Our Mendathon at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire


We were really chuffed to have Dave and Faraz from the Restart Project join us for the mendathon to help with electronic repairs – but they soon turned their hands to help with a range of other repairs too.


Dave got started by fixing a hedge trimmer.IMG_4308

The head of one of the screws was stripped so it was tricky to get into.


Once he got in a multi meter was used to check for any breaks in the circuit as the motor wasn’t working.


A loose wire connection was found and adjustedIMG_4330

which did the trick and brought it back to life! IMG_6231

As the day got busier we tallied the repairs on our chalk board.


One lady brought a well loved bag and Izzie showed her how to fix it.

First the seam was sewn up by hand…IMG_6535

and then the handle.IMG_6536

Before the shoulder strap was turned into a belt!IMG_6537

Mattia brought along a second-hand digital thermometer,IMG_4349

the LCD panel wasn’t displaying information properly.IMG_4337

Once it was opened up he found out the corner of the glass display was chipped. IMG_4312

This meant some of the contacts could not work properly as the circuit was broken.IMG_4328

Handily one of the other stalls at the Mini Maker Faire was selling liquid copper, conductive ink (a smart material)

This was painted on to the chipped corner to build it up so that the circuit could be complete again.IMG_4314

Once the ink had dried and the thermometer was re-assembled the display worked like new!IMG_4325

Ali got to work on the Edwardian cake stand his girlfriend’s Grandmother had given her.


The leg had snapped offIMG_4320

so after gluing and bracing itIMG_4324

he reinforced the join with a screwIMG_4343

and then clamped it and left the glue to set.IMG_4358

Faraz diagnosed the source of the problem with an old iBook G4 that wasn’t charging up. IMG_4282

It needed a new battery to be sourced from ebay and installed.IMG_6546

Tom demonstrated his wonderful darningIMG_4293

repairing a moth eaten jumper with contrasting thread to create a new pattern.

He also showcased his visible mending on a sample jumperIMG_6219

and darned the frayed cuff of a jumper.IMG_4291

Ali completed the mend on Victoria’s kitchen chair by fixing the arm back on and reinforcing it.


He then tested his handy work!IMG_6249

After trying to find out whether we could 3D print a new leg for a table with one missingIMG_6254

we decided to make it a design feature.IMG_6258

One young maker brought along his explorer kit with a broken strap,


Dave showed him what was wrongIMG_6244

and he and his Dad fixed it with a new fitting,IMG_6247

ready for more adventures!IMG_4374

Mattia, as busy as usual,  fixed some speakers by cleaning the connection points.IMG_4364

The Restarters took a look at Victoria’s printer power transformer that had stopped working although it was very new.IMG_6257

After cutting through the heat sealed plastic casing and prising it open the fuse was tested to see if it had blown. This was diagnosed to be the problem, unfortunately as with many electrical goods, the part that needed replacing was sealed in and not readily available to replace so it couldn’t be fixed.
IMG_6265However, over the course of the day our fantastic team managed to save twenty two items from landfill!

Next Saturday 11th October

We will be back at St George’s Church in Kemp Town for a repair café at our usual time of 11am-2pm.

Bring along your broken electrical goods, jewellery and bric-a-brac as well as any clothing or textiles that need mending. We will also have Tom our expert darner on hand to show you how to do some visible or invisible mending on knitwear with holes in.

The Seven Bees Café will be open for business (they do a mean breakfast).

We will post an update on what we got up to at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire soon but in the mean time here is a teaser…


New volunteers join us at the June Repair Café…

IMG_5713Ali A.K.A ‘The Chair Doctor’ went to work on two loved but rickety old chairs.

IMG_5437IMG_5474He secured the top rail of a chair by reinforcing the outside spindles, gluing and pining it back in to place.IMG_5480Another chair which had somehow had its arm wrenched off,


needed the gnarly pins and screws embedded in the wood to be removed from both the stile

IMG_5483and the side seat rail.


The side seat rail which had been split, then needed to be reinforced so measurements were taken


and the wood was cut to size with a jigsaw power tool.


Then wood glue was used to hold the split seat rail together


before clamping and drilling the support into place and leaving to dry until the next session when the mend will be completed.

Meanwhile inside Nikolay our new electrical repair volunteer analysed why  Amanda Jackson‘s camera flash gun was not working.


Amanda Jackson is a brilliant photographer who has won a commission to create photographs for a 10 month One Planet Living exhibition which will be displayed at Emmaus in Portslade from October onwards.

Amanda’s theme is “Sustainable Materials” and she has been documenting our activities at the Brighton Repair Café during the last couple of sessions as we encourage reuse.

Unfortunately, when she arrived at the June Repair Café her flash gun stopped working.IMG_5700

Fortunately we had the right man on-hand to help her!


After a lot of concentration he worked out the problemIMG_0614

and showed Amanda how to fix it.

Rachel brought in the faux fur coat she had borrowed from her sister. 


She had leant against railings at the station without realising they were newly painted and had been left with a stained sleeve.


After some discussions about how to tackle the stain,IMG_5709

Rachel tried brushing it out.


This got rid of the clumps of paint but the stain was still there.


Then guest volunteer Terry stepped in with some Cif,


which he worked into the material with kitchen roll and his fingers.


After a rince the stain was gone and just needed time to dry before giving the arm another brush.

Rachel was relieved to know she could give it back to her sister without her even noticing the difference!


As usual Tom of Holland came along equipped with materials for every darning emergency.


He helped this lady work out what needed to be done to her People Tree jumper


(which comes with the thread to repair it),


before showing her how to go about the mend.


Anna (who had knitted the dress she wore that day) finished some beautiful visible mending darning on her sock


and in any spare moments Tom worked on his own wonderful darning.


A broken pair of sunglasses was given a temporary fix


until a replacement screw could be acquired,IMG_5431

with the help of Sam, some long nosed pliers and wire.


Izzie over-saw some fiddly rethreading of beaded necklaces.


Whilst Fiona & Chrissie offered advice on how to repair a bracelet.

IMG_5445Dan was as busy as ever with bike repairs and helped someone fix their child’s bike.IMG_5766Hannah fixed both her top and a china tray,IMG_0641

 the handle of which had broken off and needed gluing back on.


Alongside all of that Ali even had time to fix one of his tools…


a hammer which the handle had broken off.IMG_5466IMG_5469 IMG_5473


Thanks to all the volunteers old and new for making it such a lively and diverse repairing event
thanks to Magoo for taking some of the photos we’ve used.