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The Death of DIY??

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The Death of DIY??

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Old 4th Dec 2018, 01:57
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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And yet the "Maker Movement" goes from strength to strength - people getting involved in robotics and all kinds of other construction stuff. So I don't think you can say the "younger generation" isn't interested in using their hands and brains to do interesting stuff.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 09:48
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In the summer, I hung 8 oak veneer and 6 solid oak doors, fitted locks and latches, and oiled them all. That's a 1000 saved in labour. Before that, 30sq m of solid oak flooring through 2 rooms- at least another 600. That's a big chunk of a ski week in a flash hotel in Meribel. Keeps me out of trouble too!

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Old 4th Dec 2018, 09:56
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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To be a true DIY-er you need a shed with a bench and some tools. The next generation have been priced out of home ownership as we knew it and have to settle for smaller blocks of land without a shed and work long hours to pay it off. And those I-thingys help distract them from reality.

My 35 y/o guitarist, as talented a musician as he is, cannot even change his strings and pays a music shop down the road to do it for him - I wouldn't call him thick, that's just how he is.

Them super-mega-hyper hardware stores in Oz mostly sell cheap Chinese crap, any serious DIY-er would know where to source better product which in the long run is also better value for money.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 10:17
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Me and all the kids of my age would learn with a Meccano set. I finally finished up with a No10!
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 10:25
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Remember Barry?

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Old 4th Dec 2018, 10:25
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I have a Black & Decker sander, had it for ages and a couple of years ago it gave in. Main roller bearing was kaput, tried calling B&D Norway.
Response? After finishing laughing I was duly informed that no one ever asked for spares, they did not stock them and considered the units expendable.
It was a standard roller bearing, dropped by my local pro-shop and picked one up for 7 GBP. Been working ever since.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 10:36
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I've always* had a lathe, a mill, a pillar drill, a bandsaw and other assorted essentials* in my man-cave, and I'm always amazed other households can survive without them. I tend to repair/adapt/rebuild stuff rather than replace it mainly because it usually breaks on a sunday afternoon after the shops have closed. When they were young my daughters were given "supervised access" when they asked, and often did school craft projects using this basic household facility. When she was 17 my eldest was heavily into music performance (the did record a few albums, but never good enough to be a day job) and she bought a fancy new microphone for her band. The new mike didn't fit the existing stand, so she asked if she could go into the cave and make an adaptor. Essentially she needed a short hex plug with a 3/4"x26tpi female thread at one end and an M12EF male thread at the other. I "supervised" because it's my cave and it has lots of dangerous stuff, but in reality all I did was dig er out a suitable piece of 1" MS hex bar and tell her where to find the thread gauges, the different inserts for the two threadforms and a quick talk-through revision on how to do internal single-point screw cutting. It took her a couple of hours including polishing and spraying with laquer afterwards.

She's now 21 and has her bought own maisonette - it has a brick "shed" which she calls the "girl cave" which contains a bench with vices, woodworking tools and metalworking hand tools accumulated as required for the various jobs she's had to do since she bought it. She's asked for a plunge-router for Xmas because she wants to make some "nice shelves", and has been dropping heavy hints that she wants me to explicitly leave the man-cave content to her in my will. Her younger sister is nearly as capable, but not as interested because she's more cerebral. She's doing biochemistry and is known amongst her peers as the one they want to do labs with, because she can assemble and debug complex experiments.

So whilst I recognise what the OP described, I feel it's up to parents to instil this sort of education in their kids - along with other essentials like a liking for monty python, ISIHAC, beyond the fringe, Radio 4 and Pink Floyd.

YMMV,

PDR

* since 1st house after uni days
** OK, so it's now two lathes, but that's because I need a metric one AND an inferial one obviously
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 10:44
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ancient Mariner View Post
I have a Black & Decker sander, had it for ages and a couple of years ago it gave in. Main roller bearing was kaput, tried calling B&D Norway.
Response? After finishing laughing I was duly informed that no one ever asked for spares, they did not stock them and considered the units expendable.
It was a standard roller bearing, dropped by my local pro-shop and picked one up for 7 GBP. Been working ever since.
Per
I have a dremmel - one of the original mains ones (the 5-speed switch one becuase the pots on the variable-speed ones always gave trouble). It's one of those essential tools that, if it died, I would just buy a replacement without a sedcond thought. A few years ago the front shaft bearing started chattering a bit at certain speeds, so I opened it up and found that it was worn. It's an odd size that I couldn't find through normal sources so I rang the dremmel office. After being passed on about 4 times I got to speak to a spares guy. He told me they certainly had spares, but no one ever asked for them. He took my name and address, and four days later a package arrived (no charge) containing a new bearing. It also had replacements for all the other bearings and two sets of replacement brushes, with a note saying "you might as well do a complete refurbish while you have it in bits, and these two sets of brushes should see you for another 25 years or so".

I find that if you can speak to the right person you often CAN get spares, but the problem is finding that person.

PDR
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 10:52
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I have a Black & Decker sander, had it for ages and a couple of years ago it gave in. Main roller bearing was kaput, tried calling B&D Norway.
Response? After finishing laughing I was duly informed that no one ever asked for spares, they did not stock them and considered the units expendable.
It was a standard roller bearing, dropped by my local pro-shop and picked one up for 7 GBP. Been working ever since.
Few things are designed with servicing in mind these days, including cars. Cheaper production techniques use glue or press fittings rather than screws or nuts and bolts. Rather than have trained technicians in an equipped workshop with a spares holding and service manuals for constantly changing manufactured goods, it's less expensive to do away with all the back up and simply replace anything that fails whilst under warranty. Once the guarantee period is up you're expected to cough up for a new one yourself. It's cheaper to pay someone in a third world country to make something than it is to pay someone in a first world country to repair it.

Back in the 1970s TV repairmen were required as sets regularly broke down and were designed to be fixed, same in the 1980s with video recorders. A modern flat screen TV is a throw away item if it goes wrong beyond a simple power supply or similar fault. When first introduced, DVD players were so expensive, and people were used to having VCRs fixed, that they had to be repairable. Not anymore, a broken DVD player is now landfill.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 11:26
  #50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
DIY stores are suffering sales drops. Is this a lazy Brit thing, or is it more common?
In my experience, it's more to do with the high cost of items in these stores and many of the staff there who don't have a clue about any of the goods they are selling.

My local B&Q is well over 30% more expensive for electrical consumables (plugs, sockets, cable etc) compared to a electrical outlet (TLC) which is half a mile away and just about everything else is vastly cheaper on Amazon and other online retailers.
I wouldn't mind paying a little bit more for convenience if it helped keep more stores open but I'm not willing to pay 30% to 40% more for this.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 11:43
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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A couple of thoughts occur regarding the decline of DIY in the UK. We seem to have a couple of generations now who have become largely detached from much of reality; in school they weren't allowed to use anything sharp in case they cut themselves (or actually in case the parents sued the school), so that ruled out sewing or woodwork or metalwork, and Meccano seems to have disppeared. Probably 'boring'. They were taught to cross roads when they'd pressed a button and when a little green man flashed, rather than when there was no traffic approaching.

As WingNut said earlier, many have zero manual dexterity, and thus little understanding that those long bits projecting from their hands are actually capable of doing more than tapping screens on phones.

Some years ago I visited Paris regularly and always headed for the basement of BHV, a large department store a bit like Selfridges. The basement was the hardware section and it was huge, much bigger than any specialised tool shop in London. (Are there any of those left now?). The staff were knowledgeable and there was an enormous variety of adhesives by a wide range of producers, far more than you'd ever find in Britain. You could buy the number of screws or nails you actually needed, rather than ten-in-a-plastic-bag, and there were dedicated counters for six or eight different power tool manufacturers, half of which you never saw in the UK. "A lathe, sir? No problem". The whole impression was that they catered to a clientele who knew what they wanted and weren't prepared to be told there wasn't any demand for it. Could it be that the British are easily fobbed off with a poor range of items and when they can't find what they need they just give up?
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 11:50
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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@M.Mouse, I hear you !

As a, (self critical), engineer, I generally know if I have done something well or badly, (and need to redo it!).

I have always wondered: what qualifications could I ask to see to check if a builder or tradesman is actually any good or competent at what they do? (I can show potential employers my ATPL licence and LPC endorsements and my log book for example).

Secondly, where can I find a technical manual that details the correct and legal way to build stuff, e.g. Joist spacing, roofing, wall construction, loading, joints to use, material mixes etc. etc.?
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 13:16
  #53 (permalink)  
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The basement was the hardware section and it was huge, much bigger than any specialised tool shop in London. (Are there any of those left now?). The staff were knowledgeable and there was an enormous variety of adhesives by a wide range of producers, far more than you'd ever find in Britain. You could buy the number of screws or nails you actually needed, rather than ten-in-a-plastic-bag
Croydon had Turtles until just a decade ago; a really useful hardware/craft shop, it boasted a basement inhabited by ancient souls who could identify at a glance the odd screw/bolt/nut/washer you proffered and swiftly and surely go to the correct wooden drawer to provide you with the quantity you needed in a little brown paper bag on which they'd write "5p" or whatever for the tills upstairs. Sadly closed for good by "Young Mr Turtle" when demolition threatened the buildings it was situated in, a demolition that's only now starting to take place.

Clas Ohlson replaced Turtles as the useful place in Croydon, but lacked the knowledge and wisdom of those ancient souls. On the other hand, Clas introduced me to Torx screws which I use for everything now - never had one strip or refuse to back out... Clas has gone too now, undervalued in another condemned edifice which has yet to be demolished (Whitgift Centre).
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 13:17
  #54 (permalink)  
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I don't know how they are doing, but I used to buy from Machine Mart for equipment that I needed.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 13:36
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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where can I find a technical manual that details the correct and legal way to build stuff, e.g. Joist spacing, roofing, wall construction, loading, joints to use, material mixes etc
Readers Digest used to do a good DIY manual
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 14:23
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Originally Posted by rogerg View Post
Readers Digest used to do a good DIY manual
So did Penthouse.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 14:51
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Back in the 1970/80s, the AA "Book of the Car" took you from the stage where you knew nothing about cars, to the point where a Haynes workshop manual would be of use. It explained the basics in simple, clear terms and taught you about more specialised tools such as valve spring compressors. Most of us would have known about basic tools from doing bicycle or motorbike repairs.

Now most cars need to be plugged into a dealer level scanner for all but the simplest of faults. A 1970s Ford Escort or Mini could be taken to pieces and put back together again by a reasonably competent home mechanic with a decent set of tools and a manual. Now the specialised equipment required would cost more than the car. Any major engine or transmission problem out of warranty and its likely to be written off unless you can find a second hand replacement from a breakers yard, as overhauling a VVTI engine or 7 speed automatic gearbox properly is beyond most engineering firms.
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 15:43
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FullOppositeRudder View Post
I've always been inclined to DIY if at all possible. I had to out on the farm. This extended to items of farm machinery, several trailers, plumbing and electrical, a couple of significant towers for amateur radio work and the aluminium to decorate them. I'm a bit more selective these days because of aging bones. Mind you, I'll only go so far. My cooking ability pretty finishes at making toast.

One of my SIL will have a go at anything; the other has never demonstrated the the inclination or the ability.

Australia's biggest hardware chain (Bunnings) still seems very crowded every time I visit. People must still be doing stuff somewhere. Ditto for Ikea. Perhaps not all is lost just yet.
You haven't LIVED until you have worked on an amateur radio tower in Canada in the Winter. My brain froze up one once and had to be helped down by the guy who was higher than me on the tower!
In reply to the OP, I have been an avid fixer all my life, but even though I am a retired EE some of he kit does need special tools or a link right back to the guy who wrote the firmware.

There is hope for the future though, young people are now being wowed into the maker-mender movement:

https://www.economist.com/schumpeter...rs-now-menders

seems right for the Times to sow seeds of doubt and the Economist to throw weedkilller on them :-)
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 16:30
  #59 (permalink)  

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Can do most things, routing, welding, turning, plumbing etc. reasonably well. Spent my childhood making more and more ambitious models.
Brother likewise (tho' no more welding for him after pacemaker) - he's less patient but better than me at most DIY.
Don't have a workshop anymore since SWMBO and I split up (she got the house/garage and I got the flat). Most tools carefully mothballed.
Can't be congenital since scientist Dad could barely put the plug on a kettle and physicist son likewise.

But I have plans....

Mac
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Old 4th Dec 2018, 17:37
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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i think the biggest argument in favour of the death of DIY is the death of DIY shops . Where I live there was a Hombase another big chain I ahve forgotten and a B&Q the only one left and not as busy as it once was and selling lots of things like new kitchens and bathrooms. The 'slack ' seems to be taken up with many more Screwfix type places used by the trade and serious DIY people who know what they want and don want to go wandering around a superstore full of stuff they are not interested in.
i spend a lot of time in rural France and there seems no such decline there but then ina Bricolage or Leroy Merlin you can seemingly buy everything needed to build a small airport rather than just put up a shelf . More seriously though a lot of younger people do not get 'trained ' they dont do woodwork and metal work at schools, dads an accountant not a sparks or chippy or whatever -you cannot play around with your car changing plugs points etc etc so i dont blame them for not being able to change a plug as you usually cannot now and many just dont have the time with the slave labour work hours many are subjected to these days
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