How I Spent part of my Christmas...(Off Topic)

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Blog entry by bobkberg posted 12-26-2014 05:16 PM 1357 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How I spent my Christmas:

We had invited my brother and sister-in-law over for dinner. My brother brought over his 4-cell Mag-light, because the batteries had leaked and corroded themselves in place, and he was hoping that I could get them out.

We started by clamping the flashlight (with a towel for padding) in the pipe clamp in the bench vise. I screwed in a 6” long deck screw in the back of the rear battery, then grabbed the screw with pliers and pulled – it just ripped out the back of the battery.

So then I got serious and screwed in 4 of the deck screws around the side of the battery to spread out the load, wired them together and pulled on all four at the same time. The rear battery came loose and out. 1 down, 3 to go.

So I used the same technique on the 2nd battery. No luck! So I hitched a come-along (winch) to the screws in the battery, with the other end of the cable hooked to a clamp on one of the deck posts and started tightening the come-along – the first two times, the tension pulled the clamp off of the 4X4 post. So we re-arranged things a bit, screwed the clamp tighter to the post and tried again. Finally, the thing came out… Just the rear metal cover that was the bottom of the battery.

Most people might have given up by that time, but I was not about to be bested by a lousy D-Cell battery. With the cover ripped off, we cleaned out the chemical innards of the battery and washed it clean using a steel wire bottle brush.

Now that I could see (Barely – it’s dark in there), we spent the next 15-20 minutes driving a narrow screwdriver between the shell of the battery and the case of the flashlight, slowly prying it away from the outside flashlight case. Once that was clear of the sides, I used my extra long needle-nose pliers to twist and turn what was left of the battery until it finally came free.

More scrubbing at the corroded leakage with the wire bottle brush and we could feel the remaining two batteries moving inside. Bouncing the back of the flashlight against a piece of wood (so as not to damage the threads), we finally got the last two batteries out. Just our of curiosity, I checked them – the battery tester showed the last two were perfectly good! All of the batteries and the gunk still went into plastic bags and into the battery recycle-bin.

Then we scrubbed until the inside of the case was clean and blew it out with compressed air, put in new batteries and it worked perfectly!

And that’s how I spent my Christmas Day (or a couple of hours of it anyway)! (It’s a good thing I made the Creamed Spinach earlier, because the rest of dinner was ready by the time we finished.)

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

8 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2989 posts in 1675 days

#1 posted 12-26-2014 06:47 PM

I’m glad to hear that your persistence paid off. Good save on a good flashlight.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2099 days

#2 posted 12-26-2014 07:01 PM

I know that leaving dead batteries in something can encourage this but I have found that the copper top batteries seem to leak worse than others. This has not always been true but it surely seems that way now. Good save on the case though. Hope the remainder of your say went as well.

View Nmr1981's profile


1 post in 1010 days

#3 posted 12-26-2014 09:45 PM

Same thing happened to me and I emailed battery manufacturer and I told them that I couldn’t remove the batteries from my flashlight. They sent me a check for $25 with no questions asked. I then sent the flashlight back to Maglight for $12 shipping and they pulled the batteries out and replaced the spare lightbulb. Not too bad considering I love the light.

View NormG's profile


5434 posts in 2427 days

#4 posted 12-26-2014 11:39 PM

Very determined you are. Congrats

-- Norman

View Mean_Dean's profile


4946 posts in 2570 days

#5 posted 12-27-2014 01:41 AM

I hear ya on not allowing yourself to be bested by a friggin battery! Once the batteries decided to fight with me, I’d have been out there all day, if necessary, to get them out!

I don’t know what that says about me, though. Probably need therapy…............!

-- Dean

View bobkberg's profile


420 posts in 2496 days

#6 posted 12-27-2014 05:16 AM

Hey Dean,It says you’re persistent! That’s a virtue in my book (as long as it doesn’t get me in legal trouble), and my brother still has his flashlight!

Thanks Norman, Nmr1981, Grandpa, Don.


-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3128 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 12-27-2014 06:03 AM


Now that sounds like a truly good day together . . . and productive as well!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 1491 days

#8 posted 12-27-2014 04:34 PM

You should have just bought him a new one for Christmas and then used all the spare time to eat and drink. I think you can find a 4 cell mag for $20-$25.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

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