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Author Topic: Make do & mend  (Read 2385 times)

in4apenny

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Make do & mend
« on: December 13, 2016, 02:27:21 PM »
Any practitioners left of the noble art of make do & mend ?

Being of a certain age & coming from a long line of re-users & menders ( grandad used to save old nails & use car body filler to fill his own teeth :) ) i now find myself mainly buying old technology for diy, transport & around the house. Not only is it easy to fix but generally more reliable.

 To mention a few of the latest additions :-

1-- 30 yr old food mixer.
2--60yr old bench pillar drill.
3--60yr old sewing machine.
3--30yr old tent( very heavy canvas)
4--22yr old car. easy to fix & runs on veg

In a throw away age where the normal viable option is to replace those broken modern gadgets how are you getting on ?.


TerryM

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 08:19:02 PM »
Any practitioners left of the noble art of make do & mend ?

Being of a certain age & coming from a long line of re-users & menders ( grandad used to save old nails & use car body filler to fill his own teeth :) ) i now find myself mainly buying old technology for diy, transport & around the house. Not only is it easy to fix but generally more reliable.

 To mention a few of the latest additions :-

1-- 30 yr old food mixer.
2--60yr old bench pillar drill.
3--60yr old sewing machine.
3--30yr old tent( very heavy canvas)
4--22yr old car. easy to fix & runs on veg

In a throw away age where the normal viable option is to replace those broken modern gadgets how are you getting on ?.


I've noted that a large number of Chinese AC's and heat pumps fail because of bad bearings in the fan motor.
A selection of old fractional watt motors could greatly extend their life cycle.
Many times a circut board fails, these can be wired around using safety sensors and relays from old discards.


Terry

in4apenny

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 08:59:35 AM »
Agreed Terry , it makes you think that sometimes the scrimping on parts may be a way of built in failure on an expected timescale. Very often workarounds are possible but  the electronics nowadays are so tiny & complex,  nice if you can find a module to bypass though. Got to love the ultra cheap stc1000 controllers great for all sorts of domestic heating/cooling units.

4yr old larder fridge failed yesterday & beyond economical repair ( compressor/gas issue) , not surprised really as imported white goods seem to be getting more fragile. Now have the chance to talk the missus into my higher efficiency under counter temp controlled chest refreezerator experiment .

TerryM

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 04:07:41 PM »
Agreed Terry , it makes you think that sometimes the scrimping on parts may be a way of built in failure on an expected timescale. Very often workarounds are possible but  the electronics nowadays are so tiny & complex,  nice if you can find a module to bypass though. Got to love the ultra cheap stc1000 controllers great for all sorts of domestic heating/cooling units.

4yr old larder fridge failed yesterday & beyond economical repair ( compressor/gas issue) , not surprised really as imported white goods seem to be getting more fragile. Now have the chance to talk the missus into my higher efficiency under counter temp controlled chest refreezerator experiment .


If a hard start kit won't bring back a compressor it's probably time to cannibalize the unit. The stc1000 looks as though it could fit any number of applications. Good find.


Unclear to me what your motive is for repairing things that were designed to fail. I'm cheap and respond badly to what I see as a plan to trap me into a lifetime of buying replacements for things that should last for decades. Others see a future when replacements suddenly aren't available.
Regardless, the knowledge gained and the satisfaction gleaned make most projects worthwhile.


Terry

in4apenny

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 07:20:02 PM »

The stc1000 looks as though it could fit any number of applications.



ideal for fermenter & kegerator in home brewing as well as temp control in seed germination & heated nursery for young plants & cuttings.


Unclear to me what your motive is for repairing things that were designed to fail. I'm cheap and respond badly to what I see as a plan to trap me into a lifetime of buying replacements for things that should last for decades. Others see a future when replacements suddenly aren't available.
Regardless, the knowledge gained and the satisfaction gleaned make most projects worthwhile.



