An ancient proverb says that power tool failures occur in threes. During the same week that the lathe motor burned out and the compressor wire meltdown has turned it into a scary noise machine, we also had a mysterious malfunction in one of our welders. It didn’t release any smoke, didn’t make weird noises. It just didn’t weld. 0 volts across the output.
This machine, a small 180A TIG/MMA inverter welder, has recently been repaired. It was not used heavily, as TOG has only so much use for welding. In fact, it was only used by a couple members to practise their welding skills.
On one hand, this machine was 5 year old, has been used extensively in the past and could have been written off as death of old age. The cost of a commercial repair would probably exceed the value of the welder. On the other hand – why not try to repair it ourselves before scrapping it?
Tog, a collaborative makers’ space or “hackerspace” based in an old warehouse on Chancery Lane in Dublin, will help out at the cafe. Tog shares knowledge and tools in everything from 3D printing to knitting. One of its innovations is the Twitter Knitter, whereby Becky Yates, a software engineer, has repurposed a 45-year-old knitting machine to knit tweets.
Next door to Tog is a marketing company, and Tog members love scavenging from its waste. One find was a quantity of rubber ducks, which have been fashioned into a Duck Matrix display. “We’re terrible for puns in this place,” says Tríona O’Connell, part of Tog and a PhD research scientist at Dublin City University.