It's funny how our experiences mold our personalities. My Dad came of
age during the Great Depression, and it had a profound effect on him.
His mantra was repeated to me at least once a week during my formative
years. "Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do without."
Once he had a tire with a slow leak. I noticed the low tire, dragged
the air compressor out of the barn and filled the tire up for him.
"There, Dad, that should hold you 'til you can get to a service station
and get it fixed."
"Fixed?? There's nothing wrong with that tire. It just goes down."
Last summer, the computerized climate control quit working on his '92
Cadillac (barely broken in with 165,000 miles). Rather than pay to get
it fixed, he ran a wire from the AC compressor back to the base of the
windshield. Too much trouble to fish the wire through a hole in the
firewall (he's 82). So he just ran the wire outside around the "A"
pillar and back in through the open driver's door. The wire continues
to a residential light switch in a handi-box he mounted to the steering
column with zip ties. When it gets too hot, he turns the AC on. When
it gets too cold, he turns it off.
Growing up on a farm with him had a profound effect on me. I have
absolutely no tolerance for anything "rigged". Nothing at my place is
held together with baling wire or duct tape. I may not have all the
toys I want, but the ones I have are nice.
But I'll probably die broke instead of comfortable like him.
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom
that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down
on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid
again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold
one anymore." - Mark Twain
Well compared to your Dad, at 46 I'm just a youngster, never having had
to experience anything like the great depression. But I'm a bit of a rebel
when it comes to today's disposable modular car parts, where there's no
apparent advantage over the old fashioned kind except more money to the
manufacturer when the most minor of repairs are needed. Maybe I learned
this from my Dad because he was always handy at repairing things that other
people wouldn't even try to repair. In fact, before struck by chronic
illness, he had a humble but thriving small appliance sales and repair
business whose customer base largely was attracted to his reputation for
repairing items other dealers would either refuse to, or do so for a price
that was in line with all that actually needed to be done. For example, if
somebody's vacuum cleaner's motor brushes were worn out, and the wholesale
cost for a set of replacement brushes was unreasonably steep, my Dad would
simply take a larger sized set of brushes out of his collection of otherwise
worthless spare parts, take a couple of minutes to file them to the size
required, install them and the machine and it would be running like new
I did this myself about 8 years ago when my car's defrost motor conked
out, due to what I discovered was in fact worn out brushes. Paid $7 for a
set of vacuum cleaner brushes (after convincing the reluctant owner of the
vacuum cleaner store what made me presume he even carried such a part in his
store, and then that I wasn't attempting to deprive him of any business by
intending to use them to repair my own vacuum cleaner. <funny> Filed them
to the right shape and size, etc...etc... I still drive the same car (with
almost 300,000 km on the odometer) and the defrost motor hasn't been any
problem whatsoever since. Saved myself a lot of money not having to buy,
not merely a replacement motor per se, but the whole modular unit which a
new defrost/heater motor comes encased in. (PS: The car is a '91
Dodge/Mitsubishi Colt 200, which I bought when it was new.)
My parents grew up in the depression, as well. However, they
are/were (mom's still alive) more like you than your OM. If they
wanted something they'd wait and buy the best. Cars were for
transportation and didn't impress them much though. If something
broke it was fixed. Usually. ;-)
You're right though, depression kids have a very different outlook
Reminds me of what I did with my Phillips/Norelco cordless shaver a few
years ago when the built-in Ni-Cads began to fade. When I took the unit
apart I discovered that the batteries had been installed by the manufacturer
in such a way as to prevent anyone from replacing them. I took this as a
challenge to "my rights" as a consumer and after a few days of thinking it
through plus asking key questions, figured out a way to successfully replace
the worn out Ni-Cads with new ones. The shaver is now 18 years old and runs
like new. Unfortunately, my Dad died two months ago and I inherited his
much nicer, more advanced top of the line Phillips/Norelco shaver, which I
had bought for him as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. So my old
perfectly good shaver now sits unused in a drawer. Guess it's time to give
it away to someone else who could use a good shaver.
