Headlight fixed

Have I mentioned before, that I have the most awesome brother?

Maybe just a few times.

Because it’s true!

After spending about 6 or 7 hours working on the garage door, while packing up his tools, he remembered he also wanted to fit the headlight on my van.

We burn lights out on the van rather quickly; there seems to be an electrical problem in the system. My driver’s side low beam bulb was burnt out again, but the passenger side low beam light would sometimes be on, sometimes be off.

When I bought a new bulb, I got a pair of them to replace both bulbs. While changing the bulb on the passenger side, I discovered why it was doing the flicky thing.

A wire was breaking. While changing the bulb, it finally broke completely.

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There was not a lot of wire to work with there, but when I sent a photo to my brother, he said he thought he could fix it.

And he did.

After stripping, cleaning and tinning the wires, he slipped a piece of shrink wrap over one wire, then soldered the exposed ends together. There wasn’t enough wire available to twist them together, as I would normally have thought to do. I couldn’t even help him, other than to hold a light for him, because there was just no room for more fingers in there! He managed to hold the wires together, while also holding the hot soldering iron in one hand, soldering wire in the other.

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The shrink material has adhesive on the inside, so after using a heat gun on it to shrink it, it formed a permanent, water tight seal.

Which didn’t stop him from also adding some electric tape around it, too!

There used to be a both soldering irons and soldering guns here, and while packing things up and looking around, I have found soldering wire, but that’s it. I do have my own soldering iron; just a tiny thing that’s part of a wood burning kit. This is one thing I might have been able to do on my own, and now that I’ve seen it done, I know I can. I don’t have the shrink wrap or a heat gun, so I couldn’t do that part, though.

The main thing is, I now have two working headlights again! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Fixing the garage door

The last couple of days have been very, very wet! 😀 First, we had a series of thunderstorms that lasted all day Friday and on through the night. On Saturday, we were no longer getting thunderstorm warnings, but we were still getting weather warnings for heavy rain.

As usual, the weather systems were more to the north and south of us, but we did still get quite the light show, and a lot of rain.

Oh, and our internet cut out.

Repeatedly.

So I have some catching up to do!

The rain and damp did not stop my amazing, fantastic, wonderful brother from coming out to fix our garage door!

I honestly thought it wasn’t going to happen, and we’d need to get a new one – something we certainly cannot afford – but he found a way!

Have I mentioned my brother is amazing?

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Gate Repair: removing damaged hinges and adding new

I’m absolutely thrilled that my brother and his wife are over for the weekend! Their RV trailer fits in the inner yard, so they even brought their own “house” with them.

My brother, being how he is, was soon working on the damaged gate. More specifically, the gate posts. He’d actually been working on it for a while before he asked me to come and document what he was doing, so he’d managed to get the first of the remaining hinges off by then.

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Fixing garden hoses

Today, I made a quick trip into town to pick up a new litter box for the sun room. Small as they are, 10 kittens and 1 little litter box isn’t working anymore! 😀

Since I was in town anyways, I stopped to pick up replacement hose connectors.

Garden hoses are among the things we’re finding lots of, all over the place, and they all suck! Last year we threw out a couple because they had so many holes in them. Why they were kept at all was a mystery! I’ve even found some in the barn, but they’ve been there so long, they’re actually brittle.

For the past while, we’ve been using 4 hoses that we’ve found. They all leak, but were still usable, for the most part. When I washed the gates in the garage in preparation for painting, I had to hook all 4 of them together to be able reach into the garage. One of the connections had started to spray so much, my daughter thought it was a sprinkler, at first!

We do need new hoses, but replacing them is low on the budget priority list. Especially since I want to replace them with heavy duty 50′ and 100′ hoses. Replacing the connectors, on the other hand, is much more affordable.

I picked up some inexpensive brass connectors. After testing the first pair of hoses, these are the ends that need replacing.

This was very much a “use the tools I got” project. I used pruning sheers to cut the old ends off.

I could really tell the difference between the quality of hoses while inserting the connectors! Yes, I did get the one on the right pushed in further. This involved slamming the end into the bench I was using as a work surface. LOL

Then I used the concrete step as a surface to hammer the grips into the hose.

When I tested it later, I discovered I accidentally hammered the female coupling into an oval, and had to hammer it back into shape. LOL

After finding these two no longer leaked, I tested the other pair of hoses.

