We have a 1969 VW camper van. We love her. Unfortunately, the previous owners redid the locks horribly and now we have a problem: the back window hatch lock doesn't work, we don't have a key to it that works, and we can't fix it. [more inside]
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel
on Aug 2, 2014 -
I have a few cassette tapes that survived third class mail from Ohio to Sierra Leone and back in the early seventies, and then have been pretty much left alone for the last 40 years.
We have been digitizing them lately and on two of them the end of the tape has detached itself from the spool. I need someone who knows this stuff backwards and forwards to reattach them and/or digitize the content for us.
I remember fixing cassette tapes myself back when they were the preferred media, but I also remember having about a 5% failure rate. Way too high for this operation.
Company recommendations (US preferably) would be gladly received.
posted by Tell Me No Lies
on Apr 13, 2014 -
Something knocked a divot knocked out of our big (6' x 4') bay window has, and there are a couple cracks radiating out from the chipped place. I'm guessing this is something we want to hop on pretty quick so it doesn't get worse. What's the best answer? [more inside]
posted by mattu
on Feb 16, 2014 -
I have an old style furnace that has been cleaned (by vacuuming) on a mostly annual basis for about 20 years. Should I pay the big bucks to get it scraped out by a professional? [more inside]
posted by Kevin Street
on Jan 21, 2014 -
I finally broke down and bought a new CPU fan for my PC, which had sounded like a monster truck filled with ball-bearings playing the drums. Things are much quieter now, but in my rush to get it installed I had to take out my motherboard completely and now can't figure out how to put the connections back! Help! [more inside]
posted by rosswald
on Jan 6, 2014 -
We found ms scruss' clarinet in a recent house clearout, and we'd like to get it playable again. It's probably not worth too much, and we're on a budget anyway. Suggestions for what to do with it are welcomed. [more inside]
posted by scruss
on Jan 6, 2014 -
I have a slim leather belt
with lovely Mexican silver hardware; but the belt itself is fairly shredded, and has already been repaired once (by a shoe repairman, who did the best he could).
Who fixes belts these days? How do I find someone to put the hardware on a new piece of leather, in Montreal, in New York, or on the Internet? How much should I expect to pay?
posted by musofire
on Dec 22, 2013 -
One of the cotter pins in the stainless steel band of my Citizen watch has come loose to the point that it slides out on its own rather easily, separating the links of the watch band. The watch is still under warranty, but I'd rather not deal with shipping it away and waiting for such a minor repair. Are local jewelry shops likely to have a replacement pin, or [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu
on Dec 20, 2013 -
2002 saab with 100,000 miles in generally good condition has a frayed driver's seat belt. To prevent further degradation, I covered the edge of the belt with duct tape
. Frayed section conforms roughly in size to the concavity visible on the duct tape.
Trusty mechanic quotes $175 + around $75 to install a junk yard replacement. This includes the entire assembly; trusty mechanic says they generally don't work well if you just replace the belt. A new belt and assembly is $475+ installation.
I will have the opportunity to inspect the junk yard part before giving the go-ahead.
Here's the question: assuming that it looks ok, am I better off from a safety stand-point with the used one of unknown history that in theory could be almost twenty years old or should I stick with my slightly frayed belt of known history (I bought the car new)? I know you are not my safety engineer!
posted by Kevin S
on Dec 4, 2013 -
Troubleshooting an ancient 3hp split phase 240 VAC motor, I found a likely problem, which I fixed, and the fine old beast still trips the breaker. Join me in my diagnosis, and suggest if further work is warranted. [more inside]
posted by FauxScot
on Nov 23, 2013 -
My car has been slow to start in the mornings for a year or two now. I've been ignoring it since mechanics couldn't seem to figure it out and it always eventually started. But this morning it was so slow to start that the battery died and I had to have it jump started, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on it. [more inside]
posted by JDHarper
on Oct 28, 2013 -
I have a Molnija watch with a busted mainspring (picture of front
). I've taken it to my local watch repairman and he couldn't find a replacement through whatever channels he had, but maybe RussianWatchFilter knows more? [more inside]
posted by 23
on Oct 16, 2013 -
I've recently moved into a new apartment and found that two of the three bulbs in the bathroom vanity lighting are burnt out. The problem? I can't figure out how to actually get at the bulbs to replace them. Can you help? Images and description inside... [more inside]
posted by Rewind
on Oct 13, 2013 -
I forgot that my Apple Magic Mouse was in my front jeans pocket, and it went through the washing machine. Strangely, it still works fine, even with the same batteries. I admit I'm impressed. BUT... [more inside]
posted by rensar
on Sep 24, 2013 -
My small dog loves squeaky tennis balls and will chase them incessantly, morning and night. However, he is also quite adept at de-squeaking these toys, sometimes within minutes. While he does continue to play with the balls after they have lost their sound, these are far less alluring. As neither my budget nor my house has room for the infinite supply of fresh squeaky balls he desires, I seek to re-squeak these balls with fresh squeakers and some super glue. [more inside]
posted by zachxman
on Sep 13, 2013 -
My beloved umbrella
is broken. Several of the arms that attach the ribs to the shaft have come unattached -- the little hinges that hold them on have twisted and rusted and broken.
