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How many things do you DIY?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Joseph, May 26, 2011.

  1. I was reading the sensor cleaning thread on the FX forum and it just dawned on me that I've saved a lot of time and money by DIY'ing a lot of things. These are the stuff I do myself:

    1. Haircut - Yes, I cut my own hair, every 2 weeks. It's easy... put the #2 guide thing on the shaver and go at it. Haircuts cost $15 + tip around here and if it costs me $30/mo for a haircut, that's $360 a year that I save. I also hate waiting 30 mins in line for a haircut, and that was my motivation to learn.

    2. Cleaning my own sensor. I've been using the same method on all the bodies I've owned: D40, D70s, D300, and now D700. Pec pads + Eclipse fluid and 10 minutes of my time. I was suprised at how easy it is, you just need to be careful and meticulous. It's convenient not having to send the body and wait for it to come back. The $50 I save is just icing on the cake.

    3. Brakes - Once upon a time, I used to take our cars (minivan and a car) to Toyota for brake jobs. The last time I was there, we were quoted $500 just for the front brakes :eek:  I said I had enough. I bought a jackstand, torque wrench, C-clamp, etc (around $50 total). Bought replacement pads ($35) and took the rotors for resurfacing ($15 for both). Four hours later, I'm done and the brakes are good as new. Total cost? $100. I just saved $400! I put the money back in the bank and took my wife to a nice dinner :wink:

    Do you DIY? Do share..
  2. Since I've decide to embrace my growing baldness, I have taken to doing my own haircuts as well, using a clipper with a #3 comb. Works wonders on the beard/mustache, too. Still need some help trimming the short hairs in back, though.

    I used to do more than just fluid flushes on my car, including doing the brakes, but lately I just don't have the time or patience for it. Someday I'll get back to doing more DIY auto maintenance.
  3. Ryan_T


    Mar 24, 2011
    I DIY

    - food
    - lawn
    - drive
    - showers
    - teeth-cleaning (novice)
    - clothing putting-on
    - picture taking
    - photo editing
    - dishes
    - carwash
    - seasonal wheel swapping
    - tree-planting
    - garbage taking-outing

    I'll add more as I think of them


    - Thinking
    - Speaking
    - Drinking
    - ... (inappropriate for a family forum)
  4. Joe, I try to do most things myself. In the age of Internet where you can find instructions for almost anything, it's easy. One example: I am about ready to start my own garden to grow most of the vegetables we need. I'm not sure this will save $$$ (higher water bill) but we like homegrown so much more than storebought (not really any good outdoor markets in this area). I do my own oil changes/tire rotations, minor car repairs (just did alternator in my truck, etc.). I just found my father-in-law's old Schwinn bike and fixed it up for my son, the list is endless! :smile: Shoot, I even do my own plumbing now, something that I hate, but the last time we called a plumber and he wanted to charge $600 to unclog the line, I said forget that, I will do it myself!
  5. Stephan54


    May 13, 2006
    You save money and you put people out of work. I am happy that I have a job myself.
    So little DIY for me, I help keep the economy going and keep people in their jobs.
  6. Billy Ng

    Billy Ng

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hartsdale, NY
    • Vehicle Maintenance. I used to do all of it myself, but I currently live in an apartment and have assigned outdoor parking. I have nowhere to keep a jack and other tools, so most basic work I currently pay for. When we move into a house, that stops.
    • Gunsmithing. Bought a $2K custom 1911 that had an assortment of problems. The manufacturer's customer service was garbage and I was losing money on shipping back to them and losing money on ammo testing their "fixes". One day I just snapped, said Eff-It, and figured this thing is only mechanical - I can fix it myself. Needed some tools (specifically, needle files and a polishing kit for my Dremel), but over the course of two days I reshaped the extractor, cut back the ejector, polished the feed ramp and breech face, trimmed the plunger, refit the thumb safety, and cursed at the money I wasted on such a poorly built product. In the end however, it runs 100% and is a faithful daily companion.
  7. JusPlainCrayzee

    JusPlainCrayzee Administrator Administrator

    Renovating my home. So far I've done my kitchen, sunroom, bath, and put in a patio - all my myself (with the exception of the electrical). Basement is next. I've also painted every inch of the house, as well.
  8. I'm hitting the age where the $ I save by changing oil is offset by the resulting co-pay at the chiropractor. You used to have room to climb into the engine compartment and do stuff like plugs, vc gaskets, belts - now you need special flexible heads just to grease the driveline.

    I still swing a hammer and turn wrenches around the house though.