This one was spraying so much, it reduced the water pressure when using it. Which was a problem when we had it hooked up to the back tap and were using it with a sprinkler to water the raspberries I’d transplanted. 😀

Fixing this turned out to have an unexpected problem. This is a heavier duty hose than any of the others, and the inner circumference was much smaller. I wasn’t able to stretch it enough to insert the connector. I could stretch it quite a bit with the tools I had, so I knew I could get the connector in, but it didn’t stay stretched. Which is good for a hose, but not good for what I was trying to do! 😀

Through a combination of careful snips with the pruning sheers and some spray lubricant, I was able to get it in. Not far enough for the grips to catch all of the hose, though. I eventually thought of using a small box cutter to make a couple more surgical incisions in the outer layer of the hose, which allowed it to stretch enough that I could push (well… slam, repeatedly…) the connector in further. I had my doubts whether it would work or not, so I tested it right away.

Yes!!! It worked! No more spraying. Not even a little leak.

The other hose it’s attached to was not leaking… yet.

It had several cracks like this at one end, so I cut off about two feet of hose, then attached the connector.

While not as heavy duty as the one I’d just finished, this one also had an inner lining that made it too a bit small for the connector. This time, however, I had my skinny little box cutter handy, and I was able to shave some of the inner liner off at the end. Between that and the spray lubricant, I was able to get the connector in and finish the job.

I wish I’d thought of that with the previous hose. It would have been a lot easier to do, if I had!

We do still need to replace the hoses, but for less than $15, I’ve added years to their usability.

It also means that I can leave the water tap on, and not be wasting water from all the drips and spraying.

Once done, I was glad to get inside again. While I did the work in the shade, the testing was done in full sun. We’ve hit 28C today, and it’s supposed to stay hot like this for the next couple of weeks.

At times like this, I quite appreciate how cool the main floor of the house stays.

The Re-Farmer

Clean up: front gate prep (updated)

This morning, my older daughter and I moved the gates and got started on prepping them for painting.

Those things are fekking heavy!

After considering our options, we ended up digging out a roll of plastic I found in the garage to use as a drop cloth and set one half of the gates up on bricks.

It’s hard to see in this picture, but even though I’d already hosed the gates down before we put it over the plastic, after hosing it down second time, the water puddled under it is really dirty!

We went over the gate on one side with a wire brush to scrub any areas that looked like the paint was peeling of, or were particularly rusted. Then we washed it.

We found an eco-friendly detergent for the job.

After doing the one side, we rinsed off the suds, flipped it over, then did it again.

We also took the sliding bar off the other half and that got scrubbed, cleaned and rinsed, too.

As of this writing, it’s still sitting in the sun, drying. We forgot to get paint thinner to clean our brush, so I will get some when I go to pick up my other daughter from work. By then, it should be dry enough to start painting. 🙂

Once that one is done, we’ll do the same to the other half of the gate.

We’ll also need to do the gate posts, though for that, we’ll have to get those bottom broken hinges off, before we can clean it. We’ve been applying penetrating lubricant to them, every now and then, in hopes that that will finally get them loose.

While scrubbing and cleaning the gate, I could see that there was red paint under the black – and in some places, a bright blue! The gate construction is not very usual; gates tend to be made wither either a lighter material, or in a triangular shape, so they aren’t so heavy in the middle, which would stress the hinges and cause the posts to lean inwards. I’m thinking my late brother built the whole thing from scratch! As for the gate posts, which he designed so that they could easily be leveled as needed, they are actually starting to lean outward, due to the shifting of the ground. Heavy as the gate is, it’s not enough to overpower the forces of freeze and thaw!

I’m looking forward to how it looks when everything is all painted and fixed up.

I’m also looking forward to having a working gate again.

The Re-Farmer

Update: first coat of paint on the first side of the first gate is done.

That’s a lot of firsts. LOL

I am loving that blue!

The piece by itself on the brick is the slider bar. When the gates are hung back up, the bar will be placed on one side, with two bolts holding it place. One of them also acts as a stopper, when the gate is closed and the bar is slid across to hold the other side in place. At the other end is a hole for a pin to keep the bar from sliding back again. There had also been some electrical wire, used like a twist tie, to further secure the gate. We replaced the wire with a length of chain and a carabiner, before we had to start locking it.

For as long as I can remember, the pin was just a long screw tied to the opposite gate with some bale twine. When the gate was vandalized, the screw was bent into a semi-circle. Our vandal didn’t move the slider bar before he jacked the first side of the gate off its hinges. So we will have to think of what to use as a pin. Hopefully, we’ll find something nicer than a screw and bale twine. Not that that was anything to sneeze at. It worked for many years, after all!

The paint needs to cure for at least 6 hours, so tomorrow we will be able to flip the gate and do the other side. Then we will have to wait for all the paint to cure for 24 hours before we can put on a second coat. If all goes well, we’ll be able to move this one aside to cure while we prep and paint the other one.

I will have to find something soft to put over the bricks so as not to scratch the new paint after we flip it. 🙂