Thursday, April 28, 2011

There, I Fixed It!

I don't know if this qualifies as a redneck repair since we didn't use any duct tape or cardboard.

Two weeks ago while making gordita shells for our family's Fiesta Pachanga, Sylvia broke the handle on her mom's tortilla press.
(We managed to get through this disaster--don't you worry about that!)

Looking at it, I saw that the handle snapped at the raised part of the top flat where it applies all the pressure--a recipe for disaster when using cheap aluminum sand-castings.

A steel handle was part of my repair plan from the beginning, because I LOVE gorditas. I looked through our scrap metal collection and also scoped-out new stock at Home Depot, but every option involved too many cutting and/or grinding operations and I didn't want to spend 5 hours and eight dollars fixing a $12 tortilla press.

As with all of my "cheap" fixes, I let the item sit in plain view for a week or more and waited for inspiration.
On Monday I walked past it on the way to the garage and that's when I spotted my 7/8" wrench, still new-in-package:
Drill one hole, cut one part off the wrench, and do a little grinding--Done!

The thickness and length were perfect, as was the dog-leg design that was going to be the main consumer of fabrication time and effort had I used any other materials.
My drill-press and bench grinder got some action, and my brother's high-speed cutting tool and carbide drill bits saved us a lot of time. It was tool time!

To be honest, at a fair $10/hr labor I could have just bought 2 tortilla presses, but they would have broken their crappy handles eventually. The wrench is going to endure.
Factor-in the current cost of gasoline and I think we came out WAY ahead, provided my fix lasts through a few gordita dinners.

1 comment:

Albatross said...