Something From Nothing Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:10 pm

Two weeks ago I was digging through piles of used shoes at the swap meet when I spotted ultra-expensive cycling shoes. I grabbed the two shoes and found that they were identical, but both were left foots. As I was looking for the rights, another guy noticed I was digging with intent and began looking for them himself. He found one right and a third left. We were laughing as we raced to find the last two rights. Then one of my friends pointed to the pile I was standing on. There under my feet where to the two rights. I paid $7 a pair.

When I got home I googled the brand and found that they sell for $499 a pair. Who pays that much for cycling shoes???

Last week I listed one pair on ebay for considerably less than retail price but immediately put my store in vacation mode because we were leaving for a week of camping in Zion National Park to celebrate our 24th anniversary. All week I was getting emails from a guy who wanted to buy the shoes and couldn't figure out why ebay wouldn't permit him to do so. I got home yesterday, turned off vacation mode and he bought the shoes.

Just now, while I was packaging them for shipping, Mrs. Ego was calculating our expenditures for the trip. I told her the profit we earned for the shoes. She said it came within a few dollars of covering the cost of admission to the park and six nights of camping. When they finally sell, the second pair will certainly cover the cost of gas and food for the week. The $14 vacation.

wheatstate
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by wheatstate » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:24 pm

That Sannino looks great. Well done.
What is neat about Campagnolo, as a company, is that all the parts are rebuildable. Many of the other bike companies make disposable parts that can't be serviced, or you can't buy smaller parts.

If the Sannino is for personal riding, and the shifting is less than ideal. I would consider rebuilding the shifters, or at least the right that gets the most use. I did this on a 90's Bianchi TSX reparto course with Campy 8spd chorus that I bought. The bike had been well ridden, and the shifters felt mushy. Replacing the springs and cam made the shifting precise and direct.

Good rebuild pics: http://www.standardbikerepair.com/over ... gearshift/
Good rebuild video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OocYpHXJ3Y
Possible part listing: https://branfordbike.com/new-products/
Cost could be $50-100 for parts (springs and cam).

I look forward to hearing where you ride the Sannino. Thanks for sharing.

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FBeyer
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by FBeyer » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:10 am

Ego wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:10 pm
... a week of camping in Zion National Park to celebrate our 24th anniversary... The $14 vacation.
Zion. Paid for in shoes. I have no words to describe my envy right now. I REALLY want to go back to Zion and hike Angel's Landing.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:10 pm

@wheatstate, thanks for the tips on the shifters. So far they are doing okay.

@FBeyer, Angel's Landing was a blast, though Mrs. Ego had a peculiar tendency to wind up on the wrong side of the chains. I had to get her to step across before snapping this photo. I am amazed that they allow just about anyone to go up and hang from chains over 2000 foot precipices.

Image

For those not freaked out by heights, this video gives a good perspective of the hike....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpmuakyEWpo

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:23 pm

Trash day. A foreign exchange student is moving back home and is slowly tossing EVERYTHING. Stainless Japanese electric kettle. Another Hamilton Beach Brewstation Coffee maker (I've stopped picking these). A $40 bottle of mezcal and a bottle of wine. A bag full of astronomically expensive cosmetics including a 1/3 full bottle of perfume that sells for $240 :shock: . I had no idea. Every day new goodies.

My friend Cory the can and bottle picker was here today when I rolled out the bins so I gave him most of it. I kept the kettle and Mrs. Ego the perfume. We have a Mexican themed party on Saturday so the mezcal (with worm) will be the obligatory gift bottle. I'll add the wine to my collection of trash picked obligatory gift bottle.

Image

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:20 pm

I found two Continental Gatorskin tires for the Sannino today at the swap meet. $3 each. One tire shows a little light wear. The other looks new.

Image

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:24 pm

Along the same lines as Something From Nothing....

