On the last weekend in June 2019, I decided to do some home improvements, on a small scale.
My kids are lucky; they have their own stash of toys to play with, at members of our family’s homes. This means that we travel a little lighter when visiting.
My mum had reported that the toy house (pictured below) had developed a case of plastic wall subsidence and had started to literally, fall apart. Time for site clearance or wall ties? Nah, just a few drops of glue and a dose of patience.
Make and model: Generic toy (there’s no maker’s mark on it, it’s that good)
Fault reported: Broken hinge
Cost of replacement: £haven’t a clue
Cost of parts: £0.00
Hours spent on repair: About 10 minutes
Tools needed: 3 X clamps
Sundry items: Some Gorilla glue
Repair difficulty: 1/10
Kids toys usually lead a hard life and many, sadly, have short lives. I see loads of dumped toys at our municipal tip which could, with a little love, be fixed-up to be enjoyed once again.
With so much in the media about our collective love affair with plastics and how long the material stays in our environment and food-chain, I think it’s important to preserve what has already been made for as long as possible, for its original purpose or to be re-purposed. That way, plastic things will avoid being sent to landfill, for longer.
The toy house in question is not a high-end product and the materials and finish used are not the finest available, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to enjoy. I mean, most of the windows open, the front door has working lights and the whole thing opens up to reveal a two-floor mini wonderland. I mean, what’s not to like?
The opening up bit was the problem. The main hinge that holds both halves of the house together had become semi-detached.
It would have been easy to call it a day with this one, but as my youngest daughter had recently taken a shine to it, I decided that all the broken hinge needed was; glue, some clamps and patience. Gluing plastic is tricky as some glues react badly, depending on the type of plastic, which unless you’re someone who has Masters in Plasticology, is hard to work out for most diy’ers. It’s a bit of trial and error and with this repair I decided to use Gorilla glue, rather than a 2-part epoxy resin as I had a bottle of that open already. I’m afraid, it wasn’t very scientific with this fix
With the two halves of the hinge lined up, a dab of glue in the right places, I used three clamps, spaced along the hinge to hold it in place while it glued.
Now, this toy will always be delicate and will never be quite as strong as it once was, but at least it can now be enjoyed once again and more importantly, it won’t be going in the bin.