I try not to buy cheap  designed to fail items hence the search for old more durable items or ex commercial/industrial type equipment. fortunately  i very very rarely have to pay much for replacement parts & not used a trades person to carry out any work for 30yrs except for car tyre swaps .
I would say people class me as cheap but i'll  spend good money on what i consider value for money,  flashy lights,hyped specs & lots of functions on devices are not for me. Not for the first time today on the forum i'll bring up KISS--- keep it simple stupid, it's a saying that works for me.

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 06:53:51 AM »
My wife and I have saved a lot of money by buying clothes at thrift stores, as well as other items like a juicer, salad spinner, used tv and dvd, etc. We sold our double wide mobile home and moved into a 32' travel trailer (circa 1983), with an attached "Florida" room, which we bought for $1,500!

OrganicSu

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2016, 05:43:19 AM »
Work jeans back at seamstress for 5th time.
Have sewn the elastic on underwear when it goes.
Found someone with an old 1m3 water container, cut it in half to house the battery pack and the inverter.
My palace is a 7 x 2.5M mobile home, pushing 40 years. The bunk bed was cut in half, lenghtwise, to give 4 racks for kitchen.
5 old fridges for tools, dog food storage and green houses for seedlings.
Someone's old shower became a small greenhouse.
Washing machine circuit board shorted and burned by a critter. Got a 2nd hand one off the net and was then able to get old one repaired based on it.

I've included some things put to "alternative uses" as it's a form of mending. Something not needed for original use can be repurposed and given another life. There is so much chucked out...

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 04:14:28 PM »
My palace is a 7 x 2.5M mobile home, pushing 40 years. The bunk bed was cut in half, lenghtwise, to give 4 racks for kitchen.

That amounts to about 180 square feet I believe. Well, you have me beat, I've got about 375 square feet.

HG Pilot

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2016, 03:39:51 PM »
I love to repurpose just about everything but my favourite has to be glass containers.  Glass gallon jugs from wine are great to store rice.  Large glass pickle containers can be obtained from many delis and are ideal to store just about any other dry food.

The containers MUST be dry before introducing food into them and in the case of pickle jars, the best way to get the pickle smell out is to give them a good washing and then set them where direct sunlight can get at them for a few days. 

The advantages of glass storage far outweigh the disadvantage of potential breakage IMO.  Unlike plastic, glass is chemically inert. 

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 07:38:46 AM »
Trying to find the appropriate thread for this, but finally settled with make do and mend. My wife and I will become nomads for about five to seven months starting in late March. We will be travelling throughout the U.S. and perhaps Mexico and Canada. Most people who do this buy an RV, but we're going to use a tent for the most part.

I'm looking for portable power in a non-gas type generator. Perusing on-line, it seems "Goal Zero's" products at least appear to meet our needs best, but their products come with a maximum one year warranty. The upside with Goal Zero is their generator can be recharged with solar panels, or through our car's power point

Would like to know of any experience other members have had with their products, and/or suggestions regarding other products that could serve us better, preferably with a longer warranty period.

anotheramethyst

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 08:37:02 AM »
I love to repurpose just about everything but my favourite has to be glass containers.  Glass gallon jugs from wine are great to store rice.  Large glass pickle containers can be obtained from many delis and are ideal to store just about any other dry food.

The containers MUST be dry before introducing food into them and in the case of pickle jars, the best way to get the pickle smell out is to give them a good washing and then set them where direct sunlight can get at them for a few days. 

The advantages of glass storage far outweigh the disadvantage of potential breakage IMO.  Unlike plastic, glass is chemically inert.

Me too!!  I spend more on products in glass containers because I know I will get to reuse the glass.  All the spices I buy are in glass jars so I can refill them with herbs I grow in the garden.  I save the bigger jars for a friend who keeps bees so he can fill them with the best honey I've ever tasted in my life.  I've been transitioning all my drinking glasses to mason jars so I can also use them to refrigerate food.  I'm slowly getting rid of all my tupperware, but I haven't found a way to freeze things in glass yet.  Maybe I'm too scared haha!  Any suggestions, anyone, on how to freeze food without plastic?

in4apenny

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 10:14:51 AM »
Would like to know of any experience other members have had with their products, and/or suggestions regarding other products that could serve us better, preferably with a longer warranty period.

