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Repair information for Etch A Sketch toys.

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Can I fix dead areas on the screen, where lines don't appear?

I've got some old etch-a-sketches that have areas of the screen where lines disappear, or are so faint they are almost impossible to see. They have been sitting on a shelf for more than 15 years, being used only once or twice. We tried lots of shaking, turned the knobs, but nothing works. Any suggestions? I hate to throw them out.

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A few things could be happening:

1- the aluminum powder compartment is leaking, this could either mean powder is escaping, or that moisture is being allowed to enter.

2- aluminum powder may have escaped during manufacture and over time has coated the inside of the outer screen

3- the peg that makes contact with the inner screen has worn down or is otherwise damaged.

The solution to all three is involves popping the back off of the etch a sketch.

For #1, take off the knobs and carefully pry open the back of the toy. There will be glass glued onto the back, clear it off and super carefully pull the glass sheet off. Dump out the aluminum powder and thoroughly clean everything. Pour a couple tablespoons of new aluminum powder into the back and reseal the glass with hot glue. Put knobs and glue back on and should be good to go.

#2, remove the cover, wipe down, check for seal leaks, fix any you find with hot glue and put back together.

#3, open it up following intructions for #1. Pour aluminum powder into a paper cup, clean everything and then take apart the rods that the knobs move around. They should be able to be popped out, if not, break it, its easy to replace. Get the peg off and check it for damage. If it is broken use epoxy to fix it. Vapor from superglue will ruin the powder over time. If its worn or unrepairable visit a hardware store and look for something similar you can jerryrig in there. Be creative, nobody sees the part just the result. After taking care of it put the powder back, reseal and reassemble. Should be good as new.

I don't know where to get aluminum powder. Try a fireworks manufacturer or craft store, it is quite explosive if exposed to heat so be careful with it. Stuff wants to get everywhere too so watch out for that, getting it off of anything it comes in contact with is near impossible. It will look like little beads, this is because its so fine that any static charge will make it stick to itself, its a powder and if you touch it you will make a mess.

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That is THE BEST explanation I have ever read ANYWHERE about ANYTHING on the internet. I'm bookmarking this even though my Etch A Sketch has long since faded away. GOOD ANSWER!!! 👍 💜


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Over a long period of time, moisture can get into them and harden the medium inside. Also the rod that connects to the glass does not touch the glass with enough pressure to make a clear line. I would see about opening them up and some how break up all the medium, and bend the rod just enough so it applies pressure on the glass to make a good line.

I would probably also try to find one of those little pouches of Desiccant and some how glue it inside to keep the inside medium dry.

Never opened one up, but this is my logical advice...

Hope this helps....

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Jane Engdahl zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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