I bought a plastic wheelbarrow and regretted it 4 years later. So much for the “plastic lasts forever” theory. Yes, it lasts forever, but it cracks in the interim, into smaller and smaller pieces. That was the fate of our deep Ace Hardware wheelbarrow that was this homestead’s workhorse for some 4 years.
We’ve had to replace the wheel once already. You can do that at Ace, amazingly, as they have parts ready to purchase for their wheelbarrows, but I doubt they’d have a new tub for us to replace. I thought we’d have to trash the whole molded black plastic thing, and then our friend, Ang Temba Sherpa from Nepal came to the rescue. He stitched it!
Yep, the fix was a mend via wire stitching, using a thin drill bit to make small holes for threading the wire along the crack. It’s a beautiful work of art to behold, somewhat like the stitch-up of the plastic plant pot I spotted in Tsarang, Upper Mustang, Nepal on our last trip there.
Why don’t we mend our plastics in this country like the people of Nepal do?
It’s now been another 4 years since Ang Temba repaired our wheelbarrow, and I’m proud to tell you that we’re still using it! The long cracks in the base are actually quite welcome, as they let rainwater drip out. We have an improved wheelbarrow as a result of this everlasting hand stitchery.
It’s still in action!
You choose, which pair of scissors are going to last longer?
Although the ones with the plastic handles cut a little better, they’re broken and I suspect they’ll break again. The metal pair have been around for decades and are still going strong. In the event they break apart, I might be able to entice our blacksmith friend to help repair them. If you don’t have the tools you need at home, you can take scissors for sharpening at a nearby sewing shop.
Meanwhile, I’m just questioning why the need for plastic handles? The obvious solution is to fix them, so this is simply a reminder to those of you who have plastic-handled scissors that break: Get out the Super Glue and fix ’em! (This is my second pair that’s needed repair this month, oddly.)
Do you have a good fix it solution for an everyday household item? Please share it with us!
I promise, I haven’t gone off the deep end. I hate to throw things away that don’t need to be tossed, and most pens that stop writing can be fixed in a matter of seconds.
We had a few hundred pens to test after having collected them from boxes bound for a dumpster. Sure, we had saved them from the landfill, but did they work? Most did, but the 30 or so that wouldn’t write just needed a little nudge. The roller ball was locked in place by dried-up ink from lack of use and we decided to put an age-old remedy to the test. If you put the tip of a ballpoint pen in a flame for a second or two it heats up the ball and gets it moving again.
Moving parts are all that’s needed when you know there’s still ink in that pen. Here’s how we did it. This ain’t rocket science:
I had 2 excellent lab testers to do the job. The result? Thirty pens saved! And, why do we do this? Because we find too many plastic pens out in the environment, on our beaches, sides of roads, sidewalks. Every time we go to the beach or to town, we find pens.
Paper Mate Washed Ashore at Point No Point, WA © Liesl Clark
I don’t think I’ll ever need to buy a pen again. They’re everywhere, and most are made of plastic so they’re here to stay, forever. Let’s try to fix the ones that don’t work and give them a second, third, and fifth life if necessary. And when all the plastic pens have been used up, we can start buying one special metal pen a year, like my husband does. He carries it with him and uses it religiously, because it’s his one pen, his favorite pen, meticulously made, and ready for him to write beautiful things because it’s well made and doesn’t dry up so easily.