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Check this out before you throw away that power tool

No parts are available.

Don’t you hate to hear those words when you are trying to repair your power tool? Many times, this means the end to your tool that you have trusted on for many years, but for certain types of repairs, it doesn’t have to be.

power tool parts

The type of repairs that you can possibly fix

The parts that you see above are parts that most of the time can be fixed.

  • Armatures- the top left part is an armature, the rotating part of a power tool. As long as the spindle is in good shape and not stripped (the end gear), then this can be rewound by a motor rewind shop. There Eurton Electric in California does these type of repairs. They can rewind your armature for you. Make sure that this tool is worth this repair though.
  • Power Cords- many times, there is a special connector that fits into the tool, a pre-molded boot that may be NLA, but usually you can find a suitable cord with a similar pre-molded boot that will fit. We have those here.
  • Switches- These are also available from Eurton Electric.   If you can’t find the exact switch, many of these can be modified to fit your tool as long as you check the amperage of the switch to be sure it is strong enough.
  • Brushes- These are the easiest to find. Many local real hardware stores will have these. Don’t bother going to Home Depot as I don’t remember seeing them there. If they do not fit exactly, you can always sand them down to fit.

Other fixes that do not require parts

Today I had a customer bring in an old Craftsman Multi-Tool. It was about 15 years old so I wanted to make sure that there were parts available. I went on-line to Sears website and there were no parts available, there wasn’t even a part breakdown. If this guy needed parts then all he had would be a door stop, not a multi-tool.

craftsman multi tool image

He said, “I was using it, and it just quit.” Well when a tool does that, usually it means that the circuit is not complete in the tool. I told him I would open it up to see what was wrong. First, it was full of dust. I blew it out with compressed air. Still didn’t work. Next I tested the power cord to see if there was an open circuit. Power cord was ok. Now it is time to break into the tool. I removed the cover over the switch, power cord and motor assembly. That is when I noticed that one brush was not making contact with the commutator of the armature. The spring had snapped. This was an easy fix. I simply took one of the coils of the spring and bent it so that it was putting tension on the brush assembly. I plugged it in. Still nothing! Next I pulled the field out. This is where I noticed that the field wire from the brush had lost it’s terminal. The terminal probably flew out and broke the brush spring. I was able to simply solder the wire onto the field connector and voila, his tool sprung back to life.

6 things that are easy to repair in your power tool

  • Brushes- go find something close at your local power tool repair company or a good old hardware store.
  • Broken wires- replace the broken wire or solder the wire permanently to the part that it fits on.
  • O-rings- If the original o-ring is not available, any o-ring supply house will have a suitable replacement o-ring.
  • Bearings- Any decent bearing house will have your bearing you need.
  • Pumps- If we are talking belt driven pumps for a stand alone pump, then you can simply replace the pump with one of comparable cfm.
  • Motors- Stand alone motors for air compressors, pressure washers, table saws and the like can be swapped out with a motor of the same or greater HP, voltage and rpm’s.

If we are talking about very specific parts like gears and shafts, unless you are a machinist and absolutely love this tool, it’s time to say goodbye to this old friend.

Beginners guide to using a float tank

Before you try a float tank, read these tips!

Floating is a great stress reliever. It helps with all kinds of anxiety issues. It is one of the best forms of sensory deprivation, allowing one to unplug for an hour or more. It took me several times to remember what to do prior to entering the float tank as well as what not to do once I was in the float tank. Let me save you the burden of having to learn it on your own.