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Installing Blind Hold Down Brackets

Hold down brackets are useful for blinds that are mounted on doors, or even windows, where the problem of them moving around is an issue. They are typically made of either metal or plastic, and will have an integrated pin or a hole that accepts a pin that is in the bottom rail of the blind. Hold down brackets can be used with any blind or shade that is mounted on a door, and that has a bottom rail. Here are several video’s on how to install different kinds of hold down brackets:

To purchase hold down brackets, CLICK HERE.

Fraction to Decimal Conversions Part 2

Here’s a fraction to decimal chart for sizes down to the 128th of an inch:

Chart for fraction to decimal conversion

Click the link below for a printable PDF:

Fractions to Decimals

Fraction to Decimal Conversions

convert fractions to decimalsConverting fractions to decimals is useful in many building projects, when ordering custom made products, or when ordering materials for a project. To have general knowledge of how fractions relate to decimals, and vice-versa, and how the conversions work, can save a lot of confusion. Here are some handy tables that display these conversions:

Fractions of an Inch (top) – Decimals of an Inch (bottom)

fraction to decimal chart

Inches (top) – Decimals / Fractions of a Foot (bottom)

fraction to decimal chart

Inches & Fractions of an Inch (top) – Decimals in Hundredths

fraction to decimal chart

Click the link below to download and print a copy of these tables:

Fractions & Decimals

Common Blind Tilting and Wand Problems

So, the wand on your blind has stopped tilting the slats, or has fallen off. This is a common problem with all types of horizontal blinds, and thankfully, is easy to fix. Here are some examples of why this happens and what are the solutions.

Problem: The wand or wand tip has broken and has fallen off. This can happen with many of the different kinds of wands.

Solution: Buy a new Wand

broken blind wandblind wands various tips

 

Problem: The plastic sleeve has broken, causing the want to fall off.

Solution: Buy a new Sleeve. You may have to replace the hook if it has gone missing.

blind wand hook on stembroken blind sleeve for tilter

Problem: The wand turns without tilting the slats – due to a broken tilt mechanism, or the tilter stem has broken off, causing the wand to fall off. In either case, the tilt mechanism will need to be replaced.

Solution: Buy a new Tilt Mechanism

broken blind tilter gear mechanismtilter mechanism stem snapped off

various horizontal blind tilters

Refer to the Fix My Blinds website, and Instructions page for additional info and help.

 

Blind Repair Instruction Page Instructions

Here’s some quick instructions on how to navigate the Fix My Blinds ‘Instructions’ page:

1) Click on the Instructions tab seen here:

searchable blind repair instructions

 2) Type in the type of instruction in the search box. Relevant instructions will automatically appear as you type:

searchable blind repair instructions

3) Narrow your search, if needed, by entering type of blind:

window blind repair instructions

4) Click on the instruction of your choice:

window blind repair instructions

Installing a Tilt Mechanism with an Internal Clutch

Tilt mechanisms with internal clutches are designed to prevent over rotating of the mechanism. This feature is mostly found in mini blind tilt mechanisms, but can be found in other blinds as well.

blind tilter mechanisms with internal clutch

A tilt mechanism clutch is simply a section of teeth missing from the internal gear as shown here. When installing a tilt mechanism like this, find the center point of the internal gear by rotating the tilter all the way one way until it reaches the clutch and stops. Make note of this position.

blind tilter mechanism with clutchRotate the tilt mechanism the other way until it stops again. Make note of this position. You may have to manually rotate the tilt mechanism as shown to get it to engage the gears after the clutch is reached.

Set the tilt mechanism hole exactly half way between the two stopping points. Now you can install your tilt mechanism.

Here’s a video that describes this process:

A Brief History of Window Blinds

The history of slatted blinds is not completely clear, but it is believed the concept was discovered thousands of years ago by the Egyptians, although they were probably only made of fixed slat material. After that, it is thought that the concept and designed moved to perhaps Persia, China or India. As legend has it, the great explorer Marco Polo brought them back from China in the late 1200’s, but this is speculative as he does not mention anything like that in his journals.

Whatever the truth is, in the early 1700’s they appear along the European trading routes, in particular on the Eastern Italian coast, near Venice.  This is probably where they received the popular name ‘Venetian Blinds’.

During the colonial era of the 1700’s Venetian Blinds grew in popularity in wealthier houses, shops, churches and public buildings, especially in France, England and their colonies. We can see this in the paintings and illustrations of the time, as seen here in an early American illustration:

Colonial congress image

 

Here’s a brief timeline of notable Venetian Blind history:

  • 1757 – A French craftsman advertised blinds with adjustable slats
  • 1760 – Installed in St. Peter’s Church, Rome
  • 1767 – Englishman John Webster started selling them from his upholstery shop in Philadelphia
  • 1769 – Edward Bevan patented the first Venetian Blind, London England
  • 1841 – John Hampson invented a mechanism for controlling the angle of Venetian Blind slats, New Orleans
  • 1936 – Introduction of the aluminum Venetian Blind by Kirsch

Mass production of window blinds began just after the end of WWII through Hunter Douglas’s network of over 1000 distributors in North America. Window blind design underwent a major redesign in the 1970’s with the introduction of the 1” aluminum ‘Mini-Blind’. This smaller, lighter, and cheaper version of the Venetian Blind further expanded the window blind market. In the 80’s and 90’s the resurgence of wide slatted blinds such as various wood and faux wood types, have made slatted blinds more popular that ever. Today, they have taken hold of the window covering market, and are vastly more popular that soft window coverings such as draperies.

The industry which has grown up with this trend includes worldwide manufacturing of these products. Window blind distribution includes networks from large retail outlets to small mom & pop home businesses. Of particular interest to us here at Fix My Blinds is the huge variety of blind types and brands which have existed and currently exist in the market today. This has led us to carry literally hundreds of different parts to service the millions of window blinds that are out there – a task that we find both challenging and rewarding.

DIY’ers and the Repurposing Mindset

Unlike recycling, where a product is returned to a previous state and then remade into something new, repurposing is where an item is reused in a different way because it has value ‘as is’. Items such as used furniture, building materials, discarded industrial byproducts, food industry items, various manufacturing byproducts, packing/shipping materials, etc, are all areas to look at for items that can be repurposed. It’s really amazing the things people have come up with as far as using items once thought to be only fit for recycling or a land fill.

While recycling materials is preferable to a landfill, repurposing is by far an even more environmentally superior way of dealing with used materials. Here’s a video of one company that actually specializes in repurposed materials:

Here’s a great website with various projects for the average DIY’er using repurposed materials:

My Repurposed Life

As a DIY’er, I think it’s good to look at items and materials in regards to how they can be reused, or repurposed. Doing so will open a whole world of possibilities, save money, and help the environment.

Spot the Difference Contest

We’re running a 1 day contest on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/fixmyblinds

Can you spot the differences in these 2 photos?

Spot Diffs

The winners will receive a Fix My Blinds – Nalgene OTR Water Bottle:

water-bottle-top-angle

 

Look for more contests in the future!!

How to Build Your Own Roller Shade

Here’s a new video on building your own roller shade:

This video will demonstrate in detail how you can successfully build your own custom Roller Shade.

Fix My Blinds sells various Roller Shade Kits here.

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