The Fifty Dollar Shop. The guy bought a few basic tools and supplies for under $50 and will use them to build up a fully stocked wookworking shop by creating things and selling them, then using the proceeds to make or buy additional tool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jywFqtZv-qg

Hat tip to Kevin Kelly

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:44 pm

Ego wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Stainless Japanese electric kettle.
My wife's family uses these so it was new to me and seemed a bit wasteful at first (so I had to spend extra and get the maximum vacuum sealed chamber model from Zojirushi) but now I love it. We've since gifted one to everyone on my side of the family and to new ones to some people on her side.

Gatorskins for $3? Your swap meet is amazing.

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FBeyer
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by FBeyer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:35 am

Ego wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:24 pm
Along the same lines as Something From Nothing....

The Fifty Dollar Shop. The guy bought a few basic tools and supplies for under $50 and will use them to build up a fully stocked wookworking shop by creating things and selling them, then using the proceeds to make or buy additional tool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jywFqtZv-qg

Hat tip to Kevin Kelly
Heh. That's basically one of the things I had on my when-FI list. :)

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:49 pm

Mrs. Ego took out the trash last night and came back with a Hoover bagless HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. Sells for $98 on Amazon. She tested it this morning and found that it is in perfect condition. Strangely, our apartments have only hardwood floors.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:43 pm

Found a hairdryer on top of the trash. Yes, you guessed it, the circuit interrupter had blown and the reset button needed to be pressed. :shock: Works perfectly. Nearby was a stainless cup. The tenant who tossed it is an artist. She put a paintbrush in the cup by accident (I assume). I sprayed a little Goo Gone in the cup and let it set for a few minutes. The paint washed out like nothing.

Image

I am enjoying this set of tools for systems thinking.

https://medium.com/disruptive-design/to ... 9cdac3dc6a

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:19 pm

I found a nearly new Leatherman Surge at the bottom of a bin today at the swap meet. I paid real money for it (1/3 of retail) but I'm confident that I can sell my old Leatherman Wave for the same price (after ebay/paypal fees) so it should be a wash. The Wave is okay. I've carried it for years. For some reason the torx screws holding it together seems to loosen all the time, which is frustrating because they need to be tightened just when I need it to work. Also it doesn't have a wire stripper like the Surge which is something I always seem to need and end up trying to strip a wire with the blade. And the Wave seems more like a toy while the Surge is more beefy like a tool that will last.

This one was definitely a 'want' rather than a 'need", but I should be able to flip it so that there is no additional cost involved.

Image

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Sclass
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Sclass » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:46 pm

Nice. 1/3 of retail is a score. Leatherman has a really good warranty policy. My understanding is they will fix anything for free. Try thread locker glue?

I used my wave a lot over the weekend during a dryer install. Great tool. Heaviness has me looking at a titanium one.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:02 pm

Sclass, funny I just now used it to cut a box down to size to ship a hat. As I was cutting I thought.... did I really need this? The Wave is sitting on a shelf next to my bottle of loctite but the hex bit is in the basement. The last time I brought the hex bit up, the loctite was in the basement. Never fails.

The little foreign-exchange student finally moved out. Whenever we'd see her in the building Mrs. Ego would whisper something like, "Trip her and hold her down while I steal that CUTE sweater". Well, she left four plastic bins full of Nordstrom-quality clothing in exactly Mrs. Ego's size. Some of it with tags still attached. Too much. Way too much. We have no room for it. She also left Calphalon pots and various cooking stuff and a Zojirushi bento lunchbox and a bunch of storage containers that would spark Marie Kondo joy.

We're going to pile it in the car and sell at the swap meet on Wednesday afternoon. I'll see if I can unload the Leatherman Wave too. And maybe a bike.

Mrs. Ego has dibs on the proceeds from the sale, not including the Leatherman money. She is getting her motorcycle license and is going to take the class, which costs $180. By doing so she gets to avoid taking the driving test at the DMV.

enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:36 pm

Cool on the motorcycle class. Unlike the people who wobble through the test at DMV, Mrs. Ego will also learn how to ride a motorcycle.

