky where it had squeezed out after assembly. A small amount of ammonia or a weak baking soda solution will cause this to set instantly.
As with the leg repair, the arm repair can also be done by the manufacturer or perhaps be a local doll repair service. In Fig 2 below, you can see the pieces that result from a typical failure next to the repaired ball-and-socket joint. Note that the picture shows the ball-and-socket completely assembled. Doing it separately as described will help avoid getting glue inside the socket. I discovered this after the pictures were taken.
Fig 1 nearby shows the tools that I used. Cover the dolls head with a sock or plastic bag. This will avoid spoiling and more important keep the hair out of the way while you work. Mark the torso, joint cup, and arm at the armpit for proper alignment. This may not be strictly necessary as the parts seem symetrical but when taking apart something you have not disassembled before, it seems prudent. Cut the stitches carefully to separate the shoulder socket from the torso. Remove the plastic cup and broken elastic from the body. The eyelet may be entangled in the body stuffing. If this is the case, untangle it and stuff the stuffing back into the torso.
Mark the arm on the armpit side across the parting line where the half-ball meets the upper arm. Carefully cut along the parting line with an X-acto knife to remove the ball. The plastic cup may be stuck in the arm and require extraction by tapping or reaching in with a tweezer or needle-nose plier.
Use a candle-wick needle to draw a doubled 5 mm (3/8 inch) elastic through a 3 mm (3/16) eyelet, exitting on the flanged side. Position the eyelet near the end of the elastic. Crimp the eyelet. Next draw the elastic thru the bottom of the white plastic cup and out the top, then through the hole in the ball that was cut from the top of the arm, entering the flat (inside) and exitting the ball side. Clip or pin the elastic to prevent loosing it back into the hole.
Use a sparing amount of super-glue to rejoin the ball the arm making sure to align the mark made earlier. A weak solution (pinch of baking soda in 3 cc (1 teaspoon) of water) may be used to speed set-up of the super-glue and eliminate stickiness of any squeeze-out.
Draw the elastic though the cup side of the ball and out the back. Draw the elastic through a second eyelet. Test the tension and compare to an attached arm . It needs to be tight enough to hold in place yet allow enough stretch to give you room to stich the ball back into the torso. When proper length is found, crimp the eyelet.
Position the ball in the torso and hold the edge of the cloth flush with the edge of the ball. Use a glovers needle and a length of thread to stitch the ball+arm assembly back into the torso using an overhand stitch.
Fig 4 shows the completed repair.
Update on Leg Repair: In one of the joints I repaired, there were a couple of washers strung on the elastic, I think possibly to keep the cord centered or reduce abrasion. They do not seem to be essential and found only in joint out of 3. Perhaps part of the original design but later dropped.
Some of our American Girl dolls are 12 years old. With play and time, the elastic that holds the legs gives way and the leg is loose or falls off. While my daughter is grown, my wife still sets up a seasonal table with the girls.
American Girl provides a repair service and will re-attach arms and legs for a fee. There are doll hospitals in most large cities and individuals in smaller towns that provide doll repair. If you wish to attempt it yourself, here is one way to do it.
Undress the doll if desired. This will avoid soil and glue problems. When I examined the doll patient, I noted that the detached leg had a ball-joint that mated with a socket sewn into the cloth torso. An elastic cord is retained in the ball and holds the two parts together. The leg appears to be one piece with a hole molded in the hip-joint. There is what could be a mold-parting-line but I theorized that it was glued or sonicly welded at assembly time. I marked a small index mark on the inside of the thigh at the line with a Sharpie and carefully cut off the top of the leg with and X-acto knife. Similarly, I marked the torso-to-socket joint and cut the threads where the socket is stitched in. Inside the leg there was a plastic cup loose and a piece of elastic with an eyelet squished onto it as a retainer. In the stuffing in the torso, was a similar cup and piece of elastic. I believe that the cups are to make the elastic long enough so that it can be tensioned but still stretch far enough that the leg can be worked on. In one of the dolls, there were washers between the cup and the openings in the leg or socket. Additional strain relief? Smoother operation? Abrasion protection?
