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Anyone who has done electronics repair knows how irritating lost screws can be—if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a slightly lighter laptop. If you’re unlucky, your $1,000 laptop will be brought to its knees by a $0.05 clip hiding under a table leg. Designed by fixers, for fixers, the 8”x10” Magnetic Project Mat solves this repair problem. Spacious and secure, the mat will catch and hold screws as you pull them out of a device.
Use it as a workmat during cell phone repairs, and you can stop worrying about screw tracking and focus on the cell phone; all the screws will be right where you left them. For laptops with hundreds of screws, use the whole mat as a screw guide and keep careful notes to not get lost.
The included pen is uniquely suited for the Project Mat. It’s made by Staedtler, the German pen company that makes top-of-the-line pens and pencils for artists and architects. Their Lumocolor Correctable pen doesn’t smear or wipe away like most dry erase markers, so if you brush your hand across the mat while performing a repair, the ink doesn’t scratch or smear. However, the eraser tip or a dry cloth wipes the ink away clean.
This mat will enable you to work more smoothly and efficiently. Check out our video, and learn how it can make lost screws a problem of the past.
Tech Specs ¶
Surface: Dry Erase
Length: 10 inches
Height: 7.875 inches
Thickness .03 inches
Ink: Lumocolor Correctable
Tip Size: .6 mm
May 16, 2013
May 13, 2013
I phone 1 Would not take a charge (number of time)but several weeks later after allowing to drain it took a full charge and have not yet therefore changed the battery. Have received all items, excellent service next day delivery. Thank you.
May 10, 2013
Root beer happened to my keyboard. Though I immediately shut the laptop down and inverted it on paper towels — thus probably saving the rest of its innards — the N, H, Y, 6, F5, /, -, and + keys all went kaput in the end. Removing the keycaps and cleaning with rubbing alcohol was to no avail — something was fried, so my only option was to replace the keyboard.
The repair went very smoothly, and everything is back in working order now. It was quite stressful, though. I made sure to take breaks frequently so that I could relax and to prevent myself from rushing. If you're careful and methodical, this repair is definitely quite do-able. And in the end, the machine booted without a hitch! Huzzah!
There were a few things which I wish I had known before starting:
- The Phillips head screwdriver shipped by iFixit as recommended for this repair is too large for some of the Phillips screws which need to be removed. I was lucky that I had a friend with another set of screwdrivers. All the other screwdrivers worked just fine.
- There is a part which is not mentioned by the instructions which needs to be removed from the original upper case and transferred to the new upper case. It's a vertical spar which supports the logic board and optical drive, and can be seen clearly in the photo for Step 35. You should take this out at this point and move it to the new case.
- ZIF connectors are very tricky. Make sure you read the directions and look carefully to see which way you should pry on the retaining lock; they can chip very easily if pulled from the wrong direction.
- The magnetic project mat is a life-saver. If you don't have one, get one. Make sure to put screws on it head-down, as this makes them stick more firmly to the surface. Take advantage of the whiteboard surface to make good notes about step numbers and locations of screws.
May 7, 2013
May 2, 2013
After replacing the broken digitizer with a new one, I noticed that although the home button worked, it was depressed below where it should be flush.
A tear down of the phone found that the glue on the old gasket I transferred was no longer holding the button in place.
I had to replace the digitizer again anyways, so I just waited until both things arrived and did both again at the same time.
The repair went smoothly. There were no issues, and with the magnetic project mat and black spudger that came with the pro tech toolkit it was much smoother than the first two tear downs.
Hardest part was making sure that the button was installed straight to the phone (after the first repair it was crooked). I even like the look of the black button with the white digitizer.
Get one of the black spudgers like that which comes with the tool kit. THe blue ones are great for prying open the case, but didn't hold up to removing the battery and subsequently the logic board connections.
The magnetic project mat: invaluable. I can't think how I've ever taken apart anything without one. The magnetic surface and dry-erase ability make it a must have for anyone working with small and/or metal parts.
April 27, 2013
LCD screen always turned off randomly...
Highly involved, followed the really helpful guide for replacing inverter for the Santa Rose/ Penryn model. The process took about 3 hours with cleaning.
You'll notice your computer may be really dusty, in the process of cleaning make sure you don't have screws attach to components and then flip them upside down...
