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Your favorite DIY trick

Discussion in 'DIY' started by birchoak, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. catrafter

    catrafter Marantz Specialist Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,172
    Location:
    Montana
    I use a plastic ice cube tray to hold screws, etc. I can label each 'cube'.

    Tom
     
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  2. doctorolds

    doctorolds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great topic for a thread @birchoak, I was thinking about starting one also.

    Some members may find this tip handy.
    I use Isopropyl Alcohol a lot and do not like a large open bottle on the bench since it's so easy to knock over by accident and a pain in the rear to use it. My solution is to put the alcohol in an empty Lighter Fluid bottle. Just flip the tip up and squirt some on a q-tip or a rag and do your business. No worries about knocking it over or contamination. Thanks to all for their input!
     
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  3. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

    Messages:
    27,880
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    uk.. the middle bit
    i buy it in spray cans from the motor factors i deal with . reminds me i need a new can of it .. think its 97 percent and marked switch cleaner and/or circuit board cleaner .
     
  4. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    That is great! Have you ever ended up with screws in your ice?
     
  5. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Here is a tip that sounds bizarre but actually works:
    I took apart a push switch today and the tiny spring launched itself (notice I did not say "I dropped the spring" --always blame the object!) out onto the filthy shop floor. I could not find it. I got a bright flashlight, turned off the shop lights, then got down on my knees so I could shine the light "sideways" (more or less parallel to the floor) at the floor. I adjusted the angle of the beam until I got prominent shadows (think of what your own shadow looks like in late afternoon, vs. at noon, and you'll get my drift) from the stuff on the floor, and there it was, that naughty spring. Of course, I dropped it--I mean, it got away from me-- several more times after that.
     
  6. motorstereo

    motorstereo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    ^^^^^^ Great tip:thumbsup:; I used that exact method many years ago when I would occasionally drop a contact lense. More often than not it involved booze to some degree and it was the only way those invisible little bastards would show up.
     
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  7. ghazzer

    ghazzer Senior Member Subscriber

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    Michael's Crafts carries a 7¼"X10½"X2" plastic box with 17 compartments and a lid for just a few $$$s. They are really handy for parts storage. I have 5 and they stack nicely.
     
  8. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

    Messages:
    1,687
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    I use it a lot too, but instead of a lighter fluid container, I like using a repurposed old squeeze trigger spray bottle with off, spray, and stream selections on the nozzle for greater application versatility.

    Comes in handy for washing down/off the flux residue with Denatured alcohol from reworked circuit boards/RCA, etc. soldered connectors.
     
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  9. catrafter

    catrafter Marantz Specialist Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,172
    Location:
    Montana
    I use something like this for wetting q-tips and brushes with alcohol...

    Tom
    [​IMG]
     
  10. gort69

    gort69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Polishing your Knob(s). An old splined extension for splined knobs, the other end for set screw knobs. Brasso and a soft terrycloth rag, drill on high speed.

    P1011349.JPG
     
  11. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    El Sereno, CA
    When you're taking things apart that might have springy bits that can launch into the abyss, take it apart in a clear plastic bag.
    That was you can still see what you are doing but if something flys it will stay in the bag.
     

     

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  12. homebrew

    homebrew Active Member

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    Making money in my wallet disappear!
     
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  13. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Seems kind of redundant, labeling each one "cube" ... <G>

    I imagine there's a lot of that going on around here. ;-}

    Couple items - I use Plano fishing accessory boxes for organizing small parts for a project. Tape a piece of scrap paper in the lid and label that as needed. Only complaint was not having enough separators, but a quick email to the company and they sent me a bunch.

    [​IMG]

    Ever try to figure out how a tuner is supposed to be strung? Several ways to do it, and only one right way. I've gotten into the habit of taping the string in place where possible ... the rest of this one is looped back to the chassis plate and taped down to keep tension on it. Restringing was easy.

    [​IMG]

    Oh. Never toss those plastic straws. You can heat them, bend them, any way you want them, and join them with heat shrink for those hard to reach places.

    [​IMG]

    And small pieces of tin are handy for protecting wires when soldering in tight places ...

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    You are the man! I love it--again, why the hell didn't I think of that?
     
  15. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Again, so simple and yet I never thought of that. Thank you, good sir!
     
  16. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Amesbury, MA
    Wow, I am learning a lot of $h!t--each time I view this thread it's like opening up a new Xmas present. See, these are things you can't always pick up on your lonesome--thank you very much--all of you--for sharing your hard-won tricks and techniques. I am bowled over by the ingenuity of people who work with their hands. Edit: all those parts in the Plano box = organization-porn shot
     

     

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  17. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

    Messages:
    689
    Location:
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    Another obvious (or is it?) practice is to save that completely crapped-out amp, receiver, etc. (that you want to heave into a dumpster because you screwed it up so badly)---it is a cornucopia of spare screws, switches, colored wiring, fuses, relays, feet, Alps switches, AM antennas, fuse holders, OEM power cords (as long as they're safe!), etc.---I recently "tuned up" a Scott 350R and forked up the power supply board in the process--fortunately, I had a junk unit with a clean board, and was able to rebuild the power supply successfully and transplant it. I have spare tuner dial string, transformers (they don't seem to go bad, do they?), and yes, I'll admit it--bunches of colored wire like any self-respecting strange old man. I do not, however, hoard shoelaces like my grandfather did, so there is still hope for me.

    As you may have already guessed, I am not a professional and what I do amounts to tinkering. Sometimes I make things worse, sometimes I actually fix a thing and make it functioning. None of my gear is fancy and if I break something I only have myself to answer to. If I really get stuck, I pay a pro to fix it, whether it's someone like Catrafter for rebuilding a 2230 phono board, or Audio Lab in Cambridge for a complete bench test of an SX-980 that I gave to my uncle for his birthday. Sometimes I give a unit to someone with more patience than me, in the hopes that they can fix it and enjoy it.

    Last thing I do: If it's been an especially naughty piece, has caused me to curse, pull out hair (not a good idea as there is not much left), or question my place in the universe, I strip it down to every last screw, nut, washer, resistor, capacitor, wire, fuse, transistor, bridge rectifier--you get the idea--then mail each piece to several hundred different persons randomly selected from phone books at least 1000 miles from me, with this note: "I have been a very, very bad ______________ and must be punished."
     
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  18. doctorolds

    doctorolds AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,575
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    Dang, that's a nice bottle, where did you get them? I guess that mine is the budget version, lol.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  19. catrafter

    catrafter Marantz Specialist Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,172
    Location:
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    Mine is too, I just stole that pic off Amazon.:)

    Tom
     
  20. lifer70

    lifer70 What? Subscriber

    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    I keep 3 x 5 inch cards with test procedures printed on them. I know the prceedures but when I get tired It helps keep me straight.
    Some proceedures were just cut and pasted from AK to the cards.
    Great for novices.
    20180702_214644.jpg
     

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