Let Papa Fix the Flashlights

Some time ago, my brother in law was telling me about having to deal with a chronic sore achilles, and the doctor visits. Dude retired, and got into fitness – running, tennis, whatnot. Lost the dad bod, and leaned out. The picture of health, other than his ankle. After all sorts of test, the doc said there was nothing to be done.

“You are, after all, an older gentleman”, he said.

It was a funny story then. Not so much now.

That said, being an ‘older gentleman’ has it’s advantages. For instance, us older dudes understand maintenance. Even if it’s on the most modest of devices. Take this hose nozzle, for instance:

That sucker is new. And what you do with a new one is unscrew it, and smear plumbers grease, or in my case, wheel bearing grease, onto the threads so that it works smoothly and doesn’t corrode.

The other thing I’ve come to do is about once a quarter or so, open up the flashlights and check the batteries. You see, down here in the heat, you’ll find that these batteries leak and corrode. I’ve lost two maglites to this. Once they are corroded and stuck in the tub, you are pretty much screwed. With the last one, by the time I got the batteries out, the light was so gooched I simply chucked it in the recycling. By the way, I even had it happen on my cat eye bike light, after less than a year.

So I have a big maglite that I was checking – a 3D cell, which I thought had a bad bulb. I replaced the bulb and batteries, but it only worked if I smacked it. I had another one to buy a lamp for, so I grabbed the big one again and started fiddling with it. It has a new LED lamp, so it should work.

I got out the VOhm meter (which is a must have in any toolbox) and found that the lamp had no juice. So after futzing about, I realized that the connection from the end cap to the tube body was the edge of the cap, and the edge of the tube.

That edge under the gasket is the contact point. I shined it up with some 800 grit sandpaper.

That edge is the other connection point. It wasn’t corroded. but it was dingy and dirty. That got shined as well. I also lubed the threads, so that it would screw in smoothly and completly.

That’s all it took.

Victory is mine!

You have to check the battries, shine, and lube stuff.

Some advice to the youngsters here; Keep an assortment of sandpaper and steel wool. Also, you should have WD-40, a penetrating lube, all purpose grease, and 3-in-1 oil. These are things like wrenches and screwdrivers that if you don’t have, you suffer.

There are things you use every day that need attention from time to time – door hinges, car door hinges, locks, all sorts of things that if you don’t spend a few minutes and a few pennies will cost dollars and trouble later.

But you have to get in that mindset.

Huh..this is a little stiff. Hmm…where’d that squeak come from.