SBW#14 – Graber Vertical Blind Repair

My vertical blinds started getting some slats that were no longer turning. My first thought was to replace the entire blinds so they matched the others in the house but after getting a price estimate I decided that was no longer an option. After all, fixing something many times is much more cost effective than replacing something outright. So I decided I would try to repair them instead

In this video I’m repair my Graber Vertical Blinds which have been in my house since I purchased it many years ago. I don’t remember exactly when but one of the center slats was not turning anymore. I pretty much just wrote it off as okay, I will ignore it or eventually getting around to fixing it.

As time progressed this one slat plus the how close my couch was to them started causing others near not to turn. Still rather than correct the problems we decided to ignore them and only correct the effects rather than the symptoms. Well as more time progressed the blinds became increasingly annoying to open or close because the slats were interfering with each other. Now was the time to address the issue.

Initially as I stated we thought about updating them to match the other blinds in our house – only to be shell shocked by the price estimate. We knew what the other ones cost but the estimate came in for this one – nearly $800 for just this one and not the same brand but a less expensive one. Yeah – no thanks and the decision became can I repair them. I fixed the stems but didn’t realize there was a missing scissor track gear when I ordered my parts.

This video illustrates how I went about replacing the failed components which took less than 60 minutes to complete.

Parts Used

VB-STEM – Vertical Blind Carrier Clip from Fix My Blinds.

SBW#13 – Moen Extensa Kitchen Faucet Repair

So I own a Moen Extensa Kitchen Faucet. This particular model has been discontinued but is still a great working faucet that has Moen’s Lifetime Warranty. So whenever anything goes wrong I take a picture or two, write up a short summary of the issues on Moen’s warranty claim and wait for the parts.

In this video I’m repairing the faucet with a new Dome, Handle and Handle Adapter Assembly. My faucet is the Chrome model but others will have nearly the same kits except for the Dome (and any other parts that are on the surface). This faucet has a heavy handle which appears to cause issues over time – nearly 1lb. This time the dome managed to pop up and got damaged to the point where in order to shut the faucet off we had to push down at the point where the faucet connects to the handle hardware and cartridge.

This video illustrates how I went about replacing the failed components which only took about 30 minutes to complete.

All the parts in this video were covered by Moen’s excellent lifetime warranty. However, if you don’t have the required information for warranty use I’ve included links to Amazon.
Moen Warranty Information

Moen Parts Illustration

Parts Used

100429 – Handle Adapter
100439 – Dome
100440 – Handle Hardware Kit
1225 – Replacement Cartridge

Amazon Links:
100429 – Moen Handle Adapter
100439 – Moen Dome Kit
100440 – Handle Hardware Kit
1225 – Replacement Cartridge

SBW#12 – Whirlpool Electric Dryer Thermostat Replacement

My electric Whirlpool dryer stopped drying because the heating element stopped working. I decided to take it apart and see if it was worth fixing or not. After all, fixing something many times is much more cost effective than replacing something outright. Please note that fixing a high voltage, high temperature appliance such as an electric dryer should only be done if you are comfortable doing so as incorrect repairs may result in electric shock or fires.

Once I opened the unit up I found the Hi-Limit thermostat had essential destroyed itself. Generally this will happen if it is not working properly AND one of the lower temperature setting thermostats also fails.

Fixing it was not really that time consuming or difficult. Once I had it open I was able to match the OEM part numbers with replacement parts. One of the parts had be discontinued so I had to use an adjustable thermostat. I just needed to set it to the correct operating temperature as denoted by the instruction table that it came with for the adjustable thermostat.

Once the parts arrived I removed the Hi-Limit thermostat with fell apart when I removing it. I had to put in a pig-tail wire (10AWG) matching the original wiring. This was required because the original had over heated and burned the wire. The the Hi-Limit thermostat replaced I turned my attention to the other thermostats. I needed to figure out which was bad. At cool temperature a continuity check of all three of them showed they were good. So, one (or more) had to fail at the shutoff point. You can check this by putting them on a skillet or griddle and raising the temperature to the point where they are supposed to trip. In the case of mine, there’s a about a 5 to 10 degree difference between each one.

However, since I did not really feel like taking them all out I decided to run the dryer and start at the low setting. If it turned off prior to the Hi-Limit, it was good. I proceeded through all of them and one failed. I replaced this one with the adjustable thermostat setting the temperature to setting D which for my part was 150F. I hooked everything back up and did one final temperature check cycling through each setting. Everything was working perfectly again.