Do you really need mains voltage ( 110v i presume)  as we find 12v is the cheapest & most efficient option.

The power packs you're looking at (power storage device not really generators ) are basically a leisure battery / inverter & solar panels, personally i would fit a split charging circuit to your car & buy  2 large deep cycle batteries & run everything electrical at 12v even if it means replacing some 110v only gadgets, if you wanted to you could also add solar panels .

For cooking i love the coleman 2 burner petrol stove, durable/ cheap to run & spares easily available.

Best of luck on your venture.


budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 05:46:29 PM »
Thanks In4apenny for your suggestions. The Goal Zero model I'm looking at has two AC plugs, so I can plug in a heater or fan as well as charge my laptop and other electronics. Don't really see how I can do without them, but I don't know much about this subject so trying to learn as much as I can.

shmengie

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 06:25:53 PM »
so I can plug in a heater or fan as well as charge my laptop and other electronics.

I commend the ambition, a heater will drain a battery quickly, possibly shortening the life of a battery.

This link is for home solar installations, it may better your understanding of power requirements.  Electric heat isn't in their equation, although hair dryer, microwave or coffee maker are electric heaters, which could apply.

https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/Sizing%20a%20Solar%20Power%20System
Professor Trump, who'd thought it was that complicated?

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 06:30:19 PM »
... I haven't found a way to freeze things in glass yet.  Maybe I'm too scared haha!  Any suggestions, anyone, on how to freeze food without plastic?


I buy salsa in pint mason jars (I love hot salsa) and I use the emptied jars a lot.  My nuts, seeds and fruit-based breakfast and homemade soup go to work with me every day in these nifty 2-cup (almost half liter) containers.  I freeze fresh fruit and (separately) leftover cut-up vegetables in them, and freeze soup occasionally, but only 1/2 to 3/4 full.  My parents used to refill regular quart (liter) fruit-juice jars (especially with juicified watermelon) and freeze 2/3rds full jars (and drink watermelon all year long).  Just keep the liquid well below the height where the jar width narrows, and don't freeze warm liquids. Apparently, very cold freezers break jars more often.. This site says my jars should break, but it looks pretty good.  (None ever has.)

Excess jars get stored, given to friendly canners (the ones who like to give away homemade pickles and jams) and apiary enthusiasts.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

in4apenny

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 06:45:57 PM »
so I can plug in a heater or fan as well as charge my laptop and other electronics.


I commend the ambition, a heater will drain a battery quickly, possibly shortening the life of a battery.

This link is for home solar installations, it may better your understanding of power requirements.  Electric heat isn't in their equation, although hair dryer, microwave or coffee maker are electric heaters, which could apply.

https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/Sizing%20a%20Solar%20Power%20System


+1
Electric heating elements really are a no no.

I would guess many laptops/tablets/camera's will happily run & charge from a cigarette lighter socket ( in car or from battery pack ), usb charging from cigarette lighter socket as well with adapter,lighting  is no problem with 12v led's.

Using one of the many energy calc tools you should be able to convert your current or expected electrical usage at 110v be it in watts or amps & translate that to usage at 12v. http://energyusecalculator.com/watts_volts_amps_ohms.htm

Inverters when you have very limited energy creation are costly in terms of lost energy in voltage conversion.

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2016, 06:36:47 AM »
Guess I'm showing my ignorance here! Thanks for the heads up on heaters and the links Schmengie and in4apenny. Looks like I have to educate myself before heading out on the road. I was wondering why Goal Zero's warranty was for only a year. I think I may understand why now.

shmengie

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2016, 02:30:57 PM »
Goal Zero is serving a niche market, with lofty ideals. 

In theory, their solution looks workable, in practice, I expect they fall short for most application. 

Solar panels aren't durable components, somewhat delicate.  Not ideal traveling companions.

Batteries are the expense of electric storage.  Lead acid is old hat, which indicates high prices are not due to high tech, but niche marketing ploy.  Also lead acid is expensive to ship.

