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If you're in a hurry, this Instructable shows you how to replace the twine in a light-duty garden strimmer with something more substantial that you might have lying around anyway. Jump to Step 1 for instructions!

Background:

My Father was having trouble with his garden strimmer, he said the string breaks off after about 5 seconds. For some unknown reason I didn't believe that it could be so short-lived, so decided to try it. After threading up the strimmer, (I never know which way to wind the cord in those things, despite the arrow indicating "wind direction"), I plugged it in and pulled the trigger.

After trying to cut a few thin grass stems, the cord popped off and the strimmer motor screamed as they do. how long did it take? Probably not even five seconds! Moral of The Story: Always believe what your Father says!

OK, Let's get on with the task...

Step 1: Start Here: Remove Unnecessary Parts...

Before doing ANY WORK on power tools, REMOVE THE PLUG from the electricity supply. Strimmers are designed to cut grass but they can't tell the difference between grass and YOUR FINGERS...

Remove the spindle cover (this model had two catches on opposite sides of the spindle; press them inward to remove the cover).

Remove the cord spindle and the spring behind it. Keep these in case you want to return the strimmer to it's original condition.

Clean out any grass debris from the spindle housing.

Step 2: Select Suitable Cable Ties...

The length and thickness of the ties we will use depends on the capacity of the strimmer. The best way to decide is to measure the hole which is normally used for the strimmer cord. In our model this was about 6mm diameter. The length of the ties should be enough to reach from the central spindle to the edge of the guard (150mm long ties should be sufficient in most cases).

We will connect two cable ties "back to back", so that they form a loop which will go around the central "core" of the spindle. Before connecting them, make sure you get the ties the right way round, they only "lock" in one direction.

Step 3: Threading a Needle?

Once the ties are connected, thread the "tail" of each tie through one of the holes on each side of the spindle. Pull the ties tight so that they are in contact with the central spindle. Centrifugal force when the strimmer operates will tighten them up fully...

Step 4: Trim the Excess...

Most (if not all) strimmers have a blade which cuts off excess twine when the motor spins. As the cable ties are thicker than normal twine it's a good job to trim the excess using a pair of wire cutters before starting the motor. This also prevents bits of plastic from being left around the garden.

Step 5: Cover It All Up...

When the ties are trimmed correctly, replace the clip-on cover. The hole in the centre will allow grass to pile up inside the spindle but this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Now it's time to tidy up, plug in the strimmer and see how it goes!

Note: You might find that the ties break off quickly as well, in this case you'll need to find some thicker ties. But hopefully you'll realise that your strimmer is really earning its keep after all.

<p>I think I saw an 'ible for making a PLASTIC blade to replace the string for a strimmer. From the plastic of an old bucket? Can't find it right now. But basically it used the bottom of an old bucket, cut into the shape of a blade that would fit inside the trimmer guard. IIRC it said the trimmer would NOW trim the heck out of big shrubs,</p>
<p>:-) That sounds like fun! I've been using extra-thick twine in mine for the last few years, only replaced the motor brushes twice so far! I don't know why they make them so weak - maybe to get past HSE or something?</p>
<p>Well, as an HSE manager type I'd say it was more likely a manufacturing cost issue. The commercial grade string trimmers can almost saw down trees... I've seen guys &quot;string&quot; them with WIRE for heavy brush clearing for work crews doing surveying.</p>

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