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My compressor had been acting up the past few weeks. It would run continuously and never get up to the 125 PSI cut off. I also could hear compression leaking while it was running that seemed to come out of the air intake area. I figure I got this thing for free about 15 years ago,and it has a 1988 production date on it,so maybe it's time to just get a new one. It has served me well.
I had some time to kill today so I tore into it. I found that the head gasket had blown between the pressure and intake chambers of the head,and a chunk of the gasket was stuck under the reed valve holding it open. OK,I have some bulk gasket material hanging on the peg board in the garage,so I made a few new gaskets,basically for free,and an hour later the dinosaur was back in action running like new again.:cool:
Before you pitch that stuff in the garbage,check it out,you may be able to fix it.

A. Spruce
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I absolutely agree! :cool:

Whenever something breaks around here I always take a look at it before sending it to the trash bin. With proper care and maintenance, things don't break down too often anyway, and usually most things can be repaired with a bit of common sense and ingenuity.

I had a box fan switch lock up, I took the switch to a motor shop to get a new one, the guy squirted some WD-40 into it and it works again like new. This fan is 40 years old, has had a sticky switch for as long as I've known it and now it works like new.

I can't count how many things I've repaired over the years that were inconsequential, yet irreplaceable. Another such thing was a wood serving cart with wheels. The wheels were wood with a rubber "o-ring" wrapped around them, of course there is no buying a new o-ring, so with a few phone calls and a little time, I found a hydraulic shop who could make a new o-ring for me. That antique was just saved.

The caveat to this is that the owner of said object must be handy and mechanically inclined to be able to dig into such projects and repair them. Sadly, not too many people have this ability anymore, so more stuff goes by the wayside. Not to mention the fact that things are made to fail and be replaced.:rolleyes:

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"Sadly, not too many people have this ability anymore, so more stuff goes by the wayside. Not to mention the fact that things are made to fail and be replaced."

Yup,and most people (especially kids) today just don't seem to be as interested in mechanical or hands on trades like they were years ago.
I remember back when I was in grade school I used to take the tubes out of my family's TV when it acted up and take them down to the local Radio Shack store. They had tube testers right in the store back then. If any tubes were marginal,or failed,I'd replace them. 80% of the time this fixed the TV! My old man used to get pissed at me because about this same age I picked up a top of the line amateur radio for cheap. I used to build my own antennas and hang them up outside. The house looked like it was surrounded in barb wire,but I literally talked around the world on my home made antennas! But hey,when your 12 years old,your only money is from a paper route,you can't afford $500 stuff. You MAKE IT!
A few years ago I saw my neighbor had put an Echo weedwacker out by the curb,in the garbage. I honestly asked her if she had forgot it out there,as it looked pretty new. She said it would not run. I told her I'd be more than happy to get it running for her. She said she had already bought a new one,so I could have the one she threw out. I said "OK,thanks." A 2" piece of broken fuel line later, it ran again!
Another example just from a few days ago. My computer speakers are on the fritz. I have to wiggle the wire where it goes into the plug to the hard drive to get sound out of them. I looked for 1/2 hour on E-bay for a new PLUG. I figure I can pick one up for maybe $1,and splice it onto the speakers. I found NOTHING! But I can buy a new pair of speakers for $10 shipped from Hong Kong! Nobody fixes things anymore??
I've tried to pass this knowledge on to my kids. Some took to it,some not. Oddly enough,my STEPsons are just like me,my own,not so much. While I was working on my compressor,my 13 year old step son had one of our old dirt bikes in the driveway. It hasn't run in a few years,but he's got the itch to ride it. He tore that thing down as far as he could,and put it back together. Needs a new spark plug though,I'll see how he did tomorrow when the plug comes in at the parts store.

A. Spruce
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I love small engines, as they tend to be pretty straight forward when it comes to running or not running. I was having trouble with a chainsaw not running well, then it just wouldn't start at all. First thing I noticed is that all the fuel lines were in crumbling pieces, the fact that it had run at all was surprising. Picked up some new lines, but where do you plumb three unmarked carb ports? Took the saw to the shop just for some pointers, they all said it's a Craftsman, we don't know Craftsman . . . :rolleyes: Really? You've never seen a 2-cycle engine before? You've never worked on a chainsaw before?!?!? It's got three ports, just look at the danged thing and give me your best guess as to what and where they go. When the finally felt relieved of any responsibility, they finally told me what the ports were and where they most likely were plumbed to. On my first try I got it right and the thing purrs like a, well, a chainsaw, but it purrs great! :D

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- Young kids today don't see the value in fixing old things, they were brought up replacing with new.

- manufacturers are not interested in DIYers fixing old things, so they phase out parts or price them too high.

- Young kids don't want to do manual things. Anything with a little sweat, is not for them.

- Young kids today want easy money. Why make $10-25 an hour working with your hands, when lawyers make $300 speaking on the phone? so they become lawyers.

- Whose to blame? blame the parents who show them the good life.

A rich man once was asked: why are you so thrifty, when your son is so large with money? He answered: my son has a rich daddy, I don't.

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I have spent a lifetime fixing things for myself and others. Presumably I learned it from my Father because he did the same. Given the correct materials and parts many things can be repaired. At the transfer station I visit each week there is often something set aside for taking.

We did not have Radio Shack when I was a kid, but the drug store had a tube tester and I used it often since that was the greatest cause for radio failures.

Who ever ends up cleaning out my basement will not be as happy as I am filling it up.

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