Sunday, 28 July 2013

Back in the workshop at last...

I hate throwing anything away. Five or six years ago whilst rummaging around in what my brother (Tim) and I call 'The Barn' (our jointly owned storage space) I found an old printer. I asked Tim if he wanted it and he said no, he was about to sling it in the caged trailer and take it to the tip... Five years on I was still using it after repairing it. Well, I was until a few days ago and you know what, there comes a time...  

I made the decision, after all this time, and the fact that even I could't fix it, to push the boat out and buy another one.

After checking the cost of ink - always my first move I took a deep breath and ordered a new one. We have other printers here at Laughton Towers but this printer is for the everyday stuff and printing our club newsletter - The Flyer - and any other booklet/leaflets etc. I do not need an all in one or photo printing as all that is covered with dedicated machines/printers. This is what I settled for in the end.

Epson WF-7015

It cost £150 all in including VAT and delivery. it takes only four ink cartridges and I can buy 200% capacity cartridges for about £1.60 each.

I have had it a few of days now and it is BRILLIANT! it handles any size paper up to A3+ between two trays, it has a built in duplex facility and is very fast. I never though I would say this, but it is the best all round printer we have ever had. It will also connect directly to our hard-wired network so it can be selected from any where without having to ensure a particular computer (or the server for that matter) is on. It will even print from a laptop/tablet/smartphone connecting to one of our access points or straight to the router.

So what has this to do with getting back into the workshop? ...This!

Time to get destructive...
Just as I was about to set about the printer I spotted what I thought was a possible cause of the trouble. A piec of paper was sitting over the ink cleaning sponges - could this be what is causing all my problems? I put the printer back together and waisted another hour trying to get it to work to no avail. There was no doubt about it, this printer was destined for the breakers yard (bench!).

The old machine is about to be stripped down and its parts donated to other causes. Printers are usually a good source of all sorts of useful bits and components including motors, gears, toothed belts, silver-steal rods and a whole lot of other stuff.  But first, you have to get inside. Most machines of this type are designed to make them hard for the user to get inside, let alone service. There are no screws that look remotely like they are holding the cover on but close inspection underneath reveals the release points. A screwdriver soon release the clips and the cover just falls away. Now it is just a case of undoing every screw you can find, pinging off the circlips, releasing the springs and removing as much of the plastic housing and metal framework as possible...

Now the fun starts!
...It did't take long for the bench to be covered with bits of. In the bottom I found the power supply...

Getting there
...encased in it own box. now that could be useful - I'll put that to one side and look at that another day. For now I will continue to strip the rest of it down.

Now that looks useful...
That's it, down to the last bones - or should I say sponges. The base of the printer has a large reservoir filled with two layers of sponge and filter paper. This is where all the ink goes every time the punter is turned on or the cleaning cycle is run. On this machine, the sponges are completely full - just think how much all that ink cost - even at the price of compatible ink it must be a fair few pounds!

So that is where all my ink went!
Tomorrow I will sort out the pile of bits and show you what I managed to recover but first I am going to get rid of the rubbish including those pads full of ink (and getting everywhere!) and have a tidy up. There is something very satisfying about taking stuff apart and discovering how it works - I love it!

Ralph - Now I bet you didn't think anybody could get that excited about a printer - did you! 

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