When You're Making a Mess of Things. Don't Mess Around.

Go big or go home.

The first day of school is a tough day for many  moms.  When the firstborn or worse--the lastborn-- climbs the big steps and disappears into the innards of the yellow bus we bite our cheeks while waving madly and hope that the tears can hold off until the bus is around the bend.

For the last 5 years, our small community of moms has gathered together on this annual morning of change to distract ourselves by making cookies with the abandoned little sibs that just lost their summertime playmates.  This year I hosted.  A handful of preschoolers + a bag of flour = a mess that was off the charts.  Flour was everywhere, and little flour footprints marched throughout the house.   As I surveyed this enormous mess that belonged to me but would be cleaned by professionals, I felt guilt as I headed off to do repair.

But then I realized, it is more fun for everyone to go big or go home when it comes to making messes, or doing iPad screen replacement.  How boring to just run the same rags over the same countertops week after week.  How dull to just pop off a screen with a mere straight line crack and put on another.  Don't we all love a challenge?  Don't we love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from taking something totally trashed and really making it beautiful?

Yes, if we're going to make a mess, shouldn't we make a MESS!  And instead of sliding an iPad off the counter and picking it up to see a cracked corner, if you're going to go there--don't you want to leap off your bed in a messy room and land your foot squarely on your mini with a satisfying shatter!  Of course!

Here is an iPad mini we repaired recently:

This mini was a great little project. Screen and LCD were both casualties in a classic 'I warned you to clean your room or this would happen!" story. This is the kind of mini repair that is a lot of fun---the key to a professional finish vs, a 'watched 2 YouTube videos I got this' repair is getting every molecule of glass and old adhesive off the frame.

On this one, after the bulk of the glass came off...

It became obvious that this mini had a frank bend in the sidewall of the frame.  Oh man.

A bent frame can never accept a perfectly square piece of replacement glass.  Here the option to replace the frame itself would tip the price of the repair over the edge of cost-effectiveness.  

While for the iPad 2, 3, or 4, there is a great little tool for straightening bent corners and sidewalls, there is no version of the tool available for iPad mini sidewalls.

If this mini was going to be restored, it was time to get creative.  Applying the same concept of the g-tool, I headed to the woodshop and fashioned a wooden mold of the frame. I used a simple vise to apply the necessary pressure to gently reshape the bend.

The result--near perfect.  The new glass fits completely flush and this mini will live again with its new LCD and digitizer---all for less than the cost of replacing the device.

Beautifully straight reshaped sidewall:

After: This mini is hard to distinguish from new.

I enjoyed working on this mini because of the fun of taking something so completely broken and making it like new again.   And at the end of the day, standing in my clean kitchen, the smile on Jonell Pitts face--- owner of Magic Broom Cleaning Company---I kind of think she feels the same way.   At least that's what I'll tell myself--- sorry Jonell!

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