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Something to tinker with

Suggestions for something to disassemble and reassemble?

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Hi all

I find I increasingly want to take things apart and put them back together.  To save me a fortune in damaged goods, can anyone suggest something that can be (and is preferably designed to be) taken apart and put back together?

I've often thought if I was an American I'd buy a gun just to take it apart and put it back together, till I was a Marine who could reassemble a M27 blindfolded :)  What's the British equivalent of that I wonder...

And yes I am aware of the existence of jigsaws which one could say are designed for this purpose, but I want something more 3D for my desk and to prevent the devil playing with my idle hands in between tax returns.  My Parker pen is also showing signs of wear from all the breaking apart.

Thanks all!

Replies (21)

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By lesley.barnes
10th Jul 2020 08:56

www.happypuzzle.co.uk/products/set-of-eight-colour-block-puzzles

How about something like these block puzzles? I've bought things from them in the past and they've alway been good quality.

Thanks (1)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
10th Jul 2020 09:03

Lego

my kids are lego aged, and I must admit I like nothing better than a rainy weekend when it all comes out, and often I am sat there finishing "daddies model" WAY after the kids are done with it. As in they have gone off, watched a film, come back and i am still at it.

I often have a small model on my desk which one of them has made which gets picked at and rearranged.

Thanks (2)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
10th Jul 2020 10:44

Yes agreed,lego (or a joblot of Meccano.)

lego is what the kids tend to still buy me for birthdays and christmas and when they both leave home for good neither will have space to take all their own lego (and there is a lot of it, boxes, tubs, a three foot high trolley with drawers with parts sorted into drawers by colour, boxes of made up kits (like Hogwarts)) so it will become mine, all mine.

We even years ago bought on E Bay lots of older boards with roads on them plus a tranche of airport ones, have a lego football pitch (game) and recently I got given a lego train set with extra track , so given the space a small town is now a distinct possibility. (when they were small there was a playroom where I built a deep shelf at low level around two walls where lots could be built and shown, now sadly my son's office)

Catch these days is occupying dining tables for long periods with Lego models tends to be frowned upon by the management, but with a fair supply of Technic and some motors smaller interesting, more challenging, models like aeroplanes with synced propellers, working windmills etc can all be built in limited space..

When my son was about 18 months old we had our first holiday in Denmark, we visited Legoland and we fell in love with the place, we must have over the years visited about 12-15 times, until the kids got a bit too old for its charms. Each time we visited duplo and lego was purchased and over the years (especially once two of them were clamouring for new sets each holiday) the collection grew.

(Can recommend the T1 VW camper, really great model)

https://www.lego.com/en-gb/product/volkswagen-t1-camper-van-10220
https://www.legoland.dk/en/

And if anyone doubts lego's sturdiness, there is a box of it at my Mother in laws that was bought for my wife and her brother when small over fifty years ago that all still works, holds together well, the grandchilden played happily with it for hours.

And if anyone visits Legoland at Bilund, make sure to buy some lego brick shaped chips and if possible stay in the hotel there (used to get you into park early)

So, onto Ebay, buy a few joblots (tends to get sold secondhand by the kilo) and get building

Thanks (1)
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By Paul Crowley
10th Jul 2020 09:11

Try the tax system.
Problem would be once apart, the pieces do not fit

Thanks (3)
By SteveHa
10th Jul 2020 10:29

Your laptop. That can be fun.

Thanks (0)
Replying to SteveHa:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
10th Jul 2020 10:50

As a kid I took things apart, stereos, clocks, everything, catch usually was once they went back together there were often spare bits left over.

One of things that drove me initially to an engineering degree was my love of finding out how things worked, one of the things that drove me out of that degree after only one year was finding out it did not involve taking things to pieces but instead lots of simultaneous equations with circuit diagrams.

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Replying to DJKL:
By SteveHa
10th Jul 2020 11:01

I went a step further as a kid. I had a cassette player that I pulled apart, took a bit of wire and shorted out a bunch of the PCB, which gave me a nice volume boost.

Still don't know what trouble I was storing up, but it just kept on working.

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By mrme89
10th Jul 2020 11:06

This website.

Thanks (1)
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By Mr_awol
10th Jul 2020 11:25

You don't have to be American to buy a gun you know - I take each of mine mine apart regularly, clean and oil them, and put them back together again. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your outlook) it's somewhat harder to get hold of one in the first place.

The bolt action rifles only breakdown into a few parts so wouldn't really keep you entertained. The semi autos are a bit more involved, with lots of little pins, springs, etc..