The elastic is heavy-duty shock cord about 4mm (1/8 inch) diameter. I did not have any like it but had some flat dress-makers elastic about 10 mm (3/8 inch) wide. I doubled a piece of elastic about 70 mm long (2 1/2 inches) and slipped on an eyelet with the flange away from the bitter end, drew it close and squashed the eyelet with a pliers to make a “knot”. I pushed the elastic through one of the cups so it came out the cup side. Please note that the cup in the picture Fig 2 is oriented BACKWARD. The cup should face the other way. The through the large hole in the severed leg-top. Next through the large hole in the socket, through the other cup and out the bottom. Last another eyelet is slipped on. Using another leg, estimate the tension required and pull the elastic up until the ball-to-socket tension is similar to a good joint. Mash the second eyelet to complete the assembly.
Put a small amount of cyanoacrylate glue (super glue) on the leg top where it was cut. Carefully replace the leg top matching the index you marked before cutting. Hold until set. The glue I was using remained sticky where it had squeezed out after assembly. A small amount of ammonia or a weak baking soda solution will cause this to set instantly.
Pull the leg-joint apart and to the side to give you room to work. Place the socket in the torso with the alignment correct. Use hemostats or other small nosed clamps to hold the edge of the cloth aligned with the edge of the socket. The original socket was machine stitched but I used a glover’s needle and an overhand stitch to rejoin the socket and torso. A pair of pliers may be required to force the needle through the existing holes and draw it out the other side.
When the stiching is complete around the circumference, let the leg slip into the socket and check for fit. Re-dress the doll and the job is done.
Update on Leg Repair: In one of the joints I repaired, there were a couple of washers strung on the elastic, I think possibly to keep the cord centered or reduce abrasion. They do not seem to be essential and found only in joint out of 3. Perhaps part of the original design but later dropped.
There is also a procedure for Arm Repair.
In our kitchen/breakfast space is a big Mission Style chair. My analysis of this chair is that it was home or school shop built in the early 1950’s. It has been in a flooded basement or a flood. It has been over-stressed and broken (before the flood). And repaired by someone-not-the-builder.
After a number of year of our use, some of the joints got loose and it was time to repair.
Nearby you can see the chair after repair. And tools involved.
Forensics: The front lintel had been broken before. I suspect that verticals had splayed enough to allow one of the dowels to break. Pulled back together by the repairer, a scrap of wood was nailed to prevent the splay. Long ago and far away, I learned that nailing oak (other than flooring) was futile. Similarly, the glue blocks in the corners were nailed, maybe more than once as attested by the collection of rusty bent nails in each.
I drilled holes for screws in the corner glue blocks that were loose. Put in screws and re-glued. Glued the dowels in 3 out of 4 corners.
About 3 hours and just a small number of hand tools.
Some “Antique Road Show” host of the future will tell then owner of this one, “Interesting, well made, several repairs, a pretty good chair. But not worth much”.
The 1995 Cutlass Cruiser instrument cluster lamps burned out. Actually, two of them had burned out 3 years ago. At that time, I exchanged the the two burned out lamps from the 0-55 side side of the cluster to the 55-110 side that I hardly ever use. Sometime in March, another bulb went making it impossible to see the speed at night. From the original disassembly, I remembered that it was a pain. Allow about 2 hours. Before beginning, make note of the positions of the dead lamps. It may be difficult to tell failed lamps. For safety, disconnect the battery to disable the airbag. Avoid the yellow wires associated the airbag sensors and airbag. There are a number of screws (over 20) involved in this, so it may be useful to have piece of corrugated box to hold, organize and note the screw positions. Remove 2 screws from either side of the ALDL connector. This will allow the trim panel to be removed from the car in the next step. Remove 3 screws from the bottom surface and 2 screws from the bottom forward edge of the steering wheel trim panel. Remove and set aside. Using a putty knife at the inboard end of the outboard air-vent airflow director, gently work each of these out. This will expose a 5/16″ screw head. Two more are located on either side of the open ashtray. and one additional one under the instrument cluster. Remove these screws. The trim panel will be retained by several spring-friction clips. Gently work the trim panel loose and set aside. Figure 2. A flexible trim ring may surround the steering column. Remove it at this time. There are 4 screws under the top surface instrument panel surround and 3 along bottom. Remove these screws and the instrument surround. There are 4 screws around the instrument cluster. One on the left is hard to reach. The upper screw behind the corner of the radio panel in Figure 2 is the right-hand side. The left-hand one is located simlarly. Two screws are on the lower edge. A wire and clip connect the panel to the steering column collar. The clip will slide off and the instrument cluster can be removed.
