The internet is almost as impressive as my ability to break things. This is a story about how I broke a CNC machine and was able to not only find the exact replacement parts but order them for next day delivery within about 20 minutes.
The Inventables Carvey model I am using uses Southco E6-10-301-20 Series Adjustable Torque Position Control Hinge with Holes.
Recently a friend let me borrow a Carvey that was taking up space at his place and, not 10 mins after getting it powered up, I broke it. To make a long story short, I racked the lid when attempting to pick it up, which caused both hinges to fail catastrophically. The hydraulic lift, which props the lid open and provides a soft close, put a tremendous amount of pressure on the device’s plastic hinges. Once the first hinge failed, the second failed immediately. It felt like my heart was going to be next.
After calling the very understanding owner and apologizing for destroying the hinges, we discussed the steps necessary for repair. Inventables support is great. I’m sure I could’ve got replacement hinges from them. But that would take phone calls, support tickets, and waiting for them to ship one-off parts. The parts are just hinges. If we could get replacements, it is a simple process to affix them to the case. Maybe we can find replacements ourselves.
So the search began. After coming up empty via the search engine route, McMaster-Carr was the next stop. It turns out there are tons of different hinges. McMaster-Carr apparently has all of them. We were however able to find something that looked promising. With the specs of the McMaster-Carr hinge now in hand, I got my calipers out. The sizes matched (give or take a ten-thousandth of an inch). We felt good about having a viable replacement option, but the question lingered if we could do better.
After a closer inspection of the broken hinges, I noticed that they had Southco branding. A quick search of their site led us to the spec sheet of the Southco E6-10-301-20. That was it, and of course, Amazon has it stocked and ready to ship.
The fact that I was able to identify these hinges, source them from a supplier, order a small number of them, and have them shipped to my door in two days is amazing. That I was able to do it within 20 minutes after I broke them blows my mind—what a world.