Fixing broken “springs” on FirmTek trays

After a couple of years of use, the “spring” in the catch lock of the Firmtek trays gives out, and you have to manually push it up to engage the latch.

(See trays here: http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-2en2/)

I asked, and they will not sell replacement parts, nor will they fix the tray if it’s over 1 year old.

So, I tore it apart myself.  Not hard to do. (Please read all instructions first, before proceeding.)

0) Basically, we’re going to replace the “spring” with some spongy packing foam.

1) remove the three screws that hold the plastic front-piece on the metal tray.

2) slide the front-piece off carefully, observing the light-guides for replacement.

3) the lock/slide mechanism is fit into place and held there by its sides, which snap over small nubs. To release the lock-piece, use two small screwdrivers,(or toothpicks, whatever…) one on each side, to pry the side pieces away from the container, just enough to allow them to pass over the nubs.  The lock-piece pulls straight out.

4) you’ll see that the “spring” is really (in an example of poor engineering design) just two pieces of plastic mold, and that over time, they have weakened where they meet the main body.

5) snap off these two pieces.

6) In their place, insert some scrap of springy packing foam, or a bit of sponge, or something similar which can be compressed and then bounces back. You’ll have to cut it to size, and jam in enough to make sure you can both compress the unit, and have it spring back. This will take a bit of experimenting to determine the correct amount of foam, since various foams have different compressions. The foam goes where the “springs” were, and pushes up against the bottom of the lock.

7) Slide the lock-piece back into place, using one of your screwdrivers to ensure that the foam stays properly placed beneath the metal lock.

Test the resulting springiness and mechanism.

9) Observing the light-guides, replace the assembled front-piece and the three screws that held it in place.

The result depends on the foam, and your skill at finding the correct amount used to replace the “lever-springs.”

The next time I do this, I’ll take photos and post them here. Meanwhile, I hope this explanation will suffice. It should be pretty obvious once you get going.

hth.

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