Ability to fix things

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by mr_flintstone, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I went out to mow today, and after about five minutes, my old Cub Cadet riding mower started cutting into the dirt on one side. I disconnected the deck and flipped it over to see if I had a bent blade. Nope! It was a broken spindle. A five minute trip to the farm store and a hundred bucks for a new deck spindle, and I was back up and running.

    While I was working, my wife asked "how do you know how to fix things like that?" I didn't really know what to say, so I said "you just pick things like this up over the years". That did get me wondering though, how many people would have just thought their mower was done for and gone out to buy another one? I worry about some of the younger generation coming up without ever having to "fix things". They live in a disposable world today.
  2. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I'm mechanically declined.....

  3. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    It's just a matter of an educated guess most of the time.
    My SEARS bought mower broke a spindle, fixed it and blew a spark plug out.
    Got a new cylinder head form eBay for $19 and I'm still mowing after what 5-6 years.
    Stuff I don't like fixing is electrical.
    Mechanical hell yes but electrical is like bad voodoo...

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  4. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I hate indoor electrical.... Gimme big wire....
  5. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    Yes, leave the ELECTRICAL to the Professionals ;)

    My sig line on an overunity bbs is "Hyper-Dimensional Electrician" :cool:
  6. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

  7. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    I have been repairing anything from mechanical to microcircuitry electronics for years. Grew up in a stock car family and spent way to much time rebuilding engines and fixing broken car. I would have dropped the deck and done the same, figured out what was broken or worn and either fixed what was there or replaced it. Only thing I can't do is weld(no welder, I want a small wire feed) but I am going to learn that yet. Need to weld a couple things and I am not dragging them to the next town to the blacksmith(yes we still ave one).
  8. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    In my experience, "fixin' stuff" is learned by two groups. Those too poor to pay someone to do it, or buy another, but still in need of it; and those that are directly involved and interested in the thing.

    I am in the first group.;)

    In both cases, it's usually a matter of time not being money. Meaning even though a big company "can" fix something cheaper than buying, if it takes two days to get it fixed, they'll lose more money in lost production than they would spend if they just bought a new part and got back to work.

    If you are big enough, you then have a shop that rebuilds those things and keeps them as spares...or, you are the producer of those things, too.;)
  9. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    Being able to fix things is becoming a lost art in today's society. Learning how to do repairs makes us better appreciate the technology and workmanship that go into what we use, as well as making us grow.

    It also impresses the wife. You can never go wrong with that.
  10. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

    my neighbor 8s 80 years old he works in his garage fabrication shop from morning till night every day. he doesn't need the money anymore and only takes on things that interest him but he builds some incredible things.

    He has offered to teach my son anything he wants to learn. he's only 5 now but I hope he gets that opertunity.

    I can fix nuts and bolts things and come up with the ideas for fixes to things but I have a hard time explaining them or drawing them out so others can understand. I like buying junk and broken things and making them work again.
  11. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    I am also in this category. I am certainly not mechanically inclined. However, I am poor, and have learned to fix many things out of necessity, especially now that we own a home. I was raised by a single mom with no real father figure to show me the ropes, and the few uncles and such who would help her with things were doers, but not teachers, so I never learned from them.

    I have replaced a faucet, fixed a washer, dryer and gas stove all with the help of the interwebs and some basic tools.

    I HATE car repairs, but I have done my share again out of necessity. I usual can't afford a mechanic.

    Fortunately, what I lack in mechanical aptitude, I make up fr in just the intellectual part of figuring on how to do it. I struggle with actually doing it, but I at least know what I am supposed to be trying to do
  12. rippinryno

    rippinryno Well-Known Member

    did you run something over? or were the spindles getting noisey to begin with? i've never seen a broken spindle, i've seen bent spindle shafts from running things over or bearings going out.

    if you're real cheap, like me, you replace the spindle bearing before it goes all to hell and ruins the spindle. on my jd mower the spindles are $70 a piece, i'd rather be replacing $10 bearings once a year lol. also make sure to keep grease in those, that's a common thing i see is nobody greases them. they've got zerks on them for a reason lol
  13. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I mostly service my own stuff. A lot of the yard tractors today have self contained units, My 54" and 42" neither had zerks. When they started making noise, I replaced them with units that did. Service them regularly and they last a long time.

    I will not do routine service on my automobile though. I can literally have the oil changed as cheap or cheaper than I can do it myself.

    I do occasionally bite off more than I can chew. The kids wanted a bigger pool, so I decided to set it up myself. I have spent the last 3 weeks trying to level the ground. It was kicking my azz. Yesterday I heard a tractor doing some work at the neighbors. Went and asked him if the had time and how much? 45 minutes later and $75 lighter in the wallet, I finally got to installing the panels!
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    There are some things I fix because I can't afford to have someone else do it. Some because I find it interesting. But there are some things which I pay someone else because I'm unqualified to fix and the consequences of doing it wrong are catastrophic. That's why I fixed my own washing machine (twice) but had someone else replace my water heater.

    Peace favor your sword (mobile)
  15. bscar

    bscar Supporting Member

    After working in a dryer factory for 12 years, I could probably fix/replace just about everything in one without much trouble. Most of our screws are either 5/16" or 1/4", and we use a LOT of them per unit.
  16. RedRaptor22

    RedRaptor22 Member

    It's just something you have to learn, some people would say others are mechanically inclined or whatever but I think it's more a matter of working out that part of the brain at an early age.

    I don't remember buying a lawnmower until a few years ago, growing up it was a matter of seeing one on side of the road, bring it home and fixing it, don't know how many old snappers I built before I got into my teens, at least a dozen. And being most of my childhood motorized toys were second or third hand If I wanted to ride I had to wrench. My first truck was a V8 s-10 that I built myself.

    My brother did not have that sort of childhood tinkering background but is getting into it and enjoying the heck out of the whole problem solving thing and picking it up pretty good, a few years ago he wasn't trusted with checking fluid levels and tires.
  17. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    No, the mower is 13 years old, and the spindles are made of pot metal. IMO they are structurally too weak for this mower. They are rather thin where they bolt to the deck. This is the second one I had to replace. The first was about five years ago. On both of them the shafts were perfectly straight and the bearings were good, but one of the mounts had cracked and eventually broke.
  18. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    You would be on that welding like a Duck on a June Bug! If I can do it, I bet you can learn it!

  19. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I've just always been mechanically inclined. I started tinkering on bikes, and lawn mowers. I grew up kind of privileged. Dad made a big 6-figure salary but was mechanically retarded. So I always had nice things but I had a fascination with taking them apart, figuring out how they worked, then putting them all back together again.

    My mom encouraged the tinkering while my dad was all about paying someone else to fix it. I used to do all the work on my older sister's car when I was only 13. My dad thought she was nuts because when something broke in the house, she wanted me to try and fix it first. When we bought a new house, it had an unfinished basement and my mom paid for me to refinish the basement. Pulled the permits, paid for the inspections, and everything. My reward was a brand new work bench and a wall full of tools. I had a lot of expensive hobbies as a kid and I taught myself how to maintain all the equipment. Skis, snowboards, tennis rackets, roller blades, skateboards, bicycles, everything. By the time I was 14 years old, I was paying for everything by tinkering. If I wanted new skis or a new snowboard, I would go work at a Ski and Bike shop near the house and tune skis and boards, restring tennis rackets, repair bikes, repair blades, and even make sales. If I didn't have enough to cover my car insurance I would do things around the house. My bedroom was above the garage and was hotter than hell in the summer so I convinced my mother to let me chase new ductwork to my room and install a new ceiling fan where there had never been an overhead light before.

    Things like that have always just made sense to me. It was like I could "see" what needed to be done. I think it was my fascination with watching MacGyver as a kid, combined with having two grandfathers who were mechanically inclined who loved to teach me new things.
  20. Dragonbreath

    Dragonbreath Member

    my dad (now retired) was a auto mechanic for 30+ years. I am also very mechanically inclined. I have always fixed anything that needed fixed, in the house, or on the car. I am 40 years old, and the only time any vehicle I have owned has seen the inside of a professional shop is for tires and alignments. And the only time a service tech has been in my house was to fix a three month old stove that was under warranty.