The moral is, never throw out a cordless appliance only because its
batteries have expired; even if it's been designed to prevent them from
I looked into this and now have 2 options. 30 sub C cells @ 2.10 ea. for 2
battery packs plus shipping and my time to re-build them or my local
hardware store has the drill, 2 batteries, charger and case for 60 buck on
sale right now.
habbi, you have the right idea. My first cordless takes batteries at
CDN$89.95 each. Cells for rebuild about CDN$60 per pack. More powerful
drill, case, 2 batteries, charger was CDN$129.95. The stuff is not worth
fixing. (One of the reasons Toronto is in trouble for landfill space -
nothing is worth fixing.)
Edwin, something needs to change, but:
*** my favourite watch - crystal broke - parts not available. Watch
replacement cost CDN$10.00. 25 yrs ago was going to get a crystal replaced
on a different watch - $70 parts & labour - only paid $20 for that watch.
*** table lamp needs a cord. 8 ft cable $3.50, cord end $3.99.
Alternative is extension cord $2.99. Much less expensive to buy the
extension cord and cut the female end off. Plus, no problems with the cable
to end connection. labour is extra.
*** large windows - frame rotting. Assuming the glass can be saved,
$10,000 to rebuild the frames plus ongoing maintenance or do it over again.
Replace complete with aluminum frames, low-e coating on the new glass
(sealed double glazed units), $18,000, maintenance free.
*** TV with built in VCR player - the tape drive quits. Repair is $105
parts & labour (30 day warranty). New TV with both tape & DVD is $200.00
(5 year warranty)
*** Floor lamp with broken switch. labour to repair is $35.00 (no
warranty). Replacement lamp $19.99 (1 year warranty)
*** portable fluorescent light fixture with cord & switch, $15.99 (1 year
warranty). Replacement ballast $17.99. (part only, labour to install is
extra) (no warranty)
Too much stuff is not worth fixing.
You might want to take a close look at what happens to stuff nobody wants
where you live (broken or unwanted appliances, kitchen garbage, waste paper,
old tires, etc.). Many people groups & governments have a pretty spotty
history on disposal. If you are in the US, then have a good look at
replacement costs vs. repair parts & labour. For items other than cars,
houses, & large boats, I suspect that labour costs are high enough to make
repairs expensive compared to replacement (I suspect that if you look
closely, you will find many common items are made in China) (It is said
that years ago a city in Japan changed their name to Usa, so they could
market their manufactured goods as Made in USA. Keep your eyes open, & look
wrote in message
We did have one solution. Remeber the garbage barge? It was floated around
thousands of miles beofe anyone would take it in a landfill.
If you are in the US, then have a good look at
You can even take houses out of that category. Many are now being torn down
just so a larger one can be build in the same spot. Nothing wrong with the
old one, just that the new owner want a bigger one. It won't affect me, bu
t our kids and grandkids may have a tougher life with all the luxuries that
we dispose of on a regular basis.
Windows are a real bone of contention with me.
My windows - supposedly maintenance free - are now fogged up and the
routine is replace them entirely. People blithely buy a whole set of
new supposedly guaranteed windows.
This whole industry is a lark. The "sealed argon-filled double pane
window" is a lark. I want good old-fashoned storm windows - not
maintenances free, but at least you do not have to throw them away
Anyway that's my rant. Now the question I have for you good folks:
Has anybody ever fixed one of those supposedly sealed windows?
I am going to try: One option would be to roast them or subject them
to a vacuum to draw out the moisture and then re-seal them with some
kind of low viscosity compound. Another solution i have been
considering is to drill vent holes at the corners of the outside pane.
You would still have a still air sandwich but not perfectly still - I
think the moisture will eventually leave. It would still probably be
necessary to seal them to prevent moisture transmission from the
inside but it would be easier since the window will no longer be
"pumping" air from temperature changes.
I really don't want to plunk down thousands for new windows when I
know that if there is a will there is a way to accomplish this.