April 27, 2013
Battery was not holding charge for any length of time. My 4th generation iPod, was in great working condition, but it was not holding a charge for more then a half an hour.
Replacing the battery was very easy, the video and information on this site was right on. I was able to replace the battery with 15 minutes.
Trying to route the wires underneath the safety circuit was very difficult.....m
April 26, 2013
I was unhappy working on an old towel, laying screws and parts willy-nilly. I also needed to add more HD space into the machine in anticipation of lots of graphics work. With the right tools and materials, I went about this job.
Piece of cake - and really safe - parts in the right places.
I bought the Wooden-Box-Toolset. The only slight difficulty I had was removing and reassigning the silver bracket that holds the optical drive in the near to the camera-cable and the SATA connector. The collar on the all-in-one screw driver was too big and the driver had to go in at a slant. Removing the end-piece and connecting the bit to the driver body made it a tad short, for me. I had a slim screwdriver for those 2 small screws... a minor difficulty with laptop work.... otherwise, nice hardware!
April 25, 2013
Previously on iFixit.com; I destroyed the screen connector when attempting to put the iPhone back together - after installing a new Home button.
So, this time around, instead of trashing the iPhone 4(Verizon) I decided to order the screen repair kit.
I took my time, was extra-double patient... picked at time when I knew I wouldn't be interrupted and I went slow... one step at a time.
This time the repair went perfectly.
However, a couple of notes related to the previous attempt at fixing the Home button.
#1) Previously, I got all three standouts in the wrong place. Plus, one of the standouts broke in half and got stuck in the mount and I didn't have a teeny tiny drill bit to drill it out - so this time around, I wasn't able to install the standout down by the speakers, and so I wasn't able to install the screw into that standout.
The moral of the story is to be very, very careful when removing the standouts and make extra-double sure you make notes about which standout came from which area on the iPhone.
There are three standout locations and two different sizes of standout.
#2) Previously, when attempting to reinstall the cellular antenna I pulled too hard and the connector came off the cable. So now there's no cellular antenna. This is no problem for me, because I'm using my iPhone 4 as an iPod and no longer use cell service for this device.
However, the moral to this story is; if a cable doesn't reach the connector... stop, look, listen. If nothing comes to mind... stop everything and call the iFixit and figure out why it doesn't reach and what you can do besides brute force pulling to make it fit correctly.
In the end of the end, the iPhone went back together and it works perfectly for what I need it to do.
The screen is clear and bright, swipes are zippy and accurate and the Home button works like the Home button should.
With delicate electronics brute force is almost never the answer... take a few extra moments to figure out why it doesn't reach or why it doesn't fit or why it won't come apart.
In most cases... there's going to be a reason... another screw, something not installed or seated correctly... once you find the cause of the hangup... you can repair it safely without causing further damage.
Time, patience, discipline, persistence ... success.
April 15, 2013
Picked up a used iphone 4s.. white.. 64GB.. good price. Camera wasn't working and the battery didnt hold a charge for very long. Couldn't resist the urge to see if I could fix it. If I couldn't fix it, I could give it back to the original owner, no charge. If I suceeded, I could replace my wifes old 3G.
The repair went great. First, I followed the ifixit instructions and took the phone apart to see if anything obvious was wrong, and to see what I was getting myself into, since this was my first iphone repair. Cleaned the camera contacts, put it back together and the camera (and the phone) worked! Camera cut in and out a few times after that, and the battery was weak, so I decided to take a shot.
Ordered the camera and battery, and a few tools I didn't have. When I had questions, ifixit was great to chat with by phone. Great support.
I'm glad I got the magnetic project mat. I was able to mark what parts went with which step as well as the position of all the screws and parts. Plenty of room to support my verbose note taking style. Never used any of the spare screws I ordered, but enjoyed the peace of mind of knowing that I had spares in case I blew the screws all over the place like I almost did first time I cleaned the contacts!!
If you can change a tire or a hard drive, you can fix an iphone. If you're a tinkerer, you'll probably enjoy it. It really wasn't that tough. Nerve wracking for a first timer, but not difficult.
Another tip: don't overtighten screws. They're really tiny and it would not take much to strip a screw or attachment point.
The magnetic project mat was great. And I liked the idea of having a set of spare screws. Cheap peace of mind.
I find myself hoping I can find another phone to fix now that I've got the confidence I can do it.