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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Feb '17

Home Report: What I Do On Layovers

On one of the recent layovers from travel and work, it was time to repair the luggage that I depend on. Both of my regular bags are no longer in production so it’s DIY time for maintenance.

Porter Case

This was designed for photographers and came with a square foam lining to fit gear – it was designed as a carry one, and really wasn’t built for being thrown in cargo hulls around the world. The fixes this week were tiedown screws, and putting a couple of rivets in to replace a piece that had failed. My musician buddies sand, varnish, sand, varnish, etc. their pedal steel guitars – I do it to my suitcases because I can’t replace them.

A year ago, Alaska managed to rip the tires off this one (including the axle) and paid a luggage repair place to fix it – they fixed it with standard luggage wheels which didn’t last. I broke apart some Home Depot casters for MUCH better wheels, and a threaded axle with locktite nuts on it:

Meant to hold up to 150 pounds between them, and when this thing turns into a hand truck with a couple of cases of wine on it…

But just like the wheels, the hinge mechanism is starting to fail, so, it’s replace screws (bottom right of the bag):

And re-rivet the handle:

To replace this crappy long rivet:

I’ve still got some random problems when there is a ton of liquor (read Bourbon) in the bag – it stresses out the latch for the handle. That’s another day’s problem. Another annoyance is that it has a TSA approved lock that some really small airports apparently don’t have keys to – I’ve been paged more than once.


Then, there is my other bag – a FlighTable. Combination roll aboard, laptop stand. Here it is in “laptop stand” mode. I’ve had pilots come up to me and salivate.

The table folds down onto the outside of the bag – problem was – after repeatedly checking the bag, some of the plastic internal support broke:

Maybe the piece I bent out of aluminum scrap in the garage (oddly, the right size!) will work after drilling a couple of holes and bending the ends:

It fits as well!

Thankfully, all the fabric zips up over all the infrastructure.

And then when I’m not repairing luggage it’s getting to the shop to box wine club after getting in from a flight at 10:30 the night before.

And making the occasional bacon wrapped veal Italian sausage meatloaf:

No rest for the wicked.

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