On Tue, 3 Jan 2006 11:18:18 -0500, "Bruce & Lois Nelson"
How will you clean the film of shmutz that is all over the inner area?
I tried to open one up some years ago to clean and reseal it. Seemed
a shame to have to chuck it out. While the sealant was not
particularly tough to get to, it was quite a thin layer. Everything I
tried, knife - got stuck, windshield sealant cutting wire - just
resealed after about a foot away, and lastly cutting and prying -
broke the glass. I looked at the milky film on the inside and some
came off OK and some looked like it was baked on or etched.
Interesting to hear from others on this.
There is a technique for repairing & cleaning these units. It involves
drilling a small hole at the top, and another at the bottom. The space is
filled with a cleaning fluid. (Effectiveness is dependant on how bad the
filming is, & how long it has been there). The fluid is drained & rinsed.
The holes are plugged with "one-way" valves, that allow dry air movement
(thermal expansion) but do not allow for moisture. If anyone is interested,
I will try to find the vendor's (franchise seller) web site.
In the particular example of which I wrote, we would not replace the windows
because of the leak, but because the wooden window frames are badly rotted.
The contractors we have discussed this with are not convinced that the
windows could be saved and cleaned well enough for reinstallation (extra
labour costs) to be cost effective in new frames. I personally have
little confidence in the quality of the work to be expected with the lowest
price (rebuild frames) received. Then there is still the maintenance issue.
With the owner's past history of poor exterior maintenance, I am afraid that
rebuilding rotting wood frames is asking for continuing trouble.
On second thought, considering that new battery packs for today's cordless
tools sell for not much more than the cost of the cells inside them, it's
probably not worth anyone's while to rebuild these things. But still, as
with my Philips/Norelco shaver I mentioned previously, I'm certain there are
other cordless-appliance instances where taking this kind of creative
initiative can be well worth the bother (except when one just doesn't have
the free time to spare, of course).
I wish it were that easy. I can tell you that 4.6 amps at 120 volts
translates to 18 inch pounds of theoretical torque at 2600 rpm. BUT
(you knew there would be a but, didn't you?) that doesn't consider
friction losses in the gear box which will eat a lot of that torque.
And it doesn't consider that the motor will slow down when a load is
applied, and will generate more torque at lower speeds. Just how much
torque it can develop is determined by the torque curve of that
particular motor. That particular drill probably won't develop as much
ultimate torque as a good cordless.
Torque alone is not a good indicator of performance because it ignores
speed. If you grab the chuck, the cordless seems stronger, especially
in low gear. But when put to the task of drilling, your "Slugger" is
whizzing around at close to 2600 rpm, while the cordless is chugging
along at under 1400, even in high gear.
Consumers are left without reliable ways to compare one cordless to
another, much less cordless to corded. Check out the Consumer Reports
article where they found some higher-voltage drills didn't develop as
much power as other lower-voltage ones. That's why I said ignore the
specs and buy what feels good in your hand. The major brands all put
out enough power for most of our uses. When that's not enough, grab
your extension cord.
But you are right that cordless cannot develop as much power as even a
medium duty corded drill.
By the way, a 4.6 amp 2600 rpm B&D wasn't exactly what I had in mind
when I suggested a corded drill for those times when your cordless
couldn't get the job done. I was thinking more along the lines of this
7.8 amp Dewalt geared to turn 850 rpm.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)"8013.
You won't have any trouble knowing whether that one is stronger than a
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him."
I am not that farmiliar with the Panasonic line as they are not retailed
widely in my area but I can tell you that the Ah does stand for amp hour and
tells how many amps are delivered for one hour by the battery or vise versa
1 amp for x number of hours. So the higher the number the better, but no
cordless tool will be able to compete with a good corded rival. As for
prices on the Panasonic site I would think like most manufacturers they will
publish the full list price on their site so their resellers can always
sell for less than that price. Many manufactures don't list any prices and
thoese that do usually put up a high recomended list price which no one
sells it for and that price makes every reseller's price look good.
I personally like Porter Cable the best .
hope this helps
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