Upcycling

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kellys_eye
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Post by kellys_eye »

I've been into up-cycling for years - I call it being 'socially responsible', Mrs k_e says it's because I'm a tightwad (correct answer :mrgreen: ) - but between us we've managed to find some 'gems' from all sorts of places.

The most recent bargain was spotting a generator at the local dump - it was in the area where they tend to re-sell stuff but was also 'untested' and a bit of a risk - for the princely sum of a tenner :shock: I thought I'd give it a shot and chucked it in the back of the SUV.

Now that I've had a look at it I found the ONLY reason it was chucked was the fuel cock (giggidy) was snapped off flush with the bottom of the tank. When I tried to drill the broken bit out it just wound itself INTO the tank and was shaken free thereafter. A new stopcock cost me £5........

Giving the rest of the unit the once-over I checked the brushes (lots of life left in them) and the alternator windings (no discolouration so not overloaded at any time). The rest of it was surface rust that a brush and a bit of Hammerite enamel will fix.

A 6kW petrol genny for £15+paint........... :shock: OK, I won't be using it to power my business (those that know will understand this) but as a standby/portable unit for field work you can't go wrong!

Right - what have you managed to up-cycle and can you beat this bargain? Pics a little later.......
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Cannyfixit
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Post by Cannyfixit »

About three years ago The guy parked near me at the tip was chucking a 25lt air compressor, he said it was leaking from the safety valve so bought himself a new one
When I got it home and cleaned all the dirt and paint splatter off it The date on the label was 2015 so 2 years old :roll:
new relief valve was a tenner off eBay
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kellys_eye
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Post by kellys_eye »

Nice catch....

Since fixing this genny I re-checked the brushes to find one of them 'loose' (the brushes work but one has come away from it's braided wire and is only connected by pressure from the spring - not the ideal situation) so I've ordered spare sets, 2 sets for £8, and even a spare AVR for £6...... always nice to keep some spares on hand and at those prices it's daft not to.
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Post by Rorschach »

I've had some good boot sale bargains but never picked up something "broken" that was an easy fix like you chaps describe. Maybe I might have better luck if our tip allowed buying/selling.
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Post by dewaltdisney »

My chipper engine that I replaced when I damaged it with a jam caused by a loose blade would be an ideal bench project for someone. I suspect big end damage as it turns freely for 3/4 of a cycle and then very stiff for the final part. As the engine is only six months old and done around 15 hours it will be a good handy engine if made to run again. It still looks brand new. I cannot face dumping it so can anyone advise on where I can advertise it or ideas on how to find it a home?

DWD
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Post by Grendel »

My father worked at the local tip and barely a day went by without him bringing something home. Electric mowers with little more than a fuse gone , vacuums with blocked hoses , bikes with punctures and so on. The henry hoover i have in the van is one that came from someone throwing it away "because they didn't need two" . Needed a good clean out as she was a heavy smoker. Another henry in the workshop came from a skip with just a lump of carpet in the hose. Recently a customer asked me if i wanted a n sds breaker , it wasn't working he said and would be going to the tip. Turned out to be a broken cable in the lead. It came with drill bits , chisels and a chuck adapter and it was clear what had happened. The bits fit in a separate plastic holder in the case and it sits in a position that bends the lead where it enters the tool and that was where the break was.
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Post by Chippo1 »

Atco 16inch rear roller mower from free cycle , difficult to start , sorted the carb gasket to make the primer bulb work bingo , free.

Friend was putting Honda rear roller self propelled mover in skip, mower repair man said it was kaput , turned out only problem was the drive chain was rusted solid, freed up and lubed sorted. New air filter and fresh petrol , it’s the nuts.

They were also throwing a Husqvarna Strimmer in skip , not starting only needed fresh petrol ! Also declared kaput by their repair man.

Needless to say having bought a new Hayter mower five years ago when the Honda one was condemned , they now don’t use the same man to service their mower !
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Post by kellys_eye »

I think it illustrates both a lack of understanding on how to recognise faults and a similar lack of the skills required to make even basic repairs. A sad reflection of the times.

Whilst I suspect manufacturers are building things to a specific (and short) lifespan the most useful and repairable upcycling items have always been 'older' equipment that were built to last (no pun intended) and might still have accessible workshop manuals.

There's a 'thing' going on now about 'right to repair' with legal cases being made against manufacturers that deliberately create goods that 3rd parties can't fix and, no surprise, Apple are one of the worse culprits. No wonder 'antique' (and in this case antique can mean as little as 20 years old) stuff is getting popular.
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Dave54
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Post by Dave54 »

The Raleigh pushbike I rode for years came from the tip.
Couple of tyres, and a good fettling and it rode well. Cables were probably original and were fine after oiling!

