Sunday, May 20, 2012

fixin' to fix it...

There is little more satisfying than fixing things that are broken and making them work again at little cost. The throw away culture and the waste we live with disgusts me. My wife and I had purchased a power washer, and when I got it out to wash the tractor and truck, water came out in places where it wasn't supposed to but was hidden by the plastic shell. It leaked like crazy but had no useful pressure. When I called a repair shop, they informed me that the unit was essentially a throw away.

This last week, I decided to delve into it. I took out the screws holding the plastic shell together so I could see inside and I then hooked it up to the hose to see where it was leaking. A small stream of water came out of the seam between two halves of a small plastic part. I ordered a new part online from for $5.87 plus $3.50 postage and handling. The part came a few days later and the power washer is now fixed. Do many people understand how a person can feel as a result of having being able to fix things, make things work that were broken?

Randall sent this link to an article in the Christian Science Monitor about Repair Cafes where folks can go to fix things. The mantra for our new age must become: reduce, repair, re-use and recycle. Architect William McDonough observed,
“What happened with planned obsolescence is that it became mindless – just throw it away and don’t think about it. The value of the Repair Cafe is that people are going back into a relationship with the material things around them.”
In a very real sense, when we fix the things around us, we also fix something that has been broken within ourselves. The photo above is from a repair cafe in the Netherlands.

Make, fix and create...

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