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    • By Austin Allegro
      In another thread we are bemoaning the difficulty of getting tradesmen to do jobs. 
      I therefore propose a thread on DIY and self reliance tips in order to avoid the can't be bothered brigade. 
      Here's a couple of my tips: 
      1. I replaced a panel in my panel fence (a two man job) by screwing temporary handles on to it as shown in a youtube video. Works a charm, even in a high wind. 
      2. I put a roof on my shed (another two man job) by using ratchet straps and pulling it into position from ground level. I then secured the ratchet straps to the base of the shed and got on the roof to nail it into place. 
      3. I clean my own windows with an 18' extendable cleaning pole. It works quite well though using the blade on the upper storey windows takes practice.
      4. I repaired and smartened up my cracked patio using the 'Portland Paint' technique - basically just filling the cracks then skimming and painting new mortar on top of old to give a new finish. It does need to be done annually for best results, but it costs only a few pence as opposed to hundreds of pounds for a new patio. 
      5.I fixed a broken tap using the advice of this excellent online retired plumber called Dereton 33. Saved £££s.
      Please post your hints, tips and other ways to get round the 'tradesman problem'!
       
    • By davidg
      Is grease monkey rascist?
      Well anyway went into the Toy-Yoda main stealer. Got a rumbling rear wheel bearing, how much to change?
      Guy sucks backwards through teeth, 250 for the hub, 2 hours labour so thats 200. 450, plus VAT at 20%
      WTF? what are the hubs made of? Unicorn shit? Can't you just pull the bearings? They are usually about a score to buy?
      Nah mate, sealed unit innit.
      and 2 hours for labour?
      Yeah, well we have to remove the hub, bolts, anyway it's  a standard rate anyway, same price in any main stealer.
      ===
      So anyway I check with the motor factors, a hub from a reputable manufacturer was 90 euros. I spent half an hour this morning removing the hub and undoing 3 bolts holding the bearing unit. I then got stuck on the last bolt despite having a breaker bar. I realized that my socket was not the best quality. Left penetrating oil on the bolt and bearing unit. Went out to lunch and popped into the DIY shop to pick up a quality socket which let me get the remaining bolt out. Couldn't free the bearing unit so returned to DIY shop to buy two long 10mm bolts which I screwed into the bearing unit to press it out against the axle unit.
      Total cost about 100 and an hour and a half work, a garage could probably do it in half an hour.
      500 euros, it is nearly criminal!
       
    • By steppensheep
      I need a 3 inch or so square of plastic with one side curved, and made of a suitable material that will glue to whatever my laptop lid is made of. I did have a bit I was saving from the battery case cover of some electrical item, but I think I probably forgot what I was saving it for and threw it out, or else it's gone to wherever the socks and biros go. Anyway, the crack has got bigger, so it would be too small now.
       
      I actually managed to melt an aluminium bracket onto it, which probably worked better than it deserved to, and actually stopped the crack spreading but also ended up a bit messy looking.
       
      Any suggestions?
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