A model yacht built by German prisoners of war during the Second World War is sailing again thanks to Farnham Repair Cafe.
Its owner, whose father had directed the POWs to build the pond yacht in 1945, visited a cafe session in March looking for advice on restoration.
The repair cafe volunteers were not in a position to work on it, but repairer John Rowland located a yacht modelling enthusiast through a colleague at Brooklands Museum.
Having passed the model – in its Second World War ammunition box – to the gentleman pictured, he restored the yacht and returned it to its grateful owner in full working order.
Farnham Repair Cafe also undertook its 2,000th free repair this summer – and it was a timely repair too!
The landmark fix was a large clock-calendar, completed by volunteer repairer Anthony Warburton.
The clock used a number of electro-mechanical modules to run the date/month/year indicators, all synchronised by pulses from the main timepiece.
The repair necessitated carefully dismantling each of these and cleaning up worn and dirty multipole contacts.
Luckily the clock’s owner had already researched a video online which outlined what needed to be done, but was worried about carrying out the job himself. This saved time diagnosing the problem.
Despite some worn parts it was possible to get it up and running for a bit longer.
“Quite an unusual item, but good to get it working again,” said Anthony.
Since launching in 2017, Farnham Repair Cafe has welcomed more than 4,500 visitors to its 85 monthly sessions, diverting 5.7 tonnes from landfill and saving visitors an estimated £155,000.
Christmas carousel gallops again
Farnham Repair Café was recently approached to replace the motor on a model carousel adorned with festive lights and music.
The carousel was bought as a gift to stimulate a family member who had dementia.
The rotation of the carousel is driven by motor with a small gear atop its shaft. Replacing the motor with new is a simple task. However, it wouldn’t be a job for the Repair Café if there wasn’t a twist…
The small gear was bonded to the old motor and couldn’t be reused and spares are not available.
The Farnham Repair Café is fortunate enough to have a 3D printer at its disposal. This machine can replicate complex shapes and print them in a variety of materials depending on the task.
Repairers first had to create the 3D geometry. This is created be measuring the existing gear and recreating the part in 3D software.
This 3D geometry is used to tell the printer what to print.
The 3D geometry is imported into the 3D printer’s software where it is sliced into single layers of ten microns.
Imagine taking an object, cutting through it horizontally and taking a photocopy of each layer.
These layers are then printed one atop of the other to build a 3D part. Simple yet clever.
Once the part was printed, it was bonded on to the new motor shaft and reassembled into the carousel so it could delight once again.