there was once a time where people actually fixed things. not just bought a
new one and replaced it, but fixed things. if they didnt make exactly what
you wanted, you made it yourself. it was assumed you knew how to look at a
problem and solve it. look at old popular mechanics magazines for one
example. heck, they practically assumed you had a welder in the garage.
and you know what, you probably did.
ah but times have changed. thinking has become a thing of the past.
spending is the new thing.
every time i suggest anything requiring some thought or innovation, one of
you guys comes out of the woodwork and attacks me for being 'unsafe' or just
plain crazy. it gets tiring trying to explain myself to you one track
minded idiots that have long since lost the ability to think. maybe there
should be a seperate group called
i give up. just toss it and buy a new one. if it doent exist, pay someone
to do your thinking for you. i figure at the current rate of knowledge
degredation, its only a few years before everything simply becomes
disposable anyway. we arent that far off now. the plug and play house and
the disposable education.
As an old amateur radio operator, you struck a chord with me. Fixing things
today means knowing where to buy the part, not at all as much fun as scotch
tape and glue, with, heaven for bid, some thought about electronics and
creativity. Today, research has become a "link". I remember climbing
through open stacks (and, Google misses a LOT)
i didnt mean to come off as bitter as i may have in my original post. ive
just gotten a bit tired of being continually criticized for offering
something besides 'buy model number xxxyyy and install it with bracket
zzzzzz that you can get from www.buyitnowdontmakeit.com'
the other thing that i dont get; i see people spending all this money on
tools these days, but it doesnt seem like anybody knows how to use them any
more. if it doesnt attach to a cordless drill body, its a mystery. when i
was in school you HAD to take a shop class. im pretty sure they've dumped
that requirement. between budget cuts and fear of lawsuits...
I bet you had to walk up hill both ways in a blizzard wearing just a wind
breaker to get to school.
I'm 25 years old and I took shop class in 7th, 8th and 9th grade and enjoyed
it very much. However, with education budgets being so tight lately, I'd
much rather see the money go towards reading, math, science and the arts. If
you want to blame anyone, blame today's fathers for not teaching their sons
how to be handy, mostly because they don't know themselves. For that, I
blame *YOUR* generation.
Come to think of it, I also blame computers, the bomb, the Jews, North Korea
and Celine Dion...but mostly I blame *your* generation.
What do you want to make or fix? Here are some of my recent projects that
really piss some people off:
pulley contrap to lift framed walls all by myself (told by contractor I was out
of my mind...so I fired him)
Hooked up old swimming pool pump to fill heating oil tanks. Was told to switch
to propane by ignorant friends and neighbors. Now I have 250 gallons of
heating oil and diesel to fuel my truck when the gas lines get outta hand. The
heating oil company will truck the oil right to my house.
Decided to build my house all by myself and save a min $40,000. This angered
local workers who lusted after a piece of my action. Upside is I now have
great tools and can go into the biz myself and drive all these trailer-trash
high school dropouts into the ditchdigging business.
Do everything yourself. That way you learn and get quality at the same time.
There is nothing a contractor can fix or build that you can't.
The guy who calls you unsafe or crazy is just pissed that you're competing with
him for precious dollars. Chances are he is a fat fuck anyway so just piss on
his shoes while he is frothing away.
I admire your spunk and ability to think of new ways to do things
cheaper. But - it sounds to me - that you are breaking the law by using
home heating oil to run your diesel truck. I realize that heating oil
and diesel fuel are the same thing except for one thing - the color. The
government places a high fuel tax on diesel fuel. This is the reason
that home heating oil costs so much less - it does not have the road tax
on it. I forget what color dye they put in the heating oil - but if you
get caught with the wrong color in your truck - it is a big fine.
The reason I know this is because one of my friends during the 1978
energy crisis - bought a VW Diesel - I forget which model. Anyway - we
were paying like 80 cents a gallon for gasoline - and he was running on
heating oil that cost around 30 cents a gallon. We were waiting in
gasoline lines on odd and even days. He simply had a petcock on his
heating oil tank in the basement - fueling his VW diesel in the privacy
of locked basement by gravity from the fuel tank.
He would have gotten away with it - if he would have kept his mouth shut
- but he kept bragging in the faculty room to a bunch of disgruntled
teachers - and someone turned him in. They came to the house - checked
the fuel in the VW - then sampled the fuel in the home tank - then
photographed his little "filling station." Not only did he pay a hefty
fine - but he became national news during the energy crisis. He was
scorned by many unhappy motorists.
I was not the guy that used the heating fuel nor was I the guy that
turned him in - but I can understand both sides.
I think a big part of the problem is that it's often cheaper to buy a
new one made in China than it is to fix things. That plus most people
are too lazy or stupid or intimidated to fix things themselves.
Personally, I'm closing in on 40, and I'm still learning quite a bit
about how to fix everything. Between my 10 year old car and my vintage
1950 house I'm renovating I've learned quite a bit. Haven't needed a
contractor yet except for one minor thing and my car hasn't seen a shop
for years except for tires.
"I think a big part of the problem is that it's often cheaper to buy a
new one made in China than it is to fix things."
Being able to now buy mass manufactured things so cheap that it's not
worth fixing a lot of things that were repaired in the past isn't a
problem, in most cases, it's progress. If you look at what it would
cost to repair many things today, it's not worth it. Even if you do
the labor yourself, after you take it apart, lots of times it requires
a part and they usually aren't cheap, you have to figure out where to
get it, etc.
I don't post here often, but I read as much as I can. I can safely say
that I learn something new just about every day. Like you I try and
repair just about anything that breaks - sometimes successful, mostly
not. It really depends on the item. So many things are simply not
built with repair in mind.
The problem here is that many people that ask questions are plainly
not too knowledgeable about the subject. It worries me when people are
given advice on how to fix electrical or plumbing problems when they
clearly have no idea. If someone asks how to install an extra
powerpoint, I really think the best advice is "call an electrician".
If they need to ask any other advice is dangerous.
I do agree with your general philosophy and would love to see kids
given more education in the basics of hand tools ,materials and the
basic physics of how things work. Or more importantly, correct
techniques of problem solving.
Unfortunately most people just have no idea.
Take my wife.... please.
A little to thin skinned? Don't take it so seriously. Are you not
surprised already some of the things we type in front of the screen we
would never say face to face to that person we are communicating to?
I had a 350 $ microave going bad, seeing a new one was only 36$ there
was no reason to even hassle or consider fixing the old unit. A repair
would have been 100$
Do you fix an old electronic apliance for twice the cost of a new
unit, sometimes, sometimes not. I just fixed an old 19"tv for more
than the cost of a new one . 8 months later I see I waisted time and
money as the repair failed.
So many things today imported crap that repairing them is not worth
it. It all depends on the product to be repaired. Today many products
are crap and cheaply priced , driving the "throw away " trend.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.