Fixing a Seized Overlocker [Serger] Online

“Fixedness of purpose is at the root of all successful efforts.”
James Allen




“Hi, I’m trying to fix my “My Lock 534” the balance wheel is not moving it’s seized. I have watched your video about it but I’m still stuck I have oiled everything and opened it all up can you tell me exactly what part you hit with the hammer so I can try that.”

We RUDE Guys aka Mend It, Australia oftentimes get private messages to help people fix their things.

There is only so much help you can give online but we do try to do our best to encourage DIY attempts because we know it’s the best feeling to research the problem and then give it a bash and succeed!

In the above example, we did not recommend that Katherine bash her overlocker with a hammer.  Rather we asked her if the machine had been in storage.  And yes, it had for over a decade.  It had seized because the oil had gummed up inside it.

RUDE Boy recommended that she use a hairdryer to warm up the metal and oil and rock the handwheel back and forth.

Read the outcome here.

Using a hairdryer is a skill most people possess!  Beat The Man and DIY within your capabilities.



Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Recycling and Waste 2019



The report was tabled in Parliament on 27 November 2019.

We RUDE [reusers of unloved discarded excess] Guys aka Mend It, Australia under Karen and Danny Ellis formally submitted to this Inquiry.  Our submission number is 306, page 205 of the report.  Our submission can be read here.

Our submission’s main focus was on reuse, repair and community repair. 

For many years prior to our submission, we had been vocal on social media and in our local community about reuse and repair.  However, we knew we had to make more noise to effect greater change, hence our submission and making contact via social media with several MPs on the committee for this inquiry

Samantha Ratnam MP who was on the committee has listened, replied and actioned [refer screen shot below].  Our hats go off to her!


Sonja Terpstra MP who was on the committee has listened, replied and actioned. [refer screen shot below]  Our hats go off to her!  She even has a repair cafe video featuring on her Facebook page, at the time of writing this blog post.  And in her electorate there is Ringwood Repair Cafe and Warrandyte Repair Cafe – lucky them!

Sonja Terpstra_Waste Inquiry

We also attended a meeting with our local Member for Melton Steve McGhie to inform him about the repair movement sweeping the globe and how local communities are embracing repair and reuse activities.  However, it was disappointing to inform him that his electorate has not been supportive due to bureaucracy and red tape.

On Facebook and Twitter we tagged in Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, other MPs, governments, councillors, think tanks and the like.

Belinda Coates Councillor at the City of Ballarat [refer screen shot below] is  supportive of Ballarat Repair Cafe having promoted it on Twitter and dropped in to find out more.

Belinda Coates Oct 2019

With the release of this report’s findings and recommendations, we feel our voices have been heard.  They must have been, as these findings and recommendations are in line with what we recommended in our submission.  That’s social democracy at work!

FINDING 24: Built-in product obsolescence exacerbates existing strains on the waste and resource recovery sector and obstructs the principles of waste avoidance and a circular economy.
Recommendation 26: That the Victorian Government work with the Commonwealth Government to consider the introduction of extended warranty requirements for products in order to promote principles of repair and reuse rather than use and disposal.

FINDING 25: The Committee recognises the work and successes of repair cafes and supports the introduction of further initiatives across the state that extend the life of products.

For us, Finding 25 is the pearl in the report.

We recently recommended something similar in our interview with Ballarat Repair Cafe as follows:

What do you envision as the future of Repair Cafes in Victoria?

Mend It, Australia envisions repair initiatives in Victoria having dedicated funding for a Victorian Repair and Reuse Society from Sustainability Victoria [the State Government]. This ‘society’ could help to support this growing movement with much needed funds for venue hire and insurance coverage, for example.

Whilst repair cafes are featurued in Finding 25, it must be noted that not all community repair outfits are registered with the International Repair Cafe movement based in the Netherlands.  There are outfits that choose not to be registered and title their initiatives something different, such as Repair Lab, Fix-it Clinic, Mend It Monday etc

We did notice that MP David Limbrick was not in support of Finding 25, as tabled on page 230 of the report [refer screen shot below]. We will have to contact him to find out why.  He may just need to be invited to a community repair event to be sold on the idea.  It appears that his electorate may not have a repair cafe or similar.  Maybe Frankston does, not sure?

Finding 25 Recycling Inquiry Nov 2019
These findings and recommendations that relate directly to our volunteering give us hope that our travel to 42 community repair events this year, and our mending, repairing and fixing skills are making a difference in the state of Victoria, and that we have much to offer as retired Victorians.

It’s been a good news day!

“When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves’.” Lao Tzu

Volunteering Vision with Action



Us RUDE Guys [Mend It, Australia] volunteering at Highton Repair Cafe in Geelong on 10 November 2018

“Freedom, sanctuary, home-making, risk-taking, scholarship, self-understanding, community-building, democratic self reliance, artisanal pride, low environmental impact – we tinker. therefore we are!”
Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture

“Volunteering is not so much about the wins and rewards, but the wonderful other volunteers you meet along the way in achieving your goals”.
Marika Bisas

“When did volunteering change from ” here’s what I have to offer”, to “here’s what you will do”? I volunteered only to be voluntold! Sorry but my experience has been “here’s the list of hoops you will jump through, then we might use you”.

Thank you Ballarat Repair Cafe for interviewing us RUDE Guys for your informative blog, and for sharing our Mend It story.

Read more here

Keep Your Computers Clean and Maintained


RUDE Girl’s hard drive can be seen to the right side of my desk chair. It gets hot in that enclosed space because it’s rarely turned off!

We RUDE Guys know the value of cleaning and maintaining our things so that they keep on keeping on.

RUDE Girl’s computer has been struggling in the heat as it sits in an enclosed space on my computer desk.

Watch the video here

The rise of the repairers!


RUDE Boy Danny fixed Trevor's lamp at Castlemaine Repair Cafe

RUDE Boy, Danny fixed Trevor’s vintage lamp at Castlemaine Repair Cafe

We RUDE Guys have been unwell with the dreaded lurgy and had been sitting in the medical clinic for 2 hours waiting to see a GP, a few nights ago, when this article came through on our phone via The Fifth Estate. And here it is again posted by Castlemaine Repair Cafe.  A timely reminder to blog to Rude Record.

It cheered us up no end to find out that Mend It, Australia had been given a mention at the end of the article, and to read about the repair and reuse of items at a time when we are being bombarded with the recycling crisis by the mainstream media. Recycling is no longer enough if we are to move to a circular economy.

And it takes subversive acts like community repair to raise awareness that the current linear economy has its flaws when it comes to ordinary people’s health and well being, their hip pockets and the planet.

It’s important to note that there are other community repair initiatives out there besides repair cafes. And that many of these will troubleshoot and try to fix small electrical household appliances. The repairing of potential e-waste is happening nearly every weekend of the year, and is achievable by competent repairers.

Rise up and repair your stuff.  When it comes to your fundamental right to repair you will need to be subversive to Beat The Man!

Castlemaine Repair Café

Next café: Sunday, 25 August 2019, 10am – 1pm
Castlemaine Town Hall, Lyttleton St

Greetings, all! Yes, the next café is upon us, and to get us into the spirit, here’s a story of note that featured recently in The Fifth Estate: “The rise of the repairers is subversive… but excellent news”

In France, it is now a crime attracting up to two years jail for directors of companies that deliberately design products to have a reduced lifespan …

The transition to a circular economy needs a system-wide adjustment that designs out waste and pollution while maximising the longevity of products and materials …

The Rise of the repairers is subversive… but excellent news

Photo byCesar Carlevarino AragononUnsplash

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