Finally since I had the back of the dryer open I decided to clean up the lint. This is always a good idea to do once in a while to prevent lint build up which can be a fire hazard. About 3/4 the way through vacuuming I realize my Shopvac was not fully snapped down so small dust, dirt and drywall particles start flying around the room. I guess I had to clean that mess up now as well!

The replacement parts I used were from They provided easy ordering and quick shipping. My adjustable thermostat did not come with the instruction table so I contact them via chat and they were able to email me a PDF of the instructions. This was great service.

Hi-Limit Thermostat –

Adjustable dryer cycling thermostat –


SBW#11 – Turn Knob Socket Replacement

Have you ever went to turn on a lamp – one with a turn knob – and it just does not turn on but the knob turns without clicking? Well, that is what has happened to me. There is no need to throw away that lamp and buy a new one. I paid about $5 for a new turn knob socket at one of the big box stores. It does not take much time at all to replace and is quite satisfying when that light turns back on.

So, if you have a problem like this, hopefully you will find this video handy and it can save you some money.

In this video I show what I did to change out the failed turn knob socket from start to finish. The process is quite simple. Please give a thumbs up and do not forget to subscribe.


Amazon Link:
Brass Light Socket – Plated – 3-Terminal – 2 Circuit – Turn Knob – Medium Base Socket

Monster Jam St. Louis 2018 – Saturday

So my family and I went to see Monster Jam in St. Louis in 2018. We went to the Saturday showing. This year we did something different. We purchased the Pit Party Passes so we could go down on the field prior to the show and see the trucks and drivers up close in person.

It was pretty cool seeing the trucks up close like that but our friends that have done that before were correct, the lines get long if you want autographs and they “close” the lines roughly 30 minutes before the drivers have to go away for the show. Our friends recommended the divide and conquer method in which one parent goes to one line, the other goes to the other and the children go to whichever parent gets to the driver first, alternating this system back and forth.

After the Pit Party closed down went and got some food to eat at our seats. The food was C- at best – cold, skimpy on the portions and overpriced.

Prior to the show starting we dawned our Ear Muff protection – previous years our youngest had ear muffs and the rest of us used ear plugs. This year both kids and myself had ear muffs and only my wife used ear plugs. Much better hearing protection in my opinion.

So the show starts and we discovered what is becoming and definitely became as you can see from the following videos is that we had numerous families around us that couldn’t stay seated. They were in and out multiple times. In fact the family of 6 right next to us was in and out at least 8 times. Not all at once, generally 3 at a time which made it more annoying.

The show was a little more boring this year than previous years and the 2 wheel competition reminded me of a shortened freestyle competition except focusing on keeping the trucks on 2 wheels.

The show went on following the usual format – Intro, Heat Races, 2 Wheel Competition ending with the Freestyle Competition.

Here is some videos I put together of each segment and the entire show. I hope you enjoy them and if you do, please subscribe to my channel and give the videos a Thumbs Up!.


Heat Races

2 Wheel Competition

Freestyle Competition

Full Show

SBW#10 – Small Tire Inner Tube Replacement

I went to use my Harbor Freight hand truck and one of the tires was flat. I aired it up and went to use it but it quickly went flat again. Turns out I had a hole in the inner tube and it needed replacing. I purchased a replacement inner tube (4.10/3.50) for the wheel at Harbor Freight.

So, if you have a problem like this, hopefully you will find this video handy and it can save you some money.

In this video I show what I did to change that inner from start to finish. The process is quite simple. Please give a thumbs up and do not forget to subscribe.

Amazon Link:
Marathon 4.10/3.50-4″ Replacement Inner Tube

SBW#9 – Leaking Kenmore Dishwasher

As I walked into my kitchen I noticed a trail of water from my dishwasher to my kitchen table. The last thing you need to deal with in the morning when you walk into your kitchen is a leaking dishwasher. That’s exactly what happened to me.

So I went to looking and feeling around and figured out the problem was not some leaking pipe but was instead the rubber impeller gasket had started to come out of the plastic channel it is in. How would something like this happen? Well, as it turns out I am assuming either vibration or by some other means one of the impeller housing screws had come out and another was loose.

Fixing it is not that hard of a job. All I had to do was remove the lower dish rack, unscrew the lower washer spinner and correct the issue with the impeller housing. In less than 30 minutes and my problem was solved.

So, if you have a problem like this, hopefully you will find this video handy and it can save you some money.

Below is the video of how I fixed this leaky problem. Please give a thumbs up and do not forget to subscribe.


Family Trip on the Durango Silverton Railroad

Back in August when my family took a trip through Colorado we planned on letting our children experience this wonderful scenic railway. This was actually our daughter’s second trip on the railway but she was only a toddler at the time and did not remember much.

This time, she is older and our son was 6 years old and just loves trains. So, what a wonder experience for them to have right?

This time we took the one-way trip rather than the round trip due to time constraints but as the trip begins in Durango and ends in Silverton Colorado, we figured they would enjoy it.

This picture was taken in front the #481 engine at the Durango Station. After we arrived we got our seat in our passenger car so we were ready for the trip.

Once underway I began filming or shooting pictures but knew I would have to limit my activity because this was a 3 hour trip moving very slowly at some points due to 9-11% incline grades. What I did get though and what the family experienced was well worth the trip.




Along the way we say a few old railroad items, some still in use like this water tower…

And some no longer in use like this trestle span.

As we traveled up the route towards Silverton you could see the minerals beginning to build in the Animas River from the old mines that originated around Silverton.

Below is on of the old mines that were used and dotted the mountain side up in this area of Colorado.

Finally our journey ended at Silverton Colorado were we strolled around this rustic now tourist town a  while prior to our bus departure back to Durango.

This trip, well about 30 minutes of the 3 hour journey is in a video I created located on my Youtube Channel at


SBW#8 – A Loose Bathroom Faucet Handle

I do not know about you but I noticed my bathroom faucet handle getting loose. It would rock back and forth like the top was pivoting on the handle riser.

So my first thought was to pop the cap on top and tighten the screw that would be found under there. To my surprise there was no screw. After doing some research I discovered you have to remove the entire handle assembly from the value body and tighten the screw from the underside of the handle.

As it turns out this is really only a 5 minute job if everything is cooperating with you. If not, then it may require you to get something like a rubber grip to get a good enough grasp on the riser to unscrew it. After all, if your faucet is much like mine water gets around the handle riser causing dirt and mineral buildup to “glue” it down.

A word of advice is to use some Loctite Threadlocker on the screw to prevent it from backing off again. I had to redo this process after a few months due to the frequency in which the faucet is used.

Below is the video of how I tightened up my handle. Please give a thumbs up and do not forget to subscribe.

Amazon Link:
Moen T6620 Brantford Two Handle Faucet
Loctite Heavy Duty Threadlocker

SBW#7 – Central Machinery Belt Sander Assembly and Review

Some time ago I purchased a Central Machinery 4″ x 36″ Belt and 6″ Disk Sander. For the longest time I had just clamped by 3″ wide portable belt sander upside down and used it like a stationary one but I found that as I used it with more projects I need a wider/longer table to do quality work.

As a result, I foray in this realm is with a bench top model from Harbor Freight. While I know most of the time their tools will not pass the longevity test, it made a good starter.

I unboxed it and started to assembly this unit and could already tell that would be the case.

One of the things I took notice of was the dust collection system on this device was not very robust. In fact, I am not sure how it even manages to work with a 1/2″ dust port on the disk sander dust guard definitely limits the cfm that you need to move dust. The port under the belt was better but certainly not what I was expecting. Perhaps this was designed to be hooked up to a small shopvac? I am not sure but my 4″ system could easily swallow the dust guards themselves.

The other thing that bothered me was the bed for the belt had a twist in it. It is one thing for the bed to be not square but with a twist in it, well, that will not necessarily make straight edges. I do believe though I can twist it back in shape but still I should not have to do that for a new piece of equipment.

Using the sander though was much nicer than my old setup. Even with the same grit sandpaper it seemed to easily take on the jobs I threw at it. Perhaps that is because the motor was just better than a portable one and therefore did not bog down as much. Plus, it comes with the added bonus of having lower decibels than my old portable Skill Belt Sander.

Overall, assembly was smooth minus some force needed to get the rubber feet on, overall stability is not great but good considering the price point. Longevity has yet to be determined. The two major downsides that I have found was the twist in the bed and dust collection – who needs one for a high dust creating device right?

Below is the video of the assembly. If you enjoy it, please give a thumbs up and do not forget to subscribe.


Amazon Link:
Central Machinery 4″ x 36″ Belt 6″ Disc Sander Belt/Disc