art-2014-7-18

I hope this short blog installment finds you all well. Well, the Soccer World Cup tournament is finally over and as I’m sure all of you that was following it were not surprised with the final outcome. In my opinion, Germany won the World Cup before the tournament kicked off, Bayern Munich are the European champions and 7 players from the Bayern team are in the German national 11. I’m not a fan of how German football is played, it’s all production line stuff, but that’s the style that wins games which is very important. When you watch the German national side play football it is easy to see why they have such a well organised and productive economy – one goes hand in hand with the other. If I think about England’s performance, well, all I can say is we don’t have a manufacturing base like we used to have, but if we did have one, would we play better football than the Germans? I doubt it, the Germans have had years of conditioning and it’s a strong part of their identity to work together and try to be the best they can be at something. For a start the Germans are a lot more group oriented than the Brits are which does make a huge difference when playing team sports like football. I’m a Brit and I’m definitely not selling the Brits short, there are lots of things us Brits are good at, but then there are few things that we aren’t very good at and one of them just happens to be football at the moment simply because we can‘t play like a team which is what the Germans are able to do.

You will notice that the picture at the top of the blog is a water pistol, actually it’s a pump action type and quite powerful one as far as water pistols go. Anyway, my son Oliver was playing with it and he broke it. He was upset and I told him not to worry as I could repair it. I repair a lot of things that perhaps most people would just throw away, but I like the challenge and I figured that in the process I could teach my son one or two things about repairing broken things.

The water pistol is a very cheap toy, the barrel is just thin plastic so without inserting a sleeve of some description inside the barrel to bring the two broken sides together you might as well not even try to repair it. Time to go sleeve hunting! I found an old biro pen of a suitable diameter that fitted snuggly inside the water pistol barrel and all I did then was take out the refill and cut the biro pen casing to make my sleeve to the size required. The sleeve I cut was about 5cm long and before inserting it inside the water pistol barrel I took the shine off it with a bit of sand paper and did the same on the inside of the two halves of the water pistol barrel – this I did to make sure the parts I was going to reunite would bond well together. I then mixed a bit of Araldite (epoxy resin to you) up and popped a bit all around one end of the sleeve and then pushed it inside the water pistol barrel making sure it was firmly seated. I then popped a bit of Araldite on the other end of the sleeve did the same thing, I then pushed the other half of the water pistol barrel onto it so now the two halves were finally back together again and looking stronger than ever. The epoxy I use usually takes a good 24 hours to go off/set hard, I then usually trim off any excess glue and give it a further light sanding to try to hide the repair line. When I finally showed my son how I’d repaired his pistol he was happy, albeit quite surprised, I explained to him what I’d done and why I’d done it and he told me he understood why I’d used a sleeve and he thought it was a good idea. I then asked him how he would repair his water pistol if it broke in the same way again and he said “I would do the same as you daddy”. Great Oliver, so tell me what did I do? “You made a sleeve and then glued the broken parts together again”. “Why did I use a sleeve?” “To make it stronger”. That I did Oliver, good job! Until next week, if something breaks, don’t throw it away, try to repair it, and if at first you don’t succeed try try again until you do repair it.