Can You Fix It?

Broken - Storm Door Latch and Coffee Grinder

Stuff breaks. This is a fact of life. But, is that stuff fixable?

Here are two recent examples of broken items from our home, a storm door latch and coffee grinder. The storm door was fixed by replacing the inside latch. The coffee grinder wasn't fixable (yes, I took it apart to attempt a repair). The coffee grinder, although it lasted 25+ years, is disposable. The storm door was designed with replaceable parts (latch, handle, screen, etc.)

The storm door and coffee grinder clearly illustrate the Maker's Bill of Rights. The storm door is easy to understand and uses standardized parts which can be repaired or replaced. While the coffee grinder can be opened, few if any of the parts are replaceable.

Where does that leave us? With a repaired storm door and a new coffee grinder. We'll see how durable the new grinder turns out to be.

The Maker's Bill of Rights

  • Meaningful and specific parts lists shall be included.
  • Cases shall be easy to open.
  • Batteries should be replaceable.
  • Special tools are allowed only for darn good reasons.
  • Profiting by selling expensive special tools is wrong and not making special tools available is even worse.
  • Torx is OK; tamperproof is rarely OK.
  • Components, not entire sub-assemblies, shall be replaceable.
  • Consumables, like fuses and filters, shall be easy to access.
  • Circuit boards shall be commented.
  • Power from USB is good; power from proprietary power adapters is bad.
  • Standard connectors shall have pinouts defined.
  • If it snaps shut, it shall snap open.
  • Screws better than glues.
  • Docs and drivers shall have permalinks and shall reside for all perpetuity at
  • Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.
  • Metric or standard, not both.
  • Schematics shall be included.

More Info:

The Maker's Bill of Rights