Posts tagged "repairing"

How can I repair cracked greenhouse glass?

We’ve had an email from Siobhan:

I’ve got a repair question for you. A pane of glass in my greenhouse cracked over winter and I want to make it safe. Is there anything I can do short of replacing it? Thanks!

You can fix it temporarily with tape – duct tape works apparently or you can get special transparent UV stablised repair tape – but from what I’ve read, they’re really supposed to be temporary measures until you replace it ASAP, lest a giant shard of the weakened glass break off and spear you through the eye. (That said, I’m pretty sure my dad had broken glass panes in his greenhouses for the bulk of my childhood without any problems. No eyes gouged out here.)

Random pieces of glass come up quite regularly on my local Freecycle/Freegle group and from local sellers on eBay so if your area is anything like mine, you should be able to pick up a replacement quite cheaply.

Any other suggestions?

How can I repair tears in sheets & bed linen?

When we moved into our new house last autumn, we got a new bed.

Despite our love of slumber, our last bed was awful – the cheapest double I could find when I needed a bed in a hurry back in 2002. It was small, uncomfortable and had been repaired so many times, I think by the end it was made out entirely of glue and hope, not badly laminated wood.

When we moved here, we decided to do things right – after looking at the options in all the big bed shops and online, we ended up commissioning a local furniture maker to make us a bed frame instead*. He made it out of reclaimed wood (yay recycling!) and to a chunky design of our choosing. When he came to assemble it, he gave us a little tool which we might have to use to tighten some bolts — in twenty years time. It’s the best, most solid bed I’ve ever met and we’re very happy with it.

Why am I telling this story in a post about sheets & bed linen? Well, because we decided that after getting the bed frame right, we were going to get the rest of our bed experience spot on too. Like with the bed itself, we decided to buy good quality items that would last us for years and years, instead of cheap things that would fall apart – a key part of “reducing”. I spent ages tracking down & more money than I would normally do on bed linen to get top quality 100% cotton duvet covers. And you know what? Both have ripped already.

We think one of them got ripped on our cat Carbon’s last day – sadly, I can imagine him using the duvet to claw his way onto the bed, or using his claws to drag himself around the space once he was up there. There is a straight tear in it about four inches long, and some smaller tears & L-shaped tears in other spots too. The other duvet cover? I’ve no idea how that got ripped. I just found an L-shaped tear in it – about four inches on either side – when I was washing it the other day. Whatever happened though, it needs fixing.

So what is the best way to repair these supposed-to-last-years duvet covers? Will something like iron-on mending tape work? Or would good old-fashioned sewing be better – and if so, any stitch/method recommendations? Or would patching them be a better route in the long run? Any advice on doing that neatly and smoothly?

Any other suggestions?

* In case anyone’s interested, it was Stump Furniture in Leeds. It wasn’t exactly cheap but it was the same price as the one we were looking at in a brand-name bed shop — and that brand-name bed was allegedly half the price it should have been. I doubt that shop one would have been so well made.

(Photo by uvo_design)

How can I reuse or recycle (or repair) a stove top kettle?

We’ve had an email from long time Recycle This-er Alice in Blogland:

I just killed my stainless steel on-the-hob kettle! Left it on the hob too long – I forgot about it ‘cos the whistle broke ages ago.

They do burn through eventually but I’ve never seen it happen before. It’s started leaking at the seam around the bottom where the sides join the base, and I’m a bit stuck for either re-uses or how to recycle it. Anyone got any ideas?

I think kettles with removable lids look mighty cute as plant pots but with the leak, you might want to put the pot on a plastic saucer in the kettle to catch overspill water – or it might be easier to seal the leak if you know it doesn’t have to be heat-proof too (for example, some waterproof silicone sealant might do the job well enough to use it as a plant pot but would make your tea somewhat plasticky and poisonous…).

Any other ideas for reuses? What about kettle that you refill through the spout so have less reuse-as-a-pot potential?

Anyone got any repair advice or words of caution?

How can I repair or restore an old bath?

We had an email from Richard the other day:

I have recently designed and restored a cast iron roll top bath. I’ve taken an antique original bath and I have recently designed and restored a cast iron roll top bath. I’ve taken an antique original bath and have given it a bespoke twist using ceramic handmade mosaics as decoration. With the iron legs chromed too I feel it would stand out in any bathroom.

Replica cast iron baths take large amounts of energy to produce and thus leave a large carbon foot print. This is my greener alternative!

This is a great idea – there are so many old baths dumped because they’re no longer pretty but this now is pretty flash.

Our bath in our last house was very old – the original one when bathrooms were installed in the houses in the 1960s (when the council decided that the 60 year old houses weren’t actually “temporary housing” as planned) – and as a result, the enamel was damaged & stained by water deposits. It was always our plan to explore re-enamelling it but as with many things in our lives, we never got around to it. Has anyone else had any experience re-surfacing a bath? Did you do it yourself or is it a job for a professional?

A lot of baths nowadays seem to be made from plastic or fibreglass – not quite so cold but more prone to cracking that a solid hunk of metal. Has anyone fixed a damaged plastic/fibreglass bath?

How can I fix leaking wellies/rubber boots?

Two “repair this” posts in a row – something I usually try to avoid but this is a bit of an urgent one from Kate:

Help! My wellies are leaking! How can I fix them?!

It’s a similar, just slightly more heavy duty, problem to that of my leaky trainers – you need something that will seal the hole but remain flexible (unlike, say, superglue) because it’ll crack when dry. Alice’s waterpoof trouser question might also suggest some mending solutions.

My first thought was puncture repair kit – something suggested a lot to solve my trainer problem – but a quick Google suggests that’s not guaranteed to work. Further in that forum thread, someone mentions that wellington boot repair kits exist – presumably just a heavier duty version than standard bike tyre puncture repair kits.

If it’s only a small leak, a quick bodge not-really-fix would be to put your socked feet into plastic bags before sliding them into your wellies – at least that would keep your feet dry. Depending where the hole/split is, a strip of gaffer tape might also help reduce moisture incursion in the short term until a more permanent fix can take place.

Any other suggestions?

(If you can’t fix them and end up getting a new pair – don’t forget to reuse or recycle your old pair.)