Is there such a thing as an umbrella repair person? Like a cobbler, but for umbrellas? If so, what is this person called? (And can you recommend one in Seattle?) If not, do you have any ideas about what other kind of tradesperson might happen to have the tools or skills to fix it?
posted by librarina
on Aug 18, 2013 -
I ride a single speed (flip flop hub) here in NYC and am at a bit of a crossroads - my bike is at the shop and the diagnosis is grim - the worn out seat post is corroded into the frame. If it doesn't come out easy the repairs might be more than the original cost of the bike. Should I strip the components off the bike and get a new frame? Or a new bike entirely? Bike fiends I'd love some tips/pointers on this one. Specific details inside... [more inside]
posted by cristinacristinacristina
on Aug 12, 2013 -
I need recommendations for a person or service that can have a look at my mom's computer, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I would like for Geek Squad to be an absolute last resort. I live on the west coast, alas, and have already done what troubleshooting I can do remotely.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic
on Aug 1, 2013 -
Just moved into a rental house. House built circa 1920. Medicine cabinet interior was completely lined with nasty old contact paper. I pulled off most of the paper. Now I'm worried about three things:
1. The paint underneath the paper is flaking. Is there danger of lead poisoning?
2. Black mold in the corner crevices under the paper. What's the best chemical for removal? Bleach solution?
3. What's the easiest cheapest way to get new shelves that will fit?
Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. How do I make this cabinet clean and functional?
I don't like fixing old houses. Unfortunately there is much to do in this old house. The kitchen is a contact paper festival. The rental market is tight here, so landlords don't have to care.
posted by valannc
on Jul 20, 2013 -
My poor, bedraggled 1996 Saturn is losing coolant. I can see where it's losing it from! I have no idea what it is or how to fix it. [more inside]
posted by curious nu
on Jun 11, 2013 -
Do I dare try replacing the door gasket on my frontload washing machine?
Photo of damaged gasket
. It's not supposed to look like a ruffle. It's supposed to be smooth. The damaged occurred when I was washing a duvet cover and sheets. The load became very unbalanced and the machine leapt and jumped.
Has anyone ordered the part and done a successful
DIY repair? Or should I pay a service tech?
The machine is a Maytag MHWE200XW00. It looks like we could get the gasket shipped for about $120
posted by valannc
on Jun 10, 2013 -
I've got a black IKEA Expedit bookcase that I've used as a surface the last two years or so, and it shows. For various reasons, I can't really move it from where it is right now (it's part of some custom built in furniture). How can I repaint or restain this thing to look a little better? [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something
on Jun 5, 2013 -
How do you drill a 3/8" hole into a 1/2" hole having the same center without a drill press? [more inside]
posted by gauche
on Apr 22, 2013 -
My friend's laptop runs windows 7. After resetting last night she's getting an Operating System Not Found error during boot. Assuming the hard drive hasn't completely failed, what are the best, simplest tools she can use to either fix the problem or at least get her important data off the drive? She has access to another computer with a cd/dvd burner, an 8GB USB flash drive, and blank cds. She doesn't have access to the system restore disc or anything like that. She can get a blank DVD if that's simplest.
