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  • Toy repair

    I don't know if anyone else here spends a lot of time fixing their kids' toys, but sometimes I feel like it's never-ending. Every now and then it involves more than just some super glue or epoxy... and sometimes it even turns into an excuse to make some chips!

    We have a bunch of transformers and they're pretty cool... but don't seem nearly as well made as they used to be when I was a kid. Case in point, Bumblebee has plastic prongs molded into the back side of each rear wheel, that clip into a hole. It didn't take long for those prongs to stop holding their shape, and then the wheels kept falling off. I had an idea to drill through each wheel and for each one make a screw to go through the wheel from the front, and a tapered nut to fit the other end of the screw so that as the screw is tightened, it forces the plastic prongs apart.

    Perfect excuse to make some tiny, shiny parts and play with some fire.

    I used O1 drill rod to turn a pair of tapered nuts - pretty straightforward, I used a 10 degree taper and drilled and tapped them for M1.4 threads. After parting off, here's how they looked:


    My challenge now was how to reverse them to finish off the side I had parted. I also knew I'd face this same challenge for polishing them during heat treating. Having that taper meant I couldn't just throw them in a collet. I decided to turn a threaded arbor to hold them:


    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

  • #2
    I made up a small plastic washer to keep the finished side from getting scuffed up. Here is one of the tapered nuts, reversed on the threaded arbor:


    And the completed nuts:


    The wheels on the toy have a center bore about 0.1" deep, and I needed a small pilot at the bottom of that hole to drill it through to a smaller size to pass the screws through. I needed to turn a plug gauge to determine the diameter of the bore, so at the same time I tapered the plug so I could use it to mark the center at the bottom of the bore:
    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

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    • #3
      Next up, I needed a pair of special M1.4 screws. I needed the shoulders to be 0.26" long and the threaded portion to be 0.1" long. I had up to 0.1" to use for the thickness of the head - I ended up making them 0.07" thick. Here is one of the screw blanks turned, just before threading:


      And now with some nice, tidy threads (I give all the credit to Tap Magic):


      I slotted the screw heads with a 0.016" thick slotting blade on the horizontal mill. It's a blade I had accidentally ruined a while ago but it's all I had to hand that was close to the right width so I used it anyway. It didn't so much cut the metal, as worry it. Here are all of the parts after hardening, polishing, then tempering to blue (and if you look close you can see the hole drilled through the toy's wheel):
      Max
      http://joyofprecision.com/

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      • #4
        Here are the parts, assembled as they would be when installed in the wheels:


        Done!


        I usually get the saw centered, when slotting screws, by letting the saw scuff across the top of the screw head to judge the position (the marks are easy to polish off afterward). The saw I was using was in such bad shape that it left a scuff line that was not centered relative to the saw... so I had to live with a wonky slot on the screw shown in that last picture. As expected, the tapered nuts wanted to turn with the screws but a little bit of pressure on the back with the blade of my knife, while tightening the screws, and it worked just fine. The nut and screw both turn with the wheel, so I don't imagine they'll loosen up over time.
        Max
        http://joyofprecision.com/

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        • #5
          I think that is REALLY nice work, and the offset screw slot proves that it is custom made! It is great to see such dedication to your kids and their fun.
          Of course, that is now a $100.00 bumble bee.
          Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mars-red View Post
            but don't seem nearly as well made as they used to be when I was a kid.
            Ooh Goodonya. Does anyone else feel old all of a sudden? The only transformers around when I was a kid were electrical. lol
            Good to see that you are fixing the kiddie's toys (or are they really Dads toys?) Whilst they might not fully appreciate the amount of work you put into the repair, they will appreciate that Dad took the time to fix them. Before you know it you will be fixing cars for them.

            Take care
            bollie7

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            • #7
              You keep it up and some day that penny will be part of the Mar-Red Museum of Itty Bitty Tooling and Transformer Repair

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Duffy View Post
                I think that is REALLY nice work, and the offset screw slot proves that it is custom made! It is great to see such dedication to your kids and their fun.
                Of course, that is now a $100.00 bumble bee.
                Thanks Duffy! I don't tend to consider my time in terms of money, and I guess that's probably for the best. Being a parent is great, and a lot of the time it's hard to tell where their fun ends and mine begins. For example, coloring time usually results in my oldest drawing a picture of a lathe or two for me. Gotta love that!

                Originally posted by bollie7 View Post
                Ooh Goodonya. Does anyone else feel old all of a sudden? The only transformers around when I was a kid were electrical. lol
                Good to see that you are fixing the kiddie's toys (or are they really Dads toys?) Whilst they might not fully appreciate the amount of work you put into the repair, they will appreciate that Dad took the time to fix them. Before you know it you will be fixing cars for them.

