Noah’s Ark Repair

My 15-month-old son has a rather nice-looking Noah’s Ark, given to him by his grandpa for his first birthday. We look forward to using it to teach him about God’s preservation of Noah and His promise to the world, as signified by a rainbow.

However, it seems that the construction of the main ramp was a little lacking. I’m not sure who thought that a fixing involving screwing this fine screw thread into fibreboard could stand up to vigorous play, but it turned out that it couldn’t:

Noah and his ark came to the Sheffield Hardware Hackers meeting on Monday 29th April to see what could be done. The fix was to use the Access Space drill press to drill out the holes in the ramp itself to the maximum depth a 3mm drill bit could manage (they didn’t quite meet in the middle), drill through-holes in the ark sides, and replace the small threaded rod pieces with some 3mm rods scavenged from the laser movement assembly of a couple of old DVD drives. (Thanks very much to A.J. for his help in drive selection and destruction, and to James Wallbank for pointers and safety advice.) The first DVD drive only had one, but the second turned out to have two (old hinge in picture for comparison):

Once the ramp was drilled, we also had to glue back on the split pieces. Fibreboard doesn’t glue back into place very well because it’s a compressed material, so additional compression was required to get even a vaguely passable result. Some IKEA packaging offcuts were wrapped in clingfilm to prevent them being glued on by any excess glue:

And it was judged that, even after that, a layer of clear strong Duck Tape was necessary to keep the assembly from splitting again. There’s only so much you can do with medium-quality wood:

The rods fitted well using only a friction fit, but needed Dremelling down to the appropriate length:

Having done that and refitted the rods, Noah was ready to load the animals two by two: