I had a slightly unusual request to do a ‘bit of soldering’ on a circular saw recently. As I’m not one to say no to a broken item, I said “yes, I’ll have a look” as I was intrigued.
This Challenge Xtreme Circular Saw was working fine, but the spring-loaded safety guard had split at one of the ends and was now dangerous to use.
I guess this saw was originally sold at the ‘budget’ end of the market and some of the materials used on it were light-weight to say the least. But having said all that, for light use, this saw was a very good tool with features like a laser to guide cutting.
The guard was made of a ‘mazak’ style alloy, which would have been pressed together at the factory and therefore quite difficult to re-attach. Definitely not for soldering, welding or brazing.
I could have used a chemical metal compound as a glue or even epoxy resin, but in the end, I opted for making a simple couple of neat drilled holes with a small cable tie to bring the separated halves together, a neat mechanical and cheap fix to get the tool usable once more. Sometimes, simple is best.
Cost of replacement: £40.00 Cost of repair: One cable tie. One cup of tea.
Now, some of you will remember that I’ve written about a similar issue before, but I think it’s worth covering again as often, complete replacement items need to be purchased, which can be costly.
This Bissell Powerlifter Pet vacuum cleaner had snapped a belt, due to an obstruction in the roller/ beater area and while the casing was open to replace the belt, I removed the beater to see how smoothly it turned. It was noisy.
Seemingly, Bissell will only supply a complete unit for around £30, with shipping, so given the overall value of the machine, it seemed sensible to have a look at the noisy component on the bench. The bearing housings, located at each end of the roller, come out easily and with some careful manipulation, each bearing can be removed.
On this unit, both bearings were dirty and dry. Now, I could have replaced them with a generic bearing, but in the spirit of thrift, I decided to clean the bearing races with brake cleaner and then repack with high-melt-point grease. When reassembled to the roller/ beater, it ran very smoothly and was much quieter, once re-fitted to the vacuum cleaner. Job done.