                Take care
                bollie7
                Thanks bollie! I won't lie, I enjoy playing with some of the kids' transformers as much as they do. I really wish I still had all mine from when I was kid, to give to them. I looked on e-bay a while ago and was pretty surprised to see what a lot of the old ones are going for. Anyway, regarding Dad fixing toys, I have fond memories of my Dad fixing toys for me so I can only hope my boys will have similar memories.

                Originally posted by 1-800miner View Post
                You keep it up and some day that penny will be part of the Mar-Red Museum of Itty Bitty Tooling and Transformer Repair
                LOL heaven help us if that that museum ever becomes a thing!
                Max
                http://joyofprecision.com/

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                • #9
                  In picture # 1
                  what are the tapered washers sitting on??????????
                  George from Conyers Ga.
                  Remember
                  The early bird gets the worm, BUT it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by George Seal View Post
                    In picture # 1
                    what are the tapered washers sitting on??????????
                    Ah, I was wondering how long it would take before someone asked about that! It is a small slip of spalted maple. There was an old, half-dead maple that my in-laws had taken down last year - it was about 4 feet in diameter at the base of the trunk. When chopping it up, we noticed those strange, black swirling lines throughout a good portion of it. I did a little bit of research and I guess that's what they call spalting. A form of fungus, from what I understand? A lot of the wood ended up being given away, and I know at least some of it went to some woodworking types, and that makes me feel pretty good. We used some for firewood, but I rescued several of the nicer looking pieces and set them aside. I'd like to develop some woodworking skill someday... it sure would be nice to make my own small boxes and chests for some of the little tools I use.
                    Max
                    http://joyofprecision.com/

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                    • #11
                      The neighbors brought over a box of old toys for my 2yo boy...in the box was a car carrier semi trailer but no tractor. Since my boy has no shortage of toy trucks, I selected the best candidate and headed out to the shop. I chopped the original 5th off of the trailer and turned a new one out of a 3" disc of 1/2" aluminum I found in the bin, then chopped off the excess and milled to size. As luck would have it, the fenders in the truck matched up to a 5/8 radius. The hole for the hitch is stepped so that the trailer hooks in fairly well. The plastic bed was thick enough to tap a out 3 8-32 threads into. Took about 30 minutes. The kid loves it.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lbhsbz View Post
                        The neighbors brought over a box of old toys for my 2yo boy...in the box was a car carrier semi trailer but no tractor. Since my boy has no shortage of toy trucks, I selected the best candidate and headed out to the shop. I chopped the original 5th off of the trailer and turned a new one out of a 3" disc of 1/2" aluminum I found in the bin, then chopped off the excess and milled to size. As luck would have it, the fenders in the truck matched up to a 5/8 radius. The hole for the hitch is stepped so that the trailer hooks in fairly well. The plastic bed was thick enough to tap a out 3 8-32 threads into. Took about 30 minutes. The kid loves it.
                        Nice work! I was hoping someone else would chime in with a toy repair project. I think it's important for kids to get used to the idea of fixing things instead of just throwing them away. When I was growing up, we didn't throw anything away unless Dad couldn't fix it... and if Dad couldn't fix it, it was probably a lost cause anyway.

                        Last year I modified one my boys' matchbox cars to add a tow bar. My oldest was disappointed that all of his trucks with tow hitches couldn't actually tow anything (tiny little plastic protrusions that seem to be there just for show), so we selected a candidate and I made up a little tow bar. I thought I had posted this already here, but I looked back at my post history and I guess I didn't.

                        The bar itself I made from 0.035" shim stock, and turned a piece of brass for the "ball" that was a press fit. The M1.6 screw to attach the bar to the car was made from O1 drill rod, hardened and tempered to blue. I drilled through the rear body rivet of the car, then tapped the threads. I had to file a little bit of clearance under the rear bumper too. Everything, before installation:


                        Installed:


                        Action shot:


                        Off-topic, but why do I sometimes get an error message stating I have a total of 5 images, when I'm only trying to post 4 images? Seems to sporadic.
                        Max
                        http://joyofprecision.com/

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                        • #13
                          Another fixit Dad here.
                          Caution though, it can go to far... I once fixed a balloon, for months afterwards I had to secretly dispose of popped balloons.
                          I do feel somewhat for my daughters future other halves, if they cant fix stuff they are really going to hear about it.

                          Dave
                          Just south of Sudspumpwater UK

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                          • #14
                            The system counts smileys as pictures. Probably to prevent people from posting long lines of smileys like in car forums
                            Igor

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ikdor View Post
                              The system counts smileys as pictures. Probably to prevent people from posting long lines of smileys like in car forums
                              Igor
                              Aha! Thanks a million for pointing that out, I never would have thought of that even though it's pretty obvious now that you've mentioned it.
                              Max
                              http://joyofprecision.com/

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