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#184538 - 10/08/09 12:36 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Tirec Offline

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Rocky Mountain West
I inherited my grandfather's Coleman two-burner stove.


Slide-rules (if you can find instructions), pencils, graph paper, all that stuff I used to do math before battery powered calculators were affordable.

Seems that if it needs batteries, electricity, has a screen &/or contact buttons, when the tiniest piece wears out, it's junk.

The October 2009 Popular Mechanics (Self-Reliance Issue) has a good article on people discovering the joy of fixing what's broken, rather than just tossing and buying a replacement.

Part of my goal in preparing, is to be able to "make it" with a minimum of stuff which requires external supplies to continue functioning, e.g. batteries. The tough part is that there's a lot of stuff I don't know how to do.

Seems the more technologically advanced we get, the more artificial life becomes.

Reading this link really reminded me of my grandfathers.

#184544 - 10/08/09 02:25 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: Tirec]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Colt Single Action Army

Colt M1911A1

Mark 1 / Mod 0 Rock
Mark 2 / Mod 0 Stick

I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#184553 - 10/08/09 04:40 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: Desperado]
yelp Offline

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 172
Loc: Colorado
RE: Tirec and Desperado - yup, I inherited Granddad's slipstick and .45 (and he ensured I knew how to use them both) as well as his chessboard - which I have no real idea on how to use, but I'm trying. Cast iron I'm picking up on my own and will be my grandkids problem.
(posting this as someone that has unintentionally done a bunch of stupid stuff in the past and will again...)

#184566 - 10/08/09 11:07 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: yelp]
LoneWolf Offline

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 103
Mine isn't an antique yet, but I'll throw in the indestructible, green, steel, Stanley Thermos bottle.


#184576 - 10/08/09 02:25 PM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: LoneWolf]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Mine isn't an antique yet, but I'll throw in the indestructible, green, steel, Stanley Thermos bottle.

It doesn't have to be an antique, just a piece of kit whose design can't really be improved upon such as the classic fisher space pen. (I sometimes still use an 20 year old but heavyweight Stainless Steel Coleman's Thermos Bottle)

Technology is advancing so rapidly I'd guess my flashlights and headlamps may not have batteries available for them in 50 years.

I can't really see the AA or CR123 cell format disappearing anytime soon simply because of the huge number of devices that rely on the format. NiMh cells are rechargeable for use over 1000 times and the latest low discharge technology such as the Sanyo Eneloop may be able to hold some charge after even 5 years. So I guess there might even be some low discharge technology NiMh AA cells still around in 50 years time (I will have to research this further though). Freshly manufactured primary Lithium cells stored in cool conditions should still have more than 50% of the initial charge after 25 years.

Many of the items already mentioned have stayed away from the electronics side but perhaps with the introduction of completely solid state SSD hard drives many computers such as this low power PC (just perfect for solar powered PC) may still be working 20-30 years from now.


Even with clothing, Ventile cotton material is still usable after 25 years especially if looked after and can be repaired more easily than Goretex (even Goretex I have found to be remarkably durable as I still own and use a 12 year old Berghaus Extreme 7000 Jacket during winter walks)

In the UK we are about to have a decade of austerity (mass unemployment not seen since the 1930s, with the politicians rhetoric already suggesting that the mass unemployed are just lazy layabouts even before they are made redundant in the next couple of years through government spending cuts cry ) and I'm looking to replace items which have in built obsolescent designed into them or are difficult to repair without having to rely on the manufacturer who might not be around in 10-20 years time.

As an example, one of the most annoying and frustrating issues I have at the moment is with companies such as bicycle parts manufacturers Shimano and Campagnolo for replacements for 15 year old bicycles mad I don't need 10 speed freehub gears and 10 speed chains I only need 7 speed gears and shifters of the same quality that was made in the late 1980s and early 90s. I need conventional headsets (not Ahead) and I don't need carbon forks because I prefer steel ones with threaded columns with old fashioned quill stems. (these companies have designed their components for designed obsolescence after a couple of years, i.e throw away parts that wear out quickly). My bicycle frames, which I made 15 years ago still have a 50 years of life still in them.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (10/09/09 12:04 AM)

#184593 - 10/08/09 06:48 PM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: Tirec]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2153
Loc: Bucks County PA
This is related. I promise.

So, my basement flooded a few times - not bad, but bad enough that I had to tear out the walls in the finished areas. One of the areas I had to totally tear apart was my workshop. It kind of grew in place over the last 8 years, and wasn't really optimal for anything in particular - it's too small for woodworking and it's not equipped for metalworking. And when I thought about it as I tore the place apart, I realized that what I wanted was a Fixit Shop of my own. So, over the course of the last 12 weeks, I've been very slowly building a fundamentally different shop from what I had before - a shop where I can dismantle, test, fabricate and rebuild things as needed. And fixing stuff makes me very, very happy.

So while "ending is better than mending" was a theme surrounded me for most of my life (except in my childhood home), I have been enjoying great success in keeping old things working. I can't fix everything (and you can't get parts for so many things) but I will try.

#184622 - 10/08/09 11:26 PM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: MartinFocazio]
KG2V Offline


Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
Heh. You know what prompted me to get my first lathe?

I had a woodworking frill pres I was restoring, and there was a part that was missing/broken. I no longer had access to a lathe and mill at work. For this job, I needed a lathe. End of story

Another "repair, don't end" story

Around here, there are a BUNCH of houses built by one builder. It has a screw tha hold the cylinder into the mortise lock - the odd part? It's left hand thread, and if you don't know this, you end up breaking the part (bronze, about 3 inches long, 1/4" diameter, with a left hand 20 tpi on one end)

Anyway, the real HUGE problem is that 1)The part is NOT available and 2)The lock is an odd size. I've picked up a few odd dollars making a bunch of this part (in brass - good enough) for the local locksmith so he can repair doors that folks have broken
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

#184628 - 10/09/09 12:42 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: MartinFocazio]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
... And fixing stuff makes me very, very happy....

Repairing antiques can be an interesting hobby and sometimes turns into a profitable sideline.

One of the places of interest in Edmonton is their Aviation Museum.
All the airplane restoration and display model making is by volunteers.
So there is no money in it directly, but what a great way to pick up skills and have access to a very complete shop.
Just south of the city is a really remarkable museum of old cars and farm machinery. It is another really great place to pick up high level restoration skills.
Some of the people go on to careers curating for other museums. Some people become restorers on their own.
You might be able to find places like those close to you.

Edited by scafool (10/09/09 01:02 AM)
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#184632 - 10/09/09 01:55 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: scafool]
T_Co Offline

Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 184
Loc: Nebraska
Anyone remember these? I recall my stepfather loving them for the edge they kept


#184641 - 10/09/09 04:51 AM Re: It might be an antique but.... [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
have a look at Antique Radios.com..i have been over there to get some info and tips on recaping to bring back to life my old 1946 Hallicrafters S38 shortwave radio.these guys take junk and make it run like new,glowing tubes and all.with all the parts exposed and soldered together keeping something like that running should be easy next to a sealed transistor radio.
if you want something really antique that still works try wine making.i have 10 gallons working in the basement right now.if the stores are shut down i can always have a snort of homemade.

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