I've got lots of small hand tools and stuff that's old though. A lot of my woodworking hand tools came from boot sales, or bought from dealers S/H. Drill press is an old American Walker Turner I inherited, and so on.
I always at least try to repair stuff rather than binning it.

Annoys me when stuff is obviously meant to be binned rather than fixed.
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ericmark
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Post by ericmark »

I remember getting my daughter a bike, high quality frame and would have cost a fortune new, stripped it, sandblasted it, painted and reassembled it, looked like new, and worked as it would have done when new. It cost around £70 to do it all up.

However push bike technology has moved on, gear change levers on the frame went out years ago, now one button for up and one button for down, with an indicator to show what gear you are in, with hydraulic disc brakes, even the laws have changed for example pedal reflectors now must be fitted. So my mother got me a bike from Halfords for £175 with suspension front and rear mechanical disc brakes, and far better gear change, when I got my wife's new bike it had hydraulic disc brakes, push button gear change and a 250 watt motor built into the pedal crank, and this is the problem, things have moved on, and often it is impossible to make the old stuff do what the new does without spending silly money.

So does one buy an old generator that uses a gallon of petrol every 4 hours light running, or a new inverter generator that uses a gallon every 16 hours light running and when running light can't hear it? Plus you can hand carry it, as so much lighter. Clearly when only used once in a blue moon it does not matter using a little extra fuel, and my wife will spend a load on fuel to visit scrapies who specialise in recycling things. Mainly for craft use, but the cost of a button can be silly when you can get a bag full for a £1.

But @Dave54 is right, far too much stuff is being made which can't be repaired, LED lights for example, no bulbs any more, when the lamp fails you change the whole thing. But there are some unscrupulous people who will offer stuff for free, because they know it will cost to get rid of it, be it type of oil in it, or asbestos, the heritage railway I go to had this, seemed the guy was being really good giving them machines like laths, then found not allowed to use them, and cost a fortune to get rid of.

Be it a 65 watt fluorescent lamp that only needs a tube, or an Oxford welder, if the tubes are no longer made, or the oil has PCB's in it, you end up with a load of scrap.
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kellys_eye
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Post by kellys_eye »

Funny how the existing system that encourages waste is something the greenies don't tackle head-on. Where is their campaigning when it comes to 'right to repair' for example or encouragement to keep older cars on the road as they are - over a given lifespan - far more environmentally efficient that building a new EV?
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Post by Ktuludays »

I got a free Marshall guitar amp from Facebook marketplace recently. Needed rewiring according to the owner.

It's a solid state amp and just needed the pots cleaning with contact cleaner. Works great and sounds pretty good tbh.
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Post by aeromech3 »

Mmm, could not agree more Gov.ts need to do more to standardise, as I look at my 4 USB leads, all with different mini ends. They had a golden opportunity with electric cars to say this is the battery dimensions and connections for all, build your body around that!
When I worked abroad in a small country, the importers of cars and electrical goods had to also import a % of support spares for the license; now I hear on the radio, a new law to make white goods etc be more home repairable, well and good if not overdue but betting the consumer pays a premium for this benefit.
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Dave54
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Post by Dave54 »

aeromech3 wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:43 am
Mmm, could not agree more Gov.ts need to do more to standardise, as I look at my 4 USB leads, all with different mini ends. They had a golden opportunity with electric cars to say this is the battery dimensions and connections for all, build your body around that!
When I worked abroad in a small country, the importers of cars and electrical goods had to also import a % of support spares for the license; now I hear on the radio, a new law to make white goods etc be more home repairable, well and good if not overdue but betting the consumer pays a premium for this benefit.
The consumer always pays. Remember how expensive stuff was back when it was repairable.
I can remember looking at a Ferguson VHS recorder back in the early 80s.
It cost several weeks wages back then.
So that didn't happen!
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kellys_eye
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Post by kellys_eye »

Everything is now built to a cost that the consumer bears. There will be careful calculations made to ensure the bottom line (for the share holders) is never exceeded no matter what efforts they legislate to make the product more reliable, repairable or reusable.

The only way anyone can benefit from any of this is to let someone else pay the initial cost then buy it from them as 'used' or, for the greatest saving, get it for free when it's f****d and repair it yourself.

If you have the skills I reckon you could live entirely on used/repaired products and not even notice the difference. I've done this in reverse (so to speak) when I've repaired junk LCD TVs and given them away. Cost to repair (in most cases) was under £5 (often 'free' using my scrap parts box contents) but AFAIK the sets are still in use some 5 years after I fixed them.
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