Lithium batteries are more current tech.  Since goal zero doesn't use them, it leaves me to believe they're not a high tech company.  They add window dressing to old tech.  Doubt their window dressing is worth the expense, but that's my opinion.
Professor Trump, who'd thought it was that complicated?

TerryM

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 03:39:17 PM »
BudM


Personal solution is/was an older Dodge Minivan. The seats pop out leaving huge holes for storage & the back opens up nicely for a full queen-sized mattress with space left over for a huge 12 volt cooler.
Traveled from Mexico to Vancouver to Newfoundland, back to Vancouver then Northern Quebec before ending here in Ontario.
Much more comfort than a tent, much less expense than a motor home!
Large truck stops have an amazing assortment of 12 volt everything. A second battery feeding from a cig. lighter socket provides all the extra juice I've ever needed.
Have a great trip!


Terry

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2016, 08:50:15 PM »
Goal Zero is serving a niche market, with lofty ideals. 

In theory, their solution looks workable, in practice, I expect they fall short for most application. 


Great info., thanks!

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2016, 09:06:02 PM »
BudM


Personal solution is/was an older Dodge Minivan.

I used to have a 2003 Windstar. The recesses for the removable seats were too small to store anything. The idea behind the Minivan was to use it for camping, but most of the time, we used a tent anyway.

By the way Terry, how long was your trip? Thanks for your suggestions.

TerryM

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2017, 11:13:46 AM »
BudM


Personal solution is/was an older Dodge Minivan.

I used to have a 2003 Windstar. The recesses for the removable seats were too small to store anything. The idea behind the Minivan was to use it for camping, but most of the time, we used a tent anyway.

By the way Terry, how long was your trip? Thanks for your suggestions.
2006 Caravan has huge seat stowage.
San Diego - Toronto, via Vancouver - 8 weeks
Toronto - Saint John NFL & Red Bay Labrador & return - 8 weeks
Toronto - Chisasibi -ret. -2 weeks
Toronto - Banff, Vancouver ret. - 8 weeks


Wife & I are both well past retirement age & travel with two cats & a canoe.
We intended to include Yellow Knife on our last outing, but huge fires changed our minds at the last moment.


We always tented when exploring desert regions a decade or so back but found the van nicer when weather became more of a factor further north.


Have a great trip
Terry

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2017, 07:02:08 PM »
Terry:

I'll have to take another look at minivans, especially the 2006 Caravan. You actually fit a queen size bed in it? Probably not much room left after that. I'm interested in how you made out with your two cats, any problems? We have a seventeen pound Maine Coon, age 13. We're bringing her with us, but I'm worried about how she'll handle the stress. When we moved to Florida three years ago, she had no problem with riding in a car, but we'll be gone as long as seven months this time.

theoldinsane

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2017, 10:31:51 PM »
budmantis, I have to ask, why not a (used) caravan? Many advantages, only a few disadvantages IMHO.

https://www.hobby-caravan.de/en/caravans/overview-series/

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2017, 12:48:26 AM »
budmantis, I have to ask, why not a (used) caravan? Many advantages, only a few disadvantages IMHO.

https://www.hobby-caravan.de/en/caravans/overview-series/

Thanks for the link TOI, and believe me I am seriously considering it. I'm really amazed at all the good suggestions I've received since I first posted. Much appreciated!

My original thinking was to purchase a six person tent of high quality. The tent I bought has 85 sq. ft . of space not counting twin vestibules. This tent is tall enough to stand up in and I've done a considerable amount of research into materials that are used. At this point, it's all theoretical. Once we hit the road, we'll see how it works in the field!

Will definitely do more research on the Caravan as suggested by you and Terry.

budmantis

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2017, 01:03:25 AM »
Oops! Just checked your link TOI. I thought you were referring to a Dodge Caravan, not a travel trailer. About a year ago, my wife and I considered travel trailers as well as truck campers and we decided to go a different route. For us it's going to be either a minivan or a tent. After some experience on the road, perhaps we'll change out mind.

OrganicSu

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Re: Make do & mend
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2017, 03:33:28 PM »
Picked up a discarded 15L plastic drum with a crack at the bottom today. I can see it filled with dried figs and bay leaves in 9 months time.