Pedal to the metal

The pedal on our 17-year-old trash compactor came loose yesterday, a consequence of a shoulder screw having worn through sheet metal at the bottom of the drawer.


Only one side had broken out, but both needed reinforcing. I found steel washers in my parts bin, ground the plating off, drilled them out to spec and applied an abrasive disk to the sheet metal.

Since the drawer is galvanized, I worked outside. I also drank a glass of milk before starting, a traditional welder’s precaution against zinc poisoning. I have no idea if it works, but welder’s manuals still advise the practice.

Here’s the repair after dressing with a grinder. I used a DHC 2000 gas torch, oxy-acetylene, a #0 tip and a stick of clothes hanger wire for filler rod.


Mind you, I undertook this project knowing the outcome was uncertain. Unknown alloys, dirty metal, a little too windy outside to be gas welding … blah blah.

But, a lifetime of skills development and the willingness to fix things instead of replacing them has paid off. Even if this project had gone south, I’m still ahead.

You can do this, and things like this. All you have to do is try.

 Are you inspired? Do you have a similar story to tell?

Put it in the comments!

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