Along the top of the back edge there are 6 smaller bulbs. These are type PC74 lamps and illuminate the warnings. There may be an extra in the “spare” slot that you could use in a pinch to replace a warning light. There are 8 PC194 lamps to illuminate the panel. A ninth PC194 lamp is located on the bottom edge to light the transmission selector indicator quadrant. This is the only lamp the dealers computer called out and it called it as a PC195. Dealer price is $15.00. Online price is $2.00. These PC lamps twist out from the flexible printed circuit with a 1/8 counterclockwise turn. Replace any failed lamps. You can test them on the bench with a 9-volt battery and test clips. Avoid wires associated with the airbag..
Carefully re-insert the instrument cluster plugging the PC connectors into the sockets. Start the 3 easy to reach screws. Reconnect the clip to the steering column collar. Use a piece of paper towel to retain the hard-to-reach left-hand screw in the socket and start and tighten left-hand screw. Tighten the remaining screws on the cluster. You may wish to temporarily re-connect the battery to check the lamps at this point. Disconnect the battery before proceeding.
Re-install the instrument surround and tighten the screws.
Press the long trim panel into place. Start all screws. Then tighten all screws.
Re-install the trim around the steering column.
Re-install the trim panel under the steering column.
Re-insert the vent directors. Note that there is a post on the outboard side of the the socket that keys with a slot on the director.
Finally re-install the ALDL socket.
Reconnect the battery.
The mouse wheel on the mouse that came with the Dell 8100 stopped working. Or at least is worked intermittently. If you moved your finger v-e-r-y slowly, you could get scroll to move. But the detent was too stiff for rapid moves. And of course applying more pressure clicked the middle button. I decided that there was slippage and determined to find out why.
Disassembling a mouse is typically one-screw removal. On the Dell mouse, it in the center of the bottom approximately in line with the screw in Figure 1. After removing the screw, separate the shell halves. On this Dell this seemed a bit tricky. There are two tabs on the front of the top shell that insert into pockets in the bottom shell. These pockets can be seen in the nearest part of figure 1. A certain amount of force is require to overcome the springiness and friction. When you separate the top from the bottom, the mouse wheel will probably come loose as it is retained on the top by posts on the top half-shell. It rests in half-journals on the bottom. The skinny end inserts into the detent/switch component on the circuit board. The fat end is over the micro-switch (black component with white bar) which is farther away on the left. The other two micro-switches are for the right and left buttons.
The tire has been rolled off of the hub in Figure 1. What I found was that there was an oily substance between the hub and the tire. I used a piece of tissue, water with a touch of detergent (actually still in the sink from the lunch dishes) to clean the hub and the inside of the tire.
Re-assemble the tire to the hub. Insert the small end of the shaft into the detent/switch as you set the wheel assembly into its bearings. Press the wheel down to verify micro-switch click. Rotate the wheel an verify that the detent works as it turns. Carefully insert the two tabs on the front of the top half-shell into the two pockets that can be seen out-of-focus in Figure 2 beyond the wheel. There is a critical angle and pressure that bends everything just enough. Once the tabs are inserted, lower the top half-shell until it is closed. Re-insert the screw. When re-installing a screw, it is a good idea to rotate in the removal direction (counter-clockwise) until you feel the click of the threads. Then proceed to tighten. This is especially true of self-tapping screws as it is desirable to re-use the original thread, not cut a new one.
Plug the mouse into a computer and test its function.
While I did not disassemble another mouse, a Dynex, I noted that the screw is not visible. If you do not see a screw, probe or remove any label on the bottom to locate a screw. Another possibility is a snap-together arrangement. I suspect the insides will be similar to the pictures of the Dell mouse.
