Windex Repair

At the beginning of the 2009 season I damaged my Windex while stepping the mast, which is what prompted me to search for a better way to step the mast.  (See Mast Crane.)  As you can see from the first photo that one of the rear tabs got knocked off.  My Windex is a 15 inch model which costs about $55 to replace.  You can get replacement parts but I wanted to freshen up the whole Windex and that would mean also replacing the wind vane.  So new tabs would have cost $4.50 and a new wind vane about $20. 
Now there was
nothing wrong with the wind vane except for the reflective tape which was getting a little tired.  So while out doing some Christmas Shopping I just happened to stop into Harbor Freight and happened across a role of dual colored reflective tape for $4.92.  Just what the doctor ordered!!! (I also happened across a new tool box for my electronics tools, a ten foot extension cord, and a very inexpensive riggers knife.  More on these later.)
I'm a big believer of "repair before replacing" as long as it cost less and the results are good.  (Better to keep the money to buy the Fun Stuff!!!) 
Missing tab.  Another gift to Davy Jones Locker!     
Now I happen to be the guy who never throws anything away.  So when I rummaged through my junk drawer I found a scrap of aluminum flashing that was perfect for building the replacement tab.
Using the existing tab, I traced it onto the aluminum and cut out a new tab with tin snips.
Trace existing tab.
Once you cut the new tab you will have to either punch or drill an oblong whole in it just like the one in the existing tab.
New Tab with oblong hole.
This my punch set, another Harbor Freight item.  By punching the tab three times I was able to create an oblong hole.  However you could drill the holes but you should place the sheet metal between two pieces of wood and clamp before drilling.  This will protect your hands from getting cut if the work should get away from you and start spinning in the drill press.  (Hint:  I always wear a leather glove on the hand holding the work when drilling any kind of metal, just in case the work gets away from me.  Also I always wear eye protection.)
Punch Set.
Everything layout to be taped.
Trace and cut out each section with the proper color tape.
Taping completed.
I snapped the existing tab back on one tang and then hot glued the new tab to the other tang.  My ten year old daughter, known as Nasty Nate, and I like to use a glue pot instead of glue guns.  See Fun Stuff.  Using a scrap of wood as an applicator you get much better control of where the glue goes.  We got ours at Joanne Fabric.


Refurbished Windex. 
I decided to make the wind vane reflectors a little larger.
 The final project is up and on the mast and it looks great.  In addition the new Windex Light is shining bright, making the Windex very easy to read.
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