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  • Writer's pictureWatlington Climate Action Group

Make Do and Mend - Rob Field’s Repair Tips:

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

My first tip....

Most things plastic end up breaking, snapping off or cracking. The biggest problem we have in fixing these things is to identify the type of plastic itself. On large items, like dustbins, there may be an imprint of a code indicating the material like PP for polypropylene. Some plastics, like polypropylene, are notoriously difficult to bond together. The proper adhesives are often expensive, and those that say 'Bonds all plastics' generally do not. Some adhesives, e.g. for acrylic are also fairly toxic or noxious. Surface preparation is very important whether using a professional adhesive or some random alternative and involves cleaning, abrading and even a quick blow over with a flame. Sometimes a special primer is required which changes the surface so as to allow bonding. This is rarely considered, and most people grab the superglue, squirt and hope things hold together. Always try to find the correct adhesive if the repair is to be successful and surprisingly, hot melt glue is quite good at bonding and filling the cracked larger items like bins etc.

My second tip...

Cables used for charging tablets, and phones etc. Eventually, your toys will need replacement batteries. But before then, you may be using them while plugged into a charger. Eventually, the small micro USB socket on your phone or tablet will become intermittent. The plug at the end of the cable may also fail similarly. What's more, when all plugged in... you drop it or it falls off the bed onto the floor when you fall asleep. Of course, it will always fall onto the plug and socket either breaking it completely or doing some internal invisible damage. My tip is to buy magnetic charger cables. One end plugs into the phone or tablet and the cable magnetically snaps on and off quickly and easily. If you drop the tablet, or it gets pulled by the cable then the magnetic contact simply comes off without damaging either part. Just be careful that cables and connectors of one brand do not always work with another.

Tip number 3...

If you have similarly broken the headphone socket of your phone or tablet. Rather than have it repaired, buy a small wireless Bluetooth adaptor and convert your existing headphones into Bluetooth wireless headphones. No more needing to be tied to the dodgy plug-in connection. I recommend the 'Fiio' adaptor.

Tip number 4...

Leaks around plastic plumbing pipes, toilets and waste pipes. As a temporary (or even permanent repair ) buy a cartridge of CT1 and a cheap cartridge gun. It's not as cheap as low-cost silicone, but it's one of the best adhesive sealants to use. As usual, clean the area as best as possible before using.

Rob Field

07941 138644

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1 Comment

Nicola Schafer
Oct 13, 2020

Thanks to Rob for looking at my toaster, unfortunately Rob declared it an Ex Toaster. Ah well, at least I tried! Unfortunately so many of our products are deliberately designed to be impossible or uneconomic to repair. I am now currently weighing up whether to take the plunge and invest in a Dualit toaster. Expensive but the only repairable toaster on the market...

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