I was leaning toward Knoppix as the Linux distribution for a live dvd, but if there's an easier way I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
posted by Green With You
on Mar 16, 2013 -
I have a cylindrical towel rack that is bent. I need to unbend it. How can I do this without damaging it further? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff
on Mar 7, 2013 -
I'm trying to fix my phone. How do I deal with a very tiny, hard to get at screw with a stripped head? [more inside]
posted by delezzo
on Feb 27, 2013 -
I have a two-car garage with a LiftMaster automatic garage door opener that is misbehaving and it's driving me crazy. It seems to be randomly just opening the door long after it is closed and I can't figure out why. I've seen the other questions about garage door openers but was hoping for some advice specific to my situation. [more inside]
posted by misskaz
on Feb 22, 2013 -
A few months ago I finally found the water bottle I'd coveted for so long
. A few weeks ago, I lost it, along with everything else that was in my bag. And the bag itself. And my BLACK BELT. Anyway, after searching online for days, I finally found a shop in Poland that still had one. I ordered it immediately. I have it now.
The hole is *tiny*, invisible to the naked eye. I'd say it leaks about one drop of water a minute. I'm sad and angry and disappointed, but as this bottle is apparently the last of its kind that was on sale, I'd really like to fix it. Any ideas how to go about it? Note: I'm in the Netherlands, so I'm kind of hoping for a miracle cure that will be available to me here...
posted by Skyanth
on Feb 12, 2013 -
One of my oldest friends is selling his 2002 VW Passat Station Wagon (GLX V6). He bought it new and has taken good care of it (I've known him for 30 years; he takes care of things). He has all of the car's records.
As it turns out, I'm in the market for a used car. The car drives beautifully. He is listing it at $6K. But a thorough pre-purchase inspection uncovered several problems, for which he is willing to take the price down. How can we find a fair value for the car? And should I buy this Volkswagen at all? [more inside]
posted by betsbillabong
on Jan 30, 2013 -
I have an old armchair that I'd like to reupholster, but I have zero prior experience in the "furniture repair / restoration" field. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a very basic "step-by-step" guide to get me started. [more inside]
posted by NYC-BB
on Jan 21, 2013 -
I dropped off my computer to be repaired because it kept powering off randomly, and often before windows could even start booting. They told me it was a faulty power supply, which they replaced.
I received a call about fifteen minutes after I got home from a tech there telling me that they forgot to plug my DVD drive into the power supply, and that I can bring it back and have them fix it.
When I ran it at home, I noticed google chrome was missing. Another one of my programs doesn't work now, telling me that "The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable." 3-4 other programs that I've picked at random and tried to run work fine.
posted by Modus Pwnens
on Jan 17, 2013 -
I have a 13-inch, early 2011 Macbook Pro (unibody) that fell out of my backpack and onto a sidewalk. It was in a neoprene sleeve, which helped, but the aluminum screen cover (the part with the white Apple logo on it) is rather dented. The laptop works fine, and there are no cracks on the screen at all. However, I am interested in getting this part replaced, and I have some questions about cost. [more inside]
posted by 4ster
on Jan 11, 2013 -
I've been on a cross country road trip for over 35 days, originally departing from Los Angeles. While driving back home, I got caught in a rain/thunderstorm in Louisiana and rear-ended the car in front of me. I only have liability insurance, so the other party is taken care of but I have to take care of my own busted car. I'm wondering if it's worth getting it fixed up or just getting a new car once I get back home. [more inside]
posted by xtine
on Jan 11, 2013 -
Where is a good place to repair a broken mute switch on the iPhone 4 in Springfield, MO? [more inside]
posted by rmttws
on Dec 28, 2012 -
Recommendations for desktop diagnosis/repair in (North) Seattle? My newly-(self)built box will not POST. [more inside]
posted by skyscraper
on Oct 29, 2012 -
My iPhone (3G)'s power/headphone/volume rocker assembly is on the fritz all of a sudden. How can I try to remedy this? (Either cheaply/locally in NYC or DIY). [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l
on Sep 27, 2012 -
The strap of my handbag broke and I'm looking to repair it but how? As you can see by this photo
, the short metal bit fits into the metal cap. The metal cap holds the end of the braided strap but the strap does not fill the cap entirely; the end where the opening is is hollow. Would filling it with some kind of glue or epoxy work? But which kind? [more inside]
posted by TWinbrook8
on Sep 14, 2012 -
I need a more in-depth guide on the proper care of my old (1800-1960) books. I know the basics, (no sun, no moisture, no dirty hands) but I have some questions whose answers I cannot find. [more inside]
posted by windykites
on Aug 27, 2012 -
Air conditioner won't turn on. Before I shell out for a new one, is there any hope of saving/troubleshooting it? [more inside]
posted by soma lkzx
on Aug 10, 2012 -
What's the deal with my new uke? What do I need to do to get it in tip top playable uke condition? [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote
on Aug 9, 2012 -