Date: 13 April 2014. Cooler Handle Repair.
A few years back the Kidlet called and asked if I wanted a
drink cooler for Seaweed. She knew mostly I buy ice because I love iced
tea -- that it keeps food chilled is secondary to my summertime Lipton tea
addiction. I was delighted and have carried it back and forth to shore for ages.
But after a time the handle developed a crack.
It was one of those "little things" that needs fixing, but
until it's broken... Finally last week the doggone thing split all the
way. The Nerve! And really I don't know why I was surprised, but I was.
Of course I am woman, raised in an environment where things
are replaced not repaired so my first thought was to take it to the
dumpster and buy a new one. But then "Budget Boater" raised her head
and I realized that if I had spotted a cooler with a broken handle I'd
pick it up, bring it home and fix it.
So I did, and here's how:
Repairing the handle of a Coleman Cooler.
assemble the items required. In this case:
Drill (and in my case I
had to recharge the battery too)
Drill bit (broken but
the end is sharp enough)
Two nuts and bolts (two
sizes, from my scrap collection, and one was a hex head) thus a hex tip to tighten it down, in addition to the wrench
to hold the lock nut in place for both.
Also, one serrated
knife (my saw blade needs replacement)
And, one pair of large
Splint (a piece of hard
plastic I had on hand with holes already drilled.
I measured that the
plastic piece would fit in the handle edges -- it did, barely.
Then I sawed for a while on the plastic. I wanted
have a screw hole in both the bottom and top of the handle --
not too close to the edge because I didn't want to split the
I cut about 1/3rd of the way thru, then
clamped on my vise grips and stood on it. A bit of wiggling
and it broke. Good enough. Done.
The part closer to the
top of the handle was a bit tight. Honestly it
didn't fit well but I knew the nature of plastic would allow
a bit of a bend so I tightened it until the black plastic
piece snugged down.
Properly done, a bit of
sanding would have been perfection. Also I probably
could have bought a pair of matching nuts and bolts, the
perfect size and had a tip-top job. However, it's done, and
it's good enough.
Perfection is the enemy
of good enough; often good enough will suffice nicely.
The cooler now has a handle that works. That was the
important part and reason for the whole process.
So today I went to shore with my newly repaired Coleman
cooler and voila: the Ice Man filled 'er up. Millard works at the
marina and he has been both my ice man and more recently, propane
supplier. At the rate I burn thru the little bottles, Millard has
been a real blessing to my budget.
Millard and Sam
Skipper likes Millard's dog Sam.→
They are buddies sharing Beef Jerky treats.
Life continues on the river... the engine is in but the
exhaust system and shifter need fixing. Ditto the old exhaust must be
capped off. The Volvo runs beautifully and so quiet too. I'm looking
forward to it running inside my boat.
Soon enough I'll be underway and seeing new sights, making
friends and enjoying waterfront living on a limited budget. If I can do
it, why not you too?
When something breaks what is your first thought?
Replace or Repair.
And at what dollar amount does "replace" get changed to "let's try to fix
In the Bilges,
Organizing Humbug ~
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