Thursday, February 2, 2017

In Praise Of “Junk”

We never had a LOT of old machinery and stuff sitting outside our barn, but we had a little bit. The “best” stuff, though, was kept inside the barn, out of the weather. Our machinery was stored there, too, what would fit, the rest was over the hill in a smaller barn beside where my great aunt lived. Even then, we didn’t have a LOT of junk sitting around, compared to some farms I’ve seen. But anything that appeared to have something that could be used to make or repair something else was saved.

Many a time as we looked through our “supplies,” we found nuts, bolts, washers, rods or sheet metal to use in a project around the sawmill or farm. We never had any drift pins for disassembling anything; we just used old bolts. After all, you had to pay money for a nice set of drift pins, and old bolts were free. Naturally, you’d ruin the threads on new bolts using them for such things, so that was out, too. Most of the time, we could find what we needed to work on something without having to head off to the hardware store.

A couple days ago, I disassembled my old office chair, so I could start figuring out how to rebuild it. It wasn’t made to ever be disassembled, so some parts had to be dealt with using my cordless DeWalt cut-off tool. A couple rods had to be driven out after cutting, and I was stumped for a minute, until I figured that I could use a cut off piece to drive out the piece remaining.

When I finished, I had a couple short pieces of hardened 5/16 steel rod and one longer piece, plus a couple washers. Those pieces will go into a plastic jar in the basement and be saved for later use. Unfortunately, I have no stock of junk to pull from to fix the chair, so I’ll either have to buy some steel or use wood.

Then again, I DO have that old piece of gas pipe under the rear deck! © 2017


Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have been wondering if you could use wood, something strong like 4x4s to cradle the seat.

Gorges Smythe said...

Actually, that was my first thought, too, SF. Attaching it to the seat will be the main problem, especially since I want to give it a 10 degree backward lean. I'll eventually figure it out.

Ralph Goff said...

Gorges it sounds like we grew up in similar conditions with the same respect for "junk". The only bad part is that some of the stuff we disassembled and cut up for re purposing would now be considered collectors items or antiques. Its gotten to the point I'm almost reluctant to tear apart any more old machinery. Guess its time to buy some real scrap at a farm auction.

Gorges Smythe said...

Oh well, Ralph, I sold my comic books before they became valuable, too!