In the past week, I’ve discovered (or re-discovered — I’m not quite sure which) a love for taking things apart. Maybe it’s due to having an avid tinkerer as a significant other. Or, maybe I always loved doing it. I’m not sure. Anyways, the tinkerer awoke in me recently and I couldn’t be more excited. Usually when a tool needs fixing or adjustment, I call in backup (aka Anthony, because he’s the sweetest). But, when my staple gun failed this weekend, he’d already left for weekend adventures with some friends. This time, I needed to take care of my own failing tools.
I spent the better part of an hour taking apart my staple gun to clear the jam and getting the pieces back together, which made me think about tool maintenance. We buy so many tools already because we need them for specific projects. We don’t need to be replacing tools when it’s well within our capabilities to fix them. Plus, I love my staple gun. It may very well be my favorite tool, so I didn’t want to give up on it so quickly.
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Googling & Taking Your Best Guess
I knew very quickly that the jam went deeper than just the channel of staples when I took it out and saw a piece had gotten lodged between the pieces above it. To fix my PowerShot Staple Gun*, I didn’t actually need to do any research. I could clearly see the problem. I just couldn’t get to the jammed staple with my needle nose pliers*. So, I got my handy screwdriver* and took the thing apart. I will say the one downside to fixing this particular tool was that when I popped one side off, a few pieces popped out as well. So, my first tip for taking things apart was already a failure (see below).
If you’re not as lucky as I was in being able to clearly see the problem at hand, try using search engines. I suggest using only a few terms, including the tool in question. For example, I’d enter:
If you don’t find an answer right away, try switching up the words you’re using. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is it making a strange sound?
- Is something not working like it should?
- Does there seem to be a piece missing?
Questions like these help you not only figure out what’s wrong, but may help you find the right search terms to get you the right source to fix it!
Tips for Taking Apart Failing Tools
1.Take pictures of what it looked like when you began. This will make it so much easier to put it back together. You can use the pictures as a template. Try to get all possible angles and take more at every stage. The more complete a picture you have, the easier it will be to put everything back again.
2. Go slow. People sometimes make fun of me because I’m a huge advocate of slowing down, especially when working on a creative project. However, in this case it is more for safety reasons than anything else. If the tool has any kind of springs or triggers, you don’t want them popping out at any moment and hitting you in the face! 😉
3. Keep a grease rag or roll of paper towels handy. Often times, tools are greased to make sure they work properly and efficiently. You’ll probably get your hands dirty.
4. If you get stuck, cull YouTube for tutorial videos. Even if you watch a tutorial before you start, it will give you an idea of whether or not you’re in over your head. Or, you can try reaching out to the company who manufactured the tool directly. Without even doing that, Arrow contacted me on Instagram to make sure everything went smoothly while un-jamming my PowerShot. I was super impressed with their proactive customer service! Of course, I’d already fixed it, but that’s okay. 😀
5. Store and maintain properly according to instructions. If you can’t find information on your tool’s packaging, look online. We keep a log of maintenance we’ve done on our cars, so lately I have been considering doing the same for our tools. After all, they too need care, maintenance, and cleaning to continue working at their best.
Just Be Fearless
Finally, don’t be afraid of doing something, just because you’ve never done it before. Read all about my Fearless DIY philosophy here.
Be sure to tell me about your fearless DIY adventures in the comments below, along with any DIY tool mishaps you may have run into. I’d love to hear them!
Want to see what I jammed my staple gun doing? Check out this post.
As always —
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