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mr_awol:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
10th Jul 2020 12:03

Shotguns are in comparison positively boring- as a kid I would "assist" cleaning my father's shotgun, still gun oil does have a wonderful smell. (I could not take to shooting, I had too much sympathy for the animals being killed though never had the same qualms with fish)

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
10th Jul 2020 12:13

James May had a series where he did exactly what you're looking to do. You can find a list of the things he disassembled and reassembled here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_May:_The_Reassembler

Thanks (1)
Replying to Red Leader:
By SteveHa
10th Jul 2020 12:18

James May does seem to like his chuffing sound when it comes to model trains.

Thanks (1)
Replying to SteveHa:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
10th Jul 2020 12:35

Who does not like chuffing sounds?

Model train repairs are certainly another route, I have boxes of the stuff in various stages of repair, but the actual mechanical restoration part of say restoring old Triang/Hornby etc is pretty brief, most of the work in reality is using glue, filling holes, sanding, painting, lettering.

In addition whilst they can be repaired you do not really take them apart again once done.

(I also have a plastic Hornby Flying Scotsman like James May's (mine is without chuffing sound )that has fairly recently had a broken roof part replacement using plasticard and putty to form the broken section, a job that overall took a couple of hours, but the actual work servicing the mechanics of the loco were very short lived)

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Caroline
By accountantccole
10th Jul 2020 13:11

Can you solve a rubiks cube? seems to keep my husband and son distracted. I don't enough brain space to be bothered to learn the combinations to solve it!

Thanks (1)
Replying to accountantccole:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
10th Jul 2020 13:43

I can with a flat blade screwdriver.

Take cube, rotate top layer circa 45 degrees, lever first corner, rest are simple, sort pieces, reassemble.

There is also the kettle and stickers solution.

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By memyself-eye
10th Jul 2020 14:24

you can have my sodding spin dryer which I took apart to fit a new drive belt - which snapped after two days.

Still, I'm saving a fortune in electricity now.

underpants are a bit damp these days though.....

Thanks (1)
Replying to memyself-eye:
By mrme89
10th Jul 2020 15:01

memyself-eye wrote:

underpants are a bit damp these days though.....

Is that your age or shoddy DIY work?

Thanks (1)
Quack
By Constantly Confused
13th Jul 2020 07:55

Thanks all :)

I am an avid Lego builder, though I can never bring myself to take them apart once they are built, so they are arrayed all over the house and I only get one 'use' out of them :)

I did try and learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube years ago as a party trick, but while I was doing it my brain switched and I found another obsession. I think I should shift back to the Rubik's Cube and see if I can memorise the patterns (which fits in with my kinesthetic learning thread :) )

I've also stumbled upon something that might be fun and keep my hands occupied, though not in the office! Since I was about 6 and my mum bought me my first ninja outfit and 'weapons' I have been obsessed with butterfly knives; well I found last night you can buy training ones that have a (clearly) dummy blade (though I still wouldn't fancy arguing the case with a copper!) that lets you learn the flicky tricks.

Oh, and on the subject of 'well I know it's not strictly legal but I wasn't going to do anything with them, honest guv'', I might dig out my lockpicks and have another go with them. I struggled to find training locks last time so had to do it for real (on my own locks of course) without seeing the inner workings, and I struggled to progress.

And there's always my violin, now I have managed to source a decent mute so I don't feel so bad about the neighbours hearing.

Do you get the impression an issue I have is focus? :)

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
13th Jul 2020 09:21

Don't worry about the neighbours, they should just be grateful you did not take up the bagpipes.

Regarding the violin, two of my sisters learned from home. their teacher used to visit the family home every Friday evening when I was younger; the first two years were the worst but they did improve (in fact my younger sister is now an excellent fiddle playe)r it was merely the painful (for others) learning period that hurt- at least I will now not be affected is someone decides to strangle a cat.

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Replying to DJKL:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
13th Jul 2020 10:15

DJKL wrote:

Don't worry about the neighbours, they should just be grateful you did not take up the bagpipes.

"Dear mum
I'm settling in well at my new place in London, though I do miss Edinburgh. The neighbours are really weird though, last night they were banging on the wall at 2 in the morning. They got so loud they almost put me off my bagpipe practice."

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
13th Jul 2020 10:40

Neighbours can be funny. My sister's neighbours were very tolerant when her youngest took up the pipes(much to his grandfather's joy as my Dad was a decent piper when he was young), but at least now they do not need to concern themselves; he has switched to the drums.

(A trumpet can also be used as a revenge instrument, my Dad decided to teach himself in the 1960s/70s, that was pretty painful)

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