I have just successfully completed a very delicate operation...on a vhs tape. It's the third such surgery I've performed since we moved here. My first was just a simple transplant of the little flippy plastic flap that shields the tape. Those are really easy. My copy of Support Your Local Sheriff got a bit broken during the move here, so I just took a flap from a blank tape and put it on my good tape.
I kept the crippled blank tape just in case I ever needed it, never thinking I really would. Turns out it's a good thing I did, cuz last spring my copy of The Searchers had some internal damage--one of the bits of plastic that holds the tape in place broke off, and obviously the tape wouldn't play after that. So I opened that cassette, removed the spools and film, and put them inside the intact cassette that I'd taken the flap from. I put the good flap from the original Searchers tape on the new cassette, and was good to go!
And finally, yesterday I was watching a tape that my work buddy recorded for me (he's my NCIS, CSI: Miami, Battlestar Gallactica, and now Numbers provider), and suddenly it went clunka clunka clunka and stopped working. I pulled it out, very relieved it hadn't gotten stuck inside and killed my vcr. The right side of the tape had wound crooked, with a big lumpy loop in it. I shook the tape and it rattled--obviously something inside had broken, and a piece of it got caught between the tape and the spool. I had to go to work in about ten minutes, so I didn't have time to fix it then, but I knew I wanted to try, because there are still eps of NCIS and CSI: Miami on it that I haven't seen yet!
So tonight I rewound the tape, which it fortunately could still do, then got out my trusty tiny screwdrivers and opened up the cassette. Sure enough , two little nonessential bits of plastic fell out. I put it back together, screwed it tight shut, and now I'm watching Battlestar Gallactica. Hooray! I love fixing things successfully!