I say that even though I never took the class, blush. I just wobbled for a couple of hundred thousand miles.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:25 pm

She's a pretty good cyclist so she should do well once she gets over that initial phase of figuring out the extra elements of foot brake, throttle, clutch, and weighted balance. I just got back from the swap meet and she showed me the type of gloves and helmet she wants me to find.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:13 pm

I've found a few old distressed hats lately at the swap meet and sold them for a good profit. $50-$75 per dollar invested. But they are well known brands which are few and far between.

I bought this old no-name for $1 and paid another $1 for the carved feather from a lady who dumps piles of old jewelry on a table. I decided to keep this one for myself.

Image

What I'd really like to do is figure how how I might get away with something like this.

https://www.farfetch.com/shopping/men/h ... items.aspx

JWJones
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by JWJones » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:58 am

While out hiking a couple of weekends ago, I found a brand-new looking Nikon Aculon rangefinder. After some research on prices for a new one, I stuck it on ebay at a starting bid of $50. It ended up selling for $115! :D

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:56 am

My god those hats on Farfetch are seriously the most hobo looking hats I could imagine ever being sold. :lol: :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:48 pm

JWJones.... cool find. Congrats!

C40, I am seriously trying to figure out the mindset/psychology behind those hats. What is the underlying drive to buy something for 50X retail that looks as if it has been worn for years? Buying authenticity?

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:35 pm

I was curious too and turned to reddit for answers. This review of the hat line points out the burnt ones are all unique so that might attract some buyers. I'd wager it's partly to attract attention to the line by being so absurd. Next, I learned about peasant core style as it came up with another hit on brand name. Who buys that stuff? Apparently, males really into fashion.

Yesterday, I found a nice Petzl head lamp at the thrift store for $1.50. I got it home and put in new batteries and the LEDs were very dim. I had noticed some corrosion in the battery compartment but very mild. I was going to take it apart to clean it but instead just poured in alcohol and let it sit. Then drained it. After two cycles of that, it came back to full brightness. Not exactly something from nothing but nice all the same :).

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:47 pm

@SWB, thank you. That is really quiet interesting. Peasant core or elevated peasantry. I can understand that desire. I guess it's similar in theory but very different in execution from the urban lumberjack style. Not really too different from the dirty old hat I bought above.

My great-grandfather was a hatmaker for Stetson in the 19-aughts and I've always wanted to get better at repairing the old hats that are always at the swap meet. Mrs. Ego did a wonderful job restitching the lining into a 1950s Stetson Open Road I found.

I've got two friends who buy Peasant Core style stuff with me at the border and have regular spaces at the Rose Bowl Flea each month.

http://www.rgcshows.com/rosebowl.aspx

I know they get mind-blowing markups but they are both .... you know... cool, so they are able to SELL it. I can only offer it for sale. Very different. I was impressed by Horisaki & Handel because it appears they are able to SELL it via the internet. Not easy.

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:28 pm

@Ego - well, if they actually sell those hats, that company could be one of the best "something from nothing" companies around.

1 - Get hats from bums (Free, or maybe $5)
2 - Sell to Johnny Depp wannabes for $800.

I wonder if the hats have a musk aroma.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:13 pm

C40 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:28 pm
@Ego - well, if they actually sell those hats, that company could be one of the best "something from nothing" companies around.

1 - Get hats from bums (Free, or maybe $5)
2 - Sell to Johnny Depp wannabes for $800.

I wonder if the hats have a musk aroma.
Perhaps the musk would add that extra authenticity the buyer is looking for. It's all about perceived value.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_(marketing)

It is kind of amazing to see people who are able to make the leap from craft to artist. As these guys show, the payoff can be huge. They've found a way to tickle the various perceived values in peoples minds so as to empty their pockets. Remarkable.

Reminds me of Feed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed_(Anderson_novel)

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jacob » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:31 pm

@Ego/C40 - Check out used cowboy jeans (complete with certificate of authenticity) for a proven business model.

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