My old washing machine stopped working after spinning its last load. The machine has been in service for me for over 30 years, which is quite a long time for a machine that was built in an era where nothing was built to last. Although its days of washing clothes were over, there were still other ways that it could be useful to me. Some of the electronics on the inside were salvageable, and I knew that scrap metal buyers would be willing to take the rest of the machine off my hands. I took out my tool box and started stripping down the machine.
After a series of twists and turns upon many screws, I had disassembled the whole machine. A few spiders had made a home inside of the machine, and apparently they had been able to catch quite a few bugs. I figured the vibrations from washing and spinning clothes would have too much of a disturbance for anything to make a home in the machine, but I guess if there’s a good enough food source, the spiders will deal with the vibrations and noise. I vacuumed out the unwanted guests and started my mechanical treasure hunt.
I used a soldering iron to aid in disassembling all of the electronic components. It was a shame that the motor didn’t work anymore, but the motor was still made up of magnets and copper wire, which are quite useful for many projects that I do. I was already getting some good ideas for the kinds of things I could build using the parts that I had acquired from the machine. I also saved the screws, nuts and bolts, because you can never have too many of those. Once the machine was fully stripped, I drove the remaining metal to the scrap buyer.