The other week when I pulled the rope on the mower, the rope broke off. Fortunately, the mower started and I just had the rest of the back yard to do. I finished it up, waited for the mower to cool and started the repair job.
My mower is a Yard Machines by MTD 22-inch side-discharge high-wheeler that I bought 15 years ago.
I have replaced the rope at least a couple of times. Here is how I do it.
For safety, disconnect the sparkplug wire from the sparkplug by pulling on the rubber cover.
There are two screws that retain the top cover. The screwdriver is pointing to one of them, the other is on located on the nearer side. Remove the screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the top cover noting the index tab at the rear that engages the fuel tank. Also note the slot where cover allows the pull rope to pass through.
Using a 5/16″ socket, break the 3 hex bolts on the top of fuel tank ring loose (Figure 2). Using a 5/8″ socket, remove the bolt located under the fuel tank (Figure 3). Catch the spacer that is located between the engine block and the tab on the fuel tank. Remove the 3 screws on top. Lift and tilt the fuel tank toward the rear of the mower. It will remain attached by the fuel line.
The metal engine shroud is now exposed. Brush any dirt away from the lower end of the oil filler pipe where it enters the engine block. The oil filler will be loosened but not removed. But if it does fall out, cleaning will prevent dirt from falling into the crankcase.
There are two bolts on the front of the engine (Figure 4) and two bolts (Figure 5) on the back of the engine and the bolt that holds the oil filler. Using a 3/8″ socket, break loose the two front bolts and the two rear bolts. Use a 5/16″ socket to remove the bolt on the oil filler neck. Gently lift the oil filler neck to disengage the peg that holds the oil filler neck to the shroud. Twist oil filler neck slightly to get it out of the way.
Using the 3/8″ socket, remove the 2 screws each at the front and rear. Now lift straight up to remove the shroud and pull-start assemble. The starter will come out of the cup that is on top of the flywheel which engages the ratchet of the pull starter.
Looking at the underside of the shroud, you can see the pulley that the starter rope needs to run around. A tube inside the rim of the pulley (at approximately 9 o’clock position Figure 7) is where the starter rope needs to be attached. There is a small peg located opposite that will assist in winding the starter rope take-up spring.
Make sure the starter rope end is ready. Measure the new rope against the old and cut to length. Use a figure-8 knot to hold the rope in the handle. A new rope will have the nylon melted and may be ready to go. The melted portion should be no larger than the rope diameter (Figure 6). If it too large or you have trouble inserting it in the next step, heat the end of the rope with a flame or soldering iron. Use two pieces of wood to roll it into a pointed shape. Be Careful: Hot nylon can give you a nasty burn.
As you wind the pulley in a counter-clockwise direction, not that as you begin to feel tension on the spring, the ratchet levers are pushed out of the center area. These will engage the ridges in the cup that is on top of the flywheel. Continue winding the pulley 3 turns stopping when the tube is lined up with the hole in the shroud where the starter rope comes through. Push the pointed end of rope through the shroud and through the tube (Figure 8). Tie a figure-8 knot in the end. Slowly feed the rope into pulley as it unwinds. When the spring is relaxed, there should be slightly less rope exposed than it takes to reach the location on the mower handle. This slight bit of tension keeps the handle from drooping. If the rope is too long, stretch it out, re-tensioning the spring, draw in a few inches and tie a new knot.
Lower the shroud over the flywheel. Align the bolt holes, insert and finger tighten 1 bolt front and 1 bolt back. Verify the operation of starter ratchet. Release the blade-brake and pull the engine. Verify that the starter rope rewinds. Insert and finger tighten the remaining bolts on the block. Carefully, so that it does not pull out, position the peg of the oil-filler neck back in the hole in the shroud. Insert the bold and tighten. Tighten the 4 bolts front and rear.
Pass the handle and rope through the mounting ring of the fuel tank. Reposition the fuel tank on top of the shroud. Insert and finger tighten the 3 bolts on the ring. Under the fuel tank, insert the long, shouldered bolt through the tab on the fuel tank, then through the spacer (located above the end of the finger in Figure 9) , and finally into the engine block. Verify the adjustment and tighten all bolts.
Loosen the starter-rope guide on the handle to slip the rope into it. There should be a slight tension. Just enough to hold the handle in place. If the rope is too short, it will put tension on the spring and wear the ratchet. If too long, the handle will droop and snag shrubbery as you mow. Verify operation by pulling the engine with the blade brake off and allowing the starter rope to re-wind. If any of these checks are out, redo the steps above to make the appropriate adjustments. Reconnect the spark plug. Mower is ready to use again.
The Amana oven ignitor failed. Of course you only notice that when you are about to use it. Fortunately it was something that just needed heated, not a cake or something that really needed “Bake” at “xx0” for “whatever”. We just ran the “Broil” to get the oven and the food hot. But the ignitor for the bake part still needed replacing.
Get the oven model and serial number. On this stove, they are located on the left oven frame, inside the bottom drawer. Then obtain the ignitor. In Greenville, I go to G+E Appliance Parts(closed Saturday. Banks is open until noon on Saturday) but you can get parts on-line if you have time to wait. The ignitor is fragile. Open the box carefully ensuring that as you unwrap the layers of corrugated board that the new ignitor is always on the bottom. When it is visible, handle it carefully by the ceramic part only. Never touch the heat bar part.
Unplug or disconnect the stove or turn off the breaker. Verify that that the oven light goes out. Remove the oven wire shelves. Remove the bottom burner cover by lifting and sliding forward to release the tabs at the rear.
You will see the guard over the ignitor at the rear of the oven next to the burner tube. Remove 1 screw at the burner and 2 screws
against the back of the oven floor. Your oven may be different. The sheet that comes with the ignitor shows some variations. Pull the guard toward the front of the oven. The ignitor will come with it. Continue to pull carefully drawing the wires out until the wire-nut connectors appear. Unscrew the wire-nuts and disconnect the ignitor.
With the guard and ignitor out of the oven remove the guard from the old ignitor and slide it on the new ignitor until it hits the stop. Re-attach the stove wires with the wire-nuts. Stuff the wire and wire-nuts back into the hole, making sure that they go down the hole and outside the bottom of the oven. Re-position the guard and replace the 3 screws.
Re-connect the power. Test by turning the oven to Bake and an aribtrary temperature. The ignitor should glow white-hot within a few seconds. A bit later, the gas will come on and it should ignite. If this test fails, turn off the oven controls and investigate with the power off and gas off.
If the test is successful, replace the burner cover with tabs in the rear engaging the slots in the rear of the oven floor. Replace the wire racks.
I presume replacement of the boiler ignitor is similar. It gets used much less and I have not had to replace it.
The Check Engine light on my wife’s 1999 Buick Regal 3.8L came on. After resetting it came on again in a day or so. It had been changed just about a year ago. It came on whenever it was moist outside. My first look at revealed that the cover was lifted. Perhaps moisture was getting in through lifted cover. I put some Goop on it and hoped that it would settle down.
After a couple of days, the light was on again. Time for a replacement. My son did some Internet research and found that someone who had re-replaced the rebuilt unit with a “new” unit and had good results. I got the new OEM part.
Installation of the MAF is straightforward. The only hitch is as a high value part, it has security Torx screws so you are going to need that special driver.
Disconnect the battery. Carefully release the locks on the plug and pull the plug. There are water seals inside so it can be a bit stiff. Slow and steady. Then remove the screws in the corners. Remove the sensor by lifting straight out. Install the new unit. Start, then tighten the screws. Replace the plug. Reconnect the battery.
The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor tells the engine control computer how much air is flowing into the engine. The computer uses this along with other inputs to decide mixture and other controls.
Since I bought the new unit, there was no need to return the “core” as with a rebuilt part. So What Is In There? The second picture shows the part of the MAF sensor that is in the intake duct. The air goes through the hole and by that horizontal bit. That is actually a “hot wire” sensor. Heated by a current, its resistance varies by temperature. The more air that flows by the cooler the hot wire and so its resistance comes down. You can see that under the lid there is a fairly sophisticated circuit associated with this device.