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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 19th Feb 2014, 11:53 pm   #41
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

I agree, Copydex is excellent stuff for speaker cone repairs. I also use it for sticking speaker cloth to baffle boards; leave it a few minutes to dry before joining the materials together, and the resulting bond is instant.

Copydex is good for sticking Avometer scale mirrors to their backplates as it doesn't seem to harm the silvering.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 4:48 pm   #42
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Interesting how we all have our favourite solutions to this type of task. Silicone type sealers are my go to product for the sort jobs mentioned above, mainly because it is virtually everlasting. I remember Copydex though, my Father used it on everything he didn't use Araldite for I can still smell it now.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 5:03 pm   #43
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

I regularly use 3M Photo Mount Spray. There are two types, one is repositionable and the other is permanent. I've not found them to cause any staining when used with paper.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 2:37 pm   #44
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

I'm currently working on a KB FB10 'Toaster' and needed a way of supporting the chassis upside-down whilst fault-finding. A cardboard wine box, weighted down by a house brick inside, provides a stable chassis holder and costs nothing.

I find myself using discarded cardboard boxes and packaging materials like polystyrene for all sorts of purposes nowadays.

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Last edited by Phil G4SPZ; 23rd Feb 2014 at 2:38 pm. Reason: Clarification
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 2:42 pm   #45
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

The bottom half of a PET lemonade bottle can be used to house seedlings for frost protection and all year round for housing electronic devices used to protect against various large pests that visit the garden.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 10:29 pm   #46
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Would that be one of the legendary "Cat Crackers"?
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 1:48 pm   #47
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

I have a Philips Music Maid clock radio with a bakelite case. There are moulded bars over the speaker aperture many of which were broken and missing. I found that Sainsbury's wooden barbeque skewers were just the right size to replace them and easy to cut to size. I araldited them in to place and painted them with dark umber oil paint. Although the repair can still be seen it is very effective and looks much better than the hole previously there.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 2:03 pm   #48
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Plastic wine corks make very good aerial insulators simply melt a couple of holes with a soldering iron. No need to do the 'if it fails it will still hold up' thing that ceramic ones had, those corks are very strong.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 8:47 pm   #49
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

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Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
No need to do the 'if it fails it will still hold up' thing that ceramic ones had, those corks are very strong.
But you could do anyway, so why not?

Polyprop rope for the insulated supports is another simple way of doing it since it doesn't absorb water.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 11:53 am   #50
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
Plastic wine corks make very good aerial insulators simply melt a couple of holes with a soldering iron. No need to do the 'if it fails it will still hold up' thing that ceramic ones had, those corks are very strong.
I've used four plastic champagne-corks with two lengths of 3/4-inch PVC overflow-pipe and two 0BA threaded brass rods as feedthroughs for bringing 600-ohm antenna ladder-feeders through a wooden window frame.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 3:11 pm   #51
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Quote:
I've used four plastic champagne-corks
With the down side of having to empty four bottles of champagne, it's a hard life at times. On the up side (grin) they are made of polythene, one of the best dielectric materials.
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Old 28th Feb 2014, 1:06 pm   #52
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Feel free to send the full bottles to me and I'll be happy to wash and return the corks!
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Old 28th Feb 2014, 4:58 pm   #53
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Somehow I don't think this would be a good deal for me. But as has been observed further up the thread, plastic champagne-corks are indeed made of the finest polyurethane-dielectric material.
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Old 2nd Mar 2014, 12:18 pm   #54
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

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But as has been observed further up the thread, plastic champagne-corks are indeed made of the finest polyurethane-dielectric material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
On the up side (grin) they are made of polythene, one of the best dielectric materials.
Or maybe polythene?
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Old 2nd Mar 2014, 3:13 pm   #55
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Foamy plastic wine corks, polyurethane... Solid semi transparent champagne corks polyethelene (polythene)... This I know from years of dilligent research, you have to suffer for your art.

Back on topic, to test a material for its dielectric properties pop it in a microwave for a few seconds, ones that get hot are bad, cool is good.
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Old 2nd Mar 2014, 4:50 pm   #56
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

I'd suggest including a cup of water to act as a 'dummy load' for the magnetron in the event that your test-dielectric material proves to be rather non-absorbent of microwave energy.

Or - use somebody-else's microwave!
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Old 2nd Mar 2014, 4:56 pm   #57
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

They survive a few seconds of no load, they after all are for the domestic market.
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Old 2nd Mar 2014, 6:52 pm   #58
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

I guess my first-being-introduced-to-microwave-ovens-in-the-early-1970s paranoia is now rather obsolete.

Either way, it's no-cost insurance and might just save the maggie.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 12:44 am   #59
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

For the first time ever, I've just used tomato ketchup to clean tarnished brass; worked superbly well! I think the use of ketchup was mentioned of the forum back in 2006, so I hope it's not too soon to repeat. In detail, I used Heinz mixed with about 20% water and left it for 5-10 minutes. I'd already spent some time polishing the surface but a few patches were proving very stubborn. Very slight "pinking" after etching but that polished out very quickly.

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Old 18th Mar 2014, 9:56 am   #60
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Default Re: Improvising with Household Items.

Hi Bazz,

that is an old Navy trick, dating back to the war and before. Imagine how many copper and brass pipes there are on a ship.

Suggest trying Brown Sauce, which may give a better result plus any 'colour' left should not notice.

Regards - Mike
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