Recycle.IT, Repair.IT – Black & Decker GL570 Line Trimmer

Our local councils have regular clean-up days for disposal of household goods – that can often be good working items or be just plain rubbish. Anyway, I scrounge around for interesting things that can be recycled – and sometime last year, I came across a Black & Decker GL570 electric line trimmer. Knowing that electric line trimmers like this basically consist of a switch and motor – chances are that they can be easily fixed, as long as the motor itself hasn’t failed. The motor can also be reused for other purposes – this would allow me to “recycle.it“.

I grabbed it and once I was home, I checked it – it would spin very slowly but with a loud rattling noise – ok, not good. Anyway, it was put aside for a while, and when I had some time, I opened up the motor housing – the end bearing of the motor had come adrift and was loose inside the housing. That explained the slow spinning – it was a matter of a minute to push the bearing back on, then reassemble the motor housing. Testing it again, gave a good spinning line – fantastic – another item saved from the trash heap. Do you know that households generate tons and tons of rubbish that include lots of things that can be fixed, just like this?

Ok – this is not the end of this post, far from it. The line trimmer would work and would cut well, and then sometimes the line would not advance. This occurred occasionally then more frequently until a few days ago when the line would break after cutting a foot or so of lawn edge. Not good! I took the spool out, then saw that the actuator has a pin that allows the spool to advance the line – this pin was worn, such that it was likely to be the cause of the problem. You can see the end of it which should have this round pin but is very flattened.

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So, what to do? Buy a new one, of course – checking the manufacturer spare parts gave me a part number – 806474 – good. I rang the nearest service agent at Clyde, ring ring, ring ring – no answer. Ok, try the next one at Lidcombe – they answered, and was put through to spare parts. Are you sure that is the part number? – I am asked, it should have a dash 01 or something similar. I explained that the part number came from Black & Decker’s website from the parts listing for this line trimmer. Anyway, they got my mobile number so will get back to me. By the way, eBay shows that I could get a pair of these from the UK for about $14 – and if I order now, it should arrive by January 2, 2015.

Now what? I have a machine shop in my garage, so maybe I should just “repair.it“? I could cut the pin out, drill a small hole then make another piece that would fit in place. I have some nylon sitting around and some HDPE – anyway, I made a pin out of nylon – it is slightly longer so that it will engage with the spool a bit better, which will help with the wear, but it it will be slightly heavier.

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The extra weight might cause problems, but it is worth a try. All I need to do now, is to mill the pin off, then drill a 2.5mm hole dead centre of where it should be and just push the new pin in. I could glue it, but it would be best to try it out first.

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