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BellaB's avatar

What is your best/most recent MacGyvering?

Asked by BellaB (6451points) November 30th, 2016

What have you modified/used as a tool that made you think “dang, I MacGyvered” that.

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14 Answers

BellaB's avatar

How MacGyver became a verb

The Oxford Dictionaries state that to “MacGyver” is to make or repair something “in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand”, eg “he MacGyvered a makeshift jack with a log”.

BellaB's avatar

The inside part of our screendoor latch died recently, so I had to go out and buy a replacement.

Installing it turned out to be a tiny bit of a b!tch as three things had to lined-up blind before the screws could be tightened. I could consistently get two of them and the third one would be a fail. I realized I needed a long skinny tool to use as a marker/guide. What what what!?!?!

Set held the bits together when I went into the house to search. I think he was startled when I came outside with a set of size 00 knitting needles.

They worked. Middle thing lined up, bottom screw tightened, long knitting needle holding the third spot in position and then acting as a guide.

The screen door can be locked again!

Knitting needle in the toolkit. Whoodathunkit

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I use a beat up old 1979 Jeep CJ5 to get around the island I live on. One night recently, I was driving home over the mountain from one side of the island to the other. It was a dark, windy, intermittently paved road under a canopy of tropical forest. It was about 2 am and suddenly all my lights went out.and I was in pitch darkness, so I pulled over to what passes as a shoulder on that road.

I have toolbox bolted to the floor of the jeep. From past experience with this old dinasaur, I knew which fuse had blown, but I had no extra fuses with me. So, I put the maglite between my teeth, pulled the little flat plastic fuse out of the fuse box and sure enough a tiny wire inside had burned and separated. Fuck. There was no way I was going to spend the next 4 or 5 hours out there.

So, after thinking about where in the jeep I could find a ½” segment of tiny copper wire, I took some toenail clippers and snipped out a section of the bead in what is left in the upholstery and lo and behold, running along inside the center of the bead was a thin copper wire just perfect for what I needed.

I wedged my penknife blade into the side of the fuse and popped it open (cut myself twice), removed the broken wire, replaced it with the one I got from the upholstery, fastened both ends as best as I could, closed it, replaced the fuse, turned over the engine and hit the lights. They worked perfectly. I got home, slept, went back town the road the next day to a hardware store, bought a couple of new fuses and all is good.

Coloma's avatar

Duct taping an 18–20 inch long duster to my small Swiffer so I can dust/sweep under my bed on the tile floors. Total pain in the ass but have to be able to get under there every few days and my vacuum won’t fit all the way under the bed.

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Very clever. I would have just been sitting there in the dark all night with my little glow stick. haha

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Ha. You learn to jury rig everything when at sea. The failure of a small bilge pump or watermaker can be disastrous if you aren’t familiar with your equipment. Almost everything runs on electricity out there, so you get familiar with how the system works.

Worse than dying out there is getting towed in by the Coasties. As soon as you get to the dock, some smart ass yachtsman will point out what you should have done—usually something really simple—and you would have saved yourself the grief and the thousands it costs to have the Coasties tow you home. The unwarranted advice is usually accompanied by a sadistic chortle.

Pachy's avatar

I figured out a few months ago how to keep my sheets and blanket, which are a both little too short for my bed, to stay in place. I had a full-length body pillow lying around and discovered I could tightly stuff it width-wise in the space between my mattress and foot board. Now I don’t even have to tuck in the sheets and blanket anymore, the pillow holds both firmly in place.

I was very proud of myself.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I have an LED bike light with a spring that keeps the switch on or off. I dropped it and the switch popped off and the spring bounced through a sewer grate. Without the spring, the switch flopped back and forth, on and off.

At home I headed right for the junk drawer looking for a cheap ballpoint pen, the kind with the click button that realtors give away.

I dismantled the pen for its spring, cut the spring to the right length and installed it on the lamp. Voila.

Pachy's avatar

A friend stayed overnight recently and was awed by my having attached two small,
auto-sensing LEDs to my stairs, one at the top and one about three-quarters of the way down. I did that a few years ago for night safety (I’m awake a lot at night) and it seemed like a pretty cool idea to me at the time. Not original, surely, but perfect for me. The lights, by the way, came from Amazon and cost a whopping $10 apiece.

And… I always know beforehand when the cat is headed up to jump in the bed.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

One of my cars. The ‘96 Integra:

Would start fine, but engine would die the moment I released the key from the start position.

Failed/worn ignition switch.

A well known recall item shortly after the car’s production. Original owner does not pay attention to such things so the switch is not replaced for free.

18 years later, I call Honda in case recall is still open, I’m told no.

Okay, it’s on me to fix.

Call dealership to find cost to repair: $70 for new switch, $200 in labor to install. Five days until switch arrives…

Need my car operating sooner than that.

Remove steering column cover, unscrew switch from ignition lock.

Pry switch apart.

Remove spring that returns key to “on” after starting.

Reassemble switch.

Use screwdriver to start car then gently turn switch back just enough to disengage starter.

Switch is now halfway between “start” and “on” positions, allowing car to stay running.

Some systems are contused, aircon will not work, same for ABS, engine cooling fan, car audio, some interior lights.

Car runs and drives but must be started and stopped by inserting screwdriver into hanging ignition switch.

New switch arrives at dealership. I pick up, install myself.

All is back to normal.

BellaB's avatar

What a fine bunch of GA’s. Back in the a.m. to appreciate each one more fully :)

Coloma's avatar

I Macgyvered one of the horses here the other day too. Nothing spectacular but…thwarted his bad habit of flinging his grain bucket off the gate to his paddock and then kicking it around in the horse shit. The bucket has two slip over the fence handles and I used a piece of rope to tie it to the gate. HAH HAH…foiled you Cayuse!

Now he just bangs it around but can’t flip it off the gate. Nothing like fighting a horse when you have grain and have to open their gate and try to close it behind you to retrieve the damn bucket all the while having a pushy horse getting in your way, tossing their head around, refusing to move away from the gate so you can pick up their damn bucket. Squeezing out the gate again while the horse tries to push past you to get to the bucket you need to dump in the other bucket. He knows what “back up” means but he will take one-little-step back and then get pissed off because he is so eager for his power pack.

Yeah, the power pack supplement, definitely powers up the horsey asshole moments. lol

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I got $32,000 in solitare. I pushed f2 over and over getting more I the hole until it reversed from – $ 32,000 to positive $32,000.

tranquilsea's avatar

I had to fix the back gate latch. I got it done.

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