mold forms on cords, knobs, and tool handles

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"Michael A. Terrell" wrote in message

Might I respectfully semi-disagree?
I have always wanted to understand >>why<< something wasn't working correctly before I fixed it. But as products have become more complex and harder to troubleshoot, it seems increasingly necessary to, on some occasions, shotgun. I don't like it, but if you're running a repair business, you have to get the item out the door to stay in business.
If it's of any interest, I have never had a callback on anything I've repaired. But that was in the days when virtually all electronics was composed of discrete components you could unsolder and test, if need be.
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William Sommerwerck wrote:

William, the more you actually find the problem and repair what's needed, the easier and faster it is to do on future jobs. You develop an understanding for what kinds of parts are the highest failures, and use logic to narrow down the problem. For instance, surface mount ceramic resistors and capacitors have a low failure rate, but the electrolytics have a high failure rate by comparison? Would you shotgun a couple hundred chip caps, just in case? Would you replace a dozen ICs, just in case?
The more parts you change on a modern surface mount board, the higher the chances of destroying the board. It was simpler on tube radios, and early discrete solid state designs, but it takes a lot of time and expense to shotgun VLSI and ASIC ICs on a board.
Logical troubleshooting was the method I was taught in the mid '60s, and after a few years on the bench I was the most productive tech. Also, the repair costs were lower because I didn't replace as many parts, nd the customer didn't have to wait for custom parts to be ordered from the OEM, 'just in case'.
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Often it is the same component that fails 90% of the time. That makes the 'experts' have an even beter reputation if they know of this part.
I just fixed the dial light on a radio of mine that has a known failuer of a driver transistor. It was a $ 2 part and about an hour of my time instead of spending about $ 100 to ship it off and get it back. I did not trouble shoot it, just tried the 'known' fix. The rado and where the part is located at is past my ability to do actual trouble shooting, but not beyond my ability to actually replace the part.
When I was working I would sometimes get a call while I was at home on something at work was not working. By knowing some known problems, I could tell the ones at work a thing or two to try,and many times that would fix the problem.
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I can't believe this thread is still going on and people are still suggesting mold. A few seconds with Google will explain the process.
Try "white powder screwdriver" and actually read a few of the posts.
Then maybe the OP will come back and report what he smells.
This was discussed here in alt.home.repair a few years ago.
--
Dan Espen

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Jeff Liebermann wrote on Sun, 03 Mar 2013 10:03:27 -0800:

Hi Jeff, I think it's a rare combination of both intelligence, wit, and inquisitiveness, plus the rarest of all desire to help others to answer the question, that makes you so valuable for us.
A few on alt.home.repair have that quality - but not very many (probably a half dozen, e.g., Oren, krw,
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Jeff Liebermann wrote on Sun, 03 Mar 2013 10:03:27 -0800:

... last post sent too soon by accident ... trying again ...
Hi Jeff, I think it's a rare combination of both intelligence, wit, and inquisitiveness, plus the rarest of all desire to help others to answer the question, that makes you so valuable for us.
A few on alt.home.repair have that quality - but not very many (probably a half dozen, e.g., Oren, Jim Elbrecht, SMS, Trader4, Ed Pawlowski, & DerbyDad03, krw, etc.).
Plus, very few take the time and energy to post a photograph, which, in my humble opinion, is just plain old COMMON COURTESY when asking a question.
Some, but not all, make statements that aren't backed up by URLs (when they should be).
And, most just drop off, without also writing up a SUMMARY of lessons learned. Some do, but very few.
Lastly, some get downright acidic when they are confronted with alternative information. They're the worst, of course, because they're a cancer on the discussion.
Anyway, I, for one, greatly appreciate your efforts at figuring this out. To my knowledge, it has never been figured out before definitively (although I see a post that says it was discussed in a.h.r but the poster didn't provide any URLs so we have to look it up to see what the result was and the proof supplied).
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Here you go:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups =#!searchin/alt.home.repair/screw$20driver$20handle/alt.home.repair/6F2DSkPIgM0/qe7WX3mCR7IJ
http://tinyurl.com/bwwkvgr
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wrote:

That was a discussion over the Xcelite and Craftsman nutdrivers that stink. There is nothing in that thread that I can find that even mentions "mold" on the plastic handles. Please try to stay on topic.
There is also some wrong information in the thread. 1. It's not the plastic handles that stinks. It's the caesin (milk based) plastic cases that reek. I have several of these and can confirm that the drivers are fine and the cases are the source of the smell. 2. The handles are made from acrylic and not vinyl as claimed. Vinyl is quite flexible and very different from the hard acrylic. Hoewever, I have NOT been able to definitively identify the type of plastic used in my Vaco and Craftsman screwdrivers. My guess is acrylic, but I'm not 100.0% sure. Maybe a burn test: <http://www.boedeker.com/burntest.htm
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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The stink and the white powder are part of the same process.
Do some searches, I've already supplied working keywords.
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wrote:

Much as I appreciate your efforts, I don't consider myself responsible for proving *your* point. If you believe that the white powder in the handle, and the smell coming from the case, are one and the same, methinks it is your responsibility to supply the relevant links which demonstrate the connection and describes the process. The above URL never even mentioned white powder or a similar problem. Got a better URL?
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I've been sniffing Xcelite (and similar) tools on and off for years, and I always assumed the odor came from the handle, not the case.
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On Mon, 4 Mar 2013 15:46:39 -0800, "William Sommerwerck"

It does. The ones without a case smell just as bad (just got a bunch of screwdrivers at work last week).
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On Mon, 04 Mar 2013 19:21:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Hmmm... I washed the tools and seperated the case from the tools for a few days. I found that the odor came from the case, not the tools. However, I did that maybe 15 years ago and only vaguely remember the circumstances. I have some Xcelite nut drivers in a plastic case. If they stink, I'll try the test again.
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wrote:

The screwdrivers have never been in a case and still smell of xcelite. I also have a set of ~50YO Xcelite nutdrivers that still stink but they are in a case. No white powder, though.
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Dan Espen wrote on Mon, 04 Mar 2013 11:31:47 -0500:

Thanks for the reference, but, unfortunately, there were no pictures nor any discussion of the white residue on the handles in that thread.
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On Mon, 4 Mar 2013 15:52:11 +0000 (UTC), Al Schmidt

Thanks. Hopefully that balances my previous screwups, errors, and bad logic. It's impossible to write as much as I do, and not get something wrong occasionally.

That doesn't bother me much. I'm used to it. What bothers me are one-line postings, that offer little thought and less information. Unfortunately, many web forum pages have so many navigation aids and so much advertising on their pages, that long and detailed replies seem to be discouraged. The resultant one-liners are of little value.
To get a decent answer on usenet, one needs to provide: 1. What problem are you trying to solve or what are you trying to accomplish? (Keep it simple) 2. What do you have to work with? (Make, model, version, etc) 3. What have you done so far and what happened? 4. Where are you stuck? It is possible to get answers without all the aforementioned information, but it is much more difficult and tends to attract vague guesswork type answers. Besides, my crystal ball is being repaired by my wizard, so I can't temporarily guess what someone is asking.

Thanks again. I did the usual Google searching for prior research into the nature of the plastic "mold" and found little besides bad guesses and vague assertions. I found plenty of complaints, but no analysis. That's why I decided that it was time to dig in and analyze the stuff. The convenient discovery of my drawer full of "moldy" nut drivers also inspired the investigation.
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wrote:

I took some more photos, but they were about the same as the others. <http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/pics/white-plastic-rot/ The particle sizes are too thick to get a decent photo due to the lack of depth of field. I just wanted one that shows the plastic like shine, that is characteristic of plastics, and not mold. I'll melt or set fire to the stuff later this week.
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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On Tue, 05 Mar 2013 09:47:28 -0800 Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Hi Jeff,
Here is a closeup of one of my 'white encrusted' screwdriver handles:

Here is a smaller picture if that's too large:

What would you suggest I do to confirm the identity of the substance?
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On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 18:25:17 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Kill someone with the screwdriver. CSI will identify it.
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On Tue, 05 Mar 2013 09:47:28 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Hi Jeff,
Here is a closeup of one of my 'white encrusted' screwdriver handles:

Here is a smaller picture if that's too large:

What would you suggest I do to confirm the identity of the substance?
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