  9. I don't do as many things as I once did. I no longer have to do my own lawn care or maintenance around the house. It's the school's property, so it's done for me. I do change my own oil, not because of the cost, but because I don't trust the knuckleheads at the JiffyLube/QuickLube joints. I also do most of my own automotive work. But I've got a heater core in my truck that needs replacing. Not gonna touch that...because I'm getting lazy in my old age.
  10. cbbr


    Nov 21, 2009
    Baton Rouge, La.
    If I can find a guide or some instruction, I DIY. I do all of my own vehicle maintenance and built my 4X4, fabricating many parts myself. I bought a ZTR mower for the price of 2 tears of lawn maintence... over 3 years ago.

    My wife and I installed our wood floors, moved interior walls, painted, wired (yes, within code) done plumbing and refinished most of the antique furniture in our house. I don't cut my own hair, my wife does that and the dog grooming.

    Its not that I am cheap, mostly its that I enjoy the work and knowing that the job is done right. When I don't have the time. we pay someone to do things, but that is rare.
  11. SteveK


    Mar 16, 2005
    I built one house myself, including all the electric & plumbing, built a driveway, taught myself to run a backhoe, and dug a well and septic tank. I bought a plane, learned how to fly, and used the plane to do aerial photography. We decided to build a second house, and I chose to hire a contractor. We are off the grid, so I do change the oil in our diesel generators, and maintain our storage battery bank. In winter, I clean the snow off our solar panels, and blow the snow off our driveway. In summer, we grow our own lettuce, kale, basil, oregano, and if we are lucky, and it's warm enough (in the greenhouse) tomatoes. I've only paid for a haircut twice in the past 20 years (my wife cuts it normally), and I stopped shaving in 1976, so I have saved lots of money on razors.
  12. Bill N

    Bill N Guest

    Well, if you are going to DIY you might like below link. Amazing what you can have directions to do!!

  13. paulski


    Mar 3, 2006
    Central NY
    *DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat
    metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and
    flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which
    you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

    WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the
    workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and
    hard-earned callouses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say,
    'Oh sh--!'

    SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

    PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of
    *BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor
    touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

    HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board
    principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable
    motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal
    your future becomes.

    VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads.
    If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense
    welding heat to the palm of your hand.

    OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable
    objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the
    wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

    TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood
    projectiles for testing wall integrity.

    HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after
    you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly
    under the bumper.

    BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut
    good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash
    can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge..

    TWO TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of
    everything you forgot to disconnect.

    PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or
    for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your
    shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips
    screw heads.

    STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to
    convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your

    PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket
    you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

    HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

    HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used
    as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the
    object we are trying to hit.

    UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard
    cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents
    such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector
    magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for
    slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

    SOB TOOL: (A personal favorite!!) Any handy tool that you grab
    and throw across the garage while yelling 'S of a B ! ' at the top of
    your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

    Hope you found this informative
  14. I've designed and built quite a few boats, the largest being 53 feet long. I've built several airplanes and designed, built, and test flew one. I've built two houses and done most of the work myself with the help of a few sub contractors and some uneducated labor (one so dumb he could not read a tape measure; "I'm not very good with numbers"). I've restored a number of old automobiles. I used to paint all my own autos, aircraft, and boats and do all my own TIG and stick welding, but I sold all that equipment when I moved to Italy.

    Now I'm slowing down in my old age. I still do my own lawn (2.5 acres), and change my own oil/brakes/etc. I do all the work on my two motorcycles and most of the regular maintenance work around the house. I buy very nice local table wine in bulk (52 ltr demijohns) and bottle it myself.

    But mostly I concentrate on rigging my hammock between two trees for my regular afternoon nap.
  15. My sides hurt!
  16. cbbr


    Nov 21, 2009
    Baton Rouge, La.
    I have that hanging in my shop.:biggrin:
  17. Anything that will take me more than 3 hours to do I get someone in to do it, I spend enough of my time at work I don't want my free time taken up wrecking the house/electrics/plumbing/heating.
  18. sjd996


    Sep 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Pretty much everything I can, although my "in-process" project list probably exceeds 100 projects...
  19. midocr


    Mar 28, 2008
    OH - IO
    I generally try to do everything I need done, myself, as long as I have the space and tools to do the job correctly and safely. I have a good network of friends with many skills and lots of experience. We have always helped each other out, as good friends do, with whatever projects we venture into. Most of the time it's as much about getting together with friends as it is about the project.
  20. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    Shifting gears in my car.

    I also get up all